By: RaY KinZoKu

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Sunday, 24-Feb-2008 17:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Distinctively KeLaTte : Pilihae Ghayo !

( Episod terkini dari siri " Distinctively KeLaTte " )

Distinctively KeLaTte :

Pilihae Ghayo !

Tidak boleh dinafikan bahawa

salah satu keunikan Kelantan yang jelas diketahui umum

adalah iklim dan fenomena politiknya yang tersendiri, unik

dan berwarna warni !

( Dan aku ? Aku non-partisan ! )


Sekitar hari penamaan calon bagi kerusi Parlimen ( Dewan Rakyat ) Pengkalan Chepa ( P.020 ) dan Dewan Undangan Negeri ( DUN ), DUN Cempaka, DUN Panchor dan DUN Kijang, bertempat di Dewan Besar, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Pengkalan Chepa 1, pada pagi 24 Feb 2008.

MAKLUMAN 15 MAC 2008 :

Kesemua komen yang ditinggalkan di dalam entri ini telah dengan TIDAK DISENGAJAKAN terpadam.
Komen baru amat dialu alukan.

Sunday, 10-Feb-2008 17:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
FILLER ENTRY : The Cannons of Istana Balai Besar

The Cannons of Istana Balai Besar

Nothing much.

Just a filler entry to fill the widening gap.

( For the note, an entry is a filler when I am not putting too much effort in it .... )

I realized very recently, that one of four sizeable cannons,
located near the main entrance of Istana Balai Besar in Kota Bharu, has a peculiar marking that I think worth a mention here. I wonder how many people out there, who used to hang out near those cannons, are aware of what I am going to explain next.

Okay, first, here are the four big guns ......

Look carefully at the cannon in the last photo ( above ).

There is a logo at the lower part of the gun, near the touch hole.
A uniquely arranged alphabets, with the letter A on top of the letter V with an O on the left and a C on the right leg.

A - V - O - C.

Emmm .. which points out to one thing,
that this piece was casted by the once powerful, also notorious European trading company, the Dutch United East Indian Company, Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie or the VOC ! And, as for the additional A on the logo, it refers to " Amsterdam ", a city in Europe where the company was established and operated from, so in this case " A V O C " means, to be specific " The Amsterdamn Chamber of the VOC " !

Left : The VOC logo.
Right : A Dutch cannon in Dejima, Nagasaki, Japan, with the manufacturer's logo on it.

From History books we know that the VOC took over Malacca from the Portuguese and continued to colonize much of Malay Archipelago ( major parts of modern day Indonesia ) and in the process, left its mark in many parts of Asia, from India to Japan.

The cannon shown above is one good example of VOC's former influence in Asia and could also be found, for instance, in Dejima, Nagasaki, the one and only port in Japan, opened for trade to Westerner during Japan's long isolation period ( sakoku jidai, 1633 ~ 1853 , in fact, the only Westerner ever allowed to anchor in Japan during the period were the Dutch ! )

Regarding its origin, I have no idea where it was brought from and how it managed to end up here, in Kelantan, right in front of Istana Balai Besar. All I know is, until a hundred years ago, Kelantan was not favored by any European power, at least not in their preferred list. However, further inspection revealed an interesting clue, a four digits number " 1686 " is visible on one surface, next to some hardly readable inscription in Dutch.

Historical records show that, in the 17th century, the Dutch, through the VOC maintained some sort of trade contacts with nearby Malay Sultanate of Pattani. In fact, not only the Dutch, historical records also tell of Portuguese, British, Chinese and even Japanese presence in Pattani - getting involved in various forms of trade. Even if it was not related to Pattani, the Dutch were also active elsewhere in the Gulf of Siam during the time and there's high probability that the cannon was brought to the shore of Kelantan through such contacts. Somehow, eventually ended up in Kota Bharu, becoming a proof to the long gone era.

But again, it was only a theory of mine and needs to be clarified through further research. Who knows that the cannon is in fact a recent addition ? Bought by someone from an antique dealer from somewhere in the World and had it placed there, merely for ornamental values ? Who knows that it is in fact, a replica of recent manufacture !?

Honestly, history lesson won't be fun without some taste of mystery.

Despite that, I still find the year " 1686 ", as interesting.
From what I read, the VOC was established in 1602 and finally went bankrupt and dissolved in 1800. If the cannon is proven to be a genuine piece and the year casted on it refers to the year of its manufacture, then it must be casted, probably in the Netherlands, during the company's heyday, when Malacca was still a Dutch occupied territory ( 1641 ~ 1795 ).

