Tourism Malaysia

Al-Hamra Restaurant at Mataram

After a long distance traveling from the jetty of Gili Nanggu, we reached the capital of Lombok Island – Mataram. Our driver directly drive us to the restaurant for dinner, yes…we were hungry!

Al-Hamra Restaurant (Arabian cuisine) (S8.58223 E116.10534),  we reached the destination in the perfect timing! Because power failure! The whole restaurant was lighted with candles and looks romantic in the way…haha!

 photo IMG_3358_zps01ce63c5.jpg

There were candles lighted in every corner in the restaurant, and all us were waiting in the room…for dinner.

 photo IMG_3342_zpsb034d0a9.jpg

 photo IMG_3343_zps58811c77.jpg

Fortunately the electricity resume in about 15 minutes…smile on everyone face instantly! Haha!

And I started to snap around…the restaurant is decorated in Arabian way…cozy, relax and comfort in every corner.

 photo IMG_3355_zps76f5a435.jpg

 photo IMG_3356_zps3e988a26.jpg

One of our tour mate is a vegetarian, and her dish was the first on our table…well, no comment on it.

 photo IMG_3350_zps9304c487.jpg

After a while, everyone food was served on table, pretty fast! Everyone has same dish which was the chicken soup, followed by their signature grilled lamb.

 photo IMG_3363_zpsd7b365f8.jpg

The soup was tasty, and somehow a bit unique of the taste. I quite like it.

The grilled lamb was well marinated, but not tender enough…maybe due to the power failure…maybe…but we enjoyed the lamb very much!
It taste differently compare with Arab cuisine in Malaysia, I believe all because of the different herbs and spices were use to prepared.

 photo IMG_3367_zpszpxhhyaq.jpg

 photo IMG_3370_zps4cc0ec8d.jpg

 photo IMG_3368_zpsv7fptbro.jpg

Everyone was served for the Arabian fried rice after the lamb. We like the special taste of it, went well with the sambal chili. Excellent!

 photo IMG_3374_zps6400b1dc.jpg

I’m not good to verdict in Arabian cuisine, but our dinner was taste above average. It’s worth to try if you are happen in Mataram, Lombok Island.

The restaurant has ample parking lot, even for express bus…we realized it after the electricity resume.

 photo IMG_3359_zps78cef0c1.jpg

After our dinner, we had another 45 minutes on road traveling back to Senggigi beach where our resort located…let’s rockz!

Related post for Lombok island trip :-
Airasia media FAM trip to Lombok Island – Indonesia on July 2014

All Malaysia Info

Rare insight into Syed Mokhtar

Listed as the seventh richest Malaysian with a net worth of US$3.3 billion, not much is known from the media-shy Syed Mokhtar.

Syed Mokhtar Albukhary

Syed Mokhtar Albukhary : A Biography

Syed Mokhtar Albukhary, A Biography
Author: Premilla Mohanlall
Publisher: PVM Communications

MY first meeting with tycoon Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary went off in a rather unusual way. The year was 2004 and he had wanted to meet someone from The Star to make known his views over his fight with another tycoon, the late Tan Sri Nasimuddin SM Amin, over DRB-Hicom.

Syed Mokhtar felt the media favoured the Naza Group boss over him and he wanted to give his side of the story.

Both were battling over a strategic 15.8% block of shares in DRB-Hicom held by three parties, including the estate of the late Tan Sri Yahaya Ahmad, and the rivalry was billed as the “Fight of The Big Boys.”

The series of newspaper headlines had forced the reclusive Syed Mokhtar to come out and talk to this writer to put the record straight.

Our meeting at the business centre of a five-star hotel at Jalan Sultan Ismail was fixed at 9pm but he only turned up near midnight. Although he was dressed in a white long-sleeved shirt, I noticed that he only wore sandals. He was over two hours late.

His aides had warned me that he would probably be “waylaid” on the way there by businessmen and politicians, most of whom would ask for business deals or favours.

To avoid such disruptions, he shuttles between his house at affluent Bukit Tunku – which he bought since he became a millionaire bachelor – and the hotel to meet his associates and contacts. The other meeting point is the Islamic Arts Museum near the National Mosque.

The other rather unusual meeting spot is an Indian restaurant at Jalan Pahang. To this day, he carries with him a tumbler of tea, made by a particular waiter, from the eatery.

