Di Bawoh Rang Ikang Kering
Random Ramblings of A Retired Retainer


Tuesday, January 27, 2009
(As promised, this blog henceforth will only deal with things on or about Terengganu. Other ramblings will be on Pokku's Post.)

Have you ever been lullabied by "Ayun Buai Kokek"? If you do not have a Terengganu mother, chances are very slim indeed. Even if your mother is from Terengganu, she might not be of the right age to know the song. I for one could not remember when I was last in a buai (or ndo, if you are in the Kelantanese speaking part of Terengganu). Go here to listen to the song sung by Habsah Jusoh. Habsah's forte is singing Lagu Melayu Asli, even modern asli song like Selasih Ku Sayang.

The lyric goes like this:

Ayong buai kokek, kokek ulu golok
hok dia lokek, hok orang dia nok
(repeat 2x)

timang tinggi tinggi, tinggi pucuk celagi,
bangung pagi-pagi, teruh pegi mengaji.

Ayong buai kokek, kokek ulu golok
hok dia lokek, hok orang dia nok
(repeat 2x)

timang tinggi-tinggi sampai cucur atap
belum tumbuh gigi pandai baca kitab

Ayong buai kokek, kokek ulu golok
hok dia lokek, hok orang dia nok
(repeat 2x)

timang tinggi-tinggi sampai pucuk pinang
bila pandai ngaji hidup jadi senang

Ayong buai kokek, kokek ulu golok
hok dia lokek, hok orang dia nok
(repeat 2x)

timang tinggi-tinggi, sampai pucuk sena
bila besor nanti, jadi orang berguna

Ayong buai kokek, kokek ulu golok
hok dia lokek, hok orang dia nok
(repeat 2x)
The lullaby is what Terengganu mothers of yesteryears sang to their babies. The mothers were full of hope while the babies might be full of nestum, pisang lecek or whatever they feed babies with those days. The chorus might be directed to some selfish relatives or neighbours. Politicians can use it at the next ceramoh.

Now, what in tarnation is kokek?
I can recall kokek being used to describe the noise coming out of the Terengganu kitchen when crockeries are moved. That does not fit into the lyric
kokek ulu golok
unless the ulu is as loose as my remaining tooth. You know what ulu is of course. It is an economical way of saying hulu or citing an example of the Cockney influence in Terengganu. Ulu means head, top part or upriver. Thus ulu golok is the handle of the Terengganu machete as opposed to the lower or business end of the golok. If there are medical doctors among you, please tell me what is the medical term for ulu ati.

Now, for the Cockney influence or rather, similarity:
Cockneys, like people in Terengganu, have the propensity to drop the "h" in a lot of words. In Terengganu, hari becomes ari, hutang (and hutan) becomes utang. Hidung becomes idong and many more. Just like the Cockney lady in this story:

It was a blustery and windy day in one part of London. One tourist was embarassed on behalf of the lady whose skirt was lifted high up by the wind.
Tourist: Airy isn't?
Lady: Eh? Wot do you expect? Bald?

Now go back to work.

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Monday, January 26, 2009
This blog will go through some changes beginning today. Nothing to do with the Year of The Keruba (balor or otherwise). I have decided to make this blog exclusively for Terengganuspeak and Trengganuiana ( Malaysiana = stuffs about Malaysia so Terengganuiana is stuffs about Terengganu, ok?). Other topics will be on my other blog Pokku's Post, formerly housing the urls of blogs that linked to me. The first posting is about the Jazz Tribute to Malaysian Songs.

The list (or part of it) is still there. I am working on it, so please do not merajuk if you do not see your blog listed there.

I hope this new arrangement works. Let me know please. Any inconvenience caused is much regretted.

To my Chinese readers, Happy New Year!


