Friday, August 31, 2007

Happy 50th Birthday, Malaysia! Don’t Forget Diana!

Today is a day of joy for Malaysia. We are 50 today.

But let’s have a minute of silence in memory of our old friend Diana Spencer, the late Princess Of Wales.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Many Pretty Faces On TV May Be Bimbos?

I can't help but think so. For both the He and She variety!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

About Elvis Presley - The King

From Wikipedia & Malaysiana1.

The King of Rock and Roll Elvis Aaron Presley died at the age of 42, three decades ago, as a result of a heart ailment.

Fame and fortune had taken a toll on the gifted gentleman of Native American and British ancestry - he became an addict of unwholesome food and prescription medicine - and ballooned twice his original size.

Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977) began his career as one of the first performers of rockabilly, an uptempo fusion of country and rhythm and blues with a strong back beat.

His mixing of "Black" and "White" sounds made him popular — and controversial — as did his uninhibited stage and television performances.

He recorded songs in the rock and roll genre, with tracks like Jailhouse Rock and Hound Dog later embodying the style.

Presley had a versatile voice and had unusually wide success encompassing other genres, including gospel, blues, ballads and pop.

To date, he is the only performer to have been inducted into four separate music Halls of Fame.

In the sixties, Presley made the majority of his thirty-three movies — mainly poorly reviewed musicals.

Throughout his career, he set records for concert attendance, television ratings and recordings sales.

He is one of the best-selling and most influential artistes in the history of popular music.

Presley's father, Vernon (1916-1979) had several low-paid jobs, including sharecropping and truck driving.

His mother, Gladys Love Smith (1912-1958) was a sewing machine operator.

They met in Tupelo, Mississippi, but went to Pontotoc County and were married on June 17, 1933.

Presley was born in a two-room house, built by his father, in Tupelo, Mississippi.

He was the second of identical twins — his brother was stillborn and given the names Jesse Garon.

He grew up as an only child and was close to his mother.

The family lived just above the poverty line in East Tupelo and attended the Assembly of God church.

In 1938, Presley's father was convicted and jailed for an eight-dollar cheque forgery.

He was released after serving eight months. During her husband's absence, Gladys lost the family home.

At ten, Presley made his first public performance in a singing contest at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair.

Dressed as a cowboy, he had to stand on a chair to reach the microphone and sang Red Foley's Old Shep. He won second prize.

In 1946, Presley was taken to Tupelo Hardware where he was bought a guitar — a $7.90 birthday present (He had wanted a rifle).

Two years later, the Presleys moved to Memphis.

They lived at Lauderdale Courts — a public housing development — in one of Memphis's poorer sections.

Presley practised guitar playing in the basement laundry room and also played in a five-piece band with other tenants.

He began to grow his sideburns longer and dress in wild, flashy clothes.

Presley stood out, especially in the conservative Deep South of the 1950s and he was mocked and bullied for it.

Christmas, 1952 saw Presley perform Cold Cold Icy Fingers and gave an encore of Till I Waltz Again With You at his school’s concert.

After finishing high school, Presley became a truck driver for Crown Electric Company.

Presley listened a lot to local radio and his first musical hero was Mississippi Slim, a hillbilly singer with a radio show.

Presley performed occasionally on Slim’s Saturday morning show, Singin’ And Pickin’ Hillbilly.

He was also strongly influenced by blues and soul music in Memphis. Many of his recordings were inspired by Black Memphis composers and recording artistes, including Arthur Crudup, Rufus Thomas and B. B. King.

On July 18, 1953, Presley went to the Memphis Recording Service at the Sun Record Company (now commonly known as Sun Studios).

He paid $3.98 to record the first of two double-sided 'demo' acetates — My Happiness and That's When Your Heartaches Begin.

Presley gave the acetate to his mother as a birthday present.

He later recorded a hit single That’s All Right, dedicated to his mother.

In a concert at Overton Park, Presley felt nervous and his legs shook. This inspired him to improvise his legendary leg-shaking dance moves.

On August 15, 1955, Tom Parker, nicknamed Colonel Tom, became his manager.

Presley’s hit single Heartbreak Hotel came on air in January 1956. His first album, self-titled, was released in March that year.

In May that year, Presley performed his famous hit Hound Dog.

Conservative Christians, especially in the south of the United States, often criticised and ridiculed Presley as “Satanic” for his dance moves.

Racist Whites also slammed Presley as a “cultural polluter” who mixed Black and White music.

However, these bigots’ diatribes against Presley only made him increasingly popular with the liberal audience.

Ironically, one of these harsh critics of Presley eventually became one of his closest friends - legendary crooner Frank Sinatra.

On November 16, Presley's first movie Love Me Tender was released. It was panned by the critics, but did well at the box office.

In 1957, the Presleys moved to a mansion called Graceland. It was to be his last home.

Presley's record sales became enormous throughout the late 1950s, with hits like All Shook Up, (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear and I Need Your Love Tonight.

Jailhouse Rock, Loving You (both 1957) and King Creole (1958) were released and are regarded as the best of his early films.

On December 20, 1957, Presley received his army draft notice. He was posted to Friedberg, Germany.

While in the army in Germany, Presley began taking prescription pills, which gradually became a lifelong addiction.

The army also introduced Presley to karate — something he was to study seriously and even incorporate into his live performances.

As Presley's fame grew, his mother — who had always liked alcohol — began to gain weight and drink excessively. She had wanted her son to succeed, “but not so that he would be apart from her”.

She died of hepatitis, shortly after Presley returned from his draft in August 1958.

In 1960, Presley recorded his monster hit It's Now Or Never which was based on Italian song O Sole Mio.

Presley continued to act in the 1960s and appeared in Blue Hawaii and Viva Las Vegas.

His hit songs such as Blue Hawaii, Can’t Help Falling In Love, Viva Las Vegas and Return To Sender were also featured in his films.

In the 1960s, Presley’s films grossed about $130 million and his records made $150 million.

In 1967, Parker negotiated a management contract that give him 50 percent of Presley's earnings.

In the same year, on May 1, Presley married Priscilla Wagner, whom he first met in Germany. Their only child Lisa Marie was born nine months later.

Presley was one of the highest paid actors during the sixties. In the end of the decade he recorded hit songs such as Suspicion, (You're The) Devil In Desguise, It Hurts Me and Guitar Man.

He also released two gospel albums: His Hand In Mine and How Great Thou Art. The latter won Presley his first Grammy Award.

In 1968, Presley recorded the albums From Elvis In Memphis and From Memphis To Vegas, From Vegas To Memphis.

On December 21, 1970, Presley met with President Richard Nixon at the White House.

In 1972, Presley released his hit single Burning Love — his last top ten hit in the US pop charts.

Off stage, Presley and his wife Priscilla had continuing marriage difficulties.

In spite of his own infidelity, Presley was furious when he learned that his wife was having an affair with a mutual acquaintance — Mike Stone, a karate instructor.

The Presleys separated on February 23, 1972, agreeing to share custody of their daughter.

Divorcing in 1973, Presley became increasingly isolated and overweight, with prescription drugs taking their toll on his health, mood and stage acts.

Despite this, Presley was still capable of critically acclaimed performances. His thundering live version of How Great Thou Art won him a Grammy Award in 1974.

He continued to play to sell-out crowds and release hit records.

Presley's final performance was in Indianapolis at the Market Square Arena on June 26, 1977.

On August 17, 1977, Presley was found dead in his bathroom by fiancee Ginger Alden.

He was buried in Forest Hill Cemetery, next to his mother, after a funeral attended by hundreds of thousands of fans. They included ex-lover Ann-Margret (the Danish actress who starred in Grumpy Old Men), Priscilla and Lisa- Marie.

One of the most glowing tributes to Presley came from John Lennon of The Beatles who said "Nothing really affected me until I heard Elvis. If there hadn't been an Elvis, there wouldn't have been a Beatles."

Rod Stewart declared: "Elvis was the king. No doubt about it. People like myself, Mick Jagger and all the others only followed in his footsteps."

In 1971, the City of Memphis changed the name of the section of Highway 51 South in front of Graceland to Elvis Presley Boulevard, and he won the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (the organisation that presents the Grammy Awards).

In 1993, Presley's image appeared on a United States postage stamp.

In the UK charts, in January 2005, three re-issued singles again went to number one (Jailhouse Rock, One Night and It's Now Or Never). Throughout that year, twenty singles were re-issued — all making the top five.

In the same year, Forbes magazine named Presley, for the fifth straight year, the top-earning deceased celebrity, grossing US$45 million for the Presley estate during the preceding year.

Graceland was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 2006.

In March 2007, as part of American Idol's Idol Gives Back event, Celine Dion performed If I Can Dream with a rotoscoped image of Presley, creating the illusion that the two were performing together.

In 1978, Kurt Russell portrayed Presley in a film about The King’s life, titled Elvis.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

About Kuching - Pussycat City

From Wikipedia & Malaysiana1.

Kuching is the capital of the East Malaysian state of Sarawak.

It is the largest town in Malaysian Borneo and was made a city on August 1, 1988. It is the fourth town to be made a city in Malaysia after George Town (1957), Kuala Lumpur (1972) and Ipoh (1988).

Kuching is also the capital of the Kuching Division of Sarawak which comprises the towns of Lundu, Bau, Padawan and the city itself.

Kuching is administered by two city councils namely the Kuching North and Kuching South City Councils. Kuching North is mostly inhabited by indigenous Sarawakians while Kuching South is mostly inhabited by Chinese.

Kuching North and Kuching South are roughly divided by the Sarawak River, but the key tourist attractions and shopping centres north of the southern city are under Kuching North’s administration.

Kuching gets its name from the abundance of wild cats found in its green areas.

It is also named for the longan or Mata Kucing (Cat’s Eye) fruit. The hill where the Kuching Hilton Hotel stands, Mata Kucing Hill, gave the town its name.

Kuching’s original inhabitants are the Bidayuh, Iban and Bruneian (Kedayan) people.

It has served as Sarawak’s capital since the days of the Brunei Empire.

Back then Sarawak was an appendage of the Kedayan Brunei Sultan, administered by a branch of the Sultan’s family with the title of Datuk Patinggi (Prime Minister).

In the late 1830s, the Datuk Patinggi, Abang Ali, revolted against the Sultan’s overlordship.

The Sultan of Brunei, Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin, requested help from British businessman Sir James Brooke to negotiate the Datuk Patinggi’s surrender.

Sir James did just that, and was rewarded by Sultan Omar with the title of Raja of Sarawak. The Datuk Patinggi became his Prime Minister.

Sir James governed Sarawak from 1842 until his death in 1868. The private colonialist was succeeded by his sister’s son Sir Charles Brooke (1868-1917) and Sir Charles’ son Sir Charles Vyner (1917-1946).

In 1946, Sir Charles Vyner decided to make Sarawak an official British colony and transfer his powers to King George 6 in London.

In 1963, Sarawak became independent as a state of Malaysia.

A descendant of Abang Ali, Tun Abang Openg Abang Sapiee, became Sarawak's first Malaysian State Governor (he is a relative of fashion designer Datuk Tom Abang Saufi and pop singer Dayang Nor Camelia Abang Khalid).

Kuching, in the south-west of Sarawak, is Malaysia’s wettest city.

Kuching’s inhabitants are mostly Chinese (Hokkiens and Hakkas), Bruneians (Kedayans), Melanaus, Bidayuhs and Ibans.

