Friday, April 24, 2009


Dato' Sak and Datin Mamasita

When the SMS came in informing me of the impending arrival of Dato' Sak and his wife Datin Mamasita I was skeptical that I could finish my business there and rush to meet them in Kota Bharu. The SMS told me the estimated time of arrival was 2.00 PM and we were to meet at the White House Kopitiam.

Somehow meeting this couple is more important than the small business that I can always continue the discussion later at another meeting. Afterall this is the first time I am meeting Mamasita after putting off several planned visits earlier. The latest aborted trip was the one on the 11th April 2009 or there about. Since the trip would allow Dato' to attend a Tomoi event being held in Kota Bharu, the cancellation by Datin didn't seem to go well with Dato' Sak. Anyway the cancellation was a blessing in disguise as they had the opportunity to see their eloquent Banun going for a debating competition in Cameron Highlands and bringing home the winner's trophy. Read about it here.
It was before 2.00 when I reached the White House Kopitiam as I don't want my guests to be waiting for me. Seeing the place closed for business, I sent a message informing them of such and told them to meet at Kampung Kraftangan infront of the Royal Guesthouse as Dato' Sak had satyed there on his previous trip. It was a nice small hotel that Dato' came to love very much due to the beautiful room, location and good free wifi.
They replied informing me of a possible delay due to the traffic on the way to Kota Bharu from Kuala Trengganu. With ample time on hand I wondered around the Kampong Kraftangan area. This is what I saw:

A wooden sculptor of a horse.

The sculptor of a cow made of drift wood. I regretted for not showing my guests later of this beautiful work of art.

Loitering around the Kampung Kraftangan compound I saw this two female tourists at a batik printing shop. My curiousity got the better of me and took in the details.

Zecsman Design is a one of a kind where tourists can learn about the basics of batik panting and paint their own piece to take home. Two forms of fabrics were available for guests to choose either cotton or silk and of course the silk piece is more expensive.

Zecsman Design benefited from being listed in the Lonely Planet. Tourists from far and wide know of the place and flock to the place to have a go. Unfortunately not many local tourists know or care to try out.
Batik Painting
Kampung Kraftangan
Jalan Hilir Kota
15300 Kota Bharu
Tel: +6012 9292822

This is the owner himself doing the sketching after the clients have made their selection of the design based on available samples. After the sketching is done he or his assitance will apply the liquid wax on the lines of the sketching. That way the boundary is laid and the colours will not encroach into the other compartments.
Zakaria Jusoh had been in business for the past 6 years. Earlier he had a 3 years training at Intitut Kraf Negara and worked at Pesona Batik for a year before starting this business.
Here you see Sabrina Willems and Jorinda Ballering both are 21 year old students from Holland. They had been in Malaysia doing some research for some two weeks already.

Jorinda doing her batik piece while Zakaria is guiding Sabrina. It will take them about two hours to finish and abit more to dry. I don't know if it will have to go through the other normal process of removing the wax and firming the colors. I think it will be done that way otherwise the colours will run down.
Slightly after 3.00 PM I received a SMS message from Dato' Sak announcing his arrival and asked me to meet him for a late lunch as Restoran Nasi Ulam Kg. Kraftangan or better known as Cikgu Nasi Ulam.
I have had lunch so I didn't manage to eat much. I was surprised to see Datin relish the 'budu' so much but not Dato'. I enjoyed the ikan patin masak asam pedas. It seemed I was the only one who took it.
Cikgu Hamid was not in when we were having lunch and but when he returned, he went straight to our table as he recognized Dato' from his earlier visit. We chatted and exchanged notes. Now we know how close Cikgu Hamid is with the palace as the royalties often come here for lunch. Even royalties from other states patronize this restaurant. When such royalties are involved, valets from the palace will come and serve and Cikgu will just provide the food. Even the crockeries come from there and a set is ket at the restaurant. The servings will be done in the airconditioned room at the end of the restaurant.
It was unfortunate that I couldn't accompany the couple on their shopping for tudungs at Bazaar Buluh Kubu located just around the corner. I have yet to charge my batteries for tonights event of Muay Thai Championship in Rantau Panjang. Dato' hadn't checked out from their hotel in Kuala Terengganu. If they had I would like to have me enjoy the event as he could remove the monkon of one of the fighters fighting that night. As it turned out, both fighters won their fights with knock outs in the second round. It would have been a fitting gift for Dato' Sak who loves Muaythai to open the monkon of either Zariman Yusof or his brother Zariman Yusof who goes by the name of Emi Sampuri. These two nak muays have the potential to become champions given their discipline and hardwork.
After waving goodbye to Dato' and Datin Mamasita, I headed for home with the fond memories of meeting Mamasita for the first time. This is a historic day as from today onwards, Mamasita will be wearing her tudung religiously.
From left: Pak Zawi, Cikgu Hamid, Dato' Sak and Datin Mamasita looking resplendent in her black tudung.

Monday, April 13, 2009


My classmates at Sultan Ibrahim School Pasir Mas. L - R (sitting of course since I am standing) Tuan Haji Azmy Omar Al Ahmadi, Tuan Haji Ab. Rahman Ismail.

