Tuesday, April 23, 2013

My little abode....

I love the Malay kampong house; completely made of wood are never two alike. In the days of my growing up period in the early twentieth century most Malay houses in the kampong [village] are so designed as to get the best use of space. It is raised above ground. The floor been made of thick wooden planks arranged with a slight spacing in between allows cool air from the ground to get into the house which cool the house. In most houses there is no ceiling. The extra space provides enough space for the air to circulation. The wall made of thinner planks is build high up, where the top  one eighth part of it is always left with hole opening as a ventilation to allows hot air to circulate and get out of the building, thus cooling the whole area of the house. Because the house is raised and with lots of ventilation there was no necessity of having fan in the house. The house is always cool even on a hot and humid day. At night with the outside temperature down the inside became cooler making it a great place to get a good night sleep all night long. Kampong houses is actually friendly to the ecosystem for not much energy is required to allows one to live comfortably in such house. Because it is airy there is no need for fan let alone air-conditioning. Most of the parts are made of hardwood thus last longer than brick houses. So when I bought a house in Ulu Kelang which like all houses now are construct of brick and cements I tried to give it a Kampong atmosphere the best I could.  Over times I had installed laminated wooden flooring, build a serambi or patio, a loft and whatever little addition that could give me that Kampong look and comfort. Above is an addition I had added from the garage as a stairway to go up the house via the serambi or patio above. It does give this little abode of mine that Kampong look and the elegances that comes with it.

Have a nice day.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Reminising - Respecting the Sea...

Above is the scene of the beach at Teluk Cempedak in Kuantan in the early hours of the morning. Images in this posting was taken while I was waiting for the sun to rise on a visit to the place some years ago. The weather was cool and the beach was almost empty of people but already heavy with activities of the little crabs digging holes all over the sandy beach. Small birds seen picking food on the shore careless of the bashing of the waves. 

When I was growing up in the forties the beach was pristine with golden sand, a crystal clear river, lush jungle of greens all over making it a great place to whilst the day away and enjoy nature at its best. Then it was considered far from the town since there was no road leading to it. To get there one had to hike using a narrow path flank by dense jungle on both sides. One could see birds, small animals and creature like monkey and iguana or large lizard running loose here and there. There was no man-made structure around except a well that had been dug up by someone for the source of clean drinking water. It was an ideal place to go camping on weekend and enjoy a good swim in the crystal clear water of the sea. On most weekends we would hike there and camp for the two nights before returning home on Sunday evening. 

The first time I went there to swim was I believe when I was just seven years old then. Together with my classmate we would hike there and enjoy swimming in the sea of crystal clear water. It was sort of my introduction to the sea. Henceforth the sea around Kuantan became my many playgrounds. As I grow up Teluk Cempedak soon became our regular camping ground on weekend. We would hike there along path starting at what was the Tok Sira area at that time. In those days the land around Tok Sira was flat with shrub of wild berries. As one approach the sea the land became hilly and dense with greens of various shades. We had to climb a small hill and follow a narrow path that had been carved out in between bushes by folks who try to get to the beach the other side of the small hill leading to the bay. On both sides of the path are dense green mostly inhabit by monkey and other small animal.  As kids we were never afraid of animal that lurk in those bushes. We would enjoy the hike until we could see the sea up front. It was always nice to hear the wave bashing the shore as we get nearer to the sea as well get to smell the saltiness of the atmosphere. On a hot and humid day we would be sweating before we arrived at the cool place under the shade of huge trees near the beach. We would normally pitch our camp near the river or at the far end of the bay near those rocks where we could get fresh water. When the weather was good we would just sleep on the sandy beach under the glittering star up above. We would build camp-fire throughout the night to scare animal coming near to our place of sleeping. It was always fun to camp and enjoy the camp-fire in the evening where we would cook our food over open fire. One morning we woke up and found all our utensils were missing. We were indeed surprised as to how all the items were not around where we had left before we goes to sleep. We search and search and eventually found most of it dented. Obviously the high tide in the night had cause all the utensil to float and as the wave bash the shore all those items float with it were bashed and scattered all over all the night long until the tide subside. We collected what remains of our utensil and that experience taught us not to store anything too close the beach. We can never tell how high the tide would be from time to time. With that happening we learnt not to take thing for granted when camping beside the sea. As we get older we learnt many new things about the sea. As member of the Boy Scout moment we soon got training on first-aid and jungle survival which later became useful when we went hiking and camping in jungle, thus wiser whenever we go camping whether in the jungle or the beach. We go with enough information of the area and never would take things for granted. In one instance we saw a person drowning. We acted fast as a group and save that person's life. It was a memorable event that I could still vividly remember till these days. We learnt that every flora and fauna has it purpose in the scheme of thing and must be respected as well. We only take what we want and use only and leave the rest in peace and undisturbed. We always see to it that no fire or amber is left at fireplace whenever we left a place after camping or a picnic. We would clean the beach of debris and always kept it clean before leaving it. It soon became the norm of our group to see that things are left as it were whenever we leave the place. 

