Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Menjelang 1 Syawal - Kenangan mengusik jiwa



 Meriam Raya tradisional Pontianak
  Yaa! 1 Syawal yang di tunggu-tunggu sudah pun sampai. Sealiran dengan kedatangan Hari Raya dan di dalam keghairahan untuk berada di kampong halaman pada hari raya maka dijangkakan banyak  kemalangan di jalanraya akan berlaku yang sepatutnya dapat dielakkan. Kewaspadaan dan bersikap lebih tanggongjawab boleh mengelakkan perkara ini.

Di kampong dan luar bandar pula bakal terdengar kejadian mereka yang cedera atau hilang  jari akibat cuba mencipta   mercun sendiri atau kerana bermain meriam 'artileri' ciptaan sendiri juga. Semua in ternyata mengundang bala di kala perayaan menjelma.Ibu bapa mestilah mesti mengawasi anak masing-masing supaya hari raya tidak menjadi hari bersedih pula. 

Walau pun kerajaan mengharamkan pembakaran mercun dan permainanan apa jenis meriam pun dan disamping nasihat dan amaran bertubi-tubi tentang bahaya ini,namun semua ini saperti menuang air di daun keladi saja. Banyak bahan haram ini di seludup masuk ke sini dari negara jiran dan sudah menjadi perkara biasa saja. Pada malam ini pun telah mula bunyi mercun di sana sini. Sepatut risikan di pertingkatkan sepanjang tahun  untuk melumpuhkan kegiatan ini dan sekali gus hapuskan budaya asing ini.
 
Di pinggir Sg Kapuas,Pontianak
Mengimbas tentang bermain meriam ini,maka teringat pula saya semasa bertugas di Pontianak,Kalimantan Barat pada tahun 80an dulu. Di sana permainan meriam raya merupakan yang paling hebat di seluruh Indonesia. Yang pelik, tak pula terdengar  berita tentang orang yang cedera akibat bermain meriam  semacam yang terjadi disini.Pada hal meriam  mereka itu lebih besar dan  bunyinya pun lebih dahsyat seakan macam perang di Iraq lebih kurang kuatnya.

Tambah pula meriam  mereka di perbuat dari batang pokok-pokok besar. Tapi sekarang telah ada meriam moden diperbuat dari konkrit barangkali.Beberapa hari sebelum raya lagi dah mula 'perang' meriam disana. Suasana memang sungguh meriah sekali yang tidak dapat kita tandingi.

Pada waktu senja berdentam-dentum bunyi meriam mengisi ruang udara Pontianak hingga tak terdaya pihak berkuasa nak bendung hal ini. Apakan daya, ini sudah menjadi budaya berzaman masyarakat setempat di Kalimantan Barat. Satu tradisi sejak dari pemerintahan Kesultanan Melayu Pontianak lagi. Mainan meriam juga dikatakan berlaku di Lampung,Sumatra tetapi tak sehebat di Kalimantan Barat. Dentum-berdentum bunyi meriam raya ini pun berkesudahan dengan semuanya aman tenteram juga. 

Setiap kali menempuh Ramadan fikiran saya akan melayang mengenangkan hari-hari raya saya di Kalimantan Barat.Pengalaman ini akan terus kekal terpahat  abadi di sanubari saya. Berhari raya di perantauan buat pertama kali dalam hidup saya, itulah yang sangat bermakna kepada saya kerana suasana yang saya alami disana tidak  pernah di rasai di negara sendiri.

Meriam moden sekarang
Pada yang berkemampuan dan kesempatan pergilah dan menikmati sendiri suasana hangat sebelum dan semasa hari raya di Pontianak. Tradisi   pada malam sebelum hari raya dahulu juga sangat luar biasa sekali.Jalan-jalan di kota  penuh sesak dengan motosikal dan kenderaan membunyikan hon serta bertakbir raya menandakan selesainya ibadah puasa dan hari raya telah pun tiba. Tapi dengar khabar perkara ini tidak  lagi di adakan di telan pembangunan.


Suasana Ramadan juga membawa kesan yang manis pada diri saya. Bersahur di Pontianak juga sangat istimewa kerana warga kampong akan bergerak di sekeliling kampung memukul tin dan tiang letrik untuk bangunkan penduduk setiap hari untuk bersahur. Suasana berbuka puasa pula adalah saperti biasa dan masing-masing  tertumpu di rumah.

Ketika itu tidak ada pasar Ramadan semacam kita disini. Di hotel pun tidak  di adakan makanan 'buffet' istimewa saperti kita di sini. Tapi sekarang  keadaan mungkin berubah kerana  mengikut jejak pembangunan jiran mereka Sarawak.

Sembahyang terawih  sangat menyeronokkan dari hari pertama  hingga ke akhir.Masjid dan surau begitu meriah dan barisan saf-saf begitu penuh dari mula hingga ke akhir tidak saperti di sini yang semakin berkurangan bila semakin hampir ke hari raya.Tambah pula yang hadir berterawih termasuk yang muda,tua, lelaki dan perempuan.Di Pontianak kita tak perlu khuatir kerana di setiap 'gang' atau lorong ada masjid atau surau untuk beribadah. Alangkah baiknya sekiranya fenomena yang sama wujud di negera kita demi perpaduan ummah.

Di sana pun sama, sebelum tiba hari raya warga Kalimantan Barat juga akan berebut untuk pulang ke kampong halaman mereka. Setakat ingatan saya masa dulu tak juga berlaku kemalangan teruk macam yang berlaku di sini. Di pagi 1 Syawal kota Pontianak begitu hidup dengan warga kota berkeliaran ke masjid-masjid untuk solat hari raya.

Masjid Mujahiddin di Pontianak merupakan masjid utama dan mempunyai ciri seakan masjid negara dan menjadi tumpuan ramai. Hairan pula saya pada ketika itu, kerana mereka tidak gunakan dewan utama solat  sebaliknya menggunakan perkarangan masjid dan jalan raya sebagai tempat menunaikan solat raya. Solat raya juga di adakan atas jalanraya di hadapan markas tentera di Pontianak. Apakah tradisi ini masih diteruskan tidak saya ketahui pula.

