February 26, 2010

Testosterone - Good to know

Testosterone is a steroid hormone from the androgen group. In mammals, testosterone is primarily secreted in the testes of males and the ovaries of females, although small amounts are also secreted by the adrenal glands. It is the principal male sex hormone and an anabolic steroid. Testosterone is evolutionarily conserved through most vertebrates, although fish make a slightly different form called 11-ketotestosterone.[1]

In men, testosterone plays a key role in the development of male reproductive tissues such as the testis and prostate as well as promoting secondary sexual characteristics such as increased muscle and bone mass and hair growth.[2] In addition, testosterone is essential for health and well-being as well as preventing osteoporosis.

On average, an adult human male body produces about forty to sixty times more testosterone than an adult human female body, but females are, from a behavioral perspective (rather than from an anatomical or biological perspective), more sensitive to the hormone.[3] However, the overall ranges for male and female are very wide, such that the ranges actually overlap at the low end and high end respectively.
Systematic (IUPAC) name

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February 25, 2010

Malaysian Book of Records

The Malaysian Book of Records (or MBR) is a Malaysian project to publish records set or broken by Malaysians. The project complements former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Bin Mohamad's 'Malaysia Boleh!' (Malaysia Can! in English) campaign.[1] As with the Guinness World Records, there is an annually published book listing the records


The MBR is a project formed in line with the peoples Vision 2020.[2]

Realising that feats and record attempts were not recorded, Datuk Danny Ooi, (founder of The Malaysia Book of Records) felt that recognition should be given to record achievement by Malaysians. As the National Record-Keeper, MBR is an official body that recognises record-holders, record-breakers, and record creators in the country. Upon confirmation of record, the MBR will issue certificates to them, as a recognition for their efforts.[3]

Origin and history


The idea was conceived in 1990 when Danny Ooi stumbled upon questions regarding extraordinary feats by Malaysians. He recalled seeing a man cycling for days at the Merdeka Stadium, trying to set a world record, and another individual, who travelled from state to state by walking. The latter was hoping his attempt could be entered in the Guinness Book of World Records.[4]

Realising that none of these feats would be recorded, Mr Ooi felt that recognition should be given to such determination exhibited by Malaysians.[5]

Striving for excellence

Achievements were compiled for publication into the MBR and were also included in its production shown in a TV series called The Malaysia Book of Records' weekly TV series, which debuted on October 6, 1996 on RTM TV2.[6] The MBR will serve as a medium with which to acknowledge Malaysians who have promoted their country by creating records.

The first record book entitled "The Malaysia Book of Records' First Edition" was launched on December 9, 1998, unveiling the Malaysian records in one book for the first time.[7]

Award ceremony

MBR Awards Night at National and State Level started in December 1998, when the Malaysia Book of Records organised a national level and two states' level, Sabah and Melaka respectively at MBR Awards Night.[8]

February 20, 2010

Russian Cosmonauts Training

Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko waves before a training session in a pool at the Star City space centre outside Moscow February 5, 2010. Kornienko is scheduled to fly to the International Space Station (ISS) later this year

Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko (L) and Fyodor Yurchikhin take part in a training session in a pool at the Star City space centre outside Moscow February 5, 2010. Kornienko and Yurchikhin are scheduled to fly to the International Space Station (ISS) later this year.

Original title: Russian cosmonauts start training session at Star City
Photo: Xinhua/Reuters Photo

Editor: Fang Yang

February 15, 2010

In pursuit of funniness

Comedians find what is ironic in life and make it comical. If the true artist is one who can bridge cultures in a way that audiences respond with laughter rather than by taking offense, then Rehman Akhtar is a true artist.

The Pakistani-born, British-educated comedian is 46 years old and performs his comedy wherever and whenever he can — which has recently included Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Dubai. He has been honing his art for a decade and has performed on BBC Television several times with such notables as Russell Peters. In 2008, he was chosen to be one of the opening acts at the “Axis of Evil” comedy show in Bahrain by Arab-American comedians, Ahmed Ahmed and Maz Jobrani.

Akhtar uses his acting, mimicry and linguistic skills to bring a wide range of characters to life on stage and has become a firm favorite with audiences all over the Gulf. Arab News caught up with him recently to find out his views on life, love and the pursuit of funniness.

“For creative people there are no boundaries, but then this is Saudi Arabia, and one has to be politically correct,” said Akhtar. “In any case, an artist has to respect his audience. This is challenging, and it makes me that much sharper. It would be stupid of me to stand in front of the audience and start doing vulgar stuff and the kind of comedy that is, perhaps, acceptable in the West. This is Saudi Arabia. I live here. I respect this country. I want to introduce a form of entertainment that does not exist at the moment and it is just kind of lifting off the ground.”

By day, Akhtar is a communications team leader at Saudi Aramco in Dhahran. He met a kindred spirit in another company employee, Fahad Albutairi. Together, the two men resolved to get the Gulf region chuckling. Soon they found they were not alone.

“I feel this whole movement that you see began only a few months ago,” Akhtar said. “One of the kickstarts for interest in comedy was the ‘Axis of Evil’ show in Bahrain. Suddenly people saw Fahad Albutairi and me in action. Using standup comedy to shed light on the main stereotypes the world has about Arabs and Muslims in this day and age, ‘Axis of Evil’ brought together the talents of first-generation Arab-American comedians, Maz Jobrani, Ahmed Ahmed and Aron Kader, in an authentic humorous take on Middle Eastern culture. This ‘Axis of Evil’ grew out of the whole post-9/11 period when former US President George W. Bush named certain countries as the ‘axis of evil.’”

He said in this case comedy was not simply a laughing matter. “The show really aimed at building bridges. When Ahmed Ahmed and Maz Jobrani came to Bahrain, the organizers decided not just to put these two guys up on the pedestal. They decided to have local artists performing with them on stage,” Akhtar said. “The idea was to demonstrate that we too have local talent. That comedy tour in Bahrain was in a sense the mood shifter — it was like a tipping point. It was a huge success. Over two nights, more than 5,000 enjoyed the event at the Al-Ahli Club Sports Center. A lot of them were from Saudi Arabia. That gave us a lot of exposure. People said, ‘Wow, we have people like Fahad Albutairi and Rehman Akhtar among us.’ It opened up a whole new avenue for us.”

When you talk to people in show business, they dread a cold audience. Akhtar explained how he used comedy in his formative years to break the ice — and break down barriers of prejudice and misunderstanding. “I grew up in the UK in the 1960s and 1970s, which in some ways was a pretty depressing time,” he said. “There was a lot of racism around in those days. Those were the days I was in school and college. We happened to live on a housing estate where we were initially the only brown family. So it kind of exacerbated the whole thing. I used to get picked on the most. I used to be bullied a lot. I hope it does not sound too arrogant but I was a fairly bright child, and this made things even more difficult for me. So not only was I a ‘brown Paki’ but I was also a ‘brown Paki with great grades.’ That made me a huge target in many, many senses.”

Akhtar is not sure if it was infernal optimism or eternal optimism that made the difference for him. “I could have reacted to the situation in many ways,” he said. “I could have become a mass murderer or something; however, I really wanted to find a humorous side and give a positive slant to this victimization. On the housing estate where we lived, there was a youth club that announced a talent contest. I said, ‘I am going to take part in this talent contest.’ Everybody was aghast. ‘What are you going to do on stage?’ What I did was put on this mask ... a mask that I could hide behind. And then I put on my father’s big overcoat, and I became this character called ‘Professor Potty.’ I was 11 at the time. There were around 350 people in the audience. All of them were white, and there I was standing — a little brown kid. I went up on stage with a microphone and started telling jokes. I immediately felt a sense of relief coursing through my veins. Here I was making fun of them and not being the kid being beaten up anymore. The whole exercise was pretty cathartic for me. I felt out of this world that night. To be in control of that entire audience was a great feeling. These people were eating out of my hands. They were laughing their heads off. All six judges gave me 10 out of 10. “Raymond Akhtar Wins First Prize,” screamed the local newspapers the next day. They could never pronounce Rehman, so I became Raymond for them. I won 10 pounds that night — it was a fortune in those days. I was in tears because neither of my parents was there to witness my moment of glory. My father was doing the night shift; my mother was in Pakistan. When I remember that night, I still get very emotional. It was a pinnacle in my life.”

