Friday, May 25, 2012


As I clicked the shutter and recorded the picture it struck upon me as if I was in a forest. Not specific to our equatorial kind but a quint reminder of the 'Black Forest' of Robin Hood, as it was sparing and bare. Then again people can be lost in the forest and yet surely you cannot make yourself disappear in such as one. More so since it is at Putrajaya our national capital.

But again we do appear to be at a loss over many things currently. Our national aircraft with the 'wau bulan' logo continues to show deficits year after year; an agreement had to be withdrawn and its colours too now take a redo. In Penang we suffer at losing the island to Francis Light three centuries ago and now distraught at realizing the Malay population has dwindled for reason that circumstances do not favour them anymore. As a people we are so divided, yet there is no realization or circumstance that want to bind us again. 'Murtad' a vocabulary that disfavour even pronouncement now gets echoed now and then. There is a loud cry and even with the additional discovery of infants in the most unlikely places. Our youth throws life away delighting that 'mat rampit' on Friday or Saturday nights can outwit the police force. Even the precious water gets knock down in Selangor and Kelantan becoming a ransom for the winner while rubbish disposal look for one solution only. Now if only the thousands that create it can only put their forte behind the issue and do what is necessary themselves. Where is 'gotong royong'?  The 'yellow' turned on the 'blue' and now 'wanted posters' come over the media. Thank goodness they are not posted in the 'black forest' otherwise who knows the band of marauders could come force.

When will we walk away from the forest? No we are not trapped in it. Even our thick jungle with its cruel terrain and unsure weather gives salvation. The flowing streams, stars etc would give guidance and not least the security forces etc would come to your aid. Now what do we do?

         Will we wake up in the morning to be greeted by such landscape and brightness or see birds hovering in the hundreds as they normally take off for the green pastures ? 

In circumstances when you see dark clouds in the sky and feel distraught over things maybe it is refreshing to let it go.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


OUR  activities or daily workouts may come about through planning or casual happenings, filling the moments and times in many forms and ways. We may have its program for the week governed by our designation or that of our other half and the family too. Then the free moments or spaces are left to our discretion to either fill them up with activities of our choice or remain gaps or nothingness. Nevertheless it cannot be so since we would know how to fill those moments with distinctions.

One thing for sure, the multiple activities that colour our lives get lost in the daily myriads, one superseding the other and therefore hard on us to recount them, much so those in the immediate past. Strange however, we tend to remember or recollect the past much easier. Notice how the elders and the sick could recount their past but fail to remember recent events.          

People used to keep diaries, noting down stories or episodes particularly special to them. How lucky they are, knowing that the truth, the specifics and the data remained intact. However personal diaries have become objects of the past. You will be a lucky person to meet up with one person who still keeps his or her diary. Our savior comes in a new form.Digital cameras, computers, smart telephones, Ipad etc all help to record moments of our lives  in a much better format than approaches applied years ago.

I appreciate the activities that have taken place last week. Parts could be from our own program while others developed by themselves or with the assistance of others. I would not easily recount the activities of the past seven days without the snapshots as captured by the camera. Here beginning Thursday evening and ending Wednesday I could easily retraced the activities with profound details.

Yes the technologies that we carry with us serve us in more ways than one.

                    Thursday 3 May  7.00 pm -  Friday 4 May 2012 9.00 am
A misty morning at Teratak Warisan, Several cars in the compound with their owners already awoke since 5.00 am . In fact a 'Qiamullai' was organized for the night in preference for the old home as a base. Friends, relatives and neighbours participated. Dinner, supper and breakfast added to the excitement in a quint setting.

It was befitting that the old home saw activities while bringing back its former grandeur.
House on stilts of course has great assets for the ground floor,  

It was a change to sit underneath the house on the mats and the odd furniture, after breakfast while lulled by the cooling morning breeze.  

    Friends who were together in Mekkah in 2010 and the group leader attended. 

                                        Saturday 5 May 2012   11.30 am

 They were at the 'tahlil' on Saturday morning

                                         Saturday  5 May 2012    9.30 pm
At SMSAH soft launching of the school 50th anniversary

This fully residential secondary school will be celebrating its 50th year come 2013. As a young teacher in the early beginning of the school 1975 - 1978 it was good to be back and meet some of the former students. The school achievements were naturally the pride of the past and present.. The school orchestra performed and a credit to the school.  

We found ourselves on the holiday island of Langkawi on  Sunday 6 May 2012 and at Pantai Cenang found the decorative bamboo mat as part of the wall a treasured piece. Do they still produce this 'anjaman buluh'?

                Father and son but the decorative bamboo panel was the focus

                                                   A happy girl she is                                 

      Monday 7 May 2012 a shopping mall in Langkawi, picking up interesting decorative applications as part of the deco.Bamboo poles for one.

