Friday, April 25, 2008

Kellie Castle @ Batu Gajah

Unfinished Majestic

Looking Up

Centre Courtyard

I have passed this eerie majestic unfinished castle many times way back in 1986 when I was serving as Harbour Master of Perak. Finally in April 2008 on my way to Universiti Teknologi Petronas at Sri Iskadar, I made up my mind to stop over, look at it closely and feel the mystic of the place. As I made my way up to the castle the caretaker was busy telling mysterious story of the castle to a group of tourist. He was talking about voices in the middle of night and foot steps following lone visitor. It was midnight and I could not down load the last three photos due to system errors. I felt the chill in my spine and decided to abandoned the fourth attempt until daylight. Let me shared with you on some of the shots I have taken, while Lorraine Brecht write up below enlighten you on the unfinished Kellie’s Castle

About 40 kms south of Ipoh along the road that leads to Batu Gajah, a 'castle' suddenly appears on a ridge which slopes down to a river that borders the road. If you're just a passerby & not specifically looking for it, you may not believe your eyes. But yes, it IS a castle (sort of), and yes, you ARE in rural Malaysia. The impressive and unique structure of apricot brick & white stucco, with its variety of arches, a square tower, bay, & semi-circular bastion, actually gives one a sense of displacement.

Inside Rooms

The unfinished Italianate style 'castle' which stands against a background of densely planted rubber trees, was commissioned in 1915 by Wm Kellie Smith, an English rubber baron who was born in Scotland.
Some time after arriving In Malaysia, he purchased 900 acres of land just south of Ipoh and cleared the jungle for his rubber plantation and homely estate which he named Kinta Kellas. The 'castle' was to be their family wing, an addition to their first house on the property. Just behind the unfinished wing are the crumbling ruins of their first Manor home which was built of brick & wood more than 120 years ago. Because the new wing was rather grandiose, by local mansion standards of the time, it was nicknamed "Kellie's Castle" as well as "Kellie's Folly".

Two different design windows

In the middle of its construction, which to this point had already taken 10 years, Smith returned to England. It is speculated that he went to England with his daughter to reunite with his wife & son, and then went to Portugal to buy a lift for his new wing where he got sick and died of pneumonia in Lisbon Portugal in 1926. He is buried there in the British cemetery. His family sold the estate & never returned. Shrouded in romance, mystery, & historical inaccuracies, the 'castle' was never completed.

View behind the fan

Today, a company has taken over the management of the castle and has converted it into a tourist attraction. Admission is only RM4 for adults & RM2 for children. They have an excellent brochure for sale at RM3. They also offer a package tour of Batu Gajah town.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Tun Salleh Abas - Justice Redeemed ?

TheStar - Thursday April 17, 2008
PM announces commission, reforms for judiciary

KUALA LUMPUR: The Government plans to set up a Judicial Appointments Commission that would make the process of nominating, appointing and promoting judges more transparent and representative.
This Commission will identify and recommend candidates, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced at the Bar Council dinner at a hotel here Thursday night. "This Government gives its commitment to the Malaysian public that it will begin a process of judicial reform. We recognise that this process must be undertaken with the spirit and belief that no one, not even those entrusted to govern or to make laws, must assume to be above the law," he said.

He also assured the Malaysian public that consultation on the workings and structure of the Commission will involve primary stakeholders.
"All will have a chance to provide their input to the Government," he said.
" The Prime Minister acknowledged that the events of 1988, which ultimately saw the sacking of the then Lord President Tun Salleh Abas and two judges, constituted an upheaval of the nation’s judicial system. Salleh was brought before a tribunal for misconduct, and filed a suit in the High Court challenging the constitutionality of the tribunal.

Five judges of the Supreme Court convened and granted him an interlocutory (interim) order against the tribunal, but this order was later set aside and Salleh officially removed from the post of Lord President.

The five Supreme Court judges who granted him the interlocutory order - Tan Sri Azmi Kamaruddin, Tan Sri Eusoffe Abdoolcader, Tan Sri Wan Hamzah Mohamed Salleh, Tan Sri Wan Suleiman Pawan Teh and Datuk George Seah - were suspended. Wan Sulaiman and Seah were later sacked.

"Rightly or wrongly, many disputed both the legality and morality of the related proceedings," Abdullah said. "For me, personally, I feel it was a time of crisis from which the nation never fully recovered," he said, but added that it was time to move on. "I do not think it wise or helpful to revisit past decisions as it would only serve to prolong the sense of crisis – something our nation can do without. The rakyat wants movement and progress, not continuing strife," he said.
Abdullah also commended Salleh and his five colleagues, describing them as "towering judicial personalities" and acknowledged the pain and loss they had endured. In recognition of their contribution to justice, the Government would make goodwill ex-gratia payments to them.

