Saturday, 31 March 2012

En Abdul Rahman bin Haji Talib (1916-1968) [3], Minister of Education 1960-62

Rahman Talib was a name I heard as a child. I also heard of the Rahman Talib Report as a child. I didn't know who he was. Even when my mother was nearing pension age, she was still speaking about Rahman Talib Scheme. He is En Abdul Rahman bin Haji Talib. He was the Minister of Education Malaysia 1960-62 and Minister of Health Malaysia 1962-64. I wasn't even in school yet! I was 6 years old!
There is conflicting evidence of his post between 1962 and 1964. One evidence says he was Minister of Education in 1964 and another states he was Minister of Health 1962-64. Which is correct? This type of conflicting evidence in published matter makes writing for TEMD very difficult as I have to take time off to find out what is the correct information. Verification takes time as I don't know people in the first Cabinet. Checking facts takes a lot of time.
En Abdul Rahman bin Haji Talib
Minister of Education Malaysia 1960-62
Minister of Health Malaysia 1962-64


Copyright (C) 2010 Methodist Boys' School Kuala Lumpur Alumni Association.
Source: Eminent Alumni, Methodist Boys' School, Kuala Lumpur Alumni Association
Accessed on 12 May 2011. Here he is Minister of Health in 1964, the year he resigned.

7 December 1964, Kuala Lumpur
Chronicle of Malaysia 1957-2007

Rahman Talib resigns. Here the date cited  is 7 December 1964 and it states him as Minister of Education. This was at the time of Tunku Abdul Rahman, who was PM. Both were in the first Cabinet. The lady is his wife (provides a positive ID for her in the photo below).
Source: Chronicle of Malaysia 1957-2007, page 88.
My comment: The info above may be incorrect as he was the Minister of Health in 1964, according to the article above and below.

Who's Who in Malaysia 1963

En Abdul Rahman bin Haji Talib in Who's Who in Malaysia 1963.
In his entry here he is the Minister of Health in 1963. Since information must be submitted a year before, he was Minister of Health since 1962, at the time of submission of this entry.



These photos below were received from the family of Dr Mohamed bin Taib (Pahang).
Please help me to identify the people in the photos. (I was in Standard 1 in 1965.)
Welcoming En Abdul Rahman bin Hj Talib. Dental staff of the new clinic lined up. Who is who from the right? Pahang circa 1962-64.
En Abdul Rahman bin Hj Talib opening a new dental clinic (Klinik Pergigian). Pahang circa 1962-64
En Abdul Rahman bin Hj Talib at extreme right with songkok.  Who is next to him? Is he Coco?
Checking out the new dental suite. En Abdul Rahman with songkok. Pahang circa 1962-64
Demonstrating new dental equipment to En Abdul Rahman bin Hj Talib (far right with songkok)
Tea break. En Abdul Rahman bin Hj Talib is seated in the middle. His wife is seated beside him. 
En Abdul Rahman bin Hj Talib with songkok and his back to the camera.
Dr Mohamed bin Taib (Pahang dentist) is in the centre, and facing the camera.

Pahang (3)

This post is about Menteri Besar Pahang (MBs of Pahang).

There are altogether 14 names of MBs of Pahang (table below). The first 11 names are unknown and there are no write-ups about them. I have acquired a few photos of Dr Mohamed bin Taib, and one was with then MB of Pahang, Yayha Mohd Seth (May 1964-Aug 1972). I don't know whether it is him or his brother  (Ghazali Seth) in one photo. The Seth family is from Johor.

List of Menteris Besar in Wikipedia
4 men posed by Pahang River (?) circa 1964-1972. 2nd left is Dr Mohamed bin Taib.
One of them is MB of Pahang, Yahya Seth (2nd right?).
Who are the 2 others at extreme left and right?  Photo belongs to the family of Dr Mohamed bin Taib, Pahang.
Ghazali Seth

Friday, 30 March 2012

Pahang (2)

This post is about Pahang.


MAP OF PAHANG (Map of Pahang from PubMed)
Article about malaria research using Pahang as sampling frame and testbed and contains the above map.

Map of Pahang showing the 11 districts.


Asia Explorers by Timothy Thye


Full Malay name and Arabic honorific: Pahang Darul Makmur (Abode of Tranquility).

The origin of the name Pahang is unknown but there were many names known by the Chinese, Europeans and Arabs. The name Pahang could not be Arabic as the Arabic alphabet and pronunciation does not have a 'p'. Thus, there are no words beginning with the letter 'p' in Arabic. If it is Arabic, then it is Fahang and not Pahang. The name Pahang could be Siamese as there are many words in Siamese which begin with a letter 'p'. There are many p-words in Siamese. The word Pahang could be a hardwood tree, pokok Pahang or wood, kayu Pahang or cloth - kain Pahang or tenun Pahang.

Pahang joined the Federated Malay States (FMS): 1895
Japanese Occupation: 1942-45
Pahang became a part of the Federation of Malaya (FoM): 1948
Pahang became a part of Malaysia: 1963


Kuala Lipis was the first state capital in the old days till 1955 (see below for more info on Kuala Lipis). The present state capital of Pahang is Kuantan. 


Kuantan is 72 feet above sea level. The population of Kuantan is unknown (data not trusted). There is a plan to transform Pahang as part of ECER (East Coast Economic Region) 2004-2015.


Pahang is ruled by a Bugis Sultanate and links to Tun Sri Lanang. The present monarch is Sultan Ahmad Shah. His father is Almarhum Sultan Sir Abu Bakar. The royal town is Pekan.
Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Al-Musta'in Billah Ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Abu Bakar Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mu'adzam Shah (succeeded his father in 1974)
Sultan Sir Abu Bakar Riayatuddin Al-Muadzam Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Abdullah Al-Mutassimu Billah Shah (reigned 1932–1974)

MB is Dato' Seri Adnan Yaakob.


Pahang has a list of honours bestowed by the Sultan of Pahang. Pahang awards 4 honours - SSAP, SIMP, DSAP and DIMP. Only the SSAP carries the title Dato' Sri. The SIMP, DSAP and DIMP carry the title Dato'. 

2003 Honours
9 recipients of Sri Sultan Ahmad Shah Pahang (SSAP) which carries the title Dato' Sri.
16 recipients of Sri Indera Mahkota Pahang (SIMP) which carries the title Dato'.
16 recipients of Darjah Sultan Ahmad Shah (DSAP) which carries the title Dato'.
77 recipients of Darjah Indera Mahkota Pahang (DIMP) which carries the title Dato'.



The Tembeling River joins the Jelai River to form the Pahang River which flows right through Pekan and then into the South China Sea. Sungai Pahang is the longest river in Pahang. 

There are riverine settlements. In the old days, doctors come by boats to visit patients in the settlements. They included Dr Pandak Ahmad, Dr Che Lah bin Mohd Joonos and Dr Mohamed Said bin Mohamed.

3 early Malay doctors in Pahang
Floating homes (rumah rakit). This is Sungai Kelantan at Tangga Krai.


Pahang has 11 administrative districts: Bentong, Bera, Cameron Highlands, Jerantut, Lipis, Kuantan, Maran, Pekan, Raub, Rompin and Temerloh.
Bentong was previously known by another name. Bentong means to contain or to trap or a container, like a dam. The story of Datuk Bahaman took place in Bentong. Bentong is at the confluence of 2 rivers. People used to take boats to continue their journey either north or south bound. Bentong is a small town before the Karak Highway, which is the major highway that leads to Kuala Lumpur. Bentong is 80 km NE of KL. The Bentong Highway is a high-speed dual carriage way with heavy traffic during the festive season and when there are football matches in KL.

Bera has a large freshwater lake, Tasik Bera, which contains a type of algal growth much like a seaweed, the bera, according to the Semelai Orang Asli who live by that lake.,_Pahang

Cameron Highlands is a highland resort. It used to be a cold place but with climate change today it is no longer cold but cool. Tea, vegetables, strawberries and flowering plants thrive here. Cameron Highlands is accessible from many states - Perak, Pahang and Kelantan. From Kota Bharu, take the Gua Musang Highway and turn off after Hospital Gua Musang and follow the winding road and signboards. Mamak Spicy Special is at the corner before the left turn to go uphill. Further up the same road as Mamak Spicy Special leads to a Malay village (Kg Ingin Maju) and an Orang Asli village. One of our medical students lives in the Malay kampung. In the old days, entomologists and the research team would go to Cameron Highlands to check on insects there.
Other hill resorts are Bukit Tinggi, Fraser's Hill and Genting Highlands.

This is my grandfather's team at a Government bungalow in Cameron Highlands.
Walid is the middle of the 3 men standing facing the bungalow.
Photo from Walid's collection.
This is my grandfather's team at a provision shop in Cameron Highlands.
Walid in seated on the highest steps, centre, with no one standing behind him. His hands come together like a full circle. He is in dark clothes.
Photo from Walid's collection.