Kuching has for years been honoured as Malaysia’s cleanest city and one of the world’s healthiest cities (by the World Health Organisation).

Kuching residents are mostly Christians, Buddhists and Muslims.

The main languages spoken in Kuching are English and Bahasa Malaysia.

Bahasa Malaysia in Sarawak is the Bruneian (Kedayan) variant which sounds different from that of Peninsular Malaysia.

Other languages spoken in Kuching are Hokkien Chinese, Mandarin Chinese (Beijing Chinese), Iban, Melanau and Bidayuh.

Kuching is well-known as a film location. Major and minor films have been shot in Kuching. They include The Sleeping Dictionary starring Jessica Alba (2000) and Farewell To The King starring Nick Nolte (1987).

Kuching is an important centre of education in Malaysia. It houses the international campus of Australia’s Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne.

The city also has branch campuses of Malaysian universities Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak.

The Old Sarawak Museum is one of Malaysia’s oldest museums. Built in 1891, it is modelled after a town hall in Normandy, France.

Other museums in the city include the New Sarawak Museum, the Cat Museum, the Forestry Museum, the Islamic Arts Museum and the Chinese History Museum.

Interesting landmarks in the city include the Astana (Governor’s palace), Fort Margherita (Police Museum), Tua Pek Kong Buddhist Temple, Old Courthouse (Art Museum) and Main Bazaar (Handicrafts Centre).

The Kuching Waterfront, a riverside esplanade, is situated next to the main hotels and commercial heartland of the city, and offers a pleasant walk in the evening.

The city’s Chinatowns are in Carpenter Street and Padungan Street while its Little India is in India Street.

Kuching’s popular cuisine includes Kolo Mee (fine egg noodles, either dry or soupy) and Sarawak Laksa (spicy rice noodles with prawn paste, chicken, tofu, clams, eggs, prawns and a coconut milk soup).

Kuching is also famous as the hometown of many prominent Malaysians in the arts and entertainment. They include:

Fashion designer Datuk Tom Abang Saufi;

Singers Anita Sarawak, Dayang Nor Camelia Abang Khalid, Dayang Nurfaizah Awang Dowty, Sharifah Zarina, Deja Moss and Jason Lo;

Film-makers Ellyana Effendi, Tsai Ming-Liang and James Wan (of Saw fame);

Artist and batik guru Ramsay Ong, related to former Federal Minister Tan Sri Ong Kee Hui and Kuching’s famous Chinese community leader during British rule Ong Tian Swee;

Architect and designer Edric Ong (relative of Ramsay), a world authority in Iban fabric design;

Producer Edgar Ong (relative of Ramsay), the driving force behind the annual Rainforest Music Festival in Kuching;

Actors Tony Eusoff, Anding Indrawani Zaini and Sherry Merlis.

About Sibu

From Wikipedia & Malaysiana1.

Sibu is the third largest town in Sarawak after Kuching and Miri. It is the capital of the Sibu Division and is at the confluence of the Rejang and Igan Rivers.

Sibu’s population is mostly Chinese (Eastern or Fuzhou Hokkiens), Melanau, Bruneian (Kedayan) and Iban.

The town boasts the largest town square in Malaysia and Sarawak’s tallest building (the Sanyan Tower).

Sibu is the main tourist gateway to the upper reaches of the Rejang River.

Sibu was originally settled by Melanaus. During the time of the Brunei Empire, the Sultan of Brunei invited many Chinese into the town. Most of them were Fuzhou Hokkiens.

Sibu’s major hotels are the RH and Kingwood Hotels.

Its major tourist attractions include the Tua Pek Kong Buddhist Temple (seven-storey pagoda), the Central Market (Malaysia’s biggest indoor market) and the Civic Centre Museum.

The Merah River (Red River) Heritage Walk is a landscaped park situated in the suburb of Sungai Merah (Sungai = River). The first Fuzhou settlers arrived here.

Sibu’s major green areas include Bukit Aup Jubilee Park 20 km away from the town centre. It is popular for picnics, jogging and recreation.

There is also the Bukit Lima Forest Park with a 2 km plank walk.

Sibu’s famous cuisine includes the Kam Buan noodles, Wanton (ravioli), Kam Biang (Fuzhou bagel), Yau Char Kwai (savoury Chinese fritters) and Eight Essence Soup (made from eight different Chinese herbs).

Sibu’s sister city is Fuzhou in China.

About Miri

From Wikipedia & Malaysiana1.

Miri is a city in northern Sarawak, Malaysia, on the island of Borneo.

It is Sarawak’s second largest city and is the capital of the Miri Division.

Miri became a city on May 20, 2005.

Miri is the birthplace of Sarawak's and Malaysia’s petroleum industry, which remains the major industry of the city.

The first oil well was drilled by Shell on Canada Hill in 1910, and is now a state monument and one of Miri's tourist attractions.

An oil museum run by Malaysian national oil company Petronas has been set up next to the well.

Shell also built Malaysia's first oil refinery in Lutong, a suburb of Miri in 1914.

Miri has grown phenomenally since oil was first discovered and is today a major business and educational centre of Sarawak.

The city's other major industries include timber processing, oil palm production and tourism.

Miri is the gateway to the world famous Mount Mulu National Park in Marudi. It is the world’s largest cave.

Other eco-tourist destinations of Miri include the Loagan Bunut National Park (East Malaysia’s largest inland lake), Lambir National Park and Niah Caves National Park (oldest human habitation in Malaysia).

For divers, Miri is famous for its exotic coral reefs.

Miri's population consists of Chinese, Melanaus, Bruneians (Kedayans), Ibans, Bidayuhs, Kayans, Kenyahs, Kelabits and Muruts.

The main languages spoken in Miri are Bahasa Malaysia and English.

Miri has more than 14 green areas and its streets are lined with trees. The green areas include the Miri Waterfront, Miri Circular Park, Luak Bay Esplanade, Gourmet Garden, Miri Public Park, Miri City Fan (Malaysia’s Best Landscaped Park 2001) and Marina Park.

Miri’s major commercial centres are the Pelita and Boulevard Commercial Centres.

Its major shopping centres are Bintang Plaza, Boulevard Shopping Complex and Miri Plaza.

Hawker stalls and restaurants are prominent in Yu Seng Road and the Saberkas Commercial Centre.

Miri is also famous for its handicrafts, mostly sold in Brooke Road and Bendahara Road.

One of South-East Asia’s largest Buddhist temples, Lotus Hill Temple, is in Miri.

Miri also houses the first offshore campus of Australia’s Curtin University of Technology.

Miri gets its name from a sub-group of the Melanau community.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Will They Be Happy With Us?

I always wonder, will our founding fathers be happy with us?

For a country aged 50, I'd dare say, Yes and No.

Think about it, readers!

Stop Insulting The National Anthem!

Thank God the Malaysian student in China Taiwan and hip-hop star wannabe NameWee or Wee Meng Chee has said sorry for sampling the national anthem Negaraku in his politically-charged hip-hop number My Negaraku.

He has freedom of speech, but not the freedom to insult our national anthem. Freedom of speech and song has its limits and we must remember that rights come with responsibilities.

About Kota Kinabalu

From Wikipedia & Malaysiana1.

Kota Kinabalu is Sabah’s state capital and is situated on the north-west coast of Borneo Island.

It faces the South China Sea and the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park on one side and the Crocker Range which includes Mount Kinabalu on the other.

Kota Kinabalu is also the capital of the West Coast Division of Sabah which includes the city itself, and the towns of Ranau, Kota Belud, Tuaran, Penampang and Papar.

The city is one of the major industrial and commercial centres in East Malaysia besides Kuching in Sarawak.

Kota Kinabalu was originally known as Api-Api due to its mangrove trees. It was the mainland capital of the Bajau Sultan of Sulu, and Sabah’s most prominent port.

During British rule, the city was named Jesselton after one of the British colonial governors, Sir Charles Jessel.

During World War 2, the city was razed by the retreating British army to prevent it from falling into Japanese hands.

Kota Kinabalu was given its present name on September 30, 1968 by Sabah’s third Chief Minister and father of independence Tun Datu Mustapha Datu Harun, one of the claimants to the Sulu throne.

It became a city on February 2, 2000, during the Chief Ministership of Datu Mustapha’s protege and fellow Bajau chieftain Datuk Seri Osu Sukam.

Kota Kinabalu is named after Mount Kinabalu, situated about 90 kilometres north-east of the city.

The word Kinabalu is a Kadazan-Dusun word meaning Home Of The Ancestors.

Kota Kinabalu thus means Kinabalu City.

Kota Kinabalu’s sister cities are Yongin in South Korea, Rockingham in Australia and Zamboanga in the Philippines.

The north-east part of the city around Likas Bay used to contain an extensive mangrove forest, but most of it has disappeared. What remains is the 12-hectare Kota Kinabalu City Bird Sanctuary.

There are six islands located off the coast of the city. Five of them form the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park namely Gaya, Sapi, Manukan, Sulug and Mamutik.

These islands are popular with tourists and are uninhabited except for Gaya which has a population of 8,000.

Sepanggar is located north of the National Park opposite Sepanggar Bay.

Kota Kinabalu’s people are mostly Chinese, Kadazan-Dusuns, Bajaus and Bruneians (Kedayans).

Most of the Chinese are Hakkas (Northern Chinese) and live mainly in the Luyang area.

Kota Kinabalu residents speak Bahasa Malaysia and English. Other languages spoken here are Mandarin Chinese (Beijing Chinese), Bajau and Kadazan-Dusun.

Kota Kinabalu is also the main industrial and commercial centre of Sabah.

Many national and international commercial banks, as well as insurance companies have their headquarters or branches here.

A number of industrial companies also have plants in the industrial townships of Likas, Kolombong, and Inanam.

There are three public hospitals in Kota Kinabalu.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Penampang Road is the largest hospital in the state and was built in 1957.

The other hospitals are the Likas Specialist Hospital and Bukit Padang Hospital.

The Sabah Medical Centre in Damai is the largest private hospital in Sabah.

Kota Kinabalu’s most prominent public schools include the La Salle, All Saints, St Francis and Sabah Science Secondary Schools.

University Malaysia Sabah is the state’s only university and is located in Likas.

Sabah’s State Museum is situated opposite Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

The town field situated along the Kota Kinabalu Bypass Road is the city’s most well-known historical site, where Sabah’s independence was proclaimed on August 31, 1963.

Situated nearby on a hill is the Atkinson Clock Tower which was built in 1905 by the family of the late Francis Atkinson, the 20-something district officer of Kota Kinabalu who died of malaria.

The clock tower was a navigation aid for ships and was one of three pre-World War 2 buildings to survive the war.

The Petagas War Memorial, close to the Kota Kinabalu International Airport, commemorates the freedom fighters of Sabah, the Kinabalu Guerillas, led by Dr Albert Kwok and Jules Stephens.

Kwok and Stephens led the guerillas against the Japanese fascist occupiers of Sabah. They were all massacred in 1944 at the site where the memorial stands.

In Sembulan, near the Sabah State Mosque is the Double Six monument to commemorate the plane crash which killed Jules’ son Tun Muhammad Fuad Donald Stephens, Sabah’s first and fifth Chief Minister, in 1976.

Fuad Stephens was the political mentor to Sabah’s fourth Chief Minister Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan and both men were the Hoguan Siou or Paramount Chiefs of the Kadazan-Dusuns.

