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Sunday, November 30, 2014


Researchers examining a deep peat area where sago to be planted, Dalat, Sarawak.

Rumie Malie (2nd right), a qualified chemical engineer was one of my research officers working at the Sago Research Station, Dalat. He was a dedicated and innovative worker, more on the quiet side though. He was able to put a sago mill that had been closed down for some years into functioning again. 

After working on sago for some years he decided to join the Department of Environment based in Kuching when tragedy happened, something like the case of Beng Hock. The cause of death unsolved!

Did Rumie Azzan Mali jumped to his death at his 9th floor DOE office, Kuching in 2005? The case has not been solved after several inquests. Below is part of article (revised) I wrote in NST, Apr 18 2005 titled "Honest and Dedicated Officer".

"... Rumie told me that he wanted to join the Sarawak DOE to further his studies. His father was retiring from the Pejabat Agama Islam, Kuching, and also he wanted to be in Kuching so that his two boys would receive a better education.

I was stunned when I heard the news of his death, especially when it was rumoured that he jumped nine floors from his workplace. Why would a man of principle with a stable family, who had just been to a new working place for some months want to terminate his life? I vouch for his honesty.

A man of his nature is not easily corrupted. Perhaps he stumbled onto something that would put somebody high up into trouble. With his passing there are many questions to be answered in the following investigations and inquests. 

The circumstances of his death were mysterious. Not long after his death his director moved from Kuching to Johore Bahru. Was there a conspiracy and cover-up at high places? Were there professional killers paid to do the job? I strongly believed he was murdered.

His family, parents, relatives and circle of friends surely want to clear his name. Only then will part of their sadness fade away." 

An office building at the Sago Research Station, Dalat where we were doing trials.

Rumie (rightmost) and his crew of workers.

Rumie (left) talking to a visitor in a sago mill, Mukah. Ah Ho, owner-manager of the mill (Rt).

Saturday, November 29, 2014


Epoch voyage
At dawn of Tuesday, September 20, 1519 Magellan in his flagship ‘Trinidad’ set from San Lucar, Spain for the epoch voyage. The four sister ships were ‘San Antonio’, ‘Concepcion’, ‘Victoria’ and ‘Santiago’. The crew numbered 267 men consisting of many nationalities including Malays, Moors, and other natives. Antonio Pigafetta, an Italian knight was the historian of the expedition. 

A Malay from Traprobana (Sumatra?) given a Christian name by Magellan, Enrique became the interpreter-slave and foster-son of Magellan. In case of Magellan’s untimely death, Enrique was left a will that he would be a free man with an inheritance of 10,000 maravedis.

The five ships sailed westwards and reached the coast of Brazil. When the captains of three of Magellan’s ships mutinied they were quelled and the leaders executed. One of the ships later deserted and returned to Spain. Just to the year after setting sail Magellan crossed the straits around Patagonia which now bears his name. With four ships left in the flotilla they sailed across the Pacific and after much deprivations landed at Guam on March 6, 1521.

It was a very historic event when on March 17, 1521 Magellan made landfall in the Philippines at an uninhabited islet of Homonhon, south of Samar. They exchanged gifts with food brought by several natives who came in a boat from a neighbouring island. When they sailed to Limasawa, another island south of Leyte, Enrique was made to good use to communicate in Malay with Rajah Kolambu, king of the island-kingdom. A blood compact (kasikasi) was sealed.

Magellan was over-zealous in trying to convert the natives to Christianity. Under the guise of friendship and a show of force bedazzled the natives. Out of fear and bewilderment on the part of Rajah Kolambu , along with his brother Rajah Siagu and subjects of the former, they kissed the cross of the Spaniards. That was on 31 March, 1521.

On Sunday, April 7, 1521 Magellan reached the port of Cebu. Rajah Humabon ruled Cebu with eight chieftains and 2,000 lancers. By the week’s end about 800 Cebuans had converted including the Rajah who was given a new name, Carlos. Their pagan idols were burnt.

Defiant Lapu-Lapu
Lapu-Lapu, the chieftain of Mactan, an islet near Cebu refused to obey Magellan’s order to recognize Rajah Humabon as the king of all the chieftains in the region. On April 27, Magellan invaded Mactan with 60 Spaniards in three vessels and 1,000 Cebuan allies in praus. Magellan dispatched an ultimatum to Lapu-Lapu to which came the reply “I submit to no king and pay no tribute to any power. If our enemy have lances, we have also lances of bamboo and stakes hardened in fire”.