Good news sure comes in series for the Legal Fraternity in particular and the Rakyat in general. Recognizing the injustice to the former Lord President and fellow Judges, formation of the Judiciary Appointment Commission and Reform of the Judiciary System. It’s all being announced over a Dinner organized by the Bar Council, in fact was published by the Singapore media before the announcement.

Twenty years is a very long time by any standard of measurement for men of honor and integrity to suffer in upholding justice and civil system. I could imagine how they have to go through all the days and nights, since one of my close friend a fellow Judge is still suffering from telling the hard truth. In Tun Salleh Abas words “I’ve suffered so much in the last 20 years, so much so I ran away from the public. I found solace in farming, I talked to monkeys, birds and wild boars. I asked them not to disturb my plant”. It seemed the animals are more merciful then man with animal desires.

Let this be a lesson learnt to all Governing leaders be it BN or PR that you must protect and preserved the man of honor and integrity at any cost to ensure the system works for the benefit of Rakyat and mankind. The minute you destroy good governance and system for quick gain, you are actually destroying yourself. The people will not be intimidated by propaganda and threat to subscribe to injustice and corruptions. The integrity of leaders must be extended to the people around him and the system he preached. We must be thankful to our former leaders that professed education to the Rakyat, with it the majority of Rakyat can make good sound decision for the good of nation.

It is an honorable decision by Pak Lah to make the above decisions but make sure it will be implemented with success, because eventually he will be judged by that. Do not stop here in making good decisions make it a culture and principal for Towering Leadership. It was never too late to say I am sorry, repent and move forward with good deeds.

Another good news after Pak Lah meeting with Cuepacs leadership, he agreed to fulfill five out of six demands from the Civil Servants. Namely extending retirement age from 56 to 60, scrapping the examination part of the Efficiency Level Assessment ( PTK ), reinstatement of critical and housing allowances, pension payment based on actual years of service.

Another good decision for the benefit of the Civil Servants that have been the backbone of your delivery and administration system. Actually good decision is not very hard to make as long as you are being fair and sincere. Bad news is not really difficult to accept either as long as it is not gross misconduct or negligence. When you are in doubt return to the Rakyat that give you the Power, listen to them, talk to them and give them what they truthfully deserved.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Rafidah - Jangan Tunggu Sampai Nasi Jadi Bubur

Utusan Malaysia today gave Rafidah the first slot on the front page and the message was very loud and clear “Don’t wait until the rice become porridge “. She agreed and supported that orderly transition of power from the PM to TPM. But it must be done soon to avoid unbearable damage to UMNO image and branding. Unfortunately the UMNO branding is at its lowest ebb and if not careful will be swept to sea.

At the same time UMNO Veteran Association (UVA) and Association of former Barisan Nasional MPs and Assemblyman (MUBARAK) which have some common memberships were giving conflicting stand regarding PM position. UVA wanted PM to stay put while MUBARAK wanted the handing over to TPM to be carried out sooner the better.

Its looks like the UMNO leadership problem is heading for stormier weather despite Pak Leh assurance that he is passing the baton and knew when best to do it. The Pakatan Rakyat is having a good run and laughing all the way around the field while the BN is still deciding when to pass the baton??? We are still in the dark on the kind of action and stand that will be taken by the Wanita UMNO leaderships if their polite opinion is being brushed aside. One thing is for sure the vengeance of hurt women can be vicious and fatal.

