samedi, août 31, 2013


Che Wan Kembang
Gemilang bestari rupawan
Ditatang dibelai disayang
Puteri sulung Sultan

Duduk di negeri Tanah Serendah Sekebun Bunga

THE ONLY DAUGHTER of Sultan Ahmad and Sultanah Che Banun, Che Wan Kembang was the light and life of the palace. Very often, she could be found in the forbidden garden, playing with a golden antelope her father gave her as a present. Her handmaidens tried to keep up with the little princess. Her hair,  flying in the gentle breeze, her cheeks rosy and her smile, lighting up her beautiful cherubic face.

Even at such a young age, the princess was already a brilliant scholar. She could read all the old Hikayat, which described her ancestors, the cities they built, the seas they traversed, the people they ruled. She was beginning to learn the arts of defense and the silat from her father’s warriors. She was fearless, beautiful and intelligent.
The rest of the story can be found here .

vendredi, août 30, 2013


ANCIENT WINDS SURGED to the coastal lands, bringing the monsoon rains. Here, in Pati Talak Terengganu, the kingdoms flourished and rulers changed guard. Tuanku Si-Helang Mawai ruled with the assistance of his trusted Perdana Menteri, Temenggong, Laksamana and Orang Kaya.
The king’s greatest treasures were his four daughters. The eldest was Uli Emak, followed by Uli Pati Talak Terengganu, who was born to lead. Puteri Emak Helang was the mistress of the sea. And the youngest, the most beautiful of all was Si-Helang Bakau, a princess of extraordinary beauty.

They lived in the royal palace, bringing joy to the royal household. When the old king was no more, Uli Pati Talak Terengganu ruled with her husband. After some time, the youngest princess, Tuan Puteri Si-Helang Bakau, married a neighbouring prince, Tuanku Si-Helang Laut. One day, Tuanku Si-Helang Laut said to his wife, “Your sister is ruling Pati Talak Terengganu well. Let us go to Bandar Mengkaleh as I hear they are in need of a king.”
After much preparation, the royal couple boarded the royal barge, Bunga Rampai Layangan Angin, together with the eldest sister, Uli Emak and sailed the open seas until they reached Bandar Mengkaleh. They were received by the four lords, Datuk Batin Alam, Datuk Batin Sangeru, Datuk Batin Laksamana and Datuk Batin Bongsu, in full ceremony as was customary when a royal family from far-off lands arrived.
The people built a magnificent fortress in which they would build an even more magnificent palace. After it was completed, Uli Emak was wedded to Datuk Batin Alam. The newlywed royal couple then travelled to the neighbouring kingdom Kota Ruyung to rule.
More and more people came to Bandar Mengkaleh. Trade prospered. Wise and learned men imparted their knowledge to their pupils. Experienced warriors taught the novice their art and skills. Everyone in the new country had a role to play, no matter how small, no matter how big.
However, the royal couple’s happiness was incomplete. They yearned for an heir to the kingdom.
One day, Tuanku Si Helang Laut said to his queen, “Let us sail out to sea, my queen. We will go to Lautan Tanjong Jati. The sea breeze and beautiful sights will do us good.”
They sailed away on the royal barge, Bunga Rampai Layangan Angin. The trip was so agreeable, upon return, Tuan Puteri Si-Helang Bakau was with child. Soon, the queen sensed that the baby was due.  Bujang Selamat immediately called for the Mak Bidan who came, took charge and cared for the queen. Amidst pelting rain, crashing thunder and lightning streaking across the sky, the prince Awang Sulong Merah Muda was born.
Tuanku Si-Helang Laut was very happy and full of energy. The people from the land of the seven rivers were ordered to clear the forest. Then the royal medicine man, Tok Pawang Tok Palit was asked to raze the earth with a wild fire that spread for seven days and seven nights.

Habis daun di-makan ranting
Habis ranting di-makan dahan
Habis dahan di-makan batang
Habis batang di-makan tunggul
Habis tunggul di-makan akar
Tiba di-tanah, api pun mati
Terbentang ladang bagai kasah terbentang

And the fire died out when the trees were no more...
The Tok Bidan came forth to plant the paddy into the fertile earth. At long last, the season of harvest arrived and a big festival was held in thanks for the bountiful yield. The king then said to his queen, “Let us sail upon the Royal Barge to Lautan Tanjung Jati once again.”
But when they arrived at the calm open sea, Puteri Si-Helang Bakau caught a chill, which turned for the worst and they returned to Bandar Mengkaleh. The Tok Pawang Besar tried all he could to heal her but the young queen failed to recover, becoming weaker and weaker day by day.  Soon she was no more and was laid to rest at the royal burial grounds.

The king grieved for he loved the queen beyond life. Seven days after, he became ill and no amount of medicines, herbs and chants brought him back to health. The king too passed on to the afterworld.
For 100 days, the people held prayers and mourned the royal couple.

The prince, Awang Sulong Merah Muda was an orphan, no more, no less.

Find the conclusion of the story here.

samedi, août 24, 2013


The illustrations from A Hikayat A Day will be exhibited at the Tropicana Shopping Mall from Monday 26th August 2013 onwards as part of the #SaySomethingNice Campaign. Do visit us and have a look at the work of artist, En Malek Rahim.

 The legends and folklores will be featured as per the following schedule on, on Facebook, Twitter, BERNAMA Radio24 and NST School Times. We thanks all parties for their support to A Hikayat A Day.

 Here are some of the artwork displayed.

samedi, août 17, 2013

Hikayat - From The Ancient Malay Kingdom on Resensi TV1

Syed Munawar called to let me know he was reviewing Hikayat and would like to have me on his show, Resensi. As a host, he was considerate and engaging, asking me to relate the process of writing Hikayat and how did I safe-guard the authenticity of the legends and folklores. I have been lucky to have so many parties assisting me like Adiguru Pak Nasir of Aswara and Prof Ding Choo Ming of UKM.

Hikayat contains stories from Malay Manuscripts, lores from the ancient arts like makyung and wayang kulit and legends of mythical princesses.

Suddenly, it was over. Thank you Sayed!

Thank you Kay for helping me get ready - all dolled up for the camera.

samedi, août 03, 2013

The dVerse Anthology: Voices of Contemporary World Poetry

Title: The dVerse Anthology: Voices of Contemporary World Poetry
Editor: Frank Watson
Publisher: Plum White Press
ISBN: 1939832012
Pages: 294
Amazon Page: The dVerse Anthology: Voices of Contemporary World Poetry

From America to Nigeria, Germany to Malaysia, and all around the world. One voice in the dark joins another, then another. Soon there is a chorus of voices and the night comes alive. No two voices are the same and each adds depth to the song. Soon it spreads and people in the next town are singing, then in the next country, and then in all the continents of the world. Different languages where the words don’t sound the same, but the heart unites as one. The song is not just the one you hear, but the one that plays “connect the dots” along the veins in your arm—as you inhale and—join in.

Explore the world of contemporary poetry through the eyes and words of over ninety poets from around the world. Drawn primarily from the poets contributing to, The dVerse Anthology features the unique voices and styles of poets as they delve into topics as varied as love, family, travel, conflict, loss, and much more. Take a peek and see what the poets have to offer about the pulse of life in modern society.


This compilation was edited by Frank Watson, also known as the BlueFlute who is based in New York. Three of my poems have been selected for this anthology.

-The unknown frontier
-The Icarus Quandary

-Quand je suis avec vous

Available at Amazon. Thank you for your support! 
Cheers - Ninot

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