Sebagai seorang 'bujang lokal' di sana, pada setiap hari raya tidak terasa langsung rindu terhadap kampong halaman sendiri.Sebaliknya saya rasa amat gembira berhari raya di perantauan. Pada hari raya  juga tak terdaya  saya memakan hantaran makanan dan juadah yang di berikan oleh kenalan dan jiran-jiran berhampiran. Kemesraan penduduk di sekitar tempat kediaman saya yang mengangap saya saperti saudara mereka. Ini  membuat saya rasa tidak terasing diperantaun dan merasa sebagai sebahgian dari masyarakat setempat. Sehingga kini saya masih berhubung dengan rakan dan kenalan di sana dan inilah satu perkara yang penting bagi diri saya.

Memang niat di hati ingin kembali ketempat yang penuh kenangan dan memberi kesan dan pelajaran kepada saya.Apatah lagi penugasan di sana merupakan yang  pertama kali dalam hidup saya meninggalkan tanah air. Tibanya saya di situ tanpa rakan atau saudara mara,namun satelah selesai tanggongjawab yang diamanahkan  saya telah dapati ramai kenalan yang pada mulanya dianggap sebagai rakan biasa telah berubah menjadi saperti saudara mara saya di perantauan.

Kita dijadikan Allah swt untuk saling berhubung dan mengeratkan silatulrahim sesama manusia dan itulah yang  telah saya lakukan tanpa mengira darjat dan kedudukan seorang.Ini adalah matlamat penting dalam hidup kita.

Wahai Pontianak, Kota Khatulistiwa!  Kau telah mengajar aku tentang makna penghidupan. Kau telah memberikan kesedaran agar aku bersyukur kepada Allah swt di atas apa yang dikurniakan. Pontianak akan tetap ku kenang selagi hayat dikandong badan! 
Akhir kata,


                                   "SELAMAT HARI RAYA AIDIL FITRI
                                                   "MAAF ZAHIR BATIN"
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Friday, 26 August 2011

MRT- Don't miss the hospitals


Bandar Tun Razak LRT away from HUKM


More coaches needed
 The proposal for a new MRT line for the Klang Valley  was put forward in June 2010 and received the approval  at the end of 2010. Apparently construction will commence soon.This of course comes as a great relief to practically most residents in the Klang Valley. We will have to wait for the final details on the route this MRT will traverse. Among the destination quoted was Cheras and this is what residents in the area are praying for.So let's hope that fellow that is sitting on the chair making the decisions don't create a blunder again.



A Crowded Hospital Car park
 Everyone agrees that hospital is a place never short of visitors and of course visiting this places are not for any entertainment either.People who come here are either sick, bringing the sick relative or friend or coming to visit someone. Again in a country like Malaysia most have cars  due to  an often unreliable public transport. You have to experience  parking at most hospitals to understand about this urgent need to make sure future lines comes very close to or inside the hospital itself. Each time I visit hospitals like GH,UH or HUKM, frankly I curse the minister concerned for this glaring over sight.

Just go and have a tour of all hospitals, government or private, parking is the 'numero uno' problem. For people with high blood pressure finding a parking lot at a hospital can be stressful. So stops at government hospitals is a 'must not miss' point on the checklist as most 'rakyat' flock to this place rather than the private hospitals.


Maybe,the Transport Minister, should try drive his private car to HUKM in the morning and try park in the hospital car park and experience how stressful this will be.Perhaps go to General Hospital too and he might end up in a ward with high blood pressure. 


So whatever the circumstances have a mind for the sick. For instance, the LRT stops at University station but never enters University Hospital (UH) or somewhere near for the convenient of visitors to this place as parking is limited and crowded at UH.  


Mono rail passes through Chow Kit too don't enter into a nearest location at the General Hospital KL block. A 'walkalator' to the main block can be very convenient. Sadly all these are far from reality or expectations.


Important land marks and government departments along the proposed route should be high on the check lists of stops.Mid Valley which was up much earlier than the LRT line and is a traffic congested point at the complex. Surprisingly the LRT's  nearest stop to the Mid Valley was at Abdullah Hukum, some distance away. You will sweat profusely walking to the Mid Valley from the station. Imagine how the traffic congestion at Mid Valley can be reduced if the LRT stop a short comfortable walk to this mall.


A station stop at Hospital UKM is not only timely but appropriate as well. Ask everyone the problem they face when going to hospitals and the majority will have this reason to tell. Undoubrtedly a stop at HUKM will ease the traffic congestion during sporting events held at the Stadium KL or the swimming pool. We are bidding to host the Asian Games aren't we? If that's the case then, this is probably a wonderful idea.

It makes us wonder whether public reactions are taken into consideration and some form of brain storming sessions are held before a final decision is made. It looked unlikely otherwise these shortcomings can be avoided. Places like hospitals and other important government departments and land marks should be on the stop checklist. Well, from wherever this new line will originate is not a vital question but the station stops are what people are interested in.

Daily traffic jam


It is absolutely good news to know that the line will be a reality but as mentioned the route and stations are vital and the general public on the whole must benefit.

As far as what most people are concerned with is the daily horrible jams clogging the city. A drastic reduction in the number of cars on the road will of course reduce stress,  pollution and every one's precious time.

Another factor that needed due consideration on the part of the government is on the question of toll. I find it ridiculous paying toll to enjoy a jam, isn't that funny? I have been to countries with toll but not paying into enjoy the jam. I think tolls in the city should be abolished but the highway toll should remain.

While on this topic, as a parting shot let me relate a joke I knew during my service days a long time ago. "A man in Russia was sentenced by the KGB to 25 years of hard labour for calling the Minister of Transport a bloody fool. The man actually  got 5 years for slender and 20 years for revealing a state secret.

Hope it is not the case here in Malaysia!!

