Monday, June 11, 2007


Hj Latiff Long of Pasir Tumbuh Kota Bharu Kelantan is a master craftsman whose works adorned palaces, mosques, corporate offices and homes in Malaysia and oversea. At his workshop, I was fortunate to observe several pieces of his artwork albeit the smaller but not necessarily nonexclusive collections. There was the 'rehal' (book stand) with exquisite carving, fittingly meant for holding the 'KORAN' and several curved ivory ' gagang' ( kris hilts) which take the form of bird, crocodile, sea-lion etc. Hj Latiff gave me a 'tongkat' ( walking stick) an added piece to my small collectibles.

HO! Ho!.Sarang Tebuan pun ada." Yes it's a hornet nest right in his open veranda overlooking the bay. You will also marvel at the solid wooden tables and stools that form his dining furniture. Pak Wan of Teluk Baru Langkawi is a conservationist cum fisherman and carpenter. For fresh seafood get to his cafe .It's finger licking good.

'Give Me Roots I will Create a Work of Art' likely to be said by Pak Him (Ibrahim) of Kg Pandan II Kuantan Pahang. Drift wood or discarded wooden pieces become significant objects of value when they come into his hands.

ArisAziz is one die hard member of 'pelukis jalanan' ( street artist) of yesteryear's who now operates from his studio at Pasar Seni Kuala Lumpur. Twenty years ago I had a portrait of my wife done by him. He is at his easel doing what he knows best. June 9.2007.

Malaysian civil servants may celebrate with glee their recent upgrading of salaries and allowances. An increase of 7.5% to 35% will of course make a big difference to those who care to plan and spend accordingly. Naturally enough those in the private sectors look with envy and hope that they too would receive some token of sympathy and understanding. That is left to be seen.

Nevertheless there are also others: entrepreneurs and self-supporters who continue to earn through mere hardworking and efficiency. In the last few months I came across personalities of that calibre who generate income from hard work coupled with loving interest in what they produced. They are the hobbyist who promote their interests into lucrative productions. I wish I could do the same but sadly I don't have the dexterity either acquired or inherited to do what they do.

I would put them as artists in their own rights. Take a look at the accompanying photos and realise that the personalities are located in many parts of the country. Surely there are many others whom we have no chance to meet and thus do not realise their abilities and capacities. They may be close to you; in your own town or district. It would be a great discovery if you can seek them out. It will initiate a synergy between both of you. Please let me know should you meet people of such stature.

Those whom I met are craftsmen or promoters of our culture. They do not need or seek the incremental rise as wage earners. Their handiwork, polished with years of experience would naturally be valued at exorbitant prices because they are the sole producers. I am sure you too would like to treasure their products; realizing their very perpetual presence on the home's mantelpiece or shelving would be an added attraction and assets.


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