“If (the late Tan Sri) Loh Boon Siew can meet his friends at a coffeeshop every morning, I see no reason why I cannot enjoy my teh tarik at the shop, saya pun tong san mali, like him,” he told me, referring to Boon Siew’s ancestral roots from China. Syed Mokktar’s ancestral roots, on the other hand, can be traced to Central Asia.

By the time we finished our conversations, it was close to 2am. As I put down my pen and was about to close my note book, he suddenly told me that our discussions were entirely off the record and he was not to be quoted.

The publicity-shy businessman has never been at ease with journalists but I wasn’t going to allow Syed Mokhtar to have his way. I told him, in no uncertain terms, that if that were so, I would have wasted my entire evening with him, and whether he liked it or not, I was going to put him on record.

I must have made an impression on him because as we got to know each other better, he was prepared to share his private thoughts with me regularly – but still never on record.

But the media is still biting on Syed Mokhtar and, in some ways, he is to be blamed as he has never made himself available to journalists, preferring to let his aides do the talking. In fact, bankers also complain that he never meets them!

Interestingly enough, a whole chapter is devoted to his dealings with the media in his biography that has just hit the bookstores written by Premilla Mohanlall, a writer and a public relations practitioner.

“I wonder why I get bad press when others who have abused the system for personal gains have not been subjected to such media scrutiny. Perhaps it is time to come out and defend myself,” he said in the book.

The 180-page book is very readable, starting with his childhood days in a village attap house with no piped water and electricity, where the toilet was a pit latrine. It traces Syed Mokhtar’s first experience of doing business under his cattle trader father in Alor Star. His father migrated to Kedah from the Afghan region of Central Asia via India and Thailand.

The book gives a rare peek into his family life and how the family’s financial constraints forced Syed Mokhtar to stop schooling after Form Five, while his siblings were able to continue. There was also his early growing-up years with a soldier uncle in Johor Baru.

He takes pride calling himself a businessman with no diplomas, and his ability to speak the layman’s language is obvious in the book. Much space is dedicated to his early days as a travelling salesman, when he had to sleep in the lorries and on bug-infested beds in cheap hotels.

The point that Syed Mokhtar seems to want to tell his readers is that he did not get his wealth on a silver platter. While the affirmative action of the New Economic Policy had helped him, he worked hard and fought hard. He was not the type who cashed out after getting the pink forms.

In short, he went through the good and bad times, like many well-tested businessmen. The 1997 financial crisis saw his assets shrank from RM3bil to RM600mil.

“Eighty per cent of my market capitalisation was wiped out. There was a lot of pain and hardship. Many people thought I would pack up and leave. I am a fighter, with a strong will to survive.

“I lost countless nights of sleep, I lost hair, but I did not lose sight of one thing: my responsibility to safeguard strategic bumiputra assets and to protect the interests of my staff.”

Today, he has 110,000 staff under his payroll and indirectly about 250,000 other Malaysians, particularly vendors, since he acquired Proton this year.

Syed Mokhtar’s close ties with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is well documented but in this book, Syed Mokhtar spoke vividly, if not humorously, of their first encounter.

It was Thursday, Jan 16, 1997 and the time was 2.30pm – Syed Mokhtar entered the office of the former Prime Minister.

“I greeted him with a salam and he stood before me, with his hands folded across the chest. He did not wave for me to take a seat when he sat down. I was sweating, and decided to sit down to present the documents I had prepared to explain all my businesses in Kedah, Kuala Lumpur and Johor.

“It included building plans for a new project in Alor Star, a sprawling development with a mosque and a health and welfare facilities for the poor as well as an international university for disadvantaged communities around the world.

“The Prime Minister listened carefully, without saying a word. By the time I was done, it was an hour and ten minutes. Still, not a word. I left the documents on his desk and took leave.”

Not long later, Syed Mokthar, who was still asleep, received a call from Dr Mahathir himself with a simple message: “Your matter in Kedah is settled.” That is of course vintage Dr Mahathir, the man who has no time for small talk and offered few words.

Apart from his numerous business ventures, Syed Mokhtar also writes in detail of his numerous charitable works.

Almost every year, his Albukhary Foundation hosts two iftar or fast-breaking dinners for over 3,000 needy people. The foundation currently has a few flagship projects, including the Islamic Arts Museum built in 1998.