             TO ALL MALAYSIANS SELAMAT HARI MERDEKA
                 TO ALL MUSLIMS SELAMAT HARI RAYA AIDIL FITRI    

                HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Awas Bahaya Di Jalanraya

 
Bahaya di atas jalanraya

1 Syawal semakin hampir dan semua warga kota akan bergegas balik ke kampong masing-masing ke pangkuan keluarga dan ibu bapa. Pihak Polis tahun demi tahun sering mengingatkan tentang keselamatan di jalanraya. Seharusnya "Ops Sikap" tidak perlu di lancarkan sekiranya kita menggunakan pemikiran kita dan lebih bertanggong jawab semasa perjalanan pulang bagi menyambut perayaan.
Peruntukan  ops ini boleh digunakan untuk pembangunan yang lain bagi rakyat.

Walau apa pun kita perlu pentingkan keselamatan sendiri, dan juga keselamatan orang lain.Oleh itu satu perkara yang di fikirkan penting dan perlu diingatkan kepada semua.

Berwaspadalah pada 'ular sawa' macam ini yang banyak dijalanraya yang menjadi antara sebab kemalangan berlaku.Pihak yang berwajib perlu lebih tegas tangani masalah ini sebab sering benda ini di dapati berada di atas jalanraya. Lebih bahaya lagi bagi penunggang motosikal apa lagi pada waktu malam. Ini adalah tanda kelemahan penguatkuasaan dan sikap ambil mudah sehingga dapat membahayakan nyawa pengguna jalan lain.

Sebagai langkah keselamatan dari segi jenayah pastikan 'speed dial' anda ada nombor talipon Pusat Kawalan Malaysia  0322663333 dan 22663444. Kenapa ini perlu tak manasabah kita membawa senarai talipon semua balai dalam talipon kita maka hubung saja Bukit Aman dan laporkan apa jenayah yang dikesan dan mereka tahu apa yang perlu dilaksanakan. Itu saja tugas anda,

Jadi kepada semua yang akan balik raya berhati-hati dan berwaspada pada cebisan-cebisan tayar ini demi untuk keselamatan semua.


                               " SELAMAT HARI RAYA MAAF ZAHIR BATIN"

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!

                             


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Our Jalur Gemilang
 Yes, at the stroke of midnight the nation enters it's 54th year and simultaneously too Muslims in Malaysia and the rest of the world celebrate Eid Mubarak or Aidil Fitri. Throughout my entire life this is the first coincidence  since we achieved independence in 1957. We have experienced Kongsi Raya and now here we are celebration  a two in one again just like Kongsi Raya if not much better because the indigenous people of Malaysia is celebrating it too an not only confined to the major races.

I think this phenomena about celebration two in one, only Malaysia can experience the extraordinary. Why this can be so is because we are a multi racial country where others can't match up to our credentials. So Hari Raya can fall on same day as celebration by the other races. Isn't that something we need to be proud off.

On this day all Malaysian should show their patriotism by flying the  "Jalur Gemilang" at home. However some see this in a different light that gives rise to  presumptions. Are they not patriotic? This can be a sensitive question. I always advocated to the saying that 'action speaks louder than words'.So in a situation like this let it remain as it is. Only with time shall a person's patriotism and love for the country will be put to test.

As a former men in blue I am always proud first to be a Malaysian, next as  a policeman. Strangely after my schooling I was a loafer of course. The family was not financially strong and so I had to resort to some odd jobs just to try stand on my own two feet. I applied for a number of jobs but was turned down probably the   Almighty destined me to be a cop.

At times during my talk sessions with the various Resident's Association I will first emphasised about my patriotism. First being a Malaysian, secondly being a policeman of course. But not everyone are alike but I realised in the long run that I was destined by the Almighty to be policeman to serve the country.However like in all other departments there are people whose mere existence is basically to "fill up the blanks" that's about all. This is more true in the forces.

Patriotism, oh sure! I have done my part in whatever circumstance what about you? On two occasions I led my men and placed my life as well as theirs on the line to hunt down criminals for the sake of peace and public order. In one of the encounters I cheated death but sadly my Corporal went down. I know how it feels to have a comrade fighting for his life in your arms. Since then  every second day of Hari Raya this sad drama creeps into my conscious. For my Allahyarham Corporal Kamaruzaman I pray Allah swt bless his soul.

At that time I felt like the whole world did not bother after all, that was the risks we have to face, so be it. Even after my role was over I still stand proud knowing that I have done by part for "Kerana Mu Malaysia" and will continue to do it whenever required. There are other occasions that I need not mention.

So what can be more patriotic? So just fly the flag as a simple gesture to show our patriotism but if you are hardcore then keep it flying all year round. But please ensure that the flag does not become a "kain buruk".

On this  I recollect a disgraceful incident in Sept 2005 on my last visit to Singapore for our annual police veteran football series with the Republic Of Singapore Police. I insisted my police guide, Mr Mohd Noor, from the Singapore Police to take me on a simple tour and we stopped at  Jalan Ampas where most    P.Ramlee movies were shot and the FMS Railway station at Tanjung Pagar.

I stood with pride at this historical icon, the Federated Malay States Railway station on a foreign soil. But suddenly a couple of things  changed my mood. The Jalur Gemilang that hoisted side by side with the Singapore national flag and the KTM flag all looked like "kain buruk". 

How can this be? My visit to the station was in Sept 2005 and  our Merdeka Day was just over, why on earth did they not change or at least throw the flags into the washing machine that simple? The old clock hanging at the railway station too was not functioning as well.Relying on the information from my guide,the clock has been in that situation for a long time. Are those working in Tanjung Pagar railway station from the St Nicholas home? They can show a little patriotism and responsibility can't they?
So on this Merdeka Day we need to change and be accountable on all matters under our control. I know situations like my experience in Tanjung Pagar happened here too. On 9 Jul as scheduled I was to return to my hometown Penang and took the sardine packed commuter to the KTM KL station only to be caught in the mob for the Bersih 2.0.I knew the several roads were closed but I have not the slight idea that there were restrictions placed on buses entering the city. I know not that the bus operator's office was also closed and  they were temporary operating from the new terminal at Bandar Tasik Permaisuri.

