31 December 2013

2013’s Final Count  Down

  What it looks like right now as I watch from my rear window. Will the forecast of another flood truly come?

I am going to quote something from an article in yesterday’s NST.

“ The truth is, once we live beyond 72 – which is the average life expectancy for men – we are literally preparing to depart….”

Tan Sri Ani Arope, about whom the article was written, knows how to express it better. Now in his early 80s he puts it as  "waiting in the departure lounge of life".

The way he puts it reminds me, now trailing not far behind him in age, of the front pages of my old annual diaries. Just before the end of the last day of the year some sixty years ago, I would be sitting quietly trying to compose my thoughts for the new years. Invariably I expressed my gratitude for whatever success I had achieved, declared my resolutions for the new year and prayed that He would continue to help. Today, each time I glance at what I wrote then (in broken Arabic!), knowing how much of my prayers, and more, have been granted, I can never hold back my tears. Now, the elder ones of my grand-children are at the age I was then. They are totally oblivious of what went through their grandfather’s mind those years when he was at their today's age. They are the fast forward of his future then.  

Strange enough, not once in those old pages I sought for a long life. Now, on my prayer mat I thank Him for giving me my life and giving me my partner in life etc, etc ….”,  and pray that while I sit ‘waiting in the departure lounge of ‘life’, HE would slightly delay the ‘plane’, giving me the chance to catch up with my lost time.


Since I have ceased buying diaries for my private thoughts I am using this ‘open’ diary to wish my visitors and readers another year of success and happiness, mindful of the gifts we all have received in life. And I pray the same as I do for my fellow passengers sitting around me.


I will leave this last page of 2013 with a part of a well known soliloquy: 

“Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, 

Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing.” 


Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan

26 December 2013

What Pakcik received ( Pt 5 ) – The Cracked Pot

(Posted on Boxing Day of 2013)

Cracked but not broken

On 22nd October 2011 Pakcik posted a short story about a piece of brick which dented a Jaguar ( click HERE ). A silent visitor, a school teacher, kindly emailed a short note to Pakcik. With it came a short story copied below (less the picture).

This one is broken, no longer carcked

“Reading Pakcik's posting on 'The Brick' reminds me of a story which I came across in a newspaper years ago. There are many versions of the story on internet. The story is titled 'The Cracked Pot'; maybe Pakcik have read the story as well but here it goes;

The Cracked Pot Story

A water bearer in India had two large pots, one hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, but the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master's house.  The cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water into his master's house.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made.

But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

One day, after two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, the cracked pot spoke to the water bearer by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologise to you."

Why?" asked the bearer. "What are you ashamed of?"

"I have managed, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load. Because of this crack in my side I could only deliver half load. Half of it leaked out all the way back to your master's house. Because of my flaws, you have to do more work. You have never got full value from your efforts," the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, "Now, when we are walking back to the master's house, I want you to watch the beautiful flowers along our path."

Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on one side of the path, and this helped to cheered it a little. But at the end of the trail, the cracked pot still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologised to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot's side?

As I knew known all along about your flaw, I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you've watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master's table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house."

Moral: Each of us has our own unique flaws. We're all cracked pots.

But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You've just got to take each person for what he is, and look for the good in him.

There is a lot of good in us! Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.

Having so many flaws myself, I take comfort in imagining myself being a ‘cracked pot’. Wassalaam.”


Dear Cikgu,

Thank you for your comments and the ‘cracked pot’ story. Yes, Cikgu, you are indeed a ‘cracked pot’, invigorating and nourishing so many children of your kampong to be useful men and women.

I would love to be one as well, Cikgu.

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan

20 December 2013

The Miracles of Al Quran (Pt 1) – Introduction


I looked back into my 1956 diary to be sure of his name, Ghazi Aziz, from Iraq. Sharing the same room with him was a white South African, a Christian, and another, a Jewish. Sharing an adjacent roam with me were two boys, a Budhist from India and a Christian from Chile (South America). The third one, a small single room, was occupied by an Irish. It was as international it could be in a three-room ‘digs’ run by a Scottish lady. That made eight nationalities from four continents, representing four major religions.

Thrown into that rare environment I, an absolute green-horn at 20, was obliged to learn to respect each other’s race and religion.

