This blogspot is a medium to share my thoughts and adventures apart from promoting my books. Below are the books which have been written or authored and published by myself.

"Berpetualang ke Aceh: Mencari Diri dan Erti".

ISBN 983-42031-0-1, Jun 2006

"Berpetualang ke Aceh: Membela Syiar yang Asal"

ISBN 983-42031-1-x, May 2007

"Berpetualang ke Aceh: Sirih Pulang ke Gagang?"

ISBN 978-983-42031-2-2, November 2007

It is interesting to note that while these books were written in Malay it has gained enough attention to merit being part of the collections of the American Library of Congress and National Library of Australia. Look here and here.

While the first three books were published by my own company, the fourth titled "Rumah Azan" was published in April 2009 by a company called Karnadya with the help of the Malaysian national literary body Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. It features beautiful pictures along with stories behind selected mosques which could be related to the history of Islam and the Malays alongside the formation of the Malaysian nation. Look at the article A collaboration of old collegemates - the book "Rumah Azan".

My fifth book "Ahlul Bait (Family) of Rasulullah SAW and Malay Sultanates", an English translation and adaptation of the Malay book "Ahlul Bait (Keluarga) Rasulullah SAW dan Kesultanan Melayu" authored by Hj Muzaffar Mohamad and Tun Suzana Othman was published early 2010. Look here... My 5th book is out! Ahlul Bait (Family) of Rasulullah SAW and the Malay Sultanates... . For more information check out my Malay blogspot CATATAN SI MERAH SILU.

Like my fourth book "Rumah Azan", the sixth book "Kereta Api Menuju Destinasi" is also a coffee-table book which is published by the company Karnadya with the cooperation of Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (the main Malay literary body in Malaysia). Coming out January 2011 it features pictures and stories on the adventure travelling by train to all of Peninsular Malaysia along with the interesting places which could be reached this way.

My seventh book "Jejak keluarga Yakin : Satu sketsa sejarah" in turn is a coffee-table book which is written, editted, designed and has pictures taken by me. Coming out of the factory October 2011, this book which combines family history with history of places such as Singapura, Johor, Batu Pahat, Muar and in fact the history of the island of Java and England has been reviewed with me interviewed live in the program Selamat Pagi Malaysia at RTM1. Look at the article Siaran langsung ulasan buku "Jejak keluarga Yakin : Satu sketsa sejarah" dan temu ramah di Selamat Pagi Malaysia. Some selected contents have been featured in Sneak peek "Jejak keluarga Yakin : Satu sketsa sejarah".


The "Berpetualang ke Aceh" series of novels could be obtained in e-book form. Enter http://www.e-sentral.com/, click general novel and go to page 4. You can also type the word "Aceh" at the search box. Or click straight Book 1, Book 2 and Book 3.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The nostalgia that is Stadium Merdeka

On to some activities did recently in Kuala Lumpur...

Last Sunday I brought the wife and baby for a drive around KL. Suddenly I felt like having a look at the Merdeka Stadium... let's use the Malay pronounciation Stadium Merdeka (not much difference except order of the words).

For information Merdeka is the Malay word for independence. This stadium was built and then official opened on 31st August 1957 in time for the announcement of the independence of Malaysia (then known as Federation of Malay states) from the colonial rule of the British (or rather English as Great Britain is actually ruled by Englishmen).

Thus Stadium Merdeka became the nation's main venue for top flight events especially inter-nation sports and soccer matches. That is until the 1990s when bigger stadiums like the one in Bukit Jalil began to be built leaving this aging stadium almost obsolute... so obsolute that it was almost demolished to make way for high-rise buildings if not for its inherent historical value which some believe must be preserved.

I understand now it has been declared as a natural heritage. Efforts are underway to preserve it to its former glory reminiscent of its original and debutal role... that is the public place where the independence was openly declared with those magical words... "Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!"

Let's go inside.

There are montages of pictures regarding the independence on display.

The montages are displayed at the hallway. That's baby Al-Rasyid a year and a half old walking around...

Now let's have a look at the field and arena.

A look to the left.

A look ahead.

A look to the right.

The last three pictures where taken from the grandstand.

Al-Rasyid posing as a spectator... or sorts... :]

Then I saw this platform. I thought hey... is this the place where the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman shouted "Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!"?

Then as I made my way to the men's room I saw this picture taken on 31st August 1957.

It seems the declaration of independence was made on a make-shift platform down the grandstand.

It should be positioned at this part of the field.

Al-Rasyid pondering things to come? For its hard to picture him getting nostalgic as in 1957 he should be -55 years old or so, if there is such a term and way to describe things at all. Hmm. For the record this is the 767th article in this blogspot :]

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Al-Rasyid first visit to the Muar river-Jempol river meeting point

After the function as shown in the previous article Huda's wedding reception at UTM Skudai we went to Masai, then Skudai again before spending the night in Muar. The next day, 2nd May 2011 we took the rural road to Bukit Kepong pass Segamat and Gemas before visiting a relative in Jelai. Next stop is a very special place near Bahau...

This is the meeting place between the Muar and Jempol rivers.

The nearer one seen here is the Jempol river, the one behind is that of Muar...

This meeting point is part of an inland route called Jalan Penarikan which allows ships to travel to and fro Peninsular Malay's East Coast and West Coast. I have once made a posting on this place titled Where Muar river meets Jempol in Negeri Sembilan...in this blogspot. But that was based on my first visit 3 years ago.