Akhtar paid rich tributes to earlier funnymen who used wit and slapstick to get people through the Great Depression of the 1930s. “I had lot of comedy influences in my early years. Those were not the days of Nintendo and PlayStation. Our only form of entertainment was television,” he said. “I grew up watching diverse comedy, from Laurel & Hardy and The Three Stooges to Billy Connelly and Monty Python classics. Comedy has always been a part of my life. In retrospect, I think all that helped me in my later life.”

They say that next to most successful men there is a good woman, and Akhtar is no exception. “I got married to Shaafia at 27,” he said. “We would go to comedy shows, and I would tell her, ‘I can be funnier than that guy.’ At one such show, she threw a challenge at me, ‘Why don’t you go up there and do it and prove yourself?’ I took up the challenge and approached one of the organizers of comedy shows in London. He was Hardayal, an Asian. He liked my demo and told me, ‘I am going to give you an open mic slot’ — which means a slot meant for someone who just wants to try comedy for the first time. When the veteran comedians turned up for the show and asked me, ‘How long do you intend to be on stage?’ I said 20 minutes. They laughed with a smirk, ‘If you last more than 5 minutes, consider yourself lucky.’ I did not know what they meant. I was an instant hit and lasted much more than five minutes. My journey as a standup comedian had well and truly begun.”

So how does a standup comedian find material? “I get my ideas from life. I collect the nuggets of life rather like a poet,” Akhtar said. “I read a lot. I have always been a very observant person. Just like poets, I keep Post-It notes. I am never without a pen. If something triggers a thought and makes me laugh I immediately make a note of it.”

Having given great thought to the greatest question all funnymen must answer for themselves, Akhtar graciously shared the secret of comedy. “Making people laugh is always a challenge,” he said. “The secret is you do not focus on one person. I laugh at myself. If you indulge in bashing a particular community, naturally it will get offended. The art is to make fun of your victims without making them feel victimized. To point out a cultural difference is not victimizing someone. The challenge is to make someone laugh without making them feel offended.”

Rehman Akhtar will be bringing his comedy show “Rehman & Friends” to Riyadh on March 10. Details can be obtained by sending an email to

By Siraj Wahab

Pride in our armed services

Tunku ‘Abidin Muhriz

MANY things have been said about the acquisition of our first submarine, but as I descended (rather slowly) into the cramped confines of the pride of our navy, my initial apprehension quickly turned to awe. The control room looked like the bridge of Captain Picard’s USS Enterprise, with numerous consoles displaying statistics, charts and codes incom-prehensible to the layperson, squeezed into the size of a PLUS highway toll booth.

As we viewed the torpedo bays and were briefed on the capabilities of the arsenal of weaponry, I tried to imagine the impact on hypothetical enemies on the receiving end. If we had this back in 1941, we could have single-handedly ended the Pacific War, I thought, and saved the lives of millions.

By the time I saw the squalid living quarters, my respect for the submariners had increased tremendously. For them, it is an honour to serve on the princely vessel, and having been given an overview of the training regimen, I am glad that they are.

While the exploits of land forces are more easily related on the big screen in movies like Leftenan
Adnan, it’s far more difficult to make long tours at sea visually exciting, usually relegated to the sidelines even in Hollywood blockbusters to when the battles actually happen. Furthermore, our national story, unlike that of the European maritime powers, has never glorified the sea (we don’t sing “Rule, Malaya! Malaya rules the waves!”), even though the livelihoods of our ancestors depended on the prosperity of our great ports.

Rear Admiral (Rtd) Datuk K. Thanabalasingam, the first Malaysian navy chief, and himself responsible for the early evolution of our navy, also credits our first prime minister for initiating the transformation of the navy from a coastal to an ocean-going force. It seems fitting, therefore, that this new chapter is marked with a boat called KD Tunku Abdul Rahman.

It was in Langkawi last week, and of course there was also the aerospace exhibition, which was as much an exhibition of technological as defence capabilities. The rules of physics seemed not to apply when our pilots looped, twirled and even stopped midair. Once again I witnessed the Sukhoi 30MKM, which I last saw dropping bombs near Gunung Ledang. And then there was the 1Network communication solution, which has many important civilian functions in addition to its military ones.

Overall, they were important reminders that while our politicians make lots of noise, our voluntary armed forces have long worked quietly, professionally and steadfastly for the nation’s sake.

Despite this, there are groups who actively try to downplay their role and even try to suppress proper and public tribute to them during events like Warriors’ Day, like they do in most Commonwealth countries. We now have a situation when the deeds of heroes of World War II, the Emergency and Konfrontasi are barely remembered by large segments of the public at all.

That’s why the relationship between the military and politicians is an important one (unless you live in a military dictatorship). There’s a hilarious sketch in the BBC political comedy Yes, Prime Minister where the head of the army conspires with the top civil servant to ensure that the prime minister buys new weapons of mass destruction (“It is the nuclear missile Harrod’s would sell!”).

Recently in the UK there has been real friction, with generals criticising the government for not supplying enough equipment to Afghanistan. But like any other institution in a democracy, the military – just like the judiciary and the Houses of Parliament – should not come under undue executive control: their loyalty is to the Agong.

A couple of years ago, Malaysia sent an astronaut of Minangkabau descent into space; and now we can roam the dark depths of the Straits of Malacca and the South China Sea. The next challenge must be to match these technological feats with genuine civilian pride in the forces.

I wonder if the subject is taught in these famed patriotism courses that are the subject of much debate – perhaps I’ll find out soon.

Tunku ‘Abidin Muhriz would like to thank Mej Jen Datuk Zulkiflee Mazlan, Brig Jen Datuk Noordin Md Yusof, First Admiral Rusli Idrus, Kapt Zulhelmey Ithnain and Datuk Shahril Shamsuddin. Comments:

Don't celebrate Valentine's Day

GEORGE TOWN (Feb 7, 2010): This Feb 14, Muslim women have been urged to 'hold on to their panties' and not celebrate the day, universally known as Valentine's Day, because it is not an Islamic practice.

Urusetia Menangani Gejala Social Pulau Pinang (Unggas) coordinator Nurfitri Amir Muhammad said the National Fatwa Council had in 2005 passed an edict that Valentine's Day is not Islamic; that the celebration has Christian elements and thus, should not be celebrated by Muslim couples.

"What is even more alarming is when we read about the 'Bare your love, no panties during Valentine's' campaign being spread amongst university students now. So we have to do something to stop such campaigns which will lead to social ills like promiscuity," he said.

It is not known who is behind the 'Bare your love' campaign which is being promoted via SMS and through word-of-mouth to college and school students.

Nurfitri said Unggas, together with Persatuan Ulama Malaysia Penang Branch (Pumpp), Angkatan Pemuda Pemudi Islam (Api) and Komuniti Suara Kehidupan (Kosuke), have decided to launch a 'Valentine's Day Trap' campaign to warn Muslims against celebrating that day.