Friday, April 11, 2008



Pas kemuka tiga cadangan selesai isu

KUALA LUMPUR: Pas mengemukakan tiga cadangan kepada Kerajaan Selangor yang dianggap dapat menyelesaikan isu projek ladang ternakan babi berkelompok bernilai RM100 juta di Ladang Tumbuk, Kuala Langat. Cadangan itu juga sebagai pilihan kepada rakyat Selangor yang dikemukakan pemimpin tertinggi Pas diketuai Timbalan Presiden Pas, Nasharuddin Mat Isa; Naib Presidennya, Datuk Husam Musa dan Ketua Dewan Pemuda Pas Pusat, Salahuddin Ayub dalam pertemuan dengan Menteri Besar, Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim di kediamannya di sini, malam kelmarin. Pas juga mahukan kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat pimpinan Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) itu mengadakan kempen penerangan dan siri dialog bersama rakyat untuk mendapatkan pandangan dan pilihan terbaik mengenai projek berkenaan.
Tiga cadangan itu ialah:
Pas mencadangkan kerajaan negeri membiarkan saja kira-kira 300 ladang babi sedia ada terus beroperasi tanpa sebarang tindakan diambil.
Mengambil langkah tidak membenarkan diwujudkan ladang babi di negara ini seperti di Singapura.
Memusatkan semua ladang ternakan babi menggunakan teknologi terkini dan tidak memberi kesan kepada alam sekitar dan menimbulkan keresahan umat Islam. Salahuddin berkata, dalam pertemuan itu, Abdul Khalid bersetuju dengan cadangan Pas itu dan kerajaan negeri akan mengadakan penerangan untuk mendapatkan maklum balas daripada rakyat. Katanya, Pas bersetuju jika kerajaan negeri melaksanakan projek berkenaan menggunakan kaedah moden dan menempatkan satu tempat semua ladang ternakan babi di negeri itu. "Pas berharap kerajaan negeri mengambil langkah terbaik menyelesaikan isu ladang ternakan babi yang mendapat bantahan rakyat.
"Dia (Abdul Khalid) dalam perjumpaan itu, bersetuju dengan cadangan yang kita kemukakan itu," katanya selepas mempengerusikan mesyuarat bulanan Jawatankuasa Dewan Pemuda Pas Pusat, di Ibu Pejabat Pas Pusat, di sini, semalam. Salahuddin mendakwa isu ladang ternakan babi itu juga sudah dimanipulasikan oleh media sehingga menjadi besar. Bagaimanapun, beliau percaya kerajaan negeri akan mengambil langkah sewajarnya menangani isu itu selaras kehendak rakyat Selangor. "Sudah pasti isu ini menjadi tanggungjawab kerajaan negeri menyelesaikannya dengan baik," katanya Baru-baru ini, Kerajaan Selangor meluluskan projek ladang ternakan babi berkelompok bernilai RM100 juta di Ladang Tumbuk, Kuala Langat yang dijangka siap dalam tempoh antara enam bulan hingga setahun. Abdul Khalid berkata, kerajaan negeri hanya meneruskan projek diluluskan kerajaan negeri sebelum ini pimpinan Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo yang meluluskan projek itu pada mesyuarat Exco, 30 Januari lalu. Ditanya jika rakyat menolak terus projek ternakan babi itu, katanya perkara itu tidak mungkin berlaku. "Kita memberi tiga pilihan kepada kerajaan negeri untuk dikemukakan kepada rakyat mengenai ladang ternakan babi di negeri ini. "Saya percaya cadangan memusatkan semua ladang babi di satu kawasan menggunakan sistem terkini boleh diterima seluruh rakyat Selangor. "Cadangan itu juga tidak menyekat hak orang bukan Islam mendapatkan bekalan babi, tetapi perlu menjaga kebersihan kawasan ternakan dan tidak mengganggu sensiviti umat Islam," katanya.

Pig Trap ....... Watch your step !!!!

The issue is on RM 100 million ultra modern pig farm to be built at Ladang Tumbok, Mukim Batu, Sepang, Selangor. The new Sate Government recently approved the project which has been approved by the previous State Government. The new farm will be so modern that all the waste from the farm will be recycled, so no more waste to pollute the environment. The size of the farm can accommodate 250,000 pigs at one time, sufficient for Selangor needs. Currently there are 137 conventional pig farms in Selangor and 817 nation wide. The farm is going to be another landmarks for Sepang after KLIA, SIC – F1 and Sepang Gold Coast.

After the declaration by TS Khalid and Teresa Kok on the approval of the project, it has became the headlines on few of the main papers and TVs for the past one week. The news is slowly moving to the inner page but the intense of the comments and reviews on the subject matter are still very high. In fact a few demonstrations from the so called affected villages and concerned citizens have been carried out at the Chief Minister office and affected kampung. The District Officer for Sepang was on TV3 news tonight to clarify on the same issue. A few Minister and senior politicians from BN appeared on the TV main news to criticize and condemned the project and one of them even said the Project is the first gift from the State Government to the Rakyat. So the Piggy issue has became one of the major issue for the New Opposition to trash the Selangor State Government. It is good to have a strong opposition as long as they are very objective and sincere in their criticism.

Ironically the piggy issue has been there for over two decades be it in Selangor, Negeri Sembilan or Melaka. In fact TV3 has made a great series reports on the terrible pig farm situation in Melaka, which has not been fully resolved until today. The people there are still suffering in silence and praying for divine intervention for the pig farm, its smell and wastes to go away. The Straits of Malacca is still receiving the pollutants from pig farms that are killing it softly and surely. If only it can shout at us, it must be screaming for us to stop killing the future and the earth.

It would be great if all the decision makers take a break and live near the pig farm for a week. I mean all of them from Melaka, Negeri Sembilan and Selangor. Have a taste of the smell, pollutions and misery that the kampung people have to face all this while. Maybe then they will fully understand the misery of living near pig farms. While it may sound reasonable to build a modern pig farm that pollutants free and environmentally friendly, but is it the real solutions to the piggy issue. Whatever action taken must be with the intention of resolving the current problems not inflicting more wounds to the injury.

