|Monday, 25-May-2009 04:18
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FILLER ENTRY : Surprise, surprise, surprise !
FILLER ENTRY :
Surprise, surprise, surprise !
( Tajuk dipinjam dari entri terdahulu ! )
SURPRISE NO. 1
Bagus juga sesekali bertandang ke luar ....
Kata orang ( saya lah 'orang' itu ! ), seandainya kita mahu merasai dengan jelas magnitud sebenar 'perubahan' yang berlaku di tempat sendiri, adalah perlu untuk kita pergi ke luar, ke daerah lain, yang seboleh-bolehnya jauh dan tiada khabar yang mampu sampai, seterusnya diam di situ beberapa ketika sebelum kembali semula ...
Setidak-tidaknya, itulah yang saya lakukan !
Saya pulang ke Kelantan dalam keadaan agak terkesima, terlopong, terpaku sejenak setelah menyaksikan tidak sedikit benda lama yang telah bertukar baru ( dan tak kurang juga, yang baru bertukar lama ! ) terutamanya yang ada di sekitar bandar Kota Bharu ...
Antara yang paling ' menarik perhatian ' adalah yang berikut :
1 ~ ' Face lift ' Pasar Besar Siti Khadijah ....
2 ~ Lebih separuh Balai Polis Daerah Kota Bharu telah diratakan bagi satu projek komersil ...
3 ~ Bazaar Tengku Anis mula menampakkan rupa di atas tapak Istana Tengku Seri Akar ...
4 ~ Bangunan Kota Bharu Trade Center ( KBTC ) juga semakin menampakkan rupa ...
5 ~ Skrin LED Gergasi, pertama seumpamanya di Kelantan, telah muncul di Kota Bharu .....
6 ~ Kerja pembinaan Jambatan ke-2 Sultan Yahya Petra sudah mula nampak ...
7 ~ Lanskap Bulatan Jam Besar Kota Bharu berubah terus dari yang sebelumnya .....
8 ~ Banyak bangunan-bangunan kedai baru di sana sini ....
9 ~ Kelantan Trade Center ( KTC ) seolah hanya menanti dua ' kubah ' ikoniknya tiba ...
10 ~ Jalan Tok Hakim akan dibuka semula dan aliran-aliran trafik di Kota Bharu akan diubah ....
... dan serghbou maknekou lagih .. ( mallah eh ambo nok ghoyak belako ! )
Yang berikut mungkin boleh membantu memberikan sedikit gambaran
( sila klik setiap foto untuk mendapatkan ' feel ' yang berbeza ! ) :
SURPRISE NO. 2
' Surprise ' yang ke-2 adalah berkaitan keadaan laluan pejalan kaki ( kaki lima ? ) di luar Masjid Muhammadi di Kota Bharu :
Saya begitu kagum dengan idea yang diterjemah dan digarapkan sedemikian rupa.
Bentuk ' covered walkway ' yang begitu ' ngam ' dengan ' essence ' senibina bangunan masjid itu sendiri. The arches and the colour scheme really fit the building itself ! Sekali lihat seolah-olah ianya adalah sebahagian daripada bangunan masjid itu sendiri ! Ya, sebelum ini pun sudah ada ' covered walkway ' tetapi ianya biasa sahaja, dan tidak se ' artistik ' sekarang ini !
Saya berkereta, sambil mulut tak henti-henti memuji sehinggalah saya melepasi di hadapan bangunan lama dan bersejarah milik Majlis Agama Islam dan Adat Istiadat Melayu Kelantan ( MAIK ) ini :
* klik foto untuk gambaran dari sudut berbeza.
Errr ... Maaf ...
Saya budak baru belajar, juga tidak begitu mahir dalam menilai keindahan dan kecantikan .. tetapi jauh dalam hati saya tertanya-tanya, adakah perlu untuk melanjutkan ' covered walkway ' itu sehingga ke hadapan bangunan tersebut, yang jelas memiliki ' essence ' yang berbeza.
Emmm ... macam ' tak masyuk ' laa pulak ... he he he
( Mudah kata, umpama memadankan baju hijau dengan seluar merah ! )
Entah la .......
SURPRISE NO. 3
Apa-apa pun, ' surprise ' ke-3 dan yang paling mengujakan,
adalah tak lain tak bukan adalah yang melibatkan, MASJID LAMA MULONG !
Perihal masjid itu pernah disentuh dalam satu entri yang lepas.
Bahkan, saya pernah dipelawa oleh seorang kenalan untuk meninjau masjid tersebut pada awal kerja konservasi. Walaupun saya tak pasti jenis keterlibatan beliau dalam projek konservasi Masjid Lama Mulong, dia memang pakar dalam bidang sedemikian. Malang sekali saya terpaksa menolak pelawaan itu kerana tika itu juga saya terpaksa meninggalkan Kelantan kerana ' panggilan tugas '. Betapa saya rindu untuk melihatnya, Masjid Lama Mulong ini merupakan bangunan pertama yang saya nanti-nantikan kelibatnya tatkala berkereta masuk ke Jajahan Kota Bharu semasa pulang dari ' perantauan ' baru-baru ini ...
