Sunday, 14 December 2014

Book: Pages From My Past

"Pages From My Past" by Kamaruddin Abdullah (2013; second printing 2014)
Published by Kalsom Taib Publishing, Kuala Lumpur (
304 pages
Coloured covers and spine
ISBN-13: 978-967-585-901-4
ISBN-10:        967-585-901-6

Book launch: 24 November 2013
Price: RM50 per copy
Available from major bookstores

I received a copy of this book from the author. It arrived at my office in December 2014. He also runs a blog at, from where a selection of the stories for the book was taken. Additionally, there are B/W photos and his own B/W and coloured sketches in the book.

The language is simple and the equivalent words in Muar's dialect are clearly explained.

The glossary helps to understand Muar's dialect - for example, pawancak (new Malay spelling) or pawanchak (old Malay spelling) for private taxi. Another one is kacra (flirt).

I like the layout very much. No where have I seen a book like this - nicely made for the curious reader. The book has a good smooth feel when held in the hands.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Seminar Pemerkasaan Warisan Melayu Pulau Pinang

Subjek: Jemputan ke Seminar Pemerkasaan Warisan Melayu Pulau Pinang: Cabaran dan Harapan

Pusat Penyelidikan Dasar dan Kajian Antarabangsa (CenPRIS), Universiti Sains Malaysia dengan kerjasama Persatuan Warisan Melayu Pulau Pinang (PEWARIS) dan Think City akan menganjurkan Seminar Pemerkasaan Warisan Melayu Pulau Pinang: Cabaran dan Harapan pada 1 November 2014 (Sabtu), jam 8.30 pagi hingga 5.30 petang bertempat di Dewan Persidangan Universiti (DPU), USM. Antara objektif utama adalah untuk:

  1. Membicarakan cabaran dan harapan warisan Melayu Pulau Pinang dalam arus perbandaran dan permodenan.
  2. Menjejak dan meneroka khazanah warisan Melayu Pulau Pinang dan kesinambungan tinggalannya.
  3. Mempertingkatkan pengetahuan dan memberi pendedahan kepada generasi muda tentang warisan Melayu Pulau Pinang.
  4. Memperkasa dan merakyatkan warisan Melayu Pulau Pinang ke akar umbi.
  5. Mengekal dan memulihara warisan Melayu Pulau Pinang.

Majlis akan dirasmikan oleh Y. Bhg. Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, Timbalan Pengerusi, Khazanah Nasional Berhad. Untuk keterangan lanjut, sila hubungi:

Puan Aniza Daud                          :    04-6533389/
Puan Samsuriati Syamsuddin     :    04-6533385/


Dr. Azeem Fazwan Ahmad Farouk
Timbalan Pengarah
Pusat Penyelidikan Dasar dan Kajian Antarabangsa (CenPRIS)
Universiti Sains Malaysia

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Pudu Prison

  • Pudu Prison
  • Pudu Jail

Photos from Kuala Lumpur Old Pictorial Threads at

Developmental Milestones of Pudu Prison (Pudu Jail)
  • site was dense jungle with tigers roaming
  • former site of Chinese burial ground
  • construction used convict labour
  • 1891-1895 construction of Pudu Jail on Shaw Road (now Jalan Hang Tuah)
  • cost $16000 Straits dollars
  • medium security
  • 394-metre prison wall
  • small dark cells with a shoebox-sized window per cell
  • opened 1895-1996 & 2003-2008 (operated for total 106 years)
  • the first governor of Pudu Prison was Lt. Col. JAB Ellen
  • Aug 1895 cholera struck prison via an infected old well from the former burial ground
  • the well problem was fixed in 1898 (after 3 years)
  • In 1911, Richard Alfred Ernest Clark was one of the European warders of Pudu Prison
  • the only prison in Selangor
  • initially imprisoned men and women with short sentences
  • later imprisoned criminals and drug offenders
  • administered rotan caning
  • had its own vegetable garden and was self sufficient
  • During World War II (1941-1945), the Japanese occupation forces incarcerated many Allied POWs at Pudu Prison
  • 11 June 1981 execution of Botak Chin
  • In 1984, an inmate named Khong Yen Chong used approx. 2,000 litres of paint to create a mural of tropical scenes. It measured approx. 860 feet by 14 feet and was mentioned in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest mural in the world. Khong was unable to complete the mural as an inmate. He returned later as a free man and volunteered his time to complete his masterpiece.
  • 1986 execution of 2 young Australians - Kevin Barlow and Brian Geoffrey Chambers
  • 1986 Pudu Prison seige
  • closed 1996 (Malaysian Prison Dept 1895-1996; 101 years) 
  • Inmates relocated to Sg Buloh and Kajang prisons
  • 1997 used as a museum
  • 1998 Pudu Prison exhibition
  • closed 2008 (Royal Malaysian Police 2003-2008; 5 years)
  • 2009 used as a day holding facility for prisoners attending court hearings
  • June 2009 government decided to demolish Pudu Prison
  • June 2010 east wall demolished
  • Dec 2012 the entire prison was demolished, leaving the main gate and a portion of the exterior wall
  • former prison site can be viewed from the monorail between Imbi and Hang Tuan stations
  • 2014 redevelopment by UDA Malaysia at US$1billion, for an integrated commercial and transportation hub

External links:
Pudu Jail

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Hospital Raja Perempuan Zainab II (HRPZ2)

General Hospital Kota Bharu (GHKB)
Hospital Besar Kota Bharu (HBKB)
Hospital Kota Bharu (HKB)
Hospital Raja Perempuan Zainab II (HRPZ2) - 5 Sept 2005 till present

Hospital Director: Dr Ghazali Hasni bin Md Hassan
Hospital Raja Perempuan Zainab II
Jalan Hospital
15000 Kota Bharu
Kelantan Darul Naim, Malaysia
Phone: 09-745 2000
Facebook: HRPZ2
History of HRPZ2
Founded: 1 January 1920


British Doctors in Kelantan

Kota Bharu had British medical doctors at the turn of the century. Their names have been published in a local newspaper and a book written by Dr JD Gimlette, Malay Poisons and Charms. One of the early British officers in Kelantan left behind 2 photo albums in the hands of the late then Sultan, which are now kept by Muzium Kelantan. I have reproduced some of the photos of the British doctors from Muzium Kelantan as shown below. These photos are cropped and edited by me in Zoner Photo Studio 15.