First, the history and second, you might be looking at the oldest proven object in town !

Wow .... isn't that truly something ?

Especially when it appeared to you that
your great great grand daddy was probably looking at it, centuries ago ?

( or ... maybe not )

The other three guns might as well have their own shares of interesting past, but for the time being, none of them are ready to share theirs with me.

I doubt they ever will.


Firearms in the Malay World is not of recent introduction.

Firearms, mainly in form of artillery pieces, namely the cannon, had been used extensively throughout the Malay Archipelago even before the arrival of Europeans. Some say that the Arabs and Indian traders were the first to introduce them, while others insisted that it was the Chinese, who first came up with the black powder.

Whoever it was, cannons, in a way or another, had affected and somewhat shaped the Malay World in many unique ways. In Kelantan, these are what W.A. Graham had noted :

Note 1 :

William Armstrong Graham's " Kelantan : A State of The Malay Peninsular " ;
Chapter XI : Trade, Commerce, And Industries, page 64. First Published in 1908 by James Maclehose & Sons, Glasgow ( Scotland ).

For The Note :
In Kelantan, the unit for length measurement was " Depa " before it was changed into the present day system of acre and hectare. If you have the chance to go through old Land Grant ( those written in Jawi ) measurements are often stated in Depa. For instance, 500 depa is equivalent to 0.5 acre.

Believe it or not, in Kelantan, there was a time when the standard for " Depa " was set according to the length of a cannon kept by the Raja, as described by W.A. Graham.

Note 2 :

William Armstrong Graham's " Kelantan : A State of The Malay Peninsular " ;
Chapter VII : Religion, page 32, 33. First Published in 1908 by James Maclehose & Sons, Glasgow ( Scotland ).

So, should I comment on this one ? No, thank you !


The grandest and largest cannon perhaps ever constructed in the Malay World was the Meriam Seri Patani, made in the former Malay Sultanate of Pattani ( a province in present day Southern Thailand, close to Kelantan ).

It was built in response to Siamese military buildup against Pattani and is reported to be casted with the help from a Chinese Muslim by the name, Lim To Khiam ( 林 道乾 or better known as Tok Kayan ) in the early 17th century.

The cannon was made along with two others, the same in size Seri Nagara and a smaller, Mahalela. Despite all that, Pattani was finally subjugated in an invasion which occured in 1785, and the cannons were then taken to Bangkok as spoils of war. The Seri Nagara however, fell into the sea during transportation and never seen again.

The remaining two continue to remain in Bangkok to this day, currently on display in front of Thailand Ministry of Defence building.


Phraya Tani (Thai พญาตานี) or Sri Patani (Malay) is a historical siege cannon from Pattani in southern Thailand. It is the largest cannon ever cast in Thailand, measuring 9 feet and made of brass. It is now on display in front of the Ministry of Defence, opposite the Grand Palace in Bangkok. The cannon is still the symbol of the Pattani Province.

The cannon was cast in the early 17th century by a craftsman of Chinese descent named Tok Kayan. The ruler of Pattani at that time, Raja Biru, ordered the construction of firearms in response to rumors of a forthcoming attack from Siam. Three cannons were cast, two large ones named Sri Patani and Sri Negara, and a smaller named Mahalela.

After the fall of Ayutthaya in 1767, Pattani tried to liberate itself from the tributary status to Siam. However in 1785 the army of Siam under leadership of the vice-king Boworn Maha Surasinghanat defeated Pattani. The two large cannons were taken as booty, however Sri Negara fell into the sea while being loaded to the ship.

In 1787 King Rama I ordered the casting of a similar-sized cannon named Narai Sanghan, to be a pair with the captured Phraya Tani.

From :

Further Reading :

The Rise and Fall of Pattani Malay Sultanate


A famous Thai movie director, Nonzee Nimibutr ( the director of Nang Nak ) had just came up with a movie that might stir up some attention down the Peninsular, scheduled for release in March 2008.

The movie, " QUEEN OF LUNG GASUKA ", is an epic, action fantasy based on real life historical figures, on former rulers of now defunct Pattani Malay Sultanate. An adaptation on four well known female rulers or queens ( the " Ratu ", or sometimes referred as " Raja " ) in Pattani history by the name Biru, Hijau, Ungu and Kuning, who ruled the kingdom between 1584 and 1686.

