Many thanks to the 15 MVM members who came to the museum on Saturday morning. There was a special VIP event for the visit of the Minister of Information, Comminication and Culture, Dato Seri Utama Dr Rais Yatim to the highly popular coffins exhibition.
// <![CDATA[// Dato Seri and his wife came and talked to our MVM President Chrissy and thanked the MVM members for all of their voluntary work. Dato Seri was very sincere in his thanks, as was his wife and the National Museums Department Director-General Datuk Ibrahim Ismail.
Chrissy also got a key from the museum department to the new MVM room, which is up in the glass elevator on the museums department side. The room is big and light and there is an additional room of office space for the three department staff who will be helping us in the future.
Our museum tour schedule, and schools group and planning for September’s new training course are continuing as normal. Chrissy and I are meeting next week with the museum staff to work out how they can help with communication and advertising going forwards.
Heritage status for 1938 mosque
By FOONG THIM LENG
Photos by LEW YONG KAN
MASJID Ihsaniah Iskandariah in Kampung Kuala Dal, Padang Rengas, near Kuala Kangsar is set to regain its former glory now that it has been restored and accorded heritage status.
Conservation works on the mosque, popularly known as Masjid Lama Kampung Kuala Dal, was completed after a year on Dec 17, 2009.
The mosque, with a design like a bird’s nest, was conserved as part of the Department of National Heritage’s overall objectives to encourage the present generation to appreciate and learn more about national heritage inherited and passed down through the generations.
Visitors to the mosque would be impressed by the beautiful intricacy of plaited bamboo walls and carvings that dominate the building’s facade.
Masjid Kampung Kuala Dal was abandoned in 1976 after another mosque, Masjid Al- Wahidah, was built at a site close to it until recently.
Mosque committee chairman Mohamad Anuar said the Friday prayers were now being rotated at the two mosques.
Masjid Al-Wahidah would be used for the Friday prayers consecutively for two weeks followed by one Friday at the restored mosque.
He said the prayer hall on the first floor of Masjid Ihsaniah Iskandariah could accommodate about 200 people while the hall at Masjid Al-Wahidah could take in about 500 people.
The ground floor would be used for religious functions, he added.
Located about 5km from the royal town of Kuala Kangsar, the old mosque was built in 1938, commissioned by Sultan Iskandar Shah, the 30th Perak Sultan who ruled between 1918 and 1938.
“It is believed that the Sultan made a vow to build a mosque for the recovery of a son who was sick.
“He had also earlier passed by the area after a picnic at Lata Bubu nearby and seen the local people praying in a dilapidated madrasah,” said Jaafar.
Construction of the mosque was by Chinese artisans with assistance of the local community carried out in the traditional gotong-royong manner or teamwork spirit.
The land on which the mosque was built belonged to a nobleman Juragan Abdul Shukur who bequeathed the property to the state through a verbal declaration.
The land was subsequently listed as waqaf land under the state religious administration.
Today, the mosque, restored to its original structure and design, has become the pride of the people in Padang Rengas, if not the state.
Wednesday March 17, The Star By ANDY CHUA
GRANDMOTHER Angela Yong, 84, who broke the hearts of fans two years ago when she quit writing due to failing health, has made a return and is working on her eighth book.
Her latest book, which has yet to be named, will be a memoir and is expected to be published in August.
“There are stories about headhunters, the outlook of people I know and even information on the anthem of Sarawak during the colonial rule called Sarawak Arise.
“I hope to give our younger generation a clearer picture of life in the old days,” Yong said.
She had previously published an autobiography, five collections of short stories and a book of Foochow proverbs and idioms.
Prolific writer: Yong was halfway through the eighth book when she fell and took a break to recover from her injury.
Her first book published in 1997 was Through the back door. This was followed by One Thing Good But Not Both; Different Lives, Different Fates; 160 Foochow Proverbs and Idioms; Green Beans and Talking Babies; Sarawak Rojak; and 888, All The Way Prosper.
When met recently at her residence, Yong, whose mind is still sharp although she has difficulty hearing, said she was prompted to continue writing by her son, Philip Hii, who is also her editor. Hii has been a lecturer in a university in the United States for the past 20 years.
“Philip called me up from the United States several times saying that since I still have a lot of interesting stories to tell, I should put them into books for people to read,” Yong said.
“Philip will be back in June. He would as usual go through the manuscript and edit it before sending it to print. I am expecting the book to be available to the public in August,” she said.
She said she had completed half of her new book before she had a fall at home in February last year and was bedridden for several weeks.
She said that she would have completed the book by the end of last year if not for the accident.
In all her previous works, she focused on real life happenings during the colonial rule and the Japanese occupation. Most readers found her stories to be entertaining, informative and humorous.
In her books, she tells the stories of her childhood and early adult life. She also has stories of people she knew and stories told to her; human stories, some tragic, others comical — but all with a touch of the same human frailties.
Yong was born in China in 1926, the year her parents migrated to Sarawak. She grew up in Sibu.
During World War II, she married James Hii Mee Chiong. They raised eight daughters and five sons. James died in 1986.
Yong, a former teacher at St Francis Xavier Primary School in Kanowit, used to entertain her 15 grandchildren by telling them stories. That was a decade ago and it was then that her children persuaded her to write.
All her books are sold at RM10 each and available at most leading bookshops in Sarawak.
Asked whether she would continue writing, she replied: “A lot of people want me to write at least 10 books. As age is really taking a toll on me, I will only do so if my health permits.”
The MVM Newsletter will be back in circulation shortly, as the recently conducted survey on our Yahoo! Group showed it is a important and valued tool of communication.
As you all know the MVM is now in its third year and we have grown to over 100 members! We must become more professional and formalised to enable us to grow as a group. In the very near future a secretriatiat will be set up by Muzium Negara to service the MVM, this will enable us to have professional help with publicity, administration, and a budget to develop different projects. In the future, the MVM training programme will be free. MVM volunteers will be required to wear a uniform (vest and t-shirt) whilst undergoing tours so that they are easily indentified by visitors to the Muzium. New Security ID will be issued to all members. Many other facilities and benefits will be announced in the coming months and we will keep you updated.
There are still vacancies to be filled on the Committee for this year and we need volunteers to help with communications, the blog, PR, weekend and weekday training programmes, school volunteers, and recruitment. Please step up and take the challenge, MVM needs YOU!
I look forward to seeing you all at the Graduation Ceremony for our newest batches on March 27th.
Chrissy Lioe, MVM President
Talk on Early Kingdoms – Gallery B
Tuesday February 17 , 930 am
Tuan Haji Redzuan has very kindly offered to give a talk and walk through of Gallery B, he is a former Director General of Museums and was a research consultant on Gallery B.
This talk is open to ALL members of the MVM.
This will be a very interesting and valuable talk and everyone is encouraged to attend.
Please sign up as soon as possible, we may have to find a larger venue depending on the number of responses.