We learnt too that never to take the sea for granted. Always make sure that one knows the depth of the sea whenever one go swimming. The sea at Teluk Cempedak been a bay have strong undercurrent and in some places very deep. One must be very careful when swimming there. We can only enjoy the sea if we respect it as a great force that could be calm or wild in just mere minutes. So understanding it is very important for us to enjoy it for our benefit. It is here at an early age that I learnt to respect the sea. I kept going back to this enclave whenever I am in Kuantan. Even in my golden age I would still wander there in the early morning and wonder at the mystic of the rising sun. Except for the instruction of buildings and the polluted river the beach is still the same. It golden sand and the crystal clear water is still the beach of my childhood that always brings back memories of joy of those wonderful years of my childhood. The call of the sea is always close to my heart and Teluk Cempedak is mine forever.

Have a nice day.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Your One Vote [Malaysia 13th Election]...

The 13th General Election for Malaysia would be held on May, 5, 2013.

Folks, in a democracy it is the vote that put a person in charge of the country. Anyone who gets a majority, even with one vote would be elected to be a Member of Parliament or the Member of the State Assembly. So it is important that we as citizen of this country Malaysia understand that the one vote of ours does made the difference. So in an election, be it the by-election or now the General Election that happen once in four or five years we must take our vote seriously and vote with wisdom.

In the March 8, 2008 the citizen of Malaysia showed that they do understand that their votes does made the differences. In that election they voted for change. As can be seen at that election and the other by-election your votes do made the difference. Folks we are going through a changing time and as usual some people like change and some does not want at all. It is the same in a democracy. What we want is a democracy not a dynasty where leadership is pass down from one person to another but a person that is elected by the people. Only in a true democracy that we get to see the person whom we elect became the leader.

Our founding father found this country as a secular democracy and it has work so far. It does brought prosperity to the rakyaat but since it is the rakyaat money that are been use to develop this country surely we want accountability and transparency in it uses. To get that we must elect the right person to provides the leadership. A person of integrity to the nation leadership; whether it is at the state level or the federal level. In this coming election it is for both the federal level as well the state level. Only a person with integrity would provide us with good leadership. So this time you go to the poll do use your vote wisely. Remember that one vote of yours does made the difference.Your vote and my vote make two votes and that goes on and on until the polling is closed. 

So come this May 5, 2013 do go and vote wisely.

Have a nice day.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

The Kitten....

We love cat. Since we start a family way back in the early sixties of the twentieth century we always had cats running around in the house. It was always sort of a family member that brings cheer to the kids and a good therapy for us. In those days we just fed the cats with food that we ate and it would do it things outside the house so there was no real budget when keeping cat at that time except the occasionally Veterinary service. Everywhere we went and live we always have cat. At time we kept more than one cats and it always bring happiness to the family. Even when working in Sarawak we had two cats. It was a stray that we pick up. When I got transferred back to the mainland state of Pahang we decided to bring along the two Sarawak's cats. To take it along we had to get documents since it is illegal to take animals and plants from the Borneo state to Peninsular Malaysia. We took the then Ferry Malaysia to go back to the mainland. The journey to Kuantan in Peninsular Malaysia start from Kuching, Sarawak; with stops at Kota Kinabalu, Sabah and the port of Singapore before proceeding to Kuantan. On the way to Singapore we ran short of sands for the litter box and had to rush to the city of Singapore to get it. We got it and managed to catch the ship just hours before it left for Kuantan. We arrived in Kuantan and took the two cats in our car to a cousin's house at Batu Hitam. It was indeed a historic journey for us where we brought along our cats all the way from Kuching, Sarawak to Kuantan, Pahang. For the first few months we stayed at our cousin's house in Batu Hitam where the cat spends their first few months in Peninsular Malaysia. Later on we rented a house at Alor Akar and live there until I decided to retired from the Government service. While living at that house in Kuantan where there was a large compound and jungle nearby both the cat die mysteriously one by one, probably cause by the stings by insects or beaten by poisonous creature. We did not know what really happened.  It was a really a sad occasion for me. Actually I cried when both the cat died; sad indeed. A neighbour gives us a little mixed Persian kitten. It soon became the charm of the family. When we move back to Kuala Lumpur in 1990 after I retired optionally from the government service we took the cat along. It adept very well to our own home in Ampang Jaya and its surrounding. We call it Tina and as we move on over the years she too grow old and died after two week when we left to live in the United State in 1998. From that henceforth we decided no more cats for us but cats have always been in our heart. 

Some months ago a stray kitten with collar attached to her neck came around and because it was raining we took it into the house and give it shelter. She was so charming and adorable. We thought that it belongs to someone who love cat so we start looking for its owner through Facebook, asking around and even put posters of it on lamp-pole around the neighbourhood. After weeks without any respond we decided to just keep it for a while. We did fell in love with that kitten but as yet to decide whether to keep her or not. As time goes by we heard of a young couple, a friend of our daughter Lin was looking for a kitten for their two kids. So we decided to part with it. We were actually sad to let it go but then we found it was happy to be in a new home with kids around. So we are now had gone back to square one without a cat in the house. But lives go on as usual. There are two cats in our daughter Lin house nearby so whenever we go there we would play with the cats. 

Just before her mom's birthday our eldest daughter calls and told me that she wanted to get her mom a kitten as a birthday gift. I told her that it was OK but remind her that it would not be easy of taking care of cat. There is the daily chore to be done, the food to be bought and the litter bin had to be clean and of course the expenses of the Veterinary services. The next day she took her mom out and came back with a little Persian kitten as seem in the image above. So folks here we are with this addition to the family. We named the adorable kitten as Mei Mei. With this kitten it looks like we have gone full circle. Now we have a cat in the family. Well folks, life is like that. 

 Have a nice day.