Yang pasti, setinggi-tinggi tahniah dan penghargaan kepada mereka yang telah mengambil inisiatif sebegini. Saya kagum bercampur terharu .... sedih dan sayu pun ada bila mana terkenangkan satu kisah yang sama tapi berbeza.
Inilah yang sebenarnya saya impikan !
Bak kata orang kampung saya, ' on site conservation ' !
Yakni, konservasi atau pemulihan khazanah negara diusahakan di tapak asal, tidak terus diangkut keluar entah ke mana atau seumpamanya ....
Paling menarik, lokasi masjid ini hanya sepelaung dari Masjid Lama Kampung Laut !
* foto dirakam Julai 2008.
* foto dirakam Mei 2009.
( nanti kalau ada masa, nak pergi jenguk lebih dekat ! )
THE STAR ONLINE : ' 400 want to stay put '
|Monday, 18-May-2009 00:00
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IT'S A COMEBACK !
IT'S A COMEBACK !
* Sigh * ....
I have fallen out of my routine for six straight months ....
Away in an " internment camp " in a land far far away from my beloved Kelantan, without proper connection with the outside world, living on overly hectic, pact schedule, almost no access to cyberspace ....
(... and oh yeah, on non-Kelantanese diet too .... he he ..)
But now ... I am BACK !
Alas, finally freed by my " captors ", well ... from the absolutely amazing, 6 months of great experiences and wonderful moments ( that I am totally thankful and won't forget ! ) ..
It's mid May 2009 now and there were a lot of interesting things and notable events had gone by since the past 6 months. Looking back, the last three months of 2008 were really eventful and there were much to write about, but realizing my limitations then, I just had to let them pass by ...
( Believe me, you don't want to know where or how I observed last year's Hari Raya Korban ! )
* By Nokia 6300 - 2 Megapixel
... and oh yes, interestingly Hari Raya Korban / Aidil Adha that year fell on the 8th of December 2008, which was also the the start of World War II in Malaya with the Japanese amphibious landing at Pantai Kuala Pak Amat in Kota Bharu, Kelantan.
I was thinking of making an entry to commemorate the event, like I did every year but being in internet wasteland, there was no way I could.
But I decided to commemorate in my own way ( well, sort of ) ....... alongside with my newly found comrades :
* By Nokia 6300 - 2 Megapixel
But perhaps, nothing compares to 17th December 2009.
The day I started photo blogging, more than five years ago, in 2003 .....
Wow ! Five years and I am still at it.
Amazing ! It is somewhat remarkable that I had made it this far ..... a personal feat, I should say. While my friends who took up Fotopages at the same time I took up mine ( including one who inspired me to do so ), had long abandoned theirs, I am still here, putting almost every thoughts I have, especially on Kelantan, in photos and words ... I have no idea how long this will last or until when, perhaps, as long as I am " permitted " to be here and as long as I am feeling like doing it ..... ?
Moving on, it seems that there are a lot things happened in December 2008, apart from the above mentioned, the Islamic New Year of 1430 also fell in December 2008. To be exact, 1 Muharram 1430 was on 29 December 2008 ... Interestingly, just 3 days before the Tahun Baru Masihi itself ...
So, I hope it's still not too late for me to wish my fellow visitors,
" Selamat Tahun Baru Hijrah 1430 and Selamat Tahun Baru 2009 ! "
.. followed by this long list of " Selamat "s :
~ Selamat Tahun Baru Cina ! .... yang tak pasti ke berapa ribu ...
~ Selamat Orang Palestin di Gaza ! Semoga beroleh kemenangan !
~ Selamat .. errr ... better put it in the least understandable lingo :
自分に 「 スラマッ ハリー ラヒール 」！三月二十日、お誕生日をおめでとう～ ！
~ Selamat Ulang Tahun Kelahiran Junjungan Besar Kita, Nabi Muhammad S.A.W
( pada 12 Rabi'ul Awal 1430 H bersamaan 9 Mac 2009 ...... )
صلى الله على محمد ... صلى الله عليه وسلم .... يا نبي سلام عليك
يا رسول سلام عليك ..... يا حبيب سلام عليك ... يا رسول الله ... صلوات الله عليك
~ Selamat Hari Keputeraan Al-Sultan Kelantan ke-59 aka Puja Umur, 30 ~ 31 Mac 2009 ...
( Semoga Allah menyihatkan kembali Baginda Tuanku yang kini sedang gering .. )
~ Selamat Hari Pekerja 1 Mei = Labour Day 2009 !
( karena diriku dan kalian adalah karyawan ! )
.. and last, but not least ....
SELAMAT BERKAMERA BARU !
Yahoooooooooooooooooooooooooo ~ ! ( or is it ? )
* By Fujifilm F420 - 3.1 Megapixel. Ironically, this is the last shot with it ...
* When I bought this camera, the first thing that came to my mind, was a DSLR
( to replace my antique, now broken film-based SLR, the Pentax MZ30 35-80mm )
that has to be very very portable ( if possible, exactly like my Fujifilm F420 ).
I was looking for something powerful, of great performance but must not be bulky
or big, that I could bring along anywhere with ease, to take a shot with speed ( like a
pistol and not an anti tank bazooka or a shoulder fired anti aircraft missile ) i.e.
somewhat pocket-able ( which I know won't be possible for a DSLR at the moment ) !
To tell the truth, I have this " addiction " for light sensitivity as excellent light sensitivity
normally spells excellent shots. Nothing I tried so far beats the light sensitivity of a
Fujifilm's ( I tried Nikon D80, but Fujifilm's appeared to be much better, more lively and
vigorous. My decent Fujifilm F420 made a good comparison. ). However, since Fujifilm
fared rather poorly in the DSLR field and that Nikon seems to perform better, I decided
to place my bet on the D60 - as my first DSLR.
But now, this site is telling me that it is much much better to spend your
hard earned cash on a D40 if you are trapped between D40, D40x, D60 and D80, as
the D40 has the lowest mega pixels among them which means larger sensor ( you have
to read the review first to understand this ), thus better light sensitivity i.e. better photo
quality. Upon realising that, I started to feel guilty about having this one .... emmmmm ...
So, anyone fancy a spanking new D60 + camera bag + 4 gig memory card ?
He he he ...
|Friday, 13-Mar-2009 17:03
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KELATÉ 1890 : On a Raft Through a Forbidden State ( 2 )
KELATÉ 1890 :
On a Raft Through a Forbidden State ( 2 )
( The Part Two i.e. the final part - as promised. Sorry for the very long " pause " )
Part 2 :
Henry Norman, Kota Bharu and The Sultan of Kelantan
* " The Raja of Kelantan will not dare to touch one hair of my moustache "
Sir Norman, arrogantly responding to the warning given to him by a group of local
Chinese whom he came across on the Kelantan River, somewhere between Kuala
Krai and Tanah Merah, while on his way to Kota Bharu.
In his previous notes, he described how the group of Chinese warned him by
communicating through one of his men that the news of their illegal entrance into
Kelantan, without the Sultan's consent had reached Kota Bharu and that a vessel
loaded with armed men is heading towards them to finish them off.
But of course, being an orghae puteh ( white man ) who was fully aware of his
position in the World's greatest empire of the day, Sir Norman took the warning very
lightly and decided to dismiss it as harmless and nothing more than just a " Chinese lie ".
He was right after all as nothing happened afterward, reaching Kota Bharu unscathed.
Despite his claim, his words however reflect otherwise. Somewhere between those
lines, I could sense his feelings of uncertainty and insecurity, which he tried to
extinguish by relating such threat to the outcomes of two well known incidents of his day.
( One being the Assassination of Perak British Resident, J.W.W Birch ( 1875 ) and
the other being the mysterious killing of a British subject, a Chinaman by the name Goh
Hui in 1888, whose body was found in the Sultan of Pahang's ( Sultan Ahmad ) palace
ground. Both events resulted in serious retaliations in Perak and Pahang .... )
Here is another interesting remark by Sir Norman on the Sultan of Kelantan, as quoted
from the same chapter :
" .. the Sultan of Kelantan, whose mere name sent a shudder through the natives
even here in another State .... "
( Chapter XXXIII : On a Raft Through a Forbidden State, page 562 )
( Only God knows how proud I am with the author’s statement ! Ha ha ha )
* Setting His Foot On Kota Bharu
Sir Norman, describing his first time in Kota Bharu.
Meeting the Sultan of Kelantan was the very first thing in his mind upon
reaching the capital. However, with all the disturbing thoughts he had on the
Kelantanese ruler, he decided to wait and see, lying as low as possible from the
Sultan’s sight ( like told above ). He was hoping that someone of status, preferably a
member of the ruling house, could help him arrange a formal meeting with the Sultan,
in order to explain his peaceful intention. For this, his Chinese guide introduced him to
a minister by the name, Sri Paduka Wan Yusof who I will describe later.
As for the Malay town mentioned above, I strongly believe that it refers to the present
day Kubang Pasu-Sungai Keladi-Sungai Budor while the Chinese town is unmistakably
Kampung Cina at what is now Jalan Pantai Cahaya Bulan.
* Kampung Cina, 1905 ( Photo credit : W.A. Graham )
" Kota Bharu is very much like other Malay towns except for its big mosque ".
The big, old, wooden mosque of Kota Bharu, which Sir Norman saw during his visit
to the capital of Kelantan, serving not only as a place of worship but also an institute of
learning i.e. an Islamic seminary. Perhaps the grandest traditional mosque in the
Peninsular, during its time.
The mosque was brought down in mid 20th century, in favour of a new colonial style,
brick building, we all now know as " Masjid Muhammadi ".
( I hope that it could be restored, rebuilt again one day, in Kota Bharu .... )
* Note :
The first photo was taken in 1905 by W.A. Graham whereas the second photo shows
the remaining part of the old mosque, as taken in 1940s.
The concrete building seen on the extreme right in the second photo is in fact, a part of
the present day Masjid Muhammadi, one of its minarets - built on the site of the
previously demolished parts of the old mosque.
* Making an appointment to meet the Sultan.
Sir Norman meeting a minister, Sri Paduka Wan Yusuf, requesting for an appointment
with the Sultan of Kelantan.
From the above, one would instantly notice that Sri Paduka Wan Yusuf was not an
ordinary minister. For a man capable of arranging such meeting, he must had been a
State Secretary or at least a special advisor to the Sultan.
The name “ Sri Paduka Wan Yusuf “ sounds very familiar, it rang a bell. I decided to do
some quick research on this man mentioned by Sir Norman and it did not take long for
me to recall a very similar name from an online article I previously read in the
Perbadanan Muzium Kelantan's website ( on the Kelantan World War II Memorial or the
Bank Kerapu ).
So, I went to the site again, and there it was, a description of a man that very much
resembles Sri Paduka Wan Yusuf, only with slightly different name. Didn’t take long for
me to realise that the one mentioned in the article ( see below ), is exactly the same man
whom Henry Norman described as :
" a big heavy man with a cruel shaven face and cropped hair "
( For those who claim to be his descendant, now you know how your great granddad looked like ! )
Tapak asal bangunan ini dimiliki oleh Nik Yusoff bin Nik Abd. Majid yang bergelar Dato'
Sri Paduka Raja. Beliau lebih dikenali dengan Pak Nik Soh Pak Nik Ad atau disebut
juga Sri Paduka Nik Yusoff atau Nik Sri Paduka. Beliau adalah seorang Pembesar
Kelantan yang terkenal sejak zaman pernerintahan Sultan Ahmad (1886-1889) dan
zaman Sultan Muhammad 111 (1889-1890). Beliau telah dilantik menjadi Menteri Besar
Kelantan dari tahun 1894 hingga 1900.
Tanah tapak bangunan itu telah dibeli oleh syarikat bank "The Mercantile Bank of India
Limited yang membina sebuah bangunan bank cawangannya di Kelantan. Bangunan
bank itu dibina dan siap serta digunakan pada tahun 1912. Pengurus yang pertama
ialah Encik Muir iaitu seorang Inggeris.
Dinding bangunan tersebut ditampalkan dengan simen yang berkerutu. Dalam bahasa
daerah Kelantan keadaan tidak licin itu disebut 'kerapu'. Daripada itu bank tersebut
telah dikenali sebagai Bank Kerapu hinggalah sekarang ini.
Perbadanan Muzium Negeri Kelantan - Bank Kerapu ( Memorial Perang Dunia Ke-2)
* A plan for rebellion
The day before Sir Norman was scheduled to meet the Sultan of Kelantan, two strangers
came to him and introduced themselves as the brothers to the Kelantanese ruler.
What amazed him so much was the nature of the surprise visit which he described
in his book as;
" .... one of my strangest Eastern experiences ....
.... two visitors who made to me the most remarkable proposal it has
ever been my lot to receive .... "
( Chapter XXXIII : On a Raft Through a Forbidden State, page 578)
The above excerpt explains all.
( See ' Conclusion ' for more explanations )
* Coming face to face with the Sultan of Kelantan.
Sir Norman finally got his chance to meet the Sultan of Kelantan, through a formal
reception at the Istana, arranged to his wish by Paduka Sri Wan Yusuf.
( Notice how he described the scene in the reception hall ( Balai ), the clothing,
the people and all that .... )
Unfortunately, the meeting turned out to be a rather unpleasant experience for Sir
Norman. He was expecting that the Sultan would greet and receive him like a state
guest but what he got was totally the opposite. The unfriendly air of the reception
and the way he was expected to appear before the Sultan, as described above had
left Sir Norman with the impression of being most unwelcome. I have no idea what
the Sultan of Kelantan had in mind about Sir Norman at the very moment he laid his
eyes on him but one thing for sure, the latter was already gearing up for the worst.
From what he wrote, we know that Sir Norman came before the Kelantanese ruler
with already much reservations and hard feelings, all arose from the words he heard
while in Perak, the “Chinese Lie“ incident on the Kelantan River and some other
small incidents with the latest, took place just a day before the meeting, being the
treacherous proposal made by the Sultan own brothers. ( It seems that he himself
was partly if not entirely responsible for the uneasy experience ! )
The author managed to translate some of those feelings by refusing to sit on the
bare floor, reacting in a way that almost cost him trouble. Lucky for the author, the
Sultan remained unperturbed and the conversation that followed later between the
two, appeared to be nothing beyond extraordinary. There were no hard talks, deep
discussions or anything close. Just a casual chat, simple exchange of questions
and answers in which the Sultan denied all the allegations that he had given out
order to stop foreigners especially Europeans from entering the state, and that
the people whom the author met were just exaggerating things.
( Though the Sultan later told the author how he was deeply upset by an incident
involving a European man which occured some time before the author's arrival. The
man came to Kota Bharu and took away the wife of a local chief ...... )
Unsurprisingly, Sir Norman chose to remain cautious, maintaining his suspicion
in the Sultan. The meeting ended as fast as it started.
* Leaving Kelantan with a “ parting gift “.
Sir Norman did not stay long in Kota Bharu.
He did not state exactly how long, maybe a few days or so as suggested in his writing.
At the end of the meeting with the Sultan, he requested a guaranteed safe passage out
of Kelantan for him and his men. He asked for two boats. One for him and his Indian
bodyguards to take to Kuala Terengganu where he would later take a steamer to
Singapore, and the other boat for the rest of his men to take to Pattani.
The Sultan granted his wish and a few days later, he found himself sailing out of
Kelantan, again down the Kelantan River. When he reached Kuala Besar, where the
river meets the South China Sea, an incident took place that almost cost the author his
life. In the dark of the night, a gang of armed men attacked his boat. Luckily, he
managed to resist the assault with the help of his two bodyguards and the skirmish
ended with the attackers fleeing the scene with one casualty on their side.
Though it might be nothing more than a case of piracy ( considering that he did not
make up the entire incident ), the author decided to link his bad experience with the
Sultan of Kelantan and Sri Paduka Wan Yusuf - accusing the two for the attempt on his
life. I have no idea how far this is true. From his words, it is obvious that the author
was merely assuming it and that he himself had no idea who was the real culprit nor
the real reason behind the attack.
The author arrived in Kuala Terengganu days later.
By then, it was already three months since he left Hulu Perak. He stated in the book
how he was well received by the Sultan of Terengganu, and was far better treated than
what he went through in Kota Bharu. Terengganu was merely a short stopover for the
author ( nothing like Kelantan is described about Terengganu in the book ). From there,
he took a steamer and left for Singapore, summing up his Malayan trip for good.
CONCLUSION : Learning From The Past ....
Go through the chapter and it won’t take long for one to realise that Sir Henry Norman, apart from describing his adventure across Kelantan, also made many bizarre remarks concerning the Sultan of Kelantan of the day. Most are very critical, many are offensive and some are even prejudice in nature.
Still, I could sense some level of fairness and honesty from his writing. Having gone through the chapter, I have to admit that his descriptions on Kelantan had provided me with a more clearer picture on what really went on during the years leading to British involvement in the state. Indeed, his accounts have helped much in improving my personal understanding of the very little known political episode pre-colonial Kelantan, especially during the late 19th century.
Kelantan, at the time of the author’s visit, was ruled by Tengku Ahmad Bendahara, one of many sons of Sultan Ahmad ( Sultan Tengah ) who took to the throne after his father’s death in 1888. He took the title Sultan Muhammad III and ruled Kelantan amidst his brothers’ disapproval and protest. The Sultan ruled Kelantan for a relatively very short period. His death has never been explained and remains a mystery to this day. Having read Sir Norman’s, that would be no surprise at all as it seems to suggest a probable cause which I chose not to describe.
Sultan Muhammad III was succeeded by his brother, who took the title, Sultan Mansor. Though not mentioned by name in Sir Norman’s book, he was said to be, according to W.A.Graham ( “ Kelantan : A State of The Malay Peninsular “, Glasgow, 1908 ), the prince who asked Sir Norman’s help in overthrowing his brother, Sultan Muhammad III - whom Sir Norman described as a “ young man of great intelligence and kindliness of character “ in his book ( as already quoted above ). Ironically, his reign was much shorter than his brother. He died after three years on the throne and like his predecessor, with a cause that was lost to history.
W.A.Graham did a better study on this matter and had a lot more to share. Graham continued from the point where Sir Norman left hanging. He had the episode described much further in his book, in good details, in a chronological order starting from the death of Sultan Tengah up to his presence in Kelantan, parts of which are posted below :
Having gone through both sources, I started to ponder to myself.
I do not wish to have those thoughts put in words here, since I do not wish them to be misinterpreted. However, looking at the current Malaysian political scenario, I strongly feel the need to express, to state here that no matter how true, important or sincere our political agenda would be, staying united and working for the good of all is still the top priority. History taught us how personal ambitions and the attempt to achieve it through foreign hands had brought forth many dreaded events in the history of the Malays. The 1876 Pangkor Agreement and Raffles acquisition of Singapura are some fine examples.
My conclusion is simple. Let bygone be bygone. But at the same time, let the past be the teacher. A teacher who will lead us into a better future. A future with dignity. Mistakes are made to be learned from, and never to be repeated.
Only those who learned from the past, from history, shall find his way through thousands of uncertainties of the future.
" Whoever wishes to foresee the future must consult the past; for human
events ever resemble those of preceding times. This arises from the fact that they
are produced by men who ever have been, and ever shall be, animated by the same
passions, and thus they necessarily have the same results. " - Machiavelli
Kelantanese Sultans from late 19th century to early 20th century, in chronological order :
1) Sultan Ahmad ( Sultan Tengah ) ibni Sultan Muhammad II
2) Sultan Muhammad III ibni Sultan Ahmad ( Sultan Tengah )
3) Sultan Mansor ibni Sultan Ahmad ( Sultan Tengah )
4) Sultan Muhammad IV ibni Sultan Muhammad III
* ref : http://www.royalark.net/Malaysia/kelant6.htm
* Sultan Ahmad Tengah ( aka Sultan Ahmad ibni Sultan Muhammad II, died in 1888 ) was the father of Tengku Bongsu ( * read : " Lost and Found : Rumah Tengku Bongsu " ), my great grandmother on my father's side - which makes Sultan Muhammad III ( according to W.A. Graham's account, he was also known as Ahmat Bendahara or Sultan Ahmat ), my great granduncle.
RELATED : Something To Ponder …
'Amir bin Said dari bapanya berkata bahawa : "Satu hari Rasulullah S.A.W telah
datang dari daerah berbukit. Apabila Rasulullah S.A.W sampai di masjid Bani
Mu'awiyah lalu beliau masuk ke dalam masjid dan menunaikan solat dua rakaat.
Maka kami pun turut solat bersama dengan Rasulullah S.A.W.
Kemudian Rasulullah S.A.W berdoa dengan doa yang agak panjang kepada
Allah S.W.T :
Setelah selesai beliau berdoa maka Rasulullah S.A.W pun berpaling kepada kami
lalu bersabda yang bermaksud :
"Aku telah bermohon kepada Allah S.W.T tiga perkara, dalam tiga perkara itu cuma
dia memperkenankan dua perkara sahaja dan satu lagi ditolak.
1. Aku telah bermohon kepada Allah S.W.T supaya ia tidak membinasakan umatku
dengan musim susah yang berpanjangan. Permohonanku ini diperkenankan oleh
2. Aku telah bermohon kepada Allah S.W.T supaya umatku ini jangan dibinasakan
dengan bencana tenggelam (seperti banjir besar yang telah melanda umat Nabi Nuh
a.s. ). Permohonanku ini telah diperkenankan oleh Allah S.W.T.
3. Aku telah bermohon kepada Allah S.W.T supaya umatku tidak dibinasakan
kerana pergaduhan sesama mereka (peperangan, pergaduhan antara sesama Islam).
Tetapi permohonanku telah tidak diperkenankan (telah ditolak).
Dipetik dari :
RELATED : “ Henry Norman and Kelantan “
|Friday, 10-Oct-2008 15:00
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KELATÉ 1890 : On a Raft Through a Forbidden State ( 1 )
The Opening Page
Kelantan in the Last Chapter
KELATÉ 1890 :
On a Raft Through a Forbidden State ( 1 )
Just got my hands on this book :
*A 2005 reprinted paperback edition by Elibron Classics - Adamant Media
Corporation - acquired online.
Consisting of 730 pages in 33 chapters, of mostly text and few photos.
" The Peoples and Politics of The Far East ",
by Henry Norman ( then Sir Henry Norman, 1858 ~ 1939 ) – a world travelling English journalist, author and politician on his “ travels and studies in the British, French, Spanish and Portuguese colonies, Siberia, China, Japan, Korea, Siam and Malaya ".
First published in London in 1895 by T.Fisher Unwin.
The author, attached to several leading news publications of the day, was primarily known in the West for his many updates on the conditions of the Far East during the late 19th century. His work appeared in many publications and news report, occasionally pushing him into the limelight as well - like this article, appeared in a prominent American newspaper, over a hundred years ago ( notice the word “ Kelantan “ ) :
From : The New York Times Online Archive, 6 Nov 1898
* Note :
Sir Henry Norman was actually not “ the first European “ as described in
the above excerpt.
He was definitely among the first, probably the second or third to accomplish
so safely after Carlo Ferdinando Bozzolo, an Italian entrepreneur, later a district officer
serving the British in Hulu Perak, crossed the Peninsular into Kelantan in 1889.
The author, not only admitted to the fact in the book but also met Bozzolo
during his Malayan trip and had Bozzolo showed him the way into Kelantan.
But unfortunately, unlike Norman, Bozzolo did not come up with any
published work on his stay in Malaya thus nothing is known, at least
so far, of his Kelantanese experience.
Back to the book.
The final chapter, Chapter XXXIII - On A Raft Through A Forbidden State, tells of the author's extraordinary voyage across pre-colonial Kelantan which took place around 1890 - roughly 13 years before the state came under British control.
It contains the most interesting reference on old Kelantan I found so far, since W.A. Graham's 1908 " Kelantan : A State of The Malay Peninsular " - answering many questions I used to have concerning late 19th century Kelantan and even revealing troves of information regarding my own root.
The author, Sir Henry Norman, was among the first Europeans ( probably the second or third ) to traverse the breadth of pre-colonial Kelantan, which during the time was among the least explored corners of the Malay Peninsular ( well, by the Europeans of course ). He started his three months journey in British occupied Perak, using the least popular route of the day – across the Peninsular, through the most unforgiving part of the Titiwangsa. He took off from Hulu Perak, crossing the mountainous thick jungle on elephant’s back and on foot, passing through the old Malay states of Reman and Legeh, before entering the Kelantanese realm through Pergau - in present day, Jajahan Jeli.
From there, he took a raft down the Kelantan River all the way to the state capital, Kota Bharu where he managed to get an audience with the Sultan of Kelantan but also found himself unintentionally involved in a plan to overthrow the Sultan by the Sultan’s traitorous brothers ( I find this part to be the most interesting ). He left for Singapore via Terengganu soon after, unscathed but badly shaken by an attempt on his life at Kuala Besar while sailing out of the state – an incident, he alleged to have occurred as a result from the unpleasant audience he had earlier with the Sultan.
What the author went through in Kelantan is interesting, noteworthy and served as a good reference on what really occurred ( and also giving clues to what might have happened ) in the state shortly before the arrival of the British. It is equally interesting to read from the author, of how Kelantan was negatively perceived by non-Kelantanese, both by other natives of the Peninsular and Europeans of the day. In the earlier parts of the chapter, he described Kelantan as a closed and forbidden corner of the Peninsular’s East Coast, seen by other Malays as a treacherous realm, ruled by xenophobic, cruel petty chiefs, warring mobs and gangs of highwaymen. A notion which I noticed, he tried hard to prove in his account on Kelantan.
From his words, one could simply tell how uneasy the author was when he started his journey and how unhappy he was when he made his way out the state. Nevertheless, from his words one could also tell how the author was enthralled and fascinated by Kelantan's vast potentials and interesting qualities – from the interior littered with gold, to the hustle and bustle of its lively towns.
Though not as detailed as that of Graham’s, Norman’s descriptions are certainly of different historical level and significance compared to Graham’s, that I believe might be pretty helpful when it comes to studying matters related to pre-colonial Kelantan. So, here I got some scanned parts of the book posted for those interested to learn more. Not many but more than enough to grasp much of the author's Kelantanese experience. These excerpts are from the first half of the author’s journey and I will putting up the rest in a different, upcoming entry.
So, please, do look forward for the next entry.
Not enough ? Need more ?
Maybe this or this could help ! *
* Spoiler : 730 pages with only around 30 pages on Kelantan ....
* The Where's Where of Henry Norman's time
An old map showing the political boundaries of several Malay states
( most are now defunct ) in the North-eastern corner of the Malay
Peninsular, prior to 1909 Bangkok Agreement.
Kelantan was also shown, interconnected with Legeh and Reman,
the two of which are mentioned in the book.
' Keturunan Raja-Raja Kelantan dan Peristiwa-Peristiwa Bersejarah '
( Abdullah bin Mohamed ( Nakula ), Perbadanan Muzium Negeri Kelantan, 1981 )
via Hikayat Usop's Siapa Long Yunus ?
Part 1 : From Perak into Kelantan
* The author, Henry Norman and the raft that took him to Kota Bharu.
Taken at an unknown spot on the Kelantan River, but judging by the width of the river in
the background, the location must surely be somewhere deep in the interior.
Probably Kuala Pergau.
* The author's opening words on Kelantan.
Here, the author cited Bozzolo as the first European who accomplished the feat that
he was trying to accomplish himself through the journey and also the difficulty of
gaining access into the state.
Notice how he described the Raja of Kelantan ( who he also referred to as the Sultan
of Kelantan ).
On " H.M. Becher ", I did some online research about the man and found out the following :
1893 - H M Becher, seorang lagi individu yang dikatakan sedang memeriksa
daerah itu memutuskan untuk berkhemah di atas sebuah pulau (beting pasir) yang
terletak di tengah sungai Tahan. Becher mengabaikan nasihat penduduk tempatan
yang mengatakan kawasan itu tidak selamat kerana sering dinaiki air. Ketika air
pasang, beliau hilang selepas terjatuh ke dalam sungai ketika sampan yang
According to the above, Becher drowned in Sungai Tahan ( River Tahan ) when his
encampment, built on one of the river's unsteady sandbanks was washed away by a
sudden surge of water. He was previously warned by the locals of the risk in doing
so but being an orang puteh, he probably thought that there is a lot of other
important things to consider than listening to the savages ..... until it was too late.
Becher was surverying the area ( in his attempt to gain access to the highest point in the
Peninsular – the Gunung Tahan ), when the accident occurred.
* In Kelantan, on The River Pergau.
