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Monday, September 03, 2007

My Merdeka Trip to the East Coast of the Malaysian Peninsular





























The Pahang State Mosque in Kuantan.

Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.

I was away from KL on a 3 days 2 nights trip to my spouse's hometown in Kuantan and a daytrip to Kuala Terengganu starting from Friday, the 31st of August, 2007 and ending last night, the 2nd of September, 2007.

I travelled all the way up to Kuala Terengganu, heading up to its famous but stifling hot and cramped Pasar Payang.

The Kuala Terengganu City Council really ought to do something to upgrade the cramped, sauna like situation at the bazaar above the wet market.

Everyone was practically sweating like hell from the way the shops were so close to one another and the thousands of shoppers from all over the nation jamming up the place like sardines packed into a can!

For all the brouhaha that the MPKT puts up through the large billboards of their achievements since the BN wrested away Terengganu from PAS, they ought to go one up on the PAS party by demolishing the old Pasar Payang bazaar or expanding it and its infrastructures to befit the developments taking place in the oil rich state.

Maybe they can upgrade the place by sealing it up and air conditioning it?

That would really be a big relief for all, believe me.

Terengganu Menteri Besar Idris Jusoh should go take a trip to Pasar Payang to understand what I am saying here.

One can sweat buckets by being there just for a few hours! Imagine how the shopkeepers there must be suffering, day in, day out?

Putting aside the cramped environment of the place, it still is a magnet for all kinds of shoppers!

It is filled with all kinds of good traditional and local products and handicrafts but I suggest that you scout around and compare prices before you buy anything! Bargain like crazy! Hehehehe!


















If you are looking for a keris from Indonesia, then you can buy one costing from an average price of RM100.00 to the more intricate and exclusive ones costing thousands. The ones pictured here are the cheap ones.

Terengganu produces its own kerises but they are usually made to order and will cost more than the mass produced Indonesian ones.

Not saying that the Indonesian ones aren't good or what but if you are a collector of fine traditional Malay weapons, then you'd want to pay more for quality and that is part and parcel of every traditional Malay weaponry collector's requirements.

We bought a 'kain tenun' for me and an exclusive embroidered 'tudung' for her.

Wanted to buy a kris to restart my personal weapon collection here in KL but didn't want to buy something just on impulse. Maybe on my next trip there.























Behold Mahaguru58 with a tengkolok !

I tried it on at the shop where we bought my 'kain tenun'. The tengkolok is a Malay warrior's headgear and part of the Malay monarchy attire , made up of folded songket!

Really changes the way one looks, eh? I just love it!

Must get myself my own set one day complete with the songket outfit and kris to match. Insya Allah!

I like the way the shop manager Farid Mohd. Nor served us with a rare sense of professionalism and willingness to treat us as we should, with the best mannerisms of courtesy befitting us Malaysians.































I recommend you to go shop at his place. He's a decent chap doing fair business with his dad. Its good to know that such business people still exist in this land. May Allah SWT bless them both. Ameen.

Usually, locals shopkeepers treat the Malaysian shoppers with disdain and go overboard in kissing the ass of foreigners whom they still worship in their bloody, rotten , stifled mindsets!

You can see that happen almost daily in KLCC where I hear that the last Malay owned business @ Kelantan Delights had to close shop recently due to the spiralling rent that Suria KLCC charged them, effectively driving the last Malay owned business out from the premises!

So much for 'Ketuanan Melayu'! 'Menang sorak ; kampong tergadai!'

Simply means that one loses ownership of one's village whilst busy cheering for others during a match or a duel. The Malays are such a case.

Being distracted by all the hero worshipping of Abdullah Badawi who in my own opinion has done nothing for the nation in the real sense unlike Tunku Abdul Rahman who gained us our Independence, Tun Razak who initiated development and Tun Mahathir who modernized our country!

I am being frank here. I lament the sad state of affairs this nation is beleaguered with under the present administration which is more hype than matter.

There's a plethora of ass kissers in the current cabinet set up who's sole task seems to be to pump up the ego of the rhetoric spewer of Malaysia Incapacitated! Humbug!

Back to my Merdeka East Coast trip recollections.

It was a trip that was filled with awe in view of all the beautiful beaches, sights, sound and smell of the refreshing landscape of the still unspoilt East Coast States of Pahang and Terengganu with my spouse.
























Its good to escape from the daily routine of living in the nation's capital city of Kuala Lumpur, once in a while when we have the time and the means.


















The fresh open seascape of Terengganu is really a pleasure to behold. The beach in particular here is so clean and free from the murky waters you find at the West Coast of the Peninsular especially the polluted waters of the Straits of Malacca.


















Over here in the East Coast, one can even see the corals from the beach because of the clear sea waters like the sea off Kemasik near Rantau Abang, Terengganu.



















A unique sight I saw at Kuala Terengganu was this bus made up with wooden panellings and Malay traditional craftsmanship that took tourists sightseeing through the place.

I don't know whether its free or there's a fee being charged? Maybe those of you from Kuala Terengganu can enlighten me about this?

I for one think its great to promote local Malay woodcarving and handicrafts skills using such a novel idea!

Kudos to the Majlis Perbandaran Kuala Terengganu for this initiative.

The journey from Kuantan to Kuala Terengganu was great except for the traffic jam we all had to endure when we reached Marang.

The roads were being widened and PAS was having some sort of a carnival or majlis imu effectively adding to the chaos to the traffic flow on the way to Kuala Terengganu and returning to Kuantan.

PAS sure must be trying their best to show that they 'own' Marang' from the way they spent so much money on their party flags and some unusually gigantic ones fluttering from the coconut trees and all along the roads and bridges, a couple of kilometres away to and from the place!

What good is such extravaganza of splurging so much money on flags?

Will that help anyone, poor suffering unfortunates with a hungry, growling stomach and many mouths to feed from amongst its party members?

PAS keeps harping on the BN's splurges which seems to be the only achievement of Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi and his ass kissing Cabinet!

Spending so much money on empty rhetoric and shows of opulence that is a sin and wasting precious funds that could be used for better useful purposes like feeding the poor and providing the unfortunates the basic necessities of life or provide them funds to start their own small businesses like micro credits schemes championed by the Bangladeshi Grameen Bank!

Flags and buntings don't contribute to the betterment of people's life's! Both UMNO and PAS seem hellbent in doing just that!

Flying flags and erecting stupendous monuments to a leader who is more air headed than being an effective prime minister to upgrade the life's of the common Malaysian folks in general!

Both political parties are ripping the people off by deluding them to think that everything's okay and that Malaysia is doing so bloody well that we can afford to burn billions and millions of ringgits in these pretentious acts such as flying enormous flags and exploding fireworks that costs so much and last only a few fleeting seconds! Damn!

Resource wasters are the Devil's accomplices! Both of them really need to repent! Period.

I hope that both PAS and UMNO will work towards improving the economic status of their members and the general Malaysian population instead of engaging in these stupid flag wars!

I didn't have time to snap the photos of that jammed up area. I wish that someone staying there in Marang can oblige me with some photos of the flag filled area to show the readers here what I am referring to. Email them to me, please.

That's it folks. My Merdeka trip to the East Coast. Hope you enjoyed reading it!

Wassalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.