Thursday, April 13, 2006

Public Spiking on Public Speaking

TokKu – The quality of public speaking of the House of Commons (Citizen Hall) were getting the public spiking recently in terms the lack of substance and rude language used. Pubic speaking can also be defined as a situation where one is speaking to the public and the public also start speaking among themselves – initially with soft whispering and then it grow into louder murmuring until they shout at one another drowning the main speaker. If it’s a dinner speech, the sound of the fork and spoons clanging are more audible than the main speaker’s voice. If you‘re in that kind of public speaking, better end your speech to save the embarrassment on both sides. The best public speaker is the traditional medicine peddler (penjual obat) who delivers eloquent lectures to sell the “obat kuat” (traditional aphrodisiac). Every one is very attentive to hear his next words and next joke which are very entertaining. However, the penjual obat may not a good orator since he cannot sway the crowd’s emotion to buy his medicine.

The parliamentary debate is not being televised live but only shown on the close circuit TV at the lobby or in the cafeteria. Some cannot go into the main hall due to the limited seats available at the officers section or public gallery. Others like to wonder around the lobby to wait for their topic to be debated during the question time or the first, second or third readings. There are those who like to stay at the cafeteria where the discussion can be more interesting over a cup of the tarik. Previously, there was only one common canteen for the parliamentarian, government officers, reporters and public gallery. But, now the parliamentarian has special rooms with drinks and snacks. Probably, it follows the principle of the separation of powers among the legislative, executive and judiciary to the separation of rooms between the representatives and the constituencies. It used to be just loud speaker to broadcast the debate outside the hall but with the modern technology, there is the CCTV that shows the happening in the hall. Sometimes, you can hear the ringing of the bell that is calling the MPs to come into the hall mainly due to short of quorum at voting time or when issue of attendance is brought by concerned members that reminds of the schooldays when the bell rang. However, the full attendance can be seen during important occasion the opening session when the three components of the legislation sat together – the King, the House of Commons and the Senate - similar to the State of the Union address in the congress. It is fully televised on one Friday afternoon budget speech and it will have the whole country wide audience listening carefully what tax will be abolished or when will the Value Added Tax (VAT) will be imposed. Lately, short video clips from the CCTV are being slotted in the TV news. Even it is only a short video clip, it gets lots of public spiking and probably that’s the reason why the session is not fully televised.
The public views on the standards of pubic speaking are that some of them don’t know how to speak. Even though, they know to speak but were very ambiguous on the issues discussed. However, the standards had improved some what – from the days of merapu to a more school debate and even occasional bantering and quarrelling. The opposition is also very vocal and knowledgeable and more are professionals in their field and they can talk. It should be noted that in parliamentary speaking there is a strategy. Don’t underestimate that the one who talk a lot and talk nonsense is not that clever. Strategically, he is clever in consuming the limited time, thus giving no chance to the other side to speak. One can comprehend this in the context of football or hockey game. When a team is winning, the players will play around by keeping, dribbling or kicking the ball to one another, thus denying the opponents from having control of the ball. Remember the hockey game between Malaysia and Pakistan in the recent Commonwealth Game which frustrated India. This tactic serves very important strategic functions but to the uninitiated it may seen like monkeying around. (We should not resort to derogatory name calling since the same argument can be applied in reverse - that it takes a thief to catch a thief; and it takes a monkey to identify another monkey!) Of course, it is a truism that there are no speakers in the parliament except for one, the Speaker. The others are all the representatives of the respective constituencies who are only known by their constituencies such as Yang Berhormat Ipoh Timur, Yang Berhormat Kepala Batas or Yang berhormat Pekan. Therefore, the naming of the constituencies has to be carefully chosen so that there will never be Yang Berhormat Batang Berjuntai or Yang Berhormat Nonokan.
Sometimes, there is the tongue lashing (bertikam lidah) which is a serious verbal combat. It is not as bad as the Japanese, Taiwan or Indian Parliamentary session. You can see fist fight, kick boxing, hair pulling and the throwing of the shoes to the other member across the floor. The term “to cross the floor” has a different meaning in Japan where it is not the government crossing to the opposition but only the shoes of the opposition crossed the floor to join the Government side. As to the hair pulling, that’s the ladies unarmed combat. When the kampung ladies quarrel and fight, it may come to the hair pulling and trying to strip the opponent’s sarong. The one with the sarong down will be definitely be the loser since she will ran away embarrassed. One picture is worth one millions words and one punch or kick worth millions CD pictures since action speaks louder than words. No such things had ever happened in our parliament. Two opposing members may be at each other throats in the debate but later, they will belanja each other “teh tarik” and “cucuk udang” in the cafetaria.
There is such thing as the parliamentary privileges. The members can say anything in the House and no legal action can be taken. If the same accusations were to be uttered outside the parliament, they can be sued and we often heard they were daring each other to repeat it outside. However, some are in the habit of using rough and rude words. Often, they were asked to withdraw and deleted form the Hansard. Everything was recorded in the Hansard which as still kept as a tradition but with tape recording. Video recording, it should opt for the modern technology-perhaps digitized Hansard. In fact, in keeping with the modern the TV had shown the video clips of the MPs where we have some insight into it. Other wise, the limited public gallery may be occupied by the school children or the rombongan from the remote kampungs. When we were in form sixth in the sixties, the visit to the parliament’s public gallery was a big event with high expectations. But it fell flat and that impression still stays on until now. Parliament speaking is not public speaking since they are speaking to fellow MPs. The MPs should improve on their delivery of the ideas. If not, they should be whipped by the “Chief Whip”, by the Minister of Parliament and the Back Benchers Club chairman to upgrade and improve their oratory ability. I wonder what the translation the term “Chief Whip” in Malay language – may be it is “Ketua Cemati.”

