A Journey Through Time...
By: M Jeffri Razali

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Monday, 7-Jun-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Colours Of Malaysia VII - The Blue Mosque

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Perhaps, one of the structures that stands out in Shah Alam (in the State of Selangor)is the Sultan Salahuddin Mosque or simply known as the Shah Alam Mosque. It is the most imposing structure in Shah Alam as it could be seen from miles away in any direction.

Built on a 14.6 hectare land right in the heart of Shah Alam, the mosque is surrounded by a beautiful man-made lake amidst lush greenery.

Commissioned in the 1980s, the Shah Alam Mosque is said to be the largest mosque in Malaysia and South East Asia and is capable of holding more than 16,000 devotees at any one time. In its early years, the mosque was also listed in the Guiness Book of World Record as having the tallest minaret in the world, a title it had lost to the Hasan II Mosque in Casablanca.

Known among tourists simply as the "blue mosque", the Shah Alam Mosque boasts a beautiful architecture, complete with outstanding decorations inside the mosque. The facilities available in the mosque is also considered as among the best, if not the best, in Malaysia and the region.

Sunday, 6-Jun-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Remembering D-Day

For many of us, D-Day is just something we learn or read from history books, or perhaps from watching Saving Private Ryan. But it is more than just that. It was the beginning of the end, where WWII was concerned.

D-Day...the Allied invasion of the European continent through Normandy began about 12:15 on June 6, 1944. The plan, known as Operation Overlord, had been prepared since 1943 and in May 1944, tactical bombing was begun in order to destroy German communications in northern France.

Just after midnight on June 6, British and American airborne forces landed behind the German coastal fortifications known as the Atlantic Wall. They were followed after daybreak by the seaborne troops of the U.S. 1st Army and British 2d Army. Field Marshal B. L. Montgomery was in command of the Allied land forces. Some 4,000 transports, 800 warships, and innumerable small craft, under Admiral Sir B. H. Ramsay, supported the invasion, and more than 11,000 aircraft, under Air Chief Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory, formed a protective umbrella. While naval guns and Allied bombers assaulted the beach fortifications, the men swarmed ashore.

At the base of the Cotentin peninsula the U.S. forces established two beachheads–Utah Beach, W of the Vire River, and Omaha Beach, E of the Vire, the scene of the fiercest fighting. British troops, who had landed near Bayeux on three beaches called Gold, Juno, and Sword, advanced quickly but were stopped before Caen. On June 12 the fusion of the Allied beachheads was complete.

Statistics show that some 6,603 American soldiers perished in the operation. To some, this may be a costly operation. But from the other point of view, it was a small price to pay as the Allied forces' success in Normandy had hasten the end of the Second World War.

I consider myself lucky that I had not lived through any of the world war, or any war for that matter. Let us all hope and pray that we, our children and their children after that, will not go through another war and destruction. Lets give peace a chance.

For more on D-Day...check out this site http://search.eb.com/normandy/

Saturday, 5-Jun-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Daulat Tuanku

Today is the King's birthday...so as a loyal subject, I cannot work today. So no photos... Just an excuse really...looking for an excuse to relax for awhile...

On a more serious note, being a country that practises constitutional monarchy (very similar indeed to Great Britain), Malaysia is led by the Yang DiPertuan Agong, or the King, as the head of State. However, his jurisdiction is more towards matters pertaining to Islam and Malays as the running of the country and the political side of things are handled by the Prime Minister and his Cabinet, which forms the executive branch. (In Malaysia, like any other democratic country, there is also the Legislative branch to legislate laws and judiciary to enforce them, apart from the executive of course)

In Malaysia, the King is selected from the nine Sultans or State rulers (except for Penang, Melaka, Sabah & Sarawak) and each will reign as the King for a term of five years. The country's present King is His Royal Highness Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Putra Jamalulail Ibni Almarhum Tuanku Syed Putra Syed Hassan Jamalullail.

His Royal Highness was born on May 16, 1943 in Arau, Perlis and received his early education at Sekolah Melayu Arau before pursuing English primary studies at Wellesley Primary School in Penang in 1950. In 1956, he attended Penang Free School for secondary education before furthering his studies in England at the Wellingborough Public School from 1959 and Sandhurst Army Academy from 1964 to 1965.

His Royal Highness was appointed as the Crown Prince of Perlis in October 30, 1960 while he was still in school and as the Acting Raja of Perlis, when the Raja and Raja Perempuan of Perlis travelled to the United States of America in 1967. He ascended the Perlis throne on April 17, 2000, a day after the death of his father, Tuanku Syed Putra Jamalullail, and was installed as Raja of Perlis on May 7, 2000.

His Royal Highness Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin was appointed as the 12th Yang di-Pertuan Agong by the Conference of Rulers on December 13, 2001. The official installation of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong was done on April 25, 2002 at the National Palace.

Friday, 4-Jun-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Colours Of Malaysia VI (Part Two)

Seen Through One Of The Windows
The Roof Top
The Roof Top Seen From Inside
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Just continuing from yesterday. There are still some pictures of this magnificent building and I feel it is a sheer waste if they are left unused. So here are the rest of the photos...some of them may bear some resemblance to those posted yesterday but nevertheless, this building is just too beautiful to be ignored.

For those who missed my entry yesterday, just look up yesterday's page as the story behind this building can be found in that page...can't say much more of this building because I have really ran out of ideas...

Thursday, 3-Jun-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Colour Of Malaysia VI - Castle In The Jungle

A View From West Side Of The Castle
An Imposing Structure
The Lift Tower
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This magnificent structure, which is perched on top a hill surrounded by rubber and oil palm estate, was built in 1915 by a Scottish planter, William Kellie Smith.It is today known as Kellie's Castle, in remembrance of the person who inspired its construction.

Being far away from home, Smith had desired his new residence to be reminiscent of his home back in Scotland. There are also other stories which said that he had built the house to show his love to his wife, thus giving rise to its nickname as the 'Malaysian Taj Mahal'.

Although this 'castle' seems out of place, as it is surrounded by plantations, it is an imposing structure considering the fact that it is the only massive structure around. The design displays many Islamic architectural splendour, similar to buildings in other parts of the country which were built around the same time as Kellie's Castle.

This building was the second 'house' built by Smith as the first was located adjacent to the castle. It is adorned with dome-shaped windows, 14 rooms, a tall lift tower and a moat surrounding it. Skilled workers were brought in from India to build the magnificent building. However, work was halted when an epidemic hit the workers.

The construction was again halted, when in 1926, when Smith died in Lisbon. It was said that he had succumbed to pneumonia when he was on his way to take delivery of a lift he had ordered for his castle. His wife later relinquished all her interest in the estate and returned to England and abandoned the unfinished castle, which was subsequently reclaimed by the jungle.

Abandoned and unknown for almost 60 years, it was discovered by a group of boys scout in the 1980s. It has since been restored to its original state, although unfinished, as though awaiting the return of William Kellie Smith to complete the construction.

More story & pics on this magnificent building...http://mypokcik.fotopages.com/?entry=100973&back=http://mypokcik.fotopages.com/?page=2

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