Sunday, August 05, 2007

I just came back from Padang Indonesia. It is in Sumatera facing the Indian Ocean. It is the land of the Minangs and where the famous Nasi Padang originates. It is a very fertile land but hilly. It seems the people told me Negeri Sembilan in Malaysia only have five(four?) states in it the rest of the states is in Palembang. In fact the royal household of Negeri Sembilan has built an Istana(palace) at Pagar Ruyung which has just been hit by lightning a while back. Negeri Sembilan or Nine (very small) States is a state that follows Adat Perpatih where the woman are supreme.
They like Chilli a lot and beef. Anything from the cow from the brain to the offals are food to them.
I do like beef a lot but not that much! Most people do not understand that the South Part of Sumatera and us are much similar in culture and language. Unlike Java we identify easily with Sumatrans. The founder of Malacca is from Palembang Sumatra and indirectly is also the founder of the last Malay Empire that exist up to Raffles time, The Empire Johore-Riau. The Malay Language that is use in the penisula and is the basis of The Bahasa Malaysia originates from this Empire.
Yes, it feels like going back to your 'kampong' when you visit Suamtera but the home has change and what you have are memories which are coloured by fantasies and one's imagination.Oh before I go on today is the ceremony of my cousin's wedding. Back to my ramblings, about what could have been and what is now. Most people forgot that Malaya was never a colony of the British except for Penang Malacca and Singapore, the Malay States were protectorates. The British exert her influence through the Ruler of the states and the Ruling class which were the elite then, to be their lackeys in promoting their sence of justice. Overall the British were fair Masters compare to the cruelty of the Dutch.
In fact many Malay elites are still very much anglophile even now. This famous policy of divide and rule was not an idea that develop instantly but as time goes it was a means to the end.It help the British a lot.To me the British were exploiters,first and foremost they are just traders. They are not interested to evangelised the natives or to convert them. To them if the natives enjoy a degree of civilsation which is not nomadic in nature with a government in hand, they are regarded as civilised barbarians unless like in the States Africa the Americas and Australaisia where the climate is mild and the civilisation are basic in nature do the British came in as conquerors. It does make sense for one thing withe their firepower they minimise bloodshed and they justified it by saying to bring christiandorm to these uncivilised barbarians. It works like charm and now US is using the same slogan changing it a bit and use it to enter Iraq. But here they forget the rule of the game, that Iraq has a strong and 'civilised' government and destroying it just for trade would create anarchy. How cruel a country is, it is their country. I sincerely believe any regime change must come from within or not it would be chaotic for any foreign country to exert change from outside.

Enough of political talks let's go back to Padang. Since it is very Malay it reminds me of the East Coast of Malaya. And it has a picture postcard reality to it. It's landscape is beautiful with padi fields growing aplenty. When we reach the Airport we were wisk away to Batu Sangkar a small town 4 hours journey away. We manage to get a good view of the hilly countryside. It was tiring. It is a Moslem country and mosque are in abundance yet like the old malay of yore underneath it is mysticism. When I was at the airport I have my second reflexology done by a Woman who is already 52 but hardly look her age. She was beautiful and with a little bit of the supernatural where she ascess your ilness then she began her painful reflexology. It was excruciating pain but it was ok. I am very reluctant with all this hocus pocus maybe because I too have that ability so I was reluctant but as she was the one who approach me to cure my ailments and persuaded by my friend I was game for it. She was right in sensing I doubt her in the begining and she admit that I have very storng chi too but I am sick and she says things which i know to be truth. I wanted to visit her again but there was so little time. Maybe when I visit them again I will try to let myself be more relax and let her ease my pain. Maybe in the near future,I do that.

I have to go now. I was in Padang for 3 nights 4 days. We took the 7.50 am flight going there and the 8.30 am (local time) going back. Indonesia is One hour later than Malaysian time. After eating Malay food for breakfast lunch and dinner I was hungry for Malaysian food with it's wide variety of taste and choice to choose from.


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