The movie was initially named, " Queen of Pattani " but due to possible political sensitivity, it was renamed as it is, " Lung gasuka " or " Langkasuka ", after the powerful, fabled Malay Empire of the Isthmus, that Pattani is thought to succeed. Though much of it is truly fictional, the storyline echoes a historical event when the kingdom was defeated and subjugated by the Thais in 1785, with its great cannons captured and taken away.

The most interesting and catchy part of the movie, aside featuring Meriam Seri Pattani, is the part when the actors donned themselves in traditional Malay costumes, from the unique " Che Siti Wan Kembang " outfit to the usual tengkolok, keris and sampin. A very very rare treat indeed from the Thai film industry !

Sadly however, the movie is 100% in Thai and not the much anticipated Jawi ( Yawi ), the local Malay dialect which sounds much like Kelantanese. Would appeal better that way though.

Interested ?
Here's the synopsis and some trailers ( click image for YouTube broadcast ) to go with it :


War rages on … Princes of neighboring dynasties have formed a coalition with rebel pirates, plotting to seize the powerful cannon from the Land of Lankasuka. The mass destruction juggernaut, capable of obliterating foes in a matter of seconds, is much coveted by any party seeking to tip the balance of power to their advantage.

Artillery is deployed, the infantry is mobilized, the Doo Lam force is unleashed ... The clash is critical. The three princesses of the Land of Lankasuka must at all cost protect their realm from the evil clutch of the ongoing wave of invaders – even with their lives on the line.

From :

Saturday, 26-Jan-2008 15:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
MASJID LANGGAR : Masih Ada Yang Sayang ...

Masjid Langgar
Masjid Tiga Tingkat


Masih Ada Yang Sayang ...

Tak sangka.

Di satu sudut belakang Masjid Langgar, di bandar Kota Bharu, ada tersembunyi satu manifestasi budaya silam yang sudah amat jarang kelihatan pada masa kini.

Bagi mata yang arif,
manifestasi berikut sememangnya tipikal bagi senibina vernakular Melayu Kelantan sehingga awal abad ke-20. Ketika itu, kediaman golongan pemerintah, orang kenamaan dan juga bangunan penting seperti masjid selalu didirikan sebegini rupa.

* Pintu masuk ke kamar dalam, dengan rekabentuk tipikal bagi pintu-pintu di Kelantan sehingga awal abad ke-20. Perhatikan panel dinding " Janda Berhias ", unik bagi negeri-negeri di Pantai Timur, khususnya di Kelantan. Namun begitu, sudah amat jarang kelihatan pada masa kini.

* Nun di atas sana terdapat ukiran panel yang berfungsi sebagai hiasan dan juga pengaliran udara. Di bawahnya pula lubang laluan angin yang dibentuk cantik.

* Bahagian dalam. Perhatikan efek cahaya yang terhasil dan perhatikan juga kaedah penyambungan strukturnya.

* Pintu lama. Tipikal bagi pintu-pintu di Kelantan sehingga awal abad ke-20. Tidak berengsel logam, sekadar dua pasak kayu bulat di hujung atas dan bawah pada setiap daun pintu. Perhatikan juga bentuk penyelak kayu yang terpasang.

Bagi anda yang masih tertanya-tanya dan ingin ambil peduli,
Masjid Langgar merupakan antara masjid tertua di bumi Kelantan selain dari Masjid Lama Kampung Laut dan Masjid Besar Kota Bharu atau Masjid Muhammadi

Apa yang menarik, ketiga-tiga masjid tersebut asalnya didirikan dengan binaan vernakular Melayu ( tiada unsur Barat mahupun Timur Tengah ), walaupun kini, yang masih kekal dengan konsep sedemikian, hanyalah Masjid Kampung Laut sahaja.

Masjid Lama Kampung Laut, iaitu yang tertua di Kelantan dan diyakini juga tertua di Malaysia, terletak di Nilam Puri dalam Jajahan Kota Bharu. Dipindahkan dari tapak asalnya di Kampung Laut, Jajahan Tumpat berpuluh tahun dahulu. Walaupun bahan binaannya telah banyak berubah dengan peredaran masa, rekabentuk asas serta rangka utamanya dikatakan tidak berubah dan dianggarkan telah wujud lebih 300 tahun dahulu.

