Sunday, August 21, 2011


A typical wooden window frame with movable shutters

               A cannon ball which has other usage as well

ANTIQUES, FAMILY TREASURES AND HEIRLOOMS are found at homes. That is if the homes have been in existence for many decades. Or if the family have moved but have salvaged all if not some of the old artifacts,with them, then they are safe and sound. However the vagaries of nature may contribute to some damages.

        An old Siamese clay offering bowl in its original design and hand painting.
Dinner Plates are favourite collection pieces. They come in varied design

      A clay bowl in the shape of a duck used as a face powder container

I am thinking that as we prepare to tidy the house for  Shawal or at any other time, why not have a good look in the corners or inside old containers or even under the house if it  is the old Malay homes. You may be lucky or surprised to find items which the antique collectors will be glad to have their hands on. Now that antique markets have sprouted in most towns, surprising us with prices of items for sale, why not salvage any that may be around the homes. The items could be anything that our parents or grand parents have possessed and remained in the house for years without us knowing and realizing their values and significance.   
You can find water- containers aplenty at Kuala Kangsar Perak but to come across an old one like this is a lucky opportunity. I believe it is referred to as 'Koja"

I am no great collector myself but thankfully I have long realized  the uniqueness and the antiquity of many of the old collectibles and have saved or kept many items of beauty and significance. At least having the care and continuity to appreciate the old odd collections that have been either bought or owned by the families before me. Likewise hopefully our own children and later generation will know their significance and treasure them too. 

Imagine choicest watches, cameras , hand phones, personal computers, type-writers and even clothing etc of your time being discarded and only to realize that they are of value because of their uniqueness or production. Jewelery pieces of your grand- mothers , mothers and wives in all their ornate designs are treasure pieces. Not suggesting that you take them away but cautioning that they are not traded or exchanged for modern items. Books too are collectibles.

An old valuable  'ketam'', an important tool to the carpenters and house builders before until electric tools take precedent

Perhaps it is easier to impress upon you the significance and inherent beauty and fascination of old items if you see some of my collections. None were purchased from antique shops etc but all inherited by virtue that I care and seek out for them even when I was in school before. Most fortunate we grew up and lived in the same house until the late 20th century. Even then the house was never abandoned. It lives on, reconstructed and reallocated. 

Thus our home now carries on with that episode. Wishing that the children too will place the same values and significances.The decorative pieces on the walls and mantelshelves etc thus are not newly bought items but reminders of what our grand parents and parents found as luxuries of their time. They are priceless treasures now permitting us to live on sharing their antiquities. 

May you find your search produced assets to your satisfaction and lead to more discoveries. One advice especially: " Have a keen eye " 

Nevertheless,the mystery and the unanswered questions prevail. How did the pieces get to be in the home? Who bought or owned them? If you know that your parents too were in the dark about them, so did they belong to your grand-parents? Become more interesting as you may question where did they get them? All that makes the discovery a challenging episode as there are questions to be asked.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Atrocities ! YES it is puzzling and worrying. Scaring you and the families too. Bodies cut into pieces, placed in envelopes and plastic. An Indonesian woman and her five year old son were the cruel victims. Bangladesh nationals were 'involved'. A house broken into and a young lady just transferred from Sintok to Ipoh was bundled off to be disposed God knows where when a security guard confronted the assailants. - a postman, a soldier and two other friends. 

Mind you all the assailants were neighbors of the victims.