I pushed my way out from the mob only to discover that food was also hard to find that morning. I proceeded on foot to Pudu Raya under the care full scrutiny of the men in blue. As I  was carrying a bag and wearing the skull cap it obviously gave the cops the right impression that they should have. I of course subject myself to their spot checks without questions but never at any time revealed my past role. Why should I, after it is "game over" for people like me.

No buses  were able to come in or out of Puduraya too, so I proceeded to take the LRT to Bandar Tasik Selatan bus terminal. Unfortunately my tank was about to be full and obviously had to go to ease myself.I headed to the gents only to find it locked and a notice clearly indicated "rosak".

Upon my inquiry with the Auxiliary Police on duty I was shocked from the answer given. Apparently the toilet was out of order a long time ago before 9  Jul 2011 and no  efforts made to straightened things out right away. Are we not ashamed of such mentality.What can I say, as I got no choice but forced to  distract my mind from my predicament or else I would have 'peed' in my pants.

Now on patriotism again, you can follow my previous blog on my meaningful experience attending the Indonesian Independence day. The level of patriotisn exhibited on that particular day is really something. Their celebrations were more solemn,full of protocol and more meaningful.

Year in year out we  place more emphasis on entertainment. Probably  someone with innovation in the government sector can introduce something more meaningful especially for the 30 August event. We know the night of entertainment also the dark side of our youths and many unpleasant incidents goes unreported.

I remember a directive from the government urging  the various religions  to conduct special prayers on this day. If ever he event at dataran Merdeka  need to be held it howefer need a revamp and focus on patriotism and with a more  meaningful atmosphere and protocol put in place.





Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka

Probably a repeat of the same scenario  undertaken by the late YAM Tuanku Abdul Rahman on the night of 30 August 1957 be emulated. His speech for instance can be read year in year out because people must be constantly reminded about the sacrifices and the spirit of  independence.

Of course there is no need to bring down the Union Jack on that night as it will cause unnecessary embarassement. The ceremony too need not be too elaborate but should have some significance with the spirit of 31 August 1957. The Merdeka parade is undoubtly colourful and should proceed with probably some addition with a patriotic flavour.

Reflecting on my Indonesian experience during their independence day ceremony, I tend to wonder where was the original flag that was flown at the Selangor Club Padang 54 years ago, and the  Jalur Gemilang raised on 16 Sept 1963 kept? Probably in our muzeum? We can't ask the British either.

This is the reason why I have always place emphasis on the need to always remember history. By the way, our Jalur Gemilang was designed by Mr. Mohamed Hamzah a young engineer from  Johor employed by the Public Works Department. He passed away before his 75th birthday on 13 February 1993 in Jalan Stulang Baru, Kampung Melayu Majidee. Not many realised that it was one off us and not any "Mat Salleh" that designed it.



Our pride on the road
There is a statute that regulates the use of the national flag and anthem  when it should be use and respected. This is hard to enforce I can say. Any act which appears to belittle the National Anthem and flag in the eyes of the public, is considered as not respecting the National Anthem and flag.

Police are empowered to arrest without warrant anybody found to be disrespectful towards the National Anthem or flag. As said it is hard to enforce and  we are gradually losing the spirit of respecting our own flag and anthem. Since we ourselves don't bother what do we expect form the foreigners don't too.Actually they should being guests in this country they should as the saying goes 'when in Rome do as the Romans do'.Like wise we too should respect the flag and anthem of a foreign country and in reciprocate we get their respect.

This is rampant during sports events. Our own youths should show some form of patriotism but this is sadly absent. Only through the rigid enforcement of the law that can  see a change in this attitude.A meagre RM100 fine means nothing these days and probably needed to be enhanced. Some arrests can be made as a warning and lessons to those  who defy this national requirement. Sadly, Jalur Gemilang too can be seen lying on  roads. I remember my training told me that the flag should not be allowed to dip the ground. But this was not observed strictly even at times by men in uniform.

Concerning a situation like during a football game it is not easy task to book an offender. I remember an experience on way to office and passed Puchong Perdana I noticed the area many motorists moving without helmet a problem those days. I noticed a lady with 3 passengers on a motorcycle and on top of that no helmets too. Well as she stopped to and was an easy target for me.

I approached and as usual, demanded her IC and driving license. To my surprise she got the former but not the latter. Spontaneously I directed my driver to issue her a ticket with the appropriate offences. At this juncture I was once questioned on my action as to why she was stopped when their are many more around but nothing was done.

My reply to her was also spontaneous as well I inquiring that if she goes fishing can she possibly catch all the fishes in the sea and with that it wrapped up my case. 

On the national anthem and the national flag again I remember an incident during my service days. I and a friend visited Betong in south Thailand amidst a major joint operations going on with Thai army to flush the communist insurgents. Later  in the evening me and my friend headed for a movie.

Suddenly the Thai national flag was shown and both of us sat as normal  not knowing what it was all about.Immediately I felt a tug and a pull at my collar from the patron behind demanding us to stand.I did exactly that and it remained a lesson since. A similar move was done in Malaysia but later abandoned which indeed was a right move.

So for this Merdeka let us show some form of patriotism and most important for me is to work towards national integrity and do all things possible for a progressive, peaceful and strong Malaysia.

              Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri Maaf Zahir Batin.
     Selamat Menyambut Hari Kemerdekaan Yang ke 54

Friday, 19 August 2011

Flyers Nuisance

A picture paints a thousand words.that's the way it is. Would you categorise the distribution of flyers to houses  as  a  public nuisance ?

I am sure that if not all, most of us have experienced this. This  form of irritation   can drive us  overboard each time we  discover that   letters in our   boxes are  soiled by the rain a result of the way these flyers were place in the box.

 Most of those involved are foreigners and I just can't understand, don't they have letter boxes in their country or is it  because back home they use pigeon service? Some  locals are involved and sadly they behave in the same stupid manner too.

Moreover don't they not know  the purpose of a letter box ?One thing for sure these numskulls were  not specifically brief  on their role. Perhaps this is  merely a case of ' come take these bundle of flyers and go distribute them'. These numskulls too seems not to have the slightest idea of  the consequences of their actions.Wonder why these numskulls can't just push the whole flyers into the letter box but   prefer instead to stick them halfway in  the letter box slot and caused the slot door be left ajar.