As soon as the author left Legeh, he made his way to the Sungai Pergau
( River Pergau ), one of Kelantan River many tributaries and had a sturdy raft
constructed out of bamboo for the next leg of his journey - to the state capital,
Of course, the author was not travelling alone. Along with him were two Punjabi
soldiers serving as his bodyguards, a Chinese guide and several anxious Malay
porters and assistants from the West Coast who the author described as :
" There was nothing to prevent them deserting me, and the very name of Kelantan
was almost enough to strike terror into them ..... "
( Chapter XXXIII : On a Raft Through a Forbidden State, page 571 )
The two kampungs or villages mentioned above, " Kampong Reka Bharu " and
" Kampong Reka Tua " were the first settlements encountered by the author
in his journey through Kelantan.
Located close to the River Pergau, not far from each other, they are still there today.
Only to be known ( spelled ) at present as " Kampung Reka Baru " and " Kampung
Reka Lama ", well, nothing much changed, located in modern day Jajahan Jeli.
If I am not mistaken, the word “ Reka “ is actually pronounced as “ Ghuh-kor “ which
according to the author, means " Echo " in English. Either the word is an archaic
Kelantanese term or it is just me with my not-so-rich Kelantanese vocabs, I have never
heard of such word being used with such meaning.
Can anyone clarify this?
And also ... where is this “ Bukit Pagah “ located ?
* Bird sniping with the headman and prospecting for gold.
The author, enjoying a relaxing moment at " Kampong Dusun Renda ".
The place, still exist today as " Kampung Dusun Rendah " is located by the
River Pergau, just a short distance downriver from Kampung Reka Lama and
Kampung Reka Baru in present day, Jajahan Jeli.
There, the author also met an old man who claimed to have served the British in
Selangor as a guide ( the Kelantanese have been venturing outside of their home state
for various reasons, since the olden days ! ) and at the time of the visit, was making a
living with gold collected from his private mine.
Kelantan was and still is famous for its gold bearing interiors.
The first Chinese settlement in Kelantan, the Gua Musang Pulai settlement was
established solely because of gold mining and the first formal British presence in
Kelantan was largely due to gold and other valuable minerals found in Kelantanese
deep interior ( The Duff Development Company, 1900s ).
By the way, I wonder, where is this Kuala Jinam, Kuala Tosi and Kuala Tuko ?
* Arriving at Tanah Merah.
The author, making a brief stop at Tanah Merah for provisions, and
of course, for some inspection as well.
Unknown to the author, Tanah Merah at the time was a frontier town,
which would be no surprise at all when he described the place as
“ the first time we saw signs of life and commerce “.
The modern version of Tanah Merah is located quite a distance from the river,
now serving not only an administrative township for the District ( Jajahan ) of Tanah
Merah but also a famous stop over point for those travelling the East-West Highway.
Interesting, there was blachang ( belacan ) but …. huh, no Budu !?
This is blesphemous ! Hahaha ..
* A sojourn at " Kampong Panah ".
" Panah " or in modern day spelling, Panau.
The hill mentioned by the author is Bukit Panau, a famous landmark in present day
Jajahan Tanah Merah, believed by some Kelantanese to be a place of mystic and
magic, of Puteri Saadong and Paduka Che Siti Wan Kembang.
Here's a good read on Bukit Panau.
* Henry Norman in Pasir Mas.
During the author’s visit, Pasir Mas was a thriving town of great importance
located close to the Kelantan River. The place, as reported by the author,
was teaming with activities and well cultured inhabitants, going around in
splendid colourful attire.
( Pak Zawi, your great grandparents might be among the crowd ! )
Pasir Mas, during its heyday, used to be regarded as just second to Kota Bharu.
Now, neighboring town of Tanah Merah appears to be more prosperous and vibrant.
On a different note, Galena is mineral primarily comprised of Lead Sulfide ( PbS ),
a chief source for Lead ( Pb ).
By the way, where is this place called “ Penei “ by the author ? Supposed to be
somewhere in Jajahan Pasir Mas. Any clue ?
* Reaching the late 19th century Kota Bharu.
I like the idea of walking around town with at least two keris tucked steadily at the waist.
Do that now, and you'll probably end up at the police station.
* Kota Bharu that Henry Norman did not see.
Foreground, present day Kelantan River and in the background, modern day Kota Bharu - circa 2008.
Snapped using a " borrowed " Nikon D80, with some image touch-up …
COMING UP !
The Second and Final Part -
NORMAN'S KELANTAN : On a Raft Through a Forbidden State (2)
|Wednesday, 1-Oct-2008 00:00
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SALAM AIDILFITRI 1429 H
SALAM AIDIL FITRI 1429 H :
1 SYAWAL 1429 @ 1 OKTOBER 2008
* Solat Aidil Fitri - Masjid Telipot, Jalan Telipot, Kota Bharu, Kelantan.
* Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri 1429 H dan Maaf Zahir Batin.
* Idea pembikinan entri kali ini dikitar semula dengan hensemnya dari entri raya dua tahun dahulu.
* Kerana, hidup ini hanyalah siri-siri aliran peristiwa yang sentiasa berulang dan diulang.
* Foto adalah ihsan penangan Fujifilm Finepix F420, yer, aku tahu .... antik.
* Arggghhh ... aku nak kamera baru !!