July 31st, 2012
The fishing village along the Sasaran River.
Sasaran is one of the many small Chinese fishing villages by the river in the northern tip of Selangor. It’s about 10 km south from the biggest fishing village, Kuala Selangor.
Many of these traditional fishing communities are hardworking and frugal. Their lives are often limited to their surrounding villages. Most of these families are self-sufficient and their homes well-equipped with modern fittings.
Often, in many of these rural areas, there is air of the place being frozen in time, with no progressive social, political and industrial developments for a long time.
The exception is in Sasaran. This is the only fishing village in the whole country that has created an international arts festival.
December 24th, 2011
August 30th, 2011
No 17, Jalan Hang Jebat, Malacca. This is one of my watercolours done in the 1990, from a collection of 64 paintings of the facades of early shophouses in Penang, Malacca, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. These watercolours were my way of contributing to the documentation and conservation of our architectural heritage.
As the legend goes, Malacca was founded by Parameswara, the fugitive with his group fleeing from Singapore, about 500 years ago. Later he went on to establish the first Malacca Sultanate in the 15th century.
At that time Malacca was a natural port that sheltered the sailors from the north-east and south-west monsoons in this region. The monsoons were one of the keys to the success of Malacca as a trading port in the early sailing years. The winds brought the Arabs, Indians and then the Europeans from the West and the Javanese, Bugis and Chinese from the East.
As years went by, due to its increasing strategic and commercial importance, Malacca became a battle ground as the colonial world powers and the local warlords fought to control it.
But despite all the wars and violence in the waters of the Malacca Straits, many of the early sailors, traders, pirates, warriors and labourers of various races established their new homes in Malacca.
May 14th, 2011
The area and community of Tasik Chini was what attracted a group of Asian Public Intellectuals (API) to gather there this year. This group of about 30, with two members each from Indonesia, Japan, Philippines and Thailand with the remaining number from Malaysia, was there as part of their regional project based on the common element — water.
Tasik Chini was their last stop. Since 2008, this group has visited the Kali Code River in Yogyakarta; Biwako Lake, the largest lake in Japan; the Tapee river in the Khiriwong community in south Thailand and the Batanes islands north of the Philippines.
Hezri Adnan was the leader of this site visit. He is an academic at UKM and also a visiting Fellow at The Australian National University. He said, “We are here to develop networking and collaboration within the API fellows in response to regional environmental challenges. The gathering here is to learn, document and promote local community knowledge and how they come to terms with the degradation of their traditional habitat — the water, lakes, forest and their communal life. We hope to learn from the indigenous Jakuns and then later frame an Asian perspective to mitigate these common and urgent environment issues.”
March 31st, 2011
Old ACS boys band playing at the centenary dinner.
During the British colonial times, over a hundred years ago, in Melaka, there were already five Christian missionary schools. But of course, an early metropolitan port like Melaka would have many other forms of schooling for the early trading communities like the Chinese, Indians, etc. as well.
These five early schools are still in Melaka today. Three of them are Catholic schools: St. Francis Institution, Sacred Hearts Canossa Convent and Infant Jesus Convent, the other two are Protestant schools: Methodist Girls School and Anglo Chinese School.
The European Catholics and the Protestants were at war with each other, for many years, and this was reflected through their race to gain colonial power over as much territory as it was possible. In the 19th & 20th century, their rivalry was in South Asia, China, Japan and South- East Asia. Religious battles are still with us today, everywhere (that would be another story).
On Saturday 5 March, the Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Methodist Melaka formerly known as the Anglo Chinese School celebrated its centenary. The school started in 1910.