Saturday, December 31, 2011


There are queries as to the location of the film 'Ombak Rindu' which has hit the movie houses and now entertaining the home audiences through the TV. Ombak Rindu is not the only movie that has been shot on the island of Langkawi. Anna and the King of Siam was one and Sharook Khan has also chosen to make his film in Langkawi too. Sometimes we failed to recognize the location as being Langkawi because the directors or producers failed to advertise its where about or hide its true identity.

Ombak Rindu with its director being from Langkawi itself helped to promote the beauty of the island. The sea, landscape, the beaches with their rocks, the typical Malay homes and yachts that roam the legendary island all added to its majestic splendor. Not to mention the hills and padi fields and the soothing music plus the breeze that beat the beaches and the padi stalks in the fields all helped to move the film towards its romantic mood. A close up of the old railway station in Alor Setar when the actress and her uncle took the train to Kuala Lumpur added antiquity as well. But one noticed that the train was moving northwards rather southwards to Kuala Lumpur.  Cameron Highland with the Boh Tea plantation added to the richness of the hero's background while showing that Malaysia does have color and beauty of all dimensions.

Please see the following as being parts of the scenes that are located in the film or a similarity  that one can easily seek out. It is a discovery that surely will bring more visitors to the island. I am from Kedah and the scenes and locations of the film are no strangers to those who know the state and the island in particular.. 

    The Railway Station at Alor Setar. Notice the Clock Tower

                          One of the houses featured in the film

    Langkawi has many scenes like this, with fishing boats       basking in the hot sun on blue waters

              The Boh tea house in the Cameron Highlands

                Another scene in the Cameron Highlands

      No such scenes in the movie but they make authentic scenes any time

                            A yacht one of many at Langkawi 

Friday, December 30, 2011


When in Guangzhou China, I was struck by this poster. It was placed at the convenience rooms for all to take heed. Maybe as a start to the New Year we need to remind ourselves who use the convenience rooms to be aware of such doings. Now that PLUS especially have constructed new ladies and men toilet facilities along the highways with attendances to see to their upkeep day and night we should like wise assist towards their upkeep and cleanliness. So too facilities at many petrol stations which come pretty handy when we need them. Malaysian 'men'/'gentlemen'/ 'Lelaki' or 'Ladies' / 'Perempuan' were at one time the focus of visitors from overseas. Even parliament debated the issue. Thankfully they have improved but you and I know that more have to be done to make the practice favoured by all and at ALL places too. 

Less you may not make out the small prints above let me spell it out what were written in English. Never mind the grammatical errors if any but the message was exact and clear. Have anyone seen a similar reminder anywhere at home?

             Pay Attention to Social Mobility and Sanitation
             Rules in the Washing Rooms
             Don't damage facilities in the washing room
            Don't erlieve ( relief) yourself anywhere. 
Please Throw used toilet paper into the litter  basket 
Don't throw butt, peel, cans and pour remaining tea anywhere
 Throw them into the dustbin 
Don't scratch on the wall and board

  Please save water. Don't have the tap running after use.


as photographed along the north south highway when approaching Alor Setar

Saturday, December 24, 2011


It was a week and a day in history too. For on the13th of December 2011 early in the morning, as from 5.30 am chartered buses had dropped groups of people along the main road in front of our house at Titi Gajah. They came from offices, departments and the communities. Many too had come out from their homes fronting the road that  stretched from the Istana at Anak Bukit to the Sultan Abdul Halim Airport at Titi Gajah. All gathered to bid safe journey as well as shower the people's gratefulness to the Sultan and Sultanah of Kedah for their appointment as the Yang DiPertuan Agong and Raja Permaisuri Agong of Malaysia. Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah took office as the 14th Yang DiPertuan Agong of Malaysia on the same day. The Sultan's departure for the next five years left the state of Kedah under the charge of a regency of his three brothers and his daughter. It is historic for this is the first time that  a Sultan from the states has been appointed as the Yang DiPertuan Agong for the second time. Tuanku Abdul Halim was the fifth Yang DiPertuan Agong  1970 - 1975. It also saw a council of regency applied for the first time. On the previous occasion the Raja Muda held fort but his poor health has called for the new arrangement.   

        12  Dec 2011.  I took this picture of the fountain fronting the airport a day earlier at sunset. Characteristically the monument was built in conjunction with the Sultan's appointment as the fifth Yang DiPertuan Agong. and was erected at Jalan Teluk Wan Jah in Alor Setar. Double tracking of the Malayan Railways and new road constructions at Jalan Teluk Wanjah saw the historic monuments pulled down and a new one replaced and rebuilt at the airport frontage. It too heralded the Sultan's departure to Kuala Lumpur for the second appointment.

The following pictures show the scenes on Tuesday morning 13 December 2011 as people awaited and gave farewell to the Sultan and Sultanah of Kedah.on the departure to Istana Negara Kuala Lumpur. Thhe royal couple would be the first residents at the new Istana Negara too.

                                         13 Dec 2011                        1.






Not to be forgotten too was our gathering of ex-classmates of Cambridge School Certificate 1954 as we met at PJ Hilton on Saturday 17 December 2011. Happy and grateful that this gathering  has continued to take place permitting us to meet one another otherwise there would be no opportunity of its kind. A previous meeting was held in Alor Setar 18 June 2011.

Out of two classes with a total of eighty plus classmates in 1954, the small group as seen tells its own story as many has been called by Illahi and others were unable to make the trip to PJ.   

