Friday, August 31, 2007

Am sharing my old family album in view of Merdeka Day!

My father ( with glasses) and Samad Idris

My mother and my younger sister

The good old days. Beautiful couple, my parents
Pix of Sir Gerald Templar inspecting the Malay regiment platoon prior to Merdeka day, pix taken by my father
My tricycle and my wooden rooster toy, I am just wearing a suspender without a shirt
My brother and sister posing in front of a poster in Kuala Pilah
My father the original biker, check out his shoeMy late father and his Rolleiflex, his first camera, imagine owning one of those in the 1950s!
My eldest brother holding his oversize pith helmet and his cousin who became one of the earliest Malay estate manager.
Me after my wisdom tooth being pulled, taken in front of the old Umno building
My mother Siti Awa feeding a crane which were plentiful at the Lake Garden, when it was a real garden.
Me (don't know why I was dressed as a little girl) and my mother at the general hospital

Me and my mother after I was born, even a babay I look mean, eh!

The Minangkabau women in my life, my mother with the stripe scarf, with my first cousins and auntie

My brother in front of a movie marquee in Kuala Pilah

Ah! Yes! The tranquil Lake Garden before this country was inundated with riff raff!

Me and my great-great grandmother Saadiah

My favourite cousin Zariah and I

My parents posing like that movie "from here to eternity"?

My cameraman father before he boarded a plane for aerial picture taking

My late father, Mustapha Ahmad.
My mother Siti Awa Jaman

Hi! Rakyat Malaysia!

I thought I would like to share some pictures from my very, very old family album that I managed to salvage from the old kampung house. A lot of neat pictures, especially of my parents when they were young, and when I was born,and there is a picture of me with my great-great grandmother Sa'adiah. Then there is a picture of my mother at Lake Garden when it was a real garden, tranquil and serene and with clean air! Then there is this old picture of my dad working secretly taking pictures for the British army during the emergency, he was just a scrawny young man. My mom and dad did a striking pose on the beach at Tanjung Bidara, he told me the post was like the Burt Lancaster movie!
We were lucky because my father was a photographer he recorded almost everything and once it was asked how come there were many of my pictures in the album. There is this picture of me taken in front of the old Umno building wearing a muffler taken a couple of months before Merdeka. My late father was also a personal friend of the late lawyer Maarof, a street named after him.

One morning, said my father, three Special Branch officers, one British two Malays, came and took Lawyer Maarof, in the evening Lawyer Maarof was found hung near Gombak, verdict: Suicide! But, strangely enough a road was named after a person who "committed suicide".

(Footnote: Lawyer Maarof was sent by the British to England to take up law, he came back and saw discrimination and he wanted to form a Malay bank but was disallowed. He became an ardent anti-British person alongside Pak Sako, and my father, and many more. Many attempts were made on Lawyer Maarof life, until he "committed suicide".
My father said he took picture of Lawyer Maarof dangling from a tree, but he destroyed the picture. Lawyer Maarof is the father of actor Mustapha Maarof. BTW! He was a Minangkabau!)
My father also worked for the Japanese controlled Utusan Malai paper, then he worked for RIDA, now Mara. And he was the first Minangkabau (I believe) who owned a Leicaflex camera and with that he made his living raising his family. He was also the original Mat Rempit, with his motorcycle. Then there is as picture of him with his good friend Samad Idris, or my pak lang! Pak Lang Samad later rose to become a full cabinet minister, but my father who joined Umno number two after after Pak Lang Samad no one, later left to join PMIP and from then on our family life went down the drain, so to speak.
But later in life before he dies my father supported the government and had the nerve to tell me not to be anti-government when I never was, he loved the country, the people like I do. So just enjoy the pictures!

The first picture from the top is the future! They are my grandnieces, or anak cucu, Sara Sophia, with Shahira Sophia and Mohamad Faris! The last picture is of my mother when she was very young, and in case if you are wondering, there are pictures of me when I was born and when I was at the general hospital, and check out my mother's shoes pretty neat!
Then there is also a picture of Sir Gerald Templar inspecting our Malay Regiment during the Merdeka parade, my father took the picture! Then there is a picture of me with my toys, and I was a happy person when I was growing up, I still am a happy person when I want to, now! The ladies are my auntie and cousins taken at Sungai Besi international airport before my cousin took off to London to study engineering. The there is a picture of my brother and sister looking at Laurel and Hardy at Kuala Pilah cinema, ah well you guys can figure the rest out!
So I hope you all can enjoy the pictures! And Happy Merdeka for all of us Rakyat Malaysia yang berbilang kaum! You know what! At the end of the day we will all will die so why not we just enjoy life, like I am going to Simpang Pulai then to Cameron Highland then to Kota Bharu via Gua Musang, I am told, infact I know so, the air there is fresher!

