Monday, October 26, 2009

The other colour of Kota Bharu

        At last I am now back on the track,blogging !  Since Augest  4th,my blog  entry remained idle as It coincided with Ramadhan  followed by Syawal thus I have to keep aside my blogging activity.


                                           The  "Sultan Pier"  overlooking the Kelantan River.

  Sincre then, a lot changes  have been taking place in  MPKB,BRI..The city authority took a drastic  change to reshuffle the city road systems. Major roads were converted into one way route in order to ensure smooth trafic flow within the city.The effected roads are Jalan Tok Hakin,Jalan Doktor,Jalan Padang Garong,Jalan Mahmood,Jalan Hospital,A section of Jalan Bayam and Jalan Dato Pati..

             The Kota Bharu Trade Centre.was oficially opened shortly before Hari Raya Aidilfitri.A new Giant Supermarket started to operate in the upper floors.,giving a new economic boost for the city. Works on "Bazar Tok Guru" at Jalan Ibrahim and "Kota Kenangan" at Taman Kenangan are  already in progress. .

                                                      The Sultan Pier" remains unchange.

                                                                Marine police depot,Kota Bharu

Amidst all these changes and undertakings , the other  original colour of Kota Bharu remains unchange                                    

                                          Main gate at "Istana Batu" (Now a Royal Meuseum )

One way street at Jalan Hospital

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Blessing Friday in Kota Bharu

One of the ,most distinct difference one could observe in Kota Bharu,the Islamic City as compared to other cities in Malaysia is its Blessing Friday.

It has been established in the past for more than twenty years ,Friday is then becoming a Family Day.People from all walks of life gathered at "Medan Ilmu", Jalan Dato Pati as early as 7.15 am to attend a series of "Kuliah Agama" (Islamic Teachings)

The gathering began as early as at 7.15 am

This weekly event is carried out continously throughout the years diregard of weather conditions (except for flood and official state ceremonies.).

Kids are accompnied by their parents

Two kuliah (lectures) are delivered .The first begins at 8.30 am and the second at 9.30 am and both lectures collecticely last for two consecutive hours.

People from all walks of life

The first lecture is usually delivered by several wellknown religious personalities,each taking their weekly term and the second lecture (he most sought publicly) is delivered by Yang Amat Berhormat Dato Menteri Besar Kelantan (Chief of state) Tuan Guru Dato Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat.

Greeting Tok Guru Nik Abd.Aziz on his arrival


Cars parked at any available space

And at another parking lot

An article of this historic event in the city is written by a columnist ,Amir Muhammad ,as published in the Star dated 24th june 2009 .entitled: The Pulp Friction ;Tomyam and theocracy.

"I RECENTLY attended a ‘live’ talk by Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, even though there was no byelection in sight. It was on a Kota Baru street on a Friday morning.

He spoke for almost an hour but thousands of people stayed put. It’s a weekly ritual known as sekolah atas tembok, which in this context translates to mean ‘school on the street’ rather than ‘school on a concrete wall’. He didn’t have to raise his voice;

The hugh crowd at the end of the day

He added;

"the 78-year-old is a skilled orator who makes people want to stay quieter in case they miss something.

The keen listeners

He made them laugh, make them nod and kept them keen. I initially thought this book was a collection of speeches by the Pas Spiritual Adviser and Kelantan Menteri Besar, but it’s rather different. His actual words consist mainly of 29 things that he has said.

Each saying is then placed at the beginning of each chapter as an aphorism; a well of wisdom, as it were, which the editor then draws upon. Some of the homely wit then becomes dissipated in favour of literal explication.

His gift is his ability to talk about politics and religion (and he belongs firmly in the camp of those who do not ostensibly separate between the two) in images that are rooted in everyday lived experience. Take this: “When our wife cooks tomyam, she doesn’t create the salt, carrot, chicken, or water; she merely arranges these existing ingredients into a pot.”

This isn’t some sexist attempt to discredit the poor woman’s cooking. It relates to how people must always be conscious that everything around us is on loan from the Creator. And so tomyam gets placed in its theocratic context.

There are few politicians who’ve had not only the Tok Guru’s staying power but enduring appeal. (Take a look at the upper echelons of, say, the MIC, to see that ‘staying power’ and ‘enduring appeal’ don’t always go together). "

Hoping and wishing for blessing from Allah

and Amir Muhammad continues

"Speaking of “worldly titles”: his humble lifestyle is a big reason for his popularity, but there’s something more. Anyone who has been to a boarding school can see how Kelantan Malay guys would always band together and create almost an autonomous entity.

It’s not for nothing that the only local film title of recent years to actually reference a State happens to be Budak Kelantan – and this is a State with no cinemas! This desire to be seen as different also extends to politics. Be that as it may, an interesting creative tension emerges when you realise that, in his speeches and this book, Nik Aziz rejects the idea of communal separation on the basis of ethnicity or locality.

Ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy), for example, is an assabiyah (tribalist) concept, and contemptible because of that. What I mean by creative tension is that this universality is consciously articulated in a vernacular that is local (Kelantanese) and proudly so.''

A member of "Badan Amal",a helping hand.

Nik Aziz has never seemed to be a mere politician, but the embodiment of a certain hope, a certain dignity.

That’s why politicians from the other side of the fence who go and promise to bless the State with “development” seem hilariously off the mark. People there already feel quite blessed."

