Monday, July 14, 2014


This picture may be familiar to many as it appears in the local  press to herald the opening and current show piece of Putrajaya Flower Show when it was opened to the public in June 2014.The colorful umbrellas along the main entrance pathway helped to cover the visitors from the noonday sun especially but the colorful display of "fluoride 2014" .in the show area cast away any fear of the scorching sun. 

Our attentions however were glued to the container home on display. Not that we have not seen containers used as offices for the construction industry however hats off to the planner and designer of this project who realized the potentials of the box as a home and a very beautiful and homely one at that. It's a double storey one with garden landscape added.  Imagine collecting branches and harnessing them as fences. Unique and indicating what we too often forget the ability and durability of materials around us for many purposes.

 "The main entrance to the container home, arrange in a T formation"

"Possibly not many look at this fencing, but when you do then realize the potentials of the discarded materials around us... wood especially. Most important the 'idea' that it threw. I would guess 'Robin Hood and his group or Tarzan' would have barricaded their camps in similar style."

 " The bottom section with added flooring and designed side walls. On the right is the small courtyard with stairs to the top floor.

'The top section opening to a garden landscape view'

'The courtyard and the stairs to the top floor'

'The view from the upstairs box'

"It gives a thought of doing something like this. Then again it has to be a 'gotong royong'  to collect the branches and arranging them in the manner as seen. Nevertheless 'SALUTE' to the designer and grateful that we are made to realize the potentials"

     ' From the upstairs box home'

   "Yes even the side wall can be organized to look like this. Yes truly a GREAT idea and if you have a piece of land somewhere along a flowing stream and right in a fruit orchard, why not get on to organize one like this. I am sure you could get old containers to come to your aids. But a group of friends to assist that would be another question. Good luck to those who succeed. 

It would be a great HARI RAYA CELEBRATION FOR THE FAMILY if you succeed.

Below three pictures of other designed products on show at the 'flower show' held at Putrajaya recently. We were there on 17/06/2014. You contribute RM1.00 for entrance and the ticket will allow you to reenter again if you visit the show ground again on the same day. You would have to pay 'tons' to enter the Chelsea Flower Show in UK.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


I know she must be grateful for the current project that Anak Arshad Architect has been monitoring as the lead consultant for design, construction and completion of a mosque at Bakar Arang Sungai Petani Kedah. As an architect an opportunity to design and see the completion of a mosque is an opportunity that comes not too often. When it does you can be truly thankful to Allah SWT.   Thankful and trusting that it could see the building being used in good time. AAA has designed and completed mosques before and the opportunity and trust given allows for creativity in line with the request and option of the owner or department. However in this case the design and construction of the mosque is sponsored by a single person who naturally bears the complete package of its cost himself. We know there are persons who take upon themselves to contribute for such construction. However meeting one ourselves and working in association with his hopes and commitment is another matter. Thankful that there was that trust and opportunity. Yes not always you get an opportunity to design and build a mosque together with the team of consultants, the contractor and especially the donor. 

A recent visit on site allowed for inspections, feed backs and comments of the project with actions to be taken by the contractor for immediate actions for completion by designated date. Surely the mosque committee and the jumaah want to see a quick completion so that they could use the mosque if possible during Ramadan. The donor rightly must himself be happy to realize that his objective has become true.

Though the pictures may show that the building looks ready for use there are other issues to be solved and completed before it can be commissioned. In the following weeks further inspections will be done to justify that all procedures are adhered  to. Much as many look forward for the new mosque to be opened for public use, the team of consultants too wants to see that the project would be handed over with blessings and satisfaction of the donor and the committee members of the mosque. However several other departments including Jabatan Ugama Islam Kedah have the last words.

Main Hall   (Dewan Utama )

second floor for Muslimah

The new Extension of Masjid Abu Bakar Al Sidqi Bakar Arang Sungai Petani with the old mosque at the right corner


             Dewan Serba Guna ( Open hall on the ground floor)                  


From the Open Hall on the ground floor can be seen the classes for (Tadika dan Kafa), ablution hall and 'dewan Urusan Jenazah'

(Upon completion and official opening of the mosque, a follow up will appear)

Kita sama-sama mendoakan yang terbaik dan mengharapkan masjid mendapat sambutan penuh daripada jumaah sekitar bakar Arang Sungai Petani dan tidak lupa syukur serta bertambah rezeki kepada perdermanya

Saturday, June 7, 2014


 As the days come closer to a much awaited month, we keep ourselves active in the normal way, meeting friends, visiting them where and when possible and in between  do what is possible to keep the momentum and be motivated. For sure an open house would permit friends and families to call at your place but it would not be possible to have open house all through the year. A solution comes naturally when we started and opened the restaurant. Much as we expected customers to visit and patronized, it hits the jackpot when friends and colleagues  come visiting too. Many of our friends have called and it has been a pleasure to meet them, unexpected mostly.  Neither we ourselves or them expected us to be in this business, though the business is managed by our son and his team. Unexpected it was when Dato Professor Abdul Halim Othman formerly of UKM and his family came for dinner last week.  It was an opportunity for us to introduce ourselves to each others family and struck the comradeship of our early youth and school days. Both my wife and I have enjoyed such meetings in the months passed and we are sure to continue meeting friends at our 'open house'.

 Abdul Halim Othman and his family

Gleneagle Hospital in Penang with a view from its 10th floor: a part of the sea frontage of Padang Kota Baru can be seen. The hospital is situated close to the Kelawai area, a busy hub with many high rise buildings around it. Below is a kiosk selling refreshment at the hospital. In the government hospitals canteen and such like kiosks would be away from the public zone.

Just behind the front apartment you see above would be one of the old Malay Kampong along Burma Road in Penang. Development that comes to this zone in the early 1960's has transformed the area into what it is now. I remember the Malays around this area would frequent the only mosque at Kelawai Road. Stopping at the the mosque after leaving the hospital I was surprised to see that the old wooden mosque has been pulled down and a new modern one built at its place. Certainly a far departure from what it was before, For the Asar prayer the jumaah was much to be expected for the constituent's position. Nevertheless I believe Friday prayers would get its full attendance especially as the 'Curry Kepala Ikan' restaurant is just a few yards away.

Having coffee at the Hospital's kiosk

In Penang you should try the 'Pasembor' served with fresh sea concoctions . The stalls at the corner of Kelawai Road and next to Padang Kota Baru have all kind of hawkers' food for your choice.

As the date shows, we seriously thought the days of seeing weddings as portrayed by P. Ramlee in his films have died. Imagine our surprise and pleasure to see a wedding function at Putrajaya graced by such display. The parents must have given the children their best

Wishing all visitors the best of Shaaban and more so in the month of Ramadan

Friday, May 30, 2014


It was a full moon evidence as it moved from behind the branches of the Angsana tree giving radiance to the Restaurant's compound.

Not that it was a quiet week because we actually moved many kilometres from north to the east , south and north again. This time touching Penang, Cameron Highland, Ulu Dong, Raub, Bentong, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and back to home  base Alor Setar. An event in Penang, saw a 'merisik dan pertunangan' session at a brother-in-law's place where I 'preside' at the occasion and being quite familiar with the tradition or ceremony it ran smoothly.  When normally the parent would request a representative to break the ice and be the spokesman on behalf of the 'young man' who seeks the hand of his chosen partner, here the father himself came to the fore. After the normal salutation, he politely asked if the young woman in question is unattached i.e in other terms available for the subject to be continued. Tradition takes it normal course and soon enough both parties are happy and the ceremony was over with the original objectives fulfilled. Now we await for the grand occasion when both would be joined in marriage.  

    Five trays of gifts were brought and presented. Similarly seven gifts were ready for the party to take home. All arranged and placed in the right order. It has always been in the odd number

The mother of the young man now betrothed placed the engagement ring on the young lady's finger.

Two days later we were on our way to Pahang via Cameron Highland. Departing Alor Setar in late afternoon, we reached Tanah Rata by nightfall and it was advisable not to continue on as the road via Ringlet to Kuala Lipis was new to me, unfamiliar with the terrain and rightly dark in the night. A stop over was a good break and in the morning there were opportunities to catch some interesting sites of the highland which we had not visited since several years.

The verdant jungle presented itself right across the verandah of our hotel room, a scene you will not get at any other place for that matter. A morning walk before breakfast exposed the colorful flowers found in the hotel's ground.

Directly from the hotel dining room, we saw this house on the hill, unoccupied but stately. It once belonged to Jim Thompson and probably is still who vanished and have never been found when he went for a walk in the Highland decades ago. It reminded us of the Mas 370 which is in similar circumstances and surely more gripping and fathomable.

After breakfast we continued on our journey via Ringlet to Raub and continuing to Ulu Dong. It was certainly a long drive along a long stretch of quiet road until we reached Raub. It was good advise that we did not drive along the road at night. The visit to Ulu Dong was to pay  respect to the family who lost the father, just ninety days after suffering the loss of the mother earlier. We left Ulu Dong the next day for Putrajaya , stopping at Bentong for lunch

A wedding reception awaited us at Kuala Lumpur and opportunity to meet with family members and especially cousins was a reward by itself. Hj Hussein Hassan who had settled in Kuala Trengganu was there too with his wife.

A picture of the ceiling at Dewan Felda where the ceremony was held. I took the picture as it gives an out of this world feeling.

A return to Alor Setar made us stop at a friend's shop to see his collection of orchid plants. Then I saw his   collection of wooded  pieces especially for orchid plants. Mind you one of this pieces can fetch RM 10.00 or more. They are not collected in the country but imported from across the border. Mind you we have lots in our jungles, the seasides and at the river sides. Don't we see the value?

Perhaps the walkabout ended with a good end when I came across a collector who showed the beautiful kris. It's an old piece with a beautiful blade. Any offer?