Di Bawoh Rang Ikang Kering
Random Ramblings of A Retired Retainer


Thursday, May 27, 2010
Nasi Dagang will go far and high beginning this June. Our national airlines, MAS today gave a sample of "The Flavours of Terengganu" as featured in "Kulit Manis: A Taste of Terengganu".

The event was held in the Mock Up hall at the MAS Academy, Kelana Jaya with a replica of a Boeing 747 as the backdrop.

(One of the chefs transferring the food to the plates)
It took a lot of thought and R & D before a selection of dishes were selected. As mentioned by Hayati Dato' Ali. Malaysia Airlines' GM In-Flight Services in her opening speech everything has to be considered since MAS customers come from many parts of the world and from many cultures. The food and the ingredient too will have to withstand the rigours of freezing and re-heating without losing the taste when served in pressurised cabins many thousand feet above the clouds. Thus the Terengganu dishes selected were Daging Masak Gulai Kampong, Gulai Ikan Tongkol (Ikan Aya), Nasi Dagang, Kikan Masak Pudding Lada, Kerutuk Ayam and Nasi Telur. Kerabu Laksa was chosen as an appetiser while the desserts were Hasidah and Lompat Tikam.
Chefs from MAS, led by Chef Razak and the catering partner LGSB hunkered down with To' Puan Rozita and Tengku Zainal Abidin to perfect the quality and taste of each dish. I must say that they succeeded. The nasi dagang changed texture a bit after freezing and re-heating but I am sure work is already underway to rectify the small problem.

Nasi Dagang and Gulai Ikan Tongkol

Nasi Telur with Kerutuk Ayam

To' Puan Rozita showing the dishes to Tan Sri Dr. Munir.

The Terengganu dishes will be offered to MAS passengers travelling from KL to East Malaysia, ASEAN destinations, Jeddah, London, Australia and Amsterdam from 1st June to 31st July. The lucky passengers can tell their grandchildren that they had the highest nasi dagang in the world.



Saturday, May 15, 2010
Growing up in Terengganu, I got used to the azan (the call to prayer). One of the illustrious bilal (muezzin) was Tok Bilal Said. I have yet to hear a better azan.

Apparently, the bilals in Istanbul did not fare as well as Tok Bilal Said. The people in Istanbul complained and Istanbul acted.

How I wished the Majlis Ugama Islam in all the states in Malaysia have a similar program. I am sure you all have endured anomalous azans lots of times. The first muezzin was Bilal, a former slave. He had a good and strong voice and I am sure he hit the right notes. Today we have a lot of voluntary bilals in suraus all over the country. Some are good. Most are bad. Some got the melody wrong. Even P.Ramlee, our famous singer could not get the melody right. Some shrieked the azan as if they are trying very hard to purge something out of their system. Some are so tuneless that instead of waking us up, they put us back to sleep.

There are good bilals all over the country. My friend Razak told me about a bilal in Taiping who inspired every muslim who heard him to quickly prepare for prayers. Bilals like him are far and few in between so it is time the bilals are given voice training. Discourage or even ban those with tin ears from grabbing the microphone. Do not let them make Bilal or Tok Bilal Said turn in their grave.



Wednesday, May 05, 2010
Yesterday I read something about Terengganu that I can blog about.
The Terengganu state government feels that there are too many people visiting Pulau Redang. For the newsreaders out there Redang is pronounced as ray-dung. Remember that you ignoramus.
Somehow, Redang has become famous. 40 years ago, when I first stepped foot on Redang. There was no chalet or resort. I had to do my business in the bush. 10 years ago, when I brought my cucu to the island, there were resorts and chalets all over the place. There is even an airstrip to bring rich tourists to the island. At Kilau's resort (the former Redang Government Rest House) I met a few Chinese from Perak. They were tradesmen and they were not rich. They scrimped and saved to get to the island. They heard about the beauty of the island and they had to come. So how do you discourage people like these?
One way I guess is to promote other islands. In case you forget, there are many more islands in Terengganu. If you want to relax and snorkel, you can do that at Pulau Kapas and Pulau Perhentian too. Honeymooners can choose Pulau Gemia. Serious scuba divers know that the islands for them are Pulau Tenggol and Pulau Lang Tengah. I have been told that even Bidong has some nice diving spots.
Promote these islands and you can ease the strain on Redang. Otherwise some form of control has to be introduced and enforced. This is easier said than done. I think it is more difficult than bringing married couples to the island to reignite their passion and romance.
I shall wait for the detailed plan of action. In the meantime, you are welcome to offer suggestions.