Posted in Events, KKPI

IMU Learning Resources Festival 2017

By: Zuhanariah Nordin, Chief Librarian IMU

It has been a tradition at the International Medical University (IMU) to hold its Learning Resources Festival (LRF) annually since four years ago as a platform for the faculty members and students to showcase their learning and teaching innovations through various learning activities.

This year’s LRF 2017 was held from 18 to 20 September 2017 at the Main Campus in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur with Ubiquitous Learning as its theme.

 

Although there were many events held and were handled by three units of the Learning Resources Department, this report is intended to highlight the events that were specifically organised by the Library namely:

1) Basic Information Literacy License Workshop for newly hired faculty members.
This is a two-day blended activity conducted by the librarian for the newly hired faculty members of IMU to enhance their knowledge and skills in the admidst the overwhelming information resources. Hands-on tutorial was done on the first day and the participants presented their assignments online. These were then viewed and assessed by the Director of Learning Resources and the Chief Librarian. The participants will be awarded the Basic Information Literacy License should the panel be satisfied with the presentation.

2) Knowledge Challenge in collaboration with Elsevier, UpToDate and Wiley.
A set of questions was prepared by these vendors and the link to the questions were announced to the students, staff and the faculty members a week before the Festival. The objective was to challenge the library users (and non-users) of their awareness of these databases which will help them with their learning, teaching and research activities.

3) Information Literacy Talk by Dr. Nor Edzan Che Nasir, former Chief Librarian, University of Malaya.

The talk focused on the importance of information literacy to library users and researchers. Various models of information literacy from abroad were introduced briefly such as the Big Six Model, ISP and the Seven Pillars Framework from SCONUL. Information literacy is a skill that requires constant engagement coupled with various ethical issues. The Library and the librarians are the primary role players in the information literacy agenda while the faculty members need to support this by checking their students’ sources of references in their assignments. Students pursuing professional courses such as Medicine, Law, Accountancy, Architecture and Engineering must be more information literate than the other fields since they will be employed in professions that are legislated by law.

4) Knowledge Competition via a game entitled Crime Scene: find the murderer
This game was designed by students for students whilst the librarians facilitate to ensure it runs smoothly. In this competition, the participants were tested on their skills to obtain information with evidence and use critical thinking skills. Time management skills and ethics are important elements that need to be taken care of during this competition.

Other than the above, the librarians also took part in the Mobile Apps Competition organised by the e-Learning Unit. It is the IMU Library Services App for Android users which was developed by a group of librarians from the IMU Clinical Campuses.

 

LRF provided an opportunity for the librarians to interact with their users and in the long run will establish and maintain the rapport among them.

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Posted in Events

Kunjungan Hormat Kedutaan Amerika ke Perpustakaan UMS

Oleh : Lorita Gadol, Pustakawan UMS

Perpustakaan Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) telah menerima kunjungan hormat daripada Bradley Hurst, Counselor of Public Affairs, U.S Embassy Kuala Lumpur pada 20 September 2017. Antara tujuan kunjungan hormat ini adalah untuk memperkukuhkan kerjasama yang sedia ada disamping menggalakkan interaksi dua hala serta berbincang dan berkongsi pendapat terutamanya berkenaan dengan perkembangan American Corner di Perpustakaan UMS.

Hurst juga turut menyempurnakan penyampaian sijil penghargaan kepada peserta yang berjaya menamatkan Bengkel ROV101: Quadcopter (Drone). Penyampian sijil penghargaan telah diadakan di Ruang American Corner, Perpustakaan UMS dan majlis tersebut diakhiri dengan demo penerbangan drone.

 

Posted in Events, News from Malaysian Libraries

Pengalaman Semasa Mengikuti Pemilihan Bahan Perpustakaan di “Kuala Lumpur International Book Fair 2017”

Oleh: Dayang Nur Syima Binti Awang Adrus, Pustakawan, Pustaka Negeri Sarawak

 

Saya bekerja sebagai pustakawan di Pustaka Negeri Sarawak dan telah berkhidmat selama setahun. Oleh sebab itu saya telah dipilih untuk mengikuti pemilihan Bahan Perpustakaan untuk Pustaka Negeri Sarawak di Kuala Lumpur International Book Fair 2017 pada 2 hingga 5 Mei 2017 bertempat di Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC).