In the British parliament in Westminster, the MPs were given only a long leather bench with no table. The microphone is hanging from the ceiling like the theatre setting. Only in tabling serious budget etc, that the leader of the government or the opposition were given the rostrum. Other back benchers were expected to talk off the cuff but definitely, they do not talk off the topics. Those in the House of Lords are with knowledge and wisdom in the debate. Those in the House of Commons (Citizen Hall) are the representative of the people. So, it is what the people choose – one who can talk, one who cannot talk, one who can shout etc. It is the people choice and one cannot blame the representatives as such as they were the chosen one. Even though one is of high academic qualifications and high oratory skill, if he is not chosen by the people, he is not in there. The people representatives have to fight for the people needs. I remember meeting an intellectual MPs but he has not the people touch and not public friendly at all. Those type should be in the judiciary or remained in the academia and not in the legislative or peoples representative.
On the other hand, behind the MPs are the government officers who loyally take the notes and pass notes and other during the oral question or wrap up session. . It is not surprising to see that new Ministers, Deputy or Parliamentary Secretary who goes to answer the question time with 10 -15 officers trailing him. On the other hand, the real veteran Minister will be confident on their own – some has the philosophy that if there is a question, there must be an answer. It is interesting to be the Honourable Minister but at question time – especially the supplementary question is the difficult ones to answer – that really test your mastery of the issues. It is not that easy to spot questions – but the experienced well seasoned ones will know the question and will give the right witty answers. In the early days, when the kampong people were not very familiar with the English word “parliament”. The House of Parliament was wrongly transliterated as “Rumah Pak Leman”. The MPs now should be more professional parliamentarian since gone are the days when the debate is like chatting at “Rumah Pak Leman.”

