Wednesday, May 22, 2013



Our 'umrah' recently was taken right after the PRU2013, a day after that eventful day. It was the first time that we  traveled on NAS Air a chartered flight that carried passengers to Jeddah / Madinah. It seems now there are several carriers that carry passengers to both cities, either the normal air carriers like Mas, Emirate, Saudi Air or the Air Asia and several chartered airlines. Depending on the agencies that arranged your flight and services, you may find yourself on the right airways only later. Unless of course you choose to fly on your choice of air carrier.

That is however not the main subject matter of this write up. It is more to have a look at several photos accompanying for what they are worth. 

Our travel on the Makkah - Madinah 400 KM highway on a GMC vehicle allowed us to see more of the country- side than had we traveled on the bus as usual. I managed to get this photo as the car was traveling of the sun setting behind the hills near Madinah.  The time registered on the photo is that on Malaysian time. Giving a difference of FIVE hours you would get the time of the moment

It would be hard to get a picture of Al Haram from the air, but I managed to get this photo from the 42nd Floor of a hotel, showing the development and construction works on going. I believe you can identify the Kaabah and the jumaah circling. However notice the large extension works on going, extending to the hillocks behind. Hoping it could be ready by Haj time this year. 

As many hotels are sited around Al Haram the extension would make them be a walking distance away except for the few standing in front of King Abdul Aziz Gate.
The whitish flooring is a section of the top floor of the mosque which have seen jummah at prayer here especially during Ramadan. The extension is made around it and especially at the top corner of the picture.

Al Haram at night seen from the entrance of the multiple hotel sites close by

 These are the wheel chair brigades at Al Haram specific to the Saie section. For many who would be unable to walk all the way  these gentlemen would assist. However many now come with their own wheel chairs and noticeable too motorised vehicle the like of 'wheel chair' being used.

 My wife attending to her mother who needed the use of the wheelchair. This was one we brought along.

A portion of the pilgrims on wheel chairs facing the Kaabah. It is good to see people helping out when ever they see jumaah requiring help especially those on wheel chairs.

I would guess many wheel chair users would be at Makkah and Madinah and surely provisions would be made to offer better facilities for them especially in crowded spaces.  

We could take it as a link to what Malaysia requires too in such a situation.

This is the clock tower, now completed since we last saw the building in 2010. It stands so magnificently that it could be seen from the air as our plane was coming to land at Jeddah Airport almost 40 kilo metres away. Whatever it serves its function of reminding the time  ..........

Saturday, May 4, 2013



What hides behind the result of the PRU13? No one knows now. But it will become obvious before midnight Sunday 5th of May 2013. The candidates and their political parties would no doubt feel confidence of their success. However nothing is sure until the ballot papers are counted. 222 and 505 Parliment and State seats respectively are in the offer to the chosen candidates. Who are the winners?

However the past has gone behind us and we can still recall the moments, the anecdotes especially with photographs that capture those moments in time. Let me share with friends some of the wonderful attractions which I have managed to fall back while shifting through the files of photos in the meantime afforded by the good weekend of the 3rd and 4th of May 2013..

A photo taken on one of the beaches at beautiful Langkawi. A tent set especially for a special sunset dinner by the beach.

     An old house, with the distinct roof feature you would recognize where it was seen. Yes at Bukit Tinggi Sumatra.
 At the Mine outside Kuala Lumpur, if you should wander into the exclusive area you would notice this house, home to DR M and his wife Toh Puan Siti Hasmah. 

 When we were in Kuantan a few years back, caught this photo of this colorful building. Interesting to note ways or actions taken to make things extraordinary.

 One exacting feature at the entrance to Tangkak town, which catches the eye as you exit the toll gate and enter the town.

Two pictures, that help to remind that the trishaws were once
the main transportation mode for people in the towns. Pix taken at Malacca.

  An old Malay home at Balik Pulau Pulau Pinang. Notice the zinc roofs, once a popular perhaps lasting roof choice for the substantial saving on the annual house repair.  

Above two picture of a Terangganu house lovingly restored with the intricacies of Malay craftsmanship. Came across this building while on a journey from Kuala Terengganu to Kelantan

  A kris in my collection captured with the palm leaf as a background.
This beautiful mosque must be a sure visit when you are in the historic town of Muar Johore.

Took this photograph back in 1954. Yes this is the famous Pekan Rabu where Dr M had his earlier business when he was a youth.
Sorry. You will find it hard to come across such buildings in Mekkah or Madinah now. The intricate window frames which formed a special feature together with the old buildings have been pulled down to make way for modernity. 
Back in 1956 had this photo taken in England. Sdr Abdul Wahab ( left) was a classmate in the Standard IX, who was on training in the navy force in England and Sdr Syed Annuar ( centre) was at Kirkby College. Sadly I have not met Sdr Abd Wahab since, though came across Syed Annuar several years ago. 

 A Malay house at Alor Setar, turned into a cafe and hotel. Back in 1955 P.Ramlee and Saloma were here and performed on a special stage put up in front of the building. I was one of the spectators at the show . Alas the building too has been pulled down.Fortunately after the photograph was taken.


The interior of Balai Besar in Alor Setar, once the ceremonial hall for investiture etc . Now the building has been left unused, remaining only as a feature in town.  

The 'Padang' in the centre of Alor Setar. Pix taken in 1964 when the Royal Malay Regiment then stationed at Kepala Batas formed the ceremonial parade.It is adjacent to the Balai Besar and the Zahir Mosque though not a trace of the turf can be seen or found at its place.

 This seems to be true to features of the past, hardly surviving and being exchanged for modernity or totally disappearing to make way for what are terms modern. Yet on the other hand we fight to restore the old, on the indicators given by UNESCO. As if we could never realize the importance and values ourselves unless international bodies vouched for their credits.