Between the three of us we have been keeping a secret. It is now more than 40 years on and the secret is still intact. We haven't forgotten about it since it is still fresh in our mind. Everytime we meet we will mention it and contemplate on telling the persons involved as we guess they wouldn't mind about it. Their anger if there is still any would be gone by now. The last time I broached the idea of revealing the secret to the persons concerned, the other would restrain me from doing it.
On Sunday the 12th of April we met for breakfast at Tuan Haji Azmy's place and took the above photos to remind ourselves that our secret is still a secret to our other classmates.
Hopefully one day we will reveal the secret to the persons concerned and I believe they will just laugh about it.
I will reveal the secret once we decide that it has been long enough and we just forgive and forget among the persons concerned as we are getting old and may not live long enough to ask for forgiveness. Afterall what we did was in the line of duty.
To those classmates of mine of the batch of 1968, can you guess what is the secret about?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Gempar Di Stadium Sultan Muhamad IV

Kelmarin 8 April 2009 Sang Kelate (Wan Asmadi) seorang blogger yang Pak Zawi belum pernah jumpa menelifon Pak Zawi mengajak untuk menonton bolasepak antara Kelantan dan Selangor pada 11 April 2009 sebagai usaha untuk berjumpa bagi kali pertama. Dia menceritakan bahawa dia telah 20 tahun tak tengok bola dan perlawanan yang dia saksikan semalam anatara Kelantan dan Negeri Sembilan dimana Kelantan tewas 0 -1 berkesudahan dengan kekecohan. Peristiwa bermula dengan penjaga gol Halim Napi bertindak ganas keatas pemain Sebenarnya ini bukan sebab utama mengapa penonton mengganas kata beliau. Penonton mengganas hingga membakar kereta polis kerana pihak polis telah memukul terok saorang penonton yang disyakki membaling botol sedangkan penonton ini tidak berbuat demikian. Penonton yang melihat peristiwa itu merasa simpati kepada penonton ini kerana rayuan beliau supaya pukulan dihentikan tidak berjaya. Ini adalah cerita Sang Kelate. Pak Zawi tidak pergi pun.

Yang Pak Zawi lihat adalah peristiwa gempar yang berlaku semasa malam kedua Kejohanan Tomoi TM-WMC International Muay Thai Challenge ditempat sama pada 28 Mac 2009. Kerana tidak puas hati kepada keputusan pengadil dua orang penonton telah membaling botol air mineral ke atas pentas (ring) selepas perlawanan berlangsung dan keputusan diumumkan. Sekali lagi pihak sekuriti (termasuk anggota polis bertugas) telah bertindak ghairah untuk menangkap penonton kedua yang membaling botol yang dapat dicamkan. Perkara yang sama berlaku, penonton lain bertindak untuk menghalang pihak sekuriti dari menangkap pesalah membaling botol maka berlakulah kerusi melayan.

Peristiwa ini tidak di hebohkan sehingga seminggu kemudian apabila part time stringer The Star CA Zulkifli menghantar berita kepada akhbar tersebut. Akhbar lain patuh kepada rayuan YB Takiyuddin yang meminta berita ini tidak disensasikan demi kesinambungan Tomoi di Kelantan. Keaddan kemabali reda dan kejohanan diteruskan dengan satu perlawanan yang amat hebat diantara Robert 'The Terminator' dan Kent Salsaloon kedua-duanya dari Thailand yang berkesudahan dengan kemenangan oleh Kent.

Rayuan YB Dato' Takiyuddin ini tidak diendahkan oleh pemberita The Star, kerana dia kini memperolehi 'scoop' apabila akhbar lain yang hadir malam tu tidak menyiarkan berita ini. Mereka cuma menyiarkan berita kejohanan tetapi tidak The Star. Pak Zawi sedih kerana jurugambar The Star yang hadir malam tu adalah kenalan Pak Zawi. Dia sepatutnya menasihatkan Zulkifli supaya tidak melaporkan berita itu kerana ianya telah seminggu berlaku. Berita yang seminggu bukan lagi berita. Ini adalah jelas satu niat yang tidak baik oleh akhbar ini. Kini Tok Guru Menteri Besar sedang menimbangkan kemungkinan mengharamkan sekali lagi permainan Tomoi di Kelantan.

Kalau Tomoi nak diharamkan, tidakkah patut bolasepak juga patut diharamkan? Kalau bolasepak diharamkan Kerajaan Negeri Kelantan akan jimat RM700,000 kerana ini adalah peruntukan uang disediakan untuk bolasepak Negeri Kelantan. Kerajaan Negeri tidak memperuntukkan sa sen pun untuk Tomoi atau kini dikenali sebagai Boksing Kelantan.

Pak Zawi rasa kita haramkan bolasepak tetapi tidak Boksing Kelantan. Kita jadikan saja Stadium Sultan Muhamad IV sebagai stadium Boksing Kelantan terbesar didunia yang akan mengalahkan Stadium Lumpinee dan Rajadamoen di Thailand.