As part of the campaign, more than 200 of their members will be handing out flyers and talking to Muslim couples about Islamic values to advise them not to celebrate Valentine's Day. -- theSun

Original title: Don't celebrate Valentine's Day warning to Muslim couples

February 8, 2010

Translucent Creatures

The flower-shaped larva of a scyphomedusa jelly drifts in Antarctica's Weddell Sea.

Flounder in their larval stage, such as this one in Hawaii, resemble ghostly undersize replicas of adults.

A transparent larval shrimp piggybacks on an equally see-through jellyfish in the waters around Hawaii.

Lacking any other defense, many larval fish have adapted transparency as a method of camouflage—such as this tiny, see-through larval leaf scorpionfish in Hawaii.

Tiny marine snails known as sea butterflies take many forms, including heart-shaped, such as this species in Antarctica's Weddell Sea

A hydromedusa spreads its luminescent tentacles in the Weddell Sea near Antarctica.

A photographer's strobe gives a violet sheen to this translucent juvenile roundbelly cowfish off the coast of Kona, Hawaii. Also known as the transparent boxfish, the roundbelly cowfish has two short horns in front of its eyes.

A pelagic, or open-ocean, octopus gives off a neon glow in Hawaii. Most species of octopus have no internal skeleton, unlike other cephalopods.

Photograph by Ingo Arndt/Minden Pictures
Photograph by Chris Newbert/Minden Pictures
More details & Photos from the source:

God created them for human to think & understand about the greatness of the creator- rad

Eagle challenges Wolf

A hunting eagle attacks a chained wolf during the Kyrgyz traditional Hunters' Festival Salburun, near the town of Cholpon-Ata, some 250 km (155 miles) east from the capital Bishkek February 7, 2010.

A hunting eagle attacks a chained wolf during the Kyrgyz traditional Hunters' Festival Salburun, near the town of Cholpon-Ata, some 250 km (155 miles) east from the capital Bishkek February 7, 2010.

Original title:Hunting eagle challenges wolf
Photo: Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
Editor: Helen Mo

February 7, 2010

Warrior Behind Malaysia Birthday - Don't Forget Them

Mat Kilau, the Malay warrior

OUT of the many Malay warriors of Pahang who stood up against the British in the late 1880’s, only one lived to witness with his very own eyes the nation’s independence.

He was Mat Kilau, the son of local chieftain Imam Perang Rasu (aka Tok Gajah), and one of the Malay warriors who rebelled between the 1880s and 1890s when the colonial masters extended their rule to Pahang.

Gallant walk: Mohamed bin Ibrahim being taken to the town hall to be declared the true Mat Kilau, the fighter against British rule

Mat Kilau even had the opportunity to shout the magical word “Merdeka” on August 31, 1957, something that his contemporaries Datuk Bahaman, Haji Abdul Rahman Limbong and Tok Janggut or the earlier ones like Datuk Maharaja Lela and Dol Said did not live to do.

But on that historic day, none of the hundreds who turned up at the state mosque field in Kuantan realised that the high-spirited but frail-looking centenarian standing among them was Mat Kilau, the man who once tormented the British.

Mat Kilau’s obscurity is equally legendary. The feared warrior went into oblivion for more than half a century as he was on the run after the British put a price on his head and branded him a traitor to the Sultan.

At the initial stages, Mat Kilau, Datuk Bahaman, Mat Kelubi, Awang Nong, Teh Ibrahim, Haji Mat Wahid and Mat Lela staged a formidable resistance that unnerved the British.

Mat Kilau and Datuk Bahaman’s names are etched in the nation’s annals as those responsible for the Lubuk Terua war where they attacked a police post set up by the British and fatally wounded two British policemen. They even conquered Temerloh.

However, with more reinforcement and a clever ploy of accusing the group of betraying the Sultan, the British succeeded in stopping more locals from joining the group and isolated it from the community. This eroded the group’s strength that at one time reached 600 and prompted them to flee.

Demise: Mat Kilau died at the age of 122 years on August 16, 1970. His body was buried in Pulau Tawar, Jerantut, Pahang.

The British continued to hunt them. Records show that his father Tok Gajah who was also involved in the resistance took refuge in Hulu Terengganu and died there, while Datuk Bahaman and several of his followers surrendered to the Siamese rulers.

What happened to Mat Kilau then is unclear till today but he definitely went through a lot of hardship especially when he had to move from place to place and take refuge under different names like Mat Dahan, Mat Dadu and Mat Siam.

After being on the run for many years, he returned to Pahang and settled in Kampung Batu 5, Gambang, Kuantan, under the name of Mohamed bin Ibrahim @ Mat Siam.

Mat Kilau’s real identity only came out into the open when he himself made a declaration after the Friday prayers at the Pulau Tawar mosque in Jerantut on Dec 26, 1969. After months of research and investigations, the Pahang state government finally confirmed that he was indeed Mat Kilau.

Unfortunately 10 days after the confirmation, Mat Kilau died on Aug 16, 1970, at his home in Kampung Batu 5. He is said to have died at the age of 122 based on his estimated birth year of 1847.

He was buried with full honours befitting a national hero at his birthplace, Kampung Masjid Pulau Tawar, Jerantut.

His adopted son who later became his son-in-law as well, Abu Bakar Awang, 80, said that before he revealed his real identity he was very evasive each time when asked about his background. Mat Kilau probably feared that he was yet to be pardoned for the allegations that he had betrayed the Sultan.

During the uprising, Pahang was under the reign of Sultan Ahmad Al-Muazam Shah.

He waited almost 12 years after independence to reveal that he was Mat Kilau as he feared the Sultan hadn’t forgiven him,” said Abu Bakar.

One of his daughters, Aminah, 80, when met at her home in Kampung Batu 5, confirmed that before Mat Kilau declared his actual identity, none of his children had the faintest idea that their father known as Mat Siam was actually a warrior dreaded by the English.

Aminah is among four out of Mat Kilau’s five surviving children who have settled around Kuantan. The others are Sabariah, Abdul Rahman, Salamah and Razali, while the eldest, Zaleha, married to Abu Bakar, died in 1978.

Continuing the story, Abu Bakar, despite his advanced age, recalled vividly Mat Kilau’s excitement on the run-up to the proclamation of independence.

“On that day (Aug 31, 1957), he woke up early and after the subuh (dawn) prayer he got ready to leave for Kuantan as he was aware that the proclamation was also being held in the states, other than at Merdeka Stadium in Kuala Lumpur.

“I was wondering why he was so eager to go to the state mosque field. Even though he was more than 100 years old then, I noticed he was so excited to celebrate the historic occasion,” he said.

Abu Bakar who is the lead instructor of Seni Silat Tapak Setia Suci, the art of self-defence he inherited from his warrior father-in-law, remembered clearly how Mat Kilau had donned a white round-necked T-shirt with a grey overcoat and a kain sampin wrapped over the top part of his dark long pants. He wore shoes and his head was wrapped with a piece of cloth known as kain cindai.

“Even I was intrigued where he got all those things and what the kain cindai signified,” he said.

According to tradition, the kain cindai is a piece of silk cloth used by Malay warriors to wrap around their head before getting into the ring to confront their foes.

Abu Bakar said the bizzare clothing and behaviour prompted Mat Kilau’s wife Ajrah Bakar to reproach him, asking, “what’s wrong with you?”.

Upon getting ready, Abu Bakar and Mat Kilau left the house together and waited for the free bus ride made available by the authorities in conjunction with the celebration.

Though the bus was packed with people, nothing could deter Mat Kilau who was obviously impatient to get to the field.

“When we arrived at the field, we waited for the proclamation of independence. We managed to see the parade ... there were decorated cars too and he (Mat Kilau) was visibly exulted,” Abu Bakar recalled.

When the shouts of Merdeka began, Mat Kilau too joined in chorus.

