Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The Mat Clan, a part of my family history....

For today I would like to relate the story of the Mat clan. As far as I know Mat was an official of the palace in Pekan, Pahang. He must be someone of a class that could became an official of the Pahang istana at that time. It is said with a good education he was a man of his time. He came from Losong in Terengganu. Whether his real name is Ahmad or just Mat I just do not know. Mat has two children; Mariam the eldest and Bakar the youngest whom I call Toksu. As it was normal at that time Mariam the girl although the eldest was not send to school. Only Bakar got an education; he later became a teacher and start his teaching career in Pekan.  Marian binti Mat marry Hj. Ibrahim, a business man of his time who live in Peramu, a village across the Kuantan River. Mariam my grandmother has five children. One of the five is Asiah or Wok Siah is my mother whereas Bakar bin Mat married Hamidah has only one child a girl Khatijah. Thus, Khatijah and my mother Asiah are cousin. Khatijah went to school and became a teacher just like her father Bakar but my mother did not. My mother Asiah first husband was Ngah, they have three children; all girls. After her first husband died she married my father Abu Bakar and they have six children, the eldest is me. Khatijah marry a teacher Musa and have 10 children. Bakar my Toksu after his wife died marries again [ This part is best explained further by one of his son Sabri Bakar] Anyone out there who have further information of the Mat Clan may want to contribute to this part of our family history.

In the family picture above, probably taken in 1940, the boy on my father lap is me, his first son whom he named Idrus bin Abu Bakar after his father Abu Bakar bin Idrus. Others in the picture are my mother with her three daughters; Fatimah [Rahmah], Rokiah and Ainon.

The picture on the left is that of my mother and her cousin Kathijah who I call Maklong Jah.

Have a nice day.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Of landed Property and Condo....

I am writing this base of my experiences. It my contribution to the society who are yet to understand the pro and con of getting a living space that one call home. Here are my two cents.      

If you buy a landed property You get a house and the piece of land the house was built. You are responsible for maintaining that house of yours only. You pay the Assessment tax to the Local Council, twice a year and Quit Rent to the Land Office once a tear; you are done. The Local council take care of the road in front of your house, the drains, the Street Lighting and cut the grass beside the house. You pay the Electricity and Water Bill and you are done. You need not pay a monthly Service Charges. If there is a Park nearby you are free to use it.

If You buy a Condo; You are not only buying the space that you are going to live but you are collectively with the others responsible for the management of the whole Condominium complex which includes everything that is call the Common area like the Walkway, The Lifts, the Stairways, the Perimeter Lighting, The Swimming Pool, The Gym, The Garden and other common facilities. With the assistance of the Commissioner of Building you are to maintain collectively the whole condominium complex using the Service Charge Money. This is done through the Owner Association or by a Company own or appointed by the Owner Association. With the Service charge money, the Company would manage the whole complex for you. Other than paying the Services Charges, like the owner of Landed property you must pay Assessment to the Local council and the Land Tax to the Land Office. Remember that the owner of Landed property does not have to pay the Service Charge. For the first few years everything would be fine and rosy but as years goes on the building and equipment would get older and had to be repaired, the outside wall had to be repainted and You collectively had to pay for that. Another big problem is that some owners might not pay or delay in making payment the monthly Service Charges or the Water Bills than it became a problem for the Management company to pay their bills and arrears would accumulate and the Bulk Water bills are not paid. Water to the whole complex would be cut and everyone even those who had paid their water bills would not get water supply.

Eventually the Management company would give up and decided to leave the place or declare bankruptcy. The whole complex is left without anyone to managed. Soon the Lift not working, the Swimming Pool turn green etc. would be left to rots. That folks is the beginning of your nightmare. These happened to us 200 plus owners of a five stars condo and now left to rots. So never take for granted the management of the condo complex. Always see to it that every owners pay the service charge. Do check the accounting of the Management company from time to time so that no arrears of bills to the TNB or the Water Authority for the Common areas left unpaid. Remember living in a condominium is a collective responsibility unlike the landed property you are only responsible for your house..

With the high cost of property now you would have to pay a huge sum monthly to the bank and it sort of a life commitment to the bank. Failing to pay the loan your home may be repossessed, and you are back to square one; without a living space that you would call home. 

Have a nice day.

Friday, October 13, 2017

A trip to Satun and Pak Bara in Thailand...

A friend Ismail Mat who now live in Alor Setar in the northern state of Kedah after he retired had invited me to visit Kedah and perhaps go on a trip to south Thailand. So, on last Friday September 29, I decided to take his offer and go on the trip to nowhere. I start the trip by taking the ETS to Alor Setar. The train left KL Sentral at 11.42 and arrived on the dot at 15.17. It was a beautiful ride all the way. On arrival the close friend was waiting for me at the Alor Setar railway station. Instead of sending me direct to the hotel he detours to his home where his spouse had prepared a late lunch for me. It was a simple home cooking that includes Ikan Pekasam and Masak lemak Kulat Sisir of which I had not savored for such a long time. It was such a sumptuous late lunch that I totally forgot about times. Had a small chat with his charming spouse, an MD who had retired and decided to just stay home. After the coffee he then took me to the Holiday Villa, my hotel for the night. 

