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Tuesday, February 26, 2013


What is the pact with Dolah? Mahathir wrote in his blog. It remained unanswered until today. Najib has that elegance of silence too. Apart from sloganeering (talk is cheap), rebranding is his daily bread. Be innovative he said!

Of what use of new money if it causes confusion in size and colour to the old ones? The new 5sen is almost the same size as 10sen and 20sen, and the new 50sen about that of 20sen old. Occsionally I have been made to look stupid with the confusion.

Size helps to tell coin denominations especially for the blind and when in the dark at pasar malam for example. The numerals must be raised enough on the coin so that one can tell the amount just by the feel of it.

The colour of the new RM20 note  is almost the same as the RM10 note - as if there is no other colour! I could not believe that there are so many stupid people up there.

What's wrong with the old ones? Is it change for the sake of change? Was it a pretext to print fiat money to be doled out to all and sundry and get votes in return? If such are the case then the nation is in deep shit.

It costs money to mint money. Dolah is said to be hand-in-glove with the Australian mint firm.

Najib, like Dolah is a braggard, talking in terms of billions to tell the whole world to invest here, little realising the implication of supposedly skyhigh money coming and to make. It has a triggering effect towards inflationary cost of living. 

His minimum wage policy among others, is poorly planned and hence a blunder that definitely has inflationary effects across the board, industry-wise and to majority of the populace.  FGVH is a farce. His 11x3 years in politics has not prepare him enough to be FM or even PM and he should be due to be replaced.

This man pointing to his egoistic self (second right after the beautiful lady!) is supposed to take care of the Orang Asli and rural development. Yet, he is the one who is responsible for discarding the 1sen coin and rounding-up to the nearest 5 or 10 sen. He can not foresee the ramifications beyond his bloody nose. And this is contradictory to having sensitivity towards the downtrodden. Is he acting as FM? What Zeti has to say? Even the world's greatest economic power value its penny (1cent) in circulation. This Shafie has been desensitisized for being up there in the rich club too long, has not prove his worth, and time for him to go.

Melayu suka menikus dan cari kerja!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Malaya beckoned Bruce Lockhart in 1908 to help open a rubber plantation in Pantai, N. Sembilan. Several of his relatives were already here either with the plantations or tin mines. After 3 years his health deteriorated so badly to the point of death due to malaria that his uncle bundled and shipped him home to Scotland in 1910.

After recovery he went to Europe and Russia probably as a spy for his book 'Secret Agent' was quite a seller but was banned in Malaya. His 'Return to Malaya' tells of his nostalgic visit after a lapse of 25 years to meet his love for Amai, the Dato' Klana's (Sg. Ujong) daughter, his former friends and haunts among other things.

He was a lover of Malays just like Clifford, Speedy, Lewis, Dussek, Winstedt, and Swettenham. People like Carey, Shepard, Hutson, Tate stayed back and converted. I could relate with him somewhat in the grounds he covered al beit partly, the rubber crop he was trying to grow, and perhaps the romance!

After visiting Malaya, Lockhart travelled to many parts of Indonesia.

Blogging has done a good service to me for it provides a reason to browse many books and other publications in keeping to look for pictures and interesting anecdotes. For example, this 'Return to Malaya', has not been read since I bought it from a used book store in the US, a lapse of 25 years!

Sunday, February 17, 2013


Sudah 40 tahun salinan 2-muka surat layang ini disimpan dalam arkib sendiri yang diterima semasa belajar di Kolej Pertanian Malaya, Serdang.

Mei 13 sudah berlaku dan darah Melayu menggelegak. Negara dalam pemerintahan Majlis Gerakan Negara, MAGERAN dan  Tun Razak PM. Beliau berani dan cekap berbanding dengan anaknya kaki slogan!

Zaman internet  ini surat layang sudah usang. Internet terbukti berpengaruh dalam komunikasi dan penggembelingan massa pergolakan di Timur Tengah.