Shalom Bet!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

My little green paradise 3. And a new lawn mower!

A baby Dog tooth Cat snake, or its scientific name Boiga Cynodon, came a visitng and we had to push him back to the jungle!
My little hideout and the lawn after being mowed with the new lawn mower
I cannot begin to describe my experience with the jungle and mother nature especially in the morning, it is just nice!
The new lawn mower nicknamed Dusty Springfield!
My friend and caretaker of my jungle huts, Noor.

Last Monday my brother-in-law and I went back to my little hideout after so many months and the two old houses seem to be intact although the sundeck, unfortunately, needs to be fixed because of the sun and the rain that have taken its toll. We may have to strip some of the floor planks and to add new ones!
So the latest addition to my surrounding in the jungle is a new beautiful red Springfield lawn mower with a Braggs-Stratton engine. So when we, the caretaker and I, mowed the lawn it was a breeze compared to the back strapped grass cutter that was, after a while, a drag to operate on with all the vibration on the back can be hazardous to ones health!
With "Dusty", the nickname we gave to our lawnmower after Dusty Springfield, the lawn seemed to be more levelled and clean cut. That was a joy of seeing the lawn in a a jungle in a very civilised condition.
We also had an unexpected visitor in our kitchen, a little baby python and we had to chase it back into the jungle, but otherwise the jungle is still neutral and to be respected.
So here some pictures of my little hideout and my Dusty, and the snake for you all to enjoy!


Monday, August 6, 2007

We have Dutch blood in our family but we don't advertise it!

My mother Siti Awa Jaman, when she was very young.


I was attracted to an article in the NST about a group of Malaysians who are of a Dutch descent and proud of it. Well, I have Dutch blood on my mother side but we seldom talk about the subject, not because we are ashamed or proud, but for us there is nothing to be both. We are just a normal Malay of a Minangkabau family where freckles, brunette and fair skin run in my family.
My late sister, in her primary school time, had freckles on her face and her hair was brunette and one day her ustazah told her to get rid of the freckles and she was distraught for the longest time, but my wise Dutch-blood 87 year old mother, now, told her "do not worry that is how Minang is supposed to look like"!
When I met my cousins, and in our intimate conversation, will all agree that people considered us as a freak of nature.
There was this story of a group in Lebanon who claimed to be the descendants of the French crusaders who got left behind. One day they had an audience with the French ambassador in Lebanon, the group wanted to be given a French citizens, at the end of the meeting the French ambassador said, and it goes something like this: "Well I am sorry but during the time of the Holy War and the Crusaders, there was no such thing as the French Republic today, so we cannot considered you French nor are we empowered to give to French passport."
It okay for Malaysians to admit that they may have Dutch, Portuguese, English, French or what ever European blood, but at the end of the day they all look like Mestizos in South America, or Metis in Canada. These are "half-breed" types are look upon with disdain and contempt in these two continents!
When we try to be different from the rest we will run a risk of creating a concept called "distinct society" as we do in this country. The sad part is, after 50 years of independence, when I look at Malaysians of "portuguese or dutch descent" they either look very Indian, Chinese or sometime Malay so why do we want to create more distinction between us Malaysian?
I am not trying to offend anyone but merely trying to bring to the attention that I am actually ready to be classified as a MALAYSIAN if everyone is agreeable to it.
But there must be A QUALIFIER! To be one Bangsa Malay-sia we must have Malay-sian names and not Chinese or Indian names, example is like Indonesian-Chinese shuttler Rudy Hartono, or Thai-Chinese like Thaksin Shinatwatra, Chuan Leekpai, or Filipinas-Chinese like Cory Aquino nee Cohuangco! These names are very Indonesian, Thais and Filipinas!
Malaysian names cannot be Chinese names like Lim Kit Siang, Tian Hua, Tan Boon Pin, or Indian names like Samy Vellu, Nadeswaran or like K.Baradan! the names must have totally Malay-sian names! Anyway let us discuss this!

Happy Merdeka Day!

Istana Seri Menanti

Istana Seri Menanti
The old Istana which is now a museum.