Tuesday, July 26, 2011


 Take a ride to the southern tip of this city and you will discover a vista opened wide as you stand in the 'Taman Ampangan Utama'. Two magnificent buildings stand as sentinels across the lake with 'Jambatan Seri Gemilang'  and  its features near by.

 A panoramic scene for certain and you will be presented with this view as you sit for lunch/ dinner or just a glass of cool iced tea when you stop at this restaurant which has just been opened.

   The PICC ( Putrajaya International Conference Centre ) sits on a hill overlooking the city.

An intriguing  position where ever you are because you will be presented with varied angle for the shot of this scene.

Since we have been in this capital city of Malaysia , we would like to share some scenic spots and features that have surely made it a great city yet hardly known by many. Possibly there are few advertisements or documentaries regarding the city. Nevertheless it offers surprises and it will be a great adventure indeed for photographers and visitors alike.  There are treasures in terms of architectural and national identities to be discovered.

      Stones and steel steal the show when you enter this sector of the food court.

PICC through the branches

     Yet  another beautiful angle of the view from one corner of the lake. 

         Myriads of pathways at this park and a treasure house for children and their parents as they can play to their content

Besides,close by you can still see glimpses of the country- side

Sunday, July 24, 2011


   The representatives performed their duties on behalf of the two families.

Now, that is interesting! Who at this stage of life would go about on such a mission? Are you that  timid or shake your head in disbelief when given the task ? Interestingly, age would not halt a person on a mission of the heart. Would that be true? In fact the elders are always sought for. Maybe their wisdom and experience help.

            The mother of the bridegroom to be met  the young woman who would be her daughter- in- law. Here she is placing an engagement ring on the woman's finger.

I am of course referring to our Malay and Muslim 'adat' of 'masuk meminang'. Meaning of course ' the trials of visitation of a family home in respect of finding the availability of a maiden for marriage'. Wow that sounded complexity at its extreme. No wonder they would prefer an elderly person to perform that given task. Nevertheless the whole issue or practice has been modified concurrent with time. Not that you are rushing or entering into a home without due knowledge of the availability of the maiden in question. 

Of late I have seen  requests for advice in respect of boyfriends to enter into 'meminang' since many seems to shy away and as such the fairer sex question the delay of their engagement and marriage.  "Meminang" translates mean ' an appointment to visit a home in respect of asking for a hand in marriage beginning with solemnizing an 'engagement'. No,It is not done by just placing a ring on a finger and declaring that 'we are engaged and let's get married'.

It is true that back in the 1950's or earlier when dating was not in style and the male youth hardly meet or know a female partner and vice verse, getting married or forming a family has to find an alternative. Therefore the visitation to a family home with the prospect of finding whether the lady in question is available to be taken as a partner for life.Now who would dare call at a home to perform such a duty?

  A group photograph as a finale to the visit that helped to bind the two families together. By September 2011 we would be making another visit to Pasir Putih for the wedding ceremony. Notice the trays of gifts given in return,

Understanding and prior detective works of course come to the fore.No one would just blindly make an uncalled for visit. Surely all have changed now. Recently I embarked on a similar task and mind you crossing the Banjaran Titi Wangsa and on to Pasir Putih in Kelantan to visit a family home for that very purpose; representing my brother- in-law. Of course, there has been prior discussion between the two families concerned. Yet we do not come alone or empty handed. It has all the rigmarole of traditions and religious implications still. The date, day and time  are set. We arrived as expected. Welcomed with traditions.

A spokesman on behalf of the family welcomed us. In turn, we thanked them and explained our 'intention' for the visit. We seek to know if the 'maiden' in the house, of course naming her less we may bark the wrong tree, is  'unattached'  simply said 'still single' and if so we will be thankful to know and hopefully proceed with our earnest intention. Of course all that are said in the most colorful language and condor. Before that mind you we have not come empty handed as said earlier. We  brought 'token' gifts in respect of our visit to the home. The 'bekas sirih' ((beetle nut tray / container) is offered first. Its acceptance meant that we may proceed. Graciously we handed too the rest of the gifts.It could be five or seven trays as token of goodwill and our sincere purpose. In modern lingo it may mean 'line clear' or 'ok' you may proceed.

The talk or discussion began in the most polite way of course. We would name the 'suitor' in question who of course has known the lady and both have agreed that their parents meet and discuss the whole arrangement. For that reason we were there at Pasir Putih. Given the nod, we proceeded by getting answers to the following questions.   

1. How much is the 'dowry' and 'mas kawin'? Other gift as required?
2. How many 'gift' trays would we receive in return on the wedding day?
3. Could we have a date for the wedding day on the bride's side?
4. Others relevant to the wedding arrangement.

The answers to the above questions would help in the ensuing arrangement and planning for the wedding day in question. On the bridegroom side he has to provide the items as requested on the actual wedding day. Likewise the number of gift trays expected would also determined the number the bridegroom should bring. For example if the answer was nine, then we would bring seven. The number would be in the odd figure and less than what we would receive back. As for the dowry, it seems to go with current demand. Maybe RM 7000 to RM 8000.00 . No surprise, if the  dowry and special gifts go beyond the unimaginable. When both parties have come to an understanding regarding  the requirements and arrangements the the date for the wedding day is then fixed. Of course it will normally be two special dates. One for the bride's side and  the other for the bridegroom's ,taking into consideration school holiday period, flooding and other circumstances. A brief ceremony followed with the solemnizing of the engagement when a ring is placed on the finger of the bride to be. Normally the bridegroom to be mother would do the honour. That done it is considered that the young man and girl are now engaged and await their wedding ceremony. In the meantime both have to attend classes in respect of marriage procedures and responsibilities and obtain the required certificates and clearance.