The monument is at the exact site where the plane crashed on June 6, 1976.

Sabah’s most popular nightspot is the Anjung Samudera or Kota Kinabalu Waterfront. It houses several bistros and seafood restaurants.

Kota Kinabalu is also linked to Tenom in south-western Sabah by the North Borneo Railway, the only railway in East Malaysia.

Sabah’s most luxurious hotel, the Sutera Harbour Resort, is situated in Sembulan, near the Double Six monument.

Sabah’s oldest five-star hotel is the Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Hotel located close to the Kota Kinabalu International Airport.

The Tun Fuad Stephens Park in Padang Hill is a popular jogging and hiking spot. It is surrounded by a lush forest and has a man-made lake.

The Signal Hill Observatory above the Atkinson Clock Tower offers a scenic view of the city centre.

The Tun Mustapha Building, also called the Sabah Foundation Building in Likas is a 30-storey structure supported by steel rods.

It is the tallest building in Borneo and has a revolving restaurant on its 18th floor.

Kota Kinabalu’s most prominent shopping mall is the Centrepoint which is situated close to the waterfront.

The Filipino Market in the waterfront sells traditional Bajau handicrafts.

Gaya Street plays host to Kota Kinabalu’s weekly Sunday market.

Sabah’s major sports complex, the Likas Sports Complex, is situated in Kota Kinabalu.

The city also has four golf courses.

Kota Kinabalu’s famous personalities are mostly in the entertainment industry. They include singers and songwriters Pete Teo and Jerome Kugan, jazz stars Mia Palencia and Roger Wang, hip-hopper Adam Mat Saman, R&B star Azharina Azhar and veteran film-maker Deddy M. Borhan.

About Kudat

From Wikipedia & Malaysiana1.

Kudat is the northernmost town in Sabah, East Malaysia and forms the northernmost tip of Borneo Island.

It serves as the administrative centre for the Kudat Division, which includes the towns of Kudat, Pitas and Kota Marudu.

Kudat is 190 km north of Sabah’s capital Kota Kinabalu. On the west, it faces the South China Sea, and on the east the Sulu Sea.

Kudat's population (2000) is 68,242. Most of its people are Rungus Kadazan-Dusuns, Bajaus, and Chinese.

Kudat became the capital of British Sabah in 1881, shortly before the colonialists decided that Sandakan was a better location.

Sabah’s father of independence, Tun Datu Mustapha Datu Harun, a claimant of the throne of Sulu, was born in Kudat.

Kudat’s major attraction is its Rungus longhouses which have mostly been converted into homestays.

The hospitable Rungus are famous for their natural honey and brass gongs. Their women famously wear rings of gold or brass around their legs.

Tourists also enjoy visiting the rocky cape Simpang Tanjung Mengayau which is Borneo’s northernmost point.

Kudat is also home to Malaysia’s largest island Banggi and Balambangan Island where the British first landed on Malaysian soil in 1761.

The town has a large waterfront esplanade, the Sidek Esplanade, which was unveiled in 2003. It is also famous for its seafood and golf courses.

About Sandakan

From Wikipedia & Malaysiana1.

Sandakan is the second largest city in the state of Sabah, East Malaysia, on the north-eastern coast of Borneo.

It is located on the east coast of Sabah and is the administrative centre of Sandakan Division.

The British colonialists made Sandakan the capital of Sabah, before Kota Kinabalu replaced it after World War 2.

Sandakan is known as the gateway for eco-tourism destinations in Sabah, such as the Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary, the Turtle Islands Park, the Kinabatangan River and the Gomantong Caves (famous for its swifts).

The town was also infamous as the site of a World War 2 Japanese airfield, built by the forced labour of 6,000 prisoners of war. In 1945 the surviving prisoners were sent on the Sandakan Death March and only 10 of them survived.

Sandakan gets its name from the Bajau word which means “the place that was pawned”.

It refers to the Sultan of Sulu’s act of ceding Sabah to the British in return for protection against Spanish aggression from the Philippines.

Sandakan’s original name Elopura meant Beautiful City.

Sandakan was one of Southeast Asia’s major timber cities in the 1930s and boasted one of the highest concentrations of millionaires in the world.

It was also nicknamed the Little Hong Kong of Southeast Asia for the same reason.

Sandakan remains Sabah's second most important port, after Kota Kinabalu. The port is important for palm oil, tobacco, cocoa, coffee, manila hemp and sago exports.

In recent years, businesses have shifted their operations away from the town centre to the suburbs.

In January 2003, the Sandakan Harbour Square, an urban renewal project, was launched in an attempt to revive the town centre as the commercial hub of Sandakan.

It will feature a new central market and fish market, a shopping mall and hotels. It is due for completion in 2010.

Sandakan’s people are mostly Chinese, Bajaus and Kadazan-Dusuns.

Here are some of Sandakan’s tourist attractions:

Pu Ji Shih Temple - This is a hilltop Buddhist temple overlooking the town centre. It was built in 1987.

Agnes Keith House, also known as Newlands - This is the two-storey home of American author Agnes Newton Keith and her husband Harry Keith (once the curator of the Sabah Museum) from 1930 to 1952.
The house was destroyed in World War 2 but was rebuilt.
Mrs. Keith wrote several books about Sabah and its people, including Land Below The Wind, Three Came Home and White Man Returns.
The Keiths survived a stint as prisoners of war during the Japanese occupation of Malaysia.

English Tea House - Located in the grounds of the Agnes Keith House, this restaurant serves traditional English cuisine.

Sandakan Memorial Park - This is a museum dedicated to prisoners-of-war who died in the Death March. It was built on the site of the Japanese POW camp.

Japanese Cemetery - This is a cemetery of the Japanese expatriates and soldiers who lived in Sandakan.

St Michael's And All Angels Church - This granite church was built in 1897 and is one of Sandakan's few surviving pre-war buildings. It was recognised as a world heritage in 2005.

San Sing Kung Temple - Completed in 1887, it is the oldest temple in Sandakan.

Sandakan Mosque - Completed in 1988, it lies next to the Bajau water village of Buli Sim Sim.

Buli Sim Sim - This Bajau water village was the original site of Sandakan town.

Sandakan Market - This is one of the largest and busiest wet markets in Sabah.

Crocodile Farm - Located 12 km out of the town centre, it houses more than 2,000 of the reptiles in concrete pools.

Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary - The country’s foremost proboscis monkey observation spot.

Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary - The country’s foremost orang utan sanctuary.

Monday, August 13, 2007

About Tawau

From Wikipedia & Malaysiana1.

Tawau is the administrative centre of Tawau Division in Sabah and the third largest town in the state after Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan.

Tawau is located at the south-east coast of Sabah which faces the Sulawesi Sea to the east and the interior mountain ranges to the west.

The town centre can be divided into three sections namely Sabindo, Fajar and Old Tawau.

The Federal House, where most government offices such as the Immigration Department and the National Registration Department are located is in the Sabindo area.

Fajar is the commercial area, where major banks such as HSBC and Maybank are located.

The Tawau District Court is also situated here.

Old Tawau is the original part of Tawau, which contains Tawau's central market. Tawau Port is also located here.

Tawau’s original people were Tidong Muruts and Bajaus.

In 1898, the first Chinese settled in Tawau.

In the 1930s, Tawau prospered with the establishment of the Kuhara Rubber and Manila Hemp Estates and the Kubota Coconut Estate.

In that era, there were about 60 shop houses, all timber-built, lining the main street of Tawau, Dunlop Street.

Tawau's centre was the field, with the sea on one side and whitewashed timber buildings on the other three - the District Office, police quarters and government rest house.

A tower (which still stands at the Town Field) was erected by the Japanese after World War I.

The town was very peaceful. Doors and windows were normally left unlocked.

There was neither electricity supply nor main drainage. Residents took water from the Tawau River.

There were 300 Japanese working on the estates and 100 on Si Amil Island.

They owned the biggest estate (Kuhara Estate) and it had a golf course.

There was also an estate hospital and representative office of a Japanese bank.

The Japanese Borneo Fishing Company conducted commercial fishing on Si Amil Island (east of the Mabul and Sipadan Islands).

The Chinese community maintained its own schools. The Roman Catholic Church was established in 1922 and provided the only English primary school.

Two of the most respected community leaders in Tawau during British colonial rule were Bajau chief Datuk Abu Bakar Titingan (his son is prominent politician Datuk Ahmad Baharom Titingan) and Stephen Tan (who died at the hands of Japanese fascists in World War 2).

During the Japanese occupation of Sabah, Tawau district officer Cole Adam was sent to a Japanese prison camp in Ranau for 44 months and died in September 1945 on the very day the British Army released him from captivity.

As of 1991, the population of the Tawau was estimated at 245,000. 92,000 are foreign expatriates.

The foreigners comprise 30 per cent Bajaus from Indonesia, 30 per cent Bajaus from the Philippines, 33 per cent Bruneis from Banjarmasin in Indonesian Borneo, and 7 per cent Tidong Muruts from Eastern Kalimantan province in Indonesian Borneo.

Bajaus form 52 per cent of the Malaysian population, Bruneis form 20 per cent, Chinese 23 per cent, Kadazans 3 per cent and Muruts 2 per cent.

Tawau’s traditional exports have been tobacco, cocoa, palm oil and timber.

Birds’ nests are also harvested at the Baturong, Segalong and Madai Caves in nearby Kunak by the Idahan Kadazan people.

Tawau is Malaysia’s cocoa industry capital. Malaysia is the world’s third largest cocoa producing nation after Ivory Coast and Ghana.

Tawau is also one of Malaysia’s major prawn farming centres. Prawns are exported to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Tawau’s main tourist attractions include the following:

- The Tawau Hills National Park which is 24 km away from the town centre.

It has several waterfalls including the Table Waterfall.

The park is formed from a rugged volcanic landscape.

Bombalai Hill, a young volcanic cone, is found in the park.

The park also has lots of wild orchids, red leaf monkeys, long-tailed macaques, giant tree squirrels and forest tortoises.

- Gemuk Hill or Fat Hill is 11 km away from the town centre. The 428 metre hill is popular with hikers and is situated in the Gemuk Hill Forest Reserve formed in 1984.

- The Tawau Cocoa Village is in Quoin Hill. Visitors get to see how cocoa is processed and get to taste local fruits.

Proboscis monkeys are found in abundance along the Tawau River.

Tawau is famous for its seafood. Most seafood stalls are found in the Sabindo area near the central bus terminal.

Besides seafood, Tawau’s cuisine includes Soto Makassar, a beef soup, Brunei specialties Onde-Onde (rice cake stuffed with brown sugar), curry puffs and peanut pancakes, and Bajau specialties fried bananas, yellow rice and Ampalang (fried fish in corn flour).

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Ali Setan, Ogy's Definitive 1980s Movie

As you know Fauziah (Ogy) Ahmad Daud is the Female Simon Cowell and Female Paul Moss of Malaysia, as the harsh, leading judge in Akademi Fantasia 5.

I hereby present you a novel dedicated to her acting career in the 1980s.

It is called Ali Setan (Naughty Ali) and it is derived from (with minor alterations) the two Ali Setan films (Ali Setan 1 in 1985 and Ali Setan 2 in 1986) which helped make Ogy a star.

The novel is purely the work of the blogger, and stays true to the films which were created by Ogy’s favourite screen partner Azmil Mustapha, one of the biggest leading men of Native Malaysian film in the 1980s.

