Sunday, September 13, 2015


For the desire need to get back on the blog as I have been away from it for quite away this would be a good short cut. 
As age catches up with us so too the health sees its own side too. Instantly this picture of the old house where I was born and brought up becomes a good choice and preference.

It was built by my father in early 1948 and thankfully we have moved it to a new site in a kampong 10 kilometres from its original site. Moved? No not the whole house at a time but hard work and skill- fullness of moving pieces by pieces and fixing them together saw the fruits of the day.  Of course with the added technical and architectural drawings by my wife.

Standing majestic better than it was last seen at the original land in Alor Setar. With fruit trees around it and a river directly in front it is a treasure piece, a Malay home of the old traditions. You are welcomed to visit.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Often we glimpse at a picture or pictures and never attempting to see or read the stories behind them. Often concluding that it or them has or have no stories to tell. Very true for only the photographer can tell us the stories within that picture. Especially when we have right in our hands pictures dating back many years ago.

Let's go back a few decades back when pictures are in white and black and discover the stories. Well I am able to tell the background to that picture because I was the photographer. How we dismissed the facts and the stories within because failing to look deeper and unwary of the wealth within. 

                                                                     PICTURE A                                                              
It's a quiet and peaceful. No traffic except for two persons about to cross the road. Even then they looked cautious.  It's early morning, a beautiful day with a slight breeze in the air. Obviously it is not of the current time frame but one snapped in 1957 when Malaya was heralding its Independence     (Merdeka) The signage on the arch framing the road tells all. There is a picture of Tunku Abdul Rahman the first Prime Minister for all to see when they passed by. 
The road is still in service in 2015 but transformed through the years to be a busy double thorough fare. Imagine only a bicycle or two on the road minus the cars , motor cycles lorries etc. The air is cleaner and the trees grow to their full heights and right to the road boarders. Years earlier a horse drawn cart would also be on the road. Alas all that has gone. 2015 sees a total change of the area fronting the road side at ALOR MERAH four kilometres from Alor Setar city centre. 

All the greens are gone. Bare and brick buildings have taken their places. You risk your life if you do cross the road without watching for the heavy traffic to and fro.

This is a picture of Alor Setar in 1955 with imported British cars parked in front of Bangunan Wan Mat Saman ( now the Kedah Religious Department). A 'Humber' or a Hillman Minx could be the model of the car. Angsana trees lined the road stretching from Bangunan Balai Besar to the corner of Jalan Raja and Jalan Tunku Ibrahim. The white building stretching across the picture was the PWD office and later became an art gallery. The open field in front of the PWD office is known as 'Padang Court' the public open field for the Alor Setar community where all state functions were held here. Its proximity to the Zahir Mosque and Sultan's office and in the centre of the town makes it the "Town Padang" typifying itself as many other established town padang in all the state capitals of Malaya and Singapore.

A look back at history, glimpses at old pictures will open our eyes to yester-years and that too if the old pictures are still safe in our keeping.


Tuesday, April 14, 2015


I am sure all of us who read and hear perfectly realize what's happening in the country. As if the monsoon, the flood , the immigrants, the illegal entries, the IS and the corruptions plus the GTS have not dislodged  us from our positions, now the political awakening of the RULING GOVERNMENT with show of supports to the chief help to shake further the stability of the country.

The question and answer sessions in the newspaper and the electronic media continue relentlessly. Years ago you may expect replies to come days later but now it is directly there soon after one is uttered or published. Never mind who said what, there will always be a prompt answer.

We look on and declare that with such going on, will the people have peace and calm. Remembering that the country's security itself is on hold will the discourse over 1MDB, jet plane, Pak Najib, Tok Tun M and IM4U declaration etc continuing beyond its boundary will bring us OUT successfully?

The 2 bye-elections due in May 2015 will surely be something to focus on if speakers or candidates dare to speak and reveal all.

I am sure many of my blogger friends may have been at least dislodged from their favorite outings with the current news headlines in all the media. Stability is an issue.

Salam to all.  Two pictures taken recently while in Dubai UAE help to state the feelings we may feel at the moment. 

Falling with magnificence and setting sun with its closure of the day and what will it be tomorrow?

Sunday, February 22, 2015


A lapse of almost three months, bring me back to familiar ground. However it took a time to click back when password and other directions got entangled due to lack of practice or maybe blanks. 

Blogging however seems to take a back seat now with 'whatsapp', 'telegram' etc taking a new foothold. The latter is organized and executed right away via your telephone inclusive of photos that added impact and reality.

Be as it is, this chapter identifies activities and visitations of the past months helping to record them while of course remembering that the nation  Malaysia has not been spared of calamity and incidents of varied kinds. The tragic flooding on the east coast coming with Christmas Day 2015 and earlier the Cameron Highlands landslides and flooding hit the nation with tragic impact. People are still reeling with the tragedy.

On the bright side let's see what has actually comes our way.

On the eve of the Chinese New Year we traveled to Batu Pahat in Johore . Batu Pahat however has been on the map but unvisited by us until  today. Segamat, Muar, Johore Bharu, Kota Tinggi , Ayer Hitam situated closer to the highways and main roads have not been missed. Now what do we discover at Batu Pahat in the confined of a 24 hour visit and that too compounded with attending a wedding function; maybe a glimpse of the town but enough to know its potentials and directions. 

One thing for sure, we landed after a lengthy drive from Putrajaya due to traffics on the highway because of the Chinese New Year balik kampong to a comfortable hotel in town. I must say it was a pleasant discovery to find such a hotel in town. I am appreciative of the design, service and comforts of  The Katerina Hotel at  Jalan Zabedah 83000 Batu Pahat Johor Takzim. Several pictures attached testify to the cleanliness and comfort  you would enjoy. Talk of a boutique hotel , Katerina would fit into that category.

Batu Pahat takes its name literally from this sculpture or monument you see in town. Appreciate of the skills inherent in the people you would of course like to see the products and meet the craftsmen. Alas that would not be fulfilled. Centuries has passed and old traditions have departed too.

At the Asam Pedas Restaurant in town. Good to see  Malays with their restaurants and support customers. 

Not for dinner but reserved for the next day and we had to search for it. From the many customers at the restaurant it does established itself as a favoured one in town. 


Our visit to Batu Pahat was to attend a wedding reception and solemnization and the visit to the resident's of the bride yet again introduce us to other aspects of the community and  people who make up Batu Pahat and this sector of Johore.

Yet there are other welcome invitations. Batu Pahat has offers for your gastronomy. Nasi Berani Power and Assam Pedas come to mind. Either would be our destination for dinner. For Malaysian towns the like of Batu Pahat and others outside   the arm bits of tourism you are assailed by the lack or obvious absence of brochures and maps promoting the town or locality. The best would be to access your phone or computer if you have them with you.

 A picture taken from the 7th floor of the hotel gives some idea of the landscape of the town. A highland close by added that it is not a flat land though rice farming and rubber plantation have shifted to oil palm plantation.

A 2 day visit seriously require a follow up.




BATU PAHAT has its name identified by this structure in town. The question begged to be asked  " Are there masons and stone's quarry in town and where or what are the products of the skilled craftsmen? "

Likely you will not find a trace of them but discover other aspects within the short hours you are in town.Just because it is not a centre frequently visited especially by tourists you find a dire lack of information and especially brochures or maps of the town. Thus you may end up guessing all aspects of the town even to the very fact of finding directions to a restaurant where you would enjoy dinner of local delicacies. Knowing that Batu Pahat has culinary to offer. 

Johore is recognized with various 'parit' ( canals, riverlets, drainage) and your journey around town will bring you face to face with signages that declare their existence.     

Saturday, February 21, 2015


Having been away from blogging for  months, it gets difficult to get back to the path or clicking to note down what you planned to do. Your attempts to find your dashboard also meet with failure. Memories and patience become the tester; you may easily give up when several attempts find no way out. You lose your blogs?

Thankfully there is a discovery and here you are typing away. The next best way to go back to your album and post photos taken in the past months. They recorded intact what memories may not recollect immediately while you grope for stories.

 At the home of a family friend near Batu in Kuala Lumpur, it was a surprise to meet up with an old friend of the teaching days. Only upon asking we found out the next person sitting near to us was  Abdul Rahman Yeop, a former headmaster and Pengarah Pelajaran Selangor in the 1970's.Forty years and more have passed by and thankfully recognition stays put and help us to be connected again.

Last month while driving to Baling that historical town where Tunku Abdul Rahman met Chin Peng, we saw again this building at Jeniang in the district of Sik Kedah. Astride a river, I stopped to take this photo from the bridge of an old police station dating back to the prewar days and still in service with its well kept grounds. How much longer will it stay there? Will it give way to a new police station? Badan Warisan Negara must take note of this building in Sik Kedah.  
A Visit to Langkawi took me to this site where the owner tended to his orchard while at the same time showed us this rows of tree trunks positioned as they were. He is a 'honey' collector but not derived from bees  but from 'kelulut'. Rightly there has been many enterprises set up to collect 'honey' from 'kelulut'. 

While many of the old timers may recognize this plant or creeper which naturally clings to telephone or electric poles and on fences in our homes yet one of many that has  disappeared from the local scenes,yet here it was and I am told its food for the 'kelulut'. It's name ... "ayer mata pengantin" . wow!!!

 Early February 2015 morning, as I tended to the small garden at home and upon looking up saw this beautiful sight. Our tall 'kuinin' tree has blossomed signaling that its the beginning of 'spring' in Kedah and like similar fruit trees we may expect a good fruit season.

 Alor Setar and Kuala Kedah as a estuary close by has a small port with ferries commuting between it and Langkawi. It too has a large LKIM building with fishing as a spearhead of the community here. What a surprise and a pleasant one too when for the first time I was here and discovered a picturesque site with activities that made you clicking away the shutters of your camera. The three pictures below speak better than words.   


December 2014, January and February 2015 have  caused us to continue with our works and at the same time allow us to discover activities, episodes and programs that helped to link us to the communities, neighbours and friends.Thankful that Allah gives us the energy and the opportunity to discover  and see more of His Creations and Magnificence.