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KUALA LUMPUR — With many conventional banks crumpling and going for bankruptcy in the current global financial crunch, the booming Islamic banking industry has largely escaped the fallout.

“Islamic banking has, thus far, remained positive, despite the current challenging global financial environment,” Zeti Akhtar Aziz, Malaysia Central Bank Governor, told Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Monday, October 20.

A financial crisis swept the US last month after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the fourth-largest investment bank, and the financial woes of a number of Wall Street giants.

This triggered a domino effect across the world leaving conventional banks short of credit.

Western government have since pumped billions of dollars into their troubled banks to keep credit flowing and prevent a complete financial meltdown.

“In the current financial turmoil, it is interesting to note that Islamic financing may have prevented a majority of the mess created by the conventional banking and financial institutions,” Kuwait Finance House said in a recent report.

“The outlook for Islamic financing is bright and will likely take the lead in terms of providing funding for major projects as the conventional banking system reevaluates its business model.”

The rules of Islamic banking and finance read like a how-to guide on avoiding the kind of disaster that is currently gripping world markets.

Islam forbids Muslims from usury, receiving or paying interest on loans.

Transactions by Islamic banks must be backed by real assets — not shady repackaged subprime mortgages.

Shari`ah-compliant financing deals resemble lease-to-own arrangements, layaway plans, joint purchase and sale agreements, or partnerships.

Investors have a right to know how their funds are being used, and the sector is overseen by dedicated supervisory boards as well as the usual national regulatory authorities.

Boom

Experts, however, warn that the booming Islamic banking system could be hit if the financial turmoil worsens and real assets start to crumble.

“Islamic banks, especially in the Middle East, got heavily into private equity and real estate investments, and a lot of loans may be backed by properties,” notes Jennifer Chang, a partner at Pricewaterhouse Coopers in Kuala Lumpur.

“So if the property market goes down, there will be an impact,” she said.

“If a borrower is not able to pay then the bank will foreclose and the question is — can you sell the property in the market and at what value? These are issues which all banks can face.”

Abhishek Kumar, a senior research analyst at Financial Insights, a company under market research and analysis firm International Data Corp (IDC), shares the same concern but is more optimistic.

“We’re not really sure what the real extent of the impact is, and whether we’ve passed the worst of it or not, but the extent is not going to be as bad as in the mainstream sector.”

He predicts that many world countries would start taking a leaf out of the book of Islamic finance.

“More and more institutions will be interested in providing Islamic services to diversify their risk portfolio.”

Islamic finance is already one of the fastest growing sectors in the global financial industry.

The Islamic banking industry, which began almost three decades ago, has made substantial growth and attracted the attention of investors and bankers across the world.

Currently, there are nearly 300 Islamic banks and financial institutions worldwide whose assets are predicted to grow to $1 trillion by 2013.

http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=1224504189812&pagename=Zone-English-News/NWELayout

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… dipetik dari Berita Harian (oleh Ziauddin Sharuddin)

KAJIAN saintifik tiga pensyarah Universiti Malaya membuktikan solat yang diwajibkan kepada umat Islam setiap hari, bukan hanya amalan kerohanian tetapi terbukti mempunyai hikmah tersirat terhadap fizikal dan mental terutama meningkatkan tahap kesihatan manusia.

SOLAT sebagai rukun Islam yang wajib dilakukan setiap umat Islam sudah banyak dikaji dari sudut kerohanian. )

Bagaimanapun, pernahkah kita berfikir mengenai pengertian setiap gerakan solat seperti qiyam, rukuk, sujud, duduk antara dua sujud serta tahiyat awal dan tahiyat akhir.

Adakah gerakan itu hanya sekadar gerakan tubuh yang tidak mempunyai makna?

Kajian sains moden mendedahkan bahawa amalan yang dilakukan lima kali setiap hari bukan hanya suatu amalan kerohanian yang mendekatkan hamba kepada penciptanya. Kehebatan solat ternyata memanfaatkan tubuh manusia.

