Sunday, February 22, 2015


A lapse of almost three months, bring me back to familiar ground. However it took a time to click back when password and other directions got entangled due to lack of practice or maybe blanks. 

Blogging however seems to take a back seat now with 'whatsapp', 'telegram' etc taking a new foothold. The latter is organized and executed right away via your telephone inclusive of photos that added impact and reality.

Be as it is, this chapter identifies activities and visitations of the past months helping to record them while of course remembering that the nation  Malaysia has not been spared of calamity and incidents of varied kinds. The tragic flooding on the east coast coming with Christmas Day 2015 and earlier the Cameron Highlands landslides and flooding hit the nation with tragic impact. People are still reeling with the tragedy.

On the bright side let's see what has actually comes our way.

On the eve of the Chinese New Year we traveled to Batu Pahat in Johore . Batu Pahat however has been on the map but unvisited by us until  today. Segamat, Muar, Johore Bharu, Kota Tinggi , Ayer Hitam situated closer to the highways and main roads have not been missed. Now what do we discover at Batu Pahat in the confined of a 24 hour visit and that too compounded with attending a wedding function; maybe a glimpse of the town but enough to know its potentials and directions. 

One thing for sure, we landed after a lengthy drive from Putrajaya due to traffics on the highway because of the Chinese New Year balik kampong to a comfortable hotel in town. I must say it was a pleasant discovery to find such a hotel in town. I am appreciative of the design, service and comforts of  The Katerina Hotel at  Jalan Zabedah 83000 Batu Pahat Johor Takzim. Several pictures attached testify to the cleanliness and comfort  you would enjoy. Talk of a boutique hotel , Katerina would fit into that category.

Batu Pahat takes its name literally from this sculpture or monument you see in town. Appreciate of the skills inherent in the people you would of course like to see the products and meet the craftsmen. Alas that would not be fulfilled. Centuries has passed and old traditions have departed too.

At the Asam Pedas Restaurant in town. Good to see  Malays with their restaurants and support customers. 

Not for dinner but reserved for the next day and we had to search for it. From the many customers at the restaurant it does established itself as a favoured one in town. 


Our visit to Batu Pahat was to attend a wedding reception and solemnization and the visit to the resident's of the bride yet again introduce us to other aspects of the community and  people who make up Batu Pahat and this sector of Johore.

Yet there are other welcome invitations. Batu Pahat has offers for your gastronomy. Nasi Berani Power and Assam Pedas come to mind. Either would be our destination for dinner. For Malaysian towns the like of Batu Pahat and others outside   the arm bits of tourism you are assailed by the lack or obvious absence of brochures and maps promoting the town or locality. The best would be to access your phone or computer if you have them with you.

 A picture taken from the 7th floor of the hotel gives some idea of the landscape of the town. A highland close by added that it is not a flat land though rice farming and rubber plantation have shifted to oil palm plantation.

A 2 day visit seriously require a follow up.




BATU PAHAT has its name identified by this structure in town. The question begged to be asked  " Are there masons and stone's quarry in town and where or what are the products of the skilled craftsmen? "

Likely you will not find a trace of them but discover other aspects within the short hours you are in town.Just because it is not a centre frequently visited especially by tourists you find a dire lack of information and especially brochures or maps of the town. Thus you may end up guessing all aspects of the town even to the very fact of finding directions to a restaurant where you would enjoy dinner of local delicacies. Knowing that Batu Pahat has culinary to offer. 

Johore is recognized with various 'parit' ( canals, riverlets, drainage) and your journey around town will bring you face to face with signages that declare their existence.     

Saturday, February 21, 2015


Having been away from blogging for  months, it gets difficult to get back to the path or clicking to note down what you planned to do. Your attempts to find your dashboard also meet with failure. Memories and patience become the tester; you may easily give up when several attempts find no way out. You lose your blogs?

Thankfully there is a discovery and here you are typing away. The next best way to go back to your album and post photos taken in the past months. They recorded intact what memories may not recollect immediately while you grope for stories.

 At the home of a family friend near Batu in Kuala Lumpur, it was a surprise to meet up with an old friend of the teaching days. Only upon asking we found out the next person sitting near to us was  Abdul Rahman Yeop, a former headmaster and Pengarah Pelajaran Selangor in the 1970's.Forty years and more have passed by and thankfully recognition stays put and help us to be connected again.

Last month while driving to Baling that historical town where Tunku Abdul Rahman met Chin Peng, we saw again this building at Jeniang in the district of Sik Kedah. Astride a river, I stopped to take this photo from the bridge of an old police station dating back to the prewar days and still in service with its well kept grounds. How much longer will it stay there? Will it give way to a new police station? Badan Warisan Negara must take note of this building in Sik Kedah.  
A Visit to Langkawi took me to this site where the owner tended to his orchard while at the same time showed us this rows of tree trunks positioned as they were. He is a 'honey' collector but not derived from bees  but from 'kelulut'. Rightly there has been many enterprises set up to collect 'honey' from 'kelulut'. 

While many of the old timers may recognize this plant or creeper which naturally clings to telephone or electric poles and on fences in our homes yet one of many that has  disappeared from the local scenes,yet here it was and I am told its food for the 'kelulut'. It's name ... "ayer mata pengantin" . wow!!!

 Early February 2015 morning, as I tended to the small garden at home and upon looking up saw this beautiful sight. Our tall 'kuinin' tree has blossomed signaling that its the beginning of 'spring' in Kedah and like similar fruit trees we may expect a good fruit season.

 Alor Setar and Kuala Kedah as a estuary close by has a small port with ferries commuting between it and Langkawi. It too has a large LKIM building with fishing as a spearhead of the community here. What a surprise and a pleasant one too when for the first time I was here and discovered a picturesque site with activities that made you clicking away the shutters of your camera. The three pictures below speak better than words.   


December 2014, January and February 2015 have  caused us to continue with our works and at the same time allow us to discover activities, episodes and programs that helped to link us to the communities, neighbours and friends.Thankful that Allah gives us the energy and the opportunity to discover  and see more of His Creations and Magnificence.