A tongue sticking out
All documents in the box are left to the mercy of the torrential KL thunderstorm.Each time after a heavy downpour  all our letters  will be drenched and soggy.  Is this a difficult assiignment or are they specifically told to do it like way? Irrespective ot the type of letter boxes you have they just do the same. These numskulls just do not bother even slip flyers even though the house has been abondoned. How are these people paid if it is based on the number of flyers distributed than most employers are in for a ride as they too can just dump some or all flyers into the dustbin rub their hands  and return to collect what was due for the day. 
 
Maybe  some someone can come out with  water proof envelopes to eradicate this problem.It's sickkening to see important documents soiled by rain water making it illegible. The consequences can be disastrous and often also result in lost of valuable apportunities.

My instinct urges me to lay ambush and pounce on these numskulls and conduct a simple in service training regarding this. Putting a note by the side of our letter boxes telling these numskulls to do exactly what we want  done with the flyers too is a waste of time. After all local or foreigners just can be bothered and prefer the easy way out.

So, we expect the employers to brief their 'macai'  how exactly this needs to be done.Unfortunately they just don't bother either. The employers probably resides in apartments or condos and to them they dont't encounter  this problem that  we face.

Now, considering our important documents are soiled or ruined.Obviously this can sometimes caused a lost of business or other opportunities.Under this circumstance can those companies responsible be sued for such losses inflicted on us by their 'macai' with regards to the flyers problem? Probably a test case is necessary and only through this process will it drive some sense into the heads of those irresponsible lot?

So for heaven sake, as a amicable solution, let's hope they do it the right way.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Peringatan Hari Kemerdekaan atau Perayaan Hari Kemerdekaan kah?



Kusno Sosrodihardjo @ Sukarno
 Semakin hampir ke hari kemerdekaan  teringat saya pada kenangan manis yang saya alami semasa bertugas sebagai pegawai perhubungan Polis DiRaja Malaysia di Konsulat Malaysia Pontianak,Kalimantan Barat, Republik Indinesia (RI) pada tahun 80an. Saya ingat bertukar ke California tapi silap tukar pula ke Kalimantan.ha! ha! ha!. Tapi tak apalah asalkan ada bunyi 'Kali ' nya pun cukup lah.

Walaubagaimana pun penempatan saya di Pontianak sedikit sebanyak telah mengubah  pandangan saya terhadap apa yang dikatakan penghidupan sebab suasana hidup yang berbeza antara kita di Malaysia yang mempunyai serba kemudahan dan mereka yang di tengah khatulistiwa ternyata ketingalan dari banyak aspek pada masa itu. Saya  dengan cepat telah dapat menyesuaikan diri dengan persekitaran baru saya.Maklumlah ini kali pertama dalam hidup saya keluar negara dan juga kali pertama bertugas di negara orang. Namun dalam masa yang singkat saya  telah memperolehi ramai rakan dan kenalan. Sampai tanpa kenalan balik ke Malaysia meninggalkan ramai kenalan yang saya anggap sebagai saudara saya.
Antara perkara yang terpahat dalam kenangan saya sehingga kini sepanjang  bertugas selama tiga tahun di situ ialah menghadiri peringatan Hari Ulang Tahun RI atau HUT.Indonesia mencapai kemerdekaan dari jajahan Belanda pada 17 Ogos 1947 lebih awal dari negara kita yang merdeka pada 31 Ogos 1957. 
Upacara peringatan HUT ini selalunya bermula pada tengah malam 16 Ogos di makam Pahlwan yang terletak di pinggir kota Pontianak menuju ke pelabuhan udara Supadio. Pada malam ini anggota Komander militer Kalimantan Barat dan pemerintah tempatan akan berkumpul di makam pahlawan untuk upacara peringati yang bermula di sini.  Mereka yang berkumpul sebelum tengah malam  di dataran makam pahlawan akan menunggu  detik 12 tengah malam untuk menyusul.Istemewanya  peringatan HUT ini  diadakan serentak di seluruh pelusuk RI dari Sabang ke Marueke  Suasana malam yang begitu aman tenteram dapat dirasai di makam ini.


Mohamad Hatta
 Apabila tiba tepat jam 2400   kesepian malam akan diganggu oleh bunyi tiupan   "Last Post" yang sangat menghayat hati semua yang hadir terutama saya yang berdiri tegak dan bangga mewakili Polis DiRaja Malaysia di upacara peringatan HUT mereka. Tiupan  "Last Post" yang berkumandang di ruang udara makam pahlawan sangat mengudsik perasaan dan sanubari. "Last Post" ini akan disambut pula oleh   penuip bugle yang terletak di kawasan lain dan bunyinya seakan-akan bergelombang  di ruang udara ditempat keramat ini.


Secara otomatik ianya membuat bulu roma saya berdiri tegak dan juga secara spontan dan tidak terkawal air mata mengalir membasahi pipi.  Memang terasa sangat sayu mendengar tiupan "Last Post"  khusus bagi yang terkorban.  Para hadirin akan bertafakur selama tiupan 'bugle' berkumandang di udara.


Memang upacara peringatan ini sangat unik bagi saya kerana berlainan sekali dari apa yang dialami di tanah air sendiri. Kita    menyambut kemerdekaan sebagai satu perayaan dengan bermacam acara hiburan sebaliknya di sini peringatan hari HUT begitu serius dan bermakna menghormati mereka yang telah mati dalam nama memperjuangkan kemerdekaan tanah air mereka.

Memang sukar bagi saya mengawal perasaan dalam keadaan sebegini, apa lagi bila berdiri di kalangan  kubur-kubur para pejuang yang terkorban demi tanah air mereka. Kubur-kubur disini tersusun begitu rapi  mengikut agama .Di setiap kubor pula dinyalakan lilin serta satu 'combat helmet' diletakan atas disetiap kubor . Keadaan gelap di makam ini hanya diterangi oleh cahaya lilin membuat kita merasa begitu sayu dan pilu bagi yang mempunyai perasaan.
  