Hasil kajian saintifik membuktikan kewajipan terhadap setiap umat Islam mempunyai hikmah tersirat terhadap fizikal dan mental manusia.

Ng Siew Chok memakaikan topi elektrod untuk mengkaji gelombang otak.

Lebih membanggakan bukti itu diperoleh hasil kajian anak tempatan, termasuk seorang bukan Islam. Mereka adalah pensyarah Jabatan Kejuruteraan Biomedikal di Fakulti Kejuruteraan Universiti Malaya (UM) yang diketuai Profesor Madya Dr Fatimah Ibrahim bersama Profesor Wan Abu Bakar Wan Abas dan Ng Siew Cheok.

Penggerak kajian ini ialah Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi dan melalui geran Jabatan Perdana Menteri (JPM), kajian itu bermatlamat menentukan nilai terapeutik solat terhadap mereka yang melakukan solat, termasuk dari segi sistem kardiovaskular, komposisi tubuh, isyarat otak dan aktiviti otot.

Dr Wan Abu Bakar ketika memperjelaskan kajian itu berkata, mereka adalah jurutera bioperubatan yang mengkaji tubuh manusia dari segi kejuruteraan.

Katanya, kajian itu cuba melihat apa yang sebenar berlaku kepada fizikal dan mental manusia ketika melakukan solat.

SOLAT terbukti mempunyai hikmah tersirat terhadap fizikal dan mental manusia.

“Kajian dibahagikan kepada beberapa bahagian, iaitu saya mengkaji aktiviti otot, Siew Chok mengkaji isyarat otak, iaitu apa yang berlaku kepada gelombang otak ketika solat. Dr Fatimah mengkaji komposisi tubuh,” katanya.

Beliau berkata, hasil kajian mendapati bahawa ada banyak perkara positif apabila seseorang melakukan solat dan ini dimuatkan dalam buku `Solat: Kebaikan Dari Perspektif Sains’ terbitan Jabatan Kejuruteraan Biomedikal. Buku ini mempunyai dua versi, bahasa Melayu dan Inggeris.

Setakat ini, kajian itu adalah yang pertama dilakukan secara saintifik di negara ini. Bagaimanapun, sudah ada beberapa kajian yang sama, tetapi tidak menyeluruh dan lengkap seperti yang dilakukan UM.

Seorang doktor perubatan dari Indonesia, Prof Dr Moh Sholeh, melakukan kajian khusus terhadap solat tahajud.

Beliau mengambil sampel darah, hormon tekanan (stress) dan imuniti dalam badan. Selepas tiga bulan melakukan solat, sampel diambil lagi dan didapati imuniti meningkat dan hormon tekanan menurun. Rumusannya solat tahajud boleh merawat barah.

Kajian lain dilakukan oleh tiga doktor perubatan dari Universiti Hokkaido di Jepun, iaitu Mohammed Faruque Reza, Yuji Urakami dan Yukio Mano, yang mendapati bahawa posisi tubuh (posture) solat boleh merawat warga tua yang sakit tulang.

Dr Wan Abu Bakar berkata, kajian sepatutnya berakhir tahun ini, tetapi jabatan mempunyai beberapa cadangan baru bagi memperluaskan kajian itu.

Memperjelaskan kajian lanjutan itu, Dr Fatimah yang mengetuai kajian berkata antara bidang baru yang akan dikaji ialah mengenai perbezaan solat antara orang biasa dan ulama.

“Kajian itu akan mengkaji isyarat otak ulama dan orang biasa ketika bersolat. Adakah isyarat otak orang alim adalah lebih tenang berbanding orang biasa kerana kita menjangka mereka memahami bahasa al-Quran,” katanya.

Bagaimanapun, katanya sukar untuk mendapat ulama secara sukarela menyertai ujian ini. Beliau memberi jaminan bahawa identiti mereka yang menyertai ujian dirahsiakan dan hanya dinyatakan sampel adalah dari kumpulan tertentu.