During the following months I grew quite close to the Arab boy from Iraq. We often sat talking about our countries, people and so on. In the course of our conversation one day, I told him that, being a Muslim, I knew a bit of Arabic, the language of Quran that we all had to learn to read in Malaya (pre-merdeka). I was not at all surprised when he took out a copy of Quran and started to talk with high praise of the language of Quran, .."the best example of Arabic language" so he said. That I was not least surprised. Then he dropped the bombshell, “ I have to admit so. although I am not a Muslim.”!

How was I to know that an Arab, bearing that name, Ghazi aziz, was not a Muslim? That’s how green I was. I wonder if I managed to hide my shock.

Since that day no book would surprise me if it says the language of Quran is one of the miracles of Quran. After all Muhammad (saw) was an ‘ummi’, an illiterate person. How could he, of all people, claim the Book to be his work even if he wanted or tried to? There, in that strange environment I learnt of the first ‘Mukjizat’ (miracle)of Quran; it being too perfect to be of human creation.

Part of Ayat 23 from Surah Al-Baqarah

Interpretation by Muhammad Asad: "And if you doubt any part of what We have bestowed from on high, step by step, upon Our servant(Muhammad), then produce a surah of similar merit, and call upon any other than God to bear witness for you – if what you say is true!"


That is my introduction to this new series. With humility I must, from this very first stage, declare that I will only do the work of compiling the facts from other sources; delivering an original thought is beyond my human capability.

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan

11 December 2013

With a Sigh ( No 17) - Have You ever seen the Rain?


 I am still without line at home and have to post this longer-than-usual entry on a ‘borrowed’ line over 15 km away from home and in a car park! Regret for any faults and inadequacy. Instead of using comment box below please e-mail me (almanar@pd.jaring.my) if you wish to express your very critical comments which may be construed as slanderous.

(From a song popularised by a number of top singers in 1970/80s)
“Someone told me long ago
There's a calm before the storm,
I know;
It's been comin' for some time.
When it's over, so they say,
It'll rain a sunny day,
I know;
Shinin' down like water.

I want to know, have you ever seen the rain?
I want to know, have you ever seen the rain
Comin' down on a sunny day?


I was born and raised in K Trengganu ( without ‘e’ after ‘T” in Teren…) I did not have to learn Ilmu Alam to know what rain in December is like in the East Coast. Like other children I had lots of fun with ‘main hujan’ (playing in the rain), a special kind of sport in Trengganu

Last week I needed to get to KL with some urgency. The rain and strong wind that came with the Monsoon did not bother me in the least.  I would, on the hand, prefer that cool atmosphere to the hot sun and its glare.  It so happened my old jalopy had just been through a ‘major service’ and, most importantly, been fitted with a set of four brand new tyres for safety. I did not, unfortunately, have Her Majesty- cum ‘sleeping-beauty’ to accompany me as usual but I had one of our grandchildren who wished to return to KL after a fortnight at NURI.

If at all, my concern was leaving our home unattended in this weather.

Here he is finding the wind direction and testing its intensity

FIRST day of rain

With my grandson sitting alongside, we set out at 8.30 with enough food, drink, musical CDs and all to last the journey which would normally take me about five to six hours of driving. It was raining when we left. The drive via Jerangau-Jabor road to Kuantan was normal with fairly light traffic. But what really bothered me was seeing heavy vehicles being driven at high speed, creating potholes and damaging parts of the road under water puddles. There was nothing eventful to speak of the journey except for a record-breaking aspect. It was pouring throughout the 500km drive with the screen wiper never stopped swinging.

SECOND day of rain 

On the following day, this time with Makcik in the co-pilot seat, we set off from KL northwards on a 100-km drive heading for her kampong. We had news that durian fruit had begun to fall.   

That old wooden house where we tied the knot, with 100-year old durian trees as witness.

Having fully satisfied ourselves with durian, we were back on the North-South Highway heading southwards in a car fully laden with durian. Even the lot of ‘pandan’ leaves covering the fruit could not help to neutralise the smell of the fruit, not that it bothered us in any way.

THIRD day of rain

Early on the third day, with Makkcik in the co-pilot seat, we left KL after I had satisfied everyone that I was fresh enough for another long drive to K Terengganu. There was light rain and the weather promised a pleasant journey home.

