Friday, December 23, 2011

Just to confirm.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I believe that everyone should write his/her biography. It helps to reflect on ones achievements and failures, it helps to see where one has been and to look ahead (if you have the time) to where one wants to be. No regrets but just nostalgic.

I have always wondered what my parents were like, what life they have had/led, and what were in their minds, what they thought about. Unfortunately my parents were illiterate, thus no record is left behind of their lives. What I have are just memories of them, sweet memories and bitter memories.

I have written my life story, which I started about 20 years ago, which I have kept and keep on editing for about 10 to 15 years, and I have published it. Though its only for my own use, and/or maybe my generations of the future may want to know about me then I have the record. Or just that they may not want to know at all, well its really up to them. But I have my biography written,. I have not published many copies, and I have published that outside Malaysia because in Malaysia publishers will want a minimum number of copies published.

I believe that blog like this is also part of one’s biography.

And in 2004 I had a heart attack and had to be hospitalised. I have written a small book on that, and I wish to share my experience with others and with my future generations.


In Malaysia, looking at the picture/photo outside a box of cigarette would already put you off from smoking cigarettes forever. But the no. of smokers (seems to be in Malaysia) do not seems to have been reduced. Why is this?

Don’t smokers know that they create problems to their own health? Don’t they realise that they are anti-social? Don’t they realise that other people are trying to be healthy, unlike them?

I have a few friends who have died of lung cancer, maybe it might have been caused by some other factors, but smoking may be one of the causes, if not the main cause. I am not an expert in this area, but I have certain articles which say so. Even then why is it that many Governments are not in favour of smoking if they are not a danger to public health? Why is it that in restaurants they have special rooms for smokers and non-smokers are put in other areas? Why is it that in certain factories (in the tropic) they even ask those to smoke to do so outside the building? And yet people smoke.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

For less than RM50

USD1 = RM3.5 presently.

Our dinner at a small restaurant in Kuala Sepetang near Taiping, Perak, Malaysia for the 4 of us only costed us less than RM50. Cheap by any standard when we consider that we had more than 1 kg of fresh sea prawns cooked. Kuala Sepetang is famous for its fresh prawns.

This was the first time that we ever visited the restaurant.

And the restaurants seemed to be well patronised.

And these were the people that made it happened.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Just a private observation in Bandung.

On my recent trip to Bandung I observed certain order of traffic movement made by Indonesian drivers over there. This is not an official but just a private observation made when riding on a small van (Kijang) driven by an Indonesian hired driver. The Indonesian in Bandung drive on the left.

The traffic flow in Bandung was not as heavy as that of Kuala Lumpur, maybe its because of their way of driving or maybe because of the traffic system. I did not observe any roundabout ( I may be corrected in that observation) but I observed triangles where drivers take to turning right using the near side of the triangle or turning left following that side of the triangle. There is a certain ‘give way’ attitude to smoothen the traffic flow. And I observed that those Indonesian drivers were not as aggressive as Malaysian drivers and they do have the sense of ‘give way’.

I observed that if a river wanted to overtake in a heavy traffic, he gave a slight horn and the front driver understood the signal and would let the back driver passed. Even if the back driver wanted to overtake a motorcyclist, he horned to warn the motorcyclist and the motorcyclist would gave away. With such attitude, driving seemed cool, and non-aggressive driving was almost non-existence.

Somehow I did not see many Policemen on the street of Bandung. But I saw on a few occasions where a Traffic Policeman controlling the traffic, and this happened when it was a peak period such as the evening and the morning ‘rush’ hours. But those Indonesian drivers were ‘rushing’ with great patient.

And parking areas are marked on the street (and I do not really know whether the Bandung ‘Town Council’ charged for parking), and private parking areas are charged a certain rate (RP 20,000 per entry I think it was) or a certain tip (expected) to those employed to look after traffic movements in those areas. These ‘employed’ people are very efficient in getting you a parking space (at a fee of course) and very efficient in getting you out of a parking space in such heavy traffic situations. They used whistles to warm of on coming drivers about their ‘client’ wanting to get out of their parking areas. (No Policemen helped). This to me was a very efficient arrangement as it reduced the time for anyone trying to get out of the parking area as well as increasing safety to back out or to move out of a parking area. (I remember that in Thailand they have similar arrangement). These people were probably employed by the building or the business owner (of the building concerned).