TS Khalid and his teams must listen to the real people, go the ground live a few days by the pig farm. Will the new ultra modern pig farm provide the alternatives and reasons to close down the current conventional farms? Is the technology REALLY sound? Has the REAL transparent EIA been carried out for the project and who will really benefit from the project? The Rakyat or the Farm Owner? Is TS Khalid walking into the Pig Trap that has bigger agenda then the pig itself? One thing is for sure, if this piggy issue is not being resolved in a prudent manner it will be one of the major contributing factors for the down fall of few constituents in PRU 13

Sunday, April 6, 2008


Anon, Bibi Aminah, Eli, Mat Salo, Marina and Stephen.... YB story

Look at the hands Idrus, Pokku, Elviza, Edelwiss, Salah and whose finger is that ?

Mambang Hijau, Pokku, Idrus, Jaff Point & Kerp the man ...

What is the similarity between Bloggers and Asam Pedas? One is the favorite hot Malay dish while the other is famous cyber dweller that has been a hot topic of discussions among politicians and community. One of the influencing factors that caused the down fall of BN in 5 states, so much so that some the BN politicians have joined the blogging community to keep in trend. So when a group of bloggers decided to meet at Asam Pedas, what do you expect …? It was hot and happening.

A simple teh tarik session to celebrate Kerp milestones achievement in meeting his idol Tun Dr. Mahathir, eventually became big get together with all the colorful bloggers in attendance. Its looks like the bloggers have landed at the Curve, occupying the whole front area of the Asam Pedas Cafe.

What do bloggers talk about when they meet? They could not stop talking, laughing and the topics varies from BN bashing, future political forcasts, BA praising, Gender in society etc etc. The exciting meeting could not have happened without the magic touch and coordination of Mat Salo. He left his swamp barge aground in Borneo to ensure the success of the meeting. Many thanks to him for arranging and sponsoring the meet.

As for me it was a great day meeting fellow bloggers face to face. Anon and wife all the way from Miri while Tokasid and wife from Melaka. Kerp I like your Beretta hat and bodyguard, look forward for your next raid. YB Eli and Marina for squeezing your time to be with us. Pokku, Pak Idrus, Ancient Mariner and Mambang Hijau, it was an interesting chat we have at the South Table. Eiviza, Galadriel, Elena, Marina, Eli, Edelweiss, TC, Raden G, Bibi Amy, KL Conf and all the ladies for good company. The photos will tell the rest of the story.
Pak Idrus ..... advising Eli ke ? Eli open your eyes !

MM, Stephen, Elviza, Jaff Pt., Ancient Mariner ... guess who is next to him?

Careless whisper ..... Yusof what is the secret !!!

Salah and youngest blogger Aiman ...Muteaudio in different space

Happy Marina ...... Cool Marina

Kerp , Shah, Mrs Tokasid ..... in focus

Radin Galoh and hubby .... playing host ..

Anon to Salah ..... once upon a time in Miri

South Table ..... heavy staff

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

SPM Straight A's - Bangi Cream

Dr. Shafie giving welcoming speech

Congrats and well done son

Proud family and best students

The new Bangi ADUN recently organized a special occasion for students who have performed with excellence in the recent SPM Exam. The students that have scored Straight A's came from various school around Bangi i.e. Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan ( SMK ) Jalan 4, SMK Jalan 3, SMK Jalan Reko, SMK Kajang etc. In total 68 students scored Straight A's around Bangi, with SMK Jalan 4 leading the pack with 23 students listed. In fact a total of 31 students from that school scored Straight A's, but maybe some of them stayed outside the DUN Bangi area or missed the list. As recognition of their excellence the students were given a Certificate from the State Government and a token of cash incentives. I could see all the happy faces of the students and their family as they moved forward to receive their Certificates & Gifts from YB Dr. Shafie Abu Bakar.

It was refreshing to see the students being recognized and appreciated, since they were the cream that going to be the future leaders for our country. Despite their excellence they need to be guided accordingly by the parents and educationists to avoid them from going astray in meeting the challenges of higher education. The Government must ensure that the education system is always conducive and effective in delivering learning cultures among the students. Learning must be made fun without compromising on the delivering of knowledge and development of civil society.
Future Graduates .... all smiles

Personally I am proud of the effort by the new YB in recognizing the students without considering their race or religion. Of course I am doubly proud that my eldest daughter was among the successful students. Well done Noor Liyana for scoring 10 A's and for being able to cook dinner as good as your SPM results.
Proud Mothers