Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Tok Tan's Clan family day at Sarang by the Brook

Last weekend, joined the rest of my wife's extended family (Tok Tan's clan) - all 40 of us, for a get-together at Sarang by the Brook at Kuala Kubu Bahru. It is about and hours drive from our house in PJ.

This is a unique hotel made of used containers in the edge of the jungle with a nice pool in the middle of the compound. As they say, it is not really the venue but the people you are with which matters. We had a great time.

Also learnt a lot of new things about my wife's family background, especially about her grandfather who was once a jailer in Changi prison in Singapore under the British and later under the newly formed country of Singapore. However, he decided to come back to Malaysia and as a result was not able to get his pension from the Singapore Government. 

Apparently he was really strong and a master in silat (the martial arts which originates from the Malay peninsula), Jujitsu and Akido - the later two which he learnt from the Japanese during the Japanese occupation of Malaya. 

It is a nice concept but it could do with a bit of maintenance in the rooms and around the place. Things are starting to look a bit dated and beginning to fall apart. Was a bit worried that it would be a bit hot inside the rooms, even with the air conditioning as there was no insulation but fortunately it rained in the evenings and it was actually cold. 

Most of the cooking was done on Thermomix. An amazing hi-tech cooking tool - will write a review about it later.

What is the origin of the name of Batu Ferringhi in Penang

How Malaysian are you #3?

When I first visited Penang, I stayed at one of the hotels on Batu Ferringhi and was quite curious as to how the place got the name.

Apparently, Ferringhi was originally a Malay term for the Portuguese people but was later used to refer to all Westerners. Batu refers to rock and according to what I read, it was probably the place where Westerners first landed and settled on Penang Island.

However, I have to mention that this is just one hypothesis and not confirmed.


What is the origin of the name 'Bukit Nanas'?

How Malaysian are you #4?

Most commentators on my FB page guessed correctly, Bukit Nanas is so named because it once had a lot of pineapples covering it.

It was once named as Bukit Gombak and historians think that it is one of the oldest settlements in Kuala Lumpur. There was once a fort on top of the hill and pineapples were planted to serve as natural defenses and the place came to be known as Bukit Nanas.

In 1872, during the Klang War or Selangor Civil War, the fort at Bukit Nanas was held by Tengku Kudin's forces including 500 soldiers, various mercenaries including Europeans and Chinese including the famous Kapitan Cina Yap Ah Loy. The pineapples did not help and after a seige by Raja Mahadi and his Mandailing forces, the Bukit was captured. Yap Ah Loy managed to escape to Klang.
This war was quite significant in Malaysian history because, it lead to direct British involvement in the affairs of the Malay states.

Convent Bukit Nanas established in 1899 and it's brother institution,St John's Institution, established in 1904, are among the oldest schools in Malaysia.

The Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve was gazetted in 1906, but its size has shrunk from 17.5ha to 9.3ha.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Post GST and the Business Crooks

After the new Malaysian Government announced the removal of GST, a lot of people were happy, hoping that prices would go down and people would have more money to spend overall. However, I was aware that there are certain business people, the crooks, who would use this opportunity to milk their customers like they did when GST was put into place previously, overnight prices went up and some restaurants still retained their service charges (as high as 10%). This has also happened in the past when fuel prices increase and the price of good would increase overnight, many times not proportional to the price rise. However, the worst part was that when the fuel prices went down, the price of goods and services did not go down.

Now consumers are more aware and social media was flooded with companies, mostly restaurants, which increased their prices when GST was removed - with people sharing images of receipts before and after showing no difference in prices. One famous example was that of a restaurant in Bangsar and the owner blamed it on a IT glitch. The authorities were also quick to investigate. However, in terms of prosecution, we have not really seen any of these  cheats being punished. Now they seem to be getting more blatant. Another restaurant in Bangsar have maintained the prices on their menu. On being confronted, the restaurant simply said that they had increased the prices by 6% (the same amount as the GST which was removed).

Let us act against these vultures and I sincerely hope that the authorities take stern action - not just fining them but closing these outlets.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD Pocket Knife

I was looking for a pocket knife that was not too bulky and could be attached to my car keys for everyday carry (EDC). The Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD Pocket Knife fit the bill. 



The model no is 0.6223.7B1. It is white, measures just 58mm and has 7 tools: a blade, nailfile + screwdriver, scissors, key rings, tweezers and a toothpick. 



I bought it on Lelong.com for RM80 + RM 7 (for delivery). It arrived in just one day - really efficient.

Comparing it to my old Victorinox Swiss Army Knife Climber, it looks quite small and that is what I wanted.




Monday, May 15, 2017

What is the oldest recorded Kingdom in the Malaysian peninsula?

This is the 2nd quiz question I ran on my Facebook page. A few got it right.

Well the answer is Langkasuka which covered Kedah and parts of Patani (now in Thailand).

Historians believe the kingdom to have been founded around 1-2 AD. That's about 1400 years before the Malacca Sultanate.

Records of Langkasuka was found in the Book of Liang (Liáng Shū) compiled by a Yao Silian from the Chinese Liang Dynasty (502-557).

Archologists also refer to Kedah Tua to a civilization that existed in Kedah, which may be related to Langkasuka. Besides the famous ruins in the Bujang Valley, archeologists are now slowly uncovering relics from this ancient civilizations including ships and other amazing stuff.

However, not much is known about this civilization. In fact, not many Malaysians know that the Bujang Valley complex was declared as the home of the oldest civilization in South-East Asia.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Name the only Malaysian state which was once ruled by a Queen?

Many of my Malaysian friends are quite surprised when they find out that I know so many obscure fact about Malaysia even though I was not born here. So I thought it would be a great idea to share what I know about this beautiful country by asking you a Quiz about Malaysia regularly. This was my first quiz on my Facebook page.

The answer is Kelantan. It was the only place in Malaysia to ever have a Queen as a ruler - Cik Siti Wan Kembang. Here is a pic.
Also, Kelantan is the only place in Malaysia where the King was killed by his wife in anger. Puteri Saadong who was the adopted daughter of Cik Siti Wan Kembang, killed her husband Raja Abdullah with her hair pin, for not keeping his promise.


Sorry, I do not have a higher resolution image. Please let me know if have one.

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