Selepas acara hormat ini  Komandar Militer  daerah Kalimantan Barat sendiri akan membaca declarasi kemerdekaan Sukarno Hatta dan menyentuh  jumlah askar Tentera Nasional Indonesia (TNI)  yang terkorban di Kalimantan Barat termasuk Pertahan Sivil  atau Hansip. Jumlah askar yang tidak dikenali yang di semadikan di pusara ini juga dinyatakan. Pada penghujung acara peringatan ini  para hadirin akan menabur bunga di pusara ini tidak kira agama Ini pada saya sangat bermakna sekali.Segala-galanya dijalankan dengan penuh adat dan etika penghormatan kepada pahlawan yang gugur demi kemerdekaan.

Bendera Belanda

Pada acara keesokan pagi pula akan berlangsung upacara menaikan bendera merah putih di perkarangan kantor Gubenor Kalimantan Barat. Bila tercapainya kemerdekaan pada 17 Ogos 1947 oleh Hatta dan Sukarno mereka telah mengoyakkan jalur biru dari bendera Belanda dan kekalkan merah dan putih untuk dijadikan bendera Republik Indonesia yang kekal digunakan hingga sekarang. 

Upacara menaikkan bendera juga merupakan satu lagi upacara yang dijalankan dalam suasana yang penuh  istiadat. Ketika  bendera merah putih Indonesia  diarak ke tiang bendera lagu kebangsaan Indonesia Raya akan berkumandang semasa bendera merah putih ini dinaikkan.

Memang istimewa, bendera yang dinaikkan pertama kali  pada tahun 1947 disini itulah digunakan pada pagi ini.Setiap tahun ketika HUT diperingati bendera yang sama digunakan dan akan disimpan selepas selesai acara peringatan ini. Acara diakhiri dengan pembarisan lintas lalu  oleh ke empat-empat cawangan TNI, Terdiri dari angkatan tentera darat, laut, udara dan Polri.
Perwira yang terkorban

Dalam sambutan peringatan HUT ini jasa perintis dan pejuang kemerdekaan di daerah ini juga tidak dilupakan. Mereka yang masih hidup dijemput hadir bersama di upacara peringatan ini. Apa lagi mereka akan hadir  dengan bangga akan  memakai pingat-pingat dan bintang  yang diterima.

 Sebagai tanda menghormati  jasa dan pengorbanan   pejuang-pejuang kemerdekaan ini mereka akan duduk di barisan  hadapan manakala jendral-jendral lain yang masih berkhidmat berada di belakang baris mereka ini. Ini satu penghormatan yang besar bagi pejuang dan perintis kemerdekaan.

Antara perintis kemerdekaan yang saya sangat sanjung dan kenal baik saya ialah Allahyarham Bapak Mahmud Suwigno dari Pontianak .Pada ketika itu usia beliau telah menjangkau  82 tahun dan telah dikurniakan Allah swt kesihatan dan ingatan yang sangat tajam.Saya kagum dan 'salute' orang ini. Mendengar cerita perjuangannya dan pengorbanan beliau membuat kita teruja dan sepatut menghormati insan sebegini yang melalui segalapahit manis dalam merampas kembali tanahair tercinta dari gengaman penjajah Belanda.


Bersama YDH Bapak Mahmud Suwigno (1983)
Belaiu telah ditangkap dan dibuang ke daerah terpencil di Papua (Irian Jaya) oleh penjajah Belanda. Pada ketika itu masih terdapat kaum asli tempatan yang memakan manusia di sana. Sayang sekali pada ketika  itu langsung tidak terlintas dalam fikiran saya  untuk mencatit segala pengalamannya dan peristiwayang menarik dalam nota peribadi saya. Maklumlah ketika itu mana tak pula terlintas  akan wujud komputer dan alat canggih serta blog,FB dan sebagainya.



Makam Pahlawan, Ponyianak
  
Bagi kita memang sukar bagi menandingi apa yang dilakukan oleh pemerintah Indonesia ini sebab keadaan dari sudut mencapai kemerdekaan. Kita mencapai kemerdekaan dengan cara rundingan dengan pihak British manakala bagi Indonesia mereka menentang Belanda bertahun-tahun dengan mengalir darah dibumi Indonesia. Mereka mempunyai makam pahlawan dan kita tidak mempunyai makam sedemikian.

 Mereka mengadakan 'peringatan' HUT tetapi di Malaysia kita pula adakan 'perayaan' Hari Kemerdakaan. Perayaan kita berunsur hiburan tapi berlainan di seberang sana. Bagi kita malam 30 Ogos adalah malam berhibur dan bersukaria. Bagi Indonesia malam 16 Ogos malam yang khusus mengenang mereka yang terkorban dan merupakan malam keramat.


Di Malaysia keesokan hari diadakan  upacara naikkan bendera Jalur Gemilang dan lintas lalu. Saya juga pernah menghadiri pembarisan Hari Kemerdekaan kita  namun perasan disanubari jauh berbeza dengan perasaan yang dialami semasa berdiri di makan Pahlawan amupun di upacara naik bendera di Kalimantan Barat. 
 
Makam Pahlawan Pontianak
Apakah  perlu diubah konsep kita sekarang? Apakah tiidak wajar untuk kita adakan upacara yang akan memberi kesan cintakan negara serta kenang jasa mereka yang telah terkorban dalam mengekalkan kemerdekaan yang telah dicapa dikalangan semuai.

Komunis telah mengancam negara kita sehinggag mengugat kemerdekaan.Saya terkenang rakan sepasukan saya dan yang lain yang terkorban akibat menentang pengganas komunis demi kemerdekaan dan kedaulatan rakyat.

Menghadiri peringatan HUT Republik Indonesia pada saya adalah satu pengalaman yang sangat luar biasa. Oleh itu sekiranya anda berada di Indonesia pada  tanggal 16 dan 17 Ogos cubalah saksikan peringatan ini jika kesempatan dan rasailah sendiri apa yang saya katakan.. Apa mungkin disebabkan saya seorang ahli pasukan Polis DiRaja Malaysia maka jelas perasaan saya akan tersentuh. Saya fikir tidak, bagi semua yang mempunyai perasaan  dan dapat timbang keadaan yang dihadapi sudah pasti akan merasai kesan yang sama. 

