Thursday, February 19, 2009

A DAY WITH A POLITICAL BLOGGER

Was it a day? No, not even a day but more of just half a day with this prominent political blogger from Kuantan, Pahang by the blogname of Sakmongkol AK47. Check out his blogsite as I won't be telling more about him here. Suffice to say that I always refer to him as Dato' Sak.
The other blogger from Pasir Mas by the name of Mat Cendana of the recently renamed Mat Cendana's BLOG REVIEW did mention in passing about this meeting at his site. He has yet to write much about it though he took lots of notes during the chat we had at The White House Kopitiam in Kota Bharu. So watch out for Mat Cendana's post on this as I think it will be quite explosive. My site is not a SoPo blog so nothing much about politics will appear here though a few times I did a mild outburst to indicate my displeasure over certain matters.
I don't really know for sure what mission Dato' Sak came to town this time. From earlier previous interactions he had been contemplating coming to KB for quite sometimes. He has his roots here and probably he wants to trace that root. For that I promise to help him if only he will give me some clues later. You know I have a knack of tracing people if they are in Kelantan but failed miserably if they were somewhere else around the globe. Hey I am no Bala PI.
Earlier plan was for him to come with Datin Mamasita of the blog mamasita mamamia! and I have invited them to stay in my mosquito infested humble abode in Pasir Mas but the plan didn't seem to materialise due to Datin's need to look after their schooling children. So it was just Dato' Sak and his friend Zul this time around.
Dato' Sak and Zul wasn't familiar with the hotels in Kota Bharu as his last call to KB was a couple of long years ago. He asked me for recconmendation of suitable family hotels in town and straight to my mind I recconmended Ridel Hotel, Riverview Hotel and Royal Guesthouse and I did mention the Ranaissance Hotel as one of the top hotels in town. Unfortunately Ridel's wifi fascilities was out of order and being a blogger, a wifi fascility is a MUST! So off he went to the next posh looking hotel Riverview which was just across the new block of yet to be opened Pelangi Mall along the same road as Ridel Hotel. It seemed that this hotel has been upgraded to a more expensive hotel beyond the price that I used to know. So the next choice is the Royal Guesthouse which was sitting next to the Muhammadi Mosque. This guest house is unque in that it is the only two storey budget hotel with a lift. It was a walkup before when it was known as The Safra Inn but after a complete massive renovation and refurbishment, it was turned into a beautiful gusthouse befitting the royal title. With good wifi, blogger Dato' Sak was blissfully happy there.


The Royal Guesthouse is located near to many places of interest in Kota Bharu.

Due to personal reason I didn't get to meet Datok' Sak on his arrival or for dinner that night. I just wanted him to rest and explore the small town with Zul. I know for sure he will be quite safe there as Dato' Sak is a Tomoi fan and his friend Zul can intimidate any would be mugger around. I promised to meet him for breakfast the next day.
I had to go to Kampong Kenjung to fetch Mat Cendana as waiting for him to meet me in Pasir Mas will mean a loss of time due to the uncertainty of the public transport available. Afterall all the distance was not that far and almost on the dot we were at Royal Guesthouse at 8.40 AM as promised.
There at the lobby, for the first time I met Dato' Sak in person.
Breakfast is where else but at the White House kopitiam just behind the Royal Guesthouse. We just walked there. The place was full and not a single vacant table was available. I saw a table with just a couple sitting there and I know the guy as En. Sayuti Mokhtar of RTM Angkasapuri but his name completely left me and I was ashamed of myself for not being able to introduce him to Dato' Sak. Nevertheless we had to sit somewhere to have breakfast. I asked En Sayuti to allow us to join his table with his wife and later his son came to join him.


We had to join En Sayutti Mokhtar's (blue T) table due to lack of place. Dato' is on the far right with MC partially hidden. (I couldn't get his permission to post his picture when he didn't answer my call this morning) Zul is in the striped read shirt with En. Sayutti's son beside him and En. Sayutti's spouse partially hidden.

We didn't talk much during breakfast as the place was not conducive to even small chats.
After breakfast I took the group for a short tour of Kota Bharu with emphasis on Pasar Buluh Kubu, Pasar Khadijah where Datin will be certainly be interested to know when she joins him on the future trips.
Of particular interest to Dato' Sak was the location of Yati Ayam Percik. He failed to locate it the previous night and had to do with nasi lemak at the riverfront near Ridel Hotel.
Then we moved on to Jalan Pantai Cahaya Bulan and I took a detour to Kuala Besar and showed Dato' the Pulau Suri Homestay at the estuary of the Kelantan River before going to Pantai Cahaya Bulan. Pantai Cahaya Bulan was renamed from the more famous Pantai Cinta Berahi when the present state government took over. Since the initials PCB is retained, the name of the beach was not lost in lustre even though the beach itself took a bad beating from big waves. PCB is no more the beach of old where the likes of U Lee of A Moonlight Rendezvous fame used to remininsce about in his blog.
PCB should be visited in the evening as the setting sun will bring about a an ambience extremely fine for dining in the open air. The place is famous for its 'colek' made up of mostly fried sea food and some stalls do offer freshly cooked dishes. I impressed upon Dato' to bring Datin here.
On the return trip to Kota Bharu we stopped at Che Minah Songket. Fortunately the owner of the establishment was around to show Dato' the looms and show how songket is weaved the traditional way.
We later came to know that the owner is a close associate of Dato' Ibrahim Ali from his student days at ITM. Later he showed his most expensive piece of songket which he sells at a whopping RM5,500.00 and Dato' commented a similar piece was sold to a minister at double the price! Some business people are lucky.