Refer page 328 in Biography of the Early Malay Doctors 1900-1957 Malaya and Singapore.

History of GHKB / HRPZ2
(Taken and edited from its Facebook, 10 August 2014)

Kota Bharu General Hospital began its operations in the 1920s. The building was situated just off the town of Kota Bharu which is now the Kota Bharu Municipal Council building (bangunan MPKB). The early hospital building consists of two buildings, a building known as the "European Ward" and another building was allocated for the people of Kelantan.

From me: Dr Ali Othman Merican @ Mohomed Ally Merican (Dr AO Merican, b.1890-d.1945) was the first Penang Malay doctor. He moved to Kelantan in 1927 and set up private practice called the Dispensary, at Jalan Hulu Pasar, close to the then Pasar Besar Kota Bharu. The clinic was within walking distance from the then hospital (on MPKB ground). There was no piped water in Kota Bharu in 1927, water had to be carried from a well behind the clinic for use in the market. Little boys were hired to carry buckets of water from the well to the fresh market. Piped water was only available in Kota Bharu from 1939 onwards.

Services provided at that time was of Medicine and Surgery and cases are placed in a ward, and this included maternity cases. At the same time the new hospital building began and was completed in 1938.

Total members who served at that time consisted of two doctors, Dr Gimlet Dr JD Gimlette as Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and assisted by Dr Mark Loi. Support members consisted of a Hospital Supervisor, 5 Dressers (Administrative Assistants), a Matron and four nurses.

From me: One of the Dressers was Mr Timothy Wong, a millionaire, whose family resided at Jalan Hamzah in Kota Bharu. His grave is at the Christian cemetery in front of KB Mall.

In 1938 the transfer from the thatched-roof hospital (hospital atap) to a new brick hospital starts in stages, except for the maternity ward (now Mother And Child Health Clinic at Kota Bharu). The transfer was completed in 1950.

The new Kota Bharu General Hospital building was fully operational in 1938, with eight wards and services offered that have been improved. These services are Medical / Surgical / Veneral Diseases Ward (VD) / Leprosy Ward (LW), and the last ward that moved in here was the Maternity Ward.

In the same year (1938), the Kota Bharu General Hospital had a surgeon, Dr KD Fraser - he was the first surgeon working for the Kelantan State.

In December 1938, the war broke out when the Japanese forces entered Kota Bharu. They used the hospital as a base for a week and they recognized Kota Bharu General Hospital workers. At that time Dr Evan (CMO) and Dr Fraser (Surgeon) had left Kota Bharu and were heading to Singapore. Indirectly, In the interim, Dr RS Arurampalam served as CMO.

From me: Dr AO Merican had passed away in Kota Bharu on 17 June 1945, before the end of the Second World War (WWII). He is laid to rest at the Kelantan royal cemetery in Langgar, Kota Bharu.


After losing the First Second World War (WWII) in 1943 1945, Japan left Kota Bharu. In early 1944 1945 the administration of Kota Bharu General Hospital was taken over by the British Medical Army (BMA) under the administration of Dr Major Flowski. He administered the hospital for one year and handed over to Dr Evan in 1946 followed by Dr Gibson in 1948, and Dr Issac until the year 1950.

From me: Dr MJ Che Lah was an early Malay doctor who served in Kota Bharu after the war. He was the Medical Officer, MO (LA) Grade I, at the Civil General Hospital Kuala Lumpur on 21 September 1945. He was transferred to Kota Bharu where he served as Health Officer (HO) Grade I on 11 December 1945. He was earning $5,640 per annum ($470 per month). Four months later, Dr Che Lah worked at the State Hospital in Kota Bharu, Kelantan. He served as Medical Director (MD) Grade I on 30 April 1946 and his salary was raised to $5,820 per annum ($485 per month). Dr Che Lah was then transferred and worked in the Health Department, Malayan Railway Administration, in Kuala Lumpur as the Acting Health Officer on 21 June 1946.

In 1950 Dr RE Anderson took over position from Dr Issac as CMO. He began planning the new hospital development. A nurses hostel building was erected where Obstetrics and Gynaecology (O&G) clinic is located now. He also eliminated the "European Ward". In the 1950s, services were enhanced.


Meanwhile, dental care services were organized and launched by Al-Sultan Yahya Petra, the son of the late Al-Sultan Ibrahim.

As a result of rise in tuberculosis (TB), in 1958, the TB ward construction started and was inaugurated on 5 June 1961 (21 Muharram 1380) by His Majesty Yahya Petra, son of the late Sultan Al-Ibrahim.

Malaysian Hospital Directors

Kota Bharu Hospital in this millennium, continues to forge ahead towards excellence under the leadership of a competent director, starting with Dato' Dr Haji Abdul Razak bin Haji Kechik, followed by Dr Husayn bin Othman, Dr Mary Abraham, and then Y Bhg Datin Dr Hajah Aesah @ Zaharah bt Haji Awang, Dr Mohamad bin Ismail, and now Dr Ghazali Hasni bin Md Hassan.

Progress of Hospital

Under their leadership, Kota Bharu Hospital continues to move scaling up success after success in 2002, Kota Bharu Hospital received the Prime Minister Quality Award (Public Sector) and the Ministry of Health in conjunction with the Special Award for quality day. Kota Bharu Hospital success etched, not only at the national level but also made a name at the International level, where in 2004, Kota Bharu got CONFRAC certified by the National French and Certification BS EN ISO 9001: 2000 (UKAS) by the United Kingdom.