It was indeed rather pleasant. Two hours into the East Coast Highway my sleeping beauty was comfortably well stretched on her seat, breathing softly. And there I was at the wheel enjoying Doris Day’s ‘The Autumn Leaves’ instead of Broery’s love songs. I glanced at her and told myself what a perfect picture that was. An hour later we came to a junction where I missed one turning, and soon myself on the alternative road to KT via Cherating, Kemaman ahnd Dungun, a route I dislike for its heavy traffic. So on this occasion I was watchfull enough, and at the junction we turned off the highway into the old winding Jabor-Jerangau road, realising fully well that I had to drive slower under the worse road condition.

About 30 km on the old road, we found ourselves trailing a long line of vehicles. And soon every one of them was doing the zig-zag dance, trying to avoid deep potholes. That and seeing hardly any on-coming vehicles, except a few heavy vehicles, began to worry me. When the procession finally came to a full stop several drivers stepped out, each with an umbrella in hand. With concern I joined them, too. Just then a car appeared from ahead. Its driver stopped by us to announce that the road ahead was under water and not passable to light traffic.

That was that. “Apa kita nak buat,abang?” (what shoud we do) asked my sleeping beauty who had been awake since the speed of the car changed on leaving the highway

My decision was simple. I turned the car round, back-tracked for about 30km and took the coastal road. Our hand-phones were out of action, rendering us without communication.  About an hour later we came to another similar situation, stopping behind a convoy of vehicles. News passed from mouth to mouth that the road ahead was closed. We were about to reach Cherating, some 20 km from Kemaman.  

As we were weighing what action we should take, our need to see a toilet was paramount – what with drinking and the cold weather all the way- and we had had no stop for almost six hours . Personally, I could possibly find a spot to stand behind a tree, but what of my sleeping beauty

There was only one small wooden sundry shop open in the immediate vicinity. Azmi, a very nice young owner, with apology showed us a small room at the back. To get there we had to step in flood water which had already begun to cover the floor of the shop.

Nevertheless, we both did it, with great relief. How we thanked Azmi. Sadly until now, four days after the event, I have not been able to get him on his hand-phone to thank him. His phone is as dead as the door knob!  

Azmi seriously advised that we found a place to spend the night. The rain and the high tide would keep the road under water for a long time. But no, we decided to return to KL. In the rain, we traced our way back and after a ten-hour pleasure drive we were back where our day began, in KL.

Alhamdulillah. Now, four days after the event I know, had we managed to get through Cherating, we would surely have been marooned between Cherating and Kemaman.      

FOURTH day of rain

Early in the morning of the fourth day I made phone calls to six police stations to check on the road condition. One said that the two normal routes to K Terengganu were out of question. One advised me that, if I must go to KT,  I should preferably take the long route through Kelantan. But one was rather optimistic, saying that although Kemaman road was out of question, some traffic managed to get through Jabor-Jerangau road early this morning.

So there was a chance!

Despite several disapproving comments from family members I was adamant to take the chances. Alhamdulillah, to cut it short, we MADE IT safely through all the way; and, this time, the screen wiper did take a rest from time to time.

We were happy to see our home standing proudly in the rain while the surrounding tall coconut palms stood defiantly against the strong Monsoon wind, but their leaves, unable to fight back, were being swept landwards at the mercy of the wind. 

Standing defiantly year after year


I am left with a lot of questions in my head.

Why wasn’t there a single notice on the roads advising motorists of the road closure ahead?
When I needed their help, where were the traffic police who had, with dedication to duty, waited eagerly to hand me tickets for speeding?
Why were the information centres in the two states not able to give precise and up-to-date information on the road conditions?
For all intents and purposes, I regard what happened as a national emergency and the will of God; but do we leave it all in His Hand to pass information, place notices and be ready to help in whatever form?
Or do we just publicise our voluminous sympathy and be contented?

I heave a deep sigh of relief that we and our home are safe, and that many people at large are willingly parting with their sens and ringgits on the roads and at supermarkets in town.    

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk Kemanusiaan

08 December 2013

With my deep regret


This time it is not because of cable theft but the flood. Our home is still in one piece, Alhamdulillah; but we are without streamyx. I have to travel some distance to ‘borrow’ a line to p[ost this message. But many around us are without home and food. It is all sad stories we have been hearing - not as much in the press!

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan

22 November 2013

With a Sigh (Pt 17) – Shouldn’t schooling life be fun?

( REGRET : I am sorry if the first few lines look odd.  I do not know why and how to correct it!!) 