Azmil was nicknamed the Michael J. Fox of Malaysia because of his Boy Next Door charm and he has left the acting world to concentrate on business and teaching religion to youngsters.

He last appeared in the 2004 film Puteri Gunung Ledang with Malaysian Brooke Shields Datin Seri Tiara Jacquelina Eu, and Akademi Fantasia 3 principal M. Nasir.

Ali Setan 1 earned Azmil the Best Actor award and Ogy the Best Actress award in the Malaysian Film Festival 1986.

The stars of the Ali Setan films were Azmil (Ali), Ogy (Asmidar), Izi Yahya (Jeffri), Sheila Majid (Tipah), Ebby Saiful (Latif), Datuk Shah Rezza (Jalil), Liza Abdullah (Emy), Azlina Aziz (Zaiton), Peggie Ng (Violet), Salih Yaacob (Abu), Faizal Hussein (Shukor), George Teoh (George), Sarabjit Singh (Sarban), Erma Fatima (Tina), N D Lala (Ersat), Datuk Jins Shamsuddin (Tan Sri), Omar Abdullah (Haji Darus) and Jalaluddin Hassan (Pangeran).

Sheila is the ex-wife of Akademi Fantasia 5 principal Roslan Aziz and is Malaysia’s jazz queen.

Shah is a successful businessman and wedding planner. He organised the wedding of pop queen Siti Nurhaliza in 2006.

Azlina was one of Malaysia’s best singers in the 1980s alongside her younger sister Liza Aziz. Their late parents Aziz Jaafar and Normadiah were legends of screen and song.

Peggie is a former television presenter of Radio Television Malaysia (RTM).

Erma is a successful film-maker and actress. She is the elder sister of acclaimed actress and Malaysian Kate Winslet Umie Aida Rahmad.
They are the mentors of Akademi Fantasia 2’s Mas Ghani in her acting career.

N D Lala is a respected TV host and the father of up-and-coming singer Shahila Amir.

Jins is one of Malaysia’s most respected actors and is a protege of the late, great P. Ramlee. He is nicknamed the Malaysian Sean Connery.

Omar is a popular television host on TV3.

Jalaluddin is a popular actor who also hosted Malaysia’s edition of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? He is the younger brother of Malaysian police chief Tan Sri Musa Hassan.

Izi, who passed away this year, was well-known as a TV and film villain in Malaysia. He was sometimes nicknamed the Sean Bean of Malaysia.

Ali Setan Part One

My Early Years

Hi, folks! I'm sure you all know me. That's because you have all seen me on screen. Ali Setan in 1985 and Ali Setan 2 in 1986.

I've also appeared in commercials such as KFC Colonel Burger in the late 1980s.

Since you've all seen me, I'm sure you love to know my story.

What you have seen in the films is not very exact. Forgive me for being long-winded, but I believe in giving correct information.

Not much of my history is mentioned in the story - my childhood, my pals, my education. Well, that's what I'm gonna tell you now.

I was born in Balik Pulau, Penang, to my father, Sutan Takroh, and my mother, Wan Kamariah.

My father was a Minangkabau prince from Negeri Sembilan while my mother was a Kelantanese princess.

I don't remember them much, they were divorced when I was one, and my mother left my father for a Bruneian bizman in Singapore, Pangeran Zain.

She later died of asthma, but lived to see her stepsons Jeffri and Ersat go to school.

Both dad and mum worked for Kedahan prince and businessman-cum-politician General Tan Sri Adam Ahmad, Pangeran Zain's old school mate, military peer and business rival.

Tan Sri and Pangeran are today reconciled, but at one time they hated each other.

Dad was Tan Sri's driver, mum his housemaid.

Dad died of leukaemia when I was 2.

Tan Sri had blood ties to both dad and mum. Thus he was my uncle.

On dad's wishes, Tan Sri adopted me.

However, he actually wanted me to be his son-in-law.

He had an adorable, pint-sized daughter two years my junior. Her name was Umi Latifah, but she was better known to her parents as Tipah.

When I was 12, Tan Sri had me engaged and wed to Tipah.

I was young then, and did not have a mind of my own.

Thus, I had no objection to his plans.

I had not been in love, not even to Tipah. To me, she was just my sister.

Oh, yes! Now I'd like to introduce my friends to you.

My gang of 6. 3 of them had been with me since primary school. I met the others in Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) in George Town, Penang.

Abdul Latif Ali, Abu Bakar Abdul Rahman, and Tengku Jalil Ibrahim had known me since my days in the Gelugor Malay School in George Town.

Latif came from Butterworth, Abu from Alor Star (like Tan Sri) and Jalil from Kota Baru.

Latif and Abu are Tan Sri's nephews, hence my cousins. Jalil is also my relative as his dad and my mum are from the Kelantan royal family.

When I went to study architecture in USM, I met Shukor Kamil, Sarban Singh Tara Singh, and George Chan Hon Keong. The trio were from Ipoh and studied in Anderson School (like my favourite cartoonist Lat).

Except for George who did business studies, my friends were with me in architecture school.

I Meet Asmidar

Here is how I met my lovely wife. On a train bound for Penang. It was the end-of-the-year holidays. I was then a first-year architecture student.

My pals and I had just visited KL. I loved the city and wished to live there.

I did not have a steady. But I was busy finding Miss Right.

I had tried to find her since I went to the university. I wanted to feel what Love was.

In my train, there was this sweet lass from Kajang in Selangor. She was Asmidar Darus, daughter of a prominent bureaucrat.

She had just gotten into USM. She was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen.

Everything about her was beautiful - looks, speech and manners.

Asmidar, or As, as her parents called her, had an elder sister, Zaitun, or Tun, studying business in USM.

She was George's pal and senior. I knew Tun rather well, and she loved me like a kid brother.

She was my personal counsellor. My pal Latif was close to her best friend and room mate Violet Lee, a Chinese-Thai sweetie who studied mass communications.

As was Violet's junior in mass communications school.

As joined USM with her first cousin Nurul Amira Ahmad or Emy. Sweet, yet sharp, she is now Latif's spouse.

I had often boasted to my pals that I loved to rag girls until one became mine. That was exactly what I planned to do with As.

Sarban was eating groundnuts which he bought from Ipoh. I took his packet and said I needed it urgently.

As bait.

"Aiyah! I've no more lah!" said Sarban.

"Buy at station lah!" I replied.

I began to eat the nuts and threw the shells at As.

"Jangan kacau lah (Don't disturb)," said Latif, having a nap.

"Come on, man! I wanna listen to music," said Jalil, holding his little transistor radio.

Emy told As to fight back, but Miss Right kept cool.

I then bought a can of Seven Up and offered it to As. She didn't know I had shaken it, and told me to open it.

She fell for my trap.

The soda wet her dress.

"I'm so sorry!" I said. "Let me wipe for you."

"Huh! Celaka! (Damn!)" she said.

A few minutes later, As came to my seat and told me she wanted to show me a turtle egg.

But she had a rotten chicken egg and smashed it on my head.

My hair, my shirt, all covered with smelly yolk. "Ha! Ha! Serves U right," said Sarban.

Pranks Of The Setan

Back at USM, As was called to the dean Ibrahim Hassan's office. He said As had flouted school discipline by playing a prank on Ali.

He ordered As to find his keys in 20 seconds.

Frightened As got cracking, looking all over the dean's office for the keys.

Before she could find them, Ibrahim said her time was up.

"Denda lagi! (Fined again!)"

As bent down to find the keys in his desk drawer.

She soon realised that the dean was only wearing sports shoes.

She removed the Berita Harian newspaper from his face and found that Ibrahim was really, Ali Setan!

The next day, the real Ibrahim found out what had happened. He called As and I to his office.

"Ali, you have breached USM discipline. You are a good student but I am afraid I have to refer you to the disciplinary committee," he said.

"Sorry, Latif! I ought to have listened to you," I thought to myself.

As said: "He did not wrong me, tuan. We were playing. As freshies, we have to know the seniors and have some naughty fun at times.

"Besides, I played a prank on him earlier and he had to return mine."

"I hope nobody will impersonate the dean again," Ibrahim said.

As and I were told to shake hands. She did so reluctantly.

Sarban and I were police cadets. As we were marching one day, I saw As nearby and marched towards her.

Sarban tried to bring me back in line, but our drill sargeant, Johari, punished us with 100 push-ups.

Later in the afternoon, I saw As and Emy carrying some textbooks to the resource centre.

"Shh! Watch me, guys," said Latif.

"Ya salam!" said Jalil, in his catch-phrase.

Latif ran into As and made her drop the books.

"Oops, sorry!" he said.

"Celaka! (Damn!)" said angry Emy, tweaking Latif's ear. He yelled back "bitch" and did a blow-pipe gesture.

As turned around and saw me. "Setan!" she said.

George's and Tun's pal Jeffri (Pangeran's son) came by. The flamboyant biz student and playboyish snob offered to help As.

"Never mind Jeff. Tak payah lah," she said.

"Celaka Jeff!" hot-headed Latif said.

"Sabarlah! (Be patient!)" I said.

"Let's go to the library."

As and Emy were in the library (resource centre) when Latif, Jalil and I came in.

They were talking to Tun and the teacher in charge, Rosmiati.

Quietly, I sneaked up to As' bag and took her diary out.

I wrote in in this message:

Aku tak berniat mencuri diarimu.

Aku hanya berniat mencuri hatimu.

(I don't intend to steal your diary, but I intend to steal your heart)

Ali Setan.

As the girls started leaving, As picked up her bag only to find her diary missing. "It's on the table behind us," said Emy.

As read the message, tore out a page and wrote on it "Tiada maaf bagi mu" ("No forgiveness for U").

She left the page on a table.

Latif, Jalil and I laughed our hearts out.

As learnt of my nickname Ali Setan from Tun and Violet.

I earned it because I played pranks on pretty girls.

One night, we had our annual dinner. There was a grand poolside buffet.

Latif and Abu, part of the university's rock band, entertained us with their guitars.

I tried to offer As some prawns. She said: "No thanks".

Jeff offered her fish. "Thanks, it's lovely," she said.

Jealous, I offered her more fish. "I buat ni special untuk mu, As," I said.

She declined my offer.

I borrowed Abu's guitar to play a catchy song. She said: "Bising lah, Jeff! (So noisy, Jeff!)"

Angrily, I told myself: "If U think it's bising, try this!"

I lobbed a fire-cracker at As and Jeff's table.

Guests screamed and fled. Jalil jumped into the pool.

Poor Jalil had been busily eating the food meant for As.

Happy Birthday With Frogs

Next morning, after a jog, Jeffri came up to me and said: "As is mine. Keep your hands off her. Else, watch out! This is my first warning!"

Later, when my gang and I were having lunch in the canteen, As came in with Jeffri.

They sat at the table closest to ours.

As saw us and told Jeffri: "Sini tak baik lah. Banyak lalat" (There are many flies here).

Hot-headed Latif lost his cool. I told him to calm down.

As and Jeffri went to another table. They were busy discussing course work when Violet came by. She saw Jeffri.

"Saya pening lah (I am dizzy)," said Jeffri.

"We continue tomorrow, OK?"

Violet passed us and noticed Latif. She grabbed his shoulder.

He asked her how was Jeffri.

"Don't talk about that son of a bitch," she said.

As' birthday soon came. I told my pals we would not attend her party.

