Tuesday, September 26, 2006

beautiful songket

Interesting anecdote behind a piece of songket.

Like batiks to the Indonesians, you are born with it, you even die with batik. It is customary to use batik as a piece of bed sheet or blanket for newborn babies or even a piece of batik cloth to cover a coffin when you die.

Closer to home, I was told by a prominent songket weaver and designer that in early 80’s a very prominent leader actually commissioned him to design and weave a piece of songket to be used as the cover of his coffin for his very own funeral.

He is still alive and kicking today and very much vocal about several political (local and international) issues.

He is a forward thinking man, indeed.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Duyong, the last frontier?

These could possibly be the last generation of the traditional boat builders of Terengganu we will ever see should their knowledge and skills are not preserved.

To me, they are artisans with unique skills we can’t find else where but from our very own backyard.

I was sad when I look at them as I know for a fact that that they do not get paid much for their skills and passion.

This financial factor is the barrier of entry for younger generations to take up the skills and preserve it.

With unique boat building and construction techniques, this could very well put Duyong in the map of boat building world.

It is sad really. The people of Terengganu had been great seafarers in the region for centuries. They have been trading with the regional kingdoms using the boats made with their own hands, based on their very own knowledge and skills, using their very own local materials and inspirations to conceive such beautiful pieces of arts that expand Terengganu horizon into the regional trade then.

My very own grand father was a Nakhoda before.

When my father was young, he used to follow my grand father to sail even to Chiang Mai!

Unfortunately, if you go to Duyong today, the only person who is passionate and doing something about preserving the traditional boat making is Christoph Swobada.....a German.

I admire his passion and perseverance. I know for sure he will get the boat completed and it is going to be a beautiful Made in Terengganu boat. By then, a lot of people will take credits out of it…..

I miss Perhentian

I want a beach holiday, soon!

have a blessed Ramadhan!

Hi. Sorry I didn’t tell u that I’m moving permanently to Bangkok nxt wk.
I don’t know how long I am staying there.
I will give you the number, address and new email when I get there.
Hope 2 c u at least before I leave?
Sorry for the short notice.
I hv no choice.
They hv chosen me as the……..

Next Prime Minister of Thailand.

(Have a blessed Ramadhan)

kueh bakar

I am quite certain almost everybody who carries hand phone (I think that’s everybody!) gets the above sms. I myself get 3 of the same message back.

It’s a bloody good business for service providers. Within 2 days before Ramadhan the sms volume could be close to what they use to collect during Akademi Fantasia of jokes about Siti & Dato' K's wedding, perhaps….

stuffed periok kera (like lemang, but nicer)

WHO actually is the author of the sms. He/she must be a genius! For a short massage like that being used by possibly millions of phone users. Or perhaps it’s the phone companies themselves that create the message and spam it, from then on it just go wild…..

good old goreng pisang (or is it pisang goreng?)

The best thing is, by receiving this message with “Have a blessed Ramadhan” attached to it, it gives a sense of togetherness among the Muslims greeting each other welcoming the holiest month in their lunar calendar with open arms.
roti jala

Yes, have a blessed Ramadhan everybody!

*images of food were taken in Kampung Paya Tebu Hitam, Rompin, Pahang.

The other side of Mat Rempit

Just came back from Genting Sempah and Janda Baik ride with my newly acquired bike (Bought it off a friend). It was a good ride, always, with 3 other ride buddies.

As usual, we talked about politics during warming up, slow climb up the peak of Genting Sempah before high speed descend towards McD. Managed to clock 50 kmh.

Stopped at Janda Baik gerai for roti canai. Someone cracked a joke about roti canai, implying current political leadership in Malaysia. Roti Telur is called Roti Chek Det. Roti Kosong is called Roti Pak Lah.


Can’t help but to notice 2 fully restore kapcais (mopads) circa 1970’s I think. Nicely done and these particular mat rempits dafinately have good taste and artistic skills.

How I wish the politicians get down to the ground and start to observe these hidden talents rather than making noice in the media trying to change the name (just the name) of Mat Rempit to Mat Cemerlang. There are various “soft” issues they can address rather than too busy trying to manipulate the Mat Rempit cult to gain political mileage….