I had a good rest and the next day with his cousin Fauzi driving we head to Satun and Pak Bara in Thailand via the Wang Kelian border crossing. This is first time I had travel by road to this part of Thailand and was surprised that their road system is so good. I just sat at the back and enjoy the trip. We stop along the way including an outdoor food court near the beach of the Andaman sea; this was my first glimpse of the beach of the Andaman sea. It so clean just like the sea on the east coast of Malaya especially at my hometown of Kuantan. After having some delicious Thai foods there we move on and spend the night at Pak Bara, the port city of Santun where I saw a huge Pier and many big fishing boats. On the other sides there are many islands where many tourists go to spend their holiday enjoy the beach on the Andaman sea. I am told that there is a ferry service to and from Langkawi - Pak Bara from the jetty here.  Had a good sleep there and the next morning after breakfast at the roadside stall went back to Alor Setar via Hat Yai.

The roads in Thailand is much better than ours and no toll at all.  The Wifi even at the roadside stalls fast, putting us to shame. After a rest and sightseeing trip in Alor Setar we went to Langkawi which I had not been for more than thirty years. Boy! Langkawi was huge compare to those days. Thanks to Tun Mahathir our Prime Minister for twenty years; for his vision it has become one large city on an island that was once just a fishing village. I then decided to go back home by taking the flight from Langkawi. Now the Airport with International and domestic arrival every fifteen minutes, making it one busy airport in country. I then took a Mas flight back to KL and arrived at the KLIA at just after noon on Wednesday 4, October. This is the first flight I had ever take after a lapse of more than two years.

Folks it turns out to be one exciting short trip to the north of the country; to places that I had never dream of visiting and meeting friends and strangers, making my golden years as happy as happy as one could be. Thanks Ismail Mat for making all these possible. What a wonderful world we live in. 

Above is a picture of the beach at the Andaman sea where we stopped for a short break and enjoy some Thai dishes. One the left are some of the Thai foods that we savor while on the trip and the islands off Pak Bara as seen from the chalets where we spend the night; enchanting indeed.

Have a nice day. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Of Photography; the Moon....

In photography it the timing and opportunity. Yesterday morning I was out in front of the house looking for Mei Me who had not return. While out there I saw the moon. I then went to take my camera, the new Canon EOS M5 and using a telephoto  lens took some picture of the moon. It happens that at that very moment a plane was passing by and the early bird were flying too. It was really nice to get some good shots in that early morning. I am still learning the way of good photography and happy with the result. I am sharing it here for all to see and enjoy. 

Have a nice day folks.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Camping at Teluk Tongkang, Kuantan....

When I was in school camping and hiking was of how we kid spend our recreation especially on weekend and during school holiday.  Kuantan been near the sea have many places to go hiking and camping. One of the camping site that is nearby is at Teluk Cempedak. 

On my recent visit to Kuantan I found that they have turn an enclave on the left side of Teluk Cempedak as a Camping site. The enclave is now call Teluk Tongkang. I made a visit to the place and found it an ideal site to camp and enjoy the outdoor beside the sea.  For a small fee anyone can camp there. For the convenience of the campers the authority of the place provides clean water and Washroom for those campers as well to the public would just make a day visit. 

On my visit there recently, I had the opportunity to meet the Warden of the place. He welcomes everyone to the place and enjoy camping. Other than providing tents for sleeping the organizer also provides meals and BBQ for the campers. 

It sounds interesting and I would encourage anyone who want to camp and enjoy the sea at Teluk cempedak to go and have a look of the place and perhaps camp there. It really a good way to enjoy nature at its best. 

Have a nice day.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Meeting a Stranger.....

I was at KL Sentral this morning and found there are so much changes there.That mean I have not explore it for some times in the past years. I went to meet a friend and after that explore the place to get more information of the train services especially the ETS [Electric Train Service]. I have travel the ETS up to Ipoh when it first started and found it fast and comfortable to travel between cities. I may do it again in the near future. As usual that place was thronged with folks on the move. 

It all start when a FB friend Wan Izzuddin posted in his wall that he would be coming to KL after a trip to Bangkok. Since I have not met him in person I thought this would be an opportunity to meet and get to know each other. I then send a note on Messenger of FB asking whether he would like to meet. I got a reply that he would, that after he arrived back in Kuala lumpur he would take the train from the Airport to KL Sentral, the country's largest transport hub. I told him we would meet there, so that was the reason I got to KL Sentral this morning. 

Nowadays with Uber and Grab it is easier to travel in the city. This morning I took Grab to KL Sentral and then for the return journey to my home in Ampang Jaya I again took Grab, this time from Nu Sentral, the adjacent mall beside the KL Sentral. 

Well folks that was my day this Monday. Have a nice day.

Friday, August 18, 2017

A Fusion of Crafts....

Some years back I bought a few crafted fruits made of copper; a well handicraft products from India. It has been on display in the house all the while giving a glow of an artistic works of great craftsman whose creative works add value to our quality of life. Last week my spouse and daughter Lin went on a short holiday to Chiang Mai, Thailand and brought back a handcrafted wooden fruit bowl made from the trunk of the Mango tree. It a gift to me which I instantly loved it for its uniqueness and it the first bowl that I had seen made from wood of the Mango tree. I then decided to put the Copper fruits crafted in India into the new wooden bowl from Thailand and found that it harmonized well; sort of a fusion of two crafts from a different culture, the Thai and India. Above is that fusion. Enjoy it folks. 

Have a nice day.