 

Semasa mengetahui nama saya dipilih untuk mengikuti International Book Fair, pelbagai perkara yang bermain di fikiran dan perasaan saya. Antaranya ialah saya tidak mempunyai pengalaman dalam pemilihan buku, tidak pernah menghadiri sebarang International Book Fair, kepenatan dan sebagainya. Akan tetapi saya mengambil peluang ini sebagai sesi pembelajaran untuk meluaskan ilmu dan pengalaman kerjaya.

 

Kuala Lumpur International Book Fair 2017 pada kali ini telah dianjurkan oleh Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia melalui Majlis Buku Kebangsaan Malaysia (MBKM). Pelbagai aktiviti telah diadakan seperti pelancaran buku, seminar, konvensyen dan sebagainya yang bersesuaian untuk semua peringkat komuniti. Penyertaan luas diterima daripada penerbit tempatan, penerbit asing, agensi kerajaan tempatan dan agensi-agensi kerajaan asing lain daripada Brunei, Syria, Arab Saudi, Kuwait, Mesir, Indonesia, India, Singapura, Iran, Lubnan dan United Kingdom.

Seramai enam orang rakan sekerja telah mengikuti International Book Fair tersebut dan kami menginap di Hotel Seri Pacific yang berdekatan dengan Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) selama empat hari tiga malam.

Semasa kali pertama menjejaki International Book Fair di Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), perasaan saya teruja dan kagum apabila melihat pelbagai jenis buku daripada pelbagai genre dan bahasa seperti fiksyen, non-fiksyen, komik, novel dan lain-lain dipamerkan dan dijual. Para pengunjung dari pelbagai peringkat umur, bangsa, dan jantina turut hadir untuk mencari dan membaca bahan-bahan ilmiah kegemaran masing-masing.

 

Salah satu aktiviti atau program yang dijalankan di International Book Fair 2017 oleh ITBM iaitu Wawancara Sofa Putih.

 

Kami telah membuat pemilihan pelbagai jenis penerbitan sama ada daripada penerbit tempatan atau asing seperti ITBM, Utusan Publication, Telaga Biru, 1 MAPIM, Gale Publisher, Taylor & Francis, Sage Publishing, Scientific International, PMS Publisher Services, Bloomsbury Academic, Jones & Barlett Learning, De Gruyter, Cengage, Wiley, Elsevier, APD Singapore, Pearson Trade, Choicetexts (Asia) Pte. Ltd., KL Books Distributor, Persatuan Kontraktor Buku Malaysia, Thomson Reuters dan Iseas-Yusof Ishak Constitution.

 

Aktiviti semasa sesi pemilihan buku di International Book Fair 2017.

 

Sepanjang berada di International Book Fair, terdapat satu judul buku yang telah menarik perhatian saya yang bertajuk “Laki Aku Negro, Kau Peduli Apa?” karya Dr. Hayya Bilal. Buku ini telah menceritakan pengalaman penulis mengembara ke Afrika, negara suami beliau, sekaligus menceritakan sisi kehidupan masyarakat yang digelar Negro dari segi budaya, makanan, tempat-tempat yang menarik dan pelbagai lagi. Buku ini juga menceritakan catatan kehidupan beliau bersama suami. Melalui buku ini juga saya dapat mengambil pengajaran di mana jodoh dan takdir adalah ketentuan Allah S.W.T.

Buku bertajuk “Laki Aku Negro, Kau Peduli Apa?” oleh Dr. Hayya Bilal

 

Apa yang dapat saya simpulkan daripada pengalaman mengikuti International Book Fair kali ini, penterjemahan dan penerbitan buku daripada pelbagai bahasa asing amat penting untuk memperkenalkan kekayaan intelektual dan budaya, sekaligus membangunkan jambatan peradaban antarabangsa terutama dalam kalangan masyarakat.

 

Posted in Events, News from Malaysian Libraries

Sambutan Kemerdekaan Semarakkan Program Book and Breakfast 2.0 Perpustakaan Kebijaksanaan UIM

Oleh: Balqis Jamaludin & Nuratiqahnadzirah, Pustakawan UIM

 

Perpustakaan Kebijaksanaan Universiti Islam Malaysia (UIM) telah menganjurkan program Book & Breakfast 2.0 pada 16 Ogos 2017, setelah berjaya menganjurkan Book & Breakfast kali pertama pada bulan Mei lalu. Program ini dikenali sebagai Book & Breakfast kerana mengadaptasi konsep kedai buku yang dilengkapi kafe. Ianya telah memberi peluang kepada pengguna untuk membaca dalam keadaan santai sambil menikmati sarapan pagi.

