Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Pantun for FT

The pantun is a form of Malay poem used to express feelings and thoughts. It is common in Malaysia especially within Malay community. Traditionally, pantun has indirect or hidden meaning with translation of the phrases. Some elements may be employed like metaphor, hyperbole, personification or simile. Nowadays, pantun may be used in speeches and ceremonies or just for fun in daily life.
Pantun will have even number of stanza. Starting with two, the quatrain is the most common one with ‘a,b,a,b.’ rhyme. It is best to recite pantun with a fixed rhythm some sort like a rap song but with much slower momentum and more feelings to it. Normally, to match the rhythm every line will only consist from 4 to 5 words optimum or 8 to 12 syllables. In four-lined pantun, the first two lines may appear completely unrelated with the third and fourth. However it may be a general hint or somehow related with the actual message in the third and fourth lines. The philosophy in pantun is so rich and carry unique meanings as it may have a lot of idioms in it.
The uniqueness of pantun is so wonderful. Even more interesting with the luxurious of Malay language. No argue that pantun best recited in Malay language. The pantun I made here is totally just for publicity purpose. Just for the international community to get the taste of Malaysian culture in very traditional way. Enjoy and appreciate the messages.

Labuan bounded by South China Sea,
Its ocean avidly hugs the shore;
If you're looking for panoramic spree,
Here, stop searching no more.

World War II deserved a Peace Park,
As Labuan witnessed the Japanese surrendered;
Friendly and courteous the locals spark,
Makes your heart most flattered.

Stars of unity landed on Dataran Putra,
Lies peacefully under one flag;
Once only a dream was Putrajaya,
Now auspicious, no longer a brag.

Perdana Putra up on the hill,
Close guarding the government movers around;
Our vision shall we fulfill,
With values on a firm ground.

Every new year or independence day countdown,
Dataran Merdeka always been there;
From Little India to Chinatown,
KL in its colourful glare.

Twin Towers stand side by side,
So tall, only skybridge deem fit;
Our capital city our pride,
KL lives up the spirit.

Three cities one Federal Territory,
Different stories different borderline;
So special, has own ministry,
To uphold 1Malaysia, the precious one.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Recently, I have been appointed to work as part time survey interviewer. While waiting for my application for pursuing Master study, it is a great opportunity for me to gain experience as well as good source for my money income. During my working days, I have opted to drive as my working hours may extend until night. It is quiet costly but it is worth it if I choose the right time for my journey and offers good scenery as well.

After spending few minutes heating up my car engine, I took off with a merely hope of getting more and more helpful respondent. More respondent means more money. I chose route using Jalan Ampang to the city centre even though there is other convenient express way like AKLEH. For tight budget person like me, it is not my primary option. However, it is undeniable a better solution for heavy traffic flow during peak hours. One can cruise directly to the heart of the city or vice versa. I remembered when the AKLEH was only in the planning phase, there were sceptical citizens including me kept saying it is not feasible to build ‘highway’ in already congested city. It left us with sarcasm theory of using the river for the express way. It turned out to be true as this project envision the efficiency of the city planner.

Along Jalan Ampang, there were few embassies including British High Commision. Equipped with high double fencing, CCTVs and armed guard, it looks like a semi military base. When I was passing by, it kept me wandered how a small nation like Malaysia gained its precious independence and driven by tremendous development since then. Even though been colonised by British twice, Malaysia proofed its own capability as a sovereign country and yet still have strong diplomatic relationship with its former colonist. Upon Malaysia achieving its independence, British had been given a piece of prime land in Lake Garden including its state of the art building, Carcosa as a token of appreciation. However later government decided to replace it with a piece of land at Jalan Ampang for British High Commission to put an end to colonisation mindset and perception. It gives me one really good lesson; always respect yourself first before you respect others.

Not far away, standing high nearly 1500 ft in height was the Malaysian most favourite twins. The Petronas Twin Towers is the tallest identical buildings in the world that once recognized as the tallest building in the world from 1998 until 2004. Surpassed by Taipei 101, it was not an upset update for Malaysians as our former Prime Minister also once said that they only have one tower whereas we have two towers. Passing through the front road, I saw some of the pedestrians mostly tourists looking up curiously as if they are fascinated looking at ‘Superman’. I never realized the extreme height of the towers until I got the chance to experience myself the view from the 40th floor few years back when I had to deliver a package. Entering the building was like checking in for flight departure. The scenery was awesome when I saw the surroundings from above including KLCC Park. One thing I realized, the roof top of Suria KLCC below has an interesting mosaic motif that only can be seen from above. One thing we have to know about how these twins can stand strong with that height; because it has the world’s deepest foundation.

