Monday, December 28, 2015

2015 - A Year in Review

Three days left to 2016, so I thought I'd compile all my memories and pen down my thoughts in the post.

2015, the year Marty McFly traveled into the future in the movie Back to the Future. Also from that movie, 2015 can be pronounced as "two-thousand fifteen" or "twenty-fifteen". 2015 is my favorite year as it contains the number "5", my favorite number. They also said that the world will end in 2012. But I guess Judgement Day was 2 years late.

#OurSG50Story
Numerals aside, this year has been extraordinarily wonderful for me. As Singapore celebrates its golden jubilee, I act it as a backdrop and decided to associate myself with it. Unlike some of my goals that I have made and thought up in previous new years' resolutions, I have managed to achieve most of them. Well, lets look back to some of the milestones and reflections of the year.

January


In the beginning, I wouldn't expect much in 2015. Looking back in 2014, there have been a lot of downs rather then ups. I did set up some goals for 2015 including, getting my diploma, Class 2 license, spend less than $900 each month and I'm happy to say that almost reaching the year's end, I have achieved close to half of them.

However, as I didn't expect much, I was already contempt with whatever was happening. And I went with the flow. Guess that this kind of mindset came useful in the coming months to come.


February

February 18th, Chinese New Year eve, after not meeting for months, I'm finally reunited with my best friend, Ashraf and our long time secondary school friend, Syera. Since then we have catch up on a lot of things, reliving our glory and gossip during our secondary school days. This has also made me rethink about my secondary school life. Although I was a nerd and an outcast, it was an interesting school life filled with lots of memories and priceless moments. Since then, me and Ashraf had met each other more regularly, sometimes with Syera tagging along.


March


First ever date with the love of my life.
On March 15th, it was my first ever meeting with Fatin, my future fiancee. She brought her little brother along but that didn't bother us from getting to know about each other. Have to say that this was a landmark date as ever since then, we would have gotten out on many many other dates and eventually we'll fall for each other.


April

With the new and old Traffic Police uniforms
April 25th, went to the Singapore Police Force Workplan Seminar with fiancee, then girlfriend. We saw the new theme of the police force, new uniforms and gadgets and mostly, Fatin Afiqah found her new found love for guns and shooting them. It was also a landmark date as we found our new found love for exploring new places and exhibitions.


July

July 17th and 18th, first ever Hari Raya celebration with future fiancee and her family. In this two days, we went all over Singapore visiting her side of her family. It was a relief to know that some of them had accepted me as Fatin Afiqah's significant other.

Our engagement photo.
July 25th, finally engaged to Nur Fatin Afiqah in a small but beautiful ceremony. Another milestone for us. But for myself, I can finally be assured to have someone in my life, someone I can hold on to, someone I can share my life with. Despite being engaged only, we will use this time to overcome all adversaries and tests along the way, and come out stronger than ever before in preparation for our married life. No effort will go to waste and I'm very sure of that.


August

August 9th, my "Majulah Moment" at the Padang. Singapore's independence day. Despite not being able to get tickets for the NDP, and a tiring duty on that day, I was able to catch the behind the scenes action. And to top it all off, a fellow colleague took one of my priceless photos ever with the former decorated City Hall as a backdrop.


August 20th, this was when I decided to restart blogging again and started this blog with the theme "Dreams Make our Lives a Reality", my own longtime personal tagline. The decision to start blogging was actually a long time one, with myself being in the police force as the address "memoirs-of-a-singapore-policeman" was supposed to exemplify the fact that I'm a policeman. Seeing how being an auxiliary policeman doesn't really make a difference, I decided to start early and went on to use this address instead. With the many memories and happenings in my life its about time to document and catalog all my memories and pen down my thoughts.


September


Transfer of deployment within my company. From guarding the ST Kinetics installations to the motorcycle unit. September 4th was the first day. Since then, I never looked back and have participated in a variety of roles and job scope as a auxiliary police motorcycle officer. It was also the first time since the driving center I got the opportunity to ride a class 2A bike. Also on October 30th, we officially took over the LTA Traffic Marshal job from the rival company and I'm proud to say that I was part of the pioneer batch.


October

Birthday celebration with Fiancee's family!
14th October. My first ever birthday celebration with fiancee's family. First she treated me to lunch/dinner at Fourteen Chef's. The food was great, but later, fiancee got the staff there to sing a birthday song to me. Next it was at her house where her family surprised me with a lighted birthday cake, something that I did not have in a long long time. Although I did say that I didn't wanna celebrate it, deep down, I do wanted it to happen. I guess over the years of not celebrating it, I just said that to make myself feel better.