Jerantut is near the coast. It is 200 km from KL.

Lipis is the district and Kuala Lipis is the district capital. Kuala Lipis was the previous capital city of Pahang before Pekan.  Kuala Lipis was the administrative capital of Pahang for 57 years from 1898 until 27 August 1955. Kuala Lipis is a small town and looks just like any small town in the other states. Some of the buildings were built in 1929. The roads are narrow. There is an old train station behind a row of old shophouses. Malay food is sold at the train station.

Maran - ? 

Pekan is a royal town. PM Najib is also from Pekan. Pekan is named after a flower, bunga pekan. There is a museum near the mosque. The police  station is an old one. Pekan looks damp (lembab; basah). The road system is confusing for a small town.

Raub is on the Gua Musang Highway, about 110 km from KL. Raub sits in a saddle or valley between 2 mountain ranges - the Titiwangsa Range (Banjaran Titiwangsa) and the Benom Mountain Range (Banjaran Gunung Benom). It was a gold mining town in the old days. Khary's parents (HUSM audiologist) live in Raub by the highway.

Rompin is a fishing village. People take the boat here to go to Pulau Tioman. Rompin is near Endau-Rompin National Park in Johor. This is a low-lying area with a lot of trees and floods easily. Some Orang Asli huts can be seen along the road. There is a camping ground somewhere.

Temerloh - Temerloh is 130 km (81 miles) from KL on the KB-KL Highway 8 or Gua Musang Highway. There is Hospital Termerloh.

File:Hoshas Temerloh.jpg
Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Hospital (Hospital Temerloh). Wikipedia

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Kelantan History (2)

This post is about Kelab Pencinta Sejarah Kelantan, which I discovered in Facebook today.

The text is written in Kelantan Malay but it is not too difficult to understand - you will get the hang of it, and in due time be able to understand. It not only covers history but there is coverage on Kelantan cuisine and interesting spots in, around and close to Kelantan. There is Bukit Bunga, Buketa and also Pattani Perintah Siam. A lot of old and new photos, some which I have never seen too. I like the elephant photos as they can't be found elsewhere on the Internet. There is Tok Kenali, Makam, WWII relics (kubu or pillboxes), Malay palaces and homes, old roads, paddy fields, floods (1926/27 and 1967), canons, soldiers, Tok Janggut after he was hanged to death, old Malay house turned into a wat Siam and archaeology digs at an ancient temple (kuil). A lot of stuff to help you reminisce in the old Malay charm. The stories are from the contributors' parents and grandparents. The stories are unique too and you can't get them from textbooks. Please visit Kelab Pencinta Sejarah Kelate.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Malay History (4)

This post introduces a man named Daeng Andak Al Habrah who hails from Malacca. 

Daeng Andak Al Habrah is of Bugis descent and of noble rank. He has 7 names. [It should be noted that almost all Malays have 7 names.] Daeng Andak's interest in Bugis Ancestry and Influence in this region. It should be noted that the Bugis is the largest group of Malays who mastered not only the sea but they have a good system of civilisation, which we continue to use today within the Malay Sultanates in present-day Malaysia. If we get rid of the sultans then we lose our entire history. So in the eyes and mind of the author, we should try our best to think positive and objectively about retaining and reclaiming our Malay Heritage, and make our presence and ownership of the Malay Lands (Tanah Melayu) felt and respected. Even though waves of foreign migration come to our shores, we must try our best to retain our Malay Heritage. 

Daeng Andak Al Habrah is one brave man who called me to ask so I told him just that. And I thank him for calling.

Daeng Andak Al Habrah in Facebook

Singapore History (1)

This post introduces Istana Kampong Gelam in Singapore. The photos are from Facebook by Tengku Shawal Tengku Aziz, the great grandson of Sultan Hussain of Johor who once owned the palace, mosque and village in Singapore.

Facebook album of Tengku Shawal Tengku Aziz, great grandson of Sultan Hussain of Johor (Singapore)

There are other useful historical photos in Tengku Shawal's Facebook album:

(1) Makam Sultan Alauddin.

(2) There is also coverage of Istana Sayap, of Sultan Mahmud I of Malacca. The place is marsh-swampland, and a few pokok gelam can be seen - which means the area was cleared and burnt for making the istana (replica?). The interior shows a lovely ornate golden throne, unlike the thrones we commonly see in other palaces in Malaysia.

FYI, Istana Kampong Gelam now houses the Malay Heritage Centre of Singapore.

Malay History (4)

This post is about the Malay rulers. It covers many eras - the Portuguese, Dutch, British, Bugis, Malacca Sultanate and Siamese. This video was produced by the public library under Arkib Negara Malaysia.

Turks in Aceh

This is the first time I came across Turkish graves in Aceh and linking back to Salehuddin, the powerful ruler. The graves are neatly arranged and the tombstones are unique but practical. I like the designs for the tombstones. 

Monday, 26 March 2012

Seni Lama Melayu

This is a good website and the author has published a lot of books. It has practically everything. One thing good is the collection of photos taken by the author and the walk-through narratives.

The books have nice designs too.

There are stories about Malay houses, tombs and mosques.

What is relevant to TEMD is Masjid Jamek Kuala Lumpur. This area is the heart of the old Kuala Lumpur, called Kampong Baru. Among families who lived here was Coco's parents, whose house was nearby the mosque. His mother was born in a house near the mosque. She became a Quran teacher. Coco's father worked nearby at the FMS Railway Repair Section, near PWTC. Their house was in Segambut area. Coco narrated a lot about Kg Baru, Masjid Jamek and the FMSR and I have included the info in his biography in my book.

Masjid Jamek in Wikipedia

UKM (2)

This post contains some information from UKM 1972-1973 report which is available online at:

Some highlights of the UKM 1972 report are the following:

UKM 1972

  1. The UKM Medical Faculty was established and functioning in 1972. Its progress was reported in the UKM 1972-1973 3rd official report.
  2. There were 3 men responsible for the set up of the UKM Medical Faculty (pages 47-46). The 3 men were Dr Amir bin Abbas, Dr Abdul Hamid bin Haji Abdul Rahman and Abdul Rahim bin Omar. All 3 men received their MBBS (Malaya) from the UM Medical Faculty
  3. Dr Amir bin Abbas = MBBS (Malaya), DTMH (Liverpool), MRCP (London)
  4. Dr Abdul Hamid bin Haji Abdul Rahman = MBBS (Malaya), DA (London), FFARCS (England)
  5. Abdul Rahim bin Omar = MBBS (Malaya), MRCP (UK)
  6. Two doctors were sent for specialty training under Sekim Latihan Tenaga Pengajar. They were Dr Mohd Roslani Abdul Majid and Dr Mustaffa Embong.
  7. Dr Mohd Roslani - to pursue DCP (Pathology). Expected date of completion Oct 1972
  8. Dr Mustapha Embong - to pursue MRCP (Gastroenterology). To train at UM for 1 year 1973-74
  9. Dr Mohd Roslani went to set up the USM Medical School in Penang in 1979.
  10. Dr Mustapha Embong went to USM and practised in Endocrinology in 1984/5.
  11. The UKM Medical Faculty had shortages of medical lecturers and hired Indonesian lecturers for Anatomy (4), Physiology (2) and Biochemistry (2).
  12. Alternative places had to be found for postgraduate training of UKM new medical lecturers.
  13. Assistance was obtained in many ways, including from the Tertiary Educational Research Centre (TERC) in Sydney, NSW and the American group MUCIA Council for International Health.

UKM (1)

This post is about the early report of UKM soon after it was established. This is the UKM 1971-1972 report which is available online at:

This report is highly informative and gives a good insight about the early days of UKM. Of note are the following:

UKM 1971
  1. Three early Malay doctors were involved with UKM in its infancy - Datuk Ariffin bin Haji Ngah Marzuki and Datuk Dr Haji Abdul Majid bin Ismail (both as Ahli Lembaga Pengurus) and Prof Ahmad Ibrahim (as Pensyarah Sambilan in Jabatan Syariah).
  2. There were 3 faculties (Pengajian Islam, Sains and Sastera), 12 departments and 2 units.
  3. Fakulti Pengajian Islam (> Jabatan Usuluddin, Jabatan Syariah, Unit Bahasa dan Sastera Arab).
  4. Fakulti Sains (> Jabatan Fizik, Jabatan Ilmu Hisab, Jabatan Kajibumi, Jabatan Kajihayat, Jabatan Kimia).
  5. Fakulti Sastera (> Jabatan Bahasa dan Kesusasteraan Melayu, Jabatan Ekonomi dan Perdagangan, Jabatan Ilmu Alam, Jabatan Kajimanusia dan Kajimasyarakat, Jabatan Sejarah and Unit Bahsa-bahasa).
  6. In Jabatan Syariah, Hasan bin Din was sent for further studies by UKM. Prof Ahmad Ibrahim who was lecturing in Law at UM was also a temporary lecturer at Jabatan Syariah, UKM (pages 34-35).
  7. Jabatan Sejarah produced a number of interesting publications which should still be relevant today since we are still talking about Malay History and Malacca History. The papers by Prof Zainal Abidin bin Abdul Wahid, Dr Chandran and Drs Ibrahim Alfian are highly relevant to today's debate on our Malayan/Malaysian History.
  8. There was no medical faculty in UKM in 1971.
  9. The 1971 operating budget was approx. $7 million.