Friday, April 07, 2006

Caring for the Corals

TokKu-It is not only the man in Trengganu who destroys the corals. The action of other men elsewhere in the world on the environment which upset the weather and marine ecology did more damage to the corals. If the sea temperature were to increase or decrease, the coral will “demang panas” or “demang selsema” which eventually also destroy them. The warm stream El Nino and La Nina do affect the corals in large volume. If there are lots of nutrients in the area, the algae will grow and invade the area to expel the coral. The change in the salinity of the sea water will also upset the coral. There is the brackish water fish but no brackish water coral. Therefore, those whose indiscriminate actions affect the weather, the climate and the salinity of the sea are largely responsible for the coral destruction as well. Undeniably, the Trengganu man may destroy some, but not that much as others. It is suggested that the tourist should use transparent bottom boat to see the beautiful corals. The boat should have a big flat bottom since the passenger don’t sit down but lie down in the snorkeling position (meniarap) In addition, put some wild tiger shark which has been genetically modified to specialize in eating family jewels and big bosoms in the area to prevent unauthorized diving, snorkeling or scuba-ing

One of the expensive fish in Sabah is the sea chicken fish (ayam laut). It is different from the Trengganu ayang laut @ Ikan Jebong - some may call it as James Bond fish (as in Ikang Mata Besor that was renamed Ikang Uji Rashid). Why is it so expensive? This fish lives among the corals and it is difficult to catch them. You have to catch one by one with line and hook and most of the time your hook will get stuck among the corals. Therefore, one has to be a good hooker to catch lots of them. That’s why its price is subjected to the law of supply and demand. The next time try to order for the sea chicken fish and it will definitely have to taste very nice since it costs RM 200 per kilogramme. If not, stick with cheaper Trengganu ikang ayang lauk ( jebong) and imagine that it is Sabah “Ikan Ayam Laut”

The modern accessories are very sophisticated. Like the oxygen tank, breathing apparatus, snorkel mask etc are part of the accessories. The flipper is rightly called “kaki itek.” which helped to accelerate the movement in the water. For catching fish, there are the underwater sonar sounding, close circuit cameras etc. that can detect the fish. On the other hand, the traditional fishing method in Trengganu was more interesting and we should appreciate them since without them, there were no ikang aya or ikang tambang sisik or beluru, no kepok lekor, no kepok keping and no budu for Trengganu. Besides the fishing boat and the net (perahu payang and pukat tangkul, tarik, bubu, hanyut, etc), the key personnel in the fishing industry then was the “diving specialist” @ juru selam. They were able to stay for a long time under water and listen for large shoal of fish. They can differentiate the different fish that produce different sounds. They memorized the sea location in their mind to assist in the navigation. Some believed that the juru selam made friend with the sea “Befrienders” – penunggu laut @hantu laut @ Jin laut whom they contact to know where they are lots of fish. The presence of the animistic belief in the olden days had led to the festivals like the “Main Pantai” (playing with the beach or if spelt wrongly, it means playing with the bitch), semoh kepala kuba and Buang Ancok (to play with the toy boat except it does not need any screws). Note that the word ancak in Brunei means a very vulgar sex action. The juru selam dived down the sea and stay there for some time to listen to the fishes. The hearing of the juru selam may be a bit difficult on land since I remember that my grandfather was real “rhinoceros deaf”. I like to play with the “ peti @ kotok kelauk”– some sort of fisherman’s brief case / wooden tool box slung across with a string across their shoulder ( like the make up begs slung by air hostess). In this peti/kotok were placed the fishing accessories as well as the rokok daun and tembakau kayar and in one secret compartment is the money earned for the fishing trip. Their special skill as diving specialist will earn him higher percentage share as compared to the Jeragang (skipper) or the Awak Awak (the crew) but not as much as the Tuang Perahu (boat owner) who has the controlling interest of the fishing enterprise. Sometimes, the fish caught were sold to the boat owner at below the par value even though the market price is definitely much higher. Even though the juruselam and other were able to catch big fish but the amount they earn is only as a small fish or even as a finglings.