 

Program ini bertujuan untuk menggalakkan warga UIM berkunjung dan menggunakan bahan-bahan ilmiah yang ada di perpustakaan disamping mendengar kupasan dan ulasan penulis yang dijemput khas oleh pihak perpustakaan

 

Book & Breakfast pada kali ini dimeriahkan lagi dengan acara sambutan kemerdekaan negara yang ke-60. Perpustakaan Kebijaksanaan UIM ingin menyuntik semangat patriotik dikalangan warga UIM melalui program ini.  Semangat cintakan tanah air dan jati diri perlu di terap dalam diri setiap rakyat Malaysia pada masa kini, terutamanya di dalam arus globalisasi. Antara aktiviti menarik yang diadakan pada program kali ini ialah nyanyian lagu patriotik, bicara buku bersama novelis terkenal Aina Emir, pertandingan deklamasi sajak, pertandingan menulis jawi, puzzle tokoh kemerdekaan, mewarna Jalur Gemilang dan pertandingan pakaian beragam yang bertemakan hari kebangsaan.

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Posted in Events, News from Malaysian Libraries

Zi Yi Comes Out Top In National Day Storytelling Competition

Oleh: Pustaka Negeri Sarawak

 

CityOne Megamall and the Sarawak State Library recently organised a storytelling competition for primary school students (Primary 4 to 6) on 26 August 2017 to celebrate the National Day. A total of 11 schools around Kuching took part in the competition which was held at the CityOne Megamall. The schools were SJK(C) Chung Hua No. 3, SK Matang Jaya, SK St Joseph, SK St Teresa, SK St Mary, SK Rakyat Jalan Haji Bolhassan, SJK(C) Stampin, SK Tabuan, SK Batu Lintang, SK St Thomas and SK RPR Jalan Astana.

 

Chua Zi Yi from SJK(C) Chung Hua No. 3 emerged as the winner, taking home a RM400 cash prize, while Bryan Hugh from SK St. Thomas came second followed by Harisha A/ P Mages Varan from SK St. Teresa in third. Bryan and Harisha both won RM200 and RM150 respectively. All the three winners also received trophies, certificates of participation, hampers and books. Those who finished in fourth to the 20th position were each given a certificate of participation and souvenirs.

 

The competition aimed to improve language skills through listening, speaking, reading and writing in both the Malay and English languages, while also developing self- confidence among pupils especially when speaking in front of an audience.

 

A handover session of books by the Sarawak Chapter of the Librarians Association Malaysia (PPMKSR) to the schools involved and the launch of the Reading Corner @ CityOne Megamall Kuching under the Bookshare Project were also held. The prize-giving ceremony was attended by the CityOne Megamall Kuching General Manager, Mr. Brandon Lo and the Sarawak State Library Head of Corporate Management sector and PPMKSR’ secretary, Mr. Wan Mazli Wan Razali.

Mr. Wan Mazli (centre) and Mr. Lo (left) posing for a photo with the winners of the storytelling competition.
Posted in Conference, Events

Perpustakaan Kafe SMK Seri Pulai Perdana Menggondol Hadiah INOVASI Perpustakaan

Oleh Sidang Pengarang Berita PPM

Pertandingan Inovasi Produk dan Perkhidmatan Perpustakaan (InDeLib) sempena Persidangan Perpustakaan Se-Malaysia 2017 anjuran Persatuan Pustakawan Malaysia (PPM), Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia (PNM) dan Fakulti Pengurusan Maklumat, Universiti Teknologi MARA Kampus Negeri Kedah yang diadakan dari 12 hingga 13 September 2017 di Lembaga Pertubuhan Peladang (LPP) telah menobatkan SMK Seri Pulai Perdana, Kulai, Johor sebagai pemenang Gold Medal bagi Kategori Sekolah dan pememang Innovation Division Diamond bagi Perpustakaan Kafe.