Hardly a day passes without someone writing in 
the dailies about our education. I seem to get the 
impression that much of the credits come from 
those in authority. People at large, on the other 
hand, seem to express their weariness over the 
current situation. For a start there is no end to the 
issue of PPSMI. Our former PM warned that Malays 
will be left behind in the acquisition of knowledge 
if the government continues to neglect the 
teaching of science and mathematics in the English 
language. I was not surprised to understand that 
Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) was all for 
teaching Science and Mathematics in Malay.  If I 
choose to be cynical I would produce a copy of 
DBP’s dictionary to show the number of English 
words which have been butchered to become 
acceptable Malay words. Many of those words do 
not make Bahasa Malayu any richer. 
I am happy to have a home among the rural/semi urban society. My daily preoccupation at Almanar over the last many years has, consequently, brought me close to many children, rural in upbringing, many with inadequacies; and I have opportunities to interact with heir teachers. It is a shame to hear increasing negative remarks from these educators over the current situation in school. Generally they feel that they are no longer fulfilling their duties as teachers. Among other non academic activities, the introduction of PBS system ( whatever that is! ) leaves them with little time for teaching.

I feel sorry for those teachers and, of course, for the school children. In my selfish way I cannot help feeling that the few children who attend Almanar tuition classes are lucky to learn something.

A couple of weeks ago a group of Form 3 children asked if I would introduce Physics during this long holiday, in advance of their class when they go back to school in January 2014. I like the thought of doing that for them. To satisfy them I picked up one of the old Physics books in my possession. This happened to be one I purchased for one of my children in 1986 ( 27 years ago ). I suppose to the gods of education in the ministry this book is positively archaic. To me the title itself , ‘Physics for you’, is friendly and inviting.    

How about learning some Physics the old method?

I cannot help being amused every time I open the page on ‘measuring Heat’ where a pupil is encouraged to complete a simple poem. It is so typical of many societies, Malay no less, that children are humoured to learn from enchantingly simple poems.

Can you work out the rhyme?

                   Little Jack Holmer,
                   Sat in a corner,
                   Feeling so chilly and cool,
                   He said, “ I should eat,
                   And so produce ……
                   The unit of which is …..”


Whatever ‘education blue print’ the gods of education choose to implement, Pakcik will doggedly carry on teaching at Almanar the way he was taught some sixty years ago! Schooling was fun. Of course it was not funny when you got a cane whipped on your palm for your failure to rattle aloud from memory any of the multiplication tables from 2 to 12 for your teacher. Today a child simply needs to press a couple of buttons to get the answer for 2 times 10.   Nor was it funny in those days when, for not putting in a fair share of work, you had to remain another year in whatever class if you failed the end-of-the-year examination. It was even less funny when you would get sacked for failing twice.

But schooling was fun.

I can only draw a sigh, and keep giving lessons to these children the only way I know how. 

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan


09 November 2013

End of the tunnel ( Pt 23 ) – Not from Almanar

Indeed this is not the typical account of an ex-Almanar pupil. The subject of this entry is an old friend, one I would like to remember as a successful individual. Lee Chong Leng went through a long and dark tunnel and emerged to see beautiful sunlight and finally ended his day peacefully, leaving behind a legacy of success.

My friend Lee Chong Leng

Chong Leng was, obviously, not a Malay, nor was a Muslim. But that did not stop us from being friends. We started as Malayans and ended as Malaysians.

Chong Leng started life in a rather isolated fishing village of that time. Today, Batu Rakit is no more than 25Km by road, not more than 10Km as the crow flies, from Kuala Teregganu city centre.  But seventy years ago there was no road link. Chong Leng, who belonged to a Chinese family living among the Malay community of fishermen, grew up in this remote locality which is, ironically, my home today, also the home of Almanar.

Like those Malay children in that area, he attended the lone Sekolah Rendah Batu Rakit. Today this area boasts of colleges and more than half a dozen schools of various categories. He used to boast of his childhood torturous journeys to Kuala Terengganu. Setting off from home on foot would take him a good five hours to reach a quay-side in Seberang Takir, from where a boat man would paddle him across the wide estuary of Sungai Terengganu. What a trip it was just to get to the state capital. And today, I take no more than half-an-hour in my rickety vehicle to reach the same place.