Sometime later, I also received a letter from the mail. It was from Temasek Polytechnic. I had just received my academic transcript, meaning that I had cleared my diploma and will move on to graduate on May next year!


November

Jubilee Big Walk

Our "first" ever walkaton. The New Paper Jubilee Big Walk. Something I have always wanted to done in a long long time but never done it. Finally after meeting my fiancee, I decided it was time for me to open up and do the things I always wanted to do. It's always better to do it with a partner.

December

Thru a family trip, me and fiancee had our first ever overseas trip together on Christmas Day at Batam, Indonesia. Overall, though the one day trip was short and rushed, I shared my intention to travel around the world with her once we get married. For a year now, I have been experiencing the feeling of wanderlust, and its always been my dream to travel around the world someday. And thanks to my new found relationship with Fatin, I hope to make this a reality with her.

Reflections


I'd have to say, that unlike these past few years, 2015 has been quite memorable for me and there are many positive changes have been happening. Probably thanks to my new found love, I have became more inspired and open to more things in life. Despite being a thrifty person, I didn't mind spending time and money on doing new things (Specially with someone special).

The world around me is cruel and my surroundings expect me to conform what society has deemed and perceive as "normal" or "routine". During the first half, I have tried, to so call fit in. But instead, my vulnerability showed and people started stepping over my head and taking advantage of me. With the insistence and advice of my fiancee, I started acting otherwise. Never again will I allow anyone to tremble over me. I have lost many friends, as some of them cannot take it when I confronted them. But I couldn't care less about other people now, as they didn't even care about me in the first place.

As for the future, I don't know what to expect. But InshaAllah, with effort, hope and a little help from Him, 2016 will be extra special with lots of opportunities and goals to achieve.

Once again, Happy New Year, 2016, (1437-1438H)

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Malay Road Toponyms 11

Links to other related articles as follows:

It has been a long journey for me. Its really not easy to document each and every Malay street name in Singapore. The locations are remote, and going there is very much a chore. At times, I do feel like giving up completely.

But the show must go on.


Jalan Batu Nilam
     جالن باتو نيلم

Jalan Batu Nilam is located off Elizabeth Drive within Hillview Estate. Batu Nilam is Malay for "sapphire". The road first appeared on maps in 1963.

Jalan Binjal
  جالن بينجال

Located off Haig Road, Jalan Binjai is a short minor lane flanked by 50s era landed houses. Named after a fruit, Binjai is a Malay word for jack, white mango (Mangifera caesia)


Jalan Beringin
    جالن بريڠين

Jalan Beringin is a short minor road located off Haig Road. It currently houses 50s era landed houses. The road is named after a tree known in Malay as "Pokok Ara Beringin". In English it is translated to Weeping fig (Ficus benjamina). There is also a Jalan Waringin in Jalan Senang Estate. Waringin is also the same meaning as "beringin" but in the older spelling.


Jalan Bukit Ho Swee
   جالن بوكيت هو سوياي

Rebuilt after the Bukit Ho Swee Fire in 1961, the road was simply known previously as "Bukit Ho Swee". During those days, kampongs and attap houses littered the landscape of the Tiong Bahru area. Jalan Bukit Ho Swee and its surroundings today are a legacy of HDB's beginnings. Bukit Ho Swee was named in honor of Tay Ho Swee (1834-1903), an influential Chinese opium and spirit farmer, timber merchant and ship owner. It also spawned another road named "Taman Ho Swee".


Jalan Bukit Merah
   جالن بوكيت ميره

Previously a small dirt track in the early 60s, Jalan Bukit Merah was first widen and paved in 1962 before it was officially opened in December 15th 1963 by then Minister of Labor, Jek Yeun Thong. Today, Jalan Bukit Merah is a major arterial road road running through Bukit Merah or Redhill (Yes, Bukit Merah has two names). In 1955, Bukit Merah is an area of many town 'firsts'. From SIT flats being build, to having its own bus interchange, swimming complex and theater. The origin to the name "Bukit Merah" is an interesting one.