Perpustakaan Kafe SMK Seri Pulai Perdana ini telah mula beroperasi pada 15 Ogos 2015 dan telah dirasmikan oleh Datin Che Normadiah Che Abas, Ketua Penolong Pengarah BTPN Johor pada 29 Ogos 2015. Idea untuk mewujudkan Perpustakaan Kafe ini telah diilhamkan oleh Cikgu Shah Ridha bin Abdul Jalil, seorang Guru Cemerlang Guru Perpustakaan dan Media (GPM).

Idea ini muncul apabila penggunaan perpustakaan kian menurun dan dengan itu beberapa inisiatif dan usaha baharu dibuat bagi menarik warga sekolah untuk datang dan menggunakan perpustakaan ini. Satu ruang khas dijadikan kafe ala santai dan dilengkapi dengan notebook, galeri dan televisyen. Hiasan dalaman perpustakaan diserikan lagi dengan langsir, pameran beg kertas membeli belah, rantai kunci dan hiasan lain bagi menarik minat dan perhatian pelajar untuk terus berada di perpustakaan. Dalam suasana sebegini, diharapkan warga sekolah dapat membaca dan mencari maklumat dengan lebih selesa. Perpustakaan Kafe juga telah berjaya menarik minat ibubapa untuk berkunjung ke sini. Secara tidak langsung, ini menambah dana perpustakaan yang memberi faedah kepada warga sekolah melalui aktiviti yang diadakan.

Diharapkan Perpustakaan Kafe ini akan menjadi contoh kepada sekolah-sekolah lain untuk bersama-sama meningkat dan memartabat Perpustakaan di sekolah masing-masing untuk dimanfaat oleh anak bangsa.

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Posted in Events, News from Malaysian Libraries, Training

Strategic Decision Making & Team Building Workshop With The|Map : A Corporate Challenge Game

By: Mohd. Faridzuan A. Rahman (faridzuan@perdana.org.my), Roymax Sebastian (roy@perdana.org.my), Adnan Haris (adnan@perdana.org.my) Librarian,Perdana Leadership Foundation

Impressed with its huge potential, a game-based workshop was held at the Perdana Leadership Foundation, entitled “Strategic Decision Making & Team Building Workshop With THE|MAP: A Corporate Challenge Game.” On the morning of 23rd August 2017, participants arrived from various organizations such as Yayasan Sukarelawan Siswa, Agrobank, Menteri Besar Incorporated, University of Malaya, Leap Leadership Academy and Perdana Leadership Foundation.

The programme started with a welcome speech by one of our staff members, MrFaridzuan. He then passed the floor to the facilitator of the programme,Mr James Leow of PrioritySkySdn Bhd. After a quick icebreaking session, a small exercise was conducted to boost the participants’ situational awareness which was needed later in the gameplay. After the exercise, participants were divided into four groups which represented four different characters, each with their own special ability, in THE MAP; Wizard, Knight, Elf, and Assassin.

Once the rules and the how-to of the THE MAP were explained, the gameplay commenced. Participants ‘battle’ each other in a game of wits and strategies, deceits and mischiefs, alliances and betrayals, and risks and opportunities. After two and a half hours of gameplay, Team Wizard emerged as the winner, defeating the other teams with their bold strategy.

The workshop continued with a Reverse Learning session, where members of each team reflect and share their thoughts on what works and what do not, and what best describes their loss or win with one word. Through this session, each and every participant learned the lessons which undoubtedly will be very valuable in their workplace and perhaps, in life. The next and final learning curve of THE MAP was the Virtual Coach. Participants were given a cut-out paper which they were then tasked to form an octahedron. One question was printed on each surface of the octahedron (except one). The questions were designed as a driving force or motivation for participants to move forward to their goals.

After lunch break, the programme continued with a Dialogue session on the topic of “Developing a Strategic Mindset” by Professor Emeritus Dato’ Dr. Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman. The dialogue highlighted on what it takes to be a leader with a strategic mindset, with a solution that is surprisingly easy to do with a little bit of motivation and determination.

The programme ended with a group photo session at the lobby and light refreshments. The Perdana Leadership Foundation would like to thank Professor Emeritus Dato’ Dr. Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman for his insights on the matter, and especially to the participants from various organisations. We hope that the lessons learned were impactful and will be beneficial in the future.