There. See the land jutting out like a triangle? That's where the Jempol river (left) flows into the longer and more significant Muar river.

For the record this is the first time I brought baby Al-Rasyid here. He was then still fast asleep, nodding off on the journey from Jelai...

The first time I brought the wife along was in the middle of 2009. We just got back from Aceh then and she was 7 months pregnant...

A view towards the opposite direction and you could see the Muar river to the left and Jempol river to the right forming some sort of long peninsular. As we walked towards the further hut Al-Rasyid woke up and started to enjoy the scene. By then it was already dusk.

Oh. I'm glad to inform that this is the 2222th article among all my three blogspots. At this juncture I've already got 846th articles in CATATAN SI MERAH SILU and 610 in SENI LAMA MELAYU (MALAY OLDEN ART). This in turn is the 766 article in this blogspot. Add up the numbers and you have this as the 2222th overall article... :]

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Huda's wedding reception at UTM Skudai

On to Sunday 1st May 2011, the Labour Day holiday. Continued from The Singapura Malay 'heritage' that is Kampung Gelam.

So we were in Singapura (Singapura) the previous day as shown in the previous article. In fact we only got out of the island nation at 2 am or so to rest at an uncle's place in Skudai. Come afternoon we were ready for a function. It was that uncle's daughter wedding reception.

Her name is Huda and the father is Nawi, Professor Dr Nawi Derahman. Held at a hall at UTM (Malaysia Technology University) the reception started quite well.

The pace pickedup quickly when the bride and groom came...

As customary in Malay weddings they to have to take momentary seats first for a formal welcome process.

This comes with a silat performance, the Malay self-defence.

Next the bridge and groom and their entourage entered the hall.

They immediately were taken to the stage for all and sundry to see. :]

Here's a video clip of the people around. I really can't remember if I introduced the scene inMalay or English. Later only did I found out it was barely audible. Never mind. It should be enough to show what goings on...

The Singapura Malay 'heritage' that is Kampung Gelam

Continued from Special treat at the tomb of Habib Nuh.

Later we went to the area of Kampung Gelam close to Singapura (Singapore) city centre where lies an old Malay ruler palace which has been converted into a heritage centre.

Once, this whole area was a traditional Malay centre of power. The Sultan (Malay ruler) who presided at the palace used to rule an empire which extends over half of Peninsular Malaysia, Singapura, the islands of Riau and parts of Sumatera.

Now it is just a favourite watering hole for party-goers and those who think the night life and liberal attitude and thoughts are the signs of high civilisation, ultimate meaning of life.

No sir. This is not the place anymore for people who cerish traditions and like to protect their people from the invasion of the capitalists and their satanic values. Instead this is a place where so-called liberal 'Sufis' would love to converge. Forget the traditional Sufis and their 'closed' traditional minds. Who needs to pray and fast right? Who needs to take care of values and modesty. Who need to mind what you eat and drink? Who needs to worry about other people trying to convert your people to their ways under the guise of democracy and pluralism. Once you 'know' God you can drink and have sex as much as possible with however you want right? Hey... let's party and 'remember' God with a bout of Kamasutra...

It is ironic to me that an area which used to be a main traditional centre of Muslim Malay power could become such a night place. It is more ironic when one of the streets is called Arab Street... when the Arabs who came to Singapura more than a century ago used to be very religious people who would risk anything to travel all over the world to spread Islam. Now the word Arab here seems to refer to the distant time of Jahiliyah, the ignorant period before Prophet Muhammad SAW came to bring them light 1,400 years ago. Then again I'm just an 'ignorant sore' person who 'don't know' what religion and Sufism is all about. Otherwise I would be drinking till I drop and try to screw every good-looking woman worth chasing right? Hehe... :]

Monday, May 09, 2011

Special treat at the tomb of Habib Nuh

OK. Time to make excursions. This is from a short trip to the south made just over a week ago.

On Saturday 31st April I brought the family for short round of the island state of Singapura (Singapore). We visited again the tomb of Habib Nuh.

However we earlier got lost for more than 2 hours. After going to another place in Bukit Timah first, we wanted to go straight here but kept getting into the wrong roads and exits. So we arrived after Isyaq (time for the night prayers) and the door to the tomb was closed.

Never mind, we didn't despair. We visited the tomb of Sayyid Abdul Rahman Al-Habshi first, said to be Habib Nuh's nephew.

It is located just outside the main part of the tomb building, at a rather open area.

After combining Maghrib (dusk time) prayers along with that of Isyaq as allowed for Muslims on long trips, at the mosque downstairs I went up and found Habib Nuh's tomb already opened.

Even better there was a group coming up and they did some zikir, utterances of remembrance of Allah according to certain formulas.

They did it for quite some time. I think this is the best and longest I've ever spent at the tomb of Habib Nuh and I really loved it. For the record Habib Nuh was an eccentric person of saintly status living in the days of the English's early colonisation of Singapura early 19th century AD. He is a descendant of Prophet Muhammad SAW and was famous for conjuring up miracles. Below is a video clip showing parts of the start of the proceedings...

The top of Habib Nuh's tomb.

Sungai Golok at 'Point 5'

Continued from Sungai Golok at 'Point 4'.

OK. Should be enough of Sungai (river) Golok already. But I just can't help taking a few more pictures after seeing another part so close to the road.

This one is 4 minutes away from Point 4. And I encountered this after a brief spell of rain.

With this enough of admiring Sungai Golok. Time to concentrate on the drive to Rantau Panjang which was still a distance away. :]