The beach attire is some thing to be discussed. On a Nudist Beach, any one wearing any small piece of clothing is considered as very indecent since everyone is in their birthday suits. The picture of the lady wearing the flipper was scantily clad in two- piece bikini where the rubber flipper at her foot is definitely bigger than their tops and the goggles on her forehead are larger than the g-string. She was actually admiring the big long tube of the snorkel next to her cheeks with wild imaginations !. In Copa Cabaña or Ipinama beaches of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the girls don’t wear bikinis but they wear dental floss. It is nice to see them play beach volley balls, as there are 12 pairs big round things that one can admire. However, in Malaysia, there should be beach attire etiquette where the bikini should be partly covered with light batik kemban. Of course, it cannot be worn to the Parliament as the alternative Malaysian dress!! In the private beaches, one can dressed like bitches but in public beaches, one have to conform to some decency – perlu ada ketatasusilaan bukan nya ketunasusilaan. It s rather odd for very pious Malaysian men who seldom see the exposed white thigh and bulging barest breast since it will cause the Embarrassing 21 Gun Salute at the Battle of the Bulge even though wearing Bermuda short. The Tua man likes to wear Bermuda short to feel young – at least that’s in the Bermuda short is always young. On the other hand, the traditional attire in Papua New Guinea, namely the Long Sheath made of dried gourd is more suitable since it can conceal its size and the positions (up or down). That’s precisely why I don’t like to be in the swimming pool where there are lots of people swimming since my imagination will always go wild. I always imagine - there are those who took bath once a week, those who don’t cebuk, those who have not completely end the monthly period, those with kudis and skin diseases, those with VDs, and even those who don’t bother to go to the toilet to piss, and the pool water become cloudy (keroh) and on diving in, you swallow some of this swimming pool water. Of course, it tastes a bit more saltish with those additional ingredients………

Monday, April 03, 2006

Gandeng Piung


TokKu- The phrase “ Main dam dua, tiga papang” reminds us of the lyrics from the song “Ganu Kite” by Saleng . The VO is PokKu’s husky and sexy voice which of course, sounds better than Ramli Abu Bakar, Jamaluddin Alias or Patrick Teoh. Besides CU,MCU,ICU,4U2C, (angle of the camera shots), the SX ( sound effects) should also include the tune of “ Ulit Mayang” or “Jong Jong Inai” with a light blend of Monsoon wind and waves. Of course, with modern technology, the OX (Odor Effect or Kesan Bau) can also be incorporated . It should be the smell of the Ikang Kering in the air (mild busuk kohong type) plus the smelly salty (hanyir)water in the sea. If the film is shown in the Cinemaplex , the mild ikang kering smell and the wet ikang hanyir smell should be placed in the air condition system. That’s complete the full script of the film “ Piung Ganu Kena Gandeng” which can be shown in the National Geographic.

The word gandeng seems specific to Trengganuspeak. It is the action “ to hit with a stick” (e.g. budak itu kena gandeng dengan kayu) The art of gandeng can be seen in the Indian Panchala Payat silat which use a long stick as the fighting implement as shown in the Tamil movies. This word is very close to another word “ngendeng” meaning “ to ask for something in a very subtle and indirect manner”. When some one is eating durians, you go near him on the pretext of some other business but with the expectation of being offered to eat the durian, You immediately accept it even though it is only a chickenly invitation (ajak ayam). It is more like “ lobbying” – to ask others subtly, indirectly or in most cases with monetary inducements to do something. The US President has to be expansively lobbied to meet the Prime Minister of a small Third World country. This give rise to an oldest profession in the Capitol Hill of Washington D.C. – the lobbyist. The lobbyist may form a company and call itself the Non Governmental Organization (NGO) and will be fully financed by vested interest. The lobbyist or NGOs are to some extent the “ commercial mercenaries” - like to soldiers of fortune which is very lucrative business in battle and war. So, the lobbyist is a professional job which should be called in Malay language as “Pengendeng” and if they claimed as lobbying consultants , they should be called “ Juru Perunding Pengending” . They are similar to the Chef who can cook meat floss as “ Juru Serunding” or the expert flutist like Kenny G as” Juru Seruling”.

