Friday, 28 June 2013

Isyarat Tubuh / Perkakas Dalam

Daddy interrogated Chek, 27 June 2013, mengenai "isyarat tubuh" atau "perkakas dalam". Wanita Melayu dahulu kala gemar amalkan benda mcm ni. Mereka tidak percaya kpd qada' dan qadar, dan kematian ialah ketentuan Allah SWT. Mereka sentiasa ingin kelihatan cantik molek dan supaya suami suka pada mereka, dan apabila mati, jenazah kelihatan cantik, tak perlu sumbat banyak kapas dlm faraj, jadi mereka mengamalkan perkara kurafat mcm ni. Benda mcm ni kena buang sebab ia bukan amalan dlm Islam.

Affandi interrogating his mother re "isyarat tubuh", 27 June 2013

Malay women practise what is called "isyarat tubuh" or "perkakas dalam". In the eyes of the Malay women, they must appear pretty in the eyes of their husbands. So, they practise black magic so that their husbands will not leave them for other women.

The deed is obtained from a bomoh or their own mothers when they reach puberty (marrying age). They read a verse and the genie (jin) is transferred to them. The genie resides in the vagina. What the genie does is to make the host pretty. When the host has sex, the genie functions to provide the best treat. Usually, the genie provides a rough surface that thrills the penis. It sucks the penis and doesn't let go of it. For men this can be heavenly but it is the genie at work, not the women. With the genie inside, men enjoy women better and remain with them longer. 

Other things we found out was, when the woman with a genie inside dies, she doesn't die until the genie is transferred to another person. The genie is transferred to the next closest person, usually the husband. When the husband inherits the genie and the deceased wife is buried, the husband now becomes a zombie. This zombie husband is dangerous to others he comes in contact with or meets. Usually, the existence of this genie in the husband is detected with unintelligible speech and anger episodes, a change from normal behaviour. This is most evident after 9 months of the wife's demise. 

In one instant, the widower can even beat his own son and even kill him, and try to burn the son's house down. With the genie residing in him, the widower has extraordinary strength which even a normal man cannot put him down. Thus, the widower is powerful but easily tires himself.

In an extreme scenario, the widower can even denounce his religion, and become an atheist. For a Muslim widower, this means the man is no longer a Muslim. As such, he needs to be turned in to the police or Syariah court where he faces a dear sentence for being murtad (apostate).

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Conference Call: Penang and the Hajj 2013

I'm helping to circulate this conference call on behalf of the organisers, Penang Heritage Trust, Think City, etc.

Conference Call

Title: Penang and Hajj 2013 Conference
Date: 17-18 August 2013 (after Raya)
Venue: The E & O Hotel, Lebuh Farquhar, Penang, Malaysia
Organised by: Penang Heritage Trust, Think City, etc.
General Public: Welcome, pre-registration required by 30 July 2013, lecture is open to first 100 persons

Note for speakers:

Dear speakers,

Greetings from Penang Heritage Trust!

A gentle reminder that the full paper submission is due on 17 July 2013 and you have approximately 22 days before the deadlineThe word limit for the paper is 10,000 inclusive of footnotes and bibliography. I would like to remind you that the papers will be considered for publication.

I would also like to inform you that the Penang and the Hajj poster is uploaded in PHT website. You are welcome to circulate the poster among your respective institution and fellow academia.

Again, PHT would appreciate very much if you are able to help us promote Penang and the Hajj conference. Pre-registration is required for the public audience who wish to participate. The registration form is downloadable on the website. The lecture is only open to 100 participants at a first come first serve basis. The deadline for the registration is 30 July 2013.

Do email me if there are any inquiries.

Ee Vonne.

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Life membership RM1,000 | Membership RM50 admission fee RM60 annual fee
New! Youth membership (below 18*) RM30 admission fee RM30 annual fee
Donations are tax exempt.

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Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Matron Mariah @ Chong Nyet Lin

Mary Chong Nyet Lin @ Hjh Mariah bt Abdullah, second wife of Dr Che Lah bin Md Joonos 1919 - 1996


A Chinese Christian, Ms Mary Chong Nyet Lin, was a nurse from Johor. She worked at Bangsar Hospital.

It was at Bangsar Hospital that she met her future husband. She travelled widely with Dr Che Lah, a Penang Malay doctor who was on frequent transfers. She followed him when he worked at the Malayan Railway Health Office in 1948-1950.  
At the time, Dr Che Lah was already married to his first wife, Daisy Catherine @ Daisy Maimunah and they had four grown up daughters and a young adopted Eurasian son when Dr Che Lah worked at Bangsar Hospital. 
Dr Che Lah probably wanted to have his own son. He divorced his first wife after the war and married Ms Mary Chong Nyet Lin @ Mariah on 18 May 1953. She married when she was 38 years old. 

After the war, Dr Che Lah was posted to Kelantan 1945-1946, then the Railway Health Office in Kuala Lumpur 1946-1948.

Even though he had filled in his application forms to attend the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), a check with LSHTM confirmed that he did not do his postgraduate studies there.

Dr Che Lah did a short course at Tan Tock Seng Hospital and spent his postgraduate studies at the University of Malaya in Singapore 1948-1950. He obtained the MRCP by 1951 and was on 3 months long leave (for British officers) in England and continental Europe - Holland, France and Switzerland.

He returned to the University of Malaya in Singapore, before he worked in Kuala Lumpur and the Klang Valley.

They married and honeymooned in Europe in October 1953. They returned to Malacca 1953-1955. Their son was born in February 1955 at Bangsar Hospital in Kuala Lumpur.

In November 1955, he was posted to Kuantan where he was CM&HO Pahang 1955-1958 and a royal doctor to Sultan Sir Abu Bakar.

Three years later, Dr Che Lah retired and returned to Penang. Sultan Sir Abu Bakar bestowed him a meritorious award.

In June 1958, Matron Mariah also moved from Kuantan to Penang to follow her husband, Dr Che Lah. Matron Mariah worked at the Maternity Hospital of Penang General Hospital till she retired in 1966. Her nursing uniform changed from initially white to light navy blue to dark green.

Matron Mariah's sister, Chong Chung King (CK Chong), also followed her to Penang. Dr Abdul Wahab's wife (Datin Intan bt Mustapha) said she had always seen this "Chinese lady" (CK Chong) everywhere Mariah went. She did not know that CK Chong was the blood sister of Matron Mariah.
Matron Mariah also had a close Chinese friend name Yap Fah Thye. I met aunty Yap Fah Thye once or twice before I left for California in 1976.  I met her kids when they were still small when aunty Yap lived in Petaling Jaya. I watched her son Paul played outside in the backyard and she called him into the house. I visited her and her children in their Adelaide home. Both her children are doctors - Dr Paul Yap and Dr Pauline Yap.

Dr Che Lah remained with Matron Mariah till he passed away on 23 January 1986 at the General Hospital Penang. Matron Mariah passed away on Wednesday, 2 October 1996 of chronic liver problems.

Dr Che Lah and Matron Mariah are interred next to each other at Kubur Masjid Jamek Sg Gelugor, Penang. Their graves are near the front entrance to the old green masjid grounds. The new blue-white masjid was under construction, and completed in 2014.


Kong Kong's birthday 1964

Ms Mary Chong Nyet Lin's family in Johor, 1948
Dr Che Lah with his 2 children and Ms Mary Chong Nyet Lin's family
at Kong Kong's birthday. 17 June 1964.
Mariah's father (Kong Kong) and step-mother
Mariah is second from left

With Compliments from Mr & Mrs Yeow Woon Seng

Ms Chong Chung King (CK Chong), younger blood sister of Ms Chong Nyet Lin @ Matron Mariah. Portrait of 9 November 1947
Matron Mariah (left) and Madam Yap Fah Thye (right)


Dr Che Lah worked at the Q Camp in Port Dickson 1937.


Dr Che Lah worked at the Malayan Railway Health Office in Kuala Lumpur 1946-1948.
This was his farewell before he left to do postgraduate studies.



Dr Che Lah worked as CM&HO Pahang 1955-58.


Tanah Perkuburan Islam, Masjid Sg Gelugor, Gelugor, Penang

Wedding Anniversary

June is a special month. June is also my wedding anniversary. I got married tonight but 30 years ago. This year is my 30th wedding anniversary. I was reading Quran this morning after my Subuh prayer and other prayers. Then our youngest daughter came to our room to inform my father-in-law has arrived. I was reading the last line for today's Quran reading. Affandi went first to attend to his father. I completed reading the last line and its interpretation, made my doa and went to wash my hands with soap and water. I then went to the living-room to salam my father-in-law. He's 84 years old and sadly, he was crying, sitting next to Affandi. He said in a sad tone, and salam me, saying "Maafkan Ayah, Dah .... maafkan Ayah banyak..." I was startled. I didn't say anything but just let him speak his mind. I didn't quite understand what he was trying to say except I understood "maaf" (sorry). I then prepared English breakfast for him and Affandi. I made Knorr mushroom soup because everyone in my household loves mushroom soup for breakfast. I then cut slices of French bread and applied olive oil margarine, while Ayah continued to talk to us at the breakfast table. But still, I hardly understood his sadness - why was he so very sad? We finished breakfast and as I was cleaning up the breakfast table, again Ayah said, "Maafkan Ayah, Dah .... maafkan Ayah banyak ..." and offered his hand to salam me. I returned the gesture and continued clearing the breakfast table, fast since we have to leave for work. I was thinking to myself, maybe Ayah has a lot of problems which I can't understand right now. He just got married earlier this year and I don't understand how problems can crop up this soon. What sort of problems? So, I don't know the real problem that Ayah has. Anyway, since it is my wedding anniversary, I am thankful to Allah SWT for keeping me still married to the man I married 30 years ago when I was 24. We are both the same age (he's 9 months older) and the same height (very short) but we differ very much in attainment of faith. I am lagging behind but I am catching up. The 6 kids we have are all grown up and doing fine, Alhamdulillah. I am glad I am not that nagging mother and ungrateful wife. Best of all, I am myself and I love my life for as long as I live on this Earth. I am happy as I am.

Latin guitar:

Wild flowers in my grandfather's garden in Penang

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Chong Nyet Lin: Nursing in early Kuala Lumpur

Chong Nyet Lin was born in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, 1 June 1915. She grew up in Kuala Lumpur and attended schools in Kuala Lumpur from 1922 onward when she turned 7. She completed schooling in 1931, possibly at Grade IX, and completed Senior Cambridge.

Two family photographs showed her big Chinese family. The family members appeared appropriately dressed and they seemed quite wealthy and influential for the late 1920s to early 1930s era. 

Chong Nyet Lin continued her studies at a nursing school at (possibly) General Hospital Kuala Lumpur. The building was wooden and had many windows. It is not known how long the nursing course was but only two group photographs of her exist; which indicates that the nursing course was probably for two years.

The group photographs showed her nursing instructors who were White women, either British or Australian, I can't tell. There were many Malay nurses in the nursing course, judging from the two photographs.

Chong Nyet Lin graduated in the early 1930s and worked as a registered staff nurse at Bangsar Hospital, also referred to as the European Hospital. She worked at the Maternity Hospital of the Bangsar Hospital complex and was promoted to Matron. She was known as Matron or Mariah and sometimes Madam Chong.

After she married, she followed her husband overseas and returned to Kuantan before residing in Penang.

Chong Nyet Lin in first-year nursing. She is standing in middle row at extreme right.
Chong Nyet Lin in second-year nursing. She is standing in hind row, 3rd from right.
Matron Maria in Kelantan after the war, 1948

Farewell for Dr Che Lah and Mariah at the Malayan Railway in Kuala Lumpur, 1951-52. They married in 1953. Dr Che Lah left the Malayan Railway to go to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) in 1953-55. He returned to Kuantan, Pahang.

Farewell for Dr Che Lah and Maria in Kuantan, Pahang, June 1958
Matron Maria at the Maternity Hospital in Penang, June 1958 onward.

Gathering in Port Dickson

I don't know this occasion but it seems that the doctors gathered at this wooden quarters at Port Dickson where Dr Che Lah lived with his family. His daughter can be seen carrying a child up on the verandah. According to his daughters Esther and Daisy, the house at Port Dickson and Maxwell Road in KL look similar, with verandah all around the wooden government quarters.

House in Port Dickson. Dr Che Lah is standing 6th from right.
His wife Matron Mariah is seated 3rd from right.

Conference of State Medical & Health Officers and Ancillary Department Heads 1957

Office of the
State Medical & Health Officer,
Negri Sembilan,
Seremban, 2nd December, 1957.

Dr. Che Lah bin Mohd Joonos

Dear Dr.

     I am sending herewith group photograph taken at the recent Conference of State Medical & Health Officers and Ancillary Department Heads. 18 copies were ordered at $3/= each. Please remit $3/= on receipt of this photo.

Yours sincerely,

Ag. State Medical & Health Officer,
Negri Sembilan.

Conference of SM&HO and Ancillary Dept Heads, Seremban 1957.
Dr Abdul Karim bin Nawab Din (dentist, seated 3rd left), Dr Mohamed Din bin Ahmad (first DG, seated 2nd right), Dr Che Lah bin Md Joonos (SM&HO Pahang, seated far right), Dr Hj Abbas bin Hj Alias (Dy Health Director, standing 4th left) and Dr Abdul Ghani bin Muhamad (SM&HO KL, standing far right).

Friday, 21 June 2013

Tumpat: The last train stop up north

Started from home: 9:50 am
Reached Tumpat: 10:24 am
Pushed off for home: 11:00 am
Reached home: 11:35 am

Tumpat is a small town and has many attractions. It is unlike Kuala Lumpur or Kota Bharu. Tumpat is an ancient town. Its history goes back to the Ming Dynasty of China. The Ming Chinese traders stopped here either to trade or to take shelter from the forceful monsoon rains and strong winds before they could sail safely back to China. Tumpat is a strategic sheltered port for the onward leg or the return leg for ancient Chinese vessels.

Tumpat still has the remains of the early Chinese traders who were here before Siamese rule in Kelantan. A drive around the little town in the quiet Friday morning gives some hint of Tumpat's ancient past. There's is a big ancient Chinese bungalow or godown, like the houses we see in ancient Malacca. The roof styles here  in Tumpat, in Malacca and in China have the same characteristic ancient Chinese architecture. I have mentioned about the early Chinese in Tumpat in my previous post in Facebook about Kg Laut in Tumpat.

Apart from hunting for ancient Chinese remains, Tumpat has many Siamese temples or wat Siam where Buddhist architecture and animal sculptures dominate the landscape and decorate the main entrance - elephants and tigers with colourful floral garlands. Bangla gardeners go about their daily chores, undisturbed by what goes on beyond the low perimeter wall of wat Siam. Ugly slim hound dogs can be seen walking the grounds of wat Siam

The main wet market is Pasar Besar Tumpat, a modern building that resembles the lower levels of our Parliament or RTM building in KL. It is packed with lady shoppers on Friday morning.

We came across a clearing at the end of a row of shops. There were slim bamboo poles with bird cages hanging at the top, in the warmth of the rising sun. Poor birds, they must be hot trapped in the bird cages. They are to compete later today, and win if they sing their best songs. Their masters trained them to sing. Poor birds. They sell for approximately RM2,000.00 each, depending on their voice quality.

We went to see the trains at the train station in Tumpat. The train station is perched high since Tumpat is on a lowland, a flood plain, and floods easily in the monsoon season late in the year and over the New Year holiday. The old train station has been renovated but feeling the old atmosphere is instant. The old wooden poles and beams are still intact but painted over cream and blue. The train service and repair yard is in front, across from the present railway station. There was one blue coach being serviced in the train shed. I could see glimpses of it. The brickwork of the old parts of the railway yard buildings and lighthouse are from the times of British Malaya, before independence. The Portuguese and Dutch never came this far up north. The sea is beyond the railway yard and train station, in the direction where the rail lines end at 527.75 km. Looking around at the old parts of the railway yard, it reminds me of the tram yard in Adelaide, where trams are serviced before they are rolled out onto the tracks again. Back at the main train station building, traders have just arrived with their wares for the day's trading - fresh groundnuts, bottles of freshly collected golden honey, and other forest produce. This is a typical 'weekend' scene on Friday morning.

We visited the modernised old fishing village where the signboard says Kg. Baru Nelayan, near the irrigation gates or sluice. It is an old fishing village but with a modern built-up bay and a small wooden jetty -- quite dangerous without railing. I was clicking away, totally forgotten there was no railing. A good thing I didn't fall into the river at the jetty. The view from the jetty is superb with tiny coconut trees in the distant background and colourful fishing boats by the water's edge. There were plenty of baby ikan todak in the murky waters beneath the jetty. They are probably hungry and darting about looking for food. The story "Singapura dilanggar ikan todak" is fictitious as ikan todak is only a small narrow pencil-like fish and can't attack humans. Affandi said when they grow big, the snout grows shorter, just like the other fish. Anyway, there were no banana trees in sight to support the story, "Singapura dilanggar ikan todak". Ikan todak is swordfish but it doesn't look like a sword at all. 

Tumpat train station on raised platform

Renovated old British train station at Tumpat. The square poles are wooden.
Toilet for handicapped persons
Modern train platform at Tumpat
View of the old British rail service yard
The train line ends here in Tumpat. The sea is beyond the houses and the horizon.
The longest train line in Malaysia is 527.75 km and ends in Tumpat
Old British Malayan buildings with exposed brickwork in the service yard

Malaysia's train lines
Bags of fresh groundnuts, bottles of honey ...
The trains go down to Gua Musang, Kuala Lipis, KL Sentral and Woodlands in Singapore.

Chinese bungalow or godown.
Wooden shophouse with ornate carvings
Fresh market
Bird competition and Chinese building.
Fishing village
Irrigation gate
Wooden jetty
River scene at the jetty in the fishing village in Tumpat.