Next day, the missing French girl is found. Dead and buried in a a hollow grave and in a dark cave. She was a foreign tourist visiting our country,because she was sure of its safety and charming friendship but Pulau Tioman was to be her last  resting place less she is flown back to her family.  Weeks before she had emailed her family recounting her experiences and suddenly there was silence.
The Banting murder trial is on. Newspapers sold like hot cakes when the murder was earlier reported. Now, the unsavory story does not attract that much attention when it is at the court.
Lust, greed, jealousy, 'hunger', crazy, impious, whatever their weakness we have to put a stop or attempt to address the shortcomings in our society. It can be cancerous if allowed to go unchecked. Foreign 'bachelors' in the country roaming unchecked with sights of women, natives or otherwise only tempt their spirits. Yet we let our borders or shores go 'unchecked' because ringgit was in the offer. Have we not learned what has happened to Britain for taking influx of foreigners? They came as students and workers but in the end what are the results. 
Please, let's get to the roots for all these disadvantages and weakness.

Turn the pages of your newspaper  today and you will be happily rewarded if there are no reports of similar cases. But surely there is a story of Britain in disarray. Hopefully Thursday in Malaysia is blessed without unsavored report.

Saturday, August 6, 2011



The essence of time

WE are now in the month of RAMADAN. The day being FRIDAY and the date 5 Ramadan 1432H or 5 August 2011. August of course has its significance in Malaysia but Ramadan is extraordinary throughout the world. Especially to Muslim and Islam. Its the ninth month of Hijrah yet with all the extra significance attached to it. 

Today it has been the fifth day that Muslims in Malaysia have observed the 'fasting'; an obligation that comes with the return of Ramadan. We are blessed that we can greet Ramadan again and able to perform or fulfill the obligations that Allah has enjoined upon Muslims during this special month. We have another twenty five days to complete before we meet Shawal. To Muslims it will be a sad departing when Ramadan comes to its end. 

We recognized Allah has distinguished Ramadan from other months with many merits and virtues. Surah 2 'Al Baqarah' in the Koran verses 183, 184,185, 187 exemplifies.

" O you who believe! Observing AsSaum ( the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for for those before you, that you may become Al-Mutaqun ( the pious.)"

"Observing Saum (fasts) for a fixed number of days but if any of you is ill or on journey, the same number ( should be made up) from other days.. And as for those who can fast with difficulty (e.g an old man) they have ( a choice either to fast or ) to feed a 'Miskin' ( for every day) .....  but whoever does good of his own accord, it is better for him. And that your fast is better for you if only you know."

" The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs  for the guidance and the Criterion ( between right or wrong) .So whoever of you sights ( the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan, i.e is present at his home) he must observe Saum (fasts) that month ....

" It is made lawful for you to have sexual relations with your wives on the night of As Saum ( the fasts)

Other pointers to the goodness of Ramadan included  " the bad breath from the mouth of a fasting mouth is sweeter to Allah than the fragrance of mask ... " 

"The angels ask forgiveness for those fasting until they break their fast.  "   " The devils are chained during this month.  "
" The doors of Paradise are opened while those of Hell are locked.  "
" The night, Laylatul al Qadr, which is better than a thousand months occurs in this month. Whoever is deprived of the good of this night has indeed been deprived of goodness altogether "

" Allah saves people from Hellfire during each night of Ramadan "

 Abu Hurairah related that the Prophet said  " If a person does not avoid false talk and false conduct during Siyam, then Allah does not care if he abstains from food and drink." and   "If anyone forget that he is fasting and eats or drinks he should complete his Siyam for it is Allah who has fed him and given him drink ".( Bukhari Muslim)

Zaid Ibn Khalid related that the Prophet said  " He who provides for breaking of the Siyam of another person earns the same merit as the one who was observing Siyam without diminishing in any way the reward of the latter  (Tirmidhi)

The above plus the atmosphere of the nights at the mosques or 'surau' surely make Ramadan a special month of the year. The prayer of twenty or eight rakaat as a jemaah could only be done during the month of Ramadan. That ascertain the mosques and 'surau' are frequented by males and females every night during Ramadan. No you will never see such crowd during other months and feel the friendly and devout atmosphere.

As the days and nights passed by, we can only hope Ramadan in 1433 will greet us again. InsyaAllah . May we all be blessed during Ramadan al Mubarak.