Instead, we would drop by at her sister's house and give her a present.

Then, we would have satay in Gurney Drive.

The present was a jar of frogs and toads from the science laboratory. We wrapped it in colourful paper.

When we arrived at Tun's house, where the party was held, angry Jeffri greeted us.

"Hoi! As says beat it! You've got 10 seconds. 1 ... 2 ... 3 ..."

As appeared. "Stop it, Jeff. Ali, Latif, come join the party."

I replied: "Sorry lah. Got appointment in town.

"But here's my present for U. Happy birthday, As."

My pals and I enjoyed the satay. As "enjoyed herself" too.

You should have seen her face the next day. Her course mates had every right to call her "katak" (frog) as her face was as red as some of the rare frogs in the jar.

I've Got Her Under My Skin

As' revenge came when my pals and I decided to go for a picnic in Batu Feringgi.

Latif, Jalil, Abu, Shukor, Sarban and I invited her to come along, but she declined.

She said she and Tun would be visiting George in hospital. He had been there for 2 days for a bout of food poisoning.

She had been busy the night before tampering with my motorcycle.

I found this out when my bike did not stop moving on the road.

I jumped off the bike and allowed it to crash into a tree.

Then, I rolled into a monsoon drain.

I was not hurt. As my pals pulled me out of the drain, Latif had a wonderful idea.

We visited George, who was about to be discharged.

He did not object to me using his bed and thought it was a great idea.

Abu phoned As, while my gang plastered me up.

When As came, Latif said: "Ali's got a brain damage."

The freshie was so shocked. "Ali! Oh, no! Apa telah saya lakukan?! (What have I done?!)"

She embraced me and sobbed.

I said: "Saya OK, As. Maafkan aku (Please forgive me). Aku buli kau (I bullied you). Cinta tak boleh dipaksa (Love cannot be forced on others)."

"Aku salah, Ali (I was wrong, Ali). Aku mungkin telah rosakkan hidup mu (I might have destroyed your life). Dendalah aku (please fine me)," she said.

"Baik, tolong ambil segelas air (OK, please get me a glass of water)," I said.

As As helped me drink, Latif, on my instructions, quietly snapped a photo.

"Excellent, guys!" I said the next day. "Latif, I'm gonna buy you KFC."

I had finally learnt my lesson. Love is God's gift. It cannot be forced upon others.

From that day onwards, As and I became close pals.

We often spent time together and our favourite place was Batu Feringgi's big, graffiti-filled rock.

We talked about love. I told her about me and she told me about herself.

We soon fell in love.

Encouraged by As and I, Emy and Latif started dating.

The four of us often went out together. Sometimes, Tun and Violet would join us.

Jeffri's Scheme

Jeffri grew up under my mother's care. She and my father were bitter about each other following their divorce.

She influenced Jeff to hate dad.

Jeff's father, Pangeran, also taught him to hate. Tan Sri and his family were the objects of hate.

As love blossomed between As and I, Jeff constantly told her I would ruin her life.

She replied: "Examine yourself first before condemning others."

Jeff got close to Tipah. He tricked her, seduced her, and made her pregnant.

Prior to the seduction, Tipah thought Jeff was terribly sad having "lost" As to me. She consoled him.

Tipah told Jeffri that if they were to fall in love, she would be very happy because her foster brother would soon marry As.

Deep in her heart, she wanted her father and Jeff's father to make peace.

Tipah may be soft and pampered, but she knows what she wants in life.

Tan Sri soon found out that Tipah was pregnant. He asked me if I did it.

I said "no". He slapped me and kicked me out of his house.

Eventually, I said "yes" to cool him down and stop him from killing Jeff, Tipah's spouse-to-be.

I confronted Jeffri. He said: "Tipah is yours, As is mine!"

Jeffri, shortly after making Tipah pregnant, forced her to meet As and show her our marriage certificate.

Tipah met As in Craven A restaurant and showed her our marriage certificate. She also said she was pregnant.

Filled with rage, As confronted me and declared our love over.

I tried many times to tell her the child was not mine, but she refused to believe me.

Tun came to me and said the more As cursed me, the more she loved me.

She told me to be patient and give As some time to get over the shock of learning about my "wife", Tipah.

She then had a word with Tan Sri about what actually happened.

I approached Tipah and told her angrily that she had embarrassed her family.

I said she should not have had sex before marriage.

"Tipah tertipu, bang (I was tricked)," she said.

She believed Jeff was good and actually wanted to marry him.

She believed Jeffri would change his evil ways slowly.

I forgave her but said: "Sex before marriage is a great sin. Please seek God's forgiveness."

I had a word with Tan Sri. He knew everything after Tun and Tipah talked to him earlier.

He agreed that Tipah and I be divorced and that she get married to Jeffri.

"Maaf ayah," I told my foster father.

I soon introduced him to As, and he had lunch with my gal several times. He then told me she would make a good wife.

As still would not go out with me. She told me all men were the same, exploiters of women.

I left her a message: "Selamat Tinggal (Goodbye) - Ali Setan".

Then, I sped off to the big rock. I sat on a smaller rock nearby and watched the waves.

As my tears rolled down, I somehow felt As still loved me but was testing my patience.

Reunited At Last

One day, As, Emy and Latif were in the USM canteen when Tan Sri and Tipah came in their limo.

"May I know who is Jeffri?" asked Tan Sri.

Jefrri came out from the gents and introduced himself to Tan Sri.

Tan Sri slapped him, and he fell on a dustbin.

"Sorry! That was for sex before marriage. I am happy you will be my son-in-law. Times have changed. Friends became foes, and foes have once again become friends."

Tan Sri approached Latif. Emy wrapped her arms around Latif tightly.

"Latif, have you seen Ali?" asked Tan Sri.

He is in Batu Feringgi, Tan Sri," Latif replied.

"Latif, As, both of you go find Ali. Tell him I have said everything is all right now," Tan Sri said.

Emy embraced As and Latif, before As got on his bike.

Latif and As found me sitting on my rock. As tickled my feet with a tree branch.

We jumped into each other's arms.

"You came, As! You came!" I said.

"Ali, Tan Sri says all is right," she said.

"Please forgive me."

The three of us left the beach and went home.

As and I would go steady until we graduated.

End Of Part One.

Ali Setan Part Two

KL, My City

After three years in USM, I finally graduated as an architect. Tan Sri found me a job in his pal A. Ayappan’s architecture firm.

Latif, Abu, Shukor and Sarban joined me. My boss’ office was in Sultan Ismail Road.

Mr Ya Salam (Jalil) became a manager of his millionaire dad’s supermarket chain.

Tipah worked with him.

George became a manager in Jeffri’s family business, which develops condos and houses.

Tun and Violet joined a PR firm which works closely with Jeffri’s business.

As and Emy joined a leading magazine in town.

In KL, my home was a large bungalow in Ampang. It was Tan Sri’s.

Jeff and Tipah lived in the Duta Road area in his mansion.

Their first-born, sadly, was not to be.

Abu lived with me but later moved to Section 17 in Petaling Jaya.

Though rich, I kept a low profile. I owned no BMW, just a Honda Civic.

I also had an open car decorated with my personal AS logo and painted in my favourite red and white.

It was christened the Setanmobile.

I had loved the USM gym. For that reason, I made a mini gym in a part of my living room.

I grew a beard while in KL. The reason was because I missed As. I had not seen her for two months.

But one day, she came up to me out of no where and we embraced.

“Oh, As! Long time we have not met. You are still so young and beautiful, sayang,” I said.

“Emy and I are journalists, Setan. We’ll always be in KL. I thought you would not be in KL. Every night I look at your picture and pray that we would be together in KL,” she said.

The Misunderstanding

It was one fine Saturday morning when I was busy in my gym.

Abu was chatting with someone on the phone. I had a date with As.

Latif and Emy were to be with us.

We were supposed to watch a popular film in one of the major cinemas in town.

Just then, Latif came in alone announcing a change of plan.

I was lifting weights while he hopped onto the exercise bike.

“100 Plus dua (two), Abu!” I said.

Abu, who had just put down the phone, replied: “You think I am your butler?!”

Latif said his Indonesian cousins from Medan, Zila and Maya had just come to town.

The girls were Jakarta University students.

They wanted to tour KL and watch the hottest film in town.

Latif was not good at directions and asked me to be his cousins’ tour guide.

He said he had told Emy he’d be taking two guys, his Indonesian cousins, on a tour of KL.

“She don’t like me with 2 gals,” he said.

“Same here,” I replied.

I quickly phoned As at home and told her I was taking Latif’s cousins on a city tour.

So the 4 of us got into the Setanmobile for a tour of KL. We went to several interesting places in the city. Then it was the cinema, and after the show, the nearest KFC.

Luck was, however, not on our side. The film was in its last day. Emy and As rushed to the cinema. As we were walking out after the show, our gals saw us and followed the Setanmobile to KFC.

Maya asked why I was called Ali Setan (Setan = Devil). I replied it was a nickname given by my pals and As because I used to be very naughty in the university.

Latif told his cousins: “Ali is just Setan in name. He has a heart of gold, really.”

At that moment, Maya kissed my cheek.

Latif turned around and found to his horror that As and Emy were two seats behind us.

As and Emy suddenly said aloud: “Hi, Ali! Hi, Latif!”

They quickly walked up to us. Zila and Maya introduced themselves.

“You must be Ali’s and Latif’s good friends,” said Zila.

“Not really,” Emy replied. “Not if he ain’t honest with me.”

As said: “Ali ni lawan, mana boleh kawan! (Ali ain’t my pal but my foe!)”

She pulled my cap over my eyes. “Harap kau merana Ali Setan! (May you suffer forever Ali Setan!)”

“Bye, Ali! Bye, Latif!” As and Emy said as they dumped their 1 sen (cent) change into the donation box at the door.

The next morning, the upset Ali Setan went to visit Jalil’s supermarket.

Latif, Abu and Shukor tagged along. Jalil was not in his office, so we went to his fitness centre.

George was there, and he told us Jalil had just gone for a meal, and would be back in his office after 2pm.

We then went to Jalil’s office and were greeted by his assistant, Tipah.

She said Jalil was expecting us at 2pm and told us to wait.

When Jalil returned to his office, he greeted us with his trade mark “Ya Salam”.

He sent his regards to Tan Sri, Jeffri and of course, As.

In return, we sent our regards to his dad and family.

Shy Jalil had changed for the better and was now a dashing and confident gentleman.

Latif and I told Jalil about our problems with As and Emy. He said: “Don’t worry. Love has its ups and downs. But love will prevail. I’ll talk to As and Emy, OK!”

Later in the evening, Jalil, Latif and I went to As’ house. She did not come out and sent Emy instead.

Jalil told As and Emy that Latif and I were sorry.

“Ali kata maaf. Latif juga (Ali and Latif say sorry),” Jalil said.

Emy then went to As who told her: “As kata benci Ali! (As says she hates Ali!)”

I yelled from inside the car: “Cinta! (Love U!)”

As yelled back from her window: “Benci! (Hate U!)”

The shouting match lasted for a while.

Eventually, Jalil said: “Ali and Latif don’t wanna meet As and Emy again! C U!”

Emy turned red in the face and so did As.

“Thanks, Jalil!” Latif and I said.

The next morning, I visited As myself. I said sorry one more time and told her I lied because I feared she would leave me after seeing me with two other women.

She did not reply and refused to look at me.