Indeed, the excellent history of the Kota Bharu Hospital established itself as a reputable and distinguished institution to date. Therefore it is very appropriate if the hospital is recognized by its new name that is Hospital Raja Perempuan Zainab II on 5th September 2005.

Hospital Renaming (5 September 2005)

Kota Bharu Hospital Renaming Opening Ceremony to Hospital Raja Perempuan Zainab II, Kota Bharu was executed by His Majesty the Sultan of Kelantan, Tuanku Ismail Petra, son of the late Sultan Yahya Petra, on Monday, 5 September 2005 (1 Sha'ban 1426 Hijrah), located in the forecourt of Hospital Raja Perempuan Zainab II, Kota Bharu, Kelantan.

From me: The old MPKB market building was demolished in October 2011 and a modern condominium now stands in its place in 2014. The condominium is within walking distance of the HRPZ2.

External links

Dato' Dr Haji Abdul Razak bin Haji Kechik

Dr Adlin Zafrulan Zakaria

One of our USM Master of Medicine (MMed) graduates is Dr Adlin. He came to the Welcoming Session of the new MMed students (17 women) this morning, Sunday, 10 August 2014. I'm glad he came. I gave him a set of my books for HRPZ2 library. The present Hospital Director is Dr Ghazali Hasni bin Md Hassan.

Dr Adlin Zafrulan Zakaria
Chemical Pathology, Dept of Pathology
Hospital Raja Perempuan Zainab II (HRPZ2)
15586 Kota Bharu, Kelantan
Office tel: +6-09-745 2408

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

The Train Stations at Palekbang and Pasir Mas

It was Raya morning and I was talking to my mother-in-law. I call her Chek Daddy. She is called Yah in her village. Her name is Mariah @ Shamsiah bt Ahmad, a local from Kampung Gajah Mati village in Kota Bharu.

Chek was born in 1937. I asked Chek about train travels before the Sultan Ismail bridge was built. This is her story. According to Chek, she had travelled on the train from Palekbang to Butterworth (now Seberang Perai) via Siam. Palekbang had a big train station. Pasir Mas also had a big train station. Tumpat was where the trains were stored and repaired. Trains from Tumpat came down to Palekbang to pick up passengers, and moved onward to Pasir Mas. From Pasir Mas, the train lines split into 2, one went towards Tanah Merah and onward to Seberang Prai. Another train line went up north to Siam and came back down to Seberang Perai.

I remember writing the biography for Dr Ali Othman Merican in Biography of the Early Malay Doctors 1900-1957 Malaya and Singapore. In his biography, I mentioned that he took a train from Butterworth to Palekbang via Siam. It was a 2-day journey.

According to Chek, Palekbang train station has ceased to exist today. I passed by the site and saw remnants of its columns standing among the overgrowth. Chek and Affandi said that the train line from Tanah Merah to Butterworth has ceased to exist. They also said that the train line from Pasir Mas to Siam and back down to Butterworth has ceased to exist.

I have no further information of train travels within Kelantan and Malaya before 1969.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Tuan Haji Mohd Yusof and Al-Ahmadiyah Press, Kota Bharu

Al-Ahmadiyah Press
Lorong Ceti
Kota Bharu, Kelantan

Al-Ahmadiyah Press is an old Malay-owned printing press in Kota Bharu, Kelantan. It is beside the ceti, or Lorong Ceti at Kampung Gajah Mati.

Al-Ahmadiyah Press in Kota Bharu.
I met the owner of Al-Ahmadiyah Press, Tuan Haji Mohd Yusof, on first Hari Raya Aidilfiltri, 28 July 2014, at his home. I gave him a copy of my book and asked if I could take some photos.

Tuan Haji Mohd Yusof of Al-Ahmadiyah Press in Kota Bharu. 28 July 2014
Tuan Haji Mohd Yusof with son Dr Aziz (USM). 28 July 2014

According to Tuan Haji Mohd Yusof, Al-Ahmadiyah Press is still operating in Kota Bharu today. It prints all sorts of books.

Tuan Haji Mohd Yusof (70; born 1944) remembers Dr Abdul Aziz bin Omar and his sons, Rashid, Rahim, etc. He confirmed that Dr Abdul Aziz's clinic was in front of the bus station. He knew the wives and their house in Telipot. He said that Dr Abdul Aziz was originally from Penang.

Tuan Haji Mohd Yusof also remembers Dr Ezanee Merican and his brothers, Dr Carleel Merican and Rahim Merican. He also remembers Tamin Merican. He knew Dr Ezanee lived in front of SIC and Sultan Ismail School. However, he did not know Dr Ezanee's father, Dr Ali Othman Merican who passed away in 1945.

Tuan Haji Mohd Yusof still remembers much of Kota Bharu. He remembers the Cold Storage at the opposite end but in the same row as Dr Ezanee Merican's clinic. The Cold Storage is no longer there today but moved long ago, to Lorong Long Yunus, near the old Mobil petrol pump (now demolished).

Tuan Haji Mohd Yusof remembers Dr Ezanee's clinic is in front of the old fresh market, Pasar MPKB (later pasar kain; demolished in 2008). A new condominium now stands in place of Pasar MPKB in 2014.

Tuan Haji Mohd Yusof lives with his son's family in a big double-storey bungalow at Kubor Maras, behind Masjid Langgar, enter near EON, and some distance from Billion shopping centre. He has a vast garden with lots of fruit trees. He built his house here in 1980. His son's own new house is in the adjacent plot.

Tuan Haji Mohd Yusof's wife (63; born 1949) was known as 'Cucu Mak Domek'. She had passed away at KLIA, on the return flight from Bandung to KLIA in December 2012. She is laid to rest at Kubor Maras nearby.