Bugis History (2)

Bintan Island in Indonesia

Picture of Bintan Island thanks to yummiec00kies and Ookaboo!

Tanjung Pinang. Picture of Bintan Island thanks to Achmad Rabin Taim from Flickr and Ookaboo!

(Qudwah Bil 1 2012, page 44):
Pulau Penyengat, Kepulauan Riau, Indonesia

Pulau Penyengat is a small island off Kota Tanjung Pinang, the capital city of the province of Kepulauan Riau (KEPRI). There were 2 noble men in the history of the island, Raja Haji and his grandson, Raja Ali Haji.

In 1805, the island itself was the dowry (mahar, mas kahwin) of Raja Mahmud Shah for his bride, Engku Putri @ Raja Hamidah bt Raja Haji Fisabilillah Yang Dipertuan Muda Riau ke-4.

Pulau Penyengat. Picture of Bintan Island thanks to Achmad Rabin Taim from Flickr and Ookaboo!

Pulau Penyengat

YouTube video Pulau Penyengat

Wikipedia (Bahasa Indonesia) - Pulau Penyengat

Raja Haji Fisabilillah / Raja Haji

Wikipedia (Bahasa Indonesia) - Raja Haji Fisabilillah

Ancient Mariner - Makam Raja Haji, Pulau Penyengat

He was born at Ulu Sungai in Riau.

His full name was Raja Haji Fisabilillah ibni Daeng Celak (1727-18 June 1784) and was popularly known as Raja Haji. Raja Haji was the younger brother of Raja Lumu, who became the Sultan of Selangor.

He was the Yang Dipertuan Muda Kesultanan Johor-Riau-Lingga (reign 1777-1784).

Raja Haji was a famous poet who created the Bugis poetry Gurindam Dua Belas. Later, he was ennobled as Pahlawan Nasional Indonesia and named Bapak Bahasa Melayu Indonesia.

Raja Haji was a Bugis warrior and fought against the Dutch when they attacked Riau. He had also launched an attack on the Dutch fortress in Banda Hilir, Malacca in 1784 but he lost. He again met the Dutch forces in a battle at Telok Ketapang. He fought hard but died in the hands of the Dutch. His death angered his nephew, Raja Ibrahim and the Selangor Sultanate was also dragged into the conflict of the Dutch-Malacca and Johor rulers.

Even though he died in Teluk Ketapang, Malacca, he was interred at Pulau Penyengat Indera Sakti, Kepulauan Riau, Indonesia.

Raja Haji Fisabilillah Monument of Struggle. Picture of Bintan Island thanks to Achmad Rabin Taim from Flickr and Ookaboo!

Raja Ahmad

Son of Raja Haji and father of Raja Ali Haji.

A literary figure.

Raja Ali Haji

Raja Ali Haji was born in 1808 or 1809. He was the grandson of Raja Haji.

Wikipedia (Bahasa Indonesia) - Raja Ali Haji

His full name was Raja Ali Haji bin Raja Haji Ahmad (1808-1873) and was popularly known as Raja Ali Haji.

He was an ulama', historian, and a Bugis icon. He was a Bugis writer of the Malay language. In his book Pedoman Bahasa,  he wrote about the structure of the Malay language.  The book has become a standard Malay language reference text worldwide.His famous poetic masterpiece in 1847 was the Gurindam 12, which is now performed on stage in Pulau Penyengat and in many Malaysian schools.

Pembacaan Gurindam 12

Masjid Sultan Riau, Pulau Penyengat

There is a mosque on the island of Pulau Penyengat. The Masjid Sultan Riau was built in 1832 during the reign of Abdurahman Muazham Shah, Yang Dipertuan Muda Riau-Lingga (reign 1832-1844), who succeeded Raja Jaafar. A call was made for the people to help clean the area for construction of the mosque. The people had brought along a lot of raw materials and there were a lot of leftover eggs/egg whites after the Aidilfitri festivity. These egg whites were used for building the mosque. The mosque was initially white but was later painted, green for Islam and yellow for Malay royalty.

External links

Bugis History (1)

I have copied and pasted this text below from the Ancient Mariner's blog. He is deceased and I have never met him. I wrote to him once to ask about ex-MB Tan Sri Dr Mohamed Said bin Mohamed but he never replied. Tan Sri was an early Malay doctor. Dr Yusof is his only son, the others are girls.

This text is on Bugis History about a family who got together and there were 1,400 of them in the get-together. I feel this is great and the Bugis people must pursue their culture and tradition. They are already great as a civilised society but they are not properly portrayed by the western media.

Hj Amir Abdul MajidMay 9, 2009 09:12 AM
Hj Amir bin Abdul Majid

Ampang Jaya,

Dear Capt Yusof,

The Bugis from Linggi
(in response to Homecoming in “The Ancient Mariner” April 29th 2009)

I was introduced to your blog today by your cousin Dr Yusof Tan Sri Mohd Said. He is close friend of mine. Our friendship started when he introduced himself as a descendent of Daeng Chelak and hails from Linggi. When I told him that both my maternal and paternal great grandfathers descended from Daeng Chelak, he declared that we are related. Our usual conversation topics centered on Bugis: Riau, Sulawasi, Daeng Chelak, Raja Haji and our own family connections. How proud was he to declare himself a Bugis! Yes, the Bugis ancestry brings with it dignity and honor, because the Bugis are people who place family honor above everything else, and even prepared to die in defending their dignity. They work hard to achieve stature in the community, and would not allow anything to wreck what had been achieved. The proverb “Biar putih tulang, jangan putih mata” may have its origin in the Bugis psyche.

My paternal great grand father followed his three elder siblings, one of them my maternal great grandfather, to start a new life in Merlimau, Melaka 154 years ago. They were from Pulau Penyengat and were of Bugis origin. Their mother was descended from Daeng Parani, while their father was a grandson of Raja Haji bin Daeng Chelak. They never revealed their origin outside the family circle. After three generations had lapsed, we felt it was time to reveal our identity. On 8th December 2002, the descendents of Rimbun, Pajar, Ismail and Masrobiah met for the first time, all 1400 of them, under one roof in Padang Temu Melaka. The gathering was recorded in the Malaysia Book of Records as the largest family gathering ever. Our family members, called the Masparimbunis Family, are found residing mainly in Merlimau, Muar, Batu Pahat and Kluang. The family head is called Ketua Limpo. He is Tuan Hj Kassim bin Ahmad bin Pajar bin Raja Ali bin Raja Jaafar bin Raja Haji bin Daeng Chelak. The four branches of the family are each headed by an Anang. We have a Lembaga Adat, the supreme council where the Anangs (branch heads) and Matoas (family heads) meet annually to discuss matters of interest. I am the General Secretary to this Lembaga Adat.

So Capt, that’s our story. As for the Ancient Mariner, do continue the good work. Selamat Berkenalan!

External links

Malacca History (3)

This post is about my Malacca relatives and Coco.

The photos come from everywhere. There is a collection of photos I inherited from 1937 onward from my paternal grandfather who worked as an entomologist (pakar ulat) before the Serdang agricultural school was born and UPM began. I also inherited a lot of photos from my late father - his photos are from 1940s onward. Some photos are from my late mother. I haven't sorted out the photos by State, event or date as I don't know what the events were since 1937 but I can make out a few. It seems to me, a lot of the photos were about Malay life and some of the early organisations and striving for Independence. Some of the text on the rear of the paper prints are written in English and others in Malay Jawi (some were left blank but have #). The Jawi script is difficult to read as my father had compressed and stylised his Jawi writing beyond what I can read - it will take time to enlarge and decipher the Jawi script correctly before I can make out what the events were and where/when things took place. I checked the communication between my father and his father (Walid) and they had communicated in English, and even included jokes! All the written communication were written in pencil on thick brown paper and looked as good as original. I haven't tried scanning them yet because the contrast between the pencil marks and the dark brown bkgr is tricky to tackle. Some of the brown paper have postage stamps affixed - they could have been envelopes (DIY). I will blog about them in my other family blog.

My father is standing in back row, 4th left (between the 2 little boys in front of him).
With his kampung friends (kompang group?) and brothers at his sister's wedding in Semabok. The sister married to a schoolteacher, who became Imam of Masjid Semabok. circa 1948/49
Same as above. My father is kneeling 1st left.