Perhaps this unique word “gandeng” may originate from the English language. Possibly, the colonial Mat Salleh was angry with the followers of local rebels (Datuk Merah, Tok Janggut or Haji Abdul Rahman) and asked the Sepoy soldiers and local budok to “gun them” down (i.e. shoot them). However, the local budok were not given the gun but had to use the long stick as a weapon. So, they caught the followers of the rebel and hit them hard even to their death with the long stick. Then, they reported to the Mat Salleh Police officer, “ Tabek Tuang, nok riput doh gandeng orang jahat, sapa doh nok mapuh pung, tabek Tuang”.

Talking about turtle as vanishing specie is the favourite environmentalist topic. Some Japanese turtles were able to mutate into the “Ninja Turtle” with the help of the Sifu Rat. The Malaysian turtle may mutate into the “ Silat Turtle” which is a version of silat in Kuala Berang with Pok Mat as their Tok Dekor. ( Tok Dekor in Trengganuspeak is not an Interior Decorator but a silat exponent). The diminishing turtle is mainly due to the fish trawling – pukat rimau, pukat gajah and even pukat dinosaur as well as tasty salty eggs which once ended in Kedai Payang. The Malays are very respectful of the animal and plants and it may originate from pre-Islamic animistic origin. The Jungle Etiquette of the Malays is very protective and conservative of the flora , fauna and wild animals. The belief is that one should not cut the trees unnecessarily or else one wills kena tego ( reprimanded) to be demang or suffer a severe sickness. The bomoh will chase the guardian (penunngu) back to the jungle – “ yang laut ,balik kelaut; yang bukit. Balik ke bukit; yang hutan balik ke hutan.” But the commercialization and the value of the forest products had change lots of things. The balak trade is very lucrative and the clearing of the forest will result in the destruction of the biodiversity.

The turtle may be fast depleting but not that we have eaten all the telor piung. May be those that got killed in the seas had resulted in less turtle coming up to lay eggs. The testing of the atomic and nuclear weapons in the deep sea will kill the ocean and sea creatures,. It was illegal to bomb the fish but the bombing test by the countries in the deep sea trenches in the Pacific or Atlantic seems to be alright . These countries should be brought to trial to the International Court of Justice under the Laws of the Sea at The Hague, Holland for sea destruction. However, there is one country that refused to sign it since their Generals and soldiers were often discovered committing such despicable acts. They did not want to sign the Kyoto Convention on Environment since they are the main polluter and contaminator of the world environment. They want to be above the international law and in legal terms , only the sovereign or King / Queens are above the law and they are the King of the World.

The practice of killing the whales or clubbing the young seals was well practiced by those in Japan, Europe and North America and Canada. The whale was killed for the large quantity of sperm. The latest Medical report found that the male testes is a good source of stem cells and it can be coaxed to mutate to other vital cells of human vital organs- the heart, the liver, the lung. Soon, the human male specie may face the problem of the Great Big Whale. When he is checked in for an operations and given general anesthetic, he needs to check whether both of the testes are stil intact. That’s how the male whale feel – not only loosing one testes but of loosing their life altogether. On the other hand, they should be caught and using an advance technique to masturbate their sperm out , they may be more than willing to do so and enjoy it too ( as in the case of humans at their early age or making a donation at the sperm bank) .