According to the Sejarah Melayu (Malay Annals), Singapore used to be plagued by swordfish attacking the people living in the coastal regions. A young boy proposed an solution, to build a wall of banana stems along the coast. (At present day Tanjong Pagar, which also takes its name from the barricade) When the swordfish attacked, their snouts were stuck in the stems. With the swordfish problem solved, the boy earned great respect from the people, but also jealousy from the ruler. The Maharaja, finally ordered his execution, The boy lived on top of a hill, so that night, the assassins murdered him in his sleep and all of his blood flowed into the hill, hence the name "Bukit Merah".


Jalan Datoh
  جالن داتوءه

Datoh, also spelled as "datuk", "dato" or "datok" could mean "grandfather". In Malayan culture, it is also used as a title awarded by the sultans. Jalan Datoh is located off Balestier Road and serves as an address for the condominium units there.

Jalan Kilang, Jalan Kilang Timor, Jalan Kilang Barat
     جالن كيلڠ بارت               جالن كيلڠ تيمور             جالن كيلڠ

Jalan Kilang, Jalan Kilang Timor and Jalan Kilang Barat forms the backbone of the Redhill Industrial Estate ran by JTC Corporation. Built sometime in the 60s, Kilang is Malay for "Factory", while "Timor" and "Barat" is "East" and "West" respectively. True to its name, it does house factory buildings in the vicinity.

Jalan Klinik
   جالن كلينيك

The former street sign of "Jalan Klinik".
Located within Bukit Ho Swee and off Jalan Bukit Ho Swee, Jalan Klinik serves as an access road into the HDB estate there. The name, "Klinik" is the Malay word for 'Clinic" as there was formerly an actual clinic at the end of the road. The site was also the third phase of HDB flats to be built at the Bukit Ho Swee area after the fire. Today, no road sign bares the name "Jalan Klinik" as its function has been reduced to be a HDB carpark. But the address of the blocks are still recognized as Jalan Klinik.


Jalan Kukoh
   جالن كوكوه

Jalan Kukoh is a short lane off Chin Swee Road. It is also the access road into the HDB estates there. Kukoh means "strong" in Malay.


Jalan Membina
     جالن ممبينا

In the aftermath of the fire, Jalan Membina was part of the Bukit Ho Swee redevelopment in the 60s. Located off Tiong Bahru Road, the road was originally named as "Jalan Mebinakan in 1960. Mebinakan means "to rebuild" in Malay. It was shortened to "Membina" soon after. "Jalan Phoenix" was also considered, but ultimately, "Membina" was selected. There was also a road nearby named "Jalan Membina Barat". It has since been expunged as it is now a HDB carpark.


Jalan Minyak
     جالن ميڽق

Located off York Hill, near Chin Swee Road, Jalan Minyak serves as an address for the HDB estates there. Minyak in Malay means "oil".


Jalan Raja Udang
     جالن راج أودڠ

Located off Balestier Road along the Malay side, Jalan Raja Udang currently houses condominium estates. Raja Udang is the Malay word for Kingfisher.


Jalan Remaja
    جالن رماج

Jalan Remaja is located within Hillview Estate, off Hillview Avenue. The road is flanked by private houses. Remaja in English means "teenager". The road first appeared on maps in 1969.

Jalan Rumah Tinggi
     جالن رومه تيڠڬي

Built sometime in the 60s, aftermath of the Bukit Ho Swee Fire, Jalan Rumah Tinggi is an uphill road flanked with HDB flats along its sides. Jalan Rumah Tinggi is translated to "High House Road" in English.


Jalan Tan Tock Seng
     جالن تن توچق سڠ

Famously known for the man and the namesake hospital alongside it, Jalan Tan Tock Seng surprisingly existed way before the hospital was relocated there from Moulmein Road in 1999. Named after Tan Tock Seng (1798-1850), the path was previously unnamed. Sometime in the 60s, when the old TTSH shifted to Moulmein Road, this nearby path took on the name Jalan Tan Tock Seng, after the hospital. When It became clear that the hospital was needed to be expanded, it moved to its current premises just next to the namesake road. There is also another road named "Tan Tock Seng Link" spawned from this road.


Jalan Tembusu
   جالن تمبوسو

A short minor lane off Haig Road, Jalan Tembusu is named after the Tembusu Tree (Fagrea elliptica). Surrounded by landed houses, the road is a crescent, linking Jalan Beringin, Jalan Gagus and Jalan Binjai. It is also interesting to note that there is a Tembusu Road, Tembusu Drive, Tembusu Crescent and Tembusu Avenue within Jurong Island. These roads have no relation to this Jalan Tembusu.


