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

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Sunday, 16-May-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Colours Of Malaysia II - A Majapahit Legacy

Ferry Services Across Muar River In 1967
A 1500s Map Of Muar
A Portuguese Map Of Muar - 1604
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The history of Muar has its roots since the time of Hinduism (prior to the arrival of Islam in the Malay archipelago). A buddhist monk and scholar at the Majapahit Palace, named Prapanca, had written a well-known poem called Nagarakertagama in 1361 which told of the countries and regions conquered by Majapahit...and one of the places mentioned was Muar. During this time, Hayam Wuruk was Majapahit's king while its Prime Minister was none other than Gajah Mada.

The story about Muar's establishment, years before Melaka came into being, was further strengthened by other sources, including Portuguese historian Jaoa de Barros. In his book written in 1553, he stated that Parameswara (whom his book named as Paramicura) had escaped to Muar and set-up a fort in a remote area in Muar, which is today known as Pagoh, after he had murdered the king of Temasik (today Singapore).

When the Portuguese conquered Melaka in 1511, its Sultan and his entourage had escaped to Muar (which was known as Bentayan then).

Perhaps not many realises that Muar also play a significant role the modern history of Malaysia, particularly Johor.

A treaty with the British in 1855 had resulted in the Sultan of Johor at that time, Sultan Ali, relinquishing the state of Johor to Temenggung Daeng Ibrahim, while he (Sultan Ali) and his descendants were given the rights to the Muar-Kesang district. Sultan Ali was forced to sign over the entire State following his dispute with Temenggung Ibrahim. Although Sultan Ali appealed to the British Straits Settlement Government to intervene, the British supported Temenggung Ibrahim. Temenggong Ibrahim opened up Bandar Tanjung Puteri (later to become Johor's present-day capital) in south Johor as a major town.

Daeng Abu Bakar, who succeeded his father Temenggung Ibrahim in 1862, started looking at taking over the Muar-Kesang district following the death of Sultan Ali in 1877. The Straits Settlement Governor subsequently offered Muar to Abu Bakar, which he gladly accepted. For the first time since 1855, the entire Johor is now under Abu Bakar. Abu Bakar was later acknowledged as the Sultan by virtue of the British-Johor treaty of 1885, and he came to be known as Sultan Abu Bakar.

Today, Muar has grown into a bustling and busy city, with traffic congestion being one of the biggest headache for locals. It is today considered as one of the major towns in southern Malaysia, with industries being the mainstay of its economy.

P.S: It was very cloudy with overcast sky today...

Saturday, 15-May-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Scenes Of Malaysian Life III

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Perhaps one of the food which has become the favourite among a large majority of Malaysians is the goreng pisang (banana fritters). Their liking of this food is evident from the large number of people who patiently wait for their orders.

Roadside stalls selling goreng pisang can be found in virtually every corner of the country, from the rural areas to the modern cosmopolitan like Kuala Lumpur. One way of looking at it, this clearly shows how the humble goreng pisang has, to a certain extend, become perhaps one of the Malaysian food icons.

Making the goreng pisang at home is not a difficult task as you only need ripe bananas (preferably sweet ones). You just need to dip it (minus the skin of course) into a bowl of diluted flour (usually rice flour) before deep frying it to golden brown. Although it is easy to prepare your own goreng pisang, it is still more satisfying buying a packet of newly-fried goreng pisang from the stall and munching on them on your way back from work...only to discover later that you have eaten every single one and left nothing for those at home...

Friday, 14-May-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Faces Of Melaka XVI - The Harmony Street

On Sales
Various Items On Sales
Shop Selling Chinese Prayer Paraphernalia
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In the heart of Melaka's Chinatown, lies a stretch of road which is commonly known among the locals as 'Harmony Street'. One need not be a genius to figure out what the name 'Harmony Street' signifies.

The mere existence of Harmony Street truly depicts Malaysia's multi-racial and multi-cultural society, and how the people of various races interact together as members of Malaysian society in a harmonious, tolerant and peaceful manner. The racial cooperation and harmony experienced by Harmony Street dates back to the 16th and 17th century, at the height of Melaka's glorious days as an international trading port. This was further made possible following the influx of immigrants, particularly those from India and mainland China in the 19th century. What we see in Harmony Street today is indeed the result of centuries of inter-minggling and social order.

Another evidence of the racial and religious tolerence here is the existence of three places of worships - a mosque, an Indian temple and a Chinese temple - all within meters from each other. Apart from being symbols of racial unity and tolerence, the Kampung Kling Mosque, Sri Poyyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple and Cheng Hoon Teng temple are also considered as historical landmarks in Melaka.

The Kampung Kling Mosque, which was built in 1748, is considered as one of the oldest mosque in the country with Sumatran architectural values. Instead of a dome, the Kampung Keling Mosque parades a three-tier roof rising like a pyramid while its minarets was structured like a pagoda to showcase the marriage of East-West architectural influence. Despite having gone through many restoration works, the main pillars and roof remained intact and original until today.

The Cheng Hoon Teng temple, which literally translated means “The Abode Of The Green Merciless Clouds”, was constructed in 1646 and is considered as one of the oldest temples in Malaysia. It boasts fine workmanship, especially its ornately decorated mythological figurines, carvings and a lacquer work in its premises. All the material used to construct the temple were said to have been imported specially from China.

The Sri Poyyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple is considered as among one of the oldest Hindu temples in Malaysia. It was constructed in 1781 on a plot of land given by the Dutch authority in Melaka. The temple's central altar is dedicated to Lord Vinayagar, which is represented by an elephant head carved from a black Indian stone. Lord Vinayagar is said to be the deity capable of removing all obstacles and capable of taking on human form, with four hands and an elephant's head.

Thursday, 13-May-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark

Old Faithful
Good Times Will Come To An End
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Too hard on the brakes again
What if these brakes just give in?
What if they don't get out of the way?
What if there's someone overtaking?
I'm going out for a little drive
And it could be the last time you see me alive
There could be an idiot on the road
The only kick in life is pumping his steel

Wrap me up in the back of the trunk
Packed with foam and blind drunk
They won't ever take me alive
'Cause they all drive...

Don't die on the motorway
The moon would freeze, the plants would die
I couldn't cope if you crashed today
All the things I forgot to say
I'm going out for a little drive
And it could be the last time you see me alive
What if the car loses control?
What if there's someone overtaking?

Wrap me up in the back of the trunk
Packed with foam and blind drunk
They won't ever take me alive
'Cause they all drive killer cars

Wrap me up in the back of the trunk
Packed with foam and blind drunk
No they won't ever take me alive
'Cause they all drive killer cars
They all drive killer cars
They all drive killer cars

Killer Cars By Radiohead

Wednesday, 12-May-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Foto Challenge - Old

An Old Traditional House
An Old Pulpit Used For Giving Sermons
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It has been a busy day today and as such, I was unable to do much in terms of updating my fotopage. Hope these are good enough for today at least.

Like the saying goes...old is gold. They may be old but they are certainly priceless. A man may be old but he is certainly priceless where experience is concerned. Old saying may be outdated but more often than not, we still fall back on old wisdoms where we are up against a wall. How true...old is indeed gold.

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