Tuesday, March 30, 2010


The house as seen from the front
back view with the bedroom at the nearest corner

The house from the back with more open space surrounded by greenery

These are the latest photos taken on site. They show the structures completed with pillars, 'rasuk' and roof trusses fixed and now waiting for the roofs to shade and cover the whole house. Signs around shows that the rambutan trees are starting to flower and bear fruits. It won't be long before we can pick 'nyior gading' as this is the type growing by the side of the house. Imagine what the children and grand children can do under the house. They will certainly have space to run around. We just thought of a space to keep all our books too and perhaps operate a small library for the community.


MORE OFTEN WE REFER TO PERSONS WHO KNOW ESPECIALLY ABOUT FOOD. But this is of art and specific to Malay home and its building. Only last week we saw the house arising again, with its high pillars taking their positions fulfilling a dream of seeing an old home where we grew up as children taking shape again. Perhaps I should reveal some of the hidden secrets behind the home. I remember my father enlisting a neighboring carpenter or 'tukang kayu' to build the house in 1949. Pak Eid a stout and well-built man was certainly the right person for the job. An ex-prison personnel he was strong enough to cope with the hefty job. We cannot compare present facilities as available to the house builders. Then it was brute strength and skill. The blade of the plane or axe sharpened to its best was the modest tool required by most carpenters. Even the saw of varied sizes was the needed tool. Now machinery or electrification helps to solve most matters. Pak Eid was assisted as far as I can remember by no more than three persons. It was not an easy job constructing a wooden home of that size. All the wood had to be selected and bought from Baling, Changlun or Kuala Nerang where the best were then available. You can imagine those towns in 1949 . Timber supply was their resources.

In 1949 I was in Special Malay 2 at SAHC. Too young to appreciate all that was going on. Now where would my father Mohamed bin Abdul Raoff ( Allah bless him) found the resources to build a home at that time? He was a clerk at Sultan Abdul Hamid College and teachers included did not have salaries to think of home building. One bright day, we learnt that a group of teachers at the school had struck rich.They had won a lottery. Amongst the teachers were Pak Hassan, Pak Zain, Pak Radzi, Mr Kit Fang and a few others plus the school clerk. Next we saw several of the teachers driving Austin cars. That included Pak Zain. My father and Pak Hassan left behind for their children a treasure.They built homes. Pak Hassan's home still stands at its original site quite near the College though I guess no one lives there now. Pak Kit Fang, a teacher from Taiping chose a better turning point. He left for Britain to study law and returned home as a lawyer a few years later. I believed he set up his practice in Taiping.

Now with that heritage and background, how could I let the old home disappear.It is mandatory that it has to live on and continue with its traditions and richness/'rezeki ' it has provided the family. The sweat and toil of Pak Eid and more specifically of both my parents must live on, continuing to remind the children and grand children of days gone by. They were hard days. They invested well. When my father died in 1955, we had shelters above us. Imagine otherwise especially during the emergency years.
Cukuplah kisah latar belakangnya.

What has happened in the last ten days or so ? I can only say that the builders have been working hard and fast. Then again most of the pieces are there. It takes the skill of assembling aided by the construction method that we inherited from Pak Said and his friends. See the pictures below to see the current development. I believe it will not be long when we can move in and enjoy peace and quaintness in kampong surroundings.

Earlier the wooden flooring were put in place; the original wooden floors being used again

The original bolts came back at its old place

Spaces for the walls and air holes ( jerejak angin)

How exciting and relaxing. Ducks swimming by just infront of the house.As if already welcoming us to a sanctuary.

Standing steady and firm for the next generation . Hard wood like Cengal was the order for the home

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Absence on the blog since the last publication meant that one has been preoccupied. In this case it can mean only one thing: seeing to the reconstruction of the old house.

After being relocated to its new site, the work began only in early March and surprisingly the speed and achievement was a joy to see. It speaks aloud of the Malay home construction method or approach. Yes without nails ever used, the pillars and beams etc for the house framework came up just like a jig-saw puzzle, exacting where they would be placed with speed. Only the heavy pillars and beams took the full strength of the workers to heave them where they would be slotted in. With the main frames in tact, it would not be long before the walls, flooring and window etc take their positions as part of the house.

One of the last picture of the house taken before it was fully dismantled. Here part of the back wall has been removed and the small lorry was there to remove the parts.

It was fortunate that the new site is adjacent to a river meaning that before pipe water could be supplied to the site, river water is utilised for the start of the work.

Four workmen placing the beam where it should be

Observe how the pillars and the main beams stand together holding the house on its new site. With a height of six feet from the ground, it could still mean that the boys and girls can still play to their delights under the house.

One of the beam measuring 33 feet is being pushed upward to take its original place. It would be a surprise to find such quality and size of wood now.

Two rambutan trees stand by the side of the house. With the fruit season approaching it would be a delight to pick the fruits about the time the house is ready for us to move in