Thursday, January 22, 2009
You might have noticed my countdown on the left of the page. I will keep it on until the residents of Vista Angkasa get our phones working again.
Sad to say, this is the delivery system that we have. Like I have mentioned before. Only the tok bidan delivers. The rest promise but never deliver.
Can you blame the people of Kuala Terengganu for getting fed up?
In case you are wondering what my beef is, read here.
Rocky highlighted it, the Consumer people filed a complain but the result is still silent phones, no Streamyx. I still have to pay for the phone bill and the Streamyx bill.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Tonight many will watch history unfolds as Obama is inaugurated as USA's 44th President. Many wished that there are politicians like Obama in our country. To get a small peek into the heart of Obama, I shall share with you a letter that he wrote. Read it to your own children and grandchildren. Pass it on to your politician-friends. It might not help but as my friend Narayanan told me "Pluck a strand of hair from your head and throw it at the mango. If the mango falls down, well and good. If not, you only lose a strand of hair".
Thanks to our former Director-General, Dato' Abdullah for forwarding this letter:

Dear Malia and Sasha,

I know that you've both had a lot of fun these last two years on the campaign trail, going to picnics and parades and state fairs, eating all sorts of junk food your mother and I probably shouldn't have let you have. But I also know that it hasn't always been easy for you and Mom, and that as excited as you both are about that new puppy, it doesn't make up for all the time we've been apart. I know how much I've missed these past two years, and today I want to tell you a little more about why I decided to take our family on this journey.

When I was a young man, I thought life was all about me-about how I'd make my way in the world, become successful, and get the things I want. But then the two of you came into my world with all your curiosity and mischief and those smiles that never fail to fill my heart and light up my day. And suddenly, all my big plans for myself didn't seem so important anymore. I soon found that the greatest joy in my life was the joy I saw in yours. And I realized that my own life wouldn't count for much unless I was able to ensure that you had every opportunity for happiness and fulfillment in yours. In the end, girls, that's why I ran for President: because of what I want for you and for every child in this nation.

I want all our children to go to schools worthy of their potential-schools that challenge them, inspire them, and instill in them a sense of wonder about the world around them. I want them to have the chance to go to college-even if their parents aren't rich. And I want them to get good jobs: jobs that pay well and give them benefits like health care, jobs that let them spend time with their own kids and retire with dignity.

I want us to push the boundaries of discovery so that you'll live to see new technologies and inventions that improve our lives and make our planet cleaner and safer. And I want us to push our own human boundaries to reach beyond the divides of race and region, gender and religion that keep us from seeing the best in each other.

Sometimes we have to send our young men and women into war and other dangerous situations to protect our country-but when we do, I want to make sure that it is only for a very good reason, that we try our best to settle our differences with others peacefully, and that we do everything possible to keep our servicemen and women safe. And I want every child to understand that the blessings these brave Americans fight for are not free-that with the great privilege of being a citizen of this nation comes great responsibility.

That was the lesson your grandmother tried to teach me when I was your age, reading me the opening lines of the Declaration of Independence and telling me about the men and women who marched for equality because they believed those words put to paper two centuries ago should mean something.

She helped me understand that America is great not because it is perfect but because it can always be made better-and that the unfinished work of perfecting our union falls to each of us. It's a charge we pass on to our children, coming closer with each new generation to what we know America should be.

I hope both of you will take up that work, righting the wrongs that you see and working to give others the chances you've had. Not just because you have an obligation to give something back to this country that has given our family so much-although you do have that obligation. But because you have an obligation to yourself. Because it is only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you will realize your true potential.

These are the things I want for you-to grow up in a world with no limits on your dreams and no achievements beyond your reach, and to grow into compassionate, committed women who will help build that world. And I want every child to have the same chances to learn and dream and grow and thrive that you girls have. That's why I've taken our family on this great adventure.

I am so proud of both of you. I love you more than you can ever know. And I am grateful every day for your patience, poise, grace, and humor as we prepare to start our new life together in the White House.

Love, Dad

(Published in PARADE)

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Sunday, January 18, 2009
I am departing from my usual path by giving my thoughts on the result of Saturday's Kuala Terengganu By-Election. I am not writing as a political partisan but as a rambling old citizen of this country and of course as someone who grew up in Terengganu.
I am proud that voters in Kuala Terengganu spoke their mind through the ballot box. Many bloggers, too many to mention, vociferously urged KT voters to send a message to the ruling party. Brendan Behan, the great Irish writer came to mind. When asked what was the message in his latest book, Brendan gruffly retorted "What message? Do you think I am a blardy postman?"