In 2001, the foundation launched the Albukhry Tuition Programme to help the underachieving rural school children pass their final high school examination. At the end of the programme, nine years later, about 80,000 students from 500 schools had benefited from these remedial classes.

His foundation has also extended help to survivors of earthquakes in China, Pakistan and Iran, and the tsunami in Indonesia. It has also built an AIDS hospital in Uganda and a girls’ school in Nepal as well as helped support the Sarajevo Science and Technology centre.

An interesting chapter is on his role as a family man. Syed Mokhtar has never touched on his private life in any interview, which has been rare, in any case.

The father of seven children, between the ages of two and 18, revealed how his typical meetings start at 10pm and finish at 3am “and is held seven days a week and has been a routine for more than 20 years.”

“Fortunately, my wife comes from a business family and understands this. Initially, I had to explain the arrangement to her, and she accepted it. Except for family holidays, in our 20 years of marriage, I don’t think I have spent many evenings at home after 10pm,” he wrote.

Syed Mokhtar married in 1992 at the age of 41 to then 24-year-old Sharifah Zarah. There are also rare pictures of his family in the book.

Although the book is, no doubt, a public relations exercise, the right questions have been posed by the writer, including the public’s perception of his many acquisitions and the common criticism that he has more than he can chew.

He also answered the issue of the shareholding structure of his companies that could not be traced to him, acknowledging “it is an old habit that has to change.”

Syed Mokhtar hasn’t changed much. He is rarely seen in public functions. He is still more at ease in short-sleeved shirts and sandals. The billionaire now travels on a private jet but in town, he still drives around in his old Proton Perdana. By WONG CHUN WAI

Chinese Opera

Hotshots [PIC]

Dr Mahathir

Dr M: Politician to the core

All Malaysia Info

Lee Sinjie’s humanitarian trip to Mozambique

World Vision ambassador Angelica Lee Sinjie shares her experiences during a humanitarian trip to Mozambique in Africa.

One of the top five poorest countries in the world, Mozambique is poverty-stricken

ON the day I left Hong Kong, I was very sick. Kevin Chiu, CEO of World Vision Hong Kong, was worried about me and gave me some medication for my cold, during the flight. The medication must have made me drowsy and after a while, I dozed off.

I have visited many poverty-stricken countries as part of World Vision’s programme. The numerous trips have proven to be enlightening and enriching. The abject poverty I see around me has made me more determined to do my bit to help the needy.

On this trip, I brought my nephew, Han Han, along with me. I have watched Han Han grow up and treat him like my own son. I am reminded of how my grandmother used to take me along on her visits to underprivileged families in the villages, when I was a kid. I felt it was time for Han Han, 13, to experience the same.

When I first mentioned the trip to Han Han, it didn’t take him long to decide to come along. It was going to be an eight-day visit to Africa. The 20-hour flight, bumpy ride to remote villages, and scorching sun did not deter Han Han.

Upon landing at the South African airport, we took the connecting flight to Maputo, capital of Mozambique. Once there, we visited the local headquarters of World Vision before we took a three-hour car ride and arrived at a small, remote town in the evening. We checked into a hotel for the night.

After dinner, I popped in a couple more pills for my cold, and went to bed early to prepare myself for the following day’s visit to six-year-old Celeste. I told Han Han we would be leaving at 4am the next day, and he promptly went to bed.

The next morning, I felt better after a good night’s rest. We were well on our way to visit Celeste before dawn broke.

Celeste (left) and Lee Sinjie sharing a joyful moment together

Celeste’s parents had succumbed to illness, leaving her under the care of her 70-year-old grandmother. The small hut they lived in was made of mud and hay. Celeste’s father built it before he died.

I walked towards the house, and knocked on the wooden door. The door opened slowly.

It was dark inside as they had no electricity. Celeste was sleeping on a straw mat spread out on the red-clay floor. She rubbed her eyes as she sat up. Her grandmother was all smiles when she saw us.

Celeste stared at me with her big innocent eyes. She must have wondered whether she was still dreaming. I was drawn to her instantly.

Celeste led the way as we walked down a sandy road to a well constructed by World Vision. It is more than half an hour each way, and Celeste makes three trips to the well daily to fetch water for domestic use.

Celeste used all the strength in her tiny body to draw up water from the well. I joined her and filled a big bucket with water from the well. The locals who were queueing for their turn, had a good laugh when they saw me filling up the bucket in an awkward manner.