Berbanding kajian awal yang mengesahkan solat memberi banyak kebaikan kepada kesihatan manusia, katanya kajian lanjutan memperjelaskan proses solat merawat pelbagai penyakit.

Mengambil Erektil Disfungsi (ED) atau mati pucuk sebagai contoh, katanya kajian awal yang dilakukan mengesahkan bahawa solat memberi kesan positif untuk merawat ED, tetapi mereka ingin mengkaji cara gerakan solat merawat penyakit itu.

Sembahyang juga boleh rawat penyakit kritikal

Oleh Ziauddin Sharuddin


Prof Dr Wan Abu Bakar (kanan) bersama Dr Fatimah dan Ng Siew Chok bersama buku mengenai rahsia solat dari segi sains.

HASIL kajian Jabatan Kejuruteraan Biomedikal Universiti Malaya mendapati setiap gerakan solat mempunyai manfaat tersendiri yang mampu meningkatkan tahap kesihatan secara menyeluruh.

Berita Minggu mendapatkan pandangan setiap pengkaji mengenai hasil kajian masing-masing.

Profesor Dr Wan Abu Bakar Wan Abas – Aktiviti Otot

Dr Fatimah meneliti kertas bacaan ujian yang keluar dari alat analisis penyepadanan bio.

Beliau yang mengkaji aktiviti otot memberitahu manusia perlu sentiasa melakukan regangan dan senaman kerana otot menjadi lebih kuat apabila selalu digunakan.

Katanya, hasil kajian mendapati solat yang membabitkan gerakan tubuh seperti berdiri, tunduk dan bongkok menyamai senaman ringan.

“Kebanyakan otot serta sendi bergerak ketika solat. Umat Islam beruntung kerana solat yang wajib dilakukan setiap hari menyamai aktiviti senaman dan regangan yang memperkuatkan sistem otot dan fizikal tubuh,” katanya.

Malah, katanya solat sama seperti terapi fizikal yang jika dilakukan secara berterusan dan betul menghasilkan kesan positif terhadap tubuh.

Beliau berkata, kajian lebih teliti sedang dilakukan untuk mengenap pasti otot yang aktif ketika solat.

Ng Siew Chok – Isyarat Otak

Beliau berkata, perubahan kimia berlaku apabila otak aktif. Proses kimia yang menyebabkan pergerakan ion atau atom membawa cas elektrik boleh diukur menggunakan elektrod yang diletakkan pada kulit kepala. Sejenis alat, iaitu EEG (Electroencephalography) digunakan untuk mengukur isyarat otak daripada aktiviti elektrik.

“Gelombang otak mempunyai beberapa frekuensi irama yang dipengaruhi oleh keadaan fizikal dan emosi. Jenis gelombang otak Alfa (8-13 Hz) menunjukkan keadaan tenang,” katanya

Walaupun bukan Islam, Siew Chok kagum terhadap hasil kajian yang dilakukannya apabila mendapati keadaan dan pemikiran orang selepas bersolat tenang dan menyamai keadaan selepas bangun tidur.

“Ada fenomena menarik dalam solat, iaitu keadaan berdiri seketika sebelum sujud sebagai peringkat paling tenang ketika bersolat. Saya bukan Islam dan diberitahu bahawa keadaan itu adalah tamakninah,” katanya.

Ketika itu, katanya isyarat alfa meningkat secara mendadak yang menunjukkan seseorang itu berada dalam keadaan tenang.

Siew Chok berkata, solat juga meningkatkan penumpuan terhadap sesuatu perkara dan memperkuatkan kuasa otak.

Sehubungan itu, katanya solat membolehkan seseorang itu menyediakan otak untuk lebih bersedia terhadap sesuatu cabaran yang perlu dihadapinya dalam aktiviti harian.