 Tuesday 8 May 2012 breakfast at MacDonald, discovering the advertised menu 

                       Langkawi Airport, Its tax free shopping a great puller

Gunong Mat Chincang and the Hanging Bridge viewed from the top cable car- station

                      Parts of Langkawi Island, view from the Cable Car Station


At Telaga Harbour yachts and boats anchored. Facilities available here make this part of Langkawi a great place to be included on the tour

   Feeling much at home as if they are ours. Not to worry there many boats for hire now. Make your choice and you could sail into the sunset with dinner included.
                          Wednesday 9 May 2012  9.30 am at Kuah Jetty

                      The young boy seems to declare that all were great.

A  good seven days gone and what other activities are ready for us in the following week. One for sure we will receive a busload of visitors on Friday as my sister and her husband accompany them from Kota Bharu on a visit to Kedah. Not often you get the opportunity to play host and hostess.

Saturday, May 5, 2012


I had the opportunity to visit a restored building today. On many occasions I had passed the road and saw the signage that invites visitors to the home just outside the city but never managed to take the turn and call at the place. The home has also been featured by Badan Warisan Malaysia in its publications. Itself managing the home now. Its historical background naturally added to the desire to know more and therefore the drive that led to it this morning.    

Surprisingly, you would expect to see the building smack on the frontage of a main road. Only after taking several corners and by passing two old government quarters, I came upon the majestic building. Stuck in its nakedness and an object to behold. Yes this was the 'SUFFOLK HOME'. It was an unexpected discovery because I had never imagined it to be as it is. It was if if I was transported to an earlier century.   

What a sight that greets you upon reaching the  large open space outside 'Suffolk Home'. Matured trees a true vintage of Penang showed its mark here. 

Francis Light, who established a trading port in " Pooloo Penang"  owned a pepper estate called 'Suffolk' after his home country in England. History cannot accept that he founded Penang as it was already owned by Kedah and even Admiral Cheng Ho had earlier mentioned about the island. Discovering history again no doubt placed things in its perspective.

Restoration of old buildings of course does not only manage to conserve the past but help to dig into reports about the building as much as the relevant insides of the project in question.

    The gravel road that takes the visitor to the front entrance of the home

The two storey house viewed at its frontage with its lawn.On the top floor could be 
seen the open terrace

    Another open terrace above the main entrance with its polished wooden floor -
the South Colonnade.

Francis Light traded in Penang in 1786 and had negotiation with the Sultan of Kedah over its territory. He died in1794. 'Suffolk' referred to two early residences built on the same site. The first was Light's residence whereas the second residence was built after his death. 

A note written by Capt James Welsh husband of Sarah Light daughter of Francis Light in 1818 noted:
" Our next visit was to Suffolk, three miles in the interior, where I had the pleasure of breakfasting with Col Bannerman, the Governor. The valuable estate of Suffolk once the private property of Mr Light and his favourite residence is one of the prettiest spots I have ever beheld. In the midst of fine extensive lawn, surrounded by majestic trees, a box bridge, with a clean brook meandering through the centre, stands the noble and commodious house , with a park and aviary in its front and the hill gradually receding in the background, crowned with woods of the richest foliage. Italy itself could not produce a more verdant or lovely landscape and to add to its unique attraction, the principal trees in the avenue leading from different directions to the house were all nutmegs, actually loaded with fruit much lie a large apricot."

   '... fine extensive lawn, surrounded by majestic trees, 
a box bridge with a clean brook...'

I cannot agree more with the writer who penned his attraction to the home and its site almost two centuries ago. As I stood at the site in the 21st century I cannot help admiring the pain- staking job carried by Badan Warisan, the Heritage Society of Penang and the restorers and planners to bring 'Suffolk Home' alive as it was before. Except with the absence of the nutmeg trees ( pokok buah pala)  all seems alive as pictured by Capt.Welsh.

The house reflected in a large mirror on a deck open cabana which formed part of the 
restaurant  at Suffolk Home now.

Our historical study of Francis Light in school before never disclosed that he had five children, three girls, Sarah, Mary  Ann and two boys William and Francis Lanoon. He willed his estate to Martina Rozells the woman he lived with for 22 years but never married  , a part Siamese and Portuguese woman reportedly a Kedah 'princess' awarded to Light by the Kedah Sultan. A marriage would undoubtedly put him an Anglican in a difficult position.  The property was reported as being taken over by James Scott and William Fairlie , business partners and executors of Light's estate.

Wandering through the country you might come across the most unexpected places. Today I came across one and and through its pages of history gets enlighten by the past and the present. Thankful to those that care to restore and preserve for our future.