Monday, May 28, 2007

Pictorial News

Morning Sky at Chogm Villa Langkawi

This wonderful sight greeted us on Thursday morning 24 May 2007. As the cloud breezed by it formed a strange formation shrouding the rising sun emerging above the hills behind our block of apartments.

Langkawi has many folk tales and physical features that mesmerise its visitors and islanders. Now that it has been declared a GEOPARK by UNESCO, it should draw more visitors to the island to marvel at its many splendors.

Legends of Langkawi will follow as the forthcoming chapters less we forget them and more so contribute to a greater awareness of this fame Mahsuri Island of Kedah.

Pulau Singa Besar

Whenever we are in Langkawi, we seldom miss visiting this beautiful sight off Teluk Baru. From a modest wooden hut owned by a friendly couple Pak Wan and his wife, you will be met with a panoramic view of the southern part of Langkawi. The island in the background known as "Pulau Singa Besar" is one large island amongst the 99 islands of Langkawi that remained uninhabited and is a treasure trove with its pristine white beach, flora and fauna and aged old fossils. Universiti Sains Malaysia has been conducting research on the island for several years. A small wooden center displays some valuable collections found on the island. Besides it also introduces the island as an astronomy hub. You will never find a much better place to observe the night sky when darkness envelopes the island just after sunset. I have been there one night with a group of stargazers and lo and behold it was a sight indescribable when you observe Mars, Jupiter etc. Even the fleeting satellites as they rushed across the sky came into focus. You will be kept awake the whole night. Not to worry as solar panels provide the source of electricity when needed.
One of the boat in the foreground with a skill boatman can just rush you to the island within minutes.
Terry Katut a Sarawakian and research assistant on the island introduced us to this exciting discovery. Besides at the bay off the island you can observe 'eagle feeding' as the birds sweep down majestically to catch the baits thrown at them. Come to Langkawi. Ask for Pulau Singa Besar. By the way Pak Wan serves delightful fresh seafood.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Neighboring Palembang Indonesia

AirAsia with its brand new Airbus and free flight ticket, exclusive of course the airport taxes to and fro KLIA LCCT terminal took us to Palembang within one hour and twenty minutes. It was a new vista that greeted us: large expense of open land as the plane approached the city and a sparkling new Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II Airport which certainly heralds greater flow of passengers to this southern part of Sumatra. Our family group of eleven adults and two young twins had booked tickets months ahead and as such had a steal of a price. I paid RM185.00 for one return ticket which surely met with the airline's advert that now 'every-one can fly'. Our tour agent Raden Wisata was there to meet us and after the usual baggage clearance we boarded the air-conditioned bus to the hotel in the city. Along the way we had a brief introduction to the city with the guide pinpointing several known buildings and landmarks. I had chosen to stay at Horison Hotel based on the internet advert and was happy that it met with my expectation.

Palembang in name is not alien to Malaysians as the early founders of Malacca historical kingdom had originated from the 7th Century Srivijaya maritime kingdom. There were many similarities and reflections we could identify and Bahasa Indonesia spoken here is strongly akin to Bahasa Malaysia with less of the color and varieties one find in Java. 'Songket' ( gold thread cloth) expertly woven by womenfolks using aged heirlooms is not to be missed. We visited one house where works were on display and the ladies did not regret spending one or two million Indonesian Rupiahs to get their share of the exquisite cloth. 'Kain Palembang' just like any 'sarong' is another souvenir the visitor would not like to return home without. Unlike the common 'sarong' of the 'Gajah Duduk' or " Kerusi ' brands from Java or India, the Palembang variety is in a class by itself. I did not purchase one but got one as a gift from my daughter. It allows me to compare with one in my possession which my father bought seventy years ago. It is still in perfect condition none for the ravages of time and use.

For the benefits of visitors to Palembang I have given a webpage report . At one branch of the Indonesian Gramedia bookshop I was delighted to find a much sought 'Ensiklopedia Kris' written by Bambang Harsrinuksmo. Still I did not manage to find a kris either of Palembang or Bugis made in the city. Neither did I see or was shown an antique shop in the city. Perhaps it calls for a return visit.


Sunday, May 20, 2007

A Gathering of Classmates

Sunday 20 May 2007

It has been half a century plus when we parted companies and headed our separate ways. Today some of us who are around hale and hearty or robust as we would like to believe met again at Dato Rahmah Hamid's residence somewhere in the Bukit Damansara Kuala Lumpur area. Almost all at the do, besides some guests, our partners and children have reached the seventy's zone, Having of course graduated from Sultan Abdul Hamid College Alor Star with the School Cambridge Certificate in 1954, that would make us being around to see the country's achievement of Merdeka in 1957. Even then if we were in the country.

I was outside the country and too were many other colleaques as we were persuing our studies and careers. This year we realize that it is half a century since Tunku Abdul Rahman our first Prime Minister characteristically cry out "MERDEKA!!!" to the vibrant resonance of the multitude that gathered in the historic stadium.

It was a gathering of a special kind. Of course to meet and say hello but strictly to remember our beloved classmates who unfortunately have been called earlier to be at '

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Mother's and Teacher's Day Celebration

May 19, 2007

During the month of May two significant days are allocated respectively for Mothers and Teachers. The former being on the 13th and the latter on 16th of the month. Teachers' Day is however officially observed by the government and significantly by the Ministry of Education which organised grand gathering and celebration at national and state levels. At its apex, "Tokoh Guru" (Teacher of the Year) award is announced and it is a great honor for the recipients(s) as well as the teaching fraternity. Teachers like other service oriented personnel have contributed to the well-being of their students and education. It is fitting that the recognition is given and observed. Mothers' Day take a more intimate and personalized approach when off springs young and old honor their mothers' sacrifice, love and contributions. I would not like to vouch for its strong and significant observation currently. Perhaps it would be appropriate to say that a much greater focus and willingness are called for when celebrating or honoring Mothers in Malaysia. The thought of aged parents being left in old folks home and not wanting to be cared for by their own children is saddening and off set the Asian cultural norm. Therefore we need to instill a stronger awareness and conscious efforts at celebrating and observing Mother's and Fathers Day too.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Friday 18 May 2007

This is to recognize that today I see a beginning of my own BLOG. I have read various blog chapters and of course realise issues regarding blog effectiveness or its destructiveness as claimed. Even leaders come to disclose its harmfulness and propose to take legislative actions.
Certainly it is not an easy thing to do as bloggers are everwhere, rendering their news, comments and views globally. Yet the good sides far outweigh its bad-side if any. Greetings to all blogers.