Boy scouts at Padang Kubu, Banda Hilir, Melaka; 1947. This photo was taken 10 years before Tunku Abdul Rahman declared Merdeka in Malacca and before the first Merdeka Parade was held in Malacca at Padang Kubu (in front of A Famosa). My father is standing at 2nd left (short boy). The boys could be his schoolfriends - ACS Malacca.
This is my father, Abdul Rashid Mohd Yusope (as he had signed on the first line).
The second line reads Troop Leader 8th Senior. This is ACS Scouts and he was in 8th Grade and was the Scouts Troop Leader. Undated; circa 1947. After school he was a cake seller by the sea, Straits of Malacca, at Banda Hilir padang. The only trait he shared with his sister Zainah and also Coco, is their mathematicsal skills - he wrote the mathematics syllabus and textbooks for Malaysia. Tun Mahathir asked him to be Malaysia's Ambassador to Germany for our engineering boys who were to be sent there - he refused because there would be nobody to take care of his mother. He loved his mother dearly. I will blog about his mother some other time at my family blog. Zainah is deceased. She was the most intelligent Malay woman I have ever met in my life - she could do 3rd root of any large number anytime! I was amazed! She only attended Grade 1 and quit school. She had a string of languages which I don't know where she learnt them.
My father is seated. He is as Scouts Troop Leader 8th Senior, ACS Malacca
circa 1947. He led the troop and most of the boys were Chinese. They liked him as he was intelligent especially when it came to mathematics. I will upload some pages of his mathematics exercise book at my family blog. I have never attended tuition in my entire life. My father taught me mathematics and when I went to first year university and took maths classes, my own American professors were amazed and asked me where I had learnt mathematics - I told them I learned math from my father. I taught some of the same skills to my children at age 3 onward - and they managed well in school without any math tuition. My first job offer was by the Math Dept when I was in 2nd year! By the time I graduated, they already alerted the entire UC system in California.

Yusuf bin Buntal, schoolteacher and Imam of Masjid Semabok, with his first son Mu'in. Photographed at  his home in Semabok, Malacca.  Sunday 10 September 1950. Later, Haji Yusuf became my father's mentor after my father's Walid died. 
Yusuf bin Buntal photographed at home in Semabok, Malacca before leaving for Makkah (pilgrimage for first Hajj). Thursday 10 June 1954

As above. Villagers visited Yusuf bin Buntal at home before he left for Makkah.
This is a family photo. There are probably 4 families in this photo. The names are on the right.
At extreme left is Haji Noordin bin Ismail. He is my father's granduncle. Standing next to Haji Noordin is Haji Yusuf bin Buntal, schoolteacher and Imam of Masjid Semabok. At extreme right is Walid (Haji Mohd Yusope bin Haji Mohd Sharif). Standing next to Walid is Abas bin Abdul Rahman, Walid's son-in-law who married Walid's eldest daughter Ainon.
This is Abas bin Haji Abdul Rahman, as in the photo above.
If you study the facial features carefully, you will see that the same features occur in another man, Tan Sri Abdul Majid bin Ismail @ Coco. I only found this photo this year. It was in my father's pendrive and album all the time.

Abas when he was older. Pak Abas with some young relatives. My father is the boy behind his sister Sekmah. The boy squatting could be my father's younger brother Baharuddin Mohd Yusope, later Private Secretary to Tun Hussein Onn. Circa 1947-1950s

When I interviewed Coco for the first time on 11 May 2007 at his office in Jalan Damai in KL, it was the first time I met him but the features of Abas were so strikingly similar in Coco. When Coco asked me where I originated, I told him I was born in Malacca but my parents were from KL. When Coco probed further and asked me where I lived in Malacca, I said Banda Hilir, behind the mosque. Then, Coco probed even further and asked me if I knew others in Ujong Pasir. I said I didn't know but that I knew some relatives who lived in Umbai from my childhood. At that point Coco asked me whom I knew in Umbai and I told him I knew Pak Cik Abas (above), his wife Mak Ainon and the kids/my cousins (Kak Besar/Hawa, Kak Mariam, Abang Mohamad, Abang Abdul Rahman, Kak Zaleha, and Adik Musa). Then Coco asked who else I knew in Umbai. I said to him there is a big Malay house beside Pak Abas where Nenek Mun lived. Coco asked me about Nenek Mun. I said Nenek Mun lived with some assistance and her relatives lived in PJ-KL, and that my dad had great respect for Nenek Mun. At that point Coco said "then we are related!" You can imagine the shock I had on my face! Even my husband who was recording the interview stopped in shock! I did not know how to proceed as the man I was interviewing was my own granduncle! It took me awhile to come to terms with that shocking news. With tears in my eyes (and Coco's too), I proceeded with some trepidation for about another hour. Coco was much more relaxed after we found out we were related. 

I have met many of Coco's sisters and relatives but I never knew they were all related to him! I then informed my father of this new find. And to my surprise my father said there is no such name as Tan Sri Abdul Majid but there is Doktor Abdul Majid. Now I was so confused! But I had confirmed with Coco at his interview whether he was the only Dr Abdul Majid bin Ismail and also the only Tan Sri Abdul Majid bin Ismail. So I couldn't be wrong. My father then asked me for Coco's # which I gave him. When my father tried calling Coco's office, he said the lady who answered the phone said Coco was busy, and replied the same for further calls. As a result my father never had a chance to speak to his own uncle. My father died in 2009.

Coco had written in his book and I also mentioned in TEMD, that 'a friend had come to look for him while he was attending the King Edward VII College of Medicine'. I believe that 'friend' was my father. My father had narrated to me that when he was offered a place at the KE VII to do medicine (which he did but just for a brief 9 months), he first went to look for his uncle Abdul Majid. He did not elaborate what happened. But in Coco's account and in TEMD, Coco mentioned the 'friend had asked for Abdul Majid' whilst he was nicknamed Coco and nobody knew his real name, for which Coco's friends told my father that there was no one by the name of Abdul Majid. But in the end my father met Coco as they knew each other and were related. My father attended KE VII briefly for 9 months in first year medicine in 1951 before he went to UK.
Coco's book 'An Old Man Remembers' (2006) has a lot more on our common ascendants. You can read his book and find out. I don't know whether he sells that book but you can go to his office and ask for one.

More on Coco in New Sunday Times 2006
More on Coco and daughter Ellina's family in Yayasan Tun Abdul Hamid
More on Coco at VI
More on Coco at Arkib Negara Malaysia
More on Coco in Malaysian Orthopedic Association (MOA)

Coco and I thought about whether we can possibly write a book together on our common ascendants and therefore provide a new breath to Malacca History. If that is possible then you will see how Princess Hang Li Poh comes into the family tree and the Malacca History. Coco knows it all too well.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Malacca History (2)

In this post, I give you the details of my gene-rich Malacca heritage.

Well, being born and raised in Malacca, I inherit a weird background, that I stand nowhere but somewhere on this Earth.

I am a third generation Dutch from my maternal Burgher grandmother who came from Ceylon (Sri Lanka).

I am probably 16th generation Ming Chinese from my paternal grandmother who could be related to Yap Ah Loy somewhere from Chow Kit market area where a lot of Chinese grew vegetables, even my paternal-maternal great grandfather had a Malay name but a Chinese suffix when I know he is probably Indonesian from his facial features. 

I am 10th generation Hadrami Arab from my paternal grandfather whom I have never met as he died before my parents got married. From his photos in my dad's pendrive, he looks Indian or a dark Malay but a funny thing is all my uncles are fair Chinese except my dad who looks Indian to me, and I take 50% Indian features from him. This week I heard he is Bugis - that's 3 years posthumous identification! 

I had a maternal grandfather whom I couldn't make out what he was - I had thought he was in the wrong place, which is true. Some 24 years after he died, I had the opportunity of Indian colleagues in my dept, who are well-travelled and they identified my grandfather to be a typical Indian, and specifically from Madras! Can you believe that?! That positive identification helped solved a lot of mysteries about him. 

I then presented the same photo of my maternal grandfather to a Malay-Arab, one of my Syed uncles. He said my grandfather was most probably Indian with a lot of Arab infusion based on the probable location of his birthplace! I almost fainted! His birth certificate can't be found. Without proper birth identification, it is hard to tell a person's background and inheritance. I then visited the large graveyard in Jalan Perak where my grandfather used to go every Aidilfitri. I was told earlier this year (2012) his ancestors were all interred there, in a special plot some distance from Makam Dato' Keramat (after who Jalan Dato' Keramat is named). I don't know keramat and qaromah stuff. But I guess, having an ancestral plot near the Makan could mean my grandfather's ancestors were probably workers for Dato' Keramat or his people, or else they would not be buried in the area close to Makam Dato' Keramat. 

