Sunday 27 October 2019

On the daun Kaduk

Last week, we were presented with a 'request' by the DAP MP Prabakaran for a Tamil University, just like UiTM for the Bumiputra:

Let's picture this scenario:

Under the auspices of, and underpinned, by British Imperialism, Malays make up 6.7 % of the population of Tamil Nadu (i.e., the same share as the Indians in Malaysia).    After nearly 100 years of working, residing and prospering, they suddenly demand  their own University - after decades of having their own Malay language school maintained by the Government  (just like Tamil Schools in Malaysia).     What would be the reaction of the majority Tamils?  And, for that matter, the reaction of the Adivasis - India's notoriously oppressed indigenous tribal groups?

Just for comparison, and if this may help to mollify the expectations of Mr Prabakaran and his comrades, Malays (the Bumiputera) in Singapore make up 13.6%  (twice that of Indians in Malaysia) of the population.  As yet we have not heard of any cry, much less a demand for a Malay University or even their own Malay language school!

So 13.6 % of the population in a neighbouring country have no choice but to suppress their socio-educational desires, while Malaysia's 6.7 % in Malaysia Baru are strutting their arrogations and pushing back the goalposts.

Our datuk-nenek from long ago would describe this as Kaduk Naik Junjung.   In Malaysia Baru we seem to find this propensity thriving and shoving from the nation's Mr 6.7% and Mr 22.6%!

Kaduk naik Junjung in my backyard

We may wake up one morning and discover  MALAYSIA BARU/BOLEH has turned into MALAYSIA BOLIAU (no more, finished) and MALAYSIA ILEK.

This country has troubles enough.  Too many people have forgotten where they came from and how they got to be where they are in Malaysia.  They take their well-being and safety for granted.  As for their wealth and material comfort, they never seem to have enough.

Aiyaah, you so lucky one - CHIAK BUAY LIAO (eat until cannot finish).

To compound this, many people (and especially our urban elites) seem to be increasingly infected by a virus from the West - a virus called Victimitis and MeTooism.       It's become a global phenomenon amongst the already comfortable: everybody is now a victim.  Nobody wants to talk about their blessings or their responsibilities - only their self-entitlement and the ethos of "beggar thy neighbour". 

Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad.

Wednesday 16 October 2019

Jackie and Julia. Episode 2 : The Magnificent Seven coasting along on the East Coast of Semenanjung Malaysia.

Do you remember the movie "The Magnificent  Seven"?    Well, it was recreated in the adventures of the characters below.

The Magnificent Seven in Terengganu.

I know,I know, I can count only up to six on my ten fingers.  There's a good explanation for the miscount.

On the far left is Iain, the aircon engineer who fiddled around with the car's cooling system and left us ladies at the rear fuming with perspiration.  (Ladies perspire, only horses sweat!).  But he is a fantastic beverage manager.  During his stint he must have made loads of mugs of tea - maybe 24 mugs a day.

Next to him is his batty wife (somewhat like Nora Batty in "The Last of the Summer Wine" series).  She  runs a tight ship.  She takes charge of the comestibles while they're on the move and also manages to keep a tight leash on her man - ever watchful whenever his hand touches the aircon controls.

Sitting all by himself in the middle, is Nulan.  He is the youngest in the group.  As he is just a sprightly forty-niner you can guess that the others are all way over the hill, but not so with Jackie and Julia.  Some of my former students are much older than them.

Nulan is the epitome of Magnificent - he holds the rank of two (plus) characters and thus turns this motley crowd of six into seven.   He is the pilot, the window engineer (his pieces of tape were always very handy), the travel guide, the gourmet and food chaperone - and he also works part- time as a tutor in the art of unconstrained mental and physical exercise. Here is his recommended gymnastic approach to relaxing after driving around in a car full of an elderly bunch of 1 Mat Salleh, 2 Minah Sallehs and one MOG (Malay/Miserable ole git).

The Two-in-One Magnificent Leader of the Pack repairing his nerves in a hammock.

