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.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

78th Birthday....

Good Morning folks. Woke up to a beautiful day in August 2017. Born on August 17, 1939 Alhamdulillah I am 78 years old today and kicking. Thanks to my wonderful soulmate Asmah Abdul Rahman of 55 years and counting who have been with me during the up and down during my life journey I am forever grateful for a wonderful family life. Blessed with three wonderful daughters, five grandchildren, a son in law and two grandsons in law, making me one happy Grandpa; they too give me so much of their precious times in my golden years. Thanks to the many relatives and friends in the virtual world and the physical world my life has been as colorful as well. To those few relatives and friends [you know who you are] who give me your precious time to talk to me or be with me from time to time I am grateful. Thanks folks for contributing in making my life so colorful. 

Have a nice day

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Museum Masjid Sultan Abdullah, Pekan...

A few years ago, I went for a visit to Pekan, the royal town of Pahang. While there I saw the oldest mosque there, the Sultan Abdullah Mosque was left in ruin. It was a beautiful mosque built by the British colonial authority in 1929. It was the first and the oldest constructed in the Moorish architecture as most great mosque were built during that era. I was sad seeing that beautiful mosque left to rot. I then wrote to the Pahang state authority to do whatever necessary to preserve that historic mosque; a piece of history of the state of Pahang. I soon forgot about it and on my recent visit I saw that they have renovated the old mosque and turn it into a museum and at the same time retained the name of the mosque. It is now call the Museum Masjid Sultan Abdullah. A month earlier on a visit to Pekan I saw the mosque had been renovated but did not have the time to visit it; I was concentrating on another museum the Museum Sultan Abu Bakar nearby. Last July 20, 2017 I decided to make an exclusive visit to the museum with a view of blogging about it. With the help of the friendly staffs I make my round of the museum. I was told that other than been a museum a section of it is still used as a prayer place. A beautiful thought indeed; and I am glad that they did it as it provides a continuity of what the place was once; a place where the royal and the ordinary folks did their Friday Prayer as well their daily prayer in such a prestigious space in the new mosque at that time. 

After doing my round there I did an optional prayer and felt enlighten in been able to pray in such a magnificent prayer space in the newly renovated part of the mosque. In this new museum many artifacts of historical significance like old handwritten Quran, musical instruments, traditional tools for communication at prayer times, ceramic plates with Koranic texts are display turning it into a museum of Islamic history of sort. 

One exhibit that I thought is very important is the Tombstone of a grave found at Teluk Che Munah, Kampung Permatang Pasir, Pulau Tambun in Pekan on June 1953, that dated back to the year 1028 AD. It predates the Inscribed Stone found in Terengganu dated 1302 AD. The state authority has done a great job in converting this old and historic mosque into a museum and named it as the Museum Masjid Sultan Abdullah. The collections on display are done in a professional way thus it now has become a place to learn or do research on the history of Islam especially that has to do with the arrival of Islam to the state of Pahang.  I am impressed with the layout of the newly renovated space. It has indeed turn the whole prayer space into a living museum on the history Islam and in doing so has made the old mosque building as relevant as ever. 

Students or researchers on Islam especially so on the coming of Islam to this part of the world would be wise to visit this new museum. It a storehouse of knowledge on Islam as well a marketplace of information and ideas on the history of Islam. I left the place happy that the building that was once left to rot has now became a magnificent building of knowledge in this part of the world. Folks it worth a trip to Pekan to visit this important Museum which is just 45 kilometers away from Kuantan. 

Have a nice day.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Mangis [Mangosteen]...

I love tropical fruits and Banana is my favorite. Banana and Papaya could be got at any times throughout the years whereas the Durian, Duku, Mangis  are seasonal. One of the seasonal fruit is the Mangis. While looking around the lush green surrounding of the Tanjung Inn at Cherating the other day I found a Mangis tree with fruits that has yet to ripen. It greenish white in color. Nowadays unless you live in a Kampong with the tree around your house, it not often that one gets to see young Mangis fruits still hanging from the branches, looking fresh. With my camera, I took a few shots of that fruit. It would take a while before that fruits on this tree could be consumed. Unlike the Durian the Mangis does not smell. The Mangis is different in that it is a small round fruit with dark purple skin. The thick inner skin may stained clothing so it is best to be careful when prying to open the fruit. Inside are the succulent white flesh ready to be eaten. One interesting factor of the Mangis is that the marking at the bottom of the fruit. To know how many Ulas or piece of that white delicacy inside the fruit one should look at the bottom of the fruit. If the pattern at the base shows a five-petal flower like design then the inside white fruits would sure be five. Amazing indeed of how nature present itself for us to enjoy. Here are some images of the Mangis. Enjoy it folks. 