And of motorcyclist, they may not follow 100% the rules of crash helmets or the rules of riding a motorbike of more than 2 to a motorbike, but they seemed to be careful lot with no waving among the car traffic, at least the majority of them. And motorcycles speeding? Did not see them in town or on the outskirts of town.

I thought that the traffic arrangement in Bandung was quite efficient. Is that the situation over the whole of Indonesia?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Private thoughts on Bandung experience.

After Raya this year, a friend asked me and my wife to join a Co. trip to Bandung

( All these while I have always avoided any trip to Indonesia, for reasons privy to me alone. But my wife have been to Indonesia many time before.

From the air I saw Bandung. “Quite disorganised” I thought. My prejudice was already showing. And when we landed, we had it easy going through the Immigration and the Custom. And as it was a Co. trip, transport and meals have been arranged, so was accommodation.

We had our first lunch at a Padang restaurant. The food was reasonably good, ……. I had had very limited Padang restaurant experience. One has to go to a Padang restaurant in Indonesia to appreciate what are served and how they serve them.

We checked into a hotel, a small hotel, 4-star they say, in the outskirt of Bandung not too far away from the Airport and the main commercial area. Reasonably good hotel it was. (About RM150 a night stay) Named Karang Setra ( After a short rest, the group had arranged to go shopping at a factory outlet in Bandung. And I must say that there are a lot of factory outlets in Bandung (or is it in the whole of Indonesia?)……. Don’t ask me why and how but there they were …… where one can buy cheap “branded” clothings and accessories. Not only tourists go to these ‘outlets’ but many local also go there. In fact for the next 3 days, the ‘team’ went shopping most of the time in these ‘outlets’. But there are also ‘pasar’ where these are not called ‘outlets’ where local clothings (western and middle eastern designs) are sold at a reasonably cheap price (cheaper than in Malaysia …… probably taking advantage of the cheap labour in Indonesia).

My first impression of Bandung? Life is hard over there. Probably life is hard all over Indonesia for the lower classes but the upper crust of society have it easy. People are basically selling on the streets whatever they can sell. At some traffic junctions they even sells stuff to car occupiers when cars stop at traffic lights. In the markets they even try to persuade you to buy even fancy cloth hangers, fancy stoneware necklaces and even shopping carrying bags. And in the more popular tourist places they even follow you around, ‘selling’ their stuff.

Foodwise, I would say that ‘never’ to eat at street stalls. (on one of my wife’s visits to Indonesia a few years back she ate at one of the street stall in her last day of the visit, and she came back to Malaysia with typhoid). There are many street stalls, of all sorts and one famous food they have is ‘baso’, a sort of soup filled with meat ball and vege or even soya bean stuff. Very tempting, but if you have to eat ‘baso’ do so at a reputable restaurant. (‘baso’ men sometime ply their ‘baso’ from street to street on their shoulders).

I had some opportunity to visit places in Bandung. One place which we visited was Tangkuman Perahu (, a non-active volcano (it probably was just remaining silent!). Impressive place except for the entrance price was a bit expensive for foreign tourists (about RM20 per head: USD1 = RM 3.5; in Indonesian currency of course) and about RM5.00 for local tourists (in Indoenesian currency of course). Many local tourists I observe go there, The place was packed with tourists (and with temporary canvas lean-to sheds made by local to sell clothings and their local tourist souvenirs artifacts) and people trying to push their souvenirs stuff (pushing hard even to right on your nose). Quite a nuisance really, but the fact to see a real volcano was worth the going.

“pushing right to your nose” in their hard selling tactic is the rule of the day for all these ‘poor’ in Bandung (probably in the whole of Indonesia) and one just cannot get away from them, they are every where ……… you just have to live with them and have to learn to say “NO!”.

I must also add that Bandung is a nice place. It was where Soukarno was imprisoned by the Dutch and also where he organized the Bandung Conference (a historical landmark) when he was the President of the Republic of Indonesia. And Bandung still has many old Dutch houses, now being used as commercial or educational centres. New buildings are also being built in Bandung, the latest being an international standard shopping complex called Paris Van Java ( And it has many mosques and a few churches. I am told that 80% of the population are Muslims and the rest are of all sorts of religion and with the majority of the Chinese origin being Christians.