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Posted in Charity, Events, News from Malaysian Libraries

Pameran Lukisan Kanak-kanak Malaysia-Jepun dan Bengkel Pendidikan Seni Lukis Kanak-kanan Malaysia-Jepun di Sabah

Oleh: Perpustakaan Negeri Sabah

Majlis Perasmian Pameran Lukisan Kanak-kanak Malaysia-Jepun dan Penutupan Bengkel Pendidikan Seni Lukis Kanak-kanak Malaysia-Jepun telah diadakan pada 10 Ogos 2017 di Perpustakaan Negeri Sabah. Majlis perasmian penutupan tersebut telah disempurnakan oleh Menteri Pembangunan Masyarakat dan Hal Ehwal Pengguna, Yang Berhormat Datuk Hajah Jainab Datuk Seri Panglima Hj. Ahmad Ayid. Majlis ini turut diadakan sempena ulang tahun Hubungan Diplomatik Malaysia-Jepun yang ke-60 tahun.

Majlis ini telah dimeriahkan dengan kehadiran Puan Hiroko Matsuo selaku Konsul Jepun bagi Sabah, Sarawak dan Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan, Puan Fumiko Oike iaitu Pengerusi Authorized NPO Corporation MAY Asaka Center (MAY Library) Jepun, Puan Janet K L Chee, Setiausaha Tetap Kementerian Pembangunan Masyarakat dan Hal Ehwal Pengguna, Puan Maria Binti Sinti, Timbalan Pengarah Kanan Perpustakaan Negeri Sabah mewakili Pengarah PNS, wakil-wakil Jabatan Pendidikan Negeri Sabah dan Jabatan Kebajikan Am, para peserta bengkel serta wakil-wakil sekolah terdiri daripada guru pengiring dan pelajar-pelajar sekolah yang menjayakan pameran lukisan pada kali ini.

Pameran Seni Lukis Kanak-kanak Malaysia-Jepun dan Bengkel Kurikulum Pendidikan Seni Sekolah Rendah Negara Jepun ini merupakan program “Friendly Relationship Through Pictures” yang dianjurkan bersama oleh Jabatan Pendidikan Negeri Sabah, Perpustakaan Negeri Sabah dan Authorized NPO Corporation MAY Asaka Center (Jepun). Matlamat program ini adalah menjalin, memperkukuhkan serta mengeratkan lagi hubungan persahabatan yang sedia terjalin antara kedua-dua negara sesuai dengan slogan, “Untuk Kanak-kanak, Untuk Persahabatan antara Malaysia dan Jepun”.

Program pameran lukisan yang telah mencapai usia 30 tahun sejak diadakan pertama kali di Pulau Pinang (1987), pada kali ini telah melibatkan lapan (8) buah sekolah rendah sekitar Kota Kinabalu yang telah berjaya mempamerkan 114 buah lukisan karya pelajar, disamping 130 buah lukisan karya pelajar sekolah rendah dari Negara Jepun. Jumlah ini telah menggenapkan bilangan keseluruhan hasil karya lukisan kanak-kanak dari kedua-dua negara iaitu sebanyak 60,000 buah lukisan, sejak program ini dianjurkan.

Manakala, Bengkel Kurikulum Pendidikan Seni Sekolah Rendah Negara Jepun buat kali kedua diadakan di Sabah, berlangsung selama sehari di bilik PPL, Aras 3, Bangunan Ibu Pejabat Perpustakaan Negeri Sabah yang berjaya disertai oleh 20 orang guru serta 5 orang kakitangan Perpustakaan Negeri Sabah, di bawah bimbingan Puan Nakemura Mieko.

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Posted in Events, Training

Bengkel RDA di Pantai Timur

Oleh : Wan Nurul Huda Wan Zakaria, Pustakawan UMP

 

Pada 26-27 Julai 2017, Bengkel Bengkel Resource Description And Access (RDA) telah dianjurkan oleh Perpustakaan Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) di Kampus Pekan. Objektif utama penganjuran bengkel ini adalah untuk memberi pendedahan kepada semua peserta khususnya staf Perpustakaan UMP.

 

Dua orang fasilitator dari Perpustakaan Negara telah dijemput untuk mengendalikan bengkel ini iaitu Puan Nik Irfah Rumaizah Ibrahim  (Penolong Pengarah Kanan) dan Puan Shamsiah Deraman (Penolong Pengarah).