Dr Fatimah Ibrahim – Komposisi Tubuh

Beliau berkata, komposisi tubuh mengandungi empat komponen utama, iaitu tisu aktif, tisu tulang, komponen air dan lemak.

Beliau berkata, ada beberapa kaedah untuk mengukur komposisi tubuh, tetapi kajian itu menggunakan Analisis Penyepadanan Bio yang menghasilkan keputusan tepat, pantas dan selamat, berbanding pengambilan darah.

“Teknik ini tidak digunakan secara meluas di hospital negara ini, tetapi di Amerika Syarikat, teknik ini digunakan untuk menilai status penyakit seperti Aids, diabetes, demam denggi dan pelbagai penyakit kritikal lain,” katanya.

Dalam kajian ini, katanya model untuk mendapatkan komposisi tubuh terbaik adalah dengan melakukan lima perkara, iaitu solat lima kali sehari, memahami maksud bacaan dalam solat, solat berjemaah, rukuk dengan betul (90 darjah) dan melentikkan jari kaki ketika duduk antara sujud dan tahyat akhir.

Dr Fatimah berkata, orang yang tidak melakukan lima perkara ini mempunyai komposisi tubuh yang kurang baik.

Katanya, kajian mendapati secara keseluruhan orang yang solat berjemaah mempunyai kesihatan lebih baik berbanding yang bersolat secara bersendirian.

“Kita mendapati apabila berjemaah, orang yang melakukan solat bersentuh bahu ke bahu. Tubuh manusia seperti bateri. Ketika bersolat, cas tubuh manusia mengalir seperti dalam litar dan akhirnya meneutralkan cas tubuh.

“Sebelum solat, ada orang yang penat dan ada yang tidak penat. Ketika solat, orang yang tidak penat dan mempunyai cas positif akan mengalirkan cas positif kepada orang yang letih dan mempunyai cas negatif,” katanya.

Katanya, ini yang menyebabkan orang yang bersolat jemaah mempunyai badan bertenaga dan lebih tenang.

Dr Fatimah berkata, solat tarawih dan berpuasa juga memberi kebaikan dan ini terbukti berdasarkan kajian yang dilakukan.

Sebelum Ramadan bermula, katanya komposisi badan diukur dan selepas 21 hari berpuasa, komposisi tubuh yang diukur semula mendapati keadaan tubuh sihat seperti kolesterol rendah akibat kadar pembakaran lemak yang meningkat serta paras glukos rendah.

Selain itu, katanya posisi tubuh (posture) dalam solat dapat mengubat sakit pinggang. Malah jika berjumpa doktor, pesakit disuruh melakukan senaman seperti berdiri dan membongkokkan tubuh yang menyamai gerakan solat.

Beliau berkata, keputusan positif itu adalah berdasarkan ukuran saintifik dengan meletakkan beberapa sensor (pengesan) di tulang belakang pesakit untuk melihat isyarat otot.

Katanya, hasil kajian mendapati pesakit yang mengikuti terapi solat selama sebulan, iaitu dengan membuat rukuk 90 darjah, sakit pinggangnya berkurangan.

“Ini membuktikan terapi solat boleh digunakan untuk merawat sakit pinggang. Kita akan menerbitkan buku kedua terapi solat yang bukan saja sesuai untuk wanita normal, tetapi untuk wanita mengandung. Bukan Islam juga boleh mengikuti terapi ini dengan melakukan senaman sama seperti gerakan solat,” katanya.

Jangan terkejut kerana solat boleh merawat Erektil Disfungsi (ED) atau lebih dikenali sebagai mati pucuk, masalah kesihatan yang lelaki amat takut.

Untuk lelaki normal, keupayaan seksual adalah tiga kali penegangan ketika tidur dan volum ketika ketegangan mesti lebih 200 peratus.

“Kajian dilakukan dengan mengukur zakar (pesakit diajar melakukan ukuran). Pada bulan pertama, tiada ketegangan langsung, tetapi selepas melakukan terapi selama dua bulan iaitu dengan melakukan solat tambahan, sudah ada ketegangan dan volum mencapai tahap normal,” katanya.

Beliau berkata, terapi adalah dengan cara melakukan solat sunat sebanyak tiga kali seminggu dengan setiap terapi sebanyak 12 rakaat atau kira-kira 30 minit

Selain itu, katanya antara hasil kajian yang menarik perhatian pakar sakit jantung ialah mengenai kadar denyutan jantung kerana selama ini, kajian saintifik lain menyatakan bahawa kadar denyutan jantung paling rendah adalah ketika berbaring.

“Kajian mendapati ketika solat, keadaan sujud mencatatkan kadar denyutan paling rendah dan lebih baik berbanding ketika baring. Ini menunjukkan posisi tubuh ketika solat adalah bagus,” katanya.

Sehubungan itu, katanya kajian akan dilakukan dengan lebih meluas untuk melihat sama ada posisi tubuh ketika solat boleh merawat sakit jantung.

Katanya, pakar jantung gembira dengan hasil kajian itu kerana boleh memperkenalkan terapi solat kepada pesakit jantung untuk melakukan senaman. Ketika ini, setiap pesakit jantung perlu melakukan senaman selama 30 minit setiap hari.

In response to the posting A Drop of Tears for a Reason, my Ayah Ngah had responded with a brief comment for my very naughty for that publicity posting. Rather than listing as comment under the posting – I would like to post his special comment here:

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Karim,

It is high praise indeed that this posting is ‘dedicated’ to what I do. It is so flattering and humbling. A couple of friends who have ‘connections’ have suggested that I get interviewed for TV or newspapers, to which idea I have so far vehemently declined. I would like the write-up on the good that we do is targeted only to those who are likely to take it as a model to do something similar, ‘kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan’, nothing more, nothing less. It should have a chance to be a stimulus, a catalyst, never a sensational publicity item. We pay too much attention to create empty slogans and publicity, and we have had enough of these.

Since the posting has been made (without my knowledge) and it is for the Sulaimanians, I thank you. I owe a lot of my life to that school, a concrete stepping stone to whatever success I have had. Perhaps many more Sulaimanians will create their own challenges and succeed through endeavour, the school motto. Our school has produced successful Tun, Tan Sri and so on. Many in the country do not realise that these individuals are the product of a humble school, fifty years ago unfairly dubbed ‘sekolah kajang’, after the fire. In fact it was within the ‘kajang’ walls I received my English education, for no less pride. Let each of us contribute something within our means to the community. I know better today how rewarding this can be, something money cannot buy.

Hassan (Almanar)

We work and work. We work for our family well being and future security. To send the kids to school and later to the university. To pay the house rental and later buy a house. After years of working for us, our family and for our material well-being we retire. Many retire for good. Mostly we “duduk ssaje” – plainly do nothing really beneficial.

I remember my Allahyarham father (Pok), he never just duduk ssaje. Be it while he was still teaching as “Ustaz” nor after he retired. In his late forties and fifties, after coming back from school, we would “gi kkebun” about 3-4 times a week. Not that we have large orchard or farm but something to toil a 2 acre piece of coconut trees near Gong Badak and another larger piece near Bukit Payung.

And the same he would continually do after his retirement adding a regular “kelas nggaji” that he studiously attend at various places such as Tok Guru Haji Abas and Tok Guru Abdul Rahman of Patani at Kuala Ibai. Never would I see him “duduk cconggok” at any “wakah” or “ssembang di keda kopi” wasting the precious time.

On the 6th Shawwal, my dad’s first cousin came to my mum’s house for a Raya visit. We had earlier planned to visit him that day at his house near Mengabang Telipot (as we always do every year) but since he is coming to town to visit relatives then we decided to just meet at my mum’s house. He is one who would never “duduk ssaje”, after his retirement from a very senior position in an oil company. This posting is dedicated for his effort to ensure better future for the rural folks children around his nice beach house.

