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.