Friday, February 15, 2013


Things have changed. Used to be, the adat Minangkabau was of overwhelming influence in our daily lives in N. Sembilan. An outsider initiated into a  suku would remain as 'menumpang' to be reminded such at times and looked down at.

Along both sides on the banks of the now defunct river (much wider, deeper before and there were ikan kaloi and crocodiles) that supposedly flow to Sg. Muar were shops run by Chinese. They were later relocated to a new village during the communist insurgency under the Briggs Plan.  The river is 'baroh' ie. west in front of my house.

My mother, a Hakka (or Khek) peranakan was adopted at an early age did not say anything about her roots as if taboo. My father also didn't want to talk about it.

I would feel a tinge of disappointment or anger when people talked to her in Chinese. Such feelings deadened my curiousity of her heritage.

We know that she was from Btg. Melaka, some 10 miles away from the kampung. Guess, it's too late now to look for the roots of my Hakka connection for the older generation of Chinese shopkeepers in the new village nearby - Ah Kwai, Ah Leong, Ah Ba, Toh Ee etc who knew her well had long gone. Hopefully, Ah Kok who is in his mid 70's may be able to provide me some information. The old people at Btg. Melaka were also gone.

Map of China showing the region where the Hakkas come from, and architecture of their traditional settlement.
The Hakkas as immigrants worked menially in the tin mines, rubber estates, construction etc. Their hard work paid off and many became rich. Leong Sin Nam was one of the richest tin miner in Ipoh. He built the Eastern Hotel, Tanah Rata (now much renovated by a different owner and given a new name) where I used to frequent in the early 70's. His son is a famous chest physician in Ipoh whom I come to know personally and  through the biography book they published.

One of the peranakan (Baba-Nyonya) heirloom in my keeping. My mother's dodoi: Buai laju2, sampai pokok sena; Apa dalam baju, sekuntum bunga Cina. 
There are countless cases of the early Chinese giving away their daughters especially for adoption by the Malays. This was due to economic hardship and their preference of boys over girls in those days. My sister-in-law, of Chinese parentage was  adopted at preschool age and she too suffers  a similar missing dimension.  

Bilik cantek berbagei bagei,
Dalam kelambu berbau stanggi.
Malam berchakap sampai pagi,
Chuchi muka kiasai pergi.

Hal nikah tepok rebana,
Perkara baik bukannya hina.
Karangan burok tiada guna,
Buat ramai tambah warna.

(Adapted after Si Melata. 1894. Pantun penganten. Dlm Bintang Timor 1(10), 12 Julai 1894. Cited by Tan Cheng Beng. 1982. Mengenai sebuah pantun Baba dan perkahwinan dulu-kala Orang Cina. J Sejarah Melaka 7:42-53)

Sunday, February 10, 2013


I wanted to write on something else in conjunction with the CNY, on Hakka peranakan but could not locate the desired pictures in the file. Instead I found these:

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


The US, France and other countries have been nuke testing since 1940's. What's the fuss with missile testing by N. Korea and Iran developing nuclear power? Go on N. Korea.

They want to intimidate and hence control other countries' resources and affairs. Such is what Israel is doing. The global law is might is right. It must be the animal-man tendencies, uncivilised or civilised so-called. Democracy is dead long time ago.

The Bikini Islands (they call them atolls and bikini as if of no importance!) in the South Pacific were used as sites for nuclear blasting by the Americans (and French?).

The Bikini Islands had to be depopulated and the islanders were transferred out far distant from their homeland, never to return. The atomic nuclear blasts and fallout can contaminate the lands of others but not the imperialists. Peace for them but sufferage others.

Western imperialism, covertly (Opium War, Hong Kong grab, Taiwan divide ...) or otherwise for centuries has been and is still curbing China's  growth which is now unstoppable. What's the fuss of cyber attacks? In the final edict, there is no law. Go on China, let them taste their own medicine!