Dato' Sak was shown around the weaving demonstration area.

One for the album with the owner of Cik Minah Songket. Picture taken by Mat Cendana. Yours truly is of course in the dark T. MC was a smart photographer as he had left out my old shoes out of the frame.
We then headed back to the White house. The place was almost empty and over cold drinks we chatted to our heart's content without a care about peering ears.
Next we headed to Restoran Cikgu at Kampong Kraftangan almost opposite to the Royal Guesthouse. It was so convenient. Mat Cendana asked to be excused because he had something urgent to finish up with his publishers online. Though it was just 12.30PM, the place began to fill up. We were lucky to be early as we had a choice of table near the counter where Cikgu Hamid himself was manning it.
It was nasi ulam all the way. It was the simplest of food as all we had was assorted fresh and boiled 'ulam' with some grilled fish and Datok had a few fried fish. Nothing pretentious. Since Dato' did't take 'budu' (fish sauce), he had his sambal which he considered to be very delicious. Datin must come and learn how to do this sambal from Cikgu Hamid. With that sambal alone Datin can hold Dato' Sak to ransom for the rest of his life. Zul and me digged on the 'ulam', with grilled unsalted fish in the 'budu' with a dash of 'tempoyak' (fermented durian) with chili padi. Cikgu Hamid's son who came to tally the price was surprised that we didn't take much 'lauk'.
Who says you need to have expensive food to enjoy a meal?
Later Cikgu Hamid joined our table and he left for awhile to bring his signature dish of ikan patin masak asam pedas for promotion to our table. He claimed the fish were kept alive fresh in the containers near the kitchen. We sampled it and I bet all of us were turned on by the dish. Unfortunately we had our fill, otherwise we may have to go for another round.
Before Cikgu Hamid left our table, he left his business card. This is his business card.

Very practical business card. Should you have an entertaiment account, just fill in the details and you can recoup some of your investment from your company. Otherwise the cash bill can serve the same purpose as a business card with more information to boot.
The next time Dato' Sak comes visiting, I hope mamasita will be with him as by now she will realised how much she had missed. I know this is just the recconaisance trip and another trip will be due soon.
We parted ways not long after lunch and I left them at the Royal Guesthouse in Kota Bharu with a very high impression of this political blogger. Above all he is a very humble person extremely easy to get along with. Being very close to those in the higher hierachy of the local political scenes, Dato' Sak left me in awe as a person who can seperate the rice from its chaff. Can we have more of such politicians?

27 comments:

mamasita said...

Hai P.Z.
I love your entry very much! Thank you so much for the lovely description of everything right up to the sweet impression you have for Dato' sak! THANK YOU!
Salam and lots of love for Fatthiyah ye..

de minimis said...

This was the post I was so looking forward to read. I almost felt like I was there with you guys. The types of food sounds great. I was in Kota Bharu last month on business. Only had hotel food at Renaissance. No fun. But it was a last-minute short trip. Next time I'll make sure I contact you and Mat C early, early on :D

Zawi said...

mamasita,
I am lost for words. It would be a different reception if you were around. I guess no one is offended thus far?
Let us hope MC will expand more on the political aspect. I will reserve my political comments for Dato's blogsite.

sherry said...

Pak Zawi.

Yati ayam percik tu famous betul ye... last two years during BOWLING MAKSAK..we all tak lepas peluang makan kat situ..yummy.. feel like going there again now. JOM MAMASITA...itu belum citer pasal Wakaf Che Yeh..

Zawi said...

de minimis,
I am honoured to receive your comment here though what I posted may not be to your expectation. There was definitely no fire or brimstone. Well that is Life As I See It... Just a homely blog.
Sure do call me when you are here. I don't need too much prior notice. Just ensure that I am somewhere in Kelantan and I will soon be within your arms length to shake your hands.

Zawi said...

sherry,
I have eaten their ayam percik since the days when they were peddling their nasi kerabu from their Ford Cortina car boot at the present Dataran Kota Bharu where the pasar malam site was. That was way back in 1986. Now thay are Yati Ayam Percik Sdn. Bhd.
Welcome back then and I will show you the other alternatives. Just leave the and hubbies behind and I will take care of you. Just bring along alot of ringgit though cos Pak Zawi is a retiree who survives on meagre government pension hehehe.