At last, she said: “OK, Ali. I’m sorry too. But don’t do it again!”

Emy also forgave Latif that day.

Unfaithful Jeffri

A few weeks later, my pals and I attended a university reunion dinner at the vice-chancellor’s house in Ampang.

It was beautifully lit and had a swimming pool.

Jalil was the MC for the evening. Several performances were made by ex-students. As and I sang a joget (traditional Malaysian dance) duet. Emy and Latif recited poetry. Jalil sang P. Ramlee songs. Abu and Latif rocked the house with their band.

Sarban danced with his bhangra troupe and became the centre of attraction.

As the dance was about to finish, Jalil lobbed a firecracker. It rolled towards Sarban.

Some of the dancers jumped into the pool.

Sarban and the guys grabbed Jalil and threw him into the pool.

Though he deserved it, I pitied Jalil because he got wet in two USM dinners.

Later that night, Abu, Latif and I went for supper at a coffee house in Bangsar.

We saw Tipah performing some jazz numbers and lighting a cigarette.

“Hello, Tipah!” I said. “Why are you smoking?”

“Don’t you smoke, too?” she replied. “OK, I give up!”

“How’s Jeff?” I asked. “He’s left me for Tina,” she said.

“Caught them in the house one night. I then went home to dad.”

Tan Sri was surprisingly patient with Jeff’s adultery.

Perhaps, he blamed Pangeran for Jeff’s bad behaviour and learnt to accept the spoilt child’s sins.

As they say, the older the wiser.

“Be patient, Tipah,” I said. “Come stay with me till Jeff leaves Tina.”

“I don’t want Abu’s room. He snores,” she said.

“Have the spare room, then,” I said.

“But that’s for As.”

“Well, it’s yours until she comes.”

Who was this Tina?

Tipah told me she worked in the USM canteen during my days there and Jeffri also pursued her back then.

Tun and Violet also knew about her.

So did Jalil.

Tina worked with him for a while.

The Failed Marriage

Some months later, Tan Sri and As’ dad Haji Darus decided that As and I tie the knot.

But I had a dream that Jeffri would foil our plans. I was right.

One night, as I was with Latif and Jalil in the Coliseum Cafe, Jeffri came in.

I asked him why he left his wife, and he said she left him.

“She was sick of your affair,” I said.

“Tipah is yours! As is mine!” he replied.

“As and I are getting married!” I said angrily.

“We’ll see about that!” he said.

Jeff’s dad Pangeran Zain was also Haji Darus’ pal. One weekend, Jeff had a game of golf with Haji Darus and told him about my mum, his late stepmum.

He brought to As’ dad’s attention Pangeran’s lie that I was an illegitimate child.

Jeff actually believed I was such. His dad lied to him, as he did not like Tan Sri and wanted to ruin his family.

When As and I went for lunch one weekend, she said: “Ali, there are 2 men I love. One is you. Guess the other.”

I said: “Latif? Jalil? Abu? Shukor? George? Sarban?”

She said: “No, silly. My dad.”

“He says we cannot marry because you are illegitimate.”

I told her the truth and she believed me.

We both went to see Tan Sri. Tun followed us.

Tan Sri introduced us to his kadi friend from Kuantan in Pahang. He would have us tie the knot secretly at his house.

Unfortunately, the news travelled to Haji Darus. Jeffri, through his younger brother Ersat, followed As, Tun and I to Tan Sri’s house.

Ersat overheard our conversation, reported to Jeffri, and they gave Haji Darus a call.

As and I tied the knot in the kadi’s house. Latif, Jalil, Abu and Shukor were present as was Tun.

We all wore simple Malay clothes, for I am a simple man.

The kadi was liberal enough to OK my AS cap.

But shortly before the kadi completed the ceremony, Haji Darus showed up.

He took the kadi aside. They went into his bedroom.

Shukor eavesdropped. He told Jalil: “Haji Darus says Ali is an illegitimate child!”

“Ya Salam!” said Jalil. “Apa ni (What’s this), Shukor!” said Abu.

As and Tun embraced. As knew her fate was sealed.

Sure enough, the kadi came out of his bedroom saying: “Sorry, they can’t marry!”

Before he could say more, I left for home.

Back in KL that evening, As and I met atop Melawati Hill, our favourite jogging spot. My gang and I often went there on weekends, and so did As, Emy, Tun and Violet.

As said we could not be together as her dad would not want to hear of me again.

If we went ahead with our plans, he would chase her out of his house.

She asked if Tan Sri knew any other kadi who could help us.

“As, you must understand, love is as great as the sea and sky. It does not end with marriage,” I said.

I had started to become philosophical. Perhaps, I was finally growing up.

“I am not clean enough for you, As. Your dad wants a truly clean son-in-law. You ought to know I was a bad boy in USM.”

As said: “I’m not clean either. I nearly killed you.”

I said: “Well, looks like we can’t have each other because we both are sinners. But wherever we are, we’ll always be together and I’ll never forget you.”

Amidst a beautiful sunset, the two lovers decided to go separate ways. It was a painful move, but for the better.

Back at home, Abu told me Tina had called and wanted to talk to me in a leading hotel in town.

I decided to go, as I wanted to know about Jeff and his scheme.


At the hotel, Tina greeted me in her suite. She looked friendly and was polite and smartly dressed. Suddenly, she unzipped my pants.

At that moment, religious department officers nabbed us. The next day, we were charged in the Kuala Lumpur Shariah Court with Khalwat (close proximity). I paid our fines.

As learnt about the incident in the papers. She phoned me and we had a meeting atop Melawati Hill again.

“You creature! I’ve a good mind to make you suffer for eternity!” she said.

“Jeff and I will be marrying soon!”

“Say what you want As,” I said. “I am not clean.”

“But beware of Jeff. He ruined me.”

“You ruined your life, sucker!” she said.

“OK! Do as you wish, Asmidar,” I said.

End Of The World

I rejected As because I loved her too much.

I did not want to sour relations between As and her father.

Jeff had Tina set me up in the hotel. He wanted to cast me as an immoral person.

I wrote a letter to Tina, telling her how I felt being tormented by Jeff, Ersat, Pangeran, and herself.

I said they all wanted to ruin me, out of a personal vendetta.

A few weeks later, As and Jeff wed in Haji Darus’ house.

Pangeran was there, so was Ersat. I handed Tun a gift for her sister.

Tun said to me, holding my hands: “Sayang (darling), don’t worry. It’s all a sandiwara (act). Just to please dad. Tipah will be coming soon and the wedding will be nullified. Your dad has planned everything. Truth will prevail.”

My gift for As was a musical box with a necklace. It had a congratulatory message to As and Jeff. The message said As was my only love and I gave her up to make her happy.

When I lunched with Tipah, Tun, Emy, Violet, Latif, Jalil, Abu, Shukor, George and Sarban the next day, Tipah and Tun consoled me, saying that any time now, the marriage would be over.

Tipah said she and Tan Sri would be seeing As’ dad. She had pictures of my mum and dad with Tan Sri at my parents’ wedding.

And pictures of me and my parents, long after the ceremony.

“Thanks, Tipah,” I said.

I decided to take a holiday at Lintang Forest Reserve in Bentong, Pahang.

I told Ayappan about this and he had no objections. I gave the forest reserve contact number to him and my gang.

Lintang had many wooden chalets on stilts. I rented one and found a mattress, some hardware, a stove and a table inside.

Living outdoors was relaxing to me as it isolated me from Jeff and my problems.

Being a police cadet made me appreciate a spartan holiday.

Every morning, I prayed hard seeking help from the Almighty, to be reunited with As and for Jeffri and his family to return to the true path.

Jeffri Is Exposed

One day, Tina appeared in As’ house. She confessed her sins and asked for forgiveness. As readily forgave her.

Tina chose to repent by working for As’ company. She is still there today.

In the evening, As and Jeff quarrelled in his house.

She accused him and his family of being JR Ewings. She also said she was returning to her true husband, Ali.

Jeff called her an Alexis Carrington and threatened to use his rifle on As and Ali.

A day later, Jeff’s marriage to As was nullified by the Kuala Lumpur Shariah Court.

Haji Darus sought forgiveness from As, Tan Sri and Tipah. He told them that he recognised Ali as his son-in-law and the validity of Ali’s and As’ marriage.

Jeff began to practise shooting with his rifle. George, who often visited Jeff, told As about it.

At Jalil’s newly opened furniture store, As told my gang, Emy, Tun, Violet and Tipah that she and I were in danger.

Latif, Abu, Jalil and Tipah decided to follow her to Lintang and alert Ali of the danger posed by Jeff.

Jalil drove them in his Ferrari.

At Lintang, As went to Ali’s hut while the others stayed in the car.

As approached me as I was burning some dead leaves. I had just finished cleaning my hut.

“Forgive me, Ali,” As said.

“There’s nothing to forgive. We are only human,” I replied, assuming that As and Jeff were still together.

Just then, Jeff jumped down from a tree and fired two shots from his rifle.

As and I ran into the chalet, where I splashed red paint on us.

As decided to play dead and fool Jeff into thinking he shot us.

“If U R a man, come out and fight, Ali!” Jeff said.

I carried As out, saying: “You killed your wife!”

“I’ve lost her, so have you!”

“Kiss her hands!”

Jeff hesitated, saying: “Why should I?”

I replied: “Her hands are clean, unlike your filthy ones which kill!”

So Jeff kissed As’ hands.

“Oh, As! I am so sorry,” Jeff said. He touched her body.

“Stop it! Haram!” I yelled.

“Her body is clean, yours is filthy!”

“Kiss her feet!”

“Why should I?” Jeff asked.

I replied: “You must bow to this martyr who gave her life for us. You killed her.”

As Jeff was kissing As’ feet, she got up.

“Damn you, Setan! You tricked me!” You must die!” said Jeff.

I said: “Mr Jeffri Zain, you are such a fool! You can’t tell the difference between blood and paint!”

Jeff raised his rifle again.

“Let me die!” As said, shielding me.

“No, I must die!” I said, going in front of As.

“Stop!” Tipah cried out.

Jeff went down on his knees.

“Oh, God! I’m sorry. Forgive me. I’m not a killer. I won’t be one. I won’t kill my brother and sister-in-law,” he said.

Tipah came up to Jeff and hugged him.

“Forgive me, Tipah,” Jeff said.

“Don’t worry, Jeff. Forget about the past,” Tipah said, caressing him.

Jeff then embraced me and As.

“Forgive me, brother. I ruined your life. We have the same mother. She would not have wanted me to torment my flesh and blood,” he said.

“It’s over, Jeff. The past is the past,” I said.

Jeff said: “Ali, As, you are my kin. Ali, As is your wife. Tipah is my dear wife.”

“I want to do this for dad and Ersat. I want to show them we should not have any grudges.”

“I love you all!”

Abu, Latif and Jalil came up to us. “Take care, guys. I’m visiting you next week,” Jeff told them.

Hand in hand, Jeff and Tipah went to his car.

“See U in KL, Ali and As!” Jeff shouted as he entered his car.

“Bye, Jeff! Bye, Tipah!” As and I shouted.

“I’m so happy to see you guys safe and sound and back together again,” said Latif.

“How wonderful God is,” said Jalil.

“May His blessings be on us all,” said Abu.

“When are you and Emy getting hitched?” As asked Latif. “Soon,” he replied.

“I knew you were made for each other,” she said.

“Tun and Violet fully agree.”

