Thursday, 27 December 2012

Muzium Kelantan

We visited Muzium Kelantan today after we last set foot here. We entered the main office and asked for Encik Sabki Ibrahim, Muzium Kelantan's famed photographer. But the receptionist said he was busy. A lady approached us to assist. We told her we wanted to see Sabki. She said he was busy in the back office photocopying stuff for a meeting in the afternoon. She asked us to see another person instead. I took her photo before she disappeared. I don't have her name.

Receptionist at Muzium Kelantan, 27 December 2012

We were asked to see another officer, Haji Abustarim bin Yaacob. He is Penolong Pengarah (Kurator), Konservasi & Penyelidikan. I didn't see his name on his doorplate which was set high above his office door (above the door frame). I managed to quickly glimpse the doorplate above my head as we walked into his room. I only saw the word Yaacob on the doorplate. Affandi said his name is "Abu or something". We forgot to ask for his business card. We were warmly invited in and asked to be seated. Affandi salam and we both sat down to talk. Affandi gave Haji Abustarim my 2 books, and said thanks for Muzium Kelantan's help with the old photos that went into my books.

Muzium Kelantan was very helpful. It kept a lot of photos of British Kelantan and willingly assisted me from the outset of my research on The Early Malay Doctors. When I first approached Muzium Kelantan, it was a cold welcome but that slowly became good over time. I was not used to working with the Muzium and my language style had to be fine tuned to match the fine Malay language used at Muzium Kelantan. The staff were courteous and they spoke very softly, unlike the noisy staff I am used to at my workplace.

Haji Abu was very happy to receive us. Affandi did all the talking and I butted in once in a while. I took 2 photos of Haji Abu. He said nobody had written about the Malays and more so on doctors. He said my effort in writing on the early Malay doctors was a worthwhile effort in the right direction in helping to increase knowledge about the Malay people. He was very happy. He said people should be happy about the 2 books I wrote. I told him that whatever I wrote was to the best of my ability, given the published materials which I used as reference. I told him there were limited information on Kelantan for my reference. He mentioned there is Sejarah Kelantan which was written in English. He also mentioned Dr Gimlette. I reiterated Dr John Gimlette who wrote Malay Poisons and Charm Cures, and he instantly recalled that book.

I told Haji Abu that I had faced problems when trying to identify people in some of the photos as either I knew them but only as a child or I had never heard of them and did not know them by face and name. I said to him to let me know if he spots inconsistencies and mistakes. I could correct them in future, insyaAllah.

He said now that the 2 books are available, people can now read and if they find errors, they can make note of them and let me know. I said they can email me. He said it was unfair if critics bombard me after my hard work in trying to publish the 2 books; they should appreciate that the books are published. He said I must have spent a great amount of time to write the books and got them published. He said it was a great contribution to the Malay world. He was pleased that I had done a good job of publishing my 2 books. I thanked him and felt blessed. Alhamdulillah.

I said to Haji Abustarim that I hoped Muzium Kelantan would continue to assist me in my future book writing activities, insyaAllah. He agreed that Muzium Kelantan would be happy to assist me. It made me very happy to know that Muzium Kelantan is agreeable to assist me. Alhamdulillah. I took some photos while the men were talking. We then left to catch up with Encik Sabki on our way out.

Affandi with Haji Abustarim bin Yaacob, Muzium Kelantan, 27 December 2012

Encik Sabki bin Ibrahim (Pembantu Muzium, Muzium Negeri). He is the muzium photographer, He remembered us and was happy to know that the books are ready. He said he would take a look at the books later as he had a meeting to attend to. I took a photo of him with Affandi. He then asked us to see Muzium Kelantan's current display - The Red Warriors! I thought he was joking but he was not. He led us to the display section and then had to leave for his meeting. We went round to see all the displayed items including a photo of Apek, a lot of red jerseys, a lot of gigantic trophies, a wall of newspaper clippings, photos of football coaches, including Boyan Hodak! There were personal paraphenalia & memorabilia belonging to Dali Omar and Hisham ... (can't recall his name). I still marvel at the trophies - I would love to hold one up high - for what? I don't know. The 2 big trophies I saw had intricate designs and relief, that I think they must have been made by Kelantanese craftsmen or some British counterparts. I don't know where they make such huge trophies - I could put my head in the 2 large trophies! Awesome!

                                                            GOMO KLATE GOMO!!

Affandi with En Sabki bin Ibrahim (Muzium Kelantan photographer), 27 December 2012

External links

Drinking Water

In our history, many Malay households used well water for drinking, cooking, washing, bathing, watering, etc. Others used the river for the same purposes if their homes were close to rivers. Rivers were clean and there was no problem of contaminated rivers then.

A few British government homes had piped water where lead (plumbum, Pb) was used to make the metal pipes. 55 years after independence, these lead pipes are rusty and give us rusty water that stain our white school blouses a rusty colour.

There is one source of clean drinking water that the Malays used to obtain hygienic clean drinking water and that is the hollowed granite potable water. I had seen one at the Cheng Ho Expo in November 2010. I saw one outside Muzium Kelantan today.


A traditional Malay water-filtration system outside Muzium Kelantan, 27 December 2012

It makes me wonder, did the Ming Chinese introduce clean drinking water to the Malays well before the British introduced lead pipes which rusted easily? Did the Malays use hygienically doubly filtered sand-filtered granite-filtered drinking water? If they did, then the Malays had a good water filtration system well before the British colonials arrived in Malaya. Another question is, did the British colonials learn about water filtration from the Malays in Malaya during British Malaya? Did they then bring the idea back home to England and then tried making a similar system that worked?


A Chinese water filtration system, similar to that of the Malays, Cheng Ho Expo, 23 November 2010
A display board at Cheng Ho Expo, 23 Novermber 2010


Back in the mid-1970s, I was in my grandfather's kitchen while he wanted to show me his new British water filtration system. It was a dull clay colored earthen cylindrical column with a few removable parts. There was a column, a lid and some inside parts I am unable to recall. The water filter system should still be in his house in Penang. I have not seen it since he died. A similar water filter can be seen at this website:

Bazar Tuan Padang

We were in front of the new Bazar Tuan Padang today. I saw it from a distance before but this is the first time that we were close to it. I managed to get some photos from across the busy main street while we were at Muzium Kelantan.

Who was Tuan Padang? Accounts say he was a great man, an ustaz from Terengganu who was well-known in Kelantan. I don't have the complete story on him yet. Affandi said Tuan Padang's son is also an ustaz, and often appears on Malaysian TV9.

The bazaar is a new place and is named after this great ustaz. I saw people selling kain tudung here but I haven't been inside. There is a surau within the bazaar.

Bazar Tuan Padang