 

Seramai 35 peserta termasuk 9 peserta dari luar UMP iaitu dari  Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Kubang Kerian, Universiti Islam Antarabangsa (UIAM) Cawangan Indera Mahkota, Pahang Skills Development Centre dan Kolej Islam Antarabangsa Sultan Ismail Petra (KIAS) telah diberi bimbingan dalam melaksanakan RDA. Pencerahan dan perkongsian yang sangat mantap diharapkan dapat menggalakkan para peserta melaksanakan RDA di institusi masing-masing.

 

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Posted in Events

HAVE YOU BEEN TO SUNGAI BIL? Incorporating the visit to Kampung Sg. Bil, Luncheon with Azian in Ipoh and other 4P anecdotes

By: Dato’ Zawiyah Baba, Association of Retired Womens’ Librarians

 

The 4P (Persatuan Pustakawan Perempuan Pesara) or Association of Retired Womens’ Librarians had their April monthly luncheon in this remote village of Sungai Bil, located about 30 minutes from Tanjung Malim. None of the group’s members had heard of this kampung before the planned visit, except of course our gracious host Dato’ Dr. Zaiton Osman. However, the visit to Sungai Bil was preceded by a good number of other gatherings enjoyed by 4P members.

 

Throughout the years since the 4P luncheon series began almost fifteen years ago in 2002, it has patronised a good many restaurants and enjoyed lunches at the homes of dear friends in Bangsar,  Taman Tun Dr. Ismail, Damansara and Kota Damansara in Kuala Lumpur as well as in Bangi and Shah Alam. Since 2016, 4P’s choice of venues has extended its geographical boundaries to Penang and Ipoh, thanks to the ETS trains which the group found to be very convenient, efficient and cheap, especially for pensioners like us 4P members.

 

Our membership has increased too as more and more retirees joined the group. At the last Aidilfitri gathering at Ramlah Khalid’s home in Bangi on 20th July 2017, our dear friend Norsham Muslim who had been missing from the last few get-togethers, came with her sister Ruby. There were also Thuraya, Miskiah, Salmah and Aripah who also missed the last few luncheons. It was a great pleasure too to welcome Y.M.Tunku Noraida and Dr. Nor Edzan, a fresh retiree from the University of Malaya, to our group that day. In addition to the wonderful spread of nasi dagang, rendang, pizza, there were contributions of masak lemak nenas and ikan masin from Zaiton and fish curry from Zainab. Ramlah also laid out an array of cakes and desserts as well a good variety of Raya cookies which filled her table to the brim! I believe we more that did justice to the goodies served.

 

Lunch at Azian’s home in Ipoh

The visit to Ipoh on 22nd February 2017 was another treat to a home-cooked lunch at Nor Azian Hashim’s lovely home. Azian was formerly a librarian at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. This was our third trip on the ETS, the first one was to Penang, followed by a trip to Bukit Mertajam for the wedding luncheon of Puan Sri Zainab Kader’s youngest daughter, Zaidah. As always, we enjoyed the train ride very much as we had each other’s company and found ourselves at Ipoh railway station in no time at all. Ramlah, who had driven to Ipoh the day before, was on hand to fetch some of us, while the rest took a taxi to Azian’s house and arrived after a short ride.

 

Azian was waiting for us at her home and warmly welcomed Mrs. Khoo Siew Mun, Dato’ Zawiyah Baba and Rosna Taib with hugs and kisses. As soon as we settled down we could not help but admire the very neat, spacious and tastefully decorated house. Azian invited us to help ourselves to the chilled drinks and a variety of nuts, dried fruits and crispies which she had thoughtfully laid out on the coffee table to welcome the weary travellers from Kuala Lumpur!

Azian’s home in Ipoh

Azian’s passion for things artistic and beautiful was amply manifested in the house’s tasteful décor, colour scheme and furniture. The paintings which lined the walls interestingly also included her own noteworthy amateur efforts. Every item of decoration was meticulously and beautifully displayed. Having known her since our university days as classmates and college mates, I find her home personifies her gentle and sensitive nature and her affinity for aesthetics. The publication of ‘Soliloquy’, a book of her own poems, perhaps testify to these traits, especially her appreciation for the beauty of language. Her small but attractive and well landscaped and carefully tended garden she owed to her husband Rosly. It was a lovely setting and a pleasant ambience for our lunch.