Under the fierce sun, Celeste carried the heavy bucket of water on her head as she walked barefooted on the hot sand.

What strong legs and arms she had, I thought to myself as I trailed behind her.

Lee Sinjie (left) trails after Celeste as the little girl leads the way

My heart ached when I thought of her plight. She had lost both parents before she was even old enough to talk. Her aging grandmother can barely afford to buy her a set of school uniform. The girl eats cassava with bitter leaves harvested by her grandmother, and helps gather mangoes and cashew nuts from the ground. When there is a drought, every meal is uncertain and many a time, she goes to bed hungry.

Celeste stopped and turned around to check on me. I was trying to balance the heavy bucket on my head. Sweat was streaming down my back. She waited until I caught up with her. We walked on in silence, united by a bond that transcends words.

After a delightful lunch, we drove to the graveyard where Celeste’s parents were laid to rest. We offered a prayer and some flowers. With the help of a translator, I chatted with Celeste’s grandmother. While we were chatting, Celeste sat down at my foot, quietly following our conversation as she played with my fingers. I stroked her cheek and looked into her eyes which mirrored the innocence of the young.

Her grandmother shared her fears with me. She expressed her concern for Celeste. Who would look after the child when she is gone?

I decided to help raise Celeste by sponsoring her. She is my 21st sponsored child. After spending several hours with her, my heart began to ache when it was time for me to leave.

I used hand gestures to tell Celeste that we had to leave. The smile on her face vanished, and she gripped my hand as we walked towards the car. Suddenly, with a loud cry, she hugged me and burst into tears. I could not hold back my tears, and cried as I hugged her.

However, I left her comforted by the assurance that Celeste was under the World Vision Child Sponsorship Programme. She would be in good hands as the World Vision staff would visit her and look into her needs.

A report of her progress and health will be sent to me every year. I can still communicate with Celeste through letters to ensure that she receives a proper education and grows up healthy.

Mozambique is among the top five poorest countries in the world. After gaining independence from Portugal, the country was impoverished by years of civil war. There are signs of prosperity in the capital city where beautiful Portuguese-style buildings stand as a reminder of the country’s colonial past.

But once you leave the city, tracts of uncultivated land stretch as far as the eye can see. Small huts dot the sparse landscape. We were told the government lacked funds to cultivate the land for agricultural purposes. As much as 20% of the population has contracted HIV/AIDS, causing many children like Celeste to be orphaned.

I visited two sisters. When the older girl was six, her father died and she had to look after her critically ill mother and her three-year-old sister. After six years, their mother passed away, leaving the two sisters to fend for themselves.

The girls are 16 and 13 now. They sleep on a straw mat in their bare hut. When it rains, the roof leaks badly. The girls survive on cassava given by kind neighbours.

Since its establishment in 1950, World Vision has been helping impoverished communities in many corners of the earth. World Vision has initiated 38 projects in Mozambique, benefiting 2,000 to 4,000 people in each community. The projects stretch over a period of 10 to 15 years.

World Vision built wells in remote villages to provide access to drinking water for destitute communities.

They built schools for the children so that they did not have to study in huts with roofs that could be lifted by strong winds. Medical centres were set up to make medical treatment accessible to the sick. Pregnant women were spared from having to trek long distances to get to a hospital. Villagers were given opportunities to generate income to support their families. Local communities were being educated about HIV/AIDS.

Han Han did not complain throughout the trip. He endured the hot weather and adapted well to the busy schedule. He even played football with the village kids and picked mangoes with them.

The local children and Han Han (right) bonded instantly

On the last day of our trip, Han Han decided to sponsor a six-year-old orphan with his own pocket money.

This trip was our first together. I am glad we were able to share this invaluable experience which nurtured our understanding of humanity.

As we walked forward, I saw pain, sorrow and helplessness, but I also saw empathy, hope and a love that transcends barriers. When I spread my arms to embrace these innocent children and felt the warmth of their love and bodies, I realised what happiness means. – Angelica Lee Sinjie

Map: Mozambique, Africa

Tourism Malaysia

Enjoying the hospitality of headhunters in Borneo

Enjoying the hospitality of headhunters in Borneo

Rumah Bundong is a 60 year-old, 50-door longhouse near Kapit in the Malaysian state of Sarawak. It is inhabited by about 40 families of Iban ethnicity, who are famed, amongst many things, for headhunting.