Jalan Tiong
    جالن شنڬ

Build sometime during the aftermath of the Bukit Ho Swee Fire, Jalan Tiong is located off Commonwealth Avenue West. Burung Tiong in English refers to Myna.


Jalan Zamrud
    جالن زمرود

Jalan Zamrud is located within Hillview Estate and is flanked by the private houses there. Zamrud is the Malay word for emerald. The road first appeared on maps in 1963.


Lengkok Bahru
     لڠكوق بهرو

Lengkok Bahru, translated to "New Crescent" named sometime during the 60s at the height of when street names were named in Malay.


Lorong Kemunchup
    لوروڠ كمونچوڤ

Lorong Kemunchup is located within Hillview Estate. Rumput kemuncup as it is current spelled, is a grass commonly known as lesser spear grass. Lorong Kemunchup had private houses flanked along side it.


Taman Ho Swee
   تامن هو سوياي

Taman Ho Swee is the access road and entrance into Bukit Ho Swee View, a HDB estate. The road was built during the aftermath of the Bukit Ho Swee Fire. Today, no road sign bares the name "Taman Ho Swee".

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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Pustaka Peringatan P. Ramlee

This post is dedicated to legendary Malay actress, Seniwati Mariani Ismail, the sister in law to Tan Sri P. Ramlee. On December 1st, 2015, she passed away in the township of Sentul, Kuala Lumpur.



Pustaka Peringatan P. Ramlee (P. Ramlee Memorial)


Pustaka Peringatan P. Ramlee
Address: 22, Jalan Dedap, Taman P Ramlee,
53000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

My family had plan for a short gateway to Kuala Lumpur a few months back. I decided to take this opportunity to visit the Pustaka Peringatan P. Ramlee (P. Ramlee Memorial) since its located within Kuala Lumpur.

Jalan Dedap street sign
As viewed from the road.
The entrance
Visiting hours of the memorial.
The memorial is located off the junction of Jalan Dedap and Jalan Mawar in the township of Taman P. Ramlee (Formerly known as Taman Furlong but renamed sometime after P. Ramlee's death) in Setapak. It was actually P. Ramlee and his family's last home until his death in 1973. The proprety was later acquired by the Malaysian Government and gazetted as a national heritage site. Later, the memorial project was launched by Anwar Ibrahim, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport at that time on 27th February 1984.

A marble plaque with some info on the memorial.
A plaque declaring its status as a national landmark.
The memorial was officially opened on March 1986. Containing many of P Ramlee's personal belongings including awards, clothes, musical equipment, documents, personal artifacts and photos. Entrance to the memorial is free, however there is no direct train or bus access and it is quite far from the city center. As faced by my family, as we were in a group of 10 we had to take two taxis in which we were overcharged, something that we cannot avoid when in another country. One of the drivers didn't even know where the memorial is and had to follow the other cab.

The Malay social etiquette of being barefoot in someone's home is observed here as the memorial used to be P. Ramlee's house. Souvenirs such as keychains and P Ramlee CD movies and songs are also sold there. There is also a donation box on the counter and proceeds will go to the up-keeping and maintenance of the memorial.

P. Ramlee's car
Another angle
The license plate, originating from the state of Selangor.
A plaque with some info.
Me posing next to the car.
Upon entering the memorial, we are greeted by P. Ramlee's car, a Dutsun Sunny 1200 parked and raised outside the house. And a trishaw, which I presume is a replica from the movie, "Penarik Becha". There are also benches and stone stools for visitors to sit on.

My uncle next to the trishaw.
Some info on the movie "Penarik Becha".
Inside the house itself, displays, photographs, personal belongings of the late P. Ramlee and his family can be found. Upon entering, shoes must be removed and we are greeted by a cardboard standee of P. Ramlee and Saloma. I wasted no time in getting a photo with it.
Myself and a cardboard standee of P Ramlee and his wife.
Also featured are state decorations awarded to P. Ramlee displayed behind a display case. The state order, Darjat Ahli Mangku Negara (A.M.N.) (English: Member of the Order of the Defender of the Realm) It is a Malaysian federal award presented for meritorious service to the country and awarded to him while he as still alive in 1963 for his contributions to the Malay entertainment industry.

Darjat Ahli Mangku Negara (A.M.N.)
The other award, Darjat Panglima Setia Mahkota Malaysia (PSM) (English: Commander of the Order of Loyalty to the Crown of Malaysia) is posthumously awarded after his death on 6th June 1990. The title also came with the Malaysian honorific title "Tan Sri", in which my uncle described as "a VIP and people have to make way whenever he walks".