Ayah Ngah Hassan (which I had wrote about him here http://sulaimanian.wordpress.com/2008/06/05/a-letter-from-england-1960/), has a mission. His mission is to see the rural Malays successful and given the opportunity to be successful. His motto is “BERBAKTI KERANA TUHAN UNTUK KEMANUSIAAN” – helping the humanity for the sake of God is such a holy aspiration. And that is what he had been doing after retiring and built a house far away from town to contribute to the surrounding society.

In his own personal capacity, he has established “Amanah Almanar” ( Almanar Trust) in 1994 which among others provides “free tuition centre” (http://almanar-nuri.blogspot.com/). But free does not mean one can walk in-and-out freely. Despite giving a free guidance, he is strict with his students. Only the serious and committed ones will stay (allowed to stay!). The students are really from the poor and parents who are not able to see the value of excellent education.

During our conversation (which I always enjoy listening to his mission, his work and his success stories), he talked about the wastages of so many government projects. Some are useless even when the projects are being planned but many are wasteful because of its implementation, delivery, supervision and most importantly corruption all over.

He then start to talk about his trust. Despite he had some of the stories mentioned a few times before, I would still patiently listen with full interest. It has been 14 years of dedication, patience and hardwork. A Sulaimanian and England trained engineer back to teaching secondary English, Math and Science in a rural Terengganu – all by himself.

These are the stories that our local TV should do documentaries of – not about the longest popiah roll for the record or any of such dumb stuff. I had suggested to some local TV producers – but was given a “no commercial” value reply or no reply at all.

Back to my “Woh”, as I interchangeably call him besides Ayah Ngah, this year, he has lots of heart-touching stories to tell. I will just share about one – about a special girl who is now a teacher. [Read: End of the tunnel, at last! – Part 1 here]

Humbly talking about Ana Sarda success, his eyes turns watery and minutes later he was unable to control and took out his handkerchief to wipe the tears that flowed down. Yes, very touching. It touched me too, but I have to hold on. Ana is definitely not the only girl. Almanar alumni has engineers and many other profession.

Ayah Ngah did it all by himself but not without great resistance from some parents. There are objections coming from the school and the teachers themselve too. Good deeds are often being wrongly construed. I pray Allah to give my father’s cousin the strength to continue his work and may Allah reward it in the Jannah for your never “duduk ssaje”. And also to Che Ngah for the support given to Ayah Ngah. I also pray more of our abled-people to “berbakti” to the society in many other ways. Though what Hassan bin Abdul Karim had done is examplary but not many can dedicate their time and money to follow – despite having tonnes of money wasted on extra luxury car or yatch. Ayah Ngah only drives a Gen-2.

Sememangnya umat Islam mengadap kiblat untuk solat. Dan sememangnya ke semua masjid yang dibina akan mengadap kota Makkah untuk ke arah kiblat.

Namun, dalam pada itu terdapat sebuah masjid yang telah mengalihkan arah kiblatnya. Pada sekitar awal tahun 1990an, Masjid Kg. Mengabang Tengah di Kuala Terengganu telah melaksanakan projek pembesaran masjidnya buat kali yang keempat.

Setelah segala persiapan dibuat dan segala kerja pun dimulai dengan usaha gotong royong orang-orang kampung, Imam masjid, Haji Osman Ngah, terlintas untuk mendapat bantuan Pejabat Ukur dan Pemetaan Terengganu untuk memeriksa sebagai kepastian arah kiblat masjid yang dipandukan selama ini.

Setelah pasukan pakar ukur datang serta memeriksa arah kiblat yang digunakan oleh masjid yang dibina lebih seratus tahun dahulu maka ianya didapati kiblat sememangnya selama ini tidak tepat. Arah yang digunakan selama ini tersasar sekitar 8 darjah ke barat.