Now back to me, I am nowhere but somewhere. I am Malay Bugis Burgher Indian Dutch German Chinese and Arab, or MBBIDGCA for short. If that is not enough, then try and add Princess van Rooyen, Sultan Mansor Shah and Princess Hang Li Poh to the picture. What do you get? That's who I am from a historical standpoint. To make it even stranger, I am married to a Chinese-Malay. So if you expect me to dress in baju kurung, I will of course laugh. If you expect me to dress in short skirt and blouse and wear high heels, I will also laugh. I am modestly dressed as my female ancestors have dressed before me - with a lose long dress and scarf (like old mother hubbard). 

A lot of people have problems trying to fit me somewhere and usually they will ask - "Are you Malay or not Malay?" Of course I will answer "Saya orang Melayu tapi saya boleh cakap English" and then the conversation goes on in English. My husband had thought I was Eurasian until I told him "I'm not!" Even the Filipinos thought I was a Filipino. I am Malay by today's Malaysian definition.

The only one thing that distinguishes me from the typical orang Melayu is my food - I eat Mediterranean cuisine for heavy meals and Chinese cuisine for the light meals. I like sandwiches. I don't have snacks. That was how I was brought up. 

The first Malay food I learned from my Malay teenage friends was nasi goreng with mixed vegetables. Then I have never stopped cooking Malay food. I have added Thai friend rice, etc to my culinary skills. I'm learning nasi biryani but still not getting it right yet. 

In a nutshell, I can say that Malay is just a label and living in Malaysia means you just live as you please. There is no need to stick to being Malay, Chinese, Indian, etc since everyone is so mixed that it doesn't matter and shouldn't matter anymore. 

So, is Malacca a great city and empire? I would say yes and no. What else did we benefit from having Malacca in Malaysia? I think a mixed heritage not only in the houses and cultures we see today, but also the genes have mixed so much that we all have 'global genes'. That's how I look at Malacca and its importance. Being a Malacca person makes it even more real and a living proof. 

I have no problem adapting and going on living anywhere on Earth, so long as it is not a cold place. I prefer places with Mediterranean climate. When I was in San Francisco, a Chinese restaurant owner asked me if I could do regular cooking demo for his restaurant! He must think I knew how to cook Chinese cuisine so well?! 

In any mixed cultural setting, there is one thing that we must learn to accept and that is despite being culturally different, socially we must try and look to our different cuisines as a binding force and try each other's cuisine for there is a lot to learn, and I think we will all be happy when we try different foods of the different ethnic groups. There is already teamwork at the workplace but sometimes teams don't function so well, and falling outside a team is often better.

I'm baking olive bread this morning and that is a Greek recipe. Olives are mentioned in the Quran. I take it that olive bread is a healthy option (based on its chemical property) and can be made a global item for Muslim dining (can suggest that to Halal Hub). That is how I look at coming together as a nation and globally. 

I still don't understand why people still want to wage war. There is no need for war. When one is of mixed heritage like myself, there is a lot of peace in the heart and mind that war doesn't come into the picture at all. Why do we need war? Why are people after power struggle? Why do people still want to kill? Why do people still want to plunder poor countries? Tell me why? Why do we have so much politics and back-biting? Even the religion Islam tells us what happiness we can have on this earth by coming together. Why can't we be humans and behave like humans should?

Need to check on my olive bread - it is also in my cooking blog.

External links:

Malacca History (1)

Malacca has a rather strange history in that nobody can truly give us the exact coordinates of the Malacca Empire. Despite its greatness and importance both in Malay History and World History, there is little written evidence in our local collection, be it within the National Archives (Arkib Negara Malaysia) or in the hands of the Malaysian populace.

I have read Malay accounts that tell the boundaries of the Malacca Empire covered Kedah and Kelantan today. Even graves present in Kedah and Kelantan provide the evidence that were part of the Malacca Empire. A strange thing though that makes me wonder, is there a clear boundary that separates the Malacca Empire from the one in the north (Siamese Empire)? What empire existed south of the Malacca Empire? Muslim Damak Empire? If Damak was the only Muslim empire, then what was the Malacca Empire, Hindu? I will leave it to the historians to write and explain.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Bukit Bunga

I will be quite busy and probably not writing much for my books. I will be involved with the community very far from where I live and work. The area is about 1 hour drive, just before Bukit Bunga. I will be involved and talking on IT since it be will around the time SKMM brings fibre to Kelantan (the infrastructure is already there). This is the last mile and I will be talking to orang kampung and in Kelantan dialect. Among the Pak Menteri who will be present (from the planned line up) is Tok Pa. His brother was with USM but has retired and moved to Putrajaya or somewhere down south.

Now we have 2 big competing universities in Kelantan - USM and UMK. USM is very old compared to UMK. UMK Jeli Campus is managed by my good friend, Prof Ibrahim Che Omar (also a previous lipids researcher like me). He left USM a few years back when UMK offered him a good post. He is the typical Kelantan man and speaks 50-50 Kelantan dialect. I think maybe because he lived a large portion of his life outside Kelantan. I am an outsider but I have lived in Kelantan since 1983, when I was asked to set up HUSM. I meet Prof Ibrahim in TESCO and sometimes at the airports in KB and KLIA. 

In Kelantan there is nothing to do. Life is plain and unrushed. There is smuggling at the border and a lot of goods get smuggled in somehow.  Well, that's why things are cheap in Kelantan night markets. The largest is the one at Wakaf Cek Yeh, which operates daily maybe after 9pm. Parking is a problem. You can get anything and everything at Wakaf Cek Yeh pasar malam. I have never been to that night market.

The river that separates Thailand and Kelantan is only knee-deep and that alone makes smuggling a favourite pastime or livelihood. Now there is a nice super neat bridge that links us to Thailand, and of course a lot of cheap motels have sprung up the last time I passed by Bukit Bunga bridge. Jeli is further up, maybe another 40 min drive. Jeli is still largely empty the last time I passed by on the way to Penang.

I don't do the planning for the proposed community event with Tok Pa et al. HUSM and Tok Pa's office are doing all the work. I am as invited speaker and the only professor, maybe. I haven't figured out what to wear and what to say for my talk yet as I usually don't prepare until the night before.

I don't like politics but I'm dragged into this one cos the stakes are very high for this 13GE. It is going to be a stiff fight of the blue scale vs the full moon. I'm neither and I couldn't be bothered to take sides, let them fight and we wait to see who wins.

There are a lot of issues for the upcoming 13GE. I have my concerns about what I heard on TV. As an academic my stand is still neutral and I give both sides a fair say (I speak for both sides). If the planning committee decides to bring in the Sultan, then I have to practise my Malay speech, especially the opening after Assalamu'alaikum. Since the event is from Tok Pa's dept, I think the full moon people will also be on site to monitor the events, Tok Pa and also me. I will write here if I'm threatened. 

I can only commit 2 hours of my time on site at the event, and after that I get my makan and I want to go shopping at Bukit Bunga. Bukit Bunga is where I shop for cashew nuts. Good bargaining skills is what you need at Bukit Bunga. For non edibles, you bargain first for 50% and then another 50%, and if you persist, minus a few RM. Food is different - you only need to bargain 3 items for RM10. Done correctly, the profit is only RM1-2 for the seller. That's the way to buy and sell in Bukit Bunga. Sometimes it is better to have the previous known prices in the handphone. That way bargaining is faster and straight to the point.

Kota Bharu is a different skill set for buying and selling.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Books on The Early Malay Doctors

How many books are there?
So far to date, there are only 2 English titles for hardcopy and 2 English titles for softcopy. All are in the process of manuscript submission.

Printed books:
(i) Research on The Early Malay Doctors 1900-1957 Malaya and Singapore - FAR/Xlibris (submitted)
(ii) Biography of The Early Malay Doctors 1900-1957 Malaya and Singapore - FAR/Xlibris (in prep)

(iii) Research on The Early Malay Doctors 1900-1957 Malaya and Singapore - FAR/Xlibris (automatic when i is ready)
(iv) Biography of The Early Malay Doctors 1900-1957 Malaya and Singapore - FAR/Xlibris (automatic when ii is ready)

Are there more books on the topic?
Initially yes but now no. The idea of a coffee-table book and a pocket guidebook have to go.

Coffee-table book:
Glimpses of The Early Malay Doctors 1900-1957 Malaya and Singapore - FAR (abandoned)

Pocket guidebook:
Pocket guide on The Early Malay Doctors 1900-1957 Malaya and Singapore - FAR (abandoned)

Will there be Malay versions of the books?
No. If somebody wants to translate the book(s) into Malay, the format must be different and cannot be the same as the English version(s), or they will compete for sales.

Will I translate my books into Malay?
I have not given a thought about translation. I don't know literary Malay to be able to translate my own books into beautiful good Malay.

501451 Work behind the scene & Updates: Biography of the Early Malay Doctors

Book Title
Author: Faridah Abdul Rashid

Total no. pages: 982
Book dimensions: 6" x 9" x 2.1"

Description of contents:
This book contains 43 biographies of the early Malay doctors. The biographies take a womb-to-tomb approach for each doctor. Family history is also included where there is information about the ascendants and descendants of these doctors. This brings the book into reaching farther back into our history. The setting for writing is from 1905 when the Straits and Federated Malay States Government opened the medical school in Singapore, till 1957 when Malaya gained its independence (Merdeka). However, a few doctors were born before the turn of the 19th Century (late 1800s). Their fathers either came to Malaya or they were born in Malaya. Most of the early doctors were the third, fourth or fifth generation of migrant families in Malaya. There is a lot to be learned about our past medical history, the biographies of the early doctors, and their ascendants.

Cover (10 Sept 2012)

Copyright © 2012 by Faridah Abdul Rashid.
Library of Congress Control Number: 2012915816
ISBN 13: Softcover   978-1-4771-5994-1
ISBN 13: Hardcover 978-1-4771-5995-8
ISBN 13: eBook       978-1-4771-5996-5

(temporary link)
(this is the official website till Sept 2013)


Please check at Amazon. At Amazon, the price is in US Dollars.


Update 7 Feb 2012
This book contains 43 biographies which were mostly prepared from primary sources (unpublished sources). The first biography I completed was for Dr Abdul Latiff bin Abdul Razak, our first Malay doctor on record. The last biography I completed was that of Dr Haji Abbas bin Haji Alias. The longest biography is that of Dr Haji Abbas bin Haji Alias (at 28 pages). Most biographies are approx. 10-15 pages. There are 3 very long biographies - Dr Haji Abbas bin Alias, Tan Sri Dr Raja Ahmad Noordin and Dr Ariffin bin Ngah Marzuki. The longest time I took to completely write a biography was that of Tan Sri Dr Raja Ahmad Noordin - I took 2.5 years to complete it. He passed away the very day his biography was ready. It is actually his autobiography as he wrote it; I merely typed it for him and re-drew the illustrations for him. He wrote in his own handwriting. The credit goes to him.

The only doctor who does not have a graduation date is Dr Ally Othman Merican (Dr AO Merican). No published works on him (there are only 4 published records on him) ever stated the date of his graduation. I worked it out that he graduated before 1925 as his biodata was published in The Who's Who in Malaya 1925 and he stated his MBBS in his biodata, but without a date. I guess his MBBS was in 1924 as it would take 1 year to submit to Who's Who for publication.

This big book is a resource for the families and I hope the families concerned will be happy. I will take a last look at the prepared manuscript, write a cover letter, and then submit.  

Update 21 Feb 2012
I have written to the University of Hong Kong to ask for clarification for the date of Dr AO Merican's MBBS. No reply yet. 

Update 23 Feb 2012
I'm still working on the 43 separate biographies. They will need to be merged as one manuscript for submission.
I'm going through each manuscript and picking out the abbreviations to go in a List of Abbreviations.
I'm also writing to Arkib Negara for the photos that were not sent last year. Arkib has a new director now. Will pick up from where we left off.
The photos for Tun Dr Ismail have arrived today.
I submitted a new request for the photos of Tan Sri Dr Raja Ahmad Noordin, to add to the photos he gave me before he died. I still do not have a portrait of him (I cropped his old photo to make him a portrait for a head photo).

Update 28 Feb 2012
List of Abbreviations is done.
I have written the Dedication page.
The Foreword was written by Coco in 2007.
I have written the Acknowledgement.
The TOC/Content will be prepared by Xlibris.
I have made the List of Contributors.
I have prepared 2 important tables. One is the Chronology of Historical Events in Malaya and Singapore 13th Century - 2011. The other is Milestones in Medicine in Malaya and Singapore 1900-2011.
I have written the Epigraph.
I am still not sure which photo to use for Frontispiece. I would like to use a photo of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) if anyone has a high-resolution photo and is willing to contribute. Otherwise I have 3 photos to decide - a photo of Kg Gelam, Singapore; a photo of the electric lamps inside Masjid Sultan, Singapore; a photo of Glasgow Royal Infirmary (if the owner allows it). I have already used the photo of King Edward VII College of Medicine for the Frontispiece in the small book.
I have prepared a short Author's Biography for the rear/inside cover.
I still have to prepare a Preface, Introduction, List of Tables, List of Figures and List of Photographs.
I don't have a map of Malaysia or Singapore.
I have removed all photos from the manuscript that will be sent separately from the photos (450+).
I still have to merge the 43 biographies (minus images) into one large document.
I have to prepare the Index myself first.
Xlibris will prepare its own Index based on what I submit.
Then I submit my manuscript and photos. That's it.

Update 3 March 2012
I'm preparing a Glossary for the book. The terms are taken from the footnotes. As far as I know, there is no limit to the # of footnotes for the book. I have removed some of the footnotes and converted them into terms & text in the Glossary, which is better.
I have re-done 3 difficult chapters which contain excerpts and images from newspapers, etc. I have removed them and replaced them with my own words/text. I have also removed the copyrighted images. I have written to the newspapers to ask and they demanded a high price (eg RM500 for a picture, and some cost more). That way the book remains affordable for me to make. The 3 chapters are that of Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, Tan Sri Salma bte Ismail and Dr MJ Che Lah.
I have re-designed the book cover with more appropriate text/wordings. I have added a useful comment from YBhg Tawfik Tun Dr Ismail, on the rear cover.
I have liaised with Arkib Negara Malaysia for continued checks on documents and images of some of the early Malay doctors. Since this takes time, I will include changes/images in future editions. I will proceed with whatever I have at the time of 2012 submission.
I now have 43 biographies to merge and submit to Xlibris. Once I submit, I will not do anymore changes. This is made clear by Xlibris. I hope everyone understands the constraints.
I will check all the Preliminary/Front Pages before I merge all into one large document for submission.
My manuscript will join a queue and that can be very long now at Xlibris.
It will take many months for the manuscript to pass screening for content and for it to be copyedited. Xlibris indicated it may take a few weeks, or maybe up to 6 months.
I have to prepare the Index for my book.
Xlibris Indexing team will prepare the Index for the book,
I will inform when I submit the manuscript for the Big book.

Update 7 April 2012
I have combined 43 biographies into one big manuscript (minus images) as required by Xlibris for manuscript submission online. I'm still arranging images for biographies 32 to 43 (last 10 biographies). There are 400+ images. Some images are not of the required resolution (ie min 300dpi). Xlibris may choose to reject those images which are less than 300dpi as they will not make the 'picture standard' for the proposed book. I plan to submit next week, before 13 April 2012 as I have to go to Penang on 13 April 2012 for a workshop on teaching methodologies.

Update 26 April 2012
The Lost Work?
At about 6 pm today, while I was working on my draft at USM, I lost my 600 pages of text and pictures which I wanted to submit today for printing.
What happened was the MS Word that I was using could not cope. I think I must have busted the program altogether.
I will take a look again tonight and see what I can recover of that 600 pages.
I will then write to Microsoft and see what they can do about their program.
Pray that things will be ok.

Update 27April2012
Recovered Work
Microsoft Word (the program) is what I use for  writing. It has a defect (built-in) that gives writers a scare. This is an account of what happened, what I did to recover my work and the status of writing.
26 April 2012 (After Asar, 6 pm) As I was typing, a MS Word error message appeared suddenly on the screen. It says "Microsoft has stopped working". Then it shuts down - all the open MS Word windows closed. Up comes another query window asking for my next move.  I answered to the effect of 'do an Autorecovery and use a Normal template". Hope was all I had.
26 April 2012 (After Maghrib, 8.29 pm) I checked to see if I still had anything recovered. There were 3 MS Word documents in the working file:-
1) Manuscript 2.11MB
2) Copy Manuscript with images 102MB; it stalled at page 410 of 600.
3) Biography of one the early Malay doctors (Dr Mohamed Noor bin Marahakim).
There were 3 documents that needed to be saved from the above Autorecovery process.  So I saved the 3 opened documents and went on with typing as usual. When I saved, it displays "Word is saving Copy Manuscript with images" in the bottom menu bar.
26 April 2012 (After Isya', 11.48 pm)After some amount of typing, the same thing happened - "Microsoft has stopped working". All the MS Word documents closed and disappeared. The same query window asked what I wanted to do next: "Will automatically save it to normal doc. template. Do you want to save it?" I clicked Yes and saved all the opened documents. It displays "Saving AutoRecovery file Copy Manuscript with images". Other times it says "Word is Saving Copy Manuscript with images".
I continued typing till I had transferred all images into the text-only manuscript. This is a big document and needs a lot of RAM. I had installed sufficient RAM when I bought my laptop. To make things easy, I closed all the other programs and documents and only the big manuscript was on my screen.
27 April 2012 (After midnight, 1.15 am)I printed a PDF of the 598 pages (222,609 words) = 42MB (minus front Cover, Content, Index, and back Cover). I checked everything else was in order and then went to sleep at 2.30 am.
27 April 2012 (After breakfast, 10.22 am)I haven't checked to see what happened to my full manuscript (DOC and PDF).
I will need to check all the sub-titles for all the 43 biographies and also the footnotes (that they all use Times Roman font 10 pt; some are still Trebuchet 10pt). I also need to remove sensitive info. Lastly, I need to re-do the Preface. Then I can submit to Xlibris for copy-editing (proof-reading), etc.