Apa kata anda sekalian?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Advancement In Technology

A year ago when I was asked about the size or capacity of thumb drive (pen drive to some people) available in the market I would say 8 GB. I was amazed that the answer was 16 GB. When I was asked again today I answered 32 GB, doubling the capacity of what I know as available currently. Yes 32 GB pen drives are coming to our shore soon. Someone in the know said 32 Gb is already available in Penang.

In the excitement, my cousin who had just returned from Shanghai early this year was gigling while he was rummaging through his computer bag for something. After finding it, he held it out to me to see and read the number indicating the size of the pendrive. It was a chilly red Sony pen or thumb drive.

Can you guess the size or capacity of it?

Scroll down for the picture and if you can't read the figure on the drive, the answer is below the picture.






120 GB.

You need a high speed processor to access it. If your computer is a slow one, don't waste your money on this though it costs only about RM100 in China.

Today when we met again, my cousin said he lost the drive. It must have slipped out of his pocket and it was never to be found.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

New Friends From Sweden - The Cedhagens.

The Cedhagens from Sweden. L - R: Lena, Tomas, Carl and Ingrid.

Tomas pointed excitedly to a Volvo 122 parked near The Padang Bank in Kota Bharu when we passed by it in my car on our way for a look around the town of Kota Bharu with the rest of his family. He volunteered the information that his father produced some parts for the car! That was exciting news as I was once a proud owner of this classic car built in mid sixties. Mine was made in 1966. Pak Idrus whom Tomas will be meet up while in KL is a proud owner of one too.
Tomas Cedhagen is a marine biologist and came to Malaysia for a holiday with his wife Lena, a busy company director, son Carl Johan 12 and daughter Ingrid 10. They had just came over to Kota Bharu after enjoying a couple of days sojourn on the beautiful islands of Perhentian. While there Carl did his PADI licence but unfortunately Ingrid wasn't able to do that being under the permissible age for such a licence.

Malaysia is not a foreign to Tomas since many many years ago he was here once and met my friend Zaharan Razak while teaching at one of the Universities here. It was through Zaharan Razak that Tomas' impending arrival in Kelantan was made known to me. Zaharan wanted to know if I maybe interested to befriend his friend from Sweden. Why not, I said. A friend of Zaharan's is also a friend of Pak Zawi.

Tomas sent a message on Facebook to me while still on the island advising me of his estimated time of departure from the island and also the estimated time of arrival at the Riverview Hotel in Kota Bharu where he had booked a room.
I went to the hotel at five o'clock and joined them for coffee because they have yet to complete their meal.

Photograph taken by Ingrid.

At the hotel lobby I saw a copy of Qiadah, a magazine published by Perbadanan Menteri Besar Kelantan. Pak Zawi contributed three articles to that second issue which I made Lena hold in her hands for a photograph. They will pore over the magazine when they return to their room later.

Lena holding the Magazine.

While showing them about the many places of interest in town which they could do on foot the next morning namely the War Museum, The Handicraft Village, Pasar Besar Siti Khadijah and Bazaar MPKB, we stopped at Arked Kota Bharu since Lena wanted to buy some gems.

Faizal the gems dealer showed some gems to the Cedhagens.

Due to time constrain as we were in a hurry to move on to Tumpat to see some Buddhist Temples as Carl is interested to study the various world religions. Faizal the gem dealer gave Tomas his contact number and expressed his willingness to open the stall the next day which was a Friday and a holiday in Kelantan should the Cedhagens have the intention to visit again. Faizal speaks English so he was able to communicate with them.

We proceeded to Tumpat where the Buddhist temples were located. Initially I offered them the choice of either the Reclining Buddha or the Sitting Buddha as these are the two significant ones in term of size. They prefer to let me make the choice for them to which I said I prefer both. Before making the turn into the temple compound I told the children to close their eyes. Upon stopping the car only were they allowed to open them again. The wow! that came from their mouth was stupendous.

Tomas posing in front of the reclining Buddha, purported to be the longest in South East Asia.

I saw this pomelo like fruit in the compound of the temples with numbers on it. Tomas asked me what the numbers mean. Some people must be playing cranks on punters by displaying these numbers. Who knows some punters may have made a strike by betting on these numbers?

At the tortoise pond, Tomas expertly explained to us all the various species of tortoises in the ponds and pointed out the local species against the introduced ones. He is so knowledgeable about his line of business.

Next we moved on to the Sitting Buddha further up to Tumpat. We spent sometimes at this temple. We had to start back to Kota Bharu due to the darkening sky. It rained quite heavily while we were on the way back to Kota Bharu but ceased by the time we reached the hotel.

As a token of friendship The Cedhagens gave me this beautiful key chain with a small replica of The Mermaid being the famous symbol of Coppenhagen embossed on it. Unfortunately I brought nothing to reciprocate with. We bid farewell to each other. Though it was a short acquaintance, hopefully the friendship established will last forever.

To the Cedhagens, I would like to wish you a happy stay while in Malaysia.