The reefs and shallow water prevented the boats to land. Magellan boasted and wanted to show the natives how Europeans fight. He picked 49 of his men, leaving 11 to guard the boats and waded to the shore. Magellan’s men fired the first shots from their arquebuses. The Mactans having waiting patiently for the attack now threw their weapons consisting of spears, arrows, flaming stakes, and arrows upon the invaders.

Magellan ordered his men to burn the Mactans’ houses. This enraged the natives further and attacked the enemies with full fury. Hard-pressed on all sides, Magellan ordered a retreat to the boats. They were in heavy armour and could not move fast in the shallow water. To cover his men, Magellan bravely stood ground and fought the Mactans.

Death of Magellan
‘A poisoned arrow wounded him in the right leg; twice his helmet was knocked off his head; and a bamboo spear struck him in the face. He tried to draw his sword from its scabbard; but he could not do it, for another spear had wounded his right arm. One of the Mactans slashed him on the leg, causing him to fall with face downward. And immediately other Mactan warriors pounced upon him and killed him with their spears and bolos.’

Pigafetta survived the fight with a swollen wound in the face. Eight other Spaniards were killed but many were wounded. Enrique was wounded slightly. Of the Mactans fifteen were killed. Lapu-Lapu became a Filipino hero as the Malay chieftan who repulsed Magellan’s invasion.

The Cebuans on seeing that the Spaniards were not invincible killed many of them. The survivors managed to sail away in three of the ships but one was later burned because of lack of men. The two remaining ships used captured natives to guide them to Borneo. They landed at Brunei and was welcomed by Sultan Siripada.

Returning to Spain
The two remaining ships, Victoria and Trinidad using forced guides managed to reach Moluccas. Sultan Almanzor, ruler of Tidore welcomed the Spaniards and gave them food. The ships were repaired and replenished. It was decided that Victoria under the command of Sebastian del Cano, and laden with a cargo of spices and a crew of 60 men – 47 Europeans and 13 Malays to return to Spain via the Cape of Good Hope. While the Trinidad set sail through the Pacific to Panama.

On Saturday, September 6, 1522, the Victoria, with tattered riggings and 18 haggard survivors, entered the port of San Lucar de Barrameda of Spain from where it started two weeks less than three years ago. 

Notwithstanding his great navigational achievement, Magellan was disgraced in Spain for his alleged cruelty and disloyalty, and in Portugal he was announced as a traitor. 

Enrique became a free man and the first Malay to sail round the world in 1522!


Gara Najib ada mirip Shah Jahan, Maharaja Mughal yang membina Taj Mahal untuk isteri kesayangannya. Mengapa tidak? 

Bila jadi PM tidak teragak menghabiskan RM65 juta duit rakyat membaiki kediaman resmi di Putrajaya. Ini bersamaan 65 condo lembu, atau 1000 rumah rakyat! Lepas itu dia slogankan "Rakyat didahulukan". Amat berpura-pura, Pretender.

Untuk membina kediaman tersebut (sebelumnya) entah berapa juta pula dibelanjakan.  

Keborosan Brimmer  terserlah seperti 1MDB, RM7.2 bilion untuk konsultan, RM100juta untuk PERMATA tiap tahun ... Bila hutang negara bertimbun dan simpanan merosot tonyoh GST kapada rakyat. 

Taj Mahal

Rajah istana Maharaja Mughal

Taman persiaran Shalimar, Mughal


Thursday, November 27, 2014


The Chinese, who are they? They are what they are today through blood, sweat and tears (see my recent posting, Nov. 14). They do not need tongkat or what. They can make it on their own anywhere in the world (see my posting on The Great, Great Wall of the World, Nov. 4). 

But Najib wants a free ride on them and use them as a Trojan Horse for his political survival. To the Chinese, this presents no problema because they know how to get the better of the situation. They would be the winners at the end of the day.

Finally, Brimmer found himself hanging up there (trying to make the right decisions!) by a small limb which may break any time. Do not put us Malays to shame by selling our maruah Jib. It is your own doing for being a political pretender all these 3x11 years of nothing really that you have learned.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


The 'Ring of Fire' around the Pacific Ocean is where volcanic and earthquake activities regularly occur. Indonesia and the Philippines lie along the Ring of Fire. Malaysia lies away from the ring and thus safe from catastrophes.