I must say that the temperature in Bandung is very mild, temperature probably in the morning being at about 25 deg C and about 27 deg C to 28 deg C in the afternoon. The humidity is reasonably low. Quite a comfortable place to live.

Transportation in Bandung is reasonably efficient. One can hire a car (Kijang) with a driver for about RM150 a day, or one can take the town taxi which is reasonably fared, or one can even go on a horse driven cart. But if one knows one’s way, one can take a ‘mini bus’, a van converted into public transport which normally are very packed with people. Or one can walk about as the weather is reasonably mild with low humidity.

If you in Indoenesia, do buy their ‘batik’. It’s the best, I think.

We were there for 4 days and 3 night. It was quite an experience.

The fare from Kuala Lumpur to Bandung. One may enquire from Air Asia (

Friday, September 4, 2009

Fisherman returning

One afternoon I ended up at a fisherman jetty in Kuala Kemaman, Trengganu. And they had a good catch that day. And everyone seemed very happy.

Friday, July 31, 2009

My Playlist

some (not all) of the songs I like.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

On the Highway to KL

Traveling to Kuala Lumpur by the Malaysian East Coast Highway can be very boring if one does not appreciate the scenery along the way.
This is a video I took when I traveled by the Highway to Kuala Lumpur last week. I started off in Kuantan, a town by the coast in the State of Pahang, and along the way I took the video just for the fun of it. But later I decided to share it with anyone interested on how such traveling feels like. I traveled by bus (a coach) and I took the video from the passenger’s front seat.

The scenery can be just one type if one were to look at it in a monochrome. Just green. But as one starts to analyse what one sees, then the picture becomes picturesque. One can see palm oil trees, rubber trees and these belong the Felda settlements, and a many acacia trees planted the Highway owner to give shade as well as probably to keep the soil of the road table from eroding. And one sees R&R where one can stop to rest (if one wants to) and have meals, and also later a beautiful bridge across a wide river, the Pahang River. And some local houses, a couple of villages, Chinese New Villages these are, and a few toll booth where one has to pay toll to use the Highway. One may even see abandoned padi fields in certain spots along the Highway.

Then as one comes nearer to Kuala Lumpur one has to cross the Main Range where the road are now more winding and one can see hills and mountains up front. That part of the Highway is actually now called the Karak Highway. At one spot near the Bukit Tinggi Chinese village one has to climb a steep hill, where the bus overtook a couple of timber lorries, and other buses and cars overtaking us going up the hill. Then one has to go through a tunnel, and out on the other side.

Along the way one may also see electrical transmission towers and communication transmisison towers.

One starts off from Pahang State and ended up in Selangor State after the tunnel. Along the way in Pahang, we came across a couple of road repairs being done where the traffic was diverted. And after the tunnel the Highway has to go down winding steep road elbows which if not taken properly or carefully one may end up in the ravine below. And before one reaches the last toll, the ‘gate to Kuala Lumpur’ one sees an orang asli (abroginese) settlement and may even get a glimpse the Malaysia International Islamic University buildings. And after the last toll, the traffic became heavier and one knows that one is now on the outskirt of Kuala Lumpur City.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


While walking about in Kuantan (Malaysia) town today I saw this beetle. There were about half a dozen of them but I only concentrated on this creature. Its about nearly 2 inches long. It was upside down when I saw it, then it sort of turnover showing its back, and again it went upside down and tried to fly away. It did not succeed to fly away. It tried to encouraged it to crawl away but it did not want to. So I left it there.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Just a moth.

Being not an expert in this area, but I have photographed some moth of a certain species which are quite plentiful in Kuantan (Malaysia) at this time of the year; they come flying about in the bright light in early morning hours until late in the morning (when the sun is up) when they then disappear. I suppose I cannot call it disappear, they seem to die for one reason or another leaving their beautiful wings fluttering about on the floor. Do they last for just one day? I do not really know.

What I can say is that the creature is beautiful. The size? The head and the thorax combine is just about 1 inches long.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Just maybe

The other day while eating at an eating shop at Genting Sempah near Genting Highland, on my way to Kuala Lumpur, I happened to site this guy (photo shown).

Well I thought, maybe he was that famous guy.

He wasn't unfortunately, but maybe given the same opportunity he may be famous as well. Who knows.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Maxwell Hill (Bukit Larut) Taiping, Perak, Malaysia.