Masjid Muhammadi atau juga dikenali sebagai Masjid Besar Kota Bharu pula, jika dinilai dari luaran dan bentuk fizikalnya kini, jelas sekali rekabentuknya berunsurkan senibina kolonial pra Perang Dunia Ke-2 dan tidak menampakkan langsung unsur senibina Melayu. Walaupun demikian, struktur konkrit berkenaan hanya mula dibina pada 1922 sebagai tambahan kepada binaan kayu sedia ada yang dibina sepenuhnya dengan ciri ciri tempatan dan telah pun wujud seawal 1867. Binaan kayu tersebut, walau bagaimana pun telah dirobohkan, kalau tak salah, sekitar 1950an. Terus dilenyapkan tanpa sebarang kesan, untuk memberi laluan seluas luasnya bagi kerja pembesaran dan urusan peralihan kepada bangunan baru.

Kalau ada antara kalian yang masih perlukan bantuan bergambar, berikut adalah rupa asal Masjid Muhammadi, dirakam sekitar 1905. Begitu unik dan menarik. Jujur aku katakan, adalah menjadi impian aku untuk melihat ia kembali didirikan, paling tidak pun di sebelah masjid yang ada sekarang .... ha ha mimpi jer lebey :

* Boleh jadi Masjid Langgar dahulu rupanya lebih kurang begini ?
Hingga ke saat ini, tiada sumber bergambar yang dapat aku temukan berhubung rupa asal Masjid Langgar.

Foto di atas menunjukkan rupa asal Masjid Muhammadi sebelum adanya yang sekarang. Klik foto untuk keterangan lebih lanjut.

Tetapi jika diperhatikan pula kepada Masjid Langgar kini,
pastinya ramai yang tidak menyangka bahawa ianya telah wujud seawal Masjid Muhammadi. Binaan masjid dari konkrit, langsung tidak menampakkan sejarahnya yang panjang tambah pula rekabentuknya yang nampak kontemporari menyebabkan ia seolah olah kelihatan tiada berbeza dengan masjid-masjid lain di Kelantan. Masjid Langgar sebenarnya telah wujud semenjak 1871, cuma tidaklah sebagaimana yang kita lihat sekarang tetapi berupa binaan kayu yang telah lama luput ditelan keinginan manusia untuk berubah.

Apa apa pun, sejarah Masjid Langgar tetap panjang dan sekiranya memang benar apa yang aku lihat ini adalah bahagian asal masjid ini dan bukannya replika yang sengaja diadakan ( aku rasa tidak ), dengan bangganya aku isytiharkan bahawa ini adalah penemuan yang paling menarik bagi tahun 2007 selepas Rumah Tengku Bongsu ( atau juga disebut, Rumah / Istana Tengku Fatimah Zaharah ). Bukan sahaja kerana kedua-duanya dibina pada era yang sama bahkan juga kerana pandangan dari sudut berikut .....

.. yang langsung tidak ubah seperti yang aku pernah lihat dari satu sudut ruang dalam Rumah Tengku Bongsu.

Buat seketika, aku terpaku di sudut masjid itu,
termenung sambil tergambar dalam kepala ini akan pemandangan yang sempat aku rakamkan semasa bertandang ke situ tempoh hari :

* Klik foto untuk keterangan lebih lanjut.

Dari segi struktur ( bertiang enam belas ) dan keunikan sambungannya, jelas sekali memang serupa !

Sekali lagi menyebabkan aku tertanya tanya.
Adakah ianya memang merupakan bahagian asal Masjid Langgar, salah satu masjid yang tertua di Kelantan ? Adakah ianya sengaja dikekalkan di sini, dalam bentuk sebegini oleh mereka yang prihatin akan asal usulnya ? Adakah bangunan Masjid Langgar sekarang dimodelkan dari binaan kayu yang asal ?

Entah, aku sendiri pun masih tidak jelas dengan sejarah sebenar masjid ini.
Bagus juga kalau ada sesuatu untuk dirujuk bagi mengesahkan segala.

Jika apa yang aku fikirkan ini ternyata benar,
terus terang aku katakan di sini, aku cukup berbangga !

Ternyata ..... Masih ada yang sayang !


( 1 )
    Masjid Langgar boleh dikunjungi di Kampung Langgar,
    bersebelahan Makam DiRaja Langgar, tidak jauh dari Kota Seri Mutiara
    ( Pasaraya Billion ), berdekatan pertemuan Jalan Sultan Yahya Petra dan
    Jalan Dusun Muda, bandar Kota Bharu.

* Masjid Langgar - Januari 2008.