27 April 2012
Manuscript Submitted
Manuscript for the second book was submitted on 27 April 2012. The submitted title is Biography Biographies of the Early Malay Doctors 1900-1957 Malaya and Singapore. No. of pages submitted 599.

I have submitted my full manuscript to Xlibris for checking content and for copy-editing.
I submitted 214.1MB of files to **Rey.Barnes [a]**
I sent big files & zip files (max 300MB)
Now I wait for Xlibris to reply.

These are the files I uploaded to sendspace server (
501451 Manuscript FAR 27April2012, 2.312MB (DOC)
Copy of 501451 with images-signed 43.018MB (PDF)
501451 Summary (17KB)
501451 Author biography 27April2012 (27KB)
501451 Inside images - files 1-43 (421 images (photos), 42MB)
501451 Frontispiece
501451 Alternative frontispiece
501451 3 Maps
501451 Bookmark 27April2012
501451 Book cover
Submitted title: Biography of the Early Malay Doctors 1900-1957 Malaya and Singapore
Manuscript is approx. 600 pages.
Content checking takes 1-2 weeks.
Copy-editing takes 2-6 months.
Printing: target after Aidilfitri, by October 2012 (insyaAllah) - will update

Marketing matters:
Marketing costs AUD$5,999 for a 1-minute trailer, Ad Singapore, and representation at 2 international book fairs - in Beijing and Frankfurt.

Book Fair PWTC 2012 - tak sempat
Beijing International Book Fair - ?
Frankfurt International Book Fair - ?

Update 19 May 2012
Rey Barnes (Xlibris) emailed she DID NOT receive my manuscript for the second book (Book 2). She asked when I submitted to sendspace. She mentioned the sendspace server had problems.
I checked my sendspace account and half my files have disappeared from the server. I emailed 2 links to Rey Barnes (the manuscript with images in PDF and the one without images). I also emailed her whatever files that are still there. I checked updates on sendspace and the messages said there was an attack by a Trojan (someone had uploaded a Trojan to sendspace, then the Trojan destroyed a lot of files). I'm now re-uploading the missing files and then will email her a link for her IT staff to download. I'm using a sendspace wizard as it is faster and a lot easier. This wizard is an ftp (file transfer program).

Update 5 June 2012
Sam Daniels (Xlibris) emailed to inform she is the representative for copy-editing (proof-reading) and indexing (to create the index). The copy-edited manuscript will be ready before/by 16 July 2012. Please take note that I will still need to review the copy-edited manuscript and edit or update (which takes at least a month). When the manuscript is finalised, it goes to another department for layout and formatting, and have the images inserted. The covers will be designed by Xlibris (Xlibris will take 1-2 months). The PDF of both documents (now called galleys) will be sent to me for review and comments (I will need at least a month to check). When both documents (covers and inside pages) are finalised, they go to printing.

Update 8-11 June 2012
Rey Barnes (Xlibris) called on 8 June 2012 but I was out in Kota Bharu and forgot to bring my handphone as my husband was using it the night before. I missed her call but read her email later in the evening, and responded. She asked to send the Index which I had signed and promised in my letter of undertaking for this book. I did not send it earlier with the rest of the manuscript and photos as it was not ready and I did not have time to create it. Now I have some time (yesterday, today and tomorrow, insyaAllah). I have made the Index but it is incomplete. I will work on it some more and see if I can prepare a good and useful Index for the big book. I will try to send it in when it is ready, insyaAllah, so the copy-editors can get to work ASAP.

Update 12-26 June 2012
I prepared the Index for the big book. While preparing the Index, I also had to edit the text so that the entries in the Index can be proper (with indents) and duplication omitted. I have not used the indented Index format before so I had to learn that by trial and error, and familiarize myself with that. When that was ok, I prepared the Index using the indented format. For indenting the entries, I just needed to use the colon, however, the terms before the colon must be identical in spelling, font and spacing. Copy & paste technique from Notepad into MS Word will not work as the font for the apostrophe is counted as being different, and therefore a different entry altogether. This created a lot of confusion. It took a lot of skills to spot differences between supposedly identical entries but showed up as a different entry in the Index. I was very annoyed working on the Index. I just wanted to omit it and get on with publishing. But because Rey Barnes at Xlibris had told me fiction books don't have index, only non-fiction books have index, so I had to work on the index, like it or not. Working on the Index alone took a lot of time - it wasted time actually. I made the Index in approx. 2 weeks. It came out ok in the end, Alhamdulillah. I listed mostly names of people in the book. For each person, I indented and highlighted the important things or achievement, DOB, DOD, wife and children where relevant, and if there is information. I also indexed all the states (negeri) and indented the events for each state. That way readers can search by states (negeri). That I think should suffice and be useful for searching contents in the printed book. I think the ebook should have a search function and therefore the index is not that necessary for ebook. I submitted a full manuscript (text and Index, ~677 pages of A4, and 874 footnotes) to Rey Barnes (Xlibris) on 26 June 2012. It will take approximately 2-6 months to get back the copyedited manuscript, depending on the queue at Xlibris. I was told I cannot jump the queue.

Update 27 June 2012
Rey Barnes (Xlibris) wrote back after she received my manuscript (with the Index). She said it is better to wait for the copyedited manuscript to be returned to me and request the editors to incorporate the new changes I have made in the manuscript that I have just submitted yesterday (the one with the index). Also the editors may get confused if they start to incorporate the new changes now. She had cc my email to Sam Daniels who is managing the copyediting service for my book. Sam Daniels will pass the Index that I prepared to the Indexer (yet another dept). It seems that there are so many depts involved in publishing my book, and here I am working all by myself, preparing all the pages, from front cover to back cover - I must be a CPU! Rey Barnes said the copyedited manuscript is ready 27 June 2012 or day after. Sam Daniels informed me that I will get my copyedited manuscript on 16 July 2012, or around that date. So I have to wait 2 weeks to hear back from Xlibris. They have SOP to follow and ISO to adhere to. I won't be surprised if it takes 1 year to complete the editing process, which includes bouncing the manuscript back and forth between the author and Xlibris until both sides are happy that the manuscript has been edited and well-edited. I still believe nothing and no document is ever error-free. There's bound to be errors even as the galley goes to press and print. Nothing is ever perfect.

Update 19 July 2012
I received the copy-edited manuscript from Sam Daniels. It looks really good. The Index is simpler than the one I submitted. I reviewed and added a new chunk for Dr Raja Ahmad Noordin's siblings and their photos, plus update from Raja Adley Paris re Maxwell Manuscript 25. I re-submitted the manuscript (text only) to Sam Daniels. I submitted the photos to Rey Barnes.

Update 31 July 2012
I received the corrected copy-edited manuscript for the second time. I reviewed and edited the tables (removed page column), appendix 6, glossary (definitions for O&G and orthopaedics) and index (Abdul Razak Hussain --> Abdul Razak bin Hussein). I re-submitted to Sam Daniels + approval form for copy-editing and indexing. I also sent the 2 USM logos. All 4 files were sent via sendspace. I asked to proceed to production. Production means: layout, make the inside pages and covers, insert the text and photos in order, make the contents page, make the index, make the copyright page, apply for ISBN, prepare the Press Release Statement, etc.

Update 15 August 2012
This is the email campaign advertisement (EMC Ad) prepared by Xlibris for the main book, which I received late last night, and which I edited. I have no date when the book will be out as I have not seen the galley yet (being prepared). Hopefully this book can be out by Aidiladha, insyaAllah.

501451 EMC Ad
Biography of the Early Malay Doctors 1900-1957 Malaya and Singapore
by Faridah Abdul Rashid

Faridah Abdul Rashid fills in an important gap in Malayan history with her treatise on early Muslim doctors who worked in British Malaya (now Malaysia), Singapore and other parts of Southeast Asia. In no wise does her book neglect faith in favour of the secular nature of modern medicine. Thus, while Biography of the Early Malay Doctors (from 1900-1957) is a chronicle of doctor graduates from King Edward VII College of Medicine in Singapore and the Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, it is also a study in the interaction of faith and healing as these doctors practised grassroots rural medicine to reach “the bottom billion.”
- Xlibris Corporation

Update 16 August 2012
This is the Press Release Campaign advertisement (PRC Ad) for my main book (501451), which was prepared by Xlibris. I received it this morning in the email, edited it and sent it back to Australia. The campaign includes about 124 Book Review Editors and about 5 Australian Producers, including TV and radio stations. There weren't any Malaysian, Singaporean or Southeast Asian ones listed. Please KIV this ad should you wish to promote my book. The date for release of the book (publication date) is still unknown since I have not picked a date yet. The ISBNs are as provided in the ad. At this point in time, I am waiting to see the galley and book cover. Xlibris still has to file for the US Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN) for my book, to enable my book to enter the US market and be able to sell on and Still a long way to go. InsyaAllah, the book will be out.