On our part, as forerunner to the wedding ceremonies and traditions we have completed the initial task of visitation and arranging for one would politely say as 'asking for the hand of a young lady for engagement and marriage to a young man invariably already known to each other. It may also happen otherwise where both may have not met or know each other. Then procedures and directions may take other alternatives. Still nothing to stop the adventures of the hearts.

That done, the entourage and the host  closed the discussion with thanks. A prayer was offered. Lunch or refreshment was served before the party took leave. A relationship has been linked and will grow in future years,

Ceremonies of such nature of course may vary from locality to locality and more so with standings of both parties concerned. While some may go for plain and simple others may call for all the traditions and color not minding the expenditure.

As for the spokesmen from both parties, they performed their roles in the best of traditions keeping alive religious, and ethical norms, successfully carrying a duty for the community and the families.   

Saturday, July 16, 2011


SINCE my last episode, it has seen movement up and down from north to south and even eastward in the peninsular. It has involved moving house too and therefore our arrival at the national capital - PUTRAJAYA, after vacating  the home at Subang Jaya where we have lived. At least where the children stayed  and we frequented. An end-lot double-storey terrace house bought in 1994 paid handsomely for a new acquisition at the capital city plus all the advantages and infrastructures provided. Any other purchases including     automobile whatever its make would only depreciate in value but not landed property.With the zooming price in housing property especially, it has put  its acquisition beyond the reach of average wage earners and recent announcements for first time home earners to acquire homes in Putrajaya would certainly be a big attraction more so with loan approved at 110%. Without doubt there are huge advantages having a home here. Now and especially in the coming years.

2.   Kirkby College Alumni has moved to make its  formation  felt with the cooperation of Film Negara Malaysia via a production and screening of the 'Kirkby College A Heritage ' over the national TV1 network recently. The story of its beginning in 1952 and its contribution to teacher education for ten years in Kirkby Liverpool England marked the extra ordinary venture by the government of Malaya to open a teacher training college abroad.  Its graduates  no less than 1500 in number served with distinction when the country approached Merdeka and the period following. Kirkby College trained teachers with their colleagues from the other  Teacher Training Colleges in Malaysia performed their tasks satisfactorily when the country achieved Independence and  on the transition of  changing from English to Malay medium and contributed to the intakes of students to the universities of the time. Kirkby College Alumni Association Malaysia held a function at Film Negara Malaysia Petaling Jaya Selangor on 23 June 2011 to thank the latter for highlighting Kirkby's role especially in conjunction with Hari Guru Celebration 2011. Members together with Tan Sri Yahya the President of the Association continue to enhance the contribution of the College though the College has been closed since 1962. Yet its members all senior citizens continue to participate in respect of their love for education and memories of the past. It is to be acknowledged that a new college at Cyberjaya has taken the name Kirkby to perpetuate its contribution to education and teacher training. 

3. In the same week I found myself at Badan Warisan Malaysia Kuala Lumpur on a Friday afternoon to attend an official opening of an exhibition of P.Ramlee's Photographs by Tun Ahmad Sarji. Besides the function also saw the relaunching of two books . They were  i. P. Ramlee Erti Yang Sakti written bt Ahmad Sarji  ii,P.Ramlee The Bright Star written by James Harding and Ahmad Sarji. It is not widely known that the former Ketua Setiausaha Negara is an ardent  admirer of P,Ramlee, the singer, actor , director or the sensation of the Malay Film Industry. The photographs exhibited were his personal collections and probably would not be found anywhere else. It was a fortunate afternoon as I was able to get Tun Ahmad Sarji to sign his autobiography which I happened to purchase that very morning. " Giving In Trust " documented the writer's story of  seventy years.from childhood till his recent stature. 


4.   Students do remember their teachers and on the occasion of one who was on a return visit to Malaysia from Canberra Australia, several got together for a dinner at Selangor Club Kuala Lumpur on 1 July 2011. Sdr Hashim Abdul Rahman who has settled down in Canberra once taught at Sekolah Menengah Sultan Abdul Halim Jitra Kedah. Sdr Dato Ghazi Sheikh Ramli and I were invited with several students of the pioneering years of the school as hosts for the evening. Sdr Razali, Abu Bakar Omar, Omar Abdullah, Dr Solihin, Zaharah and others attended lending a rousing meeting with remembrance of old time. Sdr Hashim sadly lost his wife Hajjah Zaiton Jamil also a former teacher at the school in February 2011 over cancer.

On the street where we live. It's none gated and also none fencing. It's peaceful and quiet and wishing it will continue to be so.

 Several former students of SMSAH honor their teachers to a dinner at the Selangor Club. Hashim Abd Rahman,Ghazi Sheik Ramli,my wife and I were guests.Actor Abu Bakar Omar and Omar Abdullah attended too.

One of many portraits if P. Ramlee that were on display at the Photo Exhibition held at Badan Warisan Malaysia Kuala Lumpur

 They attended the function at Film Negara Malaysia Petaling Jaya.

           A souvenir befitting the film industry as present to the Kirkby Alumni

 Tun Ahmad Sarji President of Badan Warisan Malaysia at the official opening of the P.Ramle Photo Show
              The activities did not take a rest,since we saw ourselves at Pasir Putih for a 'meminang session' on Friday 8 July 2011.