Tuesday, 14 November 2017

"No Hijabs, please. We're Malaysian hoteliers!" sez who????

That was the ruling by the Chairman of the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH)  [or maybe that should be recasted into the Malaysian Anti- Hijabs (MAH 2) International Brigade] ,Samuel Cheah Swee Hee.

Samuel Cheah claims that the prohibition of the hijab was an international practice.

[By the way, Samuel, according to the Bibles's Old Testament means  Name of God, asked of God, heard of God.]

See :http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/opinion/2017/11/13/hijab-ban-is-not-international-policy/

Perhaps he should be asked to quote chapter and verse of this policy and if he can't we have to wonder if he is serving God or Mammon or just someone who has the trademarks of an  instinctive  islamophobia.

As a veteran observer of anti-Malay tomes I can't help but recall an incident in 1966(?) at the lecture hall in the University of Singapore.  It was at the height of the Singapore campaign for joining Malaysia.  The guest speaker was Dr Mahathir.  This was way before the Race Riots of May 13 1969 in Malaysia and before Dr Mahathir became the Prime Minister of a country with a lucrative petroleum and palm oil industry.

A question came from a law lecturer (who later grew up into one of Singapore's foremost legal experts and Diplomats) which more or less challenged the validity of special Malay rights.  Dr Mahathir paused, gave his usual whimsical smile and replied,  "The trouble with you people (referring to the Chinese as the questioner was Chinese - just like Samuel Cheah Swee Hee!) is; you can only see Malays as your drivers and gardeners."

It's most likely that Samuel Cheah and his sidekicks in the MAH have the same myopic view of the hijabed Malays as not being good enough? or attractive enough? or enticing enough? or looking sexy enough? to serve as their front-line staff?

Perhaps they prefer these hijabed women to work only as low paid dishwashers, kitchen squaddies and sweepers and room cleaners - you know, the kind of job that doesn't require good looks or brains, just a good dose of elbow grease and sweat.

I thought that in the 'Malaysia Tanah Air Ku' and 'Anak Malaysia' ethos, Malaysians had eradicated or at least diluted such prejudiced and racist concepts from their brains.  It's a shame that our Sultans can only put pressure on Malay-Muslim neanderthals and not to all the anak-anak Malaysia!

I say Mr Samuel Cheah, if you think a headgear like the hijab is prejudicial to the profitabilty of your hotels, would you also ban another religious headgear, the turbans of the Sikhs? or other religious symbols like the cross?

Today the hotels; tomorrow and tomorrow, will this racist closed door policy apply to the banking and other service industry in my Tanah Air?

Will the children and grandchildren of those soldiers and policemen and others who fought and died for their country during the Communist Insurrection be denied a choice of livelihood even after they have gone through the educational and academic hurdles - just because they chose to practise the norms of their religion?

We can resort to all the Laws and Conventions to eradicate discrimination and racism.  But the most toxic issues of embedded and pathological sense of superiority of  some over others are not so easily suppressed.

MALAYSIA BOLEH KA? We always reply InsyaAllah .  God wills it but man is too arrogant.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Selamat Pulang ke Tanah Air. Welcome Home to Malaysia

"For all Malaysians returning home", the MAS stewardess announced, "Selamat pulang ".   About two weeks ago we safely arrived at KLIA.

So often now, coming home to my people and my tanah air is such a bittersweet experience.

On our first day back home we drove to AEON to stock up the larder with fresh vegetables, other  comestibles, and of course cat food.  A few minutes drive from the house we had to swerve to avoid a female Muslim driver who casually dashed in front of our car, from the other side of the road, to get to a minor road on the other side .  Five minutes later another such female jumped a red light, forcing us to lurch to a halt (despite the green light) so we could give way to another Her Bodoh Sombong Highness on her journey from scurrility!

And we were also introduced to a new Malaysian traffic regulation for motor cyclists.  It seems there's a special lane for them on the left.  Now.we get even more dirty looks and angry hootings for "getting in their way" as they overtake us on the left - as they always have done, rule or no rule.  Hamba pohon ampun, beribu ampun!    Who are we to question the DIY rights of these two-wheeled gangstas! 