Jackie is to the left of Nulan.  She is our Resident Polyanna, ever so positive and lively and has a wonderful habit of clearing up the untidy mess that the others leave behind, all done with a lot of smile and good cheer.  On her first sight of a beach on the East Coast (somewhere near Kuantan), and on dipping her feet into the water; .....

Two pairs of very happy Leicester feet soaking in the stimulating, salty waters of a Malaysian sea.

...... she exclaimed  "The water's warm, it's lovely and warm"!  Well, this almost turned that sunny disposition to sultry hot.

Som is the sixth member of this Magnificent mob.  He is our good friend and our frequent lunch-companion in Kuala Lumpur.  He is also the Squire of this beautiful beach house, Che Beach House (CBH), located at Marang, just south of Kuala Terengganu.  Jackie and Julia were impressed by the images of CBH on the website and they were not disappointed with what they got on the ground.

Clockwise: CBH, The Wakaf, Morning Glory basking on the sand and Sunrise on the East Coast!

Magnificent belle number seven is Julia.  She has taken on the task of being the lookout lass for cows (an animal she's very familiar with because of her farming background), monkeys, monitor lizards, creepy crawlies and sharks/whales.  Also because she's very handy with tractors on the farm she's very interested in Nulan's mechanical and DIY skills.

Julia and Jackie were very, very happy that they could get so close to the monkeys at Teluk Chempedak.  The chicken taking a morning stroll at CBH reminded Julia of her feathered friends on her farm.  But when the kampung goats wandered on to the beach of CBH they, ( the two Leicester ladies, not the goats) went almost berserk.  Goats on the beach!  But Som muttered, " They also eat up my shrubs and the plants in my herbal garden". 

But this I could not resist.

Indeed we should, Julia!  But these two colourful homo sapien cousins of the primate simians are actually quite civilized and friendly. 

But Julia did not give up on her search for the local non-homo sapiens.

Top Right - With her plucky camera woman, they are seen scouting for creepy crawlies on the beach on a lovely sunny morning at CBH.

Bottom Right - Then at Teluk Chempedak we saw this blob (circled in the picture) that seemed to be moving.  We gasped!  Could it be .....?  Shall we call on Nulan to give us his expert opinion.   But he was too deeply engrossed  chin-wagging  with his air-con engineer .......

The new generation Brit and Malay discussing ways of redressing the effects of the 1874 Pangkor Treaty ?!?  Or trying to compare  the delicate flavour of teh tarik served in a mug or English tea in cup-and-saucer.

Lucky for us he was otherwise occupied.  What we observed was just a small rock sitting in the sea with the waves lapping around it. Ooooh we must have turned red in the face - actually only Jackie and Julia.  AsH's brown face cannot turn red - just darker brown.

Bottom Left - What 's this?  A little Malaysian panther?  No, you ninnies - that's Jackie's and Julia's Minx, their beloved cat left behind in a Leicester cattery.

Top Left - At last!!  Julia the farmer's daughter and ex-farmer got to see her cows - in Terengganu. They were grazing at the front gate of CBH.  According to Julia, one looked almost Friesian.  Jackie had to dash across the road just to capture this snap - she's a really dashing photographer.  In fact most of the photos in this posting came from her collection.  After this jubilant experience there were no more laments of  "Where are the cows"?

Well, that's a pretty informative introduction to The Magnificent Seven in Terengganu.  The sequel will follow in Episode 3.

Episode 3 will explain and elaborate on the background of these next two pictures.

These photos were taken by AsH - who has an eye for  really good scoops.

Tuesday 8 October 2019

Jackie and Julia. Episode 1 - Forays into Setiawangsa and Melaka

Jacqueline Newman and Julia Thistlethwaite are two of our best friends in Leicester. We had nagged and cajoled them to come to our abode in Kuala Lumpur and enjoy our company (yeh?) and our world here before we became too old and decrepit.   Much younger than us, they are both nurses, one retired and the other still working it out with the famed and 'de-famed' National Health Service in Leicester.