Di sini kita acara kemerdekaan kategorikan sebagai perayaan hari kemerdekaan tetapi bagi Indonesia dikatakan sebagai peringatan Hari Ulang Tahun. Mana satu yang betul daa! Saya biar anda yang menentukan.

Akhir kata saya berdoa kehadrat Allah swt agar selamatkan Malaysia yang kita cintai ini dan kuatkanlah iman pemimpin-pemimpin negara kita agar dapat  menerajui negara ini kearah kemajuan dan keamanan serta bertamadun dan tidak terceremus ke kancah kebinasaan danhuru hara.
Amin

Kepada jiran kita di ucapkan "Selamat menyambut Peringatan HUT . 


SELAMAT MENYAMBUT HARI KEMERDEKAAN KE 54

Thursday, 11 August 2011

The forgotten Captain



Probably many do not realise about the existence of a piece of colonial history connected with Penang. This is reference to the Protestant Cemetery located at Farquhar Street that remained obscure from most local as well as tourist alike. This is understandable as  who the hell likes to visit a cemetery anyway?

 I  visited this location  a few days ago and  this probably  was my third visit here throughout my entire life.Each time I stepped into this melancholy site my feelings rolled into a horror  movie like site. There was practically no one else except me and the 'permanent residents' of this plot.An air of relative peace is what you can experience here. No wonder  'Rest In Peace' (RIP) is universally reserved for  the dead.


Here lies Capt Francis Light
 My thoughts did run a little wild on each visit here wondering  what will happen if those  'residents' were to come and greet this lone visitor? A reminiscent of a scene in P. Ramlee's classic comedy movie "Pendekar Bujang Lapok" usually came to mind in a situation like this. This piece of relic is located towards  the end of Penang Road  just outside the hustle and bustle of the many entertainment outlets and watering holes of Upper Penang Road.

Forgotten

A visit here  will give us a peep into the past of the situation on Penang island centuries ago.Sadly many went to meet  Almighty God at a  young age and why was this so? Some inscriptions  on the tombstones clearly revealed the answer to this.A dreadful disease was the cause. Our understanding these days will list Malaria as the main cause apart from  cholera  as the next .

About 1760 the directors of the East India Company (EIC) had a vision to establish a naval base and a trading post near the Straits of Malacca to counter the paramount Dutch trading  influence in the Malay Peninsular.The Dutch had their headquarters in Malacca and was the oldest European settlement here. Dutch influence subsequently ended in 1824 with the Anglo-Dutch treaty.

In 1771  Capt.Francis Light, the employee of a Madras firm and the captain of a trading vessel endeavoured to find a suitable site as a trading post. Between 1771 and 1776 Light had used the harbour of Ujung Salang or "Junk Ceylon" now known as Phuket.This harbour was dominated by the Sultan of Kedah upon the defeat of the Siamese by the Burmese and Junk Ceylon was used as a trading post. Then Warren Hastings decided to establish a trading base in this region and this induced Capt Francis Light, acting on behalf of the British EIC, to buy the island of Penang from Kedah. Penang became the oldest original British settlement in the Malay Peninsular. Annual payment  for the lease of this island and   Province Wellesley were made to the Sultan of Kedah and is still the practise to this very day.

The opening of this settlement attracted Indian traders from Madras and Chinese immigrants from China and Junk Ceylon where they were already mining tin there. From  1786 - 1805 Penang, which was a dependency of the Bengal administration,  was under scrutiny of the EIC as a trading post . By 1800 Province Wellesley was purchased by Light from the Sultan of Kedah and added to Penang. In 1867 the administration of the Straits Settlement was transferred from the government of India to the Colonial Office in London. By 1799 with the opening of the "Prince of Wales" island and the influx of Chinese immigrants  several Chinese secret societies were  established here. (read more....)

Many do not realise that  Capt Francis Light and  his countrymen together with some Chinese were laid to rest in this little plot of land.This relic has been left in the present condition for a long long time. Generally a man like Capt Francis Light, who had experienced considerable difficulties to procure Penang for the British on the whole, should have been accorded some respect rather than to be left here without any form of recognition by  his own countryman.

In such a case what do you expect from the local authorities when even the Brits don't bother? Have the Brits totally forgotten the man that planted the Union Jack on this island centuries ago? A restoration work was apparently carried out in 1894 about 117 years ago.Since then it was left  untouched.

Maybe the Brits should not be blamed  because no one bothered to bring this to their attention. Or there could  be some other factors  to make the British react in this manner.What more to say, actually we too face a similar trend here. As an example, like R.Arumugam our national goalkeeper and the legendary P.Ramlee suffered similar fate and it was only sometime after their demises did the government took recognition of their sacrifices and contribution to the entertainment world and national soccer scene. I guess this came a little to late.

Capt Francis Light in his quest to extend  the influence of the British Empire to this part of the world, died and was laid to rest in Penang a land far away from home. Also ever since that very time,  only an insignificant number of visitors came here to visit.  Maybe this is the norm that the dead should be left in peace.

I tend to wonder if ever there were any adventurous local Malay, in the olden days, like Light who  dare venture beyond our waters. Even though if there were to be one probably no one will ever know this as the maintenance of annal was definitely a weak point among us. Of course Dato' Azhar Mansor is one in the present era but then, his adventure was totally different as he did not annexe any territory for Malaysia.

Penang or Pulau Pinang was actually under the sovereignty of the Sultan of Kedah and no doubt that local inhabitants who were subjects of the Sultan of Kedah already existed on this island  long before Light even set foot here.Surely there  must have been some kind of history about Penang. Or can it be that the written records about Penang were hidden somewhere. But we can picture fishing villages dotting the whole coastline of this beautiful unpolluted island. So to take Capt Francis Light as the 'founder' is rather  incorrect. He was in fact instrumental in opening up Penang island as a trading post.