This time the MAS flight was almost full, the food was quite satisfactory - not as good as Emirates but miles better than the pathetic mush of 3 years ago.  However they were not too organised at shepherding passengers from the departure lounge to the plane.  It was a right old mess and people were getting very impatient.  A Chinese lady who was obviously a resident/citizen in a western country told off the MAS official checking the boarding pass,  "You're enjoying this, aren't you?"  The official simply replied.  "I'm doing what I'm told to do" as she finished checking the boarding pass.  Touche!  She had the last word.

More and more, one can't help noticing how Malaysians have a pathological aversion to queuing.  A hijabed (Malaysian) woman with her grown-up daughter behind her flagrantly pushed their way in front of the spouse, brushing against him and knocking him back.  It seems that this is acceptable whether he is muhrim or not!  Then came the husband, pushing his way in as well.  The spouse looked at him and was about to tell him not to potong jalan but then he gave up and said instead,  "Go ahead. Do what your wife's just done".  He, like his wife, was at least 20 years younger than us.

He moved on past a Caucasian (the husband of the angry Chinese lady) who put out his hand to suggest a go-ahead for him.  He smiled and said , "Thank you, Sir".  But he could not translate the body language of that Caucasian that said with mock courtesy, "Oh, go on, go on, you sad little man".

Arriving at the departure lounge earlier on, this family stepped straight into Harrods nearby. Window shopping, the good wife said to her daughter, "Beg tu £91 sahaja!".  Five hundred ringgit is cheap?   It is half of Osman's (our road sweeper) monthly salary!

But we mustn't despair ....... 


There has been much moaning about the depreciation of the Ringgit.   However I didn't see the Malaysians on that flight worrying too much about it, judging from the shopping bags from luxury fashion shops they were carrying into the plane.

 ..... And we had visitors, both from overseas and nearer home.

A week into our return, we played hosts to Ellie - the daughter of Colin, a good friend of ours in Leicester - and her friend Dan.  Recent music graduates, they had worked hard at all kinds of part time jobs to save enough for a six-month backpacking tour of Southeast Asia.  Despite their parents' middle class background they were determined to make it on their own.  And both of them are just 22 years old!

It always warms this geriatric's heart when I get to meet such courteous, considerate and well-brought-up youngsters. They offered to help around the house, always waited for the older folk to sit down .....and Ellie always dressed up modestly in the house or when we went out.  In fact we wondered about Ellie's reaction to all the legs and tight shorts we saw when we took her to Tung Shin Hospital.  And they were on the local girls!

They stayed for four nights before they moved on to Melaka, Singapore, Sarawak and then on to the rest of Southeast Asia.  They had, prior to our arrival in KL, travelled to Batu Caves, Taman Negara, Pulau Perhentian, Penang  and Ipoh.

This was their thank you gift before they left.

3 porcelain coasters and 2 porcelain bowls from Ellie and Dan
They left their bedroom in the same state of tidiness and cleanliness as when they arrived.  "Cool", they exclaimed in appreciation when I showed them the room.

I have to respond with the same "Cool"  when they left.


It is tough for two septuagenarians to prepare a house  - one that had been unlived in for the past three months - for two house guests from overseas.  On our third day at Setiawangsa, on Friday, Rodiah (my home-help) and I were knee deep in clearing up used laundry, making up beds with fresh bedding and pillow slips, dusting and cleaning the guest room and bathroom for habitation.  I had to prepare a shopping and cooking schedule for meals.  Because of jet lag, I was getting only 3-4 hours sleep and there was one night when I had to do with just two hours.  I had to put off my brother's usual drop-in whenever we came back from Leicester and postpone my customary visit to my elder sister and Abang Long on my arrival in Kuala Lumpur.

And on that same Friday, some local friends came.  There was a buzz from a hand phone and simultaneously the sound of car wheels arriving.  A family of six were waiting at the gate.

I was dishevelled, sweaty, looking like something the cat dragged in - unfit company to both male and female, young or old.  I rushed upstairs to tidy up and make myself, as quickly as possible, presentable and tidy.  When I got down to the gate, they said they wouldn't come in. It was just a short assalamualaikum visit.  But it's like getting a phone call after midnight.  One is both shocked and unprepared!

After making her salaams, the wife and mother in the family pointed to Osman's mattress, - which was draped over the gate for an airing - made a little giggle and said, "Kak Maznoor kencing di tilam, kah?

Well, I ask you!  Or should I say Astagh-firullah-la azim!

The silence that followed was deafening and in my anger I retorted, "Kalau nak kencing, saya dah buat di England.

Why? Why? Why?  How do you fathom the reason for a statement like that?  The use of the word kencing is, in Malay custom, insolent and uncouth.  If I said such a remark when I was a child, my mother would tampar my mouth in public view.  I would be given a good scolding for being kurang ajar if I had been older - but not before giving a minta maaf to the recipient of the insult.

But I am still in shock.    The lady is well educated - in both a secular and (especially) a religious way.   She comes from a well-off urban middle-class family.     And  I am at least 20 years older than her.

There can be only one interpretation.     She was making fun of elderly people who cannot control their bladder and so have a tendency to wet the bed.   Well, I am elderly.   But I have not reached that stage  - and hopefully (like my mother) never will!  If it was meant as "a joke" - the usual cowardly excuse - it carries the stench of something worse than the smell of urine.   

Oh my Malays .... you can have the best education for this world and the hereafter and all the good things in life - and yet very few simple Malay manners.



Although our abode is in Wilayah Persekutuan, I am enormously proud of the Bugis Sultan of Selangor - the Sultan of my birth-state for taking  a stand to stem the winds ( in ascending order) of excessive zealotry, self-righteousness and bigotry in the Malay world.

And my ancestry is part Selangor jati,, part Minangkabau, part Bawean and part Chinese, but 100 per cent Melayu.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

AsH coming out : out of the paperwork

This blog has been dormant, not comatose and for very good reasons.

I think these images speak for AsH's  semi-recluse life in Leicester.

1.  The Paper Chase

Paper Chase at the Hermitage - View from the Door.

Paper Chase at the Hermitage - View from the Bed.

Recluse working on paper.

The Result by mid-August - just  5% of the main task. 

Bleeding Knackered - 3rd week of August.

  2.  The Wardrobe Chase

The Clearout - the Chosen ones.
The Clearout - destined for the Charity Shops.

3.  A little heartbreak in Leicester - the demise of one of my favourite shops, and soon after the end of British Home Stores early this year!!

My favourite stop at the end of New Walk - the main pedestrian path from our abode to the City Centre.
Good-bye Fenwick , one of the most beautiful Victorian buildings in Leicester - gone are the old haunts.

However, there still remains a touch of Leicester's humour - Eh Yup me Duck!

4.  Back to the Real World.   I do not want to be baked in a Pie!

Read this today :  http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/09/03/well-be-lodging-a-report-says-subra-minister-complaint-will-be-submitted-to-singapore-over-portals-f/


Red                    Singlish

Blue                   Leicester-speak

Normal               Normal-speak   

After reading the news about that pie-in-the-sky whinge from a Singaporean, I reckon I could get a good kick at a posting in normal and two demi-languages.  Here goes.

Hour Fuming. Bleeders, some on um. Note but trouble.

"I donno one. After dee aksident, everyting tebalek.  I feel dee ambulance took soo long, 30 minutes, man!"  (quote by Mr Joshua Rozario - the spokesperson for the  Singaporeans)

The ambulance from Sultanah Aminah Hospital actually took 13 minutes to get to the scene of the accident.

Aktually all dis becos of misscommunication!


They spik in Malay. lah. How to expek us to unnerstand?  We only know words like "Belapa (berapa or 'how much)?",  "kasi penoh tangki (fill up the tank)", "Ada diskaunt?".
Orso, we come to Jay Bee only to eat cheep, shopping cheep, petrol cheep and landed property very cheep!  

Cheep, oops Cheapskate huh?

Teh you the truth, we all got no medical training, so cannot tell if  Jay Bee hospital know what they are doing.  We call the media becos we want to catch the person who langga us.
We orso want to teach Sinchiaporeans how or what to do if they kena same problem in Jay Bee.  We Sinchiaporean must know, these people not like us. Dey work like don't know how.  We cannot get privilege in Jay Bee like in Sinchiapore.  

Not to worry, Singaporeans.  As for catching the ones responsible, Malaysia's Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr. S Subramaniam said  " It is up to the Singaporean Government to decide on the next course of action for the Portal's (The Independent.sg) "irresponsible" reporting."

Condolences for the passing of Justinian Tan.

There is such a fine line between justice and revenge  If the Walls of Joshua's Jericho has to be demolished, do not blow your trumpet to the media - firstly, double check the details from  for instance, the Hospital.  This applies especially for all news portals.  As they often say in Singapore,



Got to get back to my paper chase.

Tara me duck.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017


For my Abah - the man with the Minang soul - Oslan Hussein is one of his favourite singers and especially this poignant and jolly song "Takana Joh Kampung".

Oslan Hussein's songs - like "Ayam den Lapeh" - would reverberate in our kampung house during the sixties, disconcerting some of the kampung folks in Pasir Panjang, who were mainly Javanese and Malays.

Berjumpa kawan den lamo : to dear friends for the last 30 years - who are now frail in health.


Dot and Ann
.... to Colin who is slightly younger but a great teacher on media technology for the two idiots.

One of the techno-idiots and Colin.

There are our dear mates from Leicester Animal Rescue who volunteer their services for animal welfare.

Leicester Animal Rescue

The one who is really, really homesick and wants to balek kampung is ..

.... who longs to get back to his  friends  and familiar old routine.

Bringing home milk for a loverly cuppa tea!

.... and a walk in the park!
..... to where

As we've been hitched for yonks, my kampung is his and his kampung is mine.

Hence my choice of Takana Joh Kampung to our other kampung in Leicester.

We are leaving  our dear family and friends  tonight  and how I wish I could bring these dear cats to their other kampung in Leicester.

Socks, Comot and Rusty

Sunday, 9 July 2017

The Sins of the Father ??

Brothers/siblings fall apart all the time.  It's an ancient malady beginning with Cain and Abel,  the feud between Joseph and his brothers and Romulus and Remus.

In modern times in Britain, we have the simmering rivalry between the Milliband brothers, David and  Ed after Gordon Brown's departure from the Labour Party's leadership.     And Rupert Murdoch's brood had their problems too.

Even the mighty Royal Family was not exempt.  Because Edward VIII - who reigned for just one year in 1936 - decided to give up the British throne for the love of his American paramour Mrs Wallis Simpson, the duty and responsibility of the Monarch fell upon his reluctant brother George (who became King George VI,  1936 - 1952).  From childhood, George VI suffered a chronic stammer and public speech was an ordeal for him.  His wife Queen Elizabeth (the mother of the present Queen), was unable to forgive her brother-in-law ...... for what she regarded as a betrayal of the Royal Family.  She blamed him for her husband's early death - George VI died at 57, his brother who was a year older died at 78.

Today, we bear witness to the very public falling out between two brothers (and a sister), scions of the venerable  Lee Kuan Yew family/dynasty, all  holders of the much vaunted President Scholarship,  high-flyer graduates from one of the most pukka universities in the world (just like their mater and pater), top ranking players (just like their wives) in the first-world city state of Singapore - that Utopia in the economic backwater of  Southeast Asia. They are squabbling like alley cats over the old family home  - and the money and power that are linked to the old homestead.

It's not so much a tragedy as a farce.

We in Malaysia have been regaled by stories of the PM's  'financial shenanigans', his wife's handbags and  eye-boggling diamonds in both the local and global Press.

Now squeaky-clean and self-righteous Singapore is giving us a soap opera worthy of another manga-style comic book hero, as a sequel to the Manga comic book: The LKY Story - Lee Kuan Yew: The Man Who Shaped a Nation.

According to Bunsho Kajiya, managing director of Shogakukan Asia " The manga format is often used because even youth and children find it  appealing to read and there is a general understanding that manga format works on a global scale to attract many potential readers."

Say no More!

But I cannot avoid harbouring a feeling of deja vu, that this scenario has happened before in Singapore's history.

Now I remember this history textbook in Singapore.

In it , Singapore schoolchildren are taught the history of their  island Republic, of being small fish surrounded by many Malay fish.  This book notes

Let me continue this with a quote from an earlier posting - to illustrate what happens when legacy and siblings and power begin to disintegrate.
See : https://anaksihamid.blogspot.my/2013/02/stamford-bob-and-dave.html

"Raffles employed the old trick of manipulating factional rivalry and playing the kingmaker to ensure Singapura belongs to the British and to challenge the Dutch threat to Britain's lucrative opium trade between China and British India.

He installed Tengku Hussein who was exiled in Riau by his brother the Sultan of Johor as the Sultan of Johor!  All this was done with the collaboration of the man who was the head of the Malay settlement located at the mouth of the Singapore River when Raffles first landed in Singapore.

Stamford Raffles did not discover Singapore.  And he did not sign a treaty with the actual Sultan of Singapura - he installed a puppet, an interloper.

1 February 1819 - Tungku Long (Hussein) was smuggled in from Riau and Raffles offered to recognise Hussein as the Sultan of Johor  (just as Robert Clive did in installing Mir Jafar as the Nawab of Bengal) thereby legitimising the British right to set up a trading post (mind you, just a trading post)  in the treaty of 6 February 1819.

In the treaty, Hussein was claimed to be 'the lawful sovereign of the whole of territories extending from Lingga and Johore to Mount Muar.'  The Brits left no stones unturned!"

Well, I thought I might enhance some of the material in that school textbook which simply recorded this......

..... and an illustration of an exotic native warrior.

And so, boys and girls - here are some final thoughts.


From "Elegy written in a Country Churchyard" by Thomas Gray, 1716-1771

2.  "The old trick of manufacturing factional rivalry and playing kingmaker" - it's a dangerous device  that is being manipulated in both Singapore and Malaysia.

3.  Among the Malays, there are a growing number of Tungku Longs and Temenggong Abdul Rahmans  who are willing to sell their fellow-Malays down the drain, knowingly or unknowingly - in the name of progress, religion, democracy, liberalism, human rights and profit.

What wee gave, we have;
What wee spent, wee had;
What wee kept, wee lost.

(Epitaph on Edward Courtenay, Earl of Devon (d, 1419) and his wife at Tiverton)

Jest for fun.  My favourite song in the late 80s and a beautifully light advertisement
 for all stricken brothers.  Cheers mate!

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

A Hari Raya - enhanced by Singaporeans

Selamat Hari Raya, - Kampung Abu Kassim, Pasir Panjang, Singapore 1949.

Abah made the Hari Raya banner and the two stars for his 4 children's Hari Raya.  Very much a DIY man and coming from a background of the traditional Malay who engages in carpentry he must have enjoyed doing this for each Hari Raya.

As for the family's Hari Raya guests, they all posed for photographs in their best Hari Raya garments.

L to R : Mak and her youngest Akim,  Abah and son number one, Mus, Cik Ayik and family.  I think Pacik Mat was taking the picture.

Sixty-eight years later in 2017, Ash had a re-run of those Hari Rayas of long, long ago.  Four Singaporeans (a Peranakan, an Indian, a Chinese and a Malay) and Ummu an Indonesian (Lely's maid) made the long arduous  journey from Bukit Panjang to Setiawangsa on the first day of Hari Raya.  It was all made possible by Jailani, making his  first solo drive from an island  in the south to halfway up the Peninsula.

Bless you Jai for bringing together Miss Hamid and spouse with her former students on this auspicious day   A very heart felt thank you from me and my sister and brother for this : when you  menziarah my father's and brother's  grave on Hari Raya before you left for Kuala Lumpur (although you do this not only for Hari Raya).

Pusara Abadi , Singapore.

An old teacher's Hari Raya.

I do feel I'm the most privileged teacher on this planet when these 'kids' of mine turn up to revisit the old ogre, their Miss Hamid

L to R: Irene, Lely and their classmate from JSS days.  Din will always find the time to meet up with his old friends whenever they turn up in KL.  
(Ummu is sorting out the washing-up in the background - she also met up with her aunt and family who work in KL)

Then there's Jai who made it all happen and ....

