Thursday, February 17, 2011


This mosque is widely labeled as The Chinese Mosque or Beijing Mosque of Rantau Panjang. This is very misleading though we can understand why. The dominant chinese influence in the overall design and lay-out evident from the color, bamboo shape roof cladding and the rooflines give credence to this notion. The entrance 'pintu gerbang' is already very chinese. One would not know that this is a mosque had there been no signages to signify it. The building itself strike an alien feature to the malay-asian overall landscape of the area in vicinity.

However, not many know it seems from web searches that the concept of this mosque is 'Masjid Tiga Bangsa'. It was intended to be a mosque having the architectural elements of the three major races in Malaysia. The Kelantan MB, himself a religous figurehead of PAS was very passionate to promote the idea that Islam is for all and not just for Malays. He especially want to woo the chinese to Islam and in many speeches he quoted admiration for them, their culture, their culinaries and health consciousness. He even has a chinese Muslim made EXCO and given important responsibility of bringing in investors and an outlet to air chinese views in Kelantan. The chinese muslim admiral Cheng Ho was lauded and an exhibition of him was made in Kota Bharu Nov 2010 to show that Islam had been to China earlier than to The Malay Archipelago.

The design was entrusted to JKR Kelantan and the architect visited numerous mosques to conceptualise the idea of the mosque of the three races. We can be forgiven for not realising the other races elements in the design because of the overpowering presence of the chinese influence. However, knowing of this concept, we can recognise the malay element inside the mosque complex before entering the Dewan Solat (Prayer Hall). The entrance side panel is Malay. The wall panels of the prayer hall is also from traditional malay houses. 

The Indian influence is harder to find though. Only after close scrutiny could I find the element in the 'mimbar' of the mosque. The moon crescent and five pointed stars is definitely Indian Muslim element.

I find this rather odd. The Indian Muslims have a very wide influence over the landscape of Islamic practices in Malaysia. The chinese influence is nowhere compared to the Indian Muslim presence with Masjid Jamek found in every major community here. The Indian Muslim restaurants also flourish in every nook and corner of Malaysia. So how come their presence is not given due recognition here? Is the need to attract chinese 'voters' more important to give due recognition?

After walking around the mosque and inspecting the design I found something rather inappropriate in the design of the roof overhang. One could not mistake the dragon element here. Though it is chinese, it should not be used in a mosque design. Animalistic elements is alien to Islamic design and reeks of idol worshiping which is the enemy of Islam.

The construction quality however leaves much to be desired. The plastering work looks crude and stain is already very visible at the gable ends despite just a few years of service. The supposed to be clean lines of the minaret all the way to the top is another case of bad job.

Another eyebrow raising detail is why this mosque is built here, in malay majority Rantau Panjang and not in Kota Bharu which is more central and have a sizeable chinese population? Also it would attract more tourists. I dont see many people in the mosque during my visit, in fact I only see a few... Does it serve its intended purpose... Hard to say.

Thursday, February 03, 2011


I am a Proton Inspira 2.0L CVT. I am metallic silver in colour and named CCS 6306. And I was borned on 7th Jan 2011; at least that was the date on my Birth Certificate. Although the manufactured date was marked as 2010, for all intent and purposes I was born on the 7th jan 2011. Prior to that I was masterless, and as such has yet to earn my honour, dignity and recognition as stallion of pride to my owner.

I have waited eagerly for this date. I look forward to serving my master with competence and joy, to be caressed and loved till a ripe old age without being sold to another buyer. I have full confidence that my heart; a 2.0L CVT from that master breeder Mitsubishi would continue to serve my master over long period. My heart has been tested rigorously and tuned to performance by that master breeder and I am confidence my master would love the hum and growl of me on throttle response.

My master had rushed back after going through the registration process and even took a day off work, braving the flood along the way on hearing of my arrival, just so as not to waste any time in claiming me from the supplier. For that I am so grateful. It make me feeled loved and wanted. My master even insisted on a proper sales 'akad' made to legitimise my ownership, both legally and in religious sense. It made me feeled blessed and gave me confidence to serve over long period, knowing that I have been sort of baptised.

Soon after claiming me, my master took be back to his house where he made a 'Solat Hajat' with his family, asking for safety and baraqah from the Al Mighty God. After that he took the can of water in front of the prayer and sprinkled all over my body outside and inside, invoking the name of the Holy Prophet in the process. I could almost cry for that if I knew how. It was so good. I felt as though the good water seeped through my beeing, filling me with feelings of being blessed and honoured.

That evening I was taken to a house not far away where an elderly lady of fair skin lived. She seemed so very please to see my master. I could almost feel the bond of love and respect between them. Latter that evening my master took her, her daughter and family along for a leisure drive around town. The way they patted my skin and fingered the outline of my inside, I knew that they liked me and fully approved of the decision to own me, not that I know what that meant to my master. I just feel that such an approval is important to him.

When I was taken from the dealer's place, I just clocked 15km on the odometer. By next day I was on the road for a long journey back to my master's place in Kuantan. I was still feeling rather tight, my muscles not well oiled yet for rough work. My master seemed to understand that very well. He treated me so gently, just gradually stepping on the throttle to speed up or even when overtaking and I responded in kind; humming contently and with some slight growl when he stepped up a bit on the pedal. At times he skipped the automatic and drove me manually using the paddle shifts or the right end slot of the gear lever. I was equally at ease with both mode. By the time we reached Kuantan, my odometer had already clocked almost 700km.
I was a bit worried lest my master forgot the utmost important first service at 1,000km.

Needless to say my fear was unfounded. After the weekend of travelling nearby, my odometer was almost 1,000 and although he had a course somewhere at Kijal, his daughter took me to the Proton Service Center for that important service. Next day I was taken to him at Awana Kijal; a grand golf resort overlooking The South China Sea where he was undergoing the course. I was parked in the main entrance porch together with the likes of Beemers and Mercedes and it made me feel so proud and special. "Of course you are, you dumb!!" Ooops that was my master yelling. Need to keep my voice down a few notches.

Now that I had undergone the first service, my muscles feel so much better and more ready for hard works. I feel lighter, less tight and more responsive. My master seemed to feel this and pushed me harder this time, even reaching 130kph whence before he just keep it up to 110kph. However, I dont mind at all for I feel more exuberant now. I hope he has some patience to not push me too hard until after my second service at 5,000km which is also important. To date I still have around 3,000km to go and I am look forward to it. I am eagerly looking forward to that second service after which I will be fully ready to flex my muscles as much as my master desires and sprint out to my limit. Oh how I am looking forward to that day of unrestrained freedom..YEYYYY.