Have a nice day. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Through the lens of the Camera....

It was a beautiful Sunday. The weather was nice and cool. I walk out of the gate of my house and looking up saw the moon up above. It was a three-quarter moon and look magnificent indeed.  I thought that it would be great to get a shot of that moon at this early hours of the morning; just after eight. I went up the house to take my camera and put on the telephoto lens that I need to get a good shot of that moon. I then went out again and on looking I could not see the moon as it has been hidden by the clouds. In photography, it like that; timing and opportunity. Anyway, it is still there behind the clouds. I then took a walk and look at the flowers that I had planted across the road in front of the house. 

The White Hibiscus was blooming and at this early hours of the morning it has yet to open fully. It was nice to get to see the white buds start to open as the light of the morning sun shine of it. I then took some photos of the flowers first with the telephoto lens and then later the wide-angle lens. I kept taking more picture of the flowers as it starts to bloom fully. It was indeed a beautiful sight to watch nature at its best. I was mesmerized at the beauty of that white hibiscus and in that moments lost touch of times. 

I then look up and saw the moon again. With the telephoto lens still attached to the camera I then took a few shots of the moon. It was not that easy but I did get a few good shots. 

I am sharing it here the beautiful photos of the White Hibiscus and the Moon that I took on that beautiful Sunday morning. Much as I had enjoyed taking the images, I believe folks would enjoy it too.

Have a nice day.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Hari Raya 2017...

For this year we just had a small Hari Raya Open house and we did it on the third day of Hari Raya which fall on June 27, 2017. We just invited a selected few of relatives and friends. We had expected around forty or so would come and celebrate the Raya with us. At just after noon on that beautiful day folks start arriving in groups and individually. 

The first to arrive were the new extended family from the newly wed granddaughter of ours; the eldest granddaughter who got married in July last year. It was nice of them to come and as usual the house soon was beaming with activities. They then sat down to enjoy the Raya spreads that we had prepared. 

Then after they left another extended family, this time a group from the family of our second granddaughter who got married early this year arrived. It was a large group and it does make us happy to get to meet them. They too sat down to enjoy the spread that we had prepared. 

As the day goes buy more and more friends and relative arrived including one a Blogger and Facebook friend, a couple from Sungai Buloh with their two kids. Then a Malay lady Zubaidah Aziz who live in Germany arrived. She is back in Kuala Lumpur for a short holiday during Ramadan. She had said that she would be coming as she had wanted to me us. It was nice to get to meet her in person, a virtual friend that I got to know on Facebook. She then got to meet my spouse and found the opportunity to chat and share notes; woman to woman and mother to mother as she said later. 

All our kids and grandkids were around to help and entertained the guests and in the process, get to know them especially the relatives that came to our house for the first time. One such case was when a group of my late brother Ali's daughter and their mother came. It was the first time that I get to meet two of them. It was nice for Liza one of the daughter whom I had known earlier to have brought along her mother that we have not seen for such a long time. As usual the atmosphere of the house was festive indeed with folks enjoying the Raya with us. 

Although the space in our home is limited it was nice to see that everyone who came had the opportunity to be at the table to enjoy the foods. It was only after eight in the evening that the last guest left the house. In the end, more than the forty guests came, more than we had expected but the foods were ample and everyone had the opportunity to enjoy the spreads. By the time we had clean up the house it was past ten pm. We were exhausted but happy indeed that so many came to celebrate the Hari Raya with us. 

I append here some of the images of the happening on that auspicious day, the third day of Hari Raya or Eid this year. 

Thanks for coming folks; indeed, a successful event in our lives. 


Have a nice day.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Sungai Lembing Museum....

That last time we went to Sungai Lembing it was late and we could not go and see the new Museum there. This time I [my spouse did not come along] decided to go early and head straight to the museum before sightseeing of the other parts of the old town of Sungai Lembing. In its hay days during the colonial era Sungai Lembing was a dynamic small mining town. Here was the largest load tin mine in the world own by a British Company, the PCCL [Pahang Consolidated Company Limited]. The whole area of Sungai Lembing was sort of an autonomous region in the Kuantan District. It was managed by the company head, its General manager or as the Malay at that time call it the Tuan Besar. That is what colonization is all about. In the case of Malaya, the British came and took over the country and exploited it natural resources. They did it legally by signing an agreement with the local authority at that time. The mining of tin in Sungai Lembing was one huge enterprise that provides jobs for the local and made the company lots and lots of money. 

This time I had a chat with the young people who managed the museum who know nothing of the history of this place except what they read in the history book. It different with me or my generation. I live during the colonial era. My eldest sister whose husband work as a driver live and raised her family in Sungai Lembing. From time to time we would visit her and at time slept at her house near the river [Sungai]. At that time, the place was a different world since it has its own supermarket that sell all the imported European goods which at that time could not be obtained in the other towns in Malaya. In those days to get to Sungai Lembing town one had to take a boat from Kuantan town up to Pasir Kemudi and from there take the train to Sungai Lembing. During one of our Scout outing our Scout teacher took us on our first ever train ride and that was to Sungai Lembing. To us kids it was an experience that we enjoyed and remember until this day. Sungai Lembing was a commercial township especially managed to extract Tin ore and other minerals for export back to the UK. It does make the company PCCL rich indeed. 

After the country gain independence in 1957 and then the lease of the place expired, Sungai Lembing was handed over back to the state government of Pahang to manage thus it became a sub district of the District of Kuantan, the state capital of Pahang Since Sungai Lembing is a very important aspect of the Pahang history as well the history of colonization it is only appropriate that a museum of a part of our history is set up. For that the Sungai Lembing Museum is a very important institute to have. I am glad that the local authority made a wise decision in making such museum a reality. I have visited the museum and had a glimpse of the display and happy that it does brought back memories of my past. For the general population go and visit it and understand what colonization is all about especially of how the West exploited our resources for their own benefit. Well go and see and enjoy that visit and in the process, be educated as well. 

Have a nice day. 

Friday, June 2, 2017

Sultan Abu Bakar Museum, Pekan...

I was in Kuantan two weeks ago and decided to make a visit to Pekan the royal town of Pahang. There is a new museum, the Sultan Abu Bakar Museum there albeit an old one that had been refurbished and upgraded. Pekan been the royal town of Pahang and the oldest among the town in the state have many artifacts and memorials that of historical significant. I believe most was lying in the many small palaces or istana as usual are in a royal town and Pekan is no exception. The authority decided to place all the priceless artifacts in one building. 

An old build that is a museum piece itself have been converted and most if not all the relevant artifact has been transferred to this new museum and displayed in various room there. On my first visit, I had a glimpse of what in store there and happy that they have done a professional job in displaying the artifact, as well using computer to provides more information to visitors. Since this was my first visit there I decided to just take a general look at all that are been displayed. I must come again to get a closer look at all those priceless items been displayed. I am from the state of Pahang, being born and bred in Kuantan a town just 46 kilometers away thus I have been to this town many times before. As a Pahangnite I am indeed proud that the state authority has found in their heart to have such an important museum here, in Pekan where the history of the state itself has it beginning. The museum is setup in a sprawling space with a garden frontage, which itself is a tourist attraction. For tourists, this is indeed a worthwhile place to visit and see for oneself part of the history of the state of Pahang.  

Have a nice day.         

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Iftar @ Ramadan...

We are now at the beginning of Ramadan. It is a spiritual journey that Muslim all over the world take during the month of Ramadan of the Islamic calendar. During this whole month Muslim would fast during the day and break the fast at Sunset. That moment is call Iftar or Buka Puasa in Malay. Iftar [the breaking of the fast] is done at one's house or at the local mosque. Where families members live nearby like ours the whole families would Buka Puasa at our house. Remember after fasting for the whole day everyone is not in the mood to go out, thus the buffets at the hotel is out of question. So, the best place is at one's house where the atmosphere is relaxing. We really need a relaxing atmosphere to buka puasa and there should be no rush in doing it. The ritual is always the same; when the Azan is heard we break the fast by taking some hot or cold sweet drink and Dates. Then go and perform the Maghrib prayer. Only after that one start to enjoy the first meal of the day. Then after relaxing for a while one may go to the local mosque to perform the Insya prayer follow with the Tarawih prayer or do the Insya prayer or the Tarawih prayer at home.

Have a great Ramadan folks. 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

My Kampong; Kuantan...

