Friday, October 28, 2016

Rawa dan Tupin Aishah

I took three days off to conduct my Rawa research in Raub. Our RA drove and I mcm mem besar ke sana sini with my notebook, going from kampong to kampong, house to house talking to Rawas.Any Rawa who might help me find Tupin Aishah.

The best award went to sch principal Hassanudin Isa who kindly gave me everything I needed to know about Rawas in Raub and nearby kampongs.It was his hardwork with his team.Just like that - take this and this is now your amanah, he said. Sebak dada ku sebak! He said he was also entrusted to hold the salasilah and was told to hand it over to someone bijaksana.I said who? He said you. MashaAllah what a scholar! May Allah bless him and his team who worked hard on tracing roots. It's not for vainglory.We knew that.

So Fatin and I went from one tipoff to another on day 1...sampai ke Ulu Sungai in which it's believed the first Rawa landed from Perak melalui sungai (or from Slim River). We found Rawas who looked like my uncles..god, it was like coming home! Between Batu Talam and Ulu Sungai, I found roots of my grandma and her sister Gik.Both were daughters of Menteri Hassan who married Tupin Aishah so Tupin was my grandma's mom via Tengku Muda Tanjung Alai.Gik married Keria via Tok Perak's route.Tok Perak was Tengku Ali who left Sumatra cos' he didn't want to fight over the throne cos' his youngest brother wanted to be king.Well, that's a version.I heard the other versions too...lari from Belanda for defending Islam against adat.We'll double check sources as we dig deeper.

I finally spoke to childhood neighbours yg tak pernah bercakap cos' we were all shy-shy.Spoke with Rosli Jalil and Azam Hussein.Our parents are long gone but now we connect and speak of roots. Lawak juga Rawa2 ni semua. And kind - Azam brought me to meet his old relative who had memories of Tupin her old age.But I need to double chk that it was really her and not Tupin Zainab cos' there were many Tupins.Teh Salim said he was school friends with one of my uncles - Pak Teh Jamil.The routine was go to school, makan at Tupin's stall depan sekolah..pi mandi sungai, solat then ngaji in the afternoon.What was she like, I asked.Kind, he said.Was she beautiful? Cantiklah agaknya masa muda, Teh Salim said, laughing. Then I knew she was in her zaman senja.But still independent cos' she had a business.This before WW2, okay? I'm proud of my moyang.She knew how to find her own happiness.Her story will be central to the novel I hope to write.Haha...berangan lagi.

Early findings, Rawa Raub were ulemas/imams and penghulus.Rawas love to lead. I met two families whose roots were panglima : Panglima Daud and Panglima Umar.Tok Perak brought with him hulubalang..some said 30 people..others said 300. They first settled in Bidor Perak and won the Perak's ruler's heart after Tok Perak offered to get rid of the pirates.The name Tok Perak was bestowed on him by the grateful Sultan.Nama benor dia Tengku Ali.Nanti kita double chk source ni.

I will have to go back to Raub to speak to a few key people.And from there to Temerloh and Kuantan to check on Rawas in those places.They went as far as Kelantan.As deep into the jungle, running from themselves!

That explains the silence.Barat mau erase sejarah Rawa sbb mrk melawan.Rawa mau erase sejarah mrk kerana takut.Takut apa? Musuh mereka di kiri kanan but musuh within is worse than anything else.More later.

P/S as i was interviewing someone, anak dia cakap are you the blogger? I said I-Glass? He said yes.I asked how do you knw about the blog? He googled Rawa, he said :)) Nice to know.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Budget 2017

I got interviewed in TRM (my 5 mins fame) tetapi no one dares ask mengapa PERMATA which is not an NGO nor a University nor a Ministry getting such a big chunk of a budget.Is anyone monitoring its outputs? (Audit Negara?) Bak nak tengok.If really good and benefitting rakyat marhaen..I'd support it fully and will fight for more budget for it.

Someone said bangga betul dapat PM yang bagi budget utk rakyat bawak taxi (Uber)..dulu Mahathir bagi budget suruh rakyat bercita2 jadi scientists/angkasawan. PM kita suruh kita jadi Uber drivers.

