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, June 22, 2013

A dinner talk on "Keris Tajong"

Moving on to something quite recent.

Last night, 21st June 2013 me and family went to a restaurant in Kuala Lumpur  to attend a dinner function.

Held by an association called Pusaka KL, members and those invited are encouraged to wear old-school aristocratic-style (or maybe its modern variations) Malay traditional gear. That or just wear the simple baju Melayu, Malay clothing with songkok, the black traditional hat.

The association is for those who love the Malay traditional weapon or blade called the keris, often spelled by Westerners as the kriss. The weapon completes the old-style Malay attire which should comprise the tanjak, Malay traditional headgear coming in many styles and the sampin, a piece of cloth modestly worn around the waist. The sampin is secured in place by a small belt-like piece of cloth called the bengkung and the keris is slipped under the bengkung.

It goes without saying that these people are also practitioners of the silat, the Malay art of self-defence. While many weapons are mastered by an avid silat practitoner, the keris tends to hold the highest place as it is also an instrument of self-respect, in fact the very symbol of Malayness.

The theme of the dinner function is called "Keris Tajong", referring to a class of keris having a rather large specially-carved protruding hilt and very distinct style and intricate carvings. Said to have originated from the northern part of Peninsular Malaysia extending into parts that are now in southern Thailand, this type of keris is believed to have like a thousand years worth of evolution. A series of talk would be held by experts in the field. Here's one, Mr. Ahmad Zhaini checking out his slides.

Meanwhile we continued with our dinner. Then the head of Pusaka KL, Mr. Khairul Azhar gave an opening speech.

This was followed by Ahmad Zhaini's talk on the Keris Tajong. He listed a number its sub-classes such as the Cenak and Temenggung associated with certain localities and also social-classes of the old Malay community.

A view taken from the upper floor of the restaurant. By then the second speaker had started his presentation.

I seemed to have missed Ahmad Zhaini's designation or profession. The second speaker known as Cikgu (teacher) Md Nor Awang Kechil mentioned himself as a collector of quality keris since 1955 if I remember correctly.

Thus he can swiftly recognise quality Keris Tajong hilt as compared to cheaper imitations produced en masse by some parties but lacking the 'spirit' of the original artistic produce by masters.

The third and last speaker, Dr Fawazul Khair is a senior lecturer at UTM, the technology university of Malaysia based primarily in Johor Bahru.

Compared to previous speakers which touches more on private dealings on the matter, Fawaz's presentation was very academic and detailed.

This shouldn't come as a surprise as he has a doctorate in architecture.

Yet he continuously praise those involved in the field by 'heart and feel', those inclined to the Keris Tajong because of artistic tendency. This included his former teacher, the late Nik Rashiddin, acknowledged as the best wood-carver in Malaysia for many decades. Nik Rashiddin's work and observation especially in a rich book called "The Spirit of Wood" was extensively quoted along with Fawaz's own research.