                                                         17 Dec 2011

 On  Wednesday 21 Dec 2011 saw us at Banding in the Royal Belum territory as the consultant group set out to define their works that would start soon. Off they go in the two boats that took them an hour away to reach their destination in the majestic Belum Territory.

    21 Dec 2011.   In the background the bridge that linked the East West Highway Kota Bharu and Kulim

Not to be forgotten as we attended a happy occasion at a neighbor's home in Putrajaya earlier in the week as they celebrated their parents 50th wedding anniversary, To add joy to it Sdr Hj Zainal Manaff and wife were ex Kirkby students who lived in Ipoh and had come to Putrajaya to celebrate  the happy do with their daughter and son -in- law. Other Kirkby friends, Dr Shaari Isa and wife, Aziz Sultan and wife and Othman Desa were there too.  

   Hj Zainal Manff and wife walked in with claps of joy from friends and family that gathered to wish them blessings.

                                                                    11 Dec 2011

Monday, December 12, 2011


It was many months ago that I last visited the cinema to see a movie. No. It has been no less than three years ago. Last Saturday with the urge of the family I found myself at a matinee show in the cinema hall at Alamanda Putrajaya. The movie 'Ombak Rindu' was good in all characteristics since it pulled you to see the film to the last. Scenes shot at Gunong Jerai, Langkawi and a riverside some where in Kedah  all made the movie authentic and alive. Sufficient that it is a box office hit now. Not to mention the actors and actresses for their performances. As the title goes be ready to have your tissues ready. 

No I am not about to talk about the film but to grasp with one that came to mind when I was waiting in the foyer to enter the cinema hall before the scheduled time. At that very moment I was transported back into time. Not far back but distance enough to retreat at least a half century ago. I looked at the colorful posters that acclaimed the movies on show or the forthcoming ones. They were sizable printed copies large enough to be noticed ten yards away. They attract the audience to realize what are forthcoming at their favorite cinema.Those posters and other photos about the current movies on show or those forthcoming must have come together with the movies. The people at the movie house have only to place them where necessary. 

You who knew the cinema as before may recollect that cinema halls in the past had resident artists as their employees. I remember 'Pak Hassan' of the Empire  Theatre in Alor Setar. A senior man in his forties he had the indomitable duty of painting large sized posters of the forth coming movies at the cinema. Be it a 'tarzan' picture, a gorilla or a 'Gary Cooper' cowboy film, you would find posters right in front of the cinema hall  days before the film was scheduled for screening. They were not life size but giants in comparison. I remembered that his drawings were life-like and attraction pullers. At times they were paraded round town attached to the bodies of lorries that canvassed for the films currently on show.  Pak Hassan must have been 'commisioned' to draw hundreds of posters, portraits of movie stars and other images. Thinking back if only those posters or 'masterpieces' were salvaged they would have been a collector's dream now. Imagine selling them in EBay or at Hollywood itself. And what about the productions from the other cinemas in the country. Alas we were unaware of their contributions or we failed to value their assets. Like many others they suffered the fate of being discarded. Yes much we do not know and only live to regret. Now there are no more Pak Hassan or no more resident artists at the cinema halls. I do not want to think whether Pak Hassan's sons or daughters managed to salvage some of his works or if ever they realized his contribution to the arts in Malaysia.

Then, I gazed at the wall with eight slots marked " Now Seating". At first it baffled me. If we had only one cinema hall with all its characteristic then here the audiences had the choice of eight halls showing different movies at specific times. Entrance is allowed once the slot is lighted. Just like others I too waited for the lights to be on at No 2. The hall where Ombak Rindu would be shown. What an adventure! Back then either the black curtain was pulled aside or the door was opened with the attendant standing to tear your ticket and returned the other half to you. Keep it for otherwise you may have to move from your seat if someone demanded to sit there. Now tickets were numbered and you sat at seats allocated. Back then for several classes, early entries get the better seats; unless you bought first class or reserved class seats. Let's not talk about the comforts of the seats!   

Purchasing tickets? If it was a good movie expect there to be a big crowd. You would probably buy tickets through the black market.Of course with extra dollars for the guy who had ventured forth to push himself over the crowd at the ticket booths. All are made easier now. You can buy tickets via your phones and pay pal etc. Maybe the adventure of going to the cinema has been taken away. 

Back again to the past you would not like to bring refreshments into the hall. 'Kacang' or 'koci' would be acceptable for reasons you would know why. Surprised when the lights were on after the show at seeing the floor of the cinema halls. Now 'pop corn' and beverages in containers accompany you into the hall. Even in exclusive kiosks you may be served with hot drinks too while enjoying your movie.

Be that for the meantime as the opportunity allowed me to recapitulate what comforts we enjoyed when going to the cinemas during times before 'Merdeka'. But one thing for sure we picked up and improved our English with attendance at the cinemas and reading the 'movie news' magazines. Even learning to sing popular English or later Hindustani songs came from the frequency of patronizing the cinemas. Yes we even gathered 'programs' or pamphlets  that were distributed in the towns by distributors who came on trishaw or lorry. 

The old cinema halls have all been pulled down or converted to other usages. At one time it looked like the movie houses were destined for their ends.Sadly or otherwise the new cinemas with their technologies are making a come-back and the movie industries  are moving into finer directions. TV programs were heralded as putting the death knell to the movie industries. That too has not come about. In fact movies come into TV as well with purchases to be made for the movie you would like to see at home.

It is interesting to know how the movie houses in US, Japan etc are functioning now. What are their extra qualifications in the industry?