The photo of the man (Mr Ishak), the Land Rover driver who took us safely up a mountain road with 93 hairpin bends to a height 1036 meters of over a distance of 10.2 km.

Up the hill called Bukit Larut which in the olden days was known as Maxwell Hill in Taiping, Perak, Malaysia.

This is how the Hills (white speck in the distance) looks like from Taiping Town (photo taken early in the morning when the cloud has not yet cleared).

Maxwell Hill used to be a cooling resort for the British who were working in Taiping, which was the capital “City” of the State of Perak, and which once upon time was the richest District in Malaya, a District where tin plentiful and was mined, and where the Chinese (from mainland China) first settled with their skills of mining for tin. It would have been the Capital ‘City’ of Malaysia had not Yap Ah Loy (the Chinese Kapitan) moved to Kuala Lumpur where he prospected for more tin after he decided that tin in Taiping might be exhausted in a couple of more years from then (and he was right). The Chinese and the Malays in Taiping (Larut then) were fighting over tin in those days, and peace was made after the British intervened. Peace at a price to the Malays. That is why the place was made to be called Taiping.

Back to the Maxwell Hill, it’s a beautiful place, the temperature may go as low as 17 deg C at the lowest point. And Taiping has the highest measurement of rainfall in Malaya, maybe because the mountain (hills) is the agent of convection current.

The Hill has a few bunglows for rent, some with caretaker and some with no caretaker. What is lacking is that there is no canteen or ‘cafĂ©’ where one can get food unless one brings along ones own food for a picnic up the Hill. One may of course rent a bunglow for an overnight stay up the Hill, price ranging from RM200 to RM 300 per night, (RM3.3 = USD 1.0) doing your own cooking. The bunglow may be having from 3 to 4 rooms, comfortably housing about 10 people a night.

But one may also rent a chalet, very close to the top of the Hill, with arranged catering provided for.

And close by is a Telecom Transmission towers station.

And the flowers on top of the hill, they are exquisite. One may see butterflies and moths, and at the bottom of the Hill one may even meet a monkey.

The path to the top as I said earlier has 93 hair pin bends, and a driver has to be very skilled to manoeuvre these bends. And when one sees vehicle coming down (which is rare) when one is drive up, one has to stop to let the other vehicle/s pass, the road is that narrow.

It’s a popular spot for hill walkers. I observed that there are 3 stopping stations for these walkers up the hill, and some walkers taking the short cut jungle road to reach these huts. The walkers seem to range from young schoolboys to old man of maybe over 60 years old. And some walkers even use these stopping stations as their tea house where they rest or even eat lunch in these stopping huts. In fact one may see cooking facilities up there in these huts where they boil water (fresh hill water) to make tea (or coffee).

Its an experience of a life time to go up the hill.

One can only go up by the Land Rover provided the Hill Management, One cannot bring ones own vehicle, except those with proper permission given by the Authority, caterer (Contractors) or the Telecom people.

Historically, the road up the Hill was constructed under (?) the supervision of William Edward Maxwell who was appointed Assistant Resident of Perak in 1875. The British built the first Prison in Perak, then the Taiping / Port Weld (now renamed Kuala Sepetang) railway line, (where an elephant was killed when it charged a moving train) and then the road up the Maxwell Hill. They must have used Indian labourers who got paid pittance. How did they build the road? By hand! And using hand tools called ‘cangkol’ probably, pick axe, spade and shovel (I think) as well. How did they break up the rocks? I am told that they heated up the rock by setting fire underneath them, and then pouring cold water over the rock. The rock broke under the differential temperature. And they then chipped these broken rocks where appropriate and pushed and roll over the rock down hill.

There is a proposal to put cable car to the top of the hill from the bottom. But the Authority has yet to approve that. And I hope that the scheme does not get approved.

The Hill itself is an asset to Taiping in particular and to Malaysia in general. It has a natural environment. But the biggest asset is that it has a virgin tropical jungle, undisturbed and with logs worth RM millions. A lot of people are eyeing those logs and to date no approval had been given to cut these trees and logs down. And I pray that the Authority will never approve loggings in that area.

View of Taiping Town from the Hill.

That Bukir Larut (Maxwell Hill) is one of the most beautiful spot on this earth to my thinking.

For further refernce,