While at the field Mat Kilau told Abu Bakar, “see, who would have thought I too will live to see this country’s independence”.

This made Abu Bakar wonder what this man was actually trying to say.

Abu Bakar, who lived with Mat Kilau since the age of 18, noted that his father-in-law felt contented with the opportunity to shout “Merdeka” at the field in Kuantan.

He was too feeble to go the Merdeka Stadium in Kuala Lumpur to witness the proclamation of independence there.

Abu Bakar said the declaration of Merdeka was probably the most defining moment for the warrior who tried to defend his race, religion and the sovereignty of his nation from occupation by foreign powers.

Abu Bakar now hopes that some historical texts especially those describing him as someone who betrayed the Sultan be revised.

“The English labelled Mat Kilau and his colleague Datuk Bahaman as rebels and traitors just to hoodwink the people so that they wouldn’t support their struggle,” said Abu Bakar, who is also the Kampung Batu 5 headman.

Mat Kilau’s grandson, Alhamadi Abu Bakar, 40, said though his grandfather did not leave any wealth, he left a legacy and unparalleled gallantry to be inherited by the coming generations in defending the nation from various forms of colonisation. –

Articles & photo

Mat Kilau - Pahang Warrior and Patriot

Mat Kilau was born in 1847 in Kampung Masjid Pulau Tawar, near Jerantut, Pahang, son of Khatib Rasu (later Imam Perang Indera Gajah) or Tok Gajah, who was one of the district chiefs of Pahang.

He married Yang Chik binti Imam Daud of Kampung Kedondong, when he was 20 years old, and had three children, one of whom, Omar, was to help him when he re-emerged from silence in 1969.

It was said that Mat Kilau learnt the finer art of silat and spiritual knowledge only after his marriage and one of his masters was his father.

His father, Tok Gajah or Imam Rasu bin Shahrom, fought many victorious battles for Sultan Ahmad, and is reputed to be able to lift a house by himself.

portrait of mat kilau at the pahang heroes muzium
Mat Kilau also studied religion and spiritual matters under the tutelage of Haji Osman, also known as Haji Muntuk, the religious man who later was to be appointed as Mufti of Pahang.

Mat Kilau joined the rebellion against the British imperialism (Pahang Rebellion 1891 – 1895) when he was 44 years old. Tok Gajah (his father) and the Panglima Kakap and later Orang Kaya Pahlawan Perkasa Semantan, Datuk Bahaman bin Dato’ Imam Noh, were some of his famous comrades-in-arms against the British during the period.


Mat Kilau showed his talent and genius while still young. He was an excellent Quran reader as a child, knowing various forms of Quranic recitation styles. In his teenage years, he excelled in the Malay traditional games of top spinning and "berlaga buah keras" and was always appointed the captain of his kampung team against neighbouring village teams.

It was as chief of his kampung’s game (animal) hunting that exposed him to the secrets of the jungle. And this intimate knowledge of the forests and jungle stood him in good stead when he later fought the British imperialists in the late 1880s.

But he is awed and respected by his followers because of his unusual or supernatural abilities in the physical and spiritual realms.

Amongst others, it is said that:-

* He can kill a person with just his bare hands.
* He can lift and carry a cow or bull alone by himself.
* He can eat fish with the bones intact, without internal injuries.
* He can drink poisonous drinks without any effect.
* He only used a stick and bamboo during fights with the British army, who used gunfire.
* He can make himself looked real dead and disappear from enemies.


The British had actually been misled by Mat Kilau into thinking that he was dead, ending their various pursuits in the jungles of Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan, which they tried in vain many times previously.

mat kilau at 122 years old
There were actually two versions of his death recorded in the history books. One version is that he died during an ambush by Siamese soldiers at a ceremony in Kelantan . Another version is that he died on the way to the Kuala Reh beach. These deaths were believed to have occurred around 1895.

It is interesting to note on the first version that he actually pretended dead, since he possessed this supernatural ability to stop heart and breathing movements for a few hours, making his death looked authentic, even upon examination. It was said that a banana stem was later inserted in place of his body into the grave.

When he re-emerged in 1969, the public was informed that he had made a pledge to Sultan Abdullah of Pahang, to stay peacefully in the state and not to reveal his true identity to anyone.

Mat Kilau led a quiet life at Kampung Batu 5, Jalan Kuantan, Pekan for more than 35 years. During this quiet period he assumed various names, including Mat Siam.

He came out in the open on 26th December 1969, accompanied by his son, Omar bin Mat Kilau, and announced his true identity at the Masjid (Mosque) Pulau Tawar, near Jerantut. He was about 122 years old then.


As news reports proliferated on the emergence of this legendary warrior, the Pahang State Government subsequently formed a special Committee on the 8th of January 1970, to check the veracity and authenticity of his claim.

Counter-checks were made on his history and stories of his plights and ventures were corroborated and other evidences submitted before the Committee made the final decision.

His smooth and correct answers to the Committee’s deep queries on historical matters and made without hesitation, plus his mannerism and conduct and comfortable use of uncommon palace language during his meeting with the Sultan of Pahang, were substantial proofs of his genuine claim.

Physically, the big mole on his right cheek, a long mole below the left shoulder and visible, old bullet scars on his shoulders and body, plus an additional flesh on the small toe of his foot, tallied with his old identity and history.

He also has a special short stick with the hilt of a carved head of a bird. And it was said that he actually only use the stick and sometimes a sharp bamboo ("buluh runcing") when fighting or going to battle with the British.


The stick or sharp bamboo he used as a weapon is actually the "sulur bertam", a cane –like plant that grows high on the mountains in Pahang.

The sulur bertam is dangerous to humans, and it may cause paralysis when one is hit by the cane.

It is said that another legendary Malay warrior, the Orang Kaya Semantan, Datuk Bahaman, also used this sulur bertam as his weapon.


After close to seven months of investigation, on 6th August 1970, the then Menteri Besar of Pahang, Tan Sri Haji Yahaya Mohd Seth, announced the Committee’s findings and verdict.

The Committee declared and officially verified that the said Mat Siam is truly the legendary Pahang warrior and patriot Mat Kilau, the son of Tok Gajah.


But as destiny would have it, just four days after the announcement of the Committee’s findings, Mat Kilau died. The great man passed away before the public had even then to fully digest from the mouth of the man who made history himself, more stories of his exploits and deeds.

But life’s like that sometimes.

He was buried at Kampung Kedondong, a village about two miles above Pulau Tawar, near the grave of his mother, Teh Mahada.

A grandson, Ibrahim bin Omar, about 70 years old now, still lives in Kampung Bukit Rang, Pulau Tawar.

Well, Mat Kilau, a legendary warrior, a valiant fighter and patriot, and a true son of Pahang, is no more.

But his name and exploits shall forever be etched in the annals of Malaysian history, for his indefatigable leadership and bravery against heavy odds.

He may have lost the battles against an imperial power but he had won the ultimate endearment of all patriots, not only of Pahang but everywhere in Malaysia.

His fighting spirit and valor in times of national need shall perhaps be a model for future generations to follow.

He is depicted in the Pahang Heroes Museum (Muzium Tokoh Pahang) in Kuantan, and a brief history of his stoic resistance against the British imperialism can be read there.

As always, from me ...
Article & Photo from
From traitor to patriot

HERE’S a twist to history. Ninety-two years ago, Merdeka was “declared” — in May, 1915 — in the district of Pasir Putih in Kelantan. That was 42 years and three months before the August 31, 1957, declaration!

It was rebel Malay leader Tok Janggut who declared the district of Pasir Putih free from British rule but the “declaration” was short-lived. Pasir Putih is the southernmost district along the east coast in Kelantan bordering Besut in Terengganu.

Tok Janggut and several followers were killed in battle by British soldiers summoned from Singapore. They came in a gunboat armed with large cannons.

His body was paraded in a bullock cart around Kota Baru and later, in a final act of indignation, it was covered with only a loincloth and hung upside down near the Kelantan River for four hours for public viewing. He was later buried on the opposite bank.

Tok Janggut, whose real name was Haji Mat Hassan bin Panglima Munas, was from Jeram, Pasir Putih. He had long since being reinstated as a national hero. His grave is now under a hut with tiled roof and surrounded by concrete walls. A Tourism Malaysia signboard tells about his exploits and untimely death on May 24, 1915.

A school in Pasir Putih has been named after him and there is a monument by the Semerak River, complete with keris, spears, tengkolok (head gear) and two pictures of the fallen hero but there is no signboard to inform outsiders what the monument is all about.

Tok Janggut shares a special place in history alongside other heroes who stood up against the British colonial masters.

Among them were Datuk Maharaja Lela and Datuk Sagor in Perak, Datuk Bahaman, Datuk Gajah, Mat Kilau and Mat Seman (Mat Kelantan) in Pahang. Datuk Dol Said in Naning, Negeri Sembilan, and Haji Abdul Rahman Limbong in Terengganu.

Others were Mat Saleh and Antanum in Sabah, and Sharif Masahor, Rentap, Banting, Asun and Rosli Dobi in Sarawak. The main bone of contention among the “rebels” was the excessive and unfair tax and insensitive meddling in local affairs and customs by the new “masters”.

Tok Janggut Trail

Recently, a group of journalists and tour agents went on a tour of various historical sites in Kelantan including to Pasir Putih. We stopped at Kampung Dalam Pupuh, the battle site between Tok Janggut and the British. Formerly a padi field, this is now abandoned and covered by small trees.

We met Yatim Awang, 96, a descendant of Tok Janggut. Yatim’s father (Awang) was one of the 43 villagers suspected of taking part in the rebellion. He was taken to Singapore where he died in prison.

We were shown a cluster of four coconut trees behind Yatim’s house where he said the bodies of local fighters Tok Hussin and Tok Abas, who were killed in battle, were secretly buried by villagers.

They dared not tell anyone about the graves for fear that the British would treat them like they did with Tok Janggut’s body. So instead of batu nesan (tombstones) to mark the graves, coconut palms were planted.

We also stopped at Pasir Putih to see Tok Janggut’s monument by the Semerak River, complete with pictures of his corpse – a close up shot of his face and another showing the body hanging upside down by the Kelantan River, guarded by a soldier.

The author of the book, Tok Janggut, Pejuang atau Penderhaka, Prof Nik Anuar Nik Mahmud of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia uncovered the pictures tucked away in the Bodleian Library Oxford, England when he went there to do research.

According to him, after the Tok Janggut rebellion episode, the British officer who documented the incident was told to destroy all records but instead these were secretly hidden and finally made their way to Oxford.

The book, published two years ago, also showed the execution of Berahim Teleng, one of Tok Janggut’s followers, by firing squad. Other pictures showed British soldiers resting after the battle.

We also saw Tok Janggut’s grave. Previously unmarked, it was given its due respect by the State government long after Merdeka.

At the Kota Baru War Museum, Nik Anuar said that the British exploited the Tok Janggut affair further by using their stooges in the government and forcing the palace to endorse their action.

Tok Janggut was portrayed as penderhaka (traitor) to the sultan even though he had explained that he was only rebelling against the British rule.

Nik Anuar said the prelude to the Tok Janggut uprising was the Bangkok Treaty on March 10, 1909, when Britain and Siam (Thailand) agreed to share the States of north and eastern Malaya without consulting the local chiefs and the people.

Britain took control of Kedah, Perlis, Kelantan and Terengganu while Siam took Patani, Menara, Jalor and Setol.

He said that earlier, in 1902, Siam had conquered Pattani, known in the Malay world as “Serambi Mekah” (the corridor of Mecca) by ousting its last ruler Tengku Abdul Kadir Kamaruddin.

“Sir John Anderson, the British governor of the Straits Settlement arrived at Kota Baru from Singapore on a gunboat in 1910 and forced Long Senik, local chieftain to accept the British direct rule over Kelantan,” he said.

“Long Senik was powerless to fight the British and on Oct 22 that year, he was forced to recognise the Bangkok Treaty and in return the British recognised him as Sultan Mahmud – IV. He was given $2,000 as allowance and $4,800 annually as pension.

“State administration was by order of British Advisors and administration of districts was under district officers (DO) who were outsiders, either British or locals. One such DO, Abdul Latif from Singapore, was given the mandate to rule Pasir Putih.”

His harsh and unfair rule was the last straw for Tok Janggut and his followers who caused the DO to flee to Kota Baru.

The British forced the locals to pay a high tax per head as well as tax on beetle nuts and coconuts. Some lost their land titles and inheritance. In protest, Tok Janggut and his followers boycotted the tax collection exercise.

“Tok Janggut went to Mecca to perform the Haj in 1914. There, he met with and received religious instructions from Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fatani who entrusted him with the task of launching a jihad (holy war) against Siam to free Pattani.

“His enlightenment against foreign exploitation and oppression of the Muslim world was further reinforced by a fatwa (decree) issued by the mufti of Ottoman Turkey that all Muslims must fight against British direct rule. World War I began that year and Turkey took Germany’s side against Britain.

“Alarmed, the British used every method to stop Muslims in its colonies from carrying out the fatwa. In Kelantan they forced the sultan to give a written support to the British government.

“The harsh treatment meted out to Tok Janggut and his followers was not only an insult to local customs but was also against basic human decency,” he said.

Nik Anuar, a direct descendant of Tok Janggut whose family emigrated from Pattani, said his book had put the facts down and that he was glad Tok Janggut had finally been given a rightful place in history as a freedom fighter.

Early Invasions

AS we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Merdeka, let us not forget that we received deliverance from a series of exploiters and colonial masters over several millennia.

In the 14th Century, the Malacca Sultanate covered the Malayan peninsular as well as parts of Indochina and Sumatera. It was a prosperous free port for a century but the arrival of the orang putih (white men) ruined everything.

With the arrival of the Portuguese in 1511, Malacca was reduced from a big kingdom to its present size. After ruling for 130 years, they were ousted by the Dutch in 1641. In turn, Dutch rule ended and the British took over after the signing of the Anglo-Dutch Treaty in 1824. But the British first came here in 1786 with Captain Francis Light taking over Penang.

In the beginning, these colonial masters comprised, not the British government, but big corporations like The British East India Company and the North Borneo Charter Company together with their counterpart, the Dutch East India Company (VOC).

The British ruled Malaya for 120 years until World War II (Dec 8, 1941 to Sept 13, 1945) when they were chased out by the Japanese.

The Japanese Occupation lasted three years and eight months. Two weeks of lawlessness followed as the Bintang Tiga (communist) terrorised the country, taking advantage of the lull in transition between the end of the Occupation and the return of the British.

The British ruled Malaya again, successfully weathering the Malayan Communist Party’s military uprising (Emergency) for 12 years between 1948 and 1960.

In all fairness, the British were the most civil of the colonial masters as they left behind not only physical infrastructures but also acted as mentor to the fledgling nation.

The British helped mobilise personnel and resources during Malaya’s efforts to repel attacks from Indonesia during the Konfrantasi (confrontation) when President Sukarno protested against North Borneo (Sabah) and Sarawak’s plan to join Malaya. Nevertheless, they did and the nation became Malaysia on Sept 16, 1963.

Articles from


Dol Said, The Naning warrior

Dol Said or in full Dato' Abdul Said was a 19th century Malay leader of an area called Naning, which was then part of Malacca on the Malay Peninsula. He opposed taxation by the British's taxation policy in the area and refused to pay it. This was a direct cause of a conflict known as the Naning War.

Dol Said's defiance led the British to send 150 soldiers in July 15th 1831 to capture Naning led by Captain Wyllie. Naning however successfully defended itself-guerrilla style- with aid from other Malay allies, which includes Seri Menanti, Sungai Ujong, Johol and Muar. The British realised that Naning can't easily be attacked, so British requested reinforcement from Yamtuan Muda Raja Ali in Rembau. Raja Ali agreed to send 600 troops to assist British on the attack of Naning. Later in March 1832, British sent a larger force, consisted of 1200 troops, to defeat Dol Said's force. Colonel Herbert led in this assault against Naning. In the second attack, Naning failed to receive military aids from his neighbors. Such failure along with the presence of a huge British expedition forced Dol Said to retreat to Sri Menanti before surrendering himself, effectively ending the war. British then combined Malacca and Naning. Dol said was given a home in Malacca. Till today, Dol Said is still known as a hero in Malaysia.

Articles from From Wikipedia
Remember our heroes, says Raja Nazrin


By Minderjeet Kaur

KUALA LUMPUR: Merdeka Day should mean more than the annual parade and the Malaysian flag flying from tall buildings.

Raja Muda of Perak Raja Dr Nazrin Shah said it should also be about the unsung heroes who fought and died to achieve the country's independence in 1957.

"We should remember them. They are the country's treasure," he said at Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) here yesterday.

Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka language planning officer Fauziah Hassan looking at one of the books by Syed Hussein Alatas after the launch of the seminar yesterday on his legacy of thoughts. — NST picture by Ahmad Irham Mohd Noor
Among the heroes, he said, were Mat Kilau, Dol Said, Maharaja Lela, Tuk Gajah, Tunku Kudin, Pandak Endut.

Raja Nazrin, speaking at a seminar organised by DBP on the "Legacy of Syed Hussein Alatas's Thoughts", became emotional as he spoke about the academician's contribution to the country.

He said Syed Hussein was a hero who respected freedom of thought and promoted harmony and social justice.

He added that the writer had tackled various issues, including the poor distribution of income and corruption, through his books such as Myth of Lazy Natives, Intellectuals in Developing Societies and Corruption: Its Nature, Causes and Functions.

Stressing that corruption was disgusting, Raja Nazrin said the problem was becoming widespread throughout the world. It could be seen in palaces, public and private service, political organisations and within uniformed bodies.

"It brings back a system of slavery, covered cosmetically, giving a false sense of beauty and joy to those who practise it. It brings a country and a person down.

"We have so many national heroes and we should continue to explore their philosophy in books, speeches and writings and keep them as the country's treasure.

"If we do not compile their work, our treasure might be buried and historical facts changed to suit the needs of political parties."

Raja Nazrin said it was crucial to remember historical events such as the signing of the Merdeka Agreement by the rulers of the Federated Malay States and Unfederated Malay States on Aug 5, 1957, which allowed the formation of a Malay regiment, guaranteed the sovereignty of the Malay rulers, and declared Islam as the official religion and the Malay language as the official language.

It also gave the responsibility of looking after the special position of the Malays and the legitimate rights of the other races to the Malay rulers.

Raja Muda of Perak Raja Dr Nazrin Shah says the unsung heroes who fought to achieve independence are the country’s treasure

Articles & photo from

Mat Kilau A Malaysian Warrior

OUT of the many Malay warriors who stood up against the British in the late 1880’s, only one lived to witness with his very own eyes the nation’s independence. Malaysian should not forget Mat Kilau and all the warriors. May Allah bless Mat Kilau who fought bravely against the colonial. Al- fatihah.

Photo from

February 6, 2010

Sea Based Life

Young sea gypsies play in the water in the centre of their neighbourhood in the Sulawesi Sea in Malaysia's state of Sabah on the Borneo island February 17, 2009. A community of 30 families of the indigenous ethnic group of sea gypsies are still maintaining a nomadic and sea-based life without fresh water supply, TV nor electricity, and only go to land to bury the dead.

Young sea gypsies sit on their boat outside of their family hut in their neighbourhood in Sulawesi Sea in Malaysia's state of Sabah on the Borneo island February 17, 2009.

Editor: Yang Lina

Original title: Sea gypsies live nomadic, sea-based life

February 3, 2010

Royal Professor Ungku Aziz - Secrets to Success

Royal Professor Ungku Aziz reveals secrets to success

KUALA LUMPUR: What are Royal Professor Ungku Abdul Aziz's secrets to success? One of them is to read nine books.
This includes Harvey Diamond's Fit for Life, Not Fat for Life, Edward De Bono's Thinking Course, Tony Buzan's Mind Map, Head First and The 36 Strategies of the Chinese: Adapting An Ancient Chinese Wisdom to the Business World by Wee Chow Hou and Lan Luh Luh.

Others are Jim Collins' Level 5 Leadership, Sun Tzu's Art of War, Nicollo Machiavelli's The Prince on the Art of Power and Leader's Window by J.D.W. Beck and N.M Yeager.

The 87-year-old voracious reader said the books provide an insight on how to be good and successful leaders.

Citing an example, he said Edward De Bono's Thinking Course promotes lateral thinking.
"The book teaches you to think differently," he said in his lecture "Quest For Success" as part of the Merdeka Award Lecture Series. He was a recipient of the award last year, in the education and community category.

Ungku Aziz said a good leader would have intelligence, credibility, humility, courage, and discipline.

He also said a good leader would be able to spot opportunities during crisis.

"Every crisis opens up opportunities," he said.

Later, when taking questions from the floor, Ungku Aziz said successful people were those who had resolve because their minds were strong and were resolute in reaching their goals.

"At the same time, humility is important, too.

"I'm happiest when I go to a kampung and people tell me 'you macam itu universiti punya' (you look like the person from the university)," he said to laughter from the floor.

Professor Di raja Ungku Aziz - Minda Melayu

Professor Di raja Ungku Aziz bila ditanya tentang minda orang Melayu


KALAU ditanya tentang minda orang Melayu kepada saya, saya rasa Melayu tidak sanggup berubah. Perspektif mereka terhad, tidak suka menyiasat dan mereka tidak mahu berfikir dengan mendalam.

Kalau kita tengok orang Melayu dalam cerita hikayat, Hikayat Raja-Raja Pasai misalnya, ia cukup menarik. Kita dapat menggambarkan bagaimana ekonominya dan strategi orang Melayu memerintah untuk berdepan dengan Majapahit. Berdasarkan hikayat itu dan tradisi pantun Melayu, kita dapati orang Melayu ini mempunyai minda yang canggih. Tetapi yang jadi tragedi ialah orang Melayu tidak nampak ini semua kerana tiga pengaruh besar.

Pertama, dalam tahun 1920-an dan 1930-an, pihak penjajah British menolak apa yang datang daripada Melayu, termasuk pantun, sebagai folk art, menjadikan apa yang dihasilkan oleh Melayu sebagai second class. Ketika itu, Melayu yang berharap untuk naik pangkat dan dapat kerja dengan kerajaan penjajah terpaksa ikut teori penjajah Inggeris. Ini semua membawa orang Melayu kepada perspektif jati diri yang salah.

Itu pengaruh penjajah.

Pada zaman ini, saya melihat sungguhpun banyak pemimpin Melayu bercakap tentang sains dan teknologi, orang Melayu pada umumnya tidak dapat menangkap pandangan itu. Di Eropah, sejak zaman renaissance, mereka telah mempelajari kemajuan sains dengan pendekatan yang berbeza. Mereka sentiasa bertanya.