Life brought us together when, in 1952, I joined him in Standard 7 (today’s Form 3) of Sultan Sulaiman English School. Unlike me he joined the school immediately after his five years of primary Malay school in Batu Rakit.  I went through a different route before joining him in Standard 7

I think I was drawn to him by his ability to speak Terengganu native dialect as well as his exceptional ability to write Malay in Jawi script. He was proud to show me how he could write my name in reversed Jawi script; from left to right instead of right to left.

Hassan in reversed Jawi script

That was the beginning of our friendship. And I cannot help believing that his mastery of Malay language was instrumental to that friendship. In the course of conversations it was natural to hear him use such terms as Alhamdulillah and InsyaAllah.

Chong Leng and I were probably the only two candidates (of 37 boys and 5 girls ) who used Jawi script in answering the Malay papers in our Senior Cambridge School Certificate (just SC – the like of SPM today) examination at the end of 1955. Unfortunately he could not satisfy the minimum number of passes from the eight subjects we sat for. In those days, nevertheless, passing Standard 8 ( current Form 4) was good enough for one to earn a clerical job. The standard of English of that era was more than adequate for that purpose. I think one may find it hard today to imagine that in the Malay subject SC exam question papers a candidate had to answer a question which asked a candidate to translate into Malay a short given passage in English, and likewise to translate into English a short given passage in Malay. Perhaps the schools were not called ‘EnglishSchool for no reason.

Shortly after knowing the SC examination result Chong Leng succeeded to get a clerical job in the judiciary department where he worked for many years.     

Although Chong Leng could not achieve a simple Grade 3 in the SC examination, he never lacked the determination to see his children perform better. When he was a child elder members of his family, worked hand in hand with local Malays, in making keropok. But his parents, instead of making him an apprentice in keropok industry, sent him to school, to finally succeed in make a living working comfortably at a desk with pen and paper – no longer necessary to clean oneself of scales and smell at the end of each day. Given that chance Chong Leng was determined to improve his children’s lot in life. His son won a coveted scholarship in Singapore to do architecture; a daughter works in a bank after graduation, and a second daughter is a specialist English teacher in one of our country’s top premier colleges for girls. 

Would that not be a dream realised? Yes, we joked and laughed the last time I was in his home, though his health was failing him.

Our last picture

We could no longer enjoy lunching out. But Chong Leng could not be a happier person – knowing that he was out of the long dark tunnel.

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan  

02 November 2013

All in the family (Pt 10) – Adam the boy scout

Ten grandchildren later we finally have in our family the first member to join the Boy Scouts; befittingly his name is Adam.

Making it somewhat eventful, the primary school of this standard four boy was selected to be present at what was supposed to be an international jamboree; and of all places it was held a week ago at a sizable permanent Boy Scouts campsite in Kuala Terengganu, merely 12 Km from our home. Like our Nuri (of last posting) this well-equipped site faces the same stretch of South China Sea. If we take a small fishing boat and skirt around the coast past the sea end of KT airport runaway, we would come to this campsite. One of those English channel ( 32 km across to Calais ) swimmers could do a return trip without much effort.  


The main entrance - facing South China Sea

This being a sort of family’s historic event and the site being so close to our home, the aged grandparents from Nuri drove the short distance to wait for the arrival of the coach bringing our Adam. Finally, after seven hours on the road, the group of about thirty boys and girls from Sekolah Kebangsaan Bukit Damansara arrived to join the few hundred boys and girls of similar age from different parts of Malaysia and neighbour

On arrival

  • Ready to face the challenges

Not to be outdone, Adam’s mother flew in from KL early the following morning. We waited at the airport and drove her straight to the camp site, hardy 2 Km away. We could not help sensing the boy’s embarrassment that his friends would know the presence of his mother and grandparents. For that reason we tried to remain inconspicuous.

Good enough to weather the monsoon rain!

The two days and two nights of gathering must be quite an experience for these children to mix and participate and compete in various indoors and field activities. Their spirit did not seem to be dampened by rain which came down both evenings  - heralding the arrival of Monsoon season. Adam had to be thankful to see us the following morning to tell that he had lost his towel and soap after his first shower, and he had to share a friend’s!  

We make our own kites

Our dishes are god enough for competition


We can be creative given the chance


Gamelan presentation from Indonesia

And as we begin to talk less of the excitement of Adam’s first field experience, he is now talking about the next gathering in Johore Bahru. I can imagine the exodus of Pakcik’s clan down south. After all, Makcik’s father died and was buried there and Adam’s father hails from that part of the world as well. There is, obviously, every reason for them to visit the place on top of another Jamboree!