Strange though, we've got traces of old colonial graves in our country.Now, what about  the old graves of the locals residents of this island that died long before Light even came here? In this respect too where were those dead Muslim Sepoy garrisoned at Fort Cornwallis buried? In this case I must  assume the role of either 'Indiana Jones' or the Egyptian archaeologist Dr Hawas and go on a mission to uncover this mystery and truth and put our history in the right perspective.


The Governor of Penang
 Is it possible that our colonial masters intentionally eradicated traces of our own history for reasons best known to them? Only Almighty God knows, I don't know. Does someone out there know about this?

Oh yes!. It's 11 Aug 2011 today and on the same day in 1786 Capt.Francis Light raised the Union Jack in Georgetown. Penang was established as a EIC trading post by Capt Francis Light  over two centuries ago.


Nothing is known about the history of Penang prior to the opening by Capt Francis Light.I wish some genius can invent a time machine so we can go back into time and be present to witness the flag raising ceremony by Capt Light. At the same time rewrite the history of Penang.

Finally to all the 'residents' of this Protestant Cemetery and their 'taikoh' Capt Francis Light,you can all  completely "RIP" and fear not as your home was declared a heritage site and no sinister hands can ever take it away.You shall forever remain an integral part of the history of Georgetown, Penang.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Wonderful experience in Pontianak




Equator Monument in Siantan (1982)

Each time when Ramadan approaches I can't help but think about those days in the early 1980s  when I was the Malaysia Police Liaison Officer (MPLO) in Pontianak, the provincial capital of West Kalimantan. That was the first time in my career and life that I was out of the country. Hari Raya in Pontianak were the most enjoyable ever experienced throughout my life. The atmosphere and the hospitality  was something not experienced here. Maybe because I was a foreigner.This was understandable as not many visitors visited this equator city which is not a tourist destination.


The friends I come to know

If we take a close look at the map of Borneo,  Pontianak can be easily located.   Founded on 23  October 1771, Pontianak stands on the confluence of the river Kapuas and  Landak. My first encounter with this city  dated back to my primary school boy days.Never for once did I expect that one day I will be right in this equator city.
I  arrived in August 1982 amidst a severe drought in Pontianak.The following year the Malaysian Consulate was established. Ramadan in Pontianak was definitely  unique month for me. When it was time for  'sahur' groups of youths will go around their area hitting tins and electric posts to wake the  folks up for the morning meal in preparation for the fast. Breaking of fast was a normal affair in Pontianak as no bazaar Ramadan existed at that time. Maybe they too have it now, I don't know. By the way Pontianak is famous for the 'kueh lapis legit' or the layer cake.

The 'terawih' prayer was an occasion that everyone waited. Scores of people will congregate at the many mosques and suraus available throughout the town. Most lanes or "gang" as they are locally known have a place of worship. Interesting to note that unlike Malaysia the congregation remained  the same throughout the whole month of Ramadan.As far as we are concerned the number will gradually dwindle as the end approaches.

Going to the mosque in Pontianak during  Ramadan was really different from normal. In Pontianak as the Ramadan slowly approaches the end the atmosphere in this city changes. Loud explosions similar to an artillery fire especially along the river banks. The Pontianak cannons were fired only in the evening and this is a long time tradition since the rule of the Malay Sultanate in Pontianak. The Sultan of Pontianak used to fire cannons to mark the commence and break of fast. Since then the firing of cannons became a yearly tradition here.

 These cannons were mounted along the river banks and decorated with Indonesian flags. Villages located along the rivers will be basically at 'war' during this period. The carbide came from  donations collected from the villagers.

Of course the  local marine police were kept busy plying the river trying to confiscate these cannons.  The villagers have a strategy for this. At the sight of an approaching boat the cannons will be immediately submerged by ropes into the river and everyone disappear. The police normally will destroy whatever they could lay hands on by chopping them up.Nevertheless the sounds of cannons pounding will continue to fill the air once the law enforcement men left. However I see this as  a token move by the police as they  know very well about this local tradition  in West Kalimantan.

Also they have loosen up on this operation.Another province known to practise similar tradition is Lampung in Sumatra. This vibrant atmosphere like in Pontianak cannot be felt elsewhere in the republic.
 
A big cannon
In Malaysia the 'meriam buloh ' or bamboo cannons were used instead with disastrous results. On the other hand in Pontianak the smallest cannons used were made out of a coconut trunk while the biggest from a big tree trunk that sometimes can accommodate at least one or sometimes two persons in the hollow, that's how big it is.The length of the cannon can be up to four meters. How do they do it? The trunk will be split into two halves and a hollow dug out the center from one end to the other. The trunk  will then be  spliced securely together with rattan and enforced with steel cables too. This is a wonderful local technology. The trunk will then be immersed underwater for sometime to strengthen it before use.

 
Our cannon at Bangka Belitung,Pontianak

Usually a litre of carbide will be placed inside the cannon and a pail of water poured and left to react for a couple of minutes. The mouth of the cannon will  be covered with newspaper. After a couple of minutes the cannon will be ignited and kaboom! The sound of artillery fire filled the evening skies over Pontianak. Strangely though, no casualties were  reported till now.

When my tour of my duty ended in 1985, on the flight back I said a silent prayer and wished that  someday I can return  to see the friends I left behind.Friends who are now like my own relations. Well, like what the locals  said, people who came to Pontianak and have tasted the water here will eventually return someday.  I was indeed presented with the opportunity to be in Pontianak again for a Search and Rescue (SAR) meeting in 2005.I was indeed flabbergasted  about this return to my old hunting ground.Unfortunately the Pontianak I knew in the 1980s and the present day Pontianak was indeed in great contrast. Progress finally did catch up with this province of Indonesia and this spells good for the locals. A new airport and the town with buildings now exceeding four floors is an indication they are moving in the right direction. Frankly, I loved the Pontianak of the 80s where life was slow and people were friendly. It was congested then but more congested now. Cleanliness I think remain unchanged.

Wish I can be there again someday and of course preferably  towards the end of  Ramadan which will be absolutely fantastic.
Insya Allah.