Darjat Panglima Setia Mahkota Malaysia (PSM)
More info on P. Ramlee on top of the medals.
Up next is P. Ramlee's personal belongings, set up in a corner to look as if it was back in the 70s. There is a piano, radio, a dining table, some framed photos.
The corner of the memorial that partially recreates as it was back in the 70s
A picture of Saloma and P. Ramlee in the 70s.
Some of his belongings on the dinner table.
P Ramlee's radio.
Tributes by various other figures within the Malay entertainment industry.
Tributes from Ahnad Daud, Jamil Sulong, Aziz Sattar and Jin Shamsudin
Some of P. Ramlee's autograph styles.
The memorial also features his biography and accompanying photos of his family, from his father, mother and half brother.
P Ramlee's Biography.
His family
The next section is "Kenali P. Ramlee" or "Getting to know P Ramlee". This features some of his nobable events in his life, from his childhood to getting his first minor role and directing his own movies to his death.
Major events of his life.

A model of his childhood home in Penang.
Some of the photographs featured with accompanying captions.
A letter from his wife while she was performing in Thailand in 1971
P. Ramlee's temporary passport.
An autographed souvenir from a fan.
The next section features the works of P. Ramlee and Saloma. From the films in was involved in to the songs he had written, basically some of the screen used outfits, props, musical instruments, gifts and souvenirs, vinyls records and musical scores can be found displayed here.

"Dunia Filem" section.
An animated display on the films that he was involved in.
Odd items such as a gramophone and a violin are on display
A memento Saloma received sometime in the 70s for performing
for the Royal Malay Regiment
Another memento Saloma received for performing
 for the Royal Armed Forces

A sepak takraw ball belonging to P. Ramlee.
P Ramlee's briefcase.
Some of the original vinyl on display.
Madu Tiga original vinyl
Another old vinyl of the 70s
Lyrics and translations to Azizah and Air Mata di Kuala Lumpur
A recreation of a 60s era powder room
Screened used clothes as worned by Saloma and P. Ramlee
More screen used outfits
Some musical notes.
Me and my uncle posing infront of a portrait of the star couple.
We then proceed to some of the awards that the late P. Ramlee has received at the annual Asian Film Festival. Also featuring a recreation of a film set in "Penarik Becha".
The awards on display.
Up close
A magazine ad in jawi.
The Golden Harvest Award 
The Sliver Crane Award awarded posthumously in 1987.
A recreation of a "Behind the Scenes" of "Penarik Becha"
P Ramlee as Sarjan Hassan
There is also a wall, featuring a collection of photographs of P. Ramlee with famous people. including musician, Kassim Masdor, the head of the Shaw Organization, Run Run Shaw and Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia's first Prime Minister.
A collection of photos featuring P. Ramlee and some famous people
P Ramlee and Tunku Abdul Rahman, the first Prime Minister of Malaysia
A mini theater screening "Nujum Pak Belalang" (1959)
Screen used Keris, a Malay Dagger, used in some of P. Ramlee's movies 
P Ramlee dressed as a cowboy in in role as Ketua Penyamun
in Ali Baba Bujang Lapok.
Some of Saloma's sunglasses.
P. Ramlee and Saloma at a ceremorony where he is
awarded Darjat Ahli Mangku Negara (A.M.N.)
This next segment is the emotional part. Simply titled as "Al Fatiha" it features the actor's birth and death certificate, photos of his funeral, the prayer for the deceased and his grave. Looking at the exhibits, I couldn't help it but to feel sad. I quietly said out a little prayer for him before moving on.
Some of the photos and items on display.
During the funeral at P. Ramlee's house.
Pictured here is his son, Nasir P. Ramlee, Yusnor Ef and S. Shamsudin
P Ramlee's birth and death certificate
Front page of a newspaper covering P. Ramlee's passing
Salat al-Janazah for the deceased at Masjid Kampong Baru
P. Ramlee's grave at Jalan Ampang Muslim Cemetery
It has been truly an educational experience being here at the Pustaka Peringatan P. Ramlee. Glad that even after death, his legacy is still preserved and celebrated by the old and young alike. For me, the experience of being there and seeing the exhibits, reading and learning about the man himself was a refreshing one for me. Even my family, who was reluctant to visit the place due to its inaccessibility of public transport other than taxi had a nice time there. I thank them for their support and willingness to accompany me there.
Myself infront of the P. Ramlee Memorial
Another photo with the family.