On the other hand , the Western NGOs are fast to take up and champion the issue of the Third World Country .These western NGOs should also highlight all the Western and American history who not only killed the animals but also did kill human beings which may not consider then as full human. They killed lots of Red Indians in Americas.. They killed lots of Aztec Indian in South Americas. They disintegrated the aborigines of Australia and the Maoris of New Zealand . The Indian were killed on the Black Hole of Calcutta or at Amritsa and the Zulus were eliminated by the thousands in South Africa. The Chinese were too many to deal with and it was better to give them opium to be addicted . The same strategy was used against the Vietnamese with napalm and yellow agent besides heavy bombing. The European ( who blamed it to the Germans ) was responsible for the holocaust which eliminated millions. The best example was the dropping of the Atomic Bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan that killed thousand Japanese. The West will say apologetically, lets forget about the past but the forefathers were responsible then. But now they are actively accusing Malaysia of clearing the jungles killing the Orangutans and the hunting ground for the Orang Penans. The West @ OrangBarat strongly felt that the Orangutans and Orang Penan should be left on their own to roam the jungle and should not be given the opportunity to walk the streets of KL or to stay the campus of Malaysian Universities or to go to London or Washington except they were bring as show piece for exhibition in Enviromentalist seminars to get more funds for the NGOs. The West was romantising of becoming the Robinson Crusoe and they wanted the Third World to be their servant Fridays. They want us to keep our jungles so that it will absorb the carbon emission that their industries and automobiles are emitting for free. It seems tto be our duty to support them on that environment. If not, we are accused of destroying the environment that will destroy the whole world.

The Sabahan don’t kill their turtles. The turtle eggs are on sale at the wet market. However, the law stated to sell or buy or keep the turtle eggs is an offense with very heavy punishment if convicted. However, if you go to the Sandakan market, the “turtle touts” will whisper to you “ Boss nak telor penyu ( like the pimp who whisper to the prospective client ). Usually , I will be polite to refuse them by answering jokingly , “Tak mau lah Boss, saya dah ada dua biji”. This whispering system had been used in the fish auction system in the fish market. The Malaysian rubber auction system is also by the whispering system. Even in the stock market and commodity market like the CBOT now had been converted to whisper system via the clicking of the computer keyboard. Gone are the days of the open outcry that we see in the P Ramlee’s film ( Tiga Abduls) when P. Ramlee auctioned Ahmad Nesfu for a few dinars and dirhams. Besides the whispering, the turtle touts also show the hand signal – the meeting thumb and the index finger which form the alphabet “O” or number zero “0”, that’s the standard sign when everything is OK. That’s the sign when the food is delicious in the Mediterranean, French or Italian Restorante. But don’t ever do that at Jalan Chow Kit Road or Jalan Alor or at cheap sleazy hotels since it means a different thing altogether. If two Lorries were to meet each other on the road, one lorry driver may show that “ O” sign with flashing lights, it means that there is a road block in front . The O sign represents the Malaysian police badge . However, with development of camera /hand phones, the hand signals seem to be phased off. They send the professional team known as Tonto to survey and tail the presence of the Police and JPJ. They drive powerful vehicles and literally can bump of the police patrol of the road. In fact , the Tonto is more daring than the Lone Ranger.

In the Philippines, the turtles are very important politically. It was once reported that during the election under President Marcos, he was able to obtain the full votes from an island which is only inhabited by turtles. This is the “ turn turtle” votes is where the postal votes will help to turn the results of the election. There were once even unfounded allegations, accusations and counter allegations that the Trengganu turtles were also able to vote. Nevertheless , it is what the British called the process of the swing of the pendulum .Once the Conservative is in power and the when the swing on the other side , the Labour will com to power. As in Trengganu , it is the swing of the pendulum which resulted the changing colours from blue to green to blue…what is important is that the colour of people future should also be bright and not bleak.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Other Nuts

Tok Ku- It was a very nutty weekend for you at the lake in the old TTDI. That’s the man-made lake for recreation - jogging, just walking, “Tai Chi” or toy boating. When TTDI Lake was first completed, some rascals went on motor bike on the track. On the other hand, the new successful TTDI (TTDI Jaya) was naturally converted by the recent flash flood into a big lake where the inhabitants have to use real boat to escape from the rising water. They did not loose only the nuts but lots of damaged properties in terms of soaked car engines and household items – an estimated loss of RM 100 million. So, the toy boat nut is just a small peanut... The TTDI Lake is the place where during weekends, the pensioners who attended the dawn prayers and lectures (kuliah subuh) at the Attaqwa mosque will change from the holy attire of kopiah, sarong pulicat or thob, baju melayu to track suit and running shoes to jog / walk on the track around the lake. However, now and then, they will meet sweet young ladies wearing revealing jogging shorts and bulging T shirts on the track and then, the pahala (religious merits) obtained for the dawn lectures will be heavily discounted.

As you jog along the rubber track at the hilly part of the lake, you can see the plastic sachet on the rubber trees. The use of LITS (Light Intensity Tapping System) is a modern method of tapping rubber that reduced requirements. LITS process is simple. First, the rubber trunk is stimulated with gas (some sort of vegetative foreplay!). Then, the trunk is poked with a long hard hollowed metal rod. The white liquid (latex) will then flow out into the plastic bag to be collected once a week. Nowadays, rubber is very valuable at more than RM 7.00 per kilogramme as compared to only 70 sen per kilogramme. This windfall price is due to the high cost of petroleum based synthetic rubber and high from P.R. China – for making tyres, gloves as well as the “ one finger glove” for birth control and AID prevention purposes. But smell of rubber (like the unwashed moist socks) reminds of the smelly environment and many other smelly things in the kampongs and also of the Lee Rubber factory once situated in was in Gombak. At times, the smelly things are very nice and appetizing – like anchovy sauce (budu), the prawn sauce (cencalok) and fish perkasam /jeruk. Other than the cup lump rubber, there are other smelly things (if not hygienically kept) that are also very, very nice …… (Censored)

Nuts are very relevant to the TTDI Lake especially with the presence of the relatively urbanized monkeys that inhabited the lakeside hills. They were looking for food and often trying to befriend the joggers. Sometimes, the young baby monkeys hanging upside down under the mothers tummy looked very pitiful. If the monkey were to multiply fast enough, their population will soon be more than the morning or evening joggers. Perhaps, the offer of some peanuts may pacify them but they are more sophisticated and won’t mind to be given KFC, Pizza, McDonald or the left over from takeaways from Rasta or Maqbul.

The groundnut or peanut from Mengelembu, Ipoh is very famous. It used to be a part of Chinese New Year celebration dish besides oranges and aerated water. That’s before they are malaysianized with the catering fried meehoon, rendang, satay and Penang laksa. What is left is the peanut gravy ( kuah kacang) for satay, ketupat or pressed rice (nasi hempit). Now, even the peanut gravy is commercially packed by Brahim, Adabi etc. with a bit of lecah taste. The fried groundnuts are more tasty and aromatic as compared to the boiled and dried salty groundnuts. However, the local variety has small nuts with limited number per pod as compared to the peanuts grown by the former American President - Jimmy Carter. So, the local groundnuts are also vanishing and being replaced by the big, fat imported variety from US and even China. Even local peanuts are going to be lost due to the economic globalization. That’s in addition to the imported soft IKEA furniture gradually wiping out the indigenous handicraft and household furnitures and fixtures made of beautiful tropical hardwwood.

There another interesting nut, namely, pistachio. The Malay called it “Kacang Cerdik’ (the clever nut) because it will split opens upon ripening. These nuts are located at the end branches of big trees and difficult to harvest. So, a harvester machine was invented which hold, shake and vibrate the trunk until all the ripe pistachio dropped off into a net. . The same technique is used for harvesting olive fruits.There are other nut-like things which need to be shaken by vibrator but with different shape and size and for different purpose. The flavoured pistachio nut is found in the Mediteranean market and Middle East bazaars. This pistachio nut is also difficult to find here because they are very expensive.