The 'Ring of Fire' coincides along the fissures (pic) of the earth's tectonic plates in the Asian region.

Diagrammatic cross-section of the earth showing the layers of crust, inner mantle, outer mantle, liquid outer core, and solid inner core.

Eruption of a volcano. Fissures along tectonic plates are weak points where magma originated from the liquid outer core can violently forced out through the vent and crater of volcano.

Krakatoa volcano on the south-eastern coast of Sumatra erupted in1882. The ash formed black clouds that circulated around the globe.

In the Philippines, Mt. Pinatubo was dormant for some 500 years. About 15 years ago, it suddenly erupted with such force that thick lava and ash covered the American Naval base located at its foothill, Subic Bay. The Yankees left.

Japan situated along the Ring of Fire had its worst 20th century earthquake (Tokyo) in 1923 that caused 200,000 deaths.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Lotus posture showing symbols for the 7 psychic centres, or chakras.

Transcendental meditation, as thought by Maharashi Yogi (centre) helps the Beatles escape the pressures. Pictures with their guru, or teacher, are from left to right, Paul with actress Jane Asher and John, George, and Ringo.


Cut Nyak Dien (1850-1908) has been proclaimed as a National Hero of Indonesia. She, along with her father, husband and many brave people fought against Dutch expansion in Aceh. Also, they had to wage war within ie. against their own people who turned Dutch accomplices and spies and thus traitors.

 Cut Nyak Dien (2nd from left) at Sumedang,West Java under banishment.

Monday, November 24, 2014


After independence in 1957, rubber estates were gradually sold off because the colonialists felt insecure of their investments if their properties would be nationalised. To facilitate such, the estates were fragmented into smaller pieces making them affordable to more buyers especially the Chinese. Overnight the Chinese as a whole became owners of large tracts of fertile and productive land.

The (rural) Malay villagers located around estates eke their living on small plots of marginal land for the good land had been mapped out for estate use earlier. They were in no position to buy the plots of fragmented estates for sale. As a result the Malays as a whole became (relatively) of lesser ownership of land. 

Tun Razak in the 60's mooted the idea of opening up virgin jungle land in an organised fashion to allocate 6-8ac/family and bring about transmigration of 'landless' rural population to thus further in the interior.

Opening up jungle by contract work followed by planting and maintenance of rubber (later oil palm also) before allocating plots to family ownerships.

FELDA Jengka Triangle, Pahang - wooden houses were ready built for settlers.

Other essential infrastructures besides good roads are also provided to establish somewhat a closed knit and self sufficient environment - schools, mosques, clinics, shops.

Scene at a  FELDA scheme, 1974. The professionally managed FELDA plantations became a success story. 

The father opened up FELDA but the son, a pretender icon harvest the credit and politicised it. He is noted for multibillion financial misgovernance. 

In trying to do the Jokowi way Brimmer and Flom were seen on a Honda cup  in a demo a couple of days ago. Before that they were jet setting far to undisclosed places!

Friday, November 21, 2014


Tapping Gutta-percha tree in the jungle for its latex (before rubber was planted), Malaya.

Bajaus on the Sulu Sea.

Milling coagulated rubber sheets, Malaysia.

Mashing tapioca for flour, Africa.

You for sacrifice to the gods, Aztec, Mexico.

Life of jungle dwellers, Amazon.

Hammer and anvil, too young, Pakistan.

In the outback of outbacks, Australian aborigines.

Ride with the snake, Cambodia.

When monsoons come, India.

Wartorn, Beirut.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Indonesia claimed independence in 1945. In the next decade and following that i.e. 1955-1970, Indonesia was somewhat idolised by Malaysia not for anything else but for there abound a watershed of acclaimed leaders in various fields - economics (Hatta), literature (Mochtar Lubis),  education (S. Takdir Alisjahbana), religion (HAMKA), governance (Soekarno, President), music (Gesang Martohartono of 'Bengawan Solo' fame), Moh Mochtar (movie), Abdul Muis, Koentjaraningrat and many others. 

A number of them contributed towards our development the likes of HAMKA and Alisjahbana. The latter was the Head, Department of Malay Studies at University Malaya (1961-62).

Hatta's house also used for afternoon school.

Hatta, second from left, standing.

Hatta, rightmost.