Malangnya, di Malaysia, dari bangku sekolah kita tidak galakkan budak-budak bertanya. Sampailah mereka di universiti, kita tidak galakkan mereka bertanya: Kenapa? Di negara kita, pelajar tidak berani bertanya dan guru-guru pula tidak tahu menjawab. Budaya ini menunjukkan tidak wujudnya inquiry mind dalam masyarakat Melayu.

Kita tidak ada sikap saintifik.

Sikap negatif inilah yang menyebabkan berleluasanya cerita orang kena tipu dengan bomoh. Yang saya hairan, graduan-graduan universiti pun kena tipu dengan bomoh. Kalau pada kurun ke-18, terutama di England, orang selalu bertanya: Kalau betul ada hantu, mana hantu? Kita hendak pergi ke tempat hantu, kita nak pergi tengok hantu untuk lihat apa manifestasi hantu.

Pendekatan berani bertanya ini adalah sikap masyarakat dan tamadun yang berasaskan sains. Malangnya, kita tidak sedia dan berani bertanya, yang akhirnya menyebabkan kita tidak berani menghadapi cabaran.

Pemikiran Melayu ini sebahagiannya adalah sisa-sisa pengaruh penjajahan British. Ini bukan rahsia lagi. Kita boleh membaca dokumen-dokumen itu di London. Menurut para pegawai Inggeris, orang Melayu ini kalau diberi terlalu banyak pendidikan dan kalau diajar ilmu sains, kelak mereka akan jadi seperti orang India di India. Mereka akan berdemonstrasi dan hendakkan kebebasan.

Jadi ajarlah dia cerita Pak Pandir sahaja, itu sikit, ini sikit. Orang Melayu tidak suka sains, dia suka agama, jadi ajarlah tentang agama. Dia suka dengan raja dia, ajar Melayu buat bakul. Akibat dasar itu, tidak ada trouble makers. Trouble makers Melayu hanya timbul selepas Perang Dunia Kedua setelah kemasukan Jepun. Telah ada banyak buku yang membincangkan tentang subjek bagaimana British berjaya mengamalkan dasar yang mengongkong minda Melayu.

Itu semasa penjajahan. Selepas kita merdeka, minda orang Melayu masih terkongkong kerana semua orang Melayu kemudiannya gila hendak kuasa dan hendak jadi kaya. Ini adalah teori saya mengapa minda Melayu tidak berubah. Saya bertanggungjawab tentang pandangan ini.

Selepas merdeka, sesetengah orang Melayu yang ada kuasa, dia rasa dia boleh memerintah Malaysia sama bagus macam penjajah British. Minda Melayu ini sentiasa ada sesuatu yang membendung dan mempengaruhi - daripada kesan-kesan kolonialisasi pada tahun-tahun 1930-an, pengaruh Indonesia yang tidak sesuai di sini pada tahun 1940-an dan 1950-an, kesan media massa, dan kemudiannya budaya wang dalam masyarakat Melayu pada dekad-dekad terakhir ini.

Sekarang ini semua orang Melayu hendak kaya.

Sebagai seorang pendidik universiti, saya percaya (tetapi saya tidak ada buktinya) kalau orang mendapat pendidikan, mereka akan lebih bebas dan berubah. Contohnya pada akhir tahun 1970-an. Ketika Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad menjadi Menteri Perdagangan Antarabangsa dan Industri, Malaysia ketika itu dapat menarik banyak modal asing untuk membuka kilang mikrocip.

Kita dapat mewujudkan peluang pekerjaan kepada beratus-ratus ribu orang terutamanya untuk wanita. Wanita Melayu yang bekerja kilang ketika itu akhbar-akhbar gelar mereka ini sebagai minah karan. Orang Melayu hina wanita Melayu yang bekerja kilang.

Kenapa budak-budak perempuan Melayu ini mahu tinggalkan rumah di Kelantan, tinggalkan kampung di Johor untuk pergi bekerja kilang di Pulau Pinang, Selangor dan Melaka? Mereka sanggup kerana mereka telah belajar sampai ke peringkat sekolah menengah. Jadi program kerajaan membuka sekolah-sekolah menengah pada tahun 1960-an dan 1970-an, walaupun tidak ada rancangan khusus, ia telah membebaskan pemikiran budak-budak perempuan Melayu.

Waktu itu terdapat beribu-ribu remaja wanita Melayu pergi bekerja di kilang-kilang. Dalam penyelidikan saya pada tahun 1970-an, dalam soal selidik saya bertanya mereka, bila hendak kahwin? Di kampung, dulunya mereka ini berumah tangga pada usia muda. Umur 18 dan 19 tahun sudah kahwin atau dikahwinkan, tetapi akhirnya bercerai juga. Oleh kerana pendidikan dan faktor pendedahan kepada karier baru, wanita Melayu itu sudah ada idea tidak mahu kahwin cepat-cepat. Mereka hendak bekerja terlebih dahulu dan menyimpan duit.

Kita tanya lagi, kalau sudah kahwin hendak anak cepat atau lambat? Mereka kata lambat. Mereka hendak tangguh dapat anak sebab mereka hendak enjoy hidup berkahwin dan mewujudkan rumah tangga yang lengkap terlebih dahulu. Kata mereka, kalau dapat anak susahlah. Dalam sekelip mata, wanita Melayu berubah sikap. Ini semua tidak diprogramkan oleh kerajaan. Ia jadi begitu sahaja. Tetapi masyarakat Melayu tidak faham keuntungan perubahan minda wanita ini terutama di kalangan kumpulan berfikiran konservatif.

Hari ini di Malaysia, trend semasa ialah wanita menguasai 65 peratus tempat belajar di universiti-universiti. Dalam sektor kerajaan, banyak wanita yang memegang jawatan tinggi. Trend ini pasti mengubah masyarakat Melayu secara pesat, sebagaimana ia mengubah pemikiran wanita Melayu pada tahun 1970-an.

Ini semua adalah hasil daripada perubahan sikap yang tidak dirancang tapi terjadi. Perubahan minda itu berlaku secara tidak sengaja. Kadang-kadang kalau nasib kita baik, hasil perubahan yang tidak dirancang itu juga progresif seperti dalam kes perubahan minda wanita Melayu.

Bagaimanapun, kadang-kadang perubahan yang dirancang tidak terjadi kerana orang yang hendak melaksanakannya pun tidak jujur selain terdapat pengaruh lain yang menghalang seperti pengaruh politik tempatan, politik antarabangsa, Indonesia, peranan orang agama yang menimbulkan nilai-nilai sama ada seseorang dapat pergi syurga atau tidak.

Minda Melayu tidak dapat memikul ini semua. Kerana ada sesuatu dalam budaya mereka yang masih tidak diubah, mereka sanggup duduk di kedai kopi main dam. Contohnya orang lelaki. Kalau mereka tidak main dam, mereka akan bincang untuk gasak kerajaan. Semua salah, dia sahaja yang betul.

Titik perubahan kepada minda Melayu ialah tragedi 13 Mei 1969, tetapi peristiwa tersebut dan dasar-dasar ekonomi, pendidikan dan politik selepas itu tidak sepenuhnya menukar sikap orang Melayu. Ada beberapa faktor lain yang menghalang iaitu pengaruh Barat, peranan media massa, politik serta agama.

Kita memang berubah sedikit dari segi lahiriah tetapi saya tidak fikir orang Melayu kini berada pada kedudukan yang lebih baik. Kita sudah terjangkit apa yang bekas Perdana Menteri British, Margaret Thatcher hendak dulu, dan fahaman ini cukup besar sama ada di kalangan pemimpin Melayu dalam UMNO mahupun Pas, dan juga di kalangan para pegawai kerajaan. Kita hendak menjadi apa yang Thatcher kata a nation of shopkeepers. Kita tidak mahu kata shopkeepers, kita gunakan istilah usahawan.

Orang berfikir kalau sebahagian besar orang Melayu jadi usahawan, maka ekonomi orang Melayu akan naik. Ini saya rasa salah. Pendekatan untuk membangunkan orang Melayu dengan wang ringgit dan kebendaan ini tidak betul. Tesisnya silap.

Tetapi itulah minda Melayu sekarang.

Akhirnya saya lihat orang Melayu kini sudah kurang komitmen terhadap bangsanya sendiri. Sudah tidak ada kesedaran bahawa aku orang Melayu, aku mesti berkhidmat kepada orang Melayu, untuk membangunkan orang Melayu.

Nota: * PROFESOR Diraja Ungku Aziz adalah bekas Naib Canselor Universiti Malaya. Beliau terlibat aktif dalam isu-isu pembangunan masyarakat Melayu sejak zaman sebelum merdeka.

February 2, 2010

Malays are not and never will be racist

by Rusdi Mustapha
Monday, February 1st, 2010 09:20:00

I WAS going to describe in my column this week about a book titled 19th Wife, a story of Brigham Young, the prophet and leader of the Mormon church, then maybe allude it to Tiger Woods' 19th mistress and probably write about how Malaysians, especially the Malays, love to have mistresses. Then, I said to myself: “Nah! Boring!”

So, I decided to write about the subject of racism. I begin with a statement by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who said non-Malays should not question the special privileges enjoyed by the Malays and Bumiputeras.

“They must remember that it was the Malays who agreed to give them citizenship previously. Maybe the earlier generation of non-Malays is thankful of that, but the present generation has forgotten,” he said.

Dr Mahathir also said he was, like a majority of the Malays (myself included), not a racist but still felt offended when he read an article recently in a local newspaper that stated that there were no real Malays in the world and that Malays were actually immigrants.

Granted that the statement may be right and the Malays in this country were once immigrants from somewhere. My ancestor, Datuk Puteh, who opened a settlement in Seri Menanti, was from Pagar Ruyung in West Sumatra. We are of Minangkabau descent, so am I a descendant of immigrants?

My take is, within the Malay Archipelago, great and powerful Malays of Minangkabau, Bugis and Achenese descent came and helped and fought for each other.

One member of a great Bugis royal family from Celebes, or Sulawesi, came to Pahang and was given a great title, and today his descendants became prime ministers of this great country.

Many more Bugis royalty, after being pushed out by the British or Dutch colonialists, took refuge with their brother Malay kingdoms. One from Sulawesi went to Siam, today’s Thailand, and fought with the ruling royalty to stave off invaders.

Yes, we were immigrants, but for all intents and purposes, we were politically and socially here first. Yes, we probably invaded the local inhabitants to secure the land and installed a Malay governance and the rest is just history, my man!

Just like New Zealand, Hawaii, Australia, South Africa and many, many more examples where the indigenous people have capitulated to bigger kris, gunpowder and muskets, and other “modern” weapons of subjugation.

I have said this before and I will say it again: Does this mean that Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and Hawaii and in many, many examples of brutal subjugation of people, that the lands should be given back to their original people? I think we all know that answer.

But one thing I have to agree with Dr Mahathir is that it appears the Malays in this country cannot sustain what they have acquired.

I agree with Dr Mahathir, 100 per cent, that Malays in this country have become weak — people just throw all kinds of accusations at them and there is nothing they can do… because they are weak! If they persist on being weak, then we have to put up with the inevitability of this country being governed by the Opposition, namely, by the DAP, which is smart enough to use weak Malays from other Opposition political parties to eventually grab power from the descendants of the immigrant Malay-dominated government!

US moon mission scrapped

US moon mission scrapped

Part of the new funds will go towards extending the life of the International Space Station [AFP]

US plans to return astronauts to the moon have been scrapped under a revised budget presented to the US congress.

The plan put forward by Barack Obama, the US president, on Monday kills off the costly Constellation programme of new rockets and spacecraft initiated under the previous Bush administration.

Instead Nasa, the US space agency, will get increased funds to develop new rocket technologies and incentivise private companies to develop spacecraft to carry future generations of astronauts.

Under the plan Nasa will get an extra $6bn over the next five years to begin what the White House said would be "a bold and ambitious new space initiative that invests in American ingenuity".

The Constellation programme, officials said, was behind schedule, over budget, a waste of resources and less important than other space investments.

The programme has already cost Nasa more than $9bn and will cost another $2.5bn to wind down, abandoning the development of the Ares-I and –V series of rockets, as well as the planned Orion spacecraft.


Charlie Bolden, the Nasa administrator, said the new mission would put the US on "a more sustainable and affordable approach to spaceflight through the development of transformative technologies and systems".

"We will blaze a new trail of discovery and development. We will facilitate the growth of new commercial industries. And we will expand our understanding of the Earth, our solar system, and the universe beyond," he said.

Gone: The revised budget spells the end for Nasa's Ares rockets [GALLO/GETTY]
Marko Caceres, a space analyst with the Teal Group in Washington, told Al Jazeera the budget changes marked an effort by the US president to "redefine the future of human space exploration for the United States.

"Instead of letting Nasa take the lead and be the driver, as has traditionally been the case, president Obama wants US commercial industry to be the driver of a totally new industry".

Constellation, Caceres said, had never had enough money to become a reality, and was in any case only aimed at returning man to the moon, something Nasa had already done 40 years ago.

"The question is, is it more feasible to simply send another astronaut to the moon to plant the flag again? Or is it better for our economy to start up a whole new industry?" Caceres said.

'Death march'

Nonetheless Obama's plans to drop Constellation have already been criticised by some members of the congress who have promised to fight the new budget.

Richard Shelby, the senior Republican on the senate appropriations subcommittee handling Nasa funding, said the plan would lead to "the death march for the future of US human space flight".

"Congress cannot and will not sit back and watch the reckless abandonment of sound principles, a proven track record, a steady path to success, and the destruction of our human space flight program," he said.

Future astronaut missions may fly on board private spacecraft [EPA]
Shelby's home state of Alabama is the location of Nasa's Marshall Space Flight Centre, an important local employer.

Senator Bill Nelson of Florida, home of the Kennedy space centre, has also promised to fight efforts to cut back Nasa's operations.

But White House and Nasa officials say the changes will encourage the creation of high-tech jobs and enable the US to travel "further, faster and more affordably into space."

A key part of the new budget plan, said Charlie Bolden, the Nasa chief, would be to extend the life of the International Space Station to 2020 or beyond.

That, he said, would allow the US to "keep a commitment to our international partners and develop the full potential of this amazing orbiting laboratory."

Nasa meanwhile has insisted that scrapping Constellation does not mean an end to US ambitions to return to the moon, but, would on the contrary, would open the way to going even further into space.

Sights on Mars

"The moon continues to be an important destination for humans along with near-Earth asteroids, and ultimately our destination is the moons and surface of Mars," Laurie Garver, Nasa deputy administrator, said.

"We're not cancelling our ambitions to explore space, we're cancelling Constellation."

Obama's plan was also praised by Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon in 1969, who said that Nasa's revised mission looked to the future whereas Constellation was stuck in the past.

"We've already been to the Moon - some 40 years ago," Aldrin said in a statement.

"A near-term focus on lowering the cost of access to space and on developing key, cutting-edge technologies to take us further, faster, is just what our nation needs to maintain its position as the leader in space exploration."

Full Moon Infront of My house

Full moon, very beautiful but my camera not even suit for ammateur