Of course there are things to be learned from this by-election. Difficult as it may be, politicians must change their ways and political parties must review their goals. Be serious with your Post Mortems. Do many Post Post Mortems. Many many moons ago I was with a rombongan where there were many BN members, mostly from UMNO. I asked a friend who was a known active UMNO member why he joined the party. He was honest enough to tell me that he joined not because of idealism. He told me that not many joined UMNO to fight for "Agama, Bangsa dan Negara". How come I was not surprised?

When I was a small boy, I was impressed with the fervour of the UMNO people that I met. In Merang, there was Cikgu Weil who, I guessed, led UMNO in Merang. Cikgu Wei could not straighten his arm properly. This affliction is called "deko" in Terengganuspeak. So, whenever Cikgu Weil raised his arm and shouted "Merdeka", Merang people naughtily responded "Deko! Deko" although they knew what Cikgu Weil, like many UMNO members at that time was fighting for. Like many UMNO members during his time, Cikgu Weil did not become rich. I am sure you know of many more like Cikgu Weil just as you know of UMNO members who became rich solely through the patronage system. This system ("I scratch your back, you scratch mine") should be scratched out. Ditto for Money Politcs. An UMNO blogger, Sakmongkol, who is very arif (wise, expert) wrote about UMNO leaders being elected in the loo which he predicted will be UMNO's Waterloo. On a lower level, I even heard of UMNO people refusing to put up election posters unless they are paid and handsomely, too, thank you. There are legitimate companies that put up posters and buntings for a fee.At least they do not profess to fight for "Bangsa, Agama dan Negara".

I shall not bore you with all the ills that plague UMNO. UMNO members know better. Read their blog.I do not wish to see any political party die in a democratic country. It is good to hear talks about overhauling and re-energizing the party. Even though UMNO does not like suggestions from non-members (or ex-members for that matter, famous or not) I shall offer a suggestion. Start with changing the perception that UMNO is full of corruption, arrogance and selfishness. Be sincere, honest, fair, transparent and altruistic. You might say that I am politically naive to think that there are politicians in Malaysia with those attributes. Maybe I am, but remember Toyota's Tv ad? The idea must be absurd to be successful. Do that and you can win over voters in all parts of Malaysia, not just Kuala Terengganu the next time you contest in an election.

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

(I have to write this in Terengganu language because Mok Nang Selamoh does not read or speak English. Translation not forthcoming. Sorry)

Kehadapang yang dikasihi kekanda Mok Nang Selamoh semoga dalang keadaang sehat walafiat adanye.
Lusa Mok Nang Selamoh kene gi ngundi. Jangang pulok buat culah. Doksoh tido lepah suboh. Paka baju lawo-lawo, ikat kaing batik jawa tu mollek. Subang bung dok payoh paka lah. Nok gi ngundi, bukang nok gi makang pulot. Pah tu tunggu tepi baroh. Kekgi adalah kereta lalu buleh tupang. Tok soh tebeng bejalang kaki. Sakit lutut dok baik lagi. Lama kang boghat pulok. Ari Ngundi ning, Mok Nang Selamoh raja. Serma nok ambik Mok Nang Selamoh gi ngundi. Pilih sediri. Nok naik kereta, nok naik beng, buleh belaka.

Macang hari ngundi dulu, bawok kad gambo. Kad berah dok payoh. Tadok kad gambo, tokleh ngundi. Acu gi buka kelepey tu, tengok kad gambo ada ke tidok. Kalu kena ketek dorang atawapong kena kecek dorang, Mok Nang Selamoh gi derah derah ripok Pullih. Dok ingat ke? Kite pesang doh. Kad gambo jangan bui ke orang. Kad gambo kene jaga. Serupa jugok kruba lembu. Kalu hari Jemaat keruba ke, lembu ke ilang, jangang pulok ari Sa’tu tu sariang tang malang gi cari kruba. Dok dang ngundi kang.

Hok mana nok pakoh, kita tamboh kabo lah. Mok Nang Selamoh pong tau kita ni dak berahi politik tapi rama jugok kawang kawang ddalang politik. Ada kawang sekoloh yang jadi calon Pah, ada kawang yang kuat UMNO. Kita tadok ttuangg. Hok mana betul, kita kata betul. Hok saloh kita dak kata betol. Ngundi kali ning susoh sikit. Taung lepah senang. Putih pakoh se, hok kuning pakoh lain. Taung ni, ada se je. Dak rajin lagi kena lagu ning. Kemareng dulu Pok Od talipong. Dia kata 50-50. Hari ning dia kata 49-51 pulok. Sapadia 49, sapedia 51, walahualam. Pok Od kata Pok Wee, Tokeh Tong, Mek Beso, Sikeng dan member-member lain di Kapong Cina nok pakoh Pah. Napok gaya nyesa lah Majlih Bandoraya uboh bata Jalang Kapong Cina. Kalu Moknang Selamoh nok pakoh Pah pun tadok galangan. Kita tau Mok Nang Selamoh bukang ahli Pah dang Bukang ahli UMNO. Cawangang Keadilang, DAP tadok lagi kat kapong. Kalu Mok Nang Selamoh senyak senyak masuk UMNO pong, nok pakoh Pah pong buleh. Rama orang UMNO tok pakoh calon UMNO masa ngundi taung lepah. Ari Sa’tu ning ada jugok gamoknya orang UMNO tok pakoh calon UMNO. Puok puok hok dak berahi ke Dato’ Wang Farid buleh jadi pakoh orang lain. Buleh ke X-Factor yang Dato’Wang Farid kata dia ada tu jadi banyok X dalang kertah undi ari Sa’tu ning? Kalu orang UMNO bersatu, buleh. Kalu pakat maing peteh keting belaka, susoh sikit.

Orang kata calon UMNO ni sombong . Ambe dok kenal Dato’ ning. Ayoh dia ambe kenal. Ayoh dia ok. Panda bahasa Arab.Pada ambe, ayoh dia tok sombong. Ning serma, orang putih kata “perception”. Dalang politik ning, perception atau pandang/perhatian/ingatan/sangkaan orang mustohok. Macang Mok Nang Selamoh jugok. Kalu Mok Nang Selamoh tok senyung seminggu, anok beranok kata Mok Nang Selamoh sembelit. Perasaang suka dak suka ni mari daripada sentiment. Sentiment mari daripada pengalamang-pengalamang kita sediri. Sentimen-sentimen kalu tokleh beruboh jadi prejudis/buruksangka. Perception asas sentiment. Macang puok puok orang Merang hok Pah beri tanoh. Puok puok ning bukang orang Pah belake tapi orang Merang. Ada hok beranok di Merang, ada mok ayoh, tok nenek orang Merang. Pah nok bui tanoh lot. Isi borang, balik gi interview, terima surat buleh, bayor pitih ukur.Nok ngundi lot doh, tuko kerajaang. Walapong ini bukang soal parti tapi soal kerajaang ( kalu kerajaang Pah berutang, UMNO ambik aleh kerajaang, kerajaan kene bayo utang jugok) serma transaksi tanoh lot tu kena gatung. Tepat laing pun gitu jugok. Nok buleh geran doh di jjabat tanoh, ada bapok suruh kensel.

Jadi mitok-mitoklah kalu UMNO aloh ari Sa’tu ning, jangang pulok kensel rancangan nok bui laptop ke budok-budok. Rancangang ni MB kabo dalam perhimpunang PESAT di TTDI masa arwah Dato’Razali hidup lagi dan rancangang-rancangan lain yang lama doh rancang. Kalu kensel jugok, teballah lagi sentimen orang-orang atah pago macang Mok Nang Selamoh.
Selamat ngundi!

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Sunday, January 11, 2009
(CLICK PIC to get a bigger image)

If you need to do something other than rage and rant:


Cheque payable to MERCY MALAYSIA
CIMB Account No : 1424-000-6561053

For more information please contact 03-2273 3999 or email us at info@mercy.org.my

For people who cynically asked whether we should boycott Microsoft etc. , please go here and check for brands and products that contributed to Israel. Click on the brand to get the background.

For people who blamed Hamas, go see some pictures here.
If you need to understand the whole story, read this Cikgu's post.

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Wednesday, January 07, 2009
So Sime Darby backed down on its bid for a substantial stake in IJN. Like many Malaysians, I am glad. I have many fellow pensioners and close friends who had operations there because they could not afford them elsewhere. Mimi's maternal grandpa had his bypass in SJMC and paid through his nose. My family doctor still has not referred me to IJN, touch wood (touching my head) maybe because, according to some family members, I have a heart of stone.

I hope IJN will be safe from the predators even after the Kuala Terengganu by-election. No more flip-flops please. If there is a dire need to hive-off any national institution, make a public offer and make every bid public. Do that for every government property. Of course it can be exempted if it is your grandfather's property. Anyway, I will keep Rocky's "Slimy Heart"(top, left column) for a while longer, just in case.

I am still without a housephone and a broadband line. A member of The Joint Management Committee told me that a group of TM people will take a look at the broken cables today. I could not be too hard on the Joint Management Committee because they officially took over the management (and problems) of Vista Angkasa only on the 1st of January 2009.

A few hours ago I received an email from a NST reporter who came across my posting on Vista Angkasa and wanted to speak to me and other residents. Since I do not read the NST and I am still without teeth (literally and figuratively) I will get some other people who are willing to be interviewed before I reply to the email later today. Suddenly, more people are curious about our plight. That's heartwarming indeed.

It is also heartwarming to know that there are still people who think of me and bother to send me New Year messages. I could not post about this earlier because my ancient pc had a transplant of its own. I had to give it a new heart (Intel Core 2 Duo) and a new motherboard. That entailed a reformat of the hard disk and reinstallation of the Operating System and all the programs I use. That took a few days. Now the pc is fast but I am still old and slow.
Better late than never, so I will share one SMS with you. This one from Pak Adib:

2009 is here, Don't be afraid to grow old.
Old folks are worth a fortune.
They have silver in their hair,
gold in their teeth,
stones in the kidneys and
gas in their stomach.
Kencing pun manis dan darah pun ada kelas-tinggi.
So Happy New Year.

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Thursday, January 01, 2009
It has a been a long while since I attended any Gregorian New Year do. After a few years of New Year's Eve listening to Johnny Tillotson singing "Its Bitsy Yellow Polkadot Bikini" etc. and thereafter watching fireworks from my balcony, I thought I should break away from routine. The opportunity presented itself when Mimi spent a considerable amount of her ang pow money to buy tickets to a New Year Eve do at Holiday Villa, Subang where Francissca Peter would be the main act. Mimi remembered that her mother is a great fan of Francissca.
The theme of the night was "Enchantment of The Sea" so Vintage Ballroom had all kinds of styrofoam fish dangling from the ceiling including menacing sharks. Guests enter the ballroom through a boat wreck and waiters had an apron painted with luminous mermaids. The centerpiece on each table was a vase made of shells. If ever I lecture on "Special Events & Risk Management" again, I would have lots of examples to cite.
First in the program was dinner. Only dinner was not served. It was a buffet. The food was good. I enjoyed the butter prawns, the oysters, the beef stroganoff and the potato salad. My only complaint was too dark to see the food. The dance floor was bright though. Many would prefer the food area to be brighter than the dance area.
The first act on stage was the Sound Stream. Somebody told me that they were Filipinos. Could have fooled me. They sang souls like they were black. They tried to sing a Malay song and a Mandarin song but I think they did "Mamma Mia" and the Shakira song better. And I could not understand why one of the girls wore shorts on stage.
A Lucky Draw followed. We did not win anything. That was the luck of the draw. I do not think being at table number 13 had anything to do with it.
The Kong Brothers made us forget the Lucky Draw. Their slapstick "magic tricks" and acrobatics had the audience in stitches. After their performance, I met the shorter half of the two brothers outside the Washroom. I learned that they are from Penang and started over 20 years ago performing in circus. They have performed in Hongkong, Taiwan and Japan.
At around 11.00PM, after the Final Lucky Draw, which we also were unlucky, Luciana Francissca Peter(bet you do not her full name) finally appeared. She sounded more confident than before and "Sekadar Di Pinggiran" as well as her other trademark songs sounded just as sweet, if not sweeter. She did justice to a Teresa Teng number (in Mandarin) and she joked with a part of the crowd in fluent Cantonese.
We left after the countdown was over because Francissca's show was over too. We left the Dinner & Dance without dancing. At least we ate. We enjoyed the evening and went home to a new year with the Kong Brothers memorable quote bringing a smile to our face.

Kong (to a guest dragged onto the stage) Where you come from?
Guest: I come from Melaka...
Kong: Good, good. I come from my mader.

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