“Wanna join us at the nearby cafe?” Abu asked.

“Go ahead, guys. As and I got to talk,” I replied.

“I don’t want to pay any Mas Kahwin (dowry). Money makes us evil. I’d rather be single and spiritual,” I said.

As said: “I’m not for you, Ali. You are a saint and I’m all too human. Goodbye, Ali.”

She put on her jacket and walked away.

Suddenly, I yelled: “I love you, Asmidar!”

She replied: “Wait for me, abang (boyfriend)!”

We embraced. My wife and I were so happy to be together again. We shed tears of joy.

Thus, Ali’s trials and tribulations came to an end. He was truly one with beautiful Asmidar, his college sweetheart, forever.


My life has never been better since then. I thank God every day for all that He has done to help me and the people I know and love.

Latif, Abu, Shukor, Sarban and I still work for Ayappan, but we have become managers now.

Jalil still runs his dad’s biz, and Tipah is one of his managers.

Jeff and Tipah get along very well and are very much in love. Jeff is still managing his dad’s business. Ersat is also a manager and both he and his old man have turned over a new leaf, and made peace with Tan Sri.

George, Tun and Violet still work with Jeff.

My wife, As, who helped me compile the facts for this story, and her cousin, Emy, are editors in their magazine now. Emy and Latif, just like Jeff and Tipah, and As and I, are very much in love today.

I guess all’s well that ends well. But here’s the lesson of the story. Love is God’s gift. Man cannot force it on fellow humans. Let’s all thank our Creator for giving us all unconditional love.

Friday, August 10, 2007

About Ipoh - My Hometown

From Wikipedia & Malaysiana1.

Ipoh is Malaysia’s second largest city and the third town to be proclaimed as such after George Town in Penang (1957) and Kuala Lumpur in Selangor (1972).

The capital of Perak state, it is 200 km north of Kuala Lumpur, and both cities are linked by the North-South Highway of Peninsular Malaysia.

Ipoh’s name is derived from the Ipuh tree which produces sap used by the Senoi (Mon) hill tribe as poison for blowpipe darts.

Ipoh’s original inhabitants were the Senoi people who came from southern Kelantan or northern Pahang and crossed the Titiwangsa Range into Perak.

Mount Korbu (Buffalo), the highest (2,183 metres) peak in the Titiwangsa Range, the backbone of Peninsular Malaysia, is situated in Tanjung Rambutan, eastern Ipoh.

The Ipoh section of the mountain range is the Roof Of Peninsular Malaysia, as its mountains are the highest in the range.

In the earliest of times, Ipoh became the capital of the kingdom of Gangga Negara founded by a son of the Sultan of Johor, the head of the indigenous Selangorian or Johorean tribe.

In 1528, Gangga Negara came to an end because its ruling dynasty died out. A son of the Sultan of Johor founded the new Sultanate of Perak to replace Gangga Negara.

Ipoh’s original name was Kinta and it was subsequently called Paluh.

Ipoh was rich in tin and was one of Peninsular Malaysia’s most prominent tin-mining centres since the days of Gangga Negara.

Prior to the 1980s drop in tin prices, Ipoh was the world’s number one tin-mining centre.

Many Malaysian Chinese businessmen became millionaires as a result of the booming tin industry during British colonial rule in the 1800s.

It can be said that without Ipoh’s tin, the Industrial Revolution would not have begun in Western Europe and the United States.

The 1980s tin price slump crippled the economy of Ipoh and Perak. As a result, many natives of Ipoh migrated to Selangor (including Kuala Lumpur).

Some even went to Singapore and even Hong Kong.

Since 1995, the Kuala Lumpur administration has gradually begun to re-develop Ipoh.

Ipoh’s water supply is amongst the country’s cleanest and clearest. Its source is a waterfall in the eastern suburb of Tanjung Rambutan.

This suburb also houses the country’s foremost mental hospital called Happiness (Bahagia) Hospital.

Ipoh has more than 600,000 people. Chinese form 70 per cent of the population followed by indigenous Malaysians (Malays, mostly Johoreans) at 17 per cent and Indians (mostly Tamils) at 13 per cent.

Here are some famous personalities from Ipoh:

Malaysia’s Miss Hollywood Datuk Michelle Yeoh.

Malaysia’s foremost cartoonist Datuk Muhammad Noor Khalid or Lat.

Film-maker Mamat Khalid, younger brother of Lat.

Malaysia’s Roy Orbison, the late pop and rock star M. Shariff.

Recording artistes KRU, Farish Ramli, Amy Mastura Suhaimi, Awie (Azhar Othman), Ning Baizura, Francissca Peter, Michael Wong, Adibah Noor, Ezlynn Ariffin and Hazami Ahmad.

Actors Ahmad Idham Ahmad Nadzri, Hani Mohsin Hanafi, Rashidi Ishak, Christy Yow, Elaine Daly, Monti Foong, Kudsia Kahar, Patrick Teoh, Ben Tan, Afdlin Shauki Aksan, Angie Cheung, Amber Chia, Vick Teo and Ashvin Nair.

Cabinet Ministers (past and present) Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik and Datuk Paul Leong.

Malaysia’s first woman Attorney-General Tan Sri Ainum Mohamad Said.

It is often said that Ipoh’s limestone hills make its food tasty. Ipoh delicacies include Chinese noodle dishes Sar Hor Fun and Chi Cheung Fun (fettucini-style noodles), Hakka Mee, bean sprout chicken, Dim Sum (Cantonese dumplings, often for breakfast) and Heung Ping (a traditional Chinese biscuit).

Indigenous Malaysian cuisine here includes satay and tempoyak (fermented durian with chilli).

A popular drink is Ipoh White Coffee. The Chinese New Year raw fish salad Yi Sang is also from Ipoh.

Ipoh’s city centre is divided by the Kinta River into Old Town and New Town. The latter is on the eastern bank of the river and houses the major commercial centre while the former houses Government buildings.

The D R Seenivasagam Park is the city’s oldest green area and is situated along Raja Musa Aziz Road in New Town. Ipuh trees are found here.

The Lang Hill Recreation Park, which surrounds a large limestone hill, is situated along Kuala Kangsar Road, a short distance away from D R Seenivasagam Park.

There is also the small Japanese Garden in Tambun Road, and the newly established theme park called The Lost World Of Tambun in the suburb of Tambun, east of the city centre.

The Lost World Of Tambun is also close to the famous Tambun Hot Springs.

The Tanjung Rambutan Waterfall in the east of Ipoh and the Hulu Chepor Waterfall in Jelapang, west of Ipoh, are the city’s most popular waterfalls.

Two of Ipoh’s oldest public schools are the Anglo Chinese School in Lahat Road and the St Michael’s Institution in S P Seenivasagam Road.

They are both situated close to the Ipoh Railway Station which is a heritage building of Indian-Arab design.

Ipoh, which is surrounded by limestone hills, has several popular cave temples and they include the Sam Po Temple and Kek Lok Temple in the southern suburb of Gunung Rapat, and the Perak Temple in the northern suburb of Tasek.

Ipoh has the country’s first velodrome in Ghazali Jawi Road. Next to it is the Indera Mulia Indoor Stadium.

Ipoh’s major golf clubs are the Royal Perak Golf Club in Tiger Lane and the Meru Golf Club in Jelapang.

There is also the Iskandar Polo Club in Tambun and the National Stud Farm in Tanjung Rambutan.

Ipoh, like Kuala Lumpur, has its fair share of nightlife. Its bistro districts are Greentown in Raja Musa Aziz Road and Ipoh Garden off Tasek Road.

Ipoh’s major shopping complexes are Ipoh Parade in Sultan Idris Road and Kinta City in Ipoh Garden.

Several Hollywood films have been shot in Ipoh. They include Anna And The King (1999) and the 1975 film Paper Tiger which starred the late David Niven.

Hong Kong film After This Our Exile (2006) was also filmed in Ipoh.

Local films shot in Ipoh include Embun (2002), Paloh (2003), Sepet (2005), Gubra (2006), Goodbye Boys (2006) and Mualaf (2007).

Ipoh’s sister cities are Canton in China and Fukuoka in Japan.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

About Muar - Centre Of The Universe

From Wikipedia & Malaysiana1.

Muar (also referred to as Bandar Maharani or Queenstown) is a town in northwestern Johor, Malaysia.

The name Muar is also used for the Muar district, which is divided between the towns of Muar and Tangkak.

Muar district borders Melaka on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia.

Muar district is about 2,346 km², with a population of 328,695 (2000).

The name originated from the word Muara or estuary in Bahasa Malaysia.

The town of Muar is located at the mouth of the Muar River. The town is about 150 km southeast of Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur, and about the same distance northwest of Singapore . It is 45km south of Melaka City and 50 km north of Batu Pahat.

Muar was once Johor’s state capital, before Johor Baru. It is a historical town which has seen several invasions by the Portuguese colonialists, who took Melaka from its last ruler Sultan Mahmud Shah 1 in 1511.

Sultan Mahmud re-started the Sultanate of Johor in Muar after leaving Melaka that year.

One of Melaka’s Sultans, Sultan Alauddin Riayat Shah 1 is buried in Pagoh, a suburb of Muar town.

The Portuguese once occupied Muar and built a fort there, but it was destroyed by the Johorean forces.

From 1835 to 1877, Muar became known as the autonomous Sultanate of Kesang created by the British to pacify the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ali Iskandar Shah.

At that time, Sultan Ali was at loggerheads with Tengku Ibrahim Shah, the Temenggung (Home Minister) of Johor who was also his cousin.

The Temenggung was an able administrator and the British recognised him as the Regent of Johor, but this was resented by the Sultan, who did not have much popular support.

The Sultanate of Kesang pacified Sultan Ali, because it allowed him to have his own estate where he could command his subjects and win their support with development projects.

Sultan Ali also owned land in British-ruled Singapore, encompassing the indigenous township of Kampung Gelam.

Johor’s protectorate Pahang was governed by another of Sultan Ali’s cousins Tengku Ahmad Shah who was the Bendahara (Prime Minister) of Johor.

He was recognised by the British as Pahang’s legitimate leader as he had the people’s support.

After Sultan Ali died in 1877, the Sultanate of Kesang was scrapped and Tengku Ibrahim’s son and successor as Temenggung, Tengku Abu Bakar Shah, became the new Sultan of Johor with the title of Sultan Abu Bakar.

Tengku Ahmad Shah became the Sultan of Pahang with the title of Sultan Ahmad Shah 1.

One of Sultan Ali’s sons Tengku Alam Shah rebelled against Sultan Abu Bakar, but was promptly defeated. He was banished to Singapore but eventually received a pardon.

Muar used to have its own railway known as Muar State Railway. It operated between 1889 to 1925 and linked Sulaiman Road in the town centre to the suburb of Sungai Pulai 22.5 km away.

The track has been replaced by Temenggung Ahmad Road. The MSR locomotive is now displayed in Tanjung Emas Gardens in the town centre and is the country’s oldest locomotive.

Muar is known as the furniture capital of Malaysia. It has more furniture factories than any other towns or cities in Malaysia.

Muar has several supermarkets and one major shopping mall, the Wetex Parade in Ali Road.

The 14 km Muar Bypass (2 lane dual carriageway) completed in 2005 is the latest landmark of the town. It diverts traffic away from the town centre and from the old Sultan Ismail Bridge across the Muar River.

Muar is also accessible via the North-South Expressway through the Tangkak and Pagoh Interchanges which are located 20 km and 30 km from the town, respectively.

A ferry service to Dumai, Sumatra, Indonesia is also available at the Customs Department Jetty.

One of the main tourist attractions in Muar is the Mount Ledang National Park. The park is situated 170 km from Johor Baru and has an area of 107 km².

The park has two entry points, one in Sagil, Muar and the other in Asahan, Jasin, Melaka.

Mount Ledang's peak, which is 1,276 m above sea level is the highest point in the park and Johor.

Mount Ledang is arguably the most climbed mountain in the country. Sagil Waterfall, which is also in the park is a famous picnic site.

The mountain is famously associated with a fairy princess whom Sultan Mahmud Shah 1 is believed to have lusted over. She sent him a list of impossible tasks before he could marry her, and he eventually learnt that it was a polite way of saying “no” to his advances.

Muar is also famous for its traditional food. The most well-known is the spicy fish dumpling called Otak-Otak and the Javanese (Orang Kuala) Bandung Mee, which is a spicy, soupy noodle.

Satay (Malaysian kebab) is also famous in Muar and is served for breakfast in Abdullah Road.

Haji Abu Road is famous for its foodstalls. Besides indigenous Malaysian food, Chinese food is aplenty here and it includes Wanton Mee (noodles with stuffed dumplings a la ravioli), Oyster Omelette and Prawn Noodles (prepared dry, unlike that in other parts of the country).

Rows of well-preserved, pre-War buildings dominate the town’s architecture.

These buildings still house various shops along Abdullah Road, dubbed Muar’s central business district.

Prominent heritage buildings, among others, are the Abu Bakar Building (completed in 1929) that houses the town’s administrative offices and the Customs Department building (completed in 1909).

The age of most buildings can be easily identified since the date of completion (from the 1930s to 1950s) were cast on the buildings’ exterior.

There is a town park, Tanjung Emas Park, at the mouth of the Muar River. It includes a 9-hole golf course and an hour-long river cruise.

The Sultan Ibrahim Mosque is one of the major landmarks of Muar town. Completed in 1927, its architectural design has British influence.

The mosque is noted for its four-storey minaret in its backyard.

The latest icon of the town is the Sultan Ismail Mosque, located at the northern bank of the Muar River in Tanjung Agas.

Its design is similar to the first mosque.

Completed in 2002, it is the biggest mosque in the town.

Muar High School, established in 1904, is the town’s oldest public school. It was used as a Japanese concentration camp during World War 2.

Its alumni includes Johor’s Menteri Besar (Head Ministers) Datuk Seri Abdul Ghani Othman and his predecessors Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Tan Sri Othman Saat who are all from Muar.

Muar and Tangkak are served by two government hospitals as well as numerous primary health centres. The two hospitals are Muar’s Fatimah Hospital and Tangkak Hospital.

Both hospitals are teaching centres of the famous Melaka Medical College.

Muar is the birthplace of Ghazal, Johor’s Arab and Iranian-influenced traditional music.

Kuda Kepang, the traditional Kelantanese and Javanese Hobby Horse dance is performed in Muar and its most respected troupe is the Sungai Balang Troupe.

Muar is also famous for its 10-time world lion dance champion troupe the Kun Seng Keng Lion Dancers.

Muar is also famous for the Hindu temple Nagamalai Koil Alaiyam in Bukit Pasir. It is a popular hill temple for devotees in both Singapore and Malaysia.

Notable people from Muar:

Singaporean president S. R. Nathan.

Former Malaysian health minister Datuk Chua Jui Meng.

Malaysian singers M. Nasir, Ramli Sarip, Ramlah Ram, Nash (Jamaluddin Alias), Zainal Abidin and Zainal Alam Kadir a k a Mr Universe (Ghani’s cousin).

Comedian and TV presenter Jaafar Onn.

DJs Nana Mahazan (niece of Zainal Alam) and Reza Mohamad of Astro TV’s Era FM radio station.

Badminton player Yap Kim Hock.

Film-maker Yasmin Ahmad.

Former Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Kadir Yusuf , his wife and former Women, Family and Community Development Minister Tun Fatimah Hashim and their son, former Securities Commission chief Tan Sri Ali Kadir.

Former Parliamentary Speaker Tan Sri Noah Omar, the grandfather of Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak and Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman and his nephews, leading heart surgeon Datuk Dr Yahya Awang, former Health Ministry Director-General Tan Sri Dr Abu Bakar Sulaiman, and TV presenter, newscaster and MC Mahadzir Lokman.

Former Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Dr Neo Yee Pan.

Leading crime journalist Badrolhisham Bidin.

Former KFC Malaysia head the late Datuk Abdullah Omar, whose daughter Azreen is married to Kamaluddin, the businessman son of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Former Penang State Governor Tun Dr Awang Hassan, the father of Dr Yahya Awang.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

States Of Malaysia - Sabah

From Wikipedia & Malaysiana1.

Sabah is located in the north-eastern portion of the island of Borneo. It is the second largest state in Malaysia after Sarawak which it borders on the south-west.

Sabah also borders Indonesia to the south. Its state capital is Kota Kinabalu (formerly Api-Api).

Other major towns include Sandakan, Lahad Datu and Tawau.

Sabah is known as the Land Below The Wind, as it is situated below the typhoon belt that covers the Philippines.

Sabah’s name is derived from the Arabic kingdom of Sheba which is now Yemen and which means Land Below The Wind.

Another theory goes that the state’s name is a corruption of Sama which is the Bajau indigenous community, the second largest indigenous community in the state.

Sabah was historically a Bajau kingdom ruled by the paramount chief of the Bajaus from the sub-tribe of Tausug or Sulu.

The chief was titled Sultan of Sabah and Sultan of Sulu. Sulu refers to the Sulu Islands which have been part of the Philippines since the 1900s.

The Bajau Sultan, who also ruled the islands of Mindanao, Palawan, Visayas, Luzon and Taiwan (until the Ming Dynasty), paid tribute to the Kedayan Sultan of Brunei, the overlord of the island of Borneo.

In 1761, Britain set up a trading post in Balambangan Island, Kudat. However, the Bajau monarch soon expelled the British from the island.

Balambangan was Britain’s first colonial outpost in Southeast Asia.

The United States acquired Sabah from Brunei and the Bajau monarch, for a brief while in 1865. In 1881, Britain acquired Sabah.

From 1895 to 1900, the regent of Sabah, Datu Mat Salleh, led a revolt against British colonial rule. He was eventually murdered by his traitorous assistant.

On August 31, 1963, Sabah became independent from Britain. On September 16 that year, Sabah joined Malaysia as its 12th state.

Sabah’s first Governor and independence leader was Datu Mat Salleh’s grand nephew Tun Datu Mustapha Datu Harun, one of the heirs to the throne of Sabah and Sulu.

He also served as Sabah Chief Minister from 1967 to 1975 and was twice a Federal Cabinet Minister.

The Philippines has persistently staked a claim on Sabah, even though the claim is terribly flimsy as the Philippines originally comprised the island groups of Luzon and the Visayas, and not Palawan, Sulu and Mindanao.

The western part of Sabah is generally mountainous, containing the three highest mountains in Malaysia.

The most prominent range is the Crocker Range which houses several mountains of varying height from 1,000 to 4,000 metres.

At a height of 4,095 metres, Mount Kinabalu is the highest mountain in Malaysia and Southeast Asia.

Sabah’s rainforests are among the oldest in the world and are a wonderful source of biodiversity.

The Kinabalu National Park in Ranau, where the mountain is, was made a World Heritage Site in 2000.

Mount Trus Madi (2,642 metres) in Tambunan is the second highest mountain in the country. Mount Tambuyukon (2,579 metres) in Ranau is the third highest mountain in the country.

The mountains and hills are traversed by an extensive network of river valleys and are in most cases covered with dense rainforest.

The central and eastern portions of Sabah have lower mountain ranges and plains.

The Kinabatangan River begins from the western ranges and snakes its way through the central region towards the east coast into the Sulu Sea.

It is the second longest river in Malaysia after Sarawak’s Rejang River and covers 560 km.

The river valley is the largest forest-covered floodplain in Malaysia.

Other important wildlife regions in Sabah include the Maliau Basin, Danum Valley and Tabin in Lahad Datu, and Sepilok in Sandakan.

These places are national parks and wildlife reserves.

Over three quarters of the population inhabits the coastal plains.

Major towns and urban centres have sprouted along the coasts of Sabah.

The interior region remains sparsely populated with remote villages.

Beyond the coasts of Sabah lie some small islands and coral reefs, including the largest island in Malaysia, Banggi Island in Kudat.

Other islands include Jambongan and Selingan in Sandakan, Balambangan in Kudat, Timbun Mata in Semporna, and Sebatik in Tawau.

Sipadan Island in Semporna is popular with divers, as is Gaya Island in Kota Kinabalu.

Sabah is divided into five administrative divisions namely Interior (Keningau), West Coast (Kota Kinabalu), Kudat, Sandakan and Tawau.

Indigenous people make up 80 per cent of Sabah’s population and dominate the political and economic system.

The largest community is the Kadazan-Dusun which forms 45 per cent of the state.

Three quarters Christian and a quarter Muslim, it has provided the state with three out of its 9 Governors since independence, and 4 out of its 13 Chief Ministers.

The Bajaus, historically the most powerful indigenous community, come second, at 18 per cent of the state.

The ancestors of the Philippine people, they are fully Muslim, and have provided the state with 3 out of its 9 Governors, and 4 out of its 13 Chief Ministers.

The Kedayans or Bruneians, the first Muslims of Sabah (the Kadazans were the second bunch of Muslims), form 10 per cent of the population and are fully Muslim.

They have provided the state with one Governor and one Chief Minister.

The Muruts, who are a quarter Muslim and three quarters Christian, form 7 per cent of the state and have provided it with one Governor and one Chief Minister (and the country with one Attorney-General).

The 20 per cent non-indigenous minority comprises the mainly Hakka and Hokkien Chinese, who dominate the professions, as in Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia.

Timber, rubber, oil, cocoa, palm oil and tourism are Sabah’s major revenue earners.

Sabah’s major eco-tourism destinations include the Kinabalu National Park, Sandakan’s Turtle Islands Park, Kota Kinabalu’s Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park (Gaya Island) and the Tawau Hills Park.

Others include Ranau’s Poring Hot Springs, Kota Kinabalu’s Tanjung Aru Beach, Sandakan’s Gomantong Caves (a major swift sanctuary), Sandakan’s Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary, and Kudat’s Tanjung Simpang Mengayau (Borneo’s northernmost tip).

Notable Sabahans include the following.

Malaysian Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail who is of Murut ancestry.

High Court judge Datuk Richard Malanjum of Tuaran who is Kadazan-Dusun.

Film-makers Tony Francis Gitom (Kadazan-Dusun) and Deddy M. Borhan (Bajau).

Composers Asmin Mudin and Ambrose Mudi or Atama (Kadazan-Dusun).

Television presenters Shanna Avril and Daphne Iking (Kadazan-Dusun).

Reality show and talent contest graduates Adam Mat Saman (Kadazan-Dusun), Nicolette Palikat (Kadazan-Dusun), Norashikin Rahman (Kedayan), Norafizah Yasin (Bajau), Linda Nanuwil (Kadazan-Dusun) and Marsha Londoh (Kadazan-Dusun).