Thursday, December 31, 2009


IT only dawned on me as I compose this essay, that I am imposing on myself quite a challenge i.e to start building a new house out of the old timber home. Seeing the happy, smiling faces of the children on the concrete staircase way back in early 1970's, it has to be accepted that this is a challenge not to be taken lightly. The old home has certainly seen better days and it would be a pity to discontinue its grand contribution to the family. So what more auspicious than to start the NEW YEAR with a resolute intention.

In happier and youngish days the children had fun posing for this picture on the staircase. I guessed they had come to the house for either the son or daughter's birthday. Observe the car in a natural garage under the house. I really regret for not keeping the antique vehicle. It was a Hillman Minx 1725 cc even with disc break and floor gear which I had in 1973. I remember driving it up Genting Highland once. Notice the two sector windows:the upper with special louvres too and the bottom can be wide opened too.

Since the last posting, the house that has stood for decades is no more. The carpenters or builders have removed the frames, pillars, doors, windows etc and carted them to a place designated for the reconstruction. I am told almost 80% of the wood works are intact meaning not attacked by white-ants, declaring the top quality timber used. I had to hunt high and low for the new piece of land realising that it has to be acquired fast as the timbers from the house have to be located where the building should be erected. Blessed that the piece of land came into sight and acquired.

The fruit trees are matured and as much as it would be regretful that one or two has to be cut down to make way for the site of the new building. Still I would have a small orchard ready when the house is completed. Better still there is a mini tar road adjacent to the river that flows close by

Two pictures showing the old home completely dismantled, piece by piece. I believed they did that in less than a fortnight. The lorry was there to take the timber to the new site 12 kilometres away.

The plot has been cleared to allow for the timber pieces from the old home to be stored here. Notice the wooden staircase which will see it welcoming guests again as they step up into the home later. The rambutan tree is seen while the mangosteen is by the right hand corner.

The river with the tree trunk bent over and the flock of ducks in the water.

I guess this is the first of many updates that will appear as the old home comes alive again.

May I take this opportunity to wish all my friends near and far a wonderful 2010.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


I AM BEGINNING TO BE AN OLD HAND AT ACQUIRING 'OLD TRADITIONAL HOME' Right now an old family wooden home measuring 40 ' x 40' is being dismantled piece by piece, transported to a new site and being rebuilt again. This old home , with decades of history of the good times when children played in its large opened spaces, where many young men and women were accommodated when they began their schooling in town and where of course traditional weddings of cousins and nephews took place ends its legend right in the city of Alor Setar when we decided to part with the piece of land where it once stood. Standing in the center of thriving business enclave it appears out of frame. It would find peace and rest in a more natural surrounding in between 'rambutan and mangosteen' trees , within a 'kampong' atmosphere and standing near a flowing river but still not far from people.

Wait! In the next few months after the grand lady has put on her cosmetic , the wooden home built by my father 70 years ago with top quality timber, hard wood and 'chengal or tembusu' for the pillars and 'meranti' for the floorings will reappear unrecognised and highly valued. I believe offered as a 'guest house' within a countryside setting and complete with furniture of the old traditions it will relive its old history and magic spell.

No doubt some hard work awaits.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Almost an an aerial view of the country sides the new school building sits on a commanding hilltop. Seen in the right hand corner the Maktab Mahmud of Baling

On Thursday 3 December 2009, we saw the completion of one project, the building of a secondary school at Bongor in the district of Baling Kedah. With the completion and official handing over to the Ministry of Education Malaysia, Anak Arshad Architect as the lead consultant is happy that it means the new year 2010 will see local students of the district and surrounding area making their way to their new school and not having to journey far as otherwise. The school commands a grand view of the area as it stands on a small hill. The captivating view of the Baling hills and forest will no doubt be an added value and character to the school. It is left to the school administrators to cultivate the area and landscaping, now that they have a complete school with amenities, teachers and pupils of the early 1960's would be jealous of or which they never dreamt of. How lucky the school administrator, teachers and pupils are to be handed a secondary school almost devoid of other wants but only the learning skill and the pedagogy expected.