Bahagian yang dimaksudkan kelihatan seperti bangunan tambahan di sebelah kiri ( atau belakang ) masjid.

( 2 )

( 3 )
    Sayang sekali.

    Kini, walaupun kelat untuk diakui, tidak banyak senibina vernakular Melayu Kelantan
    yang masih tinggal di negeri ini, khususnya dari era sebelum kedatangan Inggeris.
    Tidak melampau sekiranya aku katakan, hampir tidak wujud !

    Apa yang tinggal, hanya menanti masa selera si pemilik untuk beralih.
    Tak pun tersorok, jauh dari pandangan umum, di ruang-ruang milik orang perseorangan,
    kebanyakannya dalam bentuk sudah dilerai atau telah pun dipunggah ke luar Kelantan.
    Akibatnya, generasi kini seolah-olah hilang punca. Tidak kenal susur galur dan asal usul
    serta tidak tahu apa yang mereka warisi. Tiada kemegahan dengan keunikan dan
    pencapaian bangsa sendiri. Sebaliknya kelihatan terkinja kinja, bangga dengan identiti
    minda yang terjajah. Maka, jangan hairan sekiranya ramai generasi kini yang sanggup
    mencemuh latar belakang sendiri. Gara-gara kita yang terlalu terpesona, mengejar
    kemegahan milik orang.

    kaki mesti terus melangkah ke depan tapi sekali sekala,
    kepala kena juga toleh ke arah bertentangan

    takut takut ada yang lepas, datang menikam belakang !


* Masjid Kampung Laut, Nilam Puri, Kota Bharu - Januari 2008.

* Masjid Muhammadi, Kota Bharu - 1940an.

* Jendela rumah kedai dari era sebelum Perang Dunia ke-2 di Jalan Temenggong, Kota Bharu.
Bandingkan rekabentuk kayu penghadang pada jendela dengan panel " lubang angin " Masjid Langgar yang ditunjukkan di atas.

Foto dan maklumat berkaitan Masjid Muhammadi dan Masjid Lama Kampung Laut

Pelawat Asing ke Rumah Tengku Bongsu ( Rumah Tengku Fatimah Zaharah )


* Bangunan asal Masjid Langgar .....

... kelihatan tersergam di sebalik tembok Makam DiRaja Langgar dalam gambar foto
yang dirakamkan pada tahun 1905 ini.

( dipetik dari buku W.A. Graham, " Kelantan, A State of The Malay Peninsular ", Glasgow, 1908 )

Walaupun telah banyak kali saya melihat foto ini, saya langsung tidak menyedari
yang ia sebenarnya adalah bangunan Masjid Langgar yang asal sehinggalah saya
terbaca buku Warisan Kelantan IV ( Muzium Negeri Kelantan, 1985 ) yang
menayangkan foto yang sama tetapi dihurai dengan pendedahan tersebut.

Yang menyebabkan saya tersengih adalah bila mana ditilik semula foto ini lalu
dibandingkan pula dengan keadaan sekarang, memang lokasi berdirinya struktur itu
adalah lokasi yang sama berdirinya bangunan baru Masjid Langgar sekarang !

Alahai, kenapalah aku tidak terfikir ? He he ~

Oh yer, berkaitan makam di sebelahnya, boleh klik foto di atas untuk keterangan lanjut ...

* Masjid Lama Langgar ....

.... dirakam sekitar 1960an dan telah mengalami banyak perubahan dan penambahan
tetapi masih banyak mengekalkan bentuk dan bahan binaan asal.

Foto dipetik dari buku Warisan Kelantan XV, Muzium Negeri Kelantan, 1996 ; p.134 ~ 135 ..

Saturday, 19-Jan-2008 19:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
WAK GAPPO TU ? : Koto Barghu, From Dawn to Dusk

Koto Barghu, From Dawn To Dusk

Some shots I took around Kota Bharu.

From early morning to very late in the afternoon.

Of those things that we normally overlooked, or have no idea of.

Even, as a Kelantanese.

* 0800 hrs : Heading to the market by force.

The main gate.
Istana Balai Besar, Kota Bharu, the town.

* 0915 hrs : Promoting the Red ( and green ) revolution.

The octagonal space.
Siti Khadijah Central Market, Kota Bharu, the town.

* 1000 hrs : Checking out new talents.

Candek / Red Whiskered Bulbul ( Pycnonotus jocosus ) Singing Contest.
Taman Seri Cemerlang, Jalan Kebun Sultan, Kota Bharu, the town.

* 1100 hrs : Arguing over homeworks.

Pak Ya's Macaque Training School.
Kampung Pulau Tukang Dollah, near Pantai Kuala Pak Amat, Pengkalan Chepa.

* 1330 hrs : A crash course with an Aviation Engineer.

Haji Ismail Jusoh & Sons aka The Kitemaker.
Kampung Kijang, Jalan Pantai Cahaya Bulan.

* 1400 hrs : Deciphering old literature.

Islamic Seminary.
Pondok Terusan, Pasir Tumboh.

* 1430 hrs : To be Picasso or not to be.

Nordin Batik.
Kampung Paloh, Jalan Kampung Sireh.

* 1500 hrs : Growing flowers indoor.

K.B. Permai, silvercraft.
Jalan Sultanah Zainab - Kampung Sireh - Jalan Hamzah - Jalan Pasir Pekan junction.

* 1530 hrs : Learning new meaning of " entangled ".

Cik Minah Songket.
Kg. Penambang, Jalan Pantai Cahaya Bulan.

* 1600 hrs : Carving out the love of his life.

May Kris, woodcarver for Malay blades sheath and handle.
Kampung Atas Banggol, Jalan Pantai Cahaya Bulan.

* 1630 hrs : Hauling up the day's rezeki.

Fisherman's pier.
Kampung Pulau Gajah, near Sabak, Pengkalan Chepa.

* 1700 hrs : Tending to freshly arrived customers ( and fish ).

Pasar Gok Kapor.
Lorong Gok Kapor, near Kampung Cina, Jalan Pantai Cahaya Bulan.

* 1800 hrs : Lazing in the late afternoon heat.

Wooden platform.
The Old Masjid Kampung Laut, Nilam Puri.


These are some notes in relation to some of the above images, depicting them not now but a hundred years ago.

Like some of you might have guessed, from no other but the guidebook named " Kelantan : A State of The Malay Peninsula ", written by the former Bangkok appointed British Advisor to Kelantan, William Armstrong Graham ( 1902 ~ 1909 ), and was published by James Maclehose and Sons, in Glasgow, Scotland in 1908.

On Silver crafting :


" At one time the silversmiths and goldsmiths of Kelantan were famous for the high excellence of their work, and there is still a good deal of old silver-ware to be seen in the houses of the nobility, judging by which the men who made it must have been possessed of considerable skill. Unfortunately, however, this art is now almost extinct, and the work turned out by the few native jewellers who hang about the Court of H.H. the Raja is not to be compared with that of former generations. "

Trade, Commerce and Industries, Chapter XI, page 68 ~ 69

On Weaving :


" Weaving is chiefly confined to the capital. In almost every house there are one or more looms upon which the housewife and her daughters weave silk sarongs, the excellence of which is justly famed throughout the Peninsula. In these good times most of the people possess at least one silk sarong for holiday wear, and the value of the silk goods exported is over $20,000 per annum. The pattern of the Kelantan sarongs is all made in the weaving and is not painted on afterwards, as is the case with the sarongs of Java and to a certain extent with those of Tringganu. The best quality are made with checks of different colours something after the fashion of Highland tartan, very handsome effects being obtained by tasteful blending of colours. "

Trade, Commerce and Industries, Chapter XI, page 65

On Fishing :


" Some thirty thousand people live by sea-fishing and fish drying. The nets used vary in size, the largest being that worked from a " Payang " a large seaworthy boat with a crew of 20 men. The fish are sought for by divers, one of whom accompanies each boat in a little canoe. On reaching a likely spot, this person paddles off by himself and presently leaves his canoe and goes below. Down on the green depths he can, if failrly expert, both see and hear the fish if there is a shoal in the immediate neighbourhood, and when he has done so he at once rises to the surface and indicates by signs the presence and size of the shoal, and the direction in which it is travelling. No sooner are the signals perceived than every man bends to his paddle, and the great boat rushes through the water, describing a wide circle round the diver and paying out net as it goes. When the circle is complete the drawing begins, and, if a big shoal has been netted, the wildest excitement prevails as the circle narrows. The men haul upon the net like fiends, shouting and yelling with delight as each large fish appears. When a big catch is safe on board, a short dance of triumph precedes the hoisting of the sails and a quick run for home, followed by further ebullitions of joy when the women come down to unload the cargo. Such of the fish as is not eaten fresh, is cleaned, salted, and dried in the sun, thereafter being packed in large baskets for exports ..... "

Trade, Commerce and Industries, Chapter XI, page 66 ~ 67

On Kite Flying :


" The kite flying season begins in December and continues until March, when the north-west wind drops and the land and sea breezes begin. At this season large numbers of kites are to be seen flying above the capital on every afternoon, filling the air with a loud humming produced by a bow like arrangement which is fastened to each kite. The kites are flown late into the night, and rows of little lights are then suspended from the kite from the kite strings with pretty effect. "

General, Chapter XVIII, page 132

On the Market :


" The market is a large and commodious building, is densely thronged every day, and here excellent fish and provisions of all kind are plentiful and cheap, and beef and mutton are sold twice a week. "

Towns and Villages, Chapter VI, page 28

On Women and the Society :


" This being a Mohammedan country one might expect to find the female part of the population confined to the houses or allowed to go abroad only on rare occasions and when carefully veiled from the vulgar eye. Custom, however, has decreed quite otherwise, and, as regards the position of women, the Kelantanese follow the customs of their Siamese, Burmese, Cambodian and other Mongolian neighbours rather than the sterner percepts of their adopted religion. The women move about with perfect freedom, buying and selling in the markets and in the shops, visiting their friends and assisting their husbands in their agricultural pursuits, and except for the wearing of the Kelumbong, which burlesque is the only concession to Islam, their habits and manners are scarcely to be distinguished from the usually modest behaviour of the females of other Indo-Chinese races. "

The People, Chapter V, page 24 ~ 25

Friday, 11-Jan-2008 11:11 Email | Share | | Bookmark
( 5 ) KELATTE : Jalae ~ Jalae Carghi Makae

Nik Yam : The Place
Nik Yam : The Tools
Nik Yam : The Outcome
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Jalae ~ Jalae Carghi Makae ( 5 )

Aku cari bukan harta bertimbun timbun,
Aku cari mana dia ROTI TEMPAYAN sedap !!

( The fifth installment of " Kelatte : Jalae ~ Jalae Carghi Makae " series. )

Had been quite a while since I last wrote about this.

Yerp, Roti Tempayan or Naan as commonly known, the leavened, flat Indian bread. More of a hunt ( or craze ) than just a " jalae jalae carghi makae " and all started while I was away in Japan.

I remember the flat bread there, err.. there ... I mean, at the Northern Indian eateries in Japan, being none like that I ever found in Malaysia, with somewhat distinct taste and interesting texture, being both fluffy and crispy when fresh out of the tempayan ( a tandoor or earthen oven ) and never chewy ( rubbery ! ) when reheated, out of the fridge. Every roti that came to the table back then, came dressed with a dab of warm butter on it. Not to mention, the seemingly countless variations to choose from - Garlic, Butter, Cheese, Sesame, to name a few. Oh yes, and the curries ... they really went together very well !

But, that was Japan, where good price always guarantee good stuff.

Well, somehow.

* Celebrating greatness.

Me, enjoying great Roti Tempayan with some dudes at an Indo-Pakistani eatery, somewhere in a cheesy district of Higashi Osaka, some five years ago.

Oh darn, I guess I just got my cover blown !
Sorry kids, you guys should have guessed. Back then, I was Ultraman Taro.
Those puny Earthlings around me were bunch of Malaysian students throwing out a party for me for saving their asses ( * sorry for the intended vulgarity ).

You know, Godzilla attack in Japan occurs like twice a day or so, in day and night working shift. But none was as furious as the attack by Daigaku Sensei as experienced by these guys. Luckily, like always expected, I came to the rescue, got beaten, red bulb flashing on my chest, quickly got my arms crossed in my usual pose and the rest was Roti Tempayan party ! Yatttaaaa ! Those hectic but surely rewarding days ....

Now, back in Malaysia, the hunt continues but not after many failed attempts and astonishing findings.

When asked for Roti Tempayan, Mamak eateries in Lembah Klang and even in Kota Bharu ( you guess where ) brought me the meaning of " vulcanization " instead. Then, there is a deceitful version of Roti Tempayan, the one cooked on hot plate instead of the usual tempayan, normally sold at Pasar Malams under the name " Roti Nan ". Have to admit that it does taste nice but unfortunately far from the real deal .....

To tell the truth, I did gave up on the quest once.

Doing away with all the thoughts and hopes on heavenly Roti Tempayan, here in Malaysia, especially in my native Kelantan. Everywhere I looked, none suit my ideals.
Thinking that I had been expecting too much, so trying to be fair and at the same time, finding it necessary to cope with the local culinary scenario, ingredients and food quality control issues, I decided to re-adapt my ideas on a good Roti Tempayan.

First and foremost, it must comes out fresh from the tempayan or tandoor not from the hot plate nor supermarket's frozen storage. Secondly, it should be both crispy and fluffy and not chewy. The dipping curry should be thick, creamy, fragrant but not necessarily hot. Much like I expected from what I ate in Japan but with lesser anticipations.

Recently, I found these great eateries that serve great Roti Tempayan.
One a Kedaa Ppati in a Kedaa Kopi ( a coffee house ), the other is a normal restaurant, and another, a Kedaa Ppati in Kota Bharu.

Really glad, as I didn't expect that there are great ones out there, here in Kota Bharu.
So far, these three are the most interesting and highly recommended. Though not exactly like I had in Japan, I would give their Roti Tempayans two thumbs up ( by my own standard, of course ).

These are their pictorial verdicts :


A wooden, Singhorra roofed coffee shop.
Both the exterior and interior look very aged which is great !
Somewhat antique in feeling and ambiance. Located at Jalan Pengkalan Chepa, behind Rumah Mayat HRPZII, somewhere between Hotel New Pacific and Bank Rakyat.

* The typical servings - the Roti with the Curry ( this one with chunks of beef )

The Roti is thick and excellent but lacking consistency.
I mean, you either get it both fluffy and crispy i.e. just nice or 1st degree burned ! But never fear, most of the time, they come clean. The excellent part reminds me of those I ate in Japan, very very close but not exactly. Only if they could brush some warm butter on it, I would give more merits.

A piece here, cost RM 1.50, with the curry for dipping comes at RM 2.00 / person.
Prices are on the high side compared to the other two, but I would say, fair. Oh yes, and the curry is thick and lovely too, but still below my anticipation as I preferred thicker ones.

Verdict ? 8.5 out of 10 stars. Excellent but not perfect.


A normal restaurant but only starts to operate when the Sun goes down.
Located by the road, at Jalan Kota Bharu - Pasir Pekan, near to the Pasir Pekan roundabout. To reach, one needs to travel down from Kota Bharu.

* The typical servings - the Roti with the Curry ( this one with minced beef )

The Roti is way the smallest I have ever encountered so far. The taste is good, amazingly fluffy but without the crispy side. Unfortunately. Like muching on Roti Pau ( steamed bun ).

A piece here, cost RM 1.20, with the curries for dipping come at RM 2.50 ~ RM 3.50 per serving, is fairly thick and at much more variety than the other two. The only downside is the pricey part.

Verdict please ! 7.5 out of 10 stars. Amazing but not as anticipated.


Kedaa Ppati concept.
A concept which is very common in ( and unique to ? ) Kelantan. Located at Jalan Bayam, Cherang, some distance away from the Jalan Long Yunus - Jalan Bayam intersection.

Have no idea what the place is formally known as there is no visible business name but those who usually frequent the spot call it either " Kedaa Ghoti Payyae Cherghae " or " Keddaa Azae " after the eatery owner's name ( Azam ? ). Please spare me if I got both wrong ....

* The typical servings - the Roti with the Curry ( this one with chunks of beef )

The Roti is thinner but marvelous when hot, newly out from the tandoor but might get really chewy at room temperature.

A piece here cost RM 0.70 which is the cheapest I've found so far ( well, did I say " thinner " ? ), with the curry for dipping comes at RM 2.00 / person. The other downside is the curry. Sorry to say, somewhat watery, lacking viscosity or something that just don't fit my likings. I could easily come up with better than that !

Oh yeah, the verdict, 6 out of 10 stars. Slightly above average.

But to be fair. By overall, it's still great and that explains the eatery popularity as a workmen's stopover for tea ( and roti ! ).

I need more input on places with great Roti Tempayan, especially in Kelantan.
Also want to know how Malaysians define " excellent " Roti Tempayan.

Care to share ?
Just leave your two cents in the comment box, and I will make them a couple of millions if I must.

Ijou de, doumo arigatou !


( 4 ) KELATTE : Jalae ~ Jalae Carghi Makae

( 3 ) KELATTE : Jalae ~ Jalae Carghi Makae

( 2 ) KELATTE : Jalae ~ Jalae Carghi Makae

( 1 ) KELATTE : Jalae ~ Jalae Carghi Makae

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