 

After quite some time, Ramlah arrived with her passengers, who coincidentally were the senior members of the group, Datin Mariam Kadir, Dato’ Dr. Zaiton Osman and Puan Sri Zainab Kader. It has nothing to do with age before beauty and what not although we were pretty indulgent of their tardiness. Apparently they had stopped at the well-known Kampung Kacang Putih on the way to Azian’s house to savour the best kacang putih Ipoh had to offer. Fortunately they remembered their friends who went by taxi and thanks to the generosity of Ramlah and Zaiton, we each had two large packs of muruku to take home!

 

Kampung Kacang Putih

Once everyone had arrived there was excited chit-chat and generous compliments of Azian’s beautiful and spick and span home. Before long, it was time for lunch. Azian served us several delicious home-cooked dishes which she single-handedly prepared for our lunch including traditionally cooked sup tulang, prawn sambal, fried-fish and sweet and sour fish with fresh green salads to complete the servings. Azian did mention that Rosly helped with cooking the rice. We had fruits and Malay kuih-muih for dessert with contribution of Ramlah’s sumptious carrot cake. It was so nice of Rosly to send really delicious popiah from the renowned S.S.Ali of Ipoh and cucur udang for us, although he could not join us as he was working. There was much laughter as we partook of the delicious offerings and shared old stories and jokes.

Azian made us feel at home and gave us the run of the house. We used two of her immaculately kept bedrooms for our zohor prayers. Despite doing all the cooking for our lunch, her kitchen was very neat, clean and tidy. We had time to explore the well-kept garden with its gentle fountains against the Japanese bamboo plants. Rosly has certainly done a good job with the garden. A pity we had to leave soon after lunch as we had an unscheduled visit before taking our train back to K.L.at 6.00 pm.

 

Lunch at Azian’s

The 4P’s visit to Azian’s was complemented by a surprise visit to Ramlah’s family kampung house, not too far from Azian’s. True to tradition, it was built on stilts with a tall wooden staircase. The house is spacious and longish, made almost completely of wood with modern toilets and bathrooms. The compound of the house was filled with fruit trees including rambutan, mangosteen and papaya. It is an ancestral home belonging to Ramlah’s husband’s family. Ram has of course had 4P lunches at her home in Bangi on a number of occasions and is always a wonderful and generous host who spoil us with her delicious home-cooked meals particularly her wonderful desserts. In addition to the kacang putih, Ram, generous soul that she is, brought back for us an Ipoh pomelo each. Our Ipoh sojourn was brief but complete.

Ramlah’s ancestral home in Ipoh

 

Kebun ventures
Apart from cross-border luncheon venues, the 4Ps had also ventured into the kebuns of some of our members, rural retreats of kampung houses with orchards. The first kebun the group ventured into was Zainab’s at Ulu Selangor exotically named “Hacienda Hermosa”. It can hardly be described as a kebun as it is more of a resort in a rural setting with chalets, orchard, herbal garden with lush green compound and manicured lawns. Then there is Miskiah’s kebun near Banting, “Dangau Aduka” a lovely wooden house on stilts with a tall staircase leading to the front entrance of the house. The stilts were high enough to provide a spacious open area below the house which can be used for entertaining, with natural light and fresh air provided by the gentle breeze. That was where we savoured delicious home-cooked kampung food prepared by our gracious hostess, Miskiah.

Kampung Sungai Bil

Zaiton’s kampung retreat in Sungai Bil is the third of 4P’s kebun adventures. She had mentioned in passing her family’s kampung house in the village of Sungai Bil which at the time none of us had been before. Zaiton was also very modest about it saying that it was ‘just a kampung house’. But we were rather intrigued at the prospect of venturing into yet another remote rural outing. With Datin Mariam Kadir’s, Datuk Norkhayati’s or Yati and Puan Sri Zainab’s persuasion particularly, Zaiton agreed to host the 4P group at Sg. Bil on Friday 28th April 2017. As none of us had been there, we quickly arranged to car pool to make sure we got there safely and on time.