Pokku said...

Salam!
Sayuti was one of my staff when I was in the East Coast. I know his wife too. Nice people.
The last I know about Sayuti is that he is The News Department RTM, Angkasapuri.
Very nice write-up and I am not surprised that White House is full at that hour.

Pokku said...

Correction: "in" the News Department.

Zawi said...

Pokku,
Yes Sayutti is a nice man. Though he doesn't know me personally he always acknowledge it when I greet him. He is still with The News Dept RTM. He came home for holidays in KB for 5 days.
Thank you for the kind words. Hope to play host to you in KB one day.

Nik Bahrum Bin Nik Abdullah said...

Pak Zawi, how unfortunate of me... I think on that day, I was sitting at the round table on your left. I did see somebody taking photographs. What I didn't realise is that you in the table.

Zawi said...

Nik Baharaum,
We are both in Kelantan. We can just meet up at The White House again. Just SMS at 019 9125647.
I am free most mornings and can come from Pasir Mas to meet you or you come to Pasir Mas whichever is convenient.

Zaharan Razak said...

Bro ZA: I see you've beaten me to his AK47 in meeting him for the first time! I was supposed to have met up with him in Kuantan last week but a misdirected sms (on my part) closed the opportunity window as I was "flying" through the town. oh well there's always a next time.

Zawi said...

Bro ZR,
Just my luck. Anyway he is just in Kuantan and you will be definitely be passing by there again or him coming to KT on his onward journey to KB for an encore(this time with Datin in tow).
How is Sura Gate developing?

Covert_Operations'78 said...

LOL @ the very practical business card! Am glad to see that you had a very enjoyable visit.

CO78

mamadou said...

Assalamualaikum Ayoh Awi

Seperti biasa tulisan Ayoh Awi sangat menarik untuk dibaca. Bahasa yang ringkas, mudah difahami tetapi lunak dibaca. Laporan pertemuan dengan dengan seorang ahli politik bukan untuk tujuan politik yang menarik perhatian. Mungkin banyak lagi boleh ditulis tentang mereka diluar gelanggang politik.

Sangat menarik. terima kasih

Zawi said...

CO'78,
Yes I had such a great time. Didn't manage to take him around more.

Zawi said...

mamadou,
Dah terlalu banyak politik sampai dah naik muak dah. Cerita bukan politik lagi menarik.

Mat Salo said...

Bang Z,

One day, one day, Insya'allah kita bisa ngeteh di White House ya Pak?

Dato' Sak tuh a true Tomoi intellectual lah. Great write-up, Pak.

Zawi said...

Bro Mat,
Dato' Sak memang orang tomoi.
Waduh, rindu betul mau ketemu. Bisa jumpa dimana saja. Rumah Putih atau Hitam sama saja asal ketemu. 13 - 17 Mac ada di KL untuk ke MATTA KL. Jumpa disana kalau bapa ada di tanah air ya?

VersedAnggerik said...

Pak Zawi,

meh la jalan kat Kuantan pulak.

U pun dah ada 'fan club' kat Kuantan nih. Hehehe....

Oldstock said...

Salam Pak Zawi,

The way that you have described Dato Sak is just what I've pictured him to be from reading his writings. A humble politician would be remembered for a long time, whatever his political inclination may be.

I was last in KB about two years ago to accompany a nephew getting married to a Kelantanese girl. That Yati Ayam Percik place is so marvellous. We had a sumptuous lunch there. Our family came in four cars and filled up half of the restaurant.

Zawi said...

VersedAnggerik,
Memang teringin lama nak pergi Kuantan. InsyaAllah akan tiba dalam sedikit masa nanti. Kena tunggu cuti sekolah sebab yang sebelah lagi tu belum jemu bekerja sebagai pendidik.
Fan Club? KC ke? Awwww..

Zawi said...

Oldstock,
I just described The Man and that was how I saw him.
Since you have been here since two years ago, it is time for another trip to KB. This time, make it a longer leisurely stay and meet up friends you will be meeting for the first time.
There are more than Yati Ayam Perciks to be discovered in KB. I will help you find more of them.

Anonymous said...

aslmkm..
1st time komen dlm blog ni.
slalunye bace je.best la posting yg pok zawi tulis dlm blog ni.suko la baco...harap pok zawi bulih terus buat posting yg lebih menarik psl negeri kito, kelate ni..

gayong

Zawi said...

yong,
Terima kasih la kerana komen. Lo ni sibuk sikit bab ada buat kerja baru jadi masa agak terhad. InsyaAllah saya akan cuba memasukkan sesuatu yang baru bila ada.

kbguy said...

haha..u are the Bloger Relation Officer as of now.haha.. Great job done !
Btw, can u sent me a sms ? i TERdelete your number masa I change to new pda phone.

Zawi said...

KBguy,
Sent you the sms already