I think it is not a simple as merely branding a group of youngsters without considering the fact that this youngster were born on kapcais and have nationwide followers.

The energy, passion, obsession and adrenaline addictions can be capitalized into good causes.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Pura Tanjung Sabtu

Pintu Gerbang located near the jetty by the river

The trip to Pura was excellent!

I have always been fascinated by my heritage and culture and my trip to Pura deepened it.

door knobs / handles

A collection of traditional Terengganu houses, aged between 150 to 200 years old reassembled on 14 acre of estate located by the bank of Sungai Nerus.

bulan penuh (full moon) at Pura

Tengku Ismail Tengku Su has been working on the restoration for the past 12 years with his very own blood, sweat and tears… and money. The result is just perfect!! Now, it is a royal homestead.


The amazing thing about Pura is you can have a comprehensive Terengganu experience. Apart from meals served are authentic Terengganu cuisine, mostly homemade by the dayangs, you can also check out a vast collection of Tengku Ismail’s family heirlooms and the actual songket weaving activities within the estate. These are the "Rolls Royce" of songket where real gold threads are used. Most of the orders come from the royal palaces. Tengku Ismail even designed a songket kimono for a Japanese aristocrat.

atap bata (roof tiles)

Good news is recently, Pura was nominated to receive the prestigious Aga Khan Foundation award for Architechture.

balai, an elegent entrence to the residence

Pok Ciks in Marang

These are simple kampung folks, they are actually fishermen.

I dropped by their "pot" by the river, to capture beautiful Marang river mouth.

Struck a conversation with them in Terengganu lingo (mine is totally rusty, compared to theirs), managed to get permission to capture their images.

According to them, if I go upstream, I can find people making manisan (palm sugar) and ataps (roof made of leaves).

A couple of Pak Ciks have been friends since they were kids.

A bunch of them in their 60's playing cards, joking and taking the piss out of each other..

They were talking about new fishing boats and their powerful engines....

Boys will be boys.... they always have toys...

He is very friendly and funny. Ever ready to pose....

Smiles all the time, but did not say much.

I think he was a naughty boy when he was a kid and now probably a very responsible grand dad. The fact that he smokes the rokok daun, reminded so much of my own grand dad who use to smoke the same stuff, apart from teching me how to select nyior muda whenever we balik kampung during cuti sekolah.....

Best friend to the first Pak Cik, since they were kids!

Drive up to KT

Drove to KT.

Stop by several places.

Truely Terengganu experience.

Friendly kampung folks and great food!

100% Pure Terengganu budu (fermented anchovies) and keropok lekor goreng (deep fried)

lemang of Kijal

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

mini sunday

2 weekends ago I took my friend’s Mini Cooper for a weekend at Pura Tanjung Sabtu in Kuala Terengganu. Pura write up will be posted later.

It was a fun car to drive! Hug the road very well, like go-cart.

Head turner, no doubt.

The fact that it is a shift stick, it was a pleasure to drive on the trunk roads.

Last Sunday, I was invited to join SPEEDMINIA AT Sepang Circuit. It was fantastic.

Apart form the opportunity to speed the Mini on an F1 race track, it was a great Sunday for photo ops.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

top of the world... errr south east asia, actually!

The recent Kinabalu trip was one of the best holidays and no doubt one of the most significant personal achievements in my life.

The physical and mental challenges encountered and overcame during the climb clearly pushed my personal limit to a brand new level.

Being the only non-IBMer, my gratitude goes to all of you for their warm hospitality, solid teamwork and most of all for the wonderful friendship cultivated throughout the trip.

I had a great time and I look forward to more crazy trips in the future, hopefully sooner rather than later.

Oh ya… contrary to popular belief, they are not a bunch of nerds. They are quite cool, really!

I have the feeling that we’ll be friends for a long long time….

Bonsai garden...

Stairway to heaven

The Southern Peak of Kinabalu. Beautiful, but not the apax of Kinabalu.