On the appointed day, five vehicles left Kuala Lumpur with 4P members from various locations in Kuala Lumpur and Bangi and made our way to Tanjung Malim and Kampung Sungai Bil in Selangor. Zaiton of course left much earlier from Bangsar with Bibik Tin; Yati left with Mariam from Damansara and Bangsar; Rosna Taib and Linda Yip from Sentul and Gombak, Maimunah Kadir and Ramlah from Bangi and Zainab and Zawiyah from Taman Tun Dr. Ismail. We all arrived safely but not before making a couple of detours due to taking wrong turnings. With directions given by Johari, Zaiton’s driver at the entrance from the Sime Darby signage, we entered the kampung road all the way into the interior and across the bridge over the fast flowing rock-filled river called Sungai Bil. Whereupon we arrived at this vast clearing with what looked like a palatial building looming in the horizon. It was an amazing sight to behold!

Sg. Bil

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Pretty ladies in a row – at the verandah of the Sg. Bil house

So this is Zai’s ‘just a kampung house’! A splendid dark timber house built on high wooden stilts spread over a sprawling expanse of well-trimmed lawn fringed by fruit trees and rainforest. What a magnificent view and quite a contrast to the kampung house we had imagined. As we approached the house, we spotted high up on the veranda, Zai and Yati vigorously waving to us and motioning us towards the parking area. Wandering on the vast grounds below on her own was Mariam armed with her camera, exploring the area on foot, busy taking in and photographing the exotic natural surroundings.

Dato’ Dr. Zaiton, our host, with Linda, Zainab and Zawiyah

 

Nab and I made our way up the high wooden stairs to the house. Upon reaching the top of the stairs, we found a large square space which separates the two main parts of the house. On the left wing are the three bedrooms in a row, and towards the right is the main house with its spacious kitchen, bathrooms, wash sink area, spacious dining, lounge and veranda outside. The veranda overlooks the vast expanse of space approaching the house as well as the bridge and the river. What a spectacular view! We complimented Zaiton on the beautiful house but she unhesitatingly credits her dear husband Kadir entirely for his brainchild, dedication and meticulousness in accomplishing what was his personal project.

We heard tales that monkeys abound in the nearby forest and would often congregate in the square of the house looking very much at home. Fortunately they decided not to come by while we were there, otherwise there might be hysterical high-pitched screams coming from the house!

It was about an hour’s journey to Tanjung Malim, another 30 minutes to Sungai Bil. By 11.30 am all had arrived. Mai and Ram were the last as they had stopped at the Yik Mun Restaurant in Tanjung Malim to sample their famed kuih pau before proceeding to Kampung Sungai Bil. We had earlier savoured curry puffs and samosa and dough nuts for coffee break. At 12.30 pm, we helped Bibik Tin put the dishes on the dining table for our much looked-forward to lunch and what a spread it was! There was asam pedas ikan (tenggiri) and rendang ayam, specialities of our hostess, mee Siam masak taucu from Yati, kerabu from Zainab, ulam-ulam and sambal belacan from Mariam. For desserts, we had Ramlah’s jelly pudding, kuih koci from Zawiyah, dragon fruit from Mai, chocolate brownies from Rosnah and Linda brought chocolates which she got from her trip to Australia and bananas. It was a truly sumptuous lunch enjoyed in high spirits while we chatted and traded jokes in the lounge and on the veranda.

Lunch at Sg. Bil

 

After lunch and zohor prayers our plans to explore the grounds and Sungai Bil were thwarted by the heavy rain. But Mai and Ram as well as Rosna and Linda, being more adventurous, had set their minds on swimming in the river. When the rain reduced to a drizzle, they went ahead to swim in the river. They were careful though to stay close to the banks of the river. We read in the papers weeks later that a young man on an outing with his friends was swept away by the strong current after a heavy rainfall and drowned. Apparently the Sungai Bil waterfall is a popular picnic area and there have been incidents of drowning before. Visitors and picnickers to the area are warned not to swim in the river after a heavy downpour as the river becomes swollen and the currents rapid, strong and dangerous.

We left Sungai Bil later that afternoon on a high with a satisfying sense of having experienced the unexpected and the awesome; the magnificent kampung house in a remote rural area, the lovely lunch spread, the great company and the intriguing aura of Sungai Bil and its surroundings. We departed from Sungai Bil with a deep desire to be back. Terima kasih daun keladi Zai.