Driving further along the road, it was a nostalgic moment for me. The Ampang Muslim Cemetery and Saloma Bistro reminded me what a great lost for Malaysia when two of the biggest stars in Malaysian entertainment industry were gone forever. Allahyarham Tan Sri P. Ramlee and his wife Allahyarhamah Puan Sri Saloma, the truly Malaysian idols were buried in the cemetery. Their genuine talent represents the true showmanship that recognized internationally. Movies, songs and even phrases from their performance are still kept alive until today by younger generation. Even though I am not a big fan of them, I still enjoyed, laughed and touched by watching their movies again and again. Often in common community conversation, when they encounter a hard time they will say ‘Cobaan’ as an ease to face the obstacle as it is referring to the phrase from the movie of Pendekar Bujang Lapok.

Just after the crossroad, there was a green covered hill on my left. For a quite long time I did not realised that the hill was actually forest reserve area. As a Biology graduate, I had once been assigned to present about park in the city concept. First thing came out in my mind was Central Park in New York and followed by Richmond Park in London. After I did my research, it was unacceptable for me to leave our Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve unnoticed. Gazetted as one of the oldest permanent forest reserve in Malaysia, it has valuable biodiversity especially it is located in the heart of the city. This ‘Green Lung’ of Kuala Lumpur offers a lot of nature activities like trekking and bird watching. One can expect to see bird species like kingfisher and bulbul or trees like Meranti, Chengal and many more. Surrounded by this precious tropical rainforest is the fifth tallest freestanding tower in the world, KL Tower.

I continued my journey to one of the busiest street in Kuala Lumpur, Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman. This road was named after the our first prime minister by Tun Mahathir Mohamed as the prime minister during that time as an appreciation despite having domestic political quarrel with Tunku. I really like the atmosphere of this road especially during festive season. Many shops and hawkers offer a wide choice of product from fabrics to food. It is a shopping galore especially for women to shop for head scarf, accessories, sarees and many more. There is a mosque called Masjid India operated by Indian Muslim. The Friday Prayer speeches will be given in Tamil language. I really love the Mee Rebus, Nasi Briyani and Nasi Padang sold here. They are like signature dishes of Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman. One thing is unique about the food is that some of them are sold at Chinese Kopitiam coffee shop with a multiracial customer. My late father once told me before, he used to date my mom here and each time we passed by the street they always told me the endless story of their love chronicles.

Further along the street was one of the most historical places in Kuala Lumpur. I drove my car slower along this road. On my left there was Sultan Abdul Samad building with dome on top of the towers. It looks even more stunning with a shower of light in the evening. The building used to house several government departments during British administration. Opposite of the building is the dignified Dataran Merdeka. It was here the flag of Union Jack lowered and the Malayan flag was raised for the first time. The flag pole that was used is one of the highest in the world with a height of 95 metres. When I was a child, my sister brought me here to watch Thomas Cup live in 1992 that was held in Kuala Lumpur. There were so many people focusing to one gigantic screen in front. During that time, I did not know why the crowd was kept cheering and supporting our team as if the players can hear our cheers. Everyone gave their best supports including me. Our Malaysian team won that night. We all congratulated one to another like one big family. I returned home with my head held high that night knowing that I did contribute something to my beloved Malaysia that night.

I drove further a bit through one long curve. I had to take U-turn before I can reach my office. I can see tall spotlights poles on my left. These spotlights are the witnesses of the Stadium Merdeka. I can see the stadium clearer from my office at 7th floor. A Malaysian should always visualize the moment of Malayan independence declaration by Tunku Abdul Rahman on 31st August 1957. A virtuous ‘Merdeka’ word was roared by Tunku for 7 consecutive times. For this specific event, this stadium was built for. The spotlights had been witnessing many major events in Malaysia. This includes the uproar of Harimau Malaya the Malaysian Football Team, the historical fight between Muhammad Ali and Joe Bugner and also the magnificent History World Tour concert by Michael Jackson.

Finally, I reached my office just around the corner. The building itself was very humble and low profile especially with more and more modern and sophisticated buildings nowadays. Truly reflecting our noble unsung heroes, this 13-storey building was officiated in 1974 by Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong V. There was an officiating plaque located on the main entrance. The construction of this building was funded by contribution from public, organizations, royal family, state government, and also foreign former-army association. I always stumbled across veterans of services who came to the office of Persatuan Bekas Tentera Malaysia. We can tell they are veterans by looking at their simple yet smart appearance and very neat looking person. No wonder my mom who was also served before still address the officers in charge according to the ranking as the discipline and the morale still live in them. Sometimes I felt proud just by standing next to them in the elevator. This building symbolized its enormous contribution and important functionality, thus it deserved no less than its name, Wisma Pahlawan. Finally, I guess I do not have to wait for certain celebration or occasion to feel proud, grateful and conscientious as a Malaysian. Fortunately, I got all of it on my way to office.