Such close similirity could also be found in the United State ,as seen in the video below;

Apart from attending lectures,family and friends gather to communicate with each other and perform their shopping spree.This blessing Friday contribute a lot to upbringing the economic and social activites of the local residents

Petty traders at the weekly gathering

Women ,mostly dominating business

Monday, July 13, 2009

The colourful and unique blocks

Bank Muamalat at Jalan Sultan Yahya Petra

Travellers passing through the main streets in Kota Bharu,the Islamaic city would be amazed to find many colourful and unique blocks lining most of the main street leading to the city centre.

Tourist Imformation Centre

Al-Rajhi Bank ,at Jalan Sultan Yahya Petra

These occassionally contribute in making the city an attractive destination and worth a visit.

The main gate at the State Meuseum ,in white and gold

In white and crimson at Jalan Sultan Yahaya Petra

Jalan Hospital

Apart from certain Islamic form and design, these new blocks represent the everlasting culture and spirit of the people living within the city.

Masjid Langgar

Klinik TMC at Jalan Sultan Yahya Petra

There are many more wooden and brick blocks being replaced with new one.

In fact its a wonder to notice how so many new structures could come into existence despite lot of statements being made against Kelantan generally and Kota Bharu namely as being under- developed !

Old Governmant quarters being demolished (in foreground). Rennaisence Hotel and
Kota Mutiara (in the background)

UITM,(recently completed) in purple

"Seeing is believing" That is exactly what a traveller would have to say about Kota Bharu.

Kota Sri Mutiara

University Teknology MARA,in blue and white

" Colourful and atrractive !" others would say likewise.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

All New

Bazar Tengku Anis,off Jalan Sultanah Zainab
Wima Nik Kembang ,at Jalan Sultan Yahya Petra.

Wisma Norma Nawi,Centre for Zullian,at Jalan Dusun Muda

The year 2009 is a remarkable year for Kota Bharu ,for one can witness the emergence of new building structures and sites in almost every main street leading to the city.

Kota Kenangan,coming up soon at Jalan Hospital

Some have long been completed and awaiting approval by the city authority. Others have just began completing their progress and are catching fast prior to Northeast monsoons .

Recently completed at Jalan Long Yunus

Travellers who have not been visiting Kota Bharu for the past years would be astonished to find that most of the new building structures are owned privately by Bumiputras.Others are state-owned or joint-ventures projects..

Piece of Art,at Jalan Long Yunus

It is distinctively clear to find that most developers,either in groups or as individuals contribute most to develop the city.The rest are carried out by the state -owned companies.

Wisma Mizah,Jalan Kebun Sultan

The tresparencies of the state government is the key factor that enhanced the progress within. And togethar with the loyal contribution of the private companies ,groups or individual , all rendered their efforts in making Kota Bharu a nice city to ive in .

Bazar Tengku Anis,to be opened soon

Kota Bharu is on the brink to become a city for the future.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The New vs The Old

The old and forgotten as seen at Jalan Post Office Lama

The State Mosque (Mesjid Muhammadi) and the new condominium

Partially gloomy graveyard as against the new landmark .

Wooden shophouses are still visible beside the city skycraper.

In MPKB-BRI,the Islamic city , new buildings and premises sprang up in almost every corner of the city , leaving visitors to wonder what would the city look like in the coming years. Yet shop-houses and living quarters built during the golden days of the city still remain side by side , untouched !

Jalan Post Office Lama - still untouched
a Tambatan D'Raja (Sultan's Pier)

New landscaapes poses new chellanges to the exsisting one,but city dwellers are contented and feel proud to find that most of the the old heritage remains intact. Let the youngs see and witness the remnants of their own past history,the culture and the spirits of the people that are still prevailing to this day.

Rumah rakit (Floating Houses) as seen in the old days

MPKB-BRI,the Islamic city, has its own unique style to show the nation and the world at large ,the people's faith, will and determination ,their courage and self preservations to develop. And in the course of time not sacrificing their family heritage and beliefs.
V Women selling fruits in their own traditional way

It is worth visiting Kota Bharu,before going to Bali,Jakarta or Bangkok,or elswhere in this world where people respect and preserve their own heritage.

And in their unique ways and styles !.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Era of change on the East Coast

Kelantan Trade Centre (viewed from Stadium Sultan Mohd.IV )

The new Outlook at Jalan Sultan Yahaya Petra

Since late 1989 ,when we first moved to our new house at Jalan Hospital,we could hardly find any three-storey buildings.Most were single or double- storey wooden shop -houses.

Jalan Hospital - Polyedar displaying huge window panes

At almost twenty years later, new brick buildings and other premises sprung up like mushrooms.
By the beginning of 2005 taller buildings are becoming common sights along mosts of the main street leading to the city.

Jalan Sultan Yahaya Petra (Note the cone-shaped window panes)

Then, By the beginning of 2009, KB city witnessed drastic changes.Old wooden shophouses were torn down to give way to new brick buildings.Visitors could now see in most of the main streets, huge biill-boards promoting upcoming projects and new sites for future developments .

The Green-green grass of home near the clock tower.

As mentioned earlier in the previous post, regulations are imposed to ensure that new building projects must depict islamic outlooks in accordance with the efforts of the state goverment to transform Kota Bharu into an Islamic City (KBRI).

Jalan Hospital- Recently completed .(Also with huge window panes )

The State Menteri Besar (Chief Minister) ,YB Tuan Guru Dato Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat would be very much impressed and relieved to see most of his proposals are brought foward and made into reality.