Intrepid travellers; they have (like most Brits) travelled all over Europe.  They toured Sri Lanka, Bangkok and Australia.  We do admire their stamina and guts when they travel. They (mainly Jackie because Julia's shoulder gave up the ghost) drove in Arizona to see the Grand Canyon etc, and spent an autumn in New England and a winter in New York

We witnessed that same stamina - and an enormous enthusiasm for the environment, the people and the culture they met - when they arrived here on September the 22nd.

We two septuagenarians have not been in the best of health since we came back in June.  I brought home with me a nasty infection after a visit to Singapore in mid-August.  And we so looked forward to J & J's arrival.  They were like a breath of fresh air and a ray of healing sunlight- just what the nurses ordered!

Hardly ten hours into their arrival, they were up and about 'exploring' our little slice of  "kampung Setiawangsa"

A photo to kill for - AsH snapped the shot that almost lopped off their heads - taken at the end of our side road.
Jackie (left) and Julia and a dried up coconut frond.

Clockwise :  bananas, coconut, turmeric leaf, serai all of which can be found in Leicester shops;  growing by the wayside near our street.   (Photos taken by Jackie - Ash cannot be trusted with the job after that first debacle!)
J & J are very, very keen gardeners  and between them they have a full time job looking after their high maintenance garden in Leicester - with its lawn, its vegetable garden, its fruit trees, its shrubbery, its nursery, and its many floral borders.  Of course we had to show off our wild senduduk bush (mainly for feeding the birds), our date palm from 6 Ramadans ago, out skinny lanky (like the spouse) frangipani, our serai wangi (citronella) that suffered a lot of pummelling from a stray, randy tom cat and pots of infected chili plants that need a high dose of plant antibiotics.   Hardly a grand garden, and hardly high-maintenance - but we love it first thing in the morning!

They took quite a nice picture of our garden.  Taken from the right angle, our wee garden does look quite presentable.  But I must be fair - they too have a lovely garden.  They must be as proud of their gardening skills as we are of ours(?).  See below and compare.

East and West -the twain shall meet.

On the very next day they left for Melaka - on their own, by Express bus.  The outward journey was fine, but the return trip was a harrowing experience - of a driver speeding on the highway, weaving in and out of the hard shoulder while talking on his mobile phone.  Sometimes he drove hands free while his attention was taken up by someting else more important than the rules of the highway code and the safety of his passengers!!  Julia had to be on the alert all the time as a kind of self-defence tactic on a Malaysian road.  I had to assure them that what they experienced is quite normal for Malaysian drivers and driving.

Melaka at least did not fail to capture their attention and interest.  We got them a nice hotel at Jonker Street, a good base for capturing the sights and sounds and food of Melaka.  They spent about one hour and a half  in the vicinity of an an empty restaurant, sheltering from a heavy downpour but it was all taken in good humour as another experience to be chalked up.  Nothing like a torrential tropical rain to energize the spirit of two dauntless Brits from Leicester. EYUP me duck!

Here are some photos of their walkabout in Melaka.

Something I've never seen before :  Melaka, a World Heritage City.

Symbols of Melaka's heritage.  The X is something Malay (other than the Istana of the Melaka Sultanate) I have to find out by visiting Melaka Baru (post-1960s) one day, InsyaAllah.  

For our two dear ladies from Leicester, Melaka was a new and wonderful experience - as we hoped it would be.    And they made the most of their short time there, taking a river trip, tasting the food, walking for hours, and enjoying the kindness of Melaka taxi drivers, coffee shops, and a nice little hotel.

Of course, Jackie and Julia would have no way of knowing this.... but as I belong to the dinosaur generation of "locals" (and proudly so!), I much prefer the Melaka of the 1960s.  As I've mentioned many times before, the present does not impress me at all.    Those were the days - just look at those empty streets!

Melaka - 1966.  Photos by courtesy of Iain Buchanan.

Episode 2 of Jackie and Julia's venture to the East Coast will be next.  It is full of thrills and spills and food and sun and sand and snorkelling.