Last week I went back to Kuantan and stayed there for three night at my home away from home, the Vistana Hotel. While there I relived my childhood memories, as well visit places like Sungei Lembing, In Sungei lembing was the largest load Tin Mine in the world during the colonial era. There is a museum there now, housed in the once bungalow of the top British administrator of that place. the local call the Tuan Besar. The next day went to Pekan and visit the newly refurbished museum there, the Sultan Abu Bakar Museum. It houses priceless artifact of an era gone by. I like the way the museum is managed and may visit it again in the near future. As usual I went to the Teluk Cempedak beach, a beach that I called my own. I grew up here and always never far away from the beach and the sea. Thus, it has become part of me; I love the salty smell of the sea air as well the sound of the sea bashing the shore endlessly all days and nights. It kept the golden sandy beach clean just like before. In my teens, it was a place we kids would go camping on weekends, learn to swim as well respect the sea. I have always love the sea and the environment around it. That is why even at this age of late seventies I kept going back there. At time, early in the morning to watch the sunrise or in the evening to enjoy the fresh air or just walk along the beach. I have decided to go back to my Kampong Kuantan more often now. In a way to enjoy the remaining part of my life at the place where I was born and bred. So, folk’s life is like that; old age brings back memories of the past and I loved it. 

Have a nice day.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Neighborhood...

I always take a walk in the afternoon around the neighborhood just to keep me fit. It just a walk and at time I would stop at a friend's house and chat on the roadside or in the house. After a while I would continue my walk. Then would sit a while on the bench at the park nearby before going home. One day while taking a walk around the neighborhood I met a friend Ramlee who always ride a bike. He stops by me on the roadside and we chat. He told me that he just heard that Cikgu Razak of Jalan 2 had passed away. I was shock since the last time I met him was at the Friday Prayer, he looks cheerful. Then he says another of our friend Taib of Jalan 4 is in hospital and another a Dato who at one time head a bank has totally lost his memory. The last time I met the Dato was at a Supermarket nearby. He looks sick with his dear wife holding his hand. He could not really remember me. I wished him well. Some time later at KLCC I met a friend Lokman whose wife died a year ago.  Over coffee at La Cucur there we chat on life. He says that he is now lonely and that with the demise of his wife he no longer have anyone to quarrel. We laugh! I agreed with him fully. Well folks at this age what I related here is a common happening with folks like me living in our golden years. So, folks do enjoy life, for life is like that. 

Have a nice day.

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Copper Pots....


These are the a copper pots that I inherited from my father. He had numbers of it in various sizes for cooking at the restaurant or at Kenduri. At that time, it was difficult to get such pots in Malaya so he got his friends from Kerala to bring a few and this is the smallest in size. When the restaurant was closed my younger brother, who managed the restaurant after the demised of our father took it to his house and kept it in his store. I went to have a look and it was all blacked with soothes after many years of uses for cooking. I told my brother to let me have two of the smallest and he agreed.  I then took it to my house in Kuala Lumpur. Both were used for decoration. When the kids got their own house, I decided to give both to them, sort of passing down of an inheritance that is priceless. Once belong to their grandfather. A part of our family history. 


Have a nice day.

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Smell of Spices...

Spices is part of our cooking culture. Never a day we are without it in our cooking, it always there in the kitchen. A Malay kitchen is never complete without the various spices in its larder. Always ready to be used in the cooking especially the creation of a good Curry. I  love the smell of spices thus I also use it to give a spicy smell to my dinning area or the other part of the house. Above is a concoction of spices that I had put in a container to enhances the environment of my Serambi or Patio.  It does provides an aroma of its own to  my little space on the front of the house. Loved it. 

Have a nice day.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Kepal a Traditional Malay cake...



I am not sure whether you folks out there know about the delicious simple traditional kueh that is made of leftover rice. We call it Kepal but maybe others may have another name for it. Anyhow it the period before the coming of the refrigerator where it difficult to keep leftover rice overnight. It would go stale or Basi in Malay. Nothing could be done about leftover rice that is left overnight except to feed the chicken in the early morning. Since steamed rice cannot be kept overnight and carry forward like we do now by putting it in the fridge and reheat it the next day, folks during that period came out with an ingenious way of turning the leftover rice into cake before it goes stale. When I was growing up at my father’s restaurant in Kuantan before we had the fridge, the restaurant at time has left over rice, so with ingenuity they found a way to turn the leftover rice into other food that could consumed later. They turn the leftover rice into Kepal. At individual home housewife do that too and enjoy it at teatime. What folks at that time did was to dry in the Sun the leftover rice that is yet to go stale. It may take hours or days before the leftover rice is completely dried. It is then fry lightly; then shred coconut and palm sugar are added. The mixture is then pound into rough pulps using lesong. It is then mold by hands and turned into a small kueh that we call Kepal. Ready to eat.  Voila! you got there a delicious kueh made of leftover rice. Nowadays I no longer see such cakes since folks no longer need to turn it into Kepal. Leftover rice can now be kept fresh for a long time in the fridge. Now I do miss the Kepal. Anyone out there who still makes this Kepal, would love to have some. My two cents.