 On scouts honour


Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan

24 October 2013

Moment to Reflect ( Pt 12 ) - NURI, My Light, my home

A nephew came around one evening about Hari Raya time; and a few days later he surprised me with a picture he took. It is the rear part of our home, the part which faces the sea. I could hardly believe what I saw.

Nuri - My Light

I had my personal reasons for naming this building NURI ( meaning MY LIGHT ) but did not bargain for one looking so striking in the dark, a contrast from its appearance in broad daylight when all its defects, cracks, old paintwork and all, push the rating way down. 

Rumahku Syurgaku – Alhamdulillah

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan

14 October 2013

Moment to Reflect ( Pt 11 ) – Her Majesty’s little garden


Sleep over a problem and you may see things in a better light. That was what Pakcik did, and something very trivial triggered a change of plan; No longer going into the coconut business and all on global scale!

It was two mornings ago when I heard Makcik hollering at me from our back gardens, what I call our ‘tanah sekangkang kera’ (small plot of ground).

Babah, come down and take some photos of my chilies!”.

At that very moment I was in my library upstairs, totally absorbed in my second reading of Ali Jusoh’s Belahan Mimpi ( read foot-note below on the author,Ali Jusoh ). When I am referred to with the endearment term like ‘Babah’, it means an order from Her Majesty. So hurry up, or you go without dinner!

                                                                  Fajar Bakti 1994

I dropped my Belahan Mimpi, picked up my Leica M’s look-alike camera and rushed down. She was about to pick a few chilies and she wished to keep a photo of her first harvest, beautiful long red chilies. For size she readily obliged to place her fingers alongside a chili - just bare fingers without her royal diamonds, varnish and all

Look how long they are - cared for by tender fingers

I only have 5 fingers on one hand

Having fulfilled my duty, I decided to loiter around, taking snap-shots of other plants growing on our ‘tanah sekangkang kera’. I found myself marvelling at the number of fruit trees, vegetables, flower plants and herbs we had collected over the years. I cannot help admiring Her Majesty’s joy in looking after her plants, as much as the satisfaction I find from the effort I spend on Almanar’s children. Isn’t this a win-win situation? Isn’t this a reason that has blessed our life with joy since we moved here twenty years ago? How naive I must be to even dream of starting something new at ‘taraf antarabangsa’ (world class) at this stage of our life.

Look at some of the few photos of plants introduced over twenty years with minimal assistance from me in maintaining them.

n/b  Please click on pictures to enlarge

I am not made like coconut
With stem to withstand
The force of sea storm

I bend my back
Breaking my neck
To bear a bunch

To ripen for you

Pisang Abu for you

Grow healthy, my lovely Nangka

With smaller siblings near the bvottom

On a tree outside our fence - Namgka (bukan Cempedak) diluar pagar  

Durian Belanda ( Dutch durian?) - fresh from the tree

A younger brother on the plant

Mother plant growing healthy

And from Pak Temuk - Red lady's finger (the Red Okra) 
       We can never thank him enough 

Of course we have Her Majesty's green fingers as well


That is not an exhaustive list. 
Has any one outside Terengganu heard of such fruit plants as jambu arang, buah ppisang (not banana – watch the pp, the Terengganu way) and buah terajang (hard-kick fruit)? We will post some pictures in good time.

In short, let Her Majesty enjoy the produce from her ‘tanah sekangkang kera’ and I the product from Almanar
A happy ending!

I give full credit to the novelist, Ali Jusoh, for his effort to organise the first group of children when I wished to start my tuition class at Amanar twenty years ago, He was then the Headmaster of a school hardly 3km away and has retired a few years ago. He has written some twenty novels one of which is expected to be published soon. To his credit he was a Pemegang Anugerah Sastera for his Bumi Harapan, and a winner of the national Hadiah Sako for his Alor Miang. It hurts me deeply that as the result of his current illness he can no longer transmit onto paper what his fertile mind can still produce. A couple of weeks ago Pakcik took him on a sentimental journey along Sungei Nerus of Terengganu where a number of historical events took place and these events were referred to in his novel, Belahan Mimpi. That prompted me to do a second reading of the book.

 Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan.