Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Newspapers of the World

How many newspapers are there in this world? Many. What newspapers do university libraries subscribe to? Many. Which newspapers are free? No idea.

Adelaide University Library - newspapers listing

Straits Times Suspended 14 February 1942 issue; resumed 7 September 1945 issue

British Library - full-text, word-searchable, newspapers listing; many not available for online reading outside the British Library reading room in London

Nineteenth Century Serials Edition (NCSE) 

Digitised newspapers in Singapore

Maritime History of Port Nelson, New Zealand

I was searching for when photos were first captured and printed in Malaya and Singapore. I came across another unexpected website that had ships arriving at Port Nelson, South Island in NZ as chronicled by the Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle. The Nelson Examiner was first published on the 12th of March, 1842. The images of 1850s-1860s were wood engravings. The B/W photos were from after 1870s. Communication was by telegraph. Steamers plied between Australian and NZ ports. Ships from London sailed via Suez to India to Melbourne to Port Nelson.

Search Results for Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle


Pastpapers NZ

Photographers in Early Malaya and Singapore

There were many photos taken in Malaya and Singapore by a few photographers. I have managed to trace them by names on picture postcards (ppc) in books and from discussions in Facebook. Muzium Kelantan also contacted me to request for help to locate 2 names which we didn't know who they were. I think all the names I have seen so far have appeared either in museums and also at the link below. Some families and their relatives today may know more. The photographers' names appeared in many ways, sometimes only the last name (surname) and other times, abbreviated first and second names and the full surname.

Photographers in early Malaya and Singapore from the Janus Photograph Collection:

These photographers were:
  1. GR Lambert - 1879, he covered early photos of the harbour and ships in Siam, Penang and Singapore.
  2. Charles J Kleingrothe - during British East India Company in Sumatra. I remember writing about the origin of the word Kleingrothe (keling roti).
  3. August E Kaulfuss (1896-1909) - he took photographs of Jack Fenner in Perak (see Insun Sony Mustapha Fenner in Facebook). He usually wrote his name as Kaulfuss or A. Kaulfuss.
  4. Leonard Wray (1852-1942)
  5. William Langham-Carter (1869-1940) - he maybe the person Muzium Kelantan was trying to search when I went to Muzium Kelantan long ago. It was probably him who left 2 British photo albums with the Sultan of Kelantan before he returned to Britain. There is also a professor at the Dept of English, University of Hong Kong who is looking for his ancestor named Carter but he said his ancestor did not go far south as Malaya.

Previous related post:

People who have served BAM:
  1. Hugh Bryson (died 1977), Secretary 1952-1967
  2. GR Lambert, official photographer to the King of Siam, 1879; Lambert and Co. 1879-1918
  3. Alexander Koch, assistant photographer, Lambert and Co 1883-1884; later as manager
  4. HT Jensen 1908-1910 - his photo is in 'Twentieth Century Impressions of British Malaya.'
  5. H Nugent Buckeridge managed Lambert and Co 1914-1917; became independent commercial photographer in Singapore-WWII
  6. Charles J Kleingrothe
  7. August E Kaulfuss
  8. Leonard Wray (1852-1942) entered Perak Civil Service 1881
  9. William Langham-Carter (1869-1940); cadet in Straits Settlement 1890; held several posts in Province Wellesley 1895-1897 and 1907-1913; Singapore 1898-1906; British Adviser in Kelantan 1913-1916; Singapore judge 1916-1922; Resident-Councillor in Malacca 1922-1925; retired 1925.

Google or Babylon Image Search Results by photographer:

William Langham-Carter photos (59,600)

William Kerr worked in the Customs Department, Kelantan in 1914. In 1920 he was the Supervisor of Customs. He received/left 2 photo albums to William Langham-Carter, which were then handed to the Sultan of Kelantan. The albums were dated 1915. It showed a British doctor's carriage.

Frank Swettenham and Maps of the Straits Settlements

Frank Swettenham

I have an old photo of a white man (possibly a young Frank Swettenham) and there was some tulisan Jawi at the bottom which I can't read. Did Frank Swettenham have a moustache? Will search and upload when I find it again.

Frank Swettenham's publications:

Maps of the Straits Settlements (SS)



This post is about Bhadralok or gentlemen. You can read about it at Wikipedia.


In many Asian and European communities, there are clearly defined human classes which don't seem to go away, even with human rights and Islam where all humans are accepted as equal. I have just learned of the Bhadralok today. Not only that, there is Babu, Mirza, Raja, Nawab, etc. When I wrote my books involving some of these name prefixes, I didn't know there was meaning attached to these name prefixes. They are more than names and indicate the class position within a society, in this case, the Bengal society.

The British came to the Bengal region after the collapse of the Mughal Empire. The existing southern Indian empire also expanded northward into the Bengal region. Sure enough, it was chaotic and there were tripartite clashes. Of course people took sides. Those who sided with the British were the middle class as well as the upper middle class and the ruling elite families. So the terms above were used to describe their affinity or closeness to the ruling British regime at the time. I take it that names without these prefixes were those of the common folk of the lower classes at that time? I don't think so we attach class meanings to these prefixes nowadays? I maybe wrong.

Historical maps of India 1893:

Deutsche Botschaft Singapur

Deutsche Botschaft Singapur or German Institutions in Singapore. I was looking for the German Embassy in Singapore and tried searching for "Deutsche ..." and got the German Embassy in Singapore.

This link gives a list of German contacts in Singapore:

This link explains about legalization of documents and access to documents:

This link describes the work of the German missions:

German Political Archive:

The language division:

The German Club in Singapore 1856:

History of the German Embassy in Singapore:

Contact & email:

Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany
#12-00 Singapore Land Tower
50 Raffles Place
Singapore 048623
T: (+65) 6533 6002
F: (+65) 6533 1132

Meet Affandi

Affandi is the man who came to marry me at my mother's house in Penang. My family was delighted when he arrived at the front gate that wedding night. I was in the bridal chamber when my sister came running to me and asked, "Is he the one with a powdered face as white as a monkey?!" LOL. Yes, I remember that. Affandi had no idea that his face was painted so white! I asked him many years after we got married why he painted his face white that night when he came to marry me. Affandi explained he had never won powder before and on that wedding night the people around him said he should apply some facial powder. And they applied the chalk white Chinese powder, which is sold as a hard cake. But the funny thing is they applied so much powder that he did look funny. We had to remove some of his thick white facial powder so that he looked proper for the wedding. Sometimes it tickles me that men also have to apply powder on their face on their wedding day. That's Malay style I think.

Affandi has been supporting me and my research on The Early Malay Doctors since its beginning up till now. Sometimes he did the interviewing and asking while I listened and tried to understand. He is bestowed with a good voice. He also has very good memory and I only need to ask him what somebody said and he will blurt and regurgitate what he heard or understood. So I have never used a digital tape recorder for my research on The Early Malay Doctors and I don't have any regrets. Affandi still has the video recording of the interview with Tan Sri Dr Abdul Majid bin Ismail. We haven't converted it to MP3.  That will be the next phase in this research, insyaAllah - to document all evidence in some portable form electronically. It will take a lot of planning before I will do the necessary archiving and distribution to interested parties.

Haji Affandi bin Haji Hussien, speech-language pathologist & Head of Audiology and Speech Pathology Unit, Hospital USM, Kubang Kerian, Kelantan. Contact **affandi@kb.usm.my** and in Facebook.

Affandi has served USM since 1981. His 55th birthday is on 20 January 2013. InsyaAllah, we will have nasi briyani for his birthday lunch in my department. 

Affandi attended school in Pahang. He attended the St Thomas Primary School in Kuantan, Pahang. Affandi grew up in the hands of his step-mother since age 6. He helped his step-mother to sell nasi lemak since age 6. He woke up early in the morning to cook rice and prepare sambal ikan bilis, cut the cucumber and boiled the eggs. Then he packed the rice, and placed all in a basket, and went to sell them at the police barrack in Bukit Galing, Kuantan in Pahang. The money obtained from the sales of nasi lemak was given to his step-mother. With so much duties to do for his siblings and the food selling to do, Affandi left school at age 15 (Form 3). He never went back to school but went to work as a bilal at Masjid Pasir Mas, under the tutelage of an Arab-Malay Imam, Haji Othman, from whom he studied the Quran verbally. He had good memory and can recite the Quran very well. At that stage, he had never learnt the Jawi script in the Quran but he could recite any verse as taught by Haji Othman. Later Haji Othman died and Affandi was left alone without a Quran teacher to guide his recitations. He went to work for another Imam, this time under the tutelage of Haji Loh Lubok Tapah, within Pasir Mas. Since Affandi had no money to pay Haji Loh, he went about cleaning the living quarters of the pondok at Lubok Tapah instead so he could stay on and learn from Haji Loh and the other students at the pondok. Then he left to work as a janitor at the government office (MPKB) in Kota Bharu. There he learnt of the many government servants and the nature of their jobs. He made a few friends, some of whom have remained his friends till today. He then went to work as a piling assistant in the rural areas, planting telephone and electricity poles (tiang letrik) in the rural areas, so these areas could have electricity as well as telephone connection. Then he went to work as a clerk at a school in Batu Uban, within Pasir Mas. He helped the teachers to fill in forms for higher studies. Then he applied for a job at USM in Penang. He became a clerk at the USM main library in Penang in 1981. Then he met me in June 1982 and we got married on 25 June 1983. Affandi came to live in my mother's house in Penang after we married. Of course my mother pampered him and fed him all the lovely food of a continental menu. It was the first time that Affandi ever tasted toast, butter and jam at breakfast. He liked jam so we always buy a bottle of strawberry jam for him and make sure there is toast, butter and jam for him at breakfast. That's what I call over pampering. When Affandi married me, he decided to continue his studies to match my status (I had my MSc). He continued to do his MCE/SPM and HSC by postal studies. I also enrolled him for driving lessons in Penang so he could take over driving my car, and for good. I stopped driving since I got married to him. It should not mean that I don't know how to drive. But I don't drive like crazy as in the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!! 

Affandi and I moved to Kubang Kerian in Kelantan, in September 1983, less than 3 months after we married. In Kelantan, I was able to meet Affandi's family for the first time. I never met the family before we married. It was then that I knew there was a lot I had to do for his siblings. We went to get some food, clothing and school items for the kids. Their food cupboard at home was always bare. In the early 1980s, the Malaysian economy was bad and salaries were small. Affandi earned $200 a month, and always sent his salaries home but it was not sufficient to make ends meet. The younger siblings were stark naked. The family was often without food. Rent was $50/month at the time. The living conditions were appalling - the roof leaked so badly that one night's shower was enough to awaken everyone except the little ones who just slept through, drenched! I held on to my prayers and helped out as much as I could to get his family back on their feet, fed and feel human. While some of the boys wanted to leave school, we managed to encourage all the siblings to continue school. Alhamdulillah, everyone completed school at Form 5. Affandi tended to the form-filling chore which he was good at, and some of the boys managed to obtain scholarships and got good jobs. Affandi and I can only thank Allah SWT for saving his family and pulling them out of abject poverty. Now I understand what poverty really means. Syukur, Alhamdulillah.

When I went to do my PhD in Australia, I brought Affandi along so he could pick up on English, both written and spoken. It was his first time being overseas and seeing big white people with strange enough behaviours. He managed to enroll at TAFE College in New South Wales. He also managed to enroll for studies at Sturt College in Perth. He also enrolled for various studies at TAFE College in Perth. Altogether, he has certificates in medical records, hospital administration, etc. He also managed to enroll for Quran reading at Marion Mosque in Adelaide and at Perth Mosque when we lived in Perth. The Turkish Imam Salem at Marion Mosque taught him how to read Jawi script in the Quran. The Egyptian Imam Muhammad at Perth Mosque taught him Tajwid for Quran reading & recitation. So over the 4 years we lived in Australia, Affandi learned to read the Quran Jawi script and recitation. He also went to Makkah and there was an Imam there (could be a malaikat) in Masjidil Haram who listened to his Quran recitation and corrected him. Affandi managed to complete (khatam) his Quran reading/recitation each time he went to Makkah and Madinah. He has mastered Quran reading and recitation so well, that is it a blessing for him to be able to recite some long Surah in his night prayers (Qiamullail). He has never stopped reciting the Quran nor performing the Qiamullail. In his spare time, Affandi reads the Quran, fasts and prays. He has a large collection of Quran and Islamic books. He also inherited my father's Islamic books. He also returns to visit some pondoks and the orphanages in Kota Bharu, mainly to help out the poor kids since he understands them better than most people do. He will speak to the caretakers and I get second-hand information from him if there is anything we must do to help. 

When I went to do my first Sabbatical Leave at Royal Perth Hospital, I brought along my family. From Perth, Affandi applied for a place at UKM to do a degree in speech pathology. UKM accepted him and I cut short my Sabbatical Leave and we flew back to Kelantan, so that Affandi could go to study at UKM. Since Affandi was "over age" to obtain any scholarship for his studies at UKM, we decided to use our savings. Affandi was on "no pay leave" when he did his degree at UKM for 4 years. We were already living in our own house and both of us paid our dues to the government. But since Affandi had no pay during his time at UKM, I received an eviction order from the government. It was a big blow to me. I had to quickly decide what to do because Affandi was far away and I was on my own in Kelantan, and with 5 small kids in tow - one baby was on bottle milk, two toddlers were preschoolers and 2 kids were in primary school. I had no choice but to pay Affandi's half of the dues to the government. Altogether, I paid approximately $2,000 monthly till Affandi graduated and got back his pay. We were lucky as during that difficult period I was promoted and had a little bit extra money to pay for his education and our house. He was commuting monthly by bus between KL and KB. We decided to get a car (a Wira) so he could car pool and travel to clinics for his practical clinical sessions at the various places as assigned by his teachers at UKM. I had my last child when Affandi was in his final year. Affandi completed his degree in 2000. We then went on our first Hajj together via Tabung Haji. We made it! Alhamdulillah.

Affandi has a Chinese father and a Malay-Chinese mother. His Chinese surname is Wong. Nee how ma? How pu how? His mother's village is Kg Gajah Mati in Jalan Gajah Mati, Kota Bharu, Kelantan, near the Baptist Church. His father's village was a Chinese concentration camp made by the British to protect their Chinese citizens from the Japanese slayings during WWII. The camp was located in Kuala Balah, midway between Gua Musang and Jeli. The family then relocated to Jalan Hamzah in the post-war, becoming one of the wealthiest Chinese family in Kota Bharu, Kelantan. That's history. But fate has it and Affandi's father turned to Islam at age 21 while in the British police force based in Kota Bharu. Conversion to Islam was not allowed during that time. So his father kept it a secret. It was only made known at the time of his marriage. Then the family went to live in an old palace at Nilam Puri. The rest is history.

I asked Affandi a few times what he wanted to be when he was a little boy. Affandi said he had always wanted to become a doctor!! Even though he did not become a doctor, Affandi's work today draws him close to patients who need his service. Affandi is blessed with a soft spot in his heart when he attends to his patients. He reads the Quran and prays Solat Dhuha before he sees his patients. He is calm when he attends to them. He knows that Allah SWT sees and helps him in his work. He has to remind his patients to read the Quran and also pray. I am surprised to come to know that most patients do not pray. I am happy that Affandi is doing well today, coming from a difficult childhood. Subhanallah, Walhamdulillah, Walaa ila ha-ilallah, Wallahuakbar.

Affandi was born in a house by Sungai Kelantan.
View Rumah tepi sungai in a larger map.

Penang Wooden Homes

Early Malay houses in Penang were tiny wooden homes on stilts, a little bit bigger than the Orang Asli huts. Today, they have a brick base and a wooden upper floor. Sometimes the lower floor is walled to create additional space for the family. These homes no longer use atap nipah and most homes use corrugated Addex sheets or some fire-proof roofing materials. The exterior is painted with black oil and the brick is painted chalk white. In the dark, only the painted white bases are seen.

While house owners pay a premium for living in comfortable concrete homes, many Malay people still prefer wooden homes as they are airy and ventilation is better. However, with today's climatic changes and the atmosphere warming up globally, even these wooden homes are affected. It is now very hot in the wooden homes and impossible to live in without fans or air-conditioning. That's how bad the weather has worsened and affected Malay life in these wooden homes. I have not measured the temperatures inside these wooden homes but it was very hot when I was at home in Penang. Sometimes I wonder whether it is the hot weather that has affected the Malay people and caused the rise in kidney problems among the Malays and the rising statistics of those who died of renal complications. There is an urgent need to keep these homes as cool as they were once before despite increasing global temperatures.

I'm not sure what we can do but I think we have less big trees today than before. We have more cars and thus more pollution today than before. We also have more acid rain today than before, which kills the grass and ground cover, and drains the topsoil of nutrients, so nothing much can grow on poor topsoil. There are concrete pavements everywhere and no more dusty foot paths with just grass as before. There are less bushes than before and thick concrete fences fill almost all homes instead. There is more cement in the garden than lawn nowadays. All these make the wooden homes hotter inside and unbearable at noon and at night when heat is trapped in the homes. I have heard inhabitants complained but there is nobody to lend a helping hand or give some answers to the wooden home owners. Instead, we continue to build concrete skyscraper homes. Who needs these sky-high concrete homes? Haven't we given thought to the plights of the wooden home owners? Should we give wooden home owners the onus of "no taxes to be paid" since they are helping to keep the living spaces green and livable? We can raise the tax for concrete homes instead so we drive the message home and stud the dry brains with some good thoughts.

That's me beside my car at my late mother's wooden home. My late grandfather's semi-wooden home is in the background.