Tuan Haji Mohd Yusof and wife (cucu Mak Domek)
(edited pic from photo captured from wall frame)

Tuan Haji Mohd Yusof has 3 children. One of them is Dr Abdul Aziz b Mohd Yusof. Dr Abdul Aziz graduated in Biomedicine from UKM, and did his PhD in the UK. He is married to a lady from Alor Gajah, Melaka, who previously worked as a banker, but stopped working when the couple moved to the UK where Dr Abdul Aziz worked for his PhD research in genetics. They have 4 children. The eldest daughter will leave for KLE Belgaum in September 2014, to take up USM's twinning program in medicine. The second is a tall son. The third is a son. The youngest is a small girl. They are expecting child #5 in 2 weeks time.

Dr Abdul Aziz is a close friend of Affandi. They work together at HUSM. According to Affandi, Dr Abdul Aziz had worked at the private lab AKUDIA in Kota Bharu before he went to UK to do his PhD. I had designed the logo for AKUDIA for a microbiology lecturer.

Information about 'Cucu Mak Domek' from Hashimah Hussain, Penang. 28 July 2014

Tuan Haji Mohd Yusof passed away on 5 January 2015. He was buying food when he collapsed at the stall. People there knew him and called his son Dr Aziz. Affandi went to help Dr Aziz with burial rites.

He is laid to rest next to his wife at Kubor Maras, near where EON KB is.

EON KB at the entrance and junction to Kubor Maras.
Tuan Haji Mohd Yusof's wife was known as 'Cucu Mak Domek'. It is unknown what 'Domek' referred to or meant. According to Hashimah (Affandi's youngest sister), Domek or Do Mek is commonly used to refer to an aunt (mak saudara).

External links
Al-Ahmadiah, Singapore

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Book Review: Biography of the Early Malay Doctors ...

Review Copy

Xlibris has mailed out a review copy to each of 4 international reviewers for the book. The review copy has a different cover compared to the real book. Some review pages and information are also included in the review copy. The review copy is prepared, printed and mailed out by the publisher on behalf of the author. 1 July 2014.

Book Review: Biography of the Early Malay Doctors...

A book review was kindly written by Tan Sri Datuk Dr Ridzwan Bakar for the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA), which appeared in the February 2014 issue of the MMA bulletin, Berita MMA.

Tan Sri Datuk Dr Ridzwan Bakar PSM PJN
Consultant Cardiologist
Pantai Medical Centre
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Obituary: DYMM Paduka Seri Almarhum Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah


His majesty Sultan Azlan Shah passed away on 28 May 2014. He leaves behind a wife Tuanku Bainun bt Mohd Ali (81), a crown prince Raja Dr Nazrin Shah (58) and 3 princesses. A second prince Raja Ashman Shah had passed away in 2012 - he was with the Haqqani Foundation, a sufi group. All the princes and princesses are married and have children.


Prince Azlan Shah was born on 19 April 1928 at Kg Manggis, Batu Gajah in Perak, the youngest prince of Sultan Sir Yussuf Shah and his second wife, Hajah Khadijah bt Dato' Sri Ahmad.


Prince Azlan Shah received his early education at the Government English School in Batu Gajah before he attended the Malay College in Kuala Kangsar. Raja Azlan Shah then continued his studies overseas at the University of Nottingham (Hon DCL) and at Lincoln’s Inn in London. He obtained the Barr-at-Law in 1954.


He returned to serve in the Malayan Government Service.

1954-1955 :  Assistant State Secretary of Perak
1955-1956 :  First Class Magistrate
1957-1959 :  President of Sessions Court
1959         :  Federal Legal Counsel and DPP for Perak

1959-1961 :  Legal Advisor in Pahang
1961-1962 :  Legal Advisor in Johor
1962-1963 :  Registrar of the High Court of Malaya
1963-1965 :  Chief Registrar Federal Court
1965-1973 :  Judge High Court
1973-1978 :  Judge Federal Court

1974-1976 :  Chair Higher Education Advisory Council
1979-1982 :  Chief Justice
1982-1984 :  Lord President of the High Court

He received the Honorary Bencher from Lincoln’s Inn in 1988.

He was the Royal Patron of The Malaysian Law Society in Great Britain and Eire, and the British Graduates Association of Malaysia.


The Perak royalty is linked to the ancient Malacca Sultanate and the Siak Sultanate, both have origins in Sumatra.

Raja Azlan Shah ascended to the Perak throne via a predetermined sequential royal appointment that is unique to the Perak royal household. It consists of a series of posts, each is held by an eligible prince. A prince moves up the serial posts when the one above it becomes vacant (as in death of a prince).

A prince starts his appointment as Raja Kechil Bongsu, and then becomes Raja Kechil Tengah, Raja Kechil Sulong, and Raja Kechil Besar, before he becomes the Heir Apparent, Raja Muda.

In old B/W landscape photographs of the Perak royal household, these 5 princes appear with the ruling sultan, his wife, and palace guests.

Raja Azlan Shah first became Raja Kechil Bongsu in 1962, and finally became the Raja Muda in 1983 (21 years).

Raja Kechil Bongsu  : 19 August 1962
Raja Kechil Tengah  : 1 March 1963
Raja Kechil Sulong   : 1 January 1978
Raja Kechil Besar    :  1 August 1978
Raja Muda              :  1 July 1983


The Perak royal tradition follows the Malacca Sultanate at Johor-Riau-Lingga, whereby the incoming sultan must be announced before the burial of the deceased sultan can take place.

Raja Azlan Shah ascended to the Perak throne when his cousin passed away on 31 January 1984. Sultan Azlan Shah was proclaimed at Ipoh on 3 February 1984, and crowned at Istana Kinta in Kuala Kangsar on 9 December 1985.


Sultan Azlan Shah became Timbalan Yang di-Pertuan Agung (Deputy King) in 1984, before he became Yang di-Pertuan Agung (King) in 1989. Dr Mahathir Mohamad was the Prime Minister of Malaysia during this time (1983-2003).