501451 PRC Ad
Contact: Marketing Services

Suite 1A, Level 2, 802 Pacific Highway, Gordon NSW 2072

Book on Malay Medical Pioneers Takes Up Their Role in Shaping National History
Faridah A. Rashid chronicles the few good men who practised medicine in obedience to Islam to reach the “bottom billion” of their suffering masses

KELANTAN, Malaysia – (Release Date TBD) – Faridah Abdul Rashid fills in an important gap in Malayan history with her treatise on early Muslim doctors who worked in British Malaya (now Malaysia), Singapore and other parts of Southeast Asia. In no wise does her book neglect faith in favour of the secular nature of modern medicine. Thus, whileBiography of the Early Malay Doctors 1900-1957 Malaya and Singapore is a chronicle of doctor graduates from King Edward VII College of Medicine in Singapore and the Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, it is also a study in the interaction of faith and healing as these doctors practised grassroots rural medicine to reach “the bottom billion.”

The doctors in this book were the first Malayans and Singaporeans to practise modern medicine. Yet there were less than 60 of them from 1911 to 1957 before Merdeka or Malayan independence. Their significance lies in their providing the groundwork for the Malaysian health system, which is numbered among the world’s most enlightened and progressive health programmes. The said doctors built prayer rooms in hospitals for patients as well as immunized patients.

Another vital part of the history of these medical pioneers was the belief of many people in their capabilities to lead, not just in helping provide good health. Thus, beyond faith and medicine, they were obliged to lead in the political enlightenment of their people. Some of them were stalwarts of the Malaysian independence movement.

The Malaysian health system today operates with a big budget, but it started out with a group of people who became part of the agency of humanitarian change for their suffering masses. The system still proudly practises this part of their history today.

For more information on this book, interested parties can log on to

About the Author
Faridah Abdul Rashid was born in Malacca, Malaysia. She grew up and attended schools in Malaysia and completed the Malaysian Certificate of Education (MCE) in 1975. She attended universities overseas and holds a double BA in Microbiology (with distinction) and Chemical Sciences from California State University (1980), MSc in Biochemistry from the University of California, Riverside (1982) and PhD from the University of Western Australia, Perth (1990). She has received prestigious financial, academic and merit awards locally and internationally. She is a lecturer in biochemistry at the School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Health Campus in Kubang Kerian, Kelantan in Malaysia. Her teaching career began in 1982. She has taught medical biochemistry to medical undergraduates and postgraduates in addition to medical laboratory technologists and nurses. Drawing on her passion in local history and zest in computers, she was compelled to teach subjects pertaining to medical bioethics, history of medicine and research on telehealth.

Biography of the Early Malay Doctors 1900-1957 Malaya and Singapore* by Faridah Abdul Rashid
Publication Date: TBA
Trade Paperback; $XX.xx; # pages; 978-1-4771-5994-1
Trade Hardback; $XX.xx; # pages; 978-1-4771-5995-8
eBook; $XX.xx; 978-1-4771-5996-5
To request a complimentary paperback review copy, contact the publisher at 1-800-618-969. To purchase copies of the book for resale, please fax Xlibris at (02) 8282-5055 or call 1-800-618-969.

Xlibris books can be purchased at Xlibris bookstore. For more information, contact Xlibris at 1-800-618-969 or on the web at

Update 27 August 2012
501451 cover
I have chosen this cover over an alternative one.
This is the cover for book Biography of the Early Malay Doctors 1900-1957 Malaya and Singapore. This book contains 964 pages (the dimensions are in the image). The ISBNs were in a previous post and are re-posted below. I have completed editing the manuscript today and will submit the corrections to my printer. 10 images for Tan Sri Dr Raja Ahmad Noordin are still missing and I will need to re-send. Once everything is ok, this book should be out in 2 months, hopefully by Aidiladha, InsyaAllah. Pray hard.

Copyright © 2012 by Faridah Abdul Rashid.
Library of Congress Control Number: Pending
ISBN: Hardcover 978-1-4771-5995-8
Softcover 978-1-4771-5994-1
Ebook 978-1-4771-5996-5

Update 10 Sept 2012
501451 cover & SIA
The first version of the back cover had a big photo of me and the tassel looked a bit funny. I requested a change and requested for a bigger portrait for the back cover. This is the new cover design.

Cover (10 Sept 2012)

This design is also used to print the Single Item Accessories (SIA) which include 5 posters, 50 picture postcards, 50 business cards and 50 bookmarks. It will take 4-5 weeks for printing the SIA and an additional 5-7 work days for the printers to mail them to me. The SIA is printed in USA.

Update 26 September 2012
Michael Velazquez replaces Rey Subs Barnes as my Book Representative at Xlibris. Rey left Xlibris. Mike is now in-charge of my book (501451 Biography of the Early Malay Doctors 1900-1957 Malaya and Singapore). Mike helped incorporate the corrections which I had sent to Rey. I had to re-send the (13) photo links from sendspace to Mike (for the production team).

Update 28 September 2012
I received the corrected 501451 Interior Galley but it still had some errors in the captions and INDEX. Some captions were discontinuous. The INDEX had wrong entries or multiple entries for the same person. I submitted a new set of corrections for the 501451 Interior Galley. They were for the captions and INDEX. They were incorporated by the Xlibris production team the same day and Mike returned me the corrected 501451 Interior Galley a second time.

Update 29 September 2012
Since all the needed corrections have been incorporated, the book is good to go. I signed and approved the Galley Approval Form for my book (501451), dated 29 September 2012, and emailed it to Mike. Mike's email auto-reply indicated he had already left his Sydney office and would be back on Tuesday, 2 October 2012.

Update 3 October 2012
I received a parcel (brown box) containing the Single Item Accessories (SIA) for my book (501451). They are bookmarks (50 pcs), postcards (50 pcs) and business cards (50 pcs).

Update 4 October 2012
Mike received my Galley Approval Form. About the book (501451), he said, "Your book has already been publication completed and you should be receiving your initial print anytime from now." So now I wait for my Author's Copy.

Update 21 October 2012
I wrote earlier to inform Mike that I have not received my Author's Copy of my book (501451). Mike replied today that my book (501451) is being printed. That's 17 days already. I'm still waiting for my Author's Copy, before I can approve for mass printing and distribution to the various outlets (Amazon and B&N, etc).

Update 5 November 2012
I wrote to Scott Perry to inform him that I had not received my Author's Copy of my second book (501451 Biography of the Early Malay Doctors). That's 1 month already. I'm still waiting for my Author's Copy, before I can approve for mass printing and distribution to the various outlets (Amazon and B&N, etc).

Update 21 November 2012
Scott Perry sent the retail prices for the paperback and hardcover versions, and the discount rates for both (author rates only). I preordered 100 copies of paperback. Scott Perry added 20 free copies as I have ordered before the offer ends at end of November 2012. I paid for the books by credit card. The printer (based in UK) will send the books in one shipment via air express courier (DHL). I should be getting the author copy first in December 2012. If I'm happy with the author copy, I must inform Scott Perry, who will in turn inform the printer to print my books. I should be getting my books in December 2012 or later. The book should appear at the various sites (, Barnes & Noble, Xlibris) in December 2012 or later.

Update 27 November 2012
Michael Velasquez informed "... we have already processed your author copy". Lorena Luy informed "We have decided to process replacement order for your 2nd book’s Author Copies. [....] Please be reminded that it will normally take an average of 10 business days for the printing plus 3 to 8 business days for the shipping. An email confirmation will be sent to you as soon as tracking information have been generated." Content Distributors informed: "Attached is the confirmation of your recent order with Content Distributors, Inc. Your order should arrive within 1-2 weeks, depending on shipping method selected. You will receive a tracking number for your order once your book is printed and shipped. It takes 2-3 days to print paperbacks and 7-9 days to print hardcover books."

Update 29-30 November 2012 (midnight)
Yanie Cortes informed the PR has been sent (faxed) to 106 organisations including 15/16 in Malaysia and 3 in Singapore. The rest are in Australia. The set price for the book is AUD$39.99 for paperback and AUD$59.99 for hardcover. I have  permitted others to use the PR, book image, and my portrait to promote my book.

Update 30 November 2012
Author copy of the book was shipped out today.

Update 3 December 2012
I received 2 paperback author copies today at lunch time via DHL. The book is also now available at Amazon.

Please check at Amazon. At Amazon, the price is in US Dollars.

Update 6 December 2012
I received 2 hardcover author copies today at lunch time via DHL. I wrote back to Scott Perry to ask to proceed with printing the 180 copies. It will take 1-2 weeks.

Prof Faridah