Next is the cashew nut, i.e., jambu golok @ gajus @ketereh. The semi curled nut is attached externally to the fruit wrapped in a natural plastic-like pericarp. In the East Coast, they thrive on the marginal Bris soils which bears fruit to coincide with the squid season (candat sotong). The techniques of “grilling” the cashew nut was unique which was usually done on the sandy ground under the coconut tree. First, a layer of dried coconut leaves with the fronds was laid on the sand. The raw cashew nuts were arranged on these leaves, which were then covered with another layer of dried coconut leaves. When the leaves were torched, the plastic-like nut shell released and burned the gas like the gas stoves. Using a small wood baton or small rocks, the blackened cashew nuts were knocked open to peel off the aromatic burnt nuts. Be careful of the gum (getah) from the pericarp, if it gets to your lips or chin; you will have the kudis there. It is difficult to find these freshly burnt cashew nuts anymore and the art of burning them is dying. The cashew nuts found in nasi beriyanni, chocolates or tarts are mainly imported from India or Sri Lanka.

The other nut is the Penang nut (No, I am not referring to you, Lucia). The Penang Island gets its name from this “buah pinang” but it is vanishing fast and being replaced by the nutmeg (buah pala). May be Lucia will consider to rename it as Pulau Pala or Nutmeg Island. The areca nut is an important ingredient in the betel leaf (sireh) chewing. However, this nut is also difficult to find nowadays which are used for ceremonial purpose at the engagement and wedding. The nut is sliced into thin pieces with a unique cutting instrument the “hand guillotine” (kacip pinang). So, the famous herbal plant known as “Kacip Fatimah” can be literally translated as “Fatimah’s Guillotine”. One can image the power of Fatimah’s grip with sharp slicy movements... This has to be equally matched by Tongkat Ali roots (Ali’s Walking Stick) whose long tap roots is hard and solid. By the way, the Ginseng roots from Korea should be renamed “Tongkat Kim” since the common name in Korea is Mr. Kim.

There are the nuts used to make chocolates and the special “chocolaty taste” is derived from the fermentation of the cocoa nuts / seeds. This fermentation process will create the “tapai” taste. There are also other nuts used inside being embedded in the chocolates – Brazilian nuts, almond nut, hazelnut etc. The Brazilian nut has a funny bashed up shape. The hazel nut is pointed with the size of finger tip and similar to Hazel’s nut (if you have seen or touched one). These nuts are also difficult to find since they are very expensive and are now being substituted by the cheaper locally fried groundnuts.

The biggest nut in the world is nut from the coco palm tree-the coco nuts which is different from the cocoa nut. There are also the inedible nuts which are also difficult to find. There are the rubber nuts with lovely lines like tigers and they were used for batu selambut or anak congkak. The saga nut ( biji saga) is red in color used to be played in a game of colek – and push the seed with the small fingers and if they hit each other , the two saga nuts are yours. However, the young children were always curious often shaft into their nostrils. The entry into the nostril will end them in the emergency ward. The myth if it stays there the saga tree will grow from your nose. The saga nuts are difficult to find nowadays but the nuts for the proton saga are plenty.

There are the human who are nuts. In this rapidly moving urban society, many of its member is going nuts – as evidenced by many criminals who gone nuts and committed suicidal acts. The strain and stress of the urban life drive them nuts. and we heard of rape, outraging modesty, breast groping etc. Well, the girls have to know a very important nut tip against these nuts. A kick at his nuts at the groin will immobilize them. The two hands /fingers can be used as nut cracker mechanism by squeezing them hard . This is different from the male ballet dancer whose bulging nuts look very indecent and very distractive too. The same is with the cyclists of Le Tour de Langkawi where the winner is crowned on the stage. Some how the bulging nuts of the winner look very vulgar and one cannot take away the eyes from them. It is proposed that in Malaysia, the male ballet dancer and male cyclists should wear the traditional “samping” to hide these rather indecent bulging nut