Setelah bermesyuarat, keputusan diambil untuk meneruskan kerja-kerja pembesaran masjid berdasarkan struktur asal seperti dirancang dan tidak mengalihkan bagi membetulkannya pada jajaran kiblat. Ianya akan lebih menyukarkan pembinaan beberapa kerangka utama dalam pembesaran masjid itu untuk mengalih dari struktur asal bagi menepati arah kiblat.

Bagi menepati keperluan mengadap kiblat untuk solat, susunan permaidani untuk alas lantai dalam masjid yang dialihkan mengikut arah yang telah disahkan oleh Jabatan Ukur dan Pemetaan.

Apabila saya ke masjid dan bertanya perihal fenomena pengalihan arah kiblat, ramai di kalangan ahli jemaah yang tidak mengetahui. Malah ada juga yang tidak sedarpun bahawa struktur masjid mereka tidak mengikut arah kiblat walaupun mereka solat di situ hampir setiap hari.

Never would I expect that I would one day be able to see live, in person, how the thunderous bedil (that signify the breaking of fast for the folks of Kuala Terengganu) was shot up in the sky. But that was what I did today at the beginning of maghrib (sunset).

Ever since I could recall, when living in the government quarters at Jalan Mok Pe (now known as Jalan Tekukur), that thunderous sound always had been shot from Bukit Pak Apil, the highest hill range in town. The range stretches from behind Sekolah Khairiah Gong Kapas, where the State Secretariat Office (SUK) used to be in the pre-1970s up north until it end at Jalan Syed Zain with a tiny hill of Bukit Kledang, where one of the many Royal Mausoleum for the early Sultans is located.

Among the most prominent structures (and probably the only two known structures by most town folk) on top of Bukit Pak Apil are the Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) station and a hilltop Motel Desa. Both are accessible from behind my former primary school – Sultan Sulaiman Primary School I (SSPSI), where the State Chemistry Department is located. This access road is by Jalan Cerong Lanjut, just slightly less than 1 km north of the one to the former SUK office.

Further up north from this access road of about 800 meter along Jalan Cerong Lanjut will lead one to another access road up the hill (just across the TNB office). From the bottom, with a slow drive (on second gear) up one will have to stop and park at the end of the road after about 700 meter. To go up further to a small hut where the bedil is fired, one will now has to test one’s stamina with a steep 113 steps.

In those days, the little white hut was hard to see (hidden by the trees around) except for a trail of light and smoke shooting out from it followed by the thundering explosion of the cannon fire (bedil). We will hear three bedils in a day throughout Ramadhan. The one for breaking of fast will be fired upon sunset, another two will be fired early in the morning to signify Imsak – the beginning of fasting (one is fired five minutes earlier as a warning and the second one will be for us to MUST STOP eating or drinking during sahur (pre-dawn supper)).

Now the little white hut is clearly seen from most part of the town on the east of Bukit Pak Apil. The large area of land on the slope and top of the hill all around the hut has been cleared for some development project (which I shall talk about in future).

As the time ticks 7.00pm, the police officer in charge instructed for the bedil operator to fire. With the press of a button, BOOOM ….. and another more deafening BOOOOMMM!!!. The first was when it was shot up followed by another in less than 3 seconds when it exploded about 100 meter up. It was an experience to be able to be there and be right at the bottom of the beautiful firework explosion. [The first BOOOM is hardly loud if one hear it from the bottom of the hill where I would describe it as “duup” in the ‘Dari Mana Bedil “Buka Puasa” Ditembak?’ but the sound is very loud when you are just about 12 meters away]

Unfortunately that the sky was still bright. The firework display was not clearly captured. Maybe I have to plan for another climb during the sahur bedil. That would be very bright display.

A scenic panaroma facing south from the highest accessible peak of Bukit Pak Apil

A scenic panaroma facing south from the highest accessible peak of Bukit Pak Apil

Read about: Dari Mana Bedil “Buka Puasa” Ditembak?

VIDEO: Capturing the Bedil from the top of Bukit Pak Apil

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