L to R: Osman(a KLite),  Jai,  the spouse and Veera.  A mini-UN made up of an Arab,  a Malay native from Singapore, an Anglo-Scots, and a Singaporean Indian.

What more could AsH want  for this Hari Raya and for all of 2017 - Bless you all kiddos!

Finally, to all my readers, friends and kindred spirits ..... Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri, Maaf Zahir dan Bathin.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Asymmetry of Reactions ......

........  AsH is borrowing a phrase by Vijay Prashad from his article "Violence: Theirs and Ours".

See  http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/03/31/violence-theirs-and-ours/

It's a solid piece about the hypocrisy of the West (both the Government and the Media) when dealing with descriptions and analysis of death and mayhem that are tearing up our world.  Up to more or less two years ago this scenario was limited to the Middle East and Africa.  Now the 'plague' has moved to Europe and its big cities and we are are now witnessing their pain and grief .  The West used to think that this  butchery only happened to other people in the Middle East, in Africa and Palestine - something they used to watch while they're eating their cosy TV dinners.  The immunity they used to feel when Iraqis and Afghanis and Palestinians were bombed to hell and back has now evaporated and the chickens have come home to roost.

On 22 May it was Manchester's turn to be violated by a jihadist and 22 mainly young people were added to the list of victims of the Crusade .......

..........  orchestrated and conducted by Blair and Bush at the turn of the century, according to  centuries-old  compositions.

I have watched this carnage of innocent lives, especially the young , from the belly of the whale itself, from my early days of settling down in Britain during the 1980s.  Through my 40s, 50s, 60s and now in my 70s, for half of my life so to speak, the endless trail and fields of death just seem to get worse and bloodier with each decade.  The ones who lit and fanned the flames were those close to my generation and the torch has now been passed to their children.  I don't reckon  I will see any change in my lifetime.

When I watched this video this morning, it is clear to see how the malignant cancer of terror are reaching the parts which seemed so immune to bloodshed and havoc because they have been so well- protected by their visible and invisible weapons and by their regime's subterfuge.

Unlike those in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine/Gaza, Libya, Syria and Yemen the victims in the West will still have an intact infrastructure.  The kids can go to school as usual, the hospitals and doctors are still there, the shops are well-stacked with food.  Except for some broken bodies and grieving hearts, life will carry on as usual.

But how about these lives?

As for the Manchester Jihadist that murdered 22 and injured scores : those in the know like John Pilger had this to reveal.

READ: https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/05/31/terror-in-britain-what-did-the-prime-minister-know/

To summarise, the perpetrator Salman  Abedi was a member of LIFG (Libyan Islamic Fighting Group) regarded by Britain as "a terrorist organisation", seeking  a "hardline Islamic state" and "part of the wider global Islamist extremist movement".

The LIFG in Manchester (known as the "Manchester  boys") were strongly opposed to Gaddafi and were " considered high risk and .... under Home Office control orders".  However, they were set loose by MI5  and their passports returned, when Britain, US and France attacked Libya in March 2011.

There are a lot of bloody hands, innumerable Lady Macbeths in this "War on Terror" - but with one difference - they have no conscience.

In remembering the terrorist attacks in western cities, let's set the context for violence and bloodshed in the month of  MARCH this year.  (taken  from Vijay Prashad's article)

  • Khalid Masood, on  22 March 2017,killed four people when he rammed his car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge.

  • US aircraft on the same date - in a bombing run - killed 33 civilians who were taking shelter in the al-Badia school.  Other sources say the number might be as  high as over 100.

  • On 21 March, a school, a field hospital and homes in Tabqah were  bombed by  US aircraft, killing 20 civilians.   

  • One week before , in the town of al-Jineh near Aleppo, a US bomb hit a mosque  killing 46 civilians.

The bells toll louder and longer for victims in France, US, Israel, Australia, Germany, Holland, Britain and all in the Judaeo-Christian world.

Some (or rather many) lives are expendable!  Guess who!

Do read Vijay Prashad's article.

"And the love doesn't weigh me down at all"  sing the Hollies.

More than Love - the world needs JUSTICE.