Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Dikir Barat

I have just missed this event today. It ended about an hour ago. This is Pertandingan Dikir Barat. It was once banned in the 1980s because the lyrics of the dikir barat songs were obscene. It has made a comeback after the lyrics were improved. Today the lyrics focus on advice to the community. USM has a team that performs and competes in dikir barat.

The Doctors' Cars

It is intriguing to read about what cars the early Malay doctors had owned. It is amazing to know what the cars looked like back then, compared to the first car that Henry Ford made.

There were carriages in the 1900s. Muzium Kelantan has a wooden carriage that was used then. A photograph by Muzium Kelantan showed a doctor's carriage and the doctor with his family. A Malay man served as the driver.
Henry Ford (1863-1947) incorporated the Ford Motor Company in 1903, proclaiming, "I will build a car for the great multitude." He made many car models including the Ford Model T cars. His signature became the Ford car logo. His portrait appears on the cover of Time magazine issue of 14 January 1935. More at http://inventors.about.com/od/fstartinventors/a/HenryFord.htm and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Ford and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Model_T and http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/ford.htm and http://www.hfmgv.org/exhibits/hf/

Ford Model T cars were produced from 1 October 1908 onward. A photograph from the Herbert Hoover Library showed 3 great American inventors met in Florida, dated 11 February 1929. They were Henry Ford (inventor of Ford Model T cars), Thomas Alva Edison (inventor of electric lamps), and Harvey Firestone (inventor of pneumatic rubber tyres).

These early Ford Model T cars appeared on the streets including in Malaya and Singapore in the 1930s. Many museum photographs depicted these early Ford Model T cars. Family photographs also depicted these early cars.

Rolls Royce were also popular at the time of the early Malay doctors. It is unknown how many Rolls Royce were brought into Malaya and Singapore and who owned them.

Tokoh-tokoh Perubatan Malaysia dan Singapura

The link is here:

It only mentions Malaysia whereas 2 doctors on the list were Singaporeans - Dr Mohamed Ibrahim bin Shaik Ismail and Dr HS Moonshi.

TQ for making the Malay pages in Wikipedia.

TQ for citing my book.

Haji and Tabung Haji

My husband and I visited Tabung Haji (TH) building in Kota Bharu, Kelantan on 24 December 2012 at 11 am. TH counters have moved from Upper Ground (UG) to 11th floor. Renovations are on-going on UG floor. We were brought by a senior officer to the TH main office. He was previously in charge of opening new TH account. On the way to the TH main office, I handed him the business cards for my 2 books. When we were at TH main office, we were given TH calendars for 2013. In return, my husband said we will return to give TH free complimentary copies of my 2 books. We may go today (25 December 2012) or after that date. It is quite dangerous to travel out when the monsoon rain is torrential.

I have highlighted the role of TH in the hajj rites executed by fellow pilgrims, many of whom were the early Malay doctors. Many early doctors had perform the hajj and for many they traveled by ships before flights became available. The first flight was in 1974/75.

At the time my 2 books went to print I hadn't had time to request more information about TH activities. TH has compiled/published books/reports on its hajj trips. Some of the early Malay doctors served on board TH ships and also in Jeddah, Makkah and Madinah. It took very long to reach Jeddah and to return to Malaya after the Hajj.

We visited Tabung Haji again on 27 December 2012 after solat zohor. We met with a friendly Haji Amin on the 11th floor and he said to see the Timbalan Pengarah TH on the 9th floor. Down we went on the technicians' lift with plywood as wall cover. On the 9th floor, Affandi pressed the bell and we were allowed in. Once inside, we were warmly greeted and asked why we came and whom we wanted to see. Affandi said we got books to give to the Timbalan Pengarah TH and we were asked to be seated. I saw a young man in blue silk batik shirt talking to another senior man in yellow silk batik shirt some distance from where I was seated. It's Thursday and it is government general orders that men wear batik shirts to work. The man in yellow batik shirt was working on the computer and turned to look at me. He must think somebody came to the wrong place for the wrong reason. We waited less than 5 minutes and the young man in blue batik shirt called us in to meet his superior. The man in yellow batik shirt pushed himself away from his computer and stationed himself at his main desk as he welcomed us in. Then I knew he was THE BOSS!! I'm glad. Since he was busy Affandi said we would only take a few minutes of his time. We were asked to sit and Affandi quickly gave him my 2 books. As we sat, the boss asked "Dari mana?" Affandi replied "Dari USM." Then Affandi explained "Buku ini isteri saya tulis dan ada banyak maklumat dia ambil daripada TH lama dulu, agak-agak 2008 macam tu. Jadi kami nak bagi buku-buku ni sebagai tanda terima kasih." Gee, I could not have said that correctly and fluently. So it was nice to listen to him speak "Bahasa Melayu Standard". I was tickled but I enjoyed their conversation. I didn't say much because my BM is "tonggang-langgang", and very slow, and my Malay verbs go all over the place, and nobody seems to understand what I say in Malay, except Affandi! It is not even worth trying. Sometimes my kids fail to understand. My Malay text is usually very brief.

The boss's phone buzzed and we thought we had better leave. But he wanted to talk. He said TH supports research and has supported USM research on TH pilgrims. I said that was another group in USM. Affandi explained that many of the early Malay doctors also served as Hajj doctors. The boss said yes. We asked him whether TH had publications. The boss said yes. I said it would be good if TH can provide good reports which we can use for our research at USM. In my present research on the early Malay doctors, we obtained information from the former Timbalam Pengarah TH. I said I had used information published in newspapers about hajj travels between 1900 and Merdeka (1957). He was happy to know that. I asked if TH had other reports that had the details of the doctors who served as hajj doctors between 1900 up till Merdeka. I think TH should have that information. I said I didn't use any data on health statistics or other as we have an understanding that researchers cannot publish sensitive data about TH or the pilgrims' state of health. The boss said researchers can use statistical data (how may got sick of what particular disease, etc). We were happy that the boss had shed some light on the matter. The boss was happy that I had written those 2 books and he said it was a lot of work. He thanked us for the books and we left. I forgot to take photos of him.

Affandi in front of the lifts on 11th floor, 27 December 2012

Timbalan Pengarah Negeri
Lembaga Tabung Haji Negeri Kelantan
Wisma Ilmu, Bangunan Tabung Haji
Jalan Doktor, 15000 Kota Bharu, Kelantan
D/L: +609-747 0809; +609-748 1020/748 3770; +609-748 6160
Fax: +609-744 4577
Email: tpnkbh@lth.gov.my
Web: www.tabunghaji.gov.my

Diurus oleh anak syarikat Tabung Haji
Tel: 09-744 6667
Sebarang Pertanyaan/Aduan boleh disalurkan kepada Tabung Haji Contact Centre
Tel: 03-6207 1919
Fax: 03-7727 959
SMS: 33990
Email: th-info@lth.gov.my