Yes that’s right—headhunting—and 40 families means there are a lot of them. Still, I’m encouraged to learn they ceased the practice around WWII because I’ve elected to stay with them for two nights and frankly I don’t want them getting any ideas.

When I first arrived at Rumah Bundong, one of the first things I saw were skulls swaying from rafters in front of the headman’s bilik (door). Whether it was a warning for unruly guests or a gruesome souvenir for tourists, who knows? In any case I soon took little notice of it because there were so many other things to take in.

Skulls hanging from the rafters at Rumah Bundong. Pic: Joanne Lane.

The longhouse was located about an hour’s bumpy drive from Kapit and across a suspension bridge; in many ways a dramatic arrival that added to the experience.

A ruai (verandah) connected the 100-metre long structure with doors leading to individual family areas. The verandah was a communal area where women dried grains, divided the fish catch, worked on handicrafts, minded children and chatted. The men also grouped together to smoke, mend fishing nets and carve hooks. There was a real sense of a close-knit community.


I was given accommodation for a fee with the headman, Tua Rumah Bundong Tajok, and his family. His married children lived with their own families in a series of rooms in the same quarters, while single members slept in the lounge or near the guest quarters – a loft above the living area.

The 100 metre long stretch of the Rumah Bundong longhouse. Pic: Joanne Lane.

There was electricity, a television, they had mobile phones and lived in basic but comfortable rooms. An outhouse was used for washing and toileting, but most people bathed down at the river.

Few in the family spoke English but it didn’t matter. The headman’s wife and daughters prepared delicious meals of meat and vegetables that we ate communally on the kitchen floor. It was wonderful to be included in family life and not treated differently and I dived into the bowls with everybody else.

The first day I spent playing with the headman’s grandchildren, bathing in the river and exploring to get a sense of the rhythms of the longhouse. Most people were farmers and spent the days working in the fields. There was also a school on site for younger children. In the afternoon the workers would return home and gather on the verandahs.

On the second day I accompanied the headman, some of his family and a dozen workers to their fields. We set out at dawn, walking for 30 minutes across hillsides and rivers to reach what appeared to be a series of burnt out, hilly paddocks.

It didn’t look too promising to me but I guessed they must have recently cleared them for replanting – the task for today. While we sat eating breakfast one of the older men, covered liberally in tattoos, produced a chicken and slit its throat. When he dipped the feathers in the blood and set them in a dish of food—perhaps to bless our work—visions of headhunting came to mind again.

The lunch time feast after a sweaty morning in the fields. Pic: Joanne Lane.

However it was soon clear the chicken was our lunch. The headman burnt its feathers in a fire and began to prepare it. Meanwhile the men started making holes in the ground with poles and the ladies trailed behind filling the pockets with rice seeds.


After watching for awhile I joined the women and was soon scratched, sweating and covered in ash. It was hard work. When we broke for lunch the women gave me a long sleeved shirt, pants and a conical farming hat for protection.
We feasted on chicken, rice and vegetables in a hut by a small stream. Before returning to the fields we all jumped in the water to cool off. As the midday sun came out in burning glory I wondered if I could bow out gracefully, but I didn’t want to let the side down.

By the time we were finished I realized I had earned my kudos and back at the longhouse was invited into homes, had food pressed on me and treated as part of the community.

On my final day a tour group visited the longhouse. Each was given a sip of tuak, rice wine, and food to eat and there was music and dancing. I was seated with the headman’s family throughout this and it seemed an acknowledgement I had become part of the family even just for those few days.


Tourism Malaysia

Lata Tembakah (Tembakah Waterfall)

“Nice place, good sceneries, cooling, also good to swim but if you’re lucky, you can see human “Keropok Leko” passes by along the river.”  
by Wahida

“that place very beautiful n many people can go.after that,the place have many facilities and that host very friendly”  
by azila

“A place that are good to organize camping but there’s no electricity supplies in the night and the whole area in dark till you can’t see your hands. At the back of the camp site have a big hole for you to dump the rubbishs. The water of there is clean and of course at the back of the waterfall have whirlpool , so please be awareness
if you are planning to swim at there.Feel free to mail me for more details. “
by Shi Jian

“Very nice, clean and clear water waterfall!”  
by Eldy

“its a good place in the world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”  
by afzan