Maka hari ini bila keluar berita hospital terbakar, doctor mati, health caretakers terbakar, pesakit meninggal (alfatihah buat semuanya) dan escalator roboh di salah sebuah pusat membeli belah, kita tanya: masihkah negara ini dirahmati Allah? Berita empangan kering walaupun hujan tiap2 petang. Masihkah kita mahu melakukan kerja-kerja keji?

My aruah nenek in her desperation would say this: takda mana dah nak lari...Mugabe di seberang sungai bertepuk tangan.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


Dr. Devi beri budak2 ni duit, melompat2 mrk

meronda secara lebih dekat

no swimming

Antara dua darjat


sangat nyaman

childhood friend

mengajar anaknya merayap

from my room

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Wedding reunion Batch 2, 1981

I think it was 1981. Well, some of us had forgotten one of us at the wedding and yet another, lain I cakap lain dia dengar.All the signs of aging were there. How I wanted to roll on the floor and laugh! Anak kerja mana, asked a dear friend who I had not seen since 1982. I said at so and so.Ha, she said, with Shef? (a mutual friend). Bunyi dekat nak sama.

It was a lovely, lovely reunion although a few could not make it. But some had to leave early (including yours truly - for another wedding in Putrajaya). We promised to meet again at someone's son or daughter's wedding next year. InshaAllah.

Dengan Tok Penghulu kami

Early arrivals

angkatan asas 81

Dgn ibubapa pengantin except that I had left by now.
Dgn bapa pengantin

With the guys
Daniel and Jasmine
Batch 1981, NZ

The second wedding at Putrajaya

I like warna tudung ni - mcm warna waterrmelon. :)
My fav gals in Langkawi

Monday, October 10, 2016

Beloved boy

Nik celebrated his 55th at St. Regis with Z and I.Z and I overdressed for ikan served in the kuali and pasta masin.

Upstairs anak seorang pembesar yg penuh kontroversi dining at a restaurant which is rm1,500 per head.We can only watch his instagram pic enviously. :D Tak mampu doh.

Some pics.

Saturday, October 08, 2016


My NZ girlfriends are in town.Some pics at lunch today.

Friday, October 07, 2016

We are in Luck Now

I took the students who were working on Prof Kazmi's life narrative to interview him at his place. He's 92 and had lived through the pre and post partition in India and the students would cover this as well as his life after his migration to Malaysia from India.

He was telling them how Lucknow got its name. When a Brit soldier was informed that they had won and India had fallen, he said we are in luck now. :D

Ioana and I spoke on the phone after Skype failed us. I thought the uni had blocked Skype.Found out later, tak. Cheh. Byk le bill telephone saya.

92 years with strong memory

talking to a world history holder

Mughal royalist descendant


Wednesday, October 05, 2016


I felt very feudal today.Got up very early to redah jam cos' I wanted to listen to Raja Nazrin speak at DBP. And I arrived early. Had time to buy books on sasterawan and a book on Adibah Amin (apparently it was a thesis before).

The titah was on upholding Bahasa Melayu as bahasa pentadbiran, bahasa intelektual, bahasa ekonomi dan bahasa dunia. It was well-presented and all. The exciting story is my conversation with two ladies on IIUM. And somehow we got to discuss Anwar Ibrahim.Lady A asked me how he was.I gave her my opinions..that AI and M was a good team and that AI contributed much to the growth of IIUM..Lady A said no..I meant did he...I said I would not go tht'd need 4 witnesses before you could say anything, I said.She said there were more than 4 witnesses..many people saw the videos, she said.Lady B said her sister's friend knew Wan Azizah and she used to confide in her..there are issues, she said.Also, Lady B said AI would not bersumpah on the Quran.That shows he's not innocent.

I didn't want to quarrel (we were having lunch) but hoboy...I think our GE didn't lie. Remember the Turkish research which pointed to how educated Muslim women in 3 Muslim countries were clueless and didn't know the shariah? The study should be done here too! AI is not maksum but people judge him more than others..itu I cannot faham. And since when sumpah pakai Quran is a determiner of one's innocence?

AI will never be our PM but he will be remembered longer than his enemies, him as a reformist, man of courage whose imprisonment didn't break him or his soul.