Timbalan Yang di-Pertuan Agung :  9 February 1984
Installed at Istana Negara in Kuala Lumpur :  29 April 1984
(5-year term : 1984-1989)

Yang di-Pertuan Agung :  2 March 1989
Crowned at Istana Negara in Kuala Lumpur :  26 April 1989
(5-year term : 1989-1994)

Completed term as Agung :  25 April 1994
(Total term served at Federal level : 10 years)

After serving their term as the King and Queen of Malaysia, Sultan Azlan Shah and Tuanku Bainun returned to Perak in 1994. They continued to rule Perak as Sultan and Permaisuri.


As the King of Malaysia, Sultan Azlan Shah was in charge of the Malaysian Army (Angkatan Tentera Malaysia, ATM), Royal Malaysian Navy (Tentera Laut Diraja Malaysia, TLDM) and Royal Malaysian Air Force (Tentera Udara Diraja Malaysia, TUDM).

He was the Field Marshal of the Malaysian Army (ATM), Admiral of the Royal Malaysian Navy TLDM), and Marshal of the Royal Malaysian Air Force (TUDM) (26 April 1989-25 April 1994).


As the Sultan of Perak, he was the Col-in-Chief of the Royal Malay Regiment (Regimen Askar Melayu Diraja, RAMD) (1997-2014).


As the Sultan of Perak, he was the Col-in-Chief of the Royal Regiment of Engineers (1997-2014).


Raja Azlan Shah was the Pro-Chancellor of Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM 1971-1984) and was the recipient of the Honorary Doctorate of Letters & Literature (Hon DLL).

He was the Chancellor of Universiti Malaya (UM 1986) and received the Honorary Doctor of Literature (Hon D.Lit.)

In 1990, he was the recipient of 3 Honorary DCL from 3 ASEAN universities - Gajah Mada University, Brunei University, and Chulalongkorn University.

Pro-Chancellor USM  :  1971-1984 (Hon DLL)
Chancellor UM  :  1986 (Hon D.Lit.)
Gajah Mada U, Brunei U, Chulalongkorn U  :   1990 (Hon DCL)


Sultan Azlan Shah was appointed an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (Dublin), Royal College of Surgeons of England, Edinburgh, and Dublin (undated).

He was a Royal Patron of the Academy of Medicine of Malaysia (AMM).

He was a Royal Patron of the St John Ambulance Association of Perak (1984-2014).


In sports, Sultan Azlan Shah was mostly associated with hockey. He was the Vice-President of the Asian Hockey Federation (1973-1981), then President of the Malaysian Hockey Federation (1981-2004), and President of the International Hockey Federation (undated).

Vice-President of Asian Hockey Federation  :  1973-1981
President Malaysian Hockey Federation  :  1981-2004
Vice-President of International Hockey Federation  : ?

He was a Royal Patron of the Perak Veteran Hockey Association.


He was a Royal Patron of the Rotary Club, Lions Club, Royal Ipoh and Royal Perak Golf Club, Iskandar Polo Club, Ipoh and Kuala Kangsar Golf Clubs.

He was also a Royal Patron of the Malaysian Nature Society.



Bainun was born in Penang on 7 November 1932. She is a year younger than my mother Tulip bt Che Lah (born in Kuala Lumpur 4 November 1931). Tulip's father was Dr Che Lah b Md Joonos, an early Malay doctor who served as a Hajj Doctor for the Malayan hajj pilgrimages in the 1950s-1960s. Bainun was educated at the St George's School at Residency Road, near Padang Polo and the Penang General Hospital (GH Penang). She would be a junior to the late Datuk Zubaidah Ariff who also attended the same school before WWII began in Penang. Datuk Zubaidah married to Datuk Mushir Ariff, and was the daughter-in-law of Sir Dr Kamil Ariff, an early Malay doctor in Penang


Bainun then attended the Malayan Teachers’ Training College in Kirkby, Lancshire in England in the early 1950s.

Tulip and Bainun were in the same teachers' college at Kirkby and played hockey together on the same team. Tulip was the hockey captain. I don't know what position Bainun played. There is a photo of their hockey team at Kirkby. Bainun's room was across from Tulip's room. According to my late mother, news of Bainun's marriage to Raja Azlan Shah was buzzing at Kirkby well before the marriage itself. Another lady, Yasmin Hanoum bt Dr Kamil Ariff was also at Kirkby with Tulip and Bainun. Another lady at Kirkby would be Sarah bt Dr Sulaiman. Most of the surviving graduates of Kirkby meet at their Kirkby reunion in Malaysia where Tan Sri Dr Yahaya Ibrahim is chairman. Many of the Kirkby graduate teachers of the first (1951-1953) and second batch (1952-1954) have passed away. The Kirkbyites have their own website.

Tulip and Bainun were in touch till the early 1980s.


Raja Azlan Shah married Che Bainun bt Muhammad 'Ali on 9 December 1955 in Georgetown, Penang.

When Raja Azlan Shah ascended to the Perak throne, Bainun's name was styled H.R.H. Tuanku Bainun binti Muhammad ‘Ali. She was installed at Istana Kinta, Kuala Kangsar as Raja Permaisuri on 9 December 1985.

When Sultan Azlan Shah became the King of Malaysia (Agung), she was installed as Raja Permaisuri Agong on 19 February 1988 in Kuala Lumpur with her name styled Her Majesty.

The couple returned to Perak on 25 April 1994, after Sultan Azlan Shah completed his term as Agung.


The royal couple has 5 children, 2 princes and 3 princesses.

  1. H.H. Raja Datuk Sri Nazrin Shah bin Sultan ‘Azlan Shah (Raja Muda) succeeded his father as H.R.H. Maulana Paduka Sri Tuanku Sultan Nazrin Muizz ud-din Shah ibni al-Marhum Sultan ‘Azlan Muhib ud-din Shah, Sultan and Yang di-Pertuan of Perak Dar ur-Ridzwan.
  2. Y.A.M. Raja Datuk Sri Ashman Shah ibni al-Marhum Sultan ‘Azlan Muhib ud-din Shah (Raja Kechil Sulong) (deceased 30 March 2012). His father-in-law is Kamarul Ariffin bin Muhammad Yassin. His son Y.M. Raja Datuk Ahmad Nazim Azlan Shah ibni Raja Datuk Sri Ashman Shah is Raja Kechil Tengah (b. 1994). His daughters are Y.M. Raja Eminah Alliyah binti Raja Datuk Sri Ashman Shah. (b. 1992) and Y.M. Raja Bainun-nisa Safia binti Raja Datuk Sri Ashman Shah (b. 1995).
  3. Y.A.M. Raja Datuk Sri Azureen binti al-Marhum Sultan ‘Azlan Muhib ud-din Shah. 
  4. Y.A.M. Raja Datuk Sri Eleena binti al-Marhum Sultan ‘Azlan Muhib ud-din Shah. 
  5. Y.A.M. Raja Datuk Sri Yong Sofia binti al-Marhum Sultan ‘Azlan Muhib ud-din Shah.


Sultan Azlan Shah passed away at the National Heart Institute (Institut Jantung Negara, IJN) in Kuala Lumpur on 28 May 2014. He was 86 years old.


The funeral followed that of the Malacca Sultanate. The corpse was allowed a public display before the swearing in of the next sultan. Then the remains of the sultan was carried by several strong army personnel to the burial site. Sultan Azlan Shah was laid to rest after Solat Asar on 29 May 2014. Army and palace personnel and officials were involved with the burial procedures (refer to ASTRO Awani TV footage and posts & photos by royal family members/relatives in Facebook).

He is interred at Al-Ghufran Royal Cemetery adjacent to Masjid Ubudiyah at Bukit Chandan in Kuala Kangsar. His grave lies near that of his second prince, Raja Ashman Shah (refer to photos by Merah Silu in Facebook).

External links:'s marriage

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Book Promotion: The Chulia in Penang (2014 Areca Books)

From Dr Lubis: I am happy to announce the publication of Khoo Salma's latest work, The Chulia in Penang. Details below. Please share this and help promote the book.

The Chulia in Penang: Patronage and Place-Making around the Kapitan Kling Mosque 1786–1957

Khoo Salma Nasution
2014. Areca Books
200+ illustrations in colour and black and white
Hardcover, 24.8 cm x 20 cm, 560 pages
ISBN 9789675719158

Tamil Muslims – once known as Chulias – prospered as traders of pelikat cloth, pepper and local products in the Straits of Malacca. In the nineteenth century, they enriched the port town of Penang with endowments for mosques, Sufi shrines, burial grounds, a water tank and an ashurkhanah, holding religious feasts and processions. The most valuable endowment in the Straits Settlements was that for a mosque and burial ground in George Town, granted in 1801 by the English East India Company. On this site, a South Indian vernacular mosque was founded by the leader of the Chulias, Kapitan Kling Cauder Mohuddeen, a Marakkayar shipowner, merchant and progenitor of the ‘Merican’ clan. In the early twentieth century, the colonial government enacted an ordinance to take back the lands and modernize the townscape. In the process, they co-opted the traditional leadership and refashioned the mosque into a grand Indo-Saracenic symbol of British patronage over its Muslim subjects.

The Chulias excelled as Malay scribes, clerks and land surveyors, and also as ship chandlers, stevedores and lighter owners in the port industry. Educated in English, Malay and Islamic schools, the local-born Chulias, called Jawi Pekan or Jawi Peranakan, became part of the cosmopolitan Muslim elite. They innovated the performing arts of Boria and Bangsawan and pioneered early Malay and Tamil print media in Penang, which helped give birth to modern vernacular discourses. Influenced by the Khilafat and Self-Respect Movements in India, they strengthened Tamil identity and started Tamil schools. For economic and political reasons, they formed the Muslim Merchants Society, the Muslim Mahajana Sabha and then the Muslim League, the last of which competed in Penang’s city and settlement elections in the 1950s. The book looks at how this diaspora community – living under the East India Company, then in the Straits Settlements and British Malaya – evolved in response to the changing terms of colonial patronage.

Khoo Salma, while providing a fascinating perspective on Chulias in Penang and the historical processes that defined their society, politics and Islam, also illustrates an important microcosm of the city and the state… The book is almost an encyclopaedia on the Chulias, with evocative images that sharply capture their Indianness and Islamic Cosmopolitanism. It is an excellent book which deserves to be at the top of the league in diasporic studies.
– Foreword by Raj Brown

List of Illustrations and Tables
A Note On Terms, Names And Orthography

A Living Place of Worship
The Port of Penang
An Entrepreneurial Diaspora
Tracing South Indian Muslim Migration
Place-Making and Endowment
Organisation of the Book
A New Port for the Chulias

1 Indian Ocean Connections
The Land of Gold
Muslim Traders from South India
A Cosmopolitan Maritime World
Chulias in the Straits of Malacca
The Chulia Trade in Aceh
Francis Light and the Chulias of Kedah

2 Early Settlers and Mosque
Precolonial Antecedents
Chulias in the Census
Chulia Settlers
Locating the Early Mosques
Destruction and Death

3 Piety and Patronage
Sufi Pioneers
The Nagore Dargah
The Tanjore Association

4 The Kapitan Kling
Captain of the Chulias
A Shipowner and Merchant from Porto Novo
Land and the Law

5 Munshis and Malay Writers
A Literary Diversion
A Petition for the Batu Uban Mosque

6 Family and Legacy
A Saintly Wife and a Royal Wife
Cauder Mohuddeen’s Will of 1834
From Seafaring Merchants To Settlers

7 Penang as a Centre of Chulia Trade
The Consolidation of Chulia Trading Activities
Mahomed Noordin, the Most Munificent Merchant
The Bountiful Penang–Aceh Trade
Diminishing Returns

8 The Jawi Peranakan
The Evolution of the Jawi Peranakan

9 Pepper and Pelikat Tycoons
The Muslim Elite
The Ariffin Clan
Dalbadalsah and Yahyah Merican
The Noordin Clan
Shaik Nathersah

10 Women with Status and Property
Royal Connections
A Woman Scorned
A Suitable House
Family Fortunes
House-Proud Jawi Peranakan

11 Diversity, Difference and Division
A Heterogenous Population
The Dato’ Koya Shrine
Riven by Rivalries
Secret Societies and the Penang Riots
Alternating Mosques

12 Cultural Expressions
The Cosmopolitan Context
Awal Muharram
Mosque, EndowmentS and Community

13 Religious Endowments
The Concept of Waqf
Tamil Muslim Waqf in Penang
Pious Endowments for Mosques
Endowments for Burial Grounds
Waqf for Water
Waqf for Education
Waqf for Feasts and Family Trusts

14 Land and Leadership in Dispute
A Pilgrim Agent
Leadership Dispute
Disputes over Land and Religious Position
Disputes over the Family Endowment
15 Reforming Muslim Endowments
A Crisis and a Commission
Courting Municipal Ambitions
Enquiry and Investigation

16 The Consultative Process
Penang Muslim Society
The Qadi Question

17 The Endowments Board
A New Ordinance for Endowments
The Endowments Board’s Mode of Operation
The Madrasah Haniah and the Madrasah Al-Mahmoodiyah

18 Urban Transformation
Towards a New Townscape
The Removal of Urban Villages
A New Phase of Urban Development

19 Reimagining Mosque Architecture
The Mosque in the Nineteenth Century
Indo-Saracenic Architecture: From India to Malaya
Remodelling the Mosque
Social Movements and Modernity

20 The Press and Pan-Islamism
The Power of the Printed Word
Empire Fever
Modest Demands

21 The Mohammedan Advisory Board
War and the Impact of the Singapore Mutiny
Establishing the Mohammedan Advisory Board
Officiating the Minaret
The Advisory Board and the Endowments Board
The Cannon from Pulau Brani

22 Religious Reformists and Rifts
The Islamic Reformist Movement in Penang
Idaran Zaman
The Mihrab Controversry
Fair or Fowl
Bumi Putra Allegation against the Kaseda
The Prophet’s Birthday

23 Social Leadership
Labour Migration and Chain Migration
Two Trade Organisations
The Khilafat Movement
The Plight of Tamil Labour
The Indian Chamber of Commerce

24 Diverging Identities
Friendly Societies and Football
Representing the Malays
Malaya for the Malays
The Self-Respect Movement
Indian Nationalist Politics
The Port Cluster

25 Business Networks
Textiles and Piece Goods
Jewellers and Gem Traders
Mamak Food
Distribution and Retail Networks
Printing Presses

26 The Penang Port
Port Ecology
Harbour Pilots, Ship Chandlers and Stevedores
Lighter Owners
Boatmen and Lightermen
Labour Strife
War and Politics

27 The Japanese Occupation
War Comes to Penang
Bombing and Destruction
Japanese Policies towards Islam
The Indian National Army
The End of Occupation

28 Post-War Politics
The Nationalist Challenge
Starting Again
The Muslim League
The Partition of India
Electoral Competition towards Independence
The Mosque, City and Port



Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Obituary: YTM Dato' Seri Utama Tan Sri Tunku Annuar Alhaj Ibni Almarhum Sultan Badlishah

Source: This media statement in Malay appears in the Facebook of Jabatan Zakat Negeri Kedah Darul Aman (21 May 2014). This media statement was made by Menteri Besar Kedah, Dato' Seri Haji Mukhriz, the son of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, an early Malay doctor. Non Malay readers can use website translators to read this post.

Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi rojiuun


Teks Pengumuman Kemangkatan Yang Teramat Mulia Tunku Bendahara Kedah oleh Yang Amat Berhormat Menteri Besar Kedah Darul Aman

Bismillah Hirrahmanirrohim

Bahawa dengan sedih dan dukacitanya dimaklumkan Yang Teramat Mulia Dato' Seri Utama Tan Sri Tunku Annuar Alhaj Ibni Almarhum Sultan Badlishah, Tunku Bendahara Kedah, Pengerusi Jemaah Pemangku Sultan Kedah, telah mangkat di Hospital Pantai Ipoh, Perak pada pukul 12.20 pagi, hari Rabu, 21 haribulan Mei 2014 Masihi, bersamaan 21 Rejab 1435 Hijriah.

Jenazah Almarhum Yang Teramat Mulia Tunku akan disemayamkan di Dewan Penghadapan, Istana Anak Bukit, Alor Setar bagi maksud penghormatan terakhir pada sebelah pagi oleh para pembesar dan orang kenamaan, manakala oleh orang ramai mulai pukul 1 petang hingga 3 petang.

Jenazah Almarhum Yang Teramat Mulia Tunku Bendahara Kedah, Pengerusi Jemaah Pemangku Sultan Kedah akan dimakamkan di Makam Di Raja Langgar selepas solat Asar pada hari ini, Rabu, 21 Mei 2014 Masehi, bersamaan 21 Rejab 1435 Hijriah.

Bendera Negeri, Persekutuan dan lain-lain hendaklah dikibarkan pada separuh tiang selama tiga hari mulai 21 Mei 2014. Tempoh perkabungan adalah selama tiga hari mulai 21 Mei 2014 sehingga 23 Mei 2014. Sepanjang tempoh tersebut, semua bentuk hiburan, keramaian dan perayaan adalah dibatalkan.

Sebagai penghormatan ke atas kemangkatan Yang Teramat Mulia Tunku Bendahara Kedah, Pengerusi Jemaah Pemangku Sultan Kedah, hari ini, Rabu, 21 Mei 2014, diisytiharkan sebagai hari cuti peristiwa bagi seluruh Negeri Kedah Darul Aman.

Marilah sama-sama kita berdoa ke hadrat Allah Subhanahu Wataala, semoga roh Almarhum Yang Teramat Mulia Tunku Bendahara Kedah, Pengerusi Jemaah Pemangku Sultan Kedah dicucuri rahmat dan ditempatkan bersama-sama para syuhadah dan solihin.

Menteri Besar Kedah Darul Aman
Tarikh : 21 Mei 2014

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Alsagoff Arab School 1912

The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser (1884-1942), 22 February 1928, Page 11

Read newspaper

The Alsagoff Arab School. Prize Distribution.

Alsagoff Arab School, Singapore (established 1912)
- situated at Jalan Sultan
- Anglo-Arabic school
- teaches Arabic and English
- free school
- open to Muslim boys only
- Mr Ali Ahmad Khan Surattee


Alsagoff Arab School
111 Jalan Sultan
Singapore 199006
Phone +65 6294 5909

Basic info
Founded: 1912
Award: Singapore's Oldest Islamic Educational Institution
Hours: Mon-Fri: 9-4:30, Sat 9-12
Description: All-girls Islamic school
Chairman: Syed Abbas bin Mohamed Alsagoff
Mudir: Ustaz Syed Mustafa bin S Ja'afar Alsagoff
20 trained teachers


Google map and imagery of Alsagoff Arab School (May 2013)

Front view from Sultan St
Rear view from Alawi St
External links


Mr RJ Farrer
Residence at Balmoral Road, Singapore
Gave a tea party to 23 Muslims at his residence:
  1. Messrs. MA Namazee
  2. M Kadir Sultan
  3. TK Shaik Dawood
  4. Shaik Salim bin Talib
  5. Syed Abdur Rahman Alkaff
  6. Shaik Yahya Afifi
  7. Alli Ahmad Khan Surattee
  8. Syed Ibrahim Alsagoff
  9. Inche Mohamed Eunos bin Abdullah
  10. AMS Angullia
  11. Dr HS Moonshi
  12. Dr SIM Ibrahim
  13. Imam Haji Sulaiman
  14. Imam Haji Abbas
  15. Eusope Jewa
  16. A Aziz
  17. Haji Abbas bin Omar
  18. Shirazi
  19. Syed Gulabshah
  20. Hafiz Ghulam Sarwar (HG Sarwar) --- FIL of Dr Abdul Karim bin Nawab Din
  21. Abdul Majid
  22. Haji Amboh Soloh
  23. Haji Manjoor Sahib



On Sunday, 12 Feb 1928 a steamer of Messrs. Mansfield and Co left Singapore for Jeddah with 850 pilgrims.

Another steamer of Messrs Sime Darby and Co. left on 16 Feb 1928 carried 526 pilgrims. This steamer was to call at Malacca, Klang and Penang for more pilgrims.

It is reported that Moulana Abdul Halim (Abdul Aleem Siddique?), the Muslim missionary who was recently in Singapore, has left for Merut via Calcutta from Penang. As a result of his visit a religious society has been established in Singapore.

Mr M Kadir Sultan, JP is leaving for India on a holiday in May 1928.


Monday, 12 May 2014

Tan Sri Arshad Ayub

I had Dr Arshad Ayub (ITM Shah Alam) confused with another man named Arshad Zainal (Klang). Dr Arshad Ayub was the Director of ITM Shah Alam when Tun Dr Ismail b Abdul Rahman visited the campus on 14 July 1973. On the other hand, Arshad Zainal is the son of Zainal Ismail, a private tutor to Sultan Abdul Samad of Selangor.

Dr Arshad Ayub was born in 1928 in Muar to a rubber tapper father. His father died early from dysentery. Arshad was the eldest and had to struggle from young without his father. Rising from poverty to become one of Malaysia's intellect is a dream come true for him. Education was the only road to becoming better and making it in this world, and leaving poverty behind for good. He could not enter the University of Malaya based in Singapore then, but entered the College of Agriculture in Serdang. My uncle Pak Cik Hassan bin Mohd Rashid spoke about his father Tok Rashid Serdang (UPM founding father) and mentioned about Arshad Ayub to me. Pak Cik Hassan told me to look up Arshad Ayub. In Serdang, Tok Rashid moulded Arshad Ayub to become a respected Malay intellectual. If you know Arshad Ayub, then you should know Tok Rashid Serdang.

I remember an old photo I obtained from Arkib Negara Malaysia. It had Tun Dr Ismail and Dr Arshad Ayub. Today, I read an article on my smartphone about Tan Sri Arshad Ayub (85). I checked my blogs whether I wrote about him before - I had deleted an earlier post that featured him for I had the wrong person for my family blog.

     Visit by the Deputy Prime Minister, Tun Dr Ismail Al-Haj to Institut Teknologi MARA (ITM), Shah Alam, Selangor on 14 July 1973. Accompanied by its Director, Dr Arshad Ayub, he visited several places on campus. Photo: Tun Dr Ismail Al-Haj looking at some books in the Tun Abdul Razak Library on campus. Dr Arshad Ayub is looking on (centre) (Arkib Negara Malaysia Photo: G.12818 (ATDI N.204) Ref no: 2001/0042159). 

Photo from Arkib Negara Malaysia (20010042159g1)

September 14, 2012
Opening Minds to New Experiences
By Zainah Anwar@

Posts held and awards won:
Deputy Governor of Bank Negara
Secretary-General of ministries
Founding Director of Institut Teknologi Mara (ITM), now Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM).
Pro-Chancellor of UiTM
Pengerusi Lembaga Amanah Yayasan Pintar 
Merdeka Award in Education and Community

External links: