--“Balik Pulau (continue from the last article about Penang) by Wayne Hosker , written from a tourist point of view. Find out about Mr Fong , the silversmith and the mouth watering Assam Laksa. Story About Mr Fong and his dying trade.
Erina Loo Siew Meng 012 208 4260
Ong Swee Ching 012 326 8319
Elaine Gong Beng Hooi 012 386 8829
Diana Boon Yoke Cheng 012 205 6659
Joycelyn Chi Siew Choo 013 336 2010
Angeline Leong Chien Lieng 012 723 1188
Lim Cheng Miau 016 212 1633
Public Relation Officer
Grace Tan Ai Lian 019 627 7060
Nurunnisa Abdullah 017 380 6090
Ester Ker Lian Kay 012 299 8383
Training & CTRE
Loh Siew Wah 012 313 9258
Karen Lee Kam Foong 012 306 1317
Angelina wong Poh Meng 012 219 8382
Sherene Liew Siew Sim 012 337 1308
Annuar Dinner & Events
Trace Lai Wai Gon 012 228 9553
Adeline Chau Yein Tien 012 712 3300
Irene Kok Lian Sim 012 377 1998
Ester Ker Lian Kay 012 299 8383
Koh Bee Gaik 012 234 3612
Loh siew Wah 012 313 9258
Winnie chow Yen Ling 016 670 6973
Tan Song Keng 012 268 2460
Nurul Hafizah 017 922 9325
Vicky Qua Hui Kee 012 397 9269
Dear fellow members,
How time flies! 2 months have gone by and I am back again. This time I am adding more articles into our newsletter . Hopefully you all will enjoy reading it. Should you all have something interesting to chip in to the newsletter , please feel free to email me to firstname.lastname@example.org Comments, opinions for the Association is very much welcome too.
In this November-December 2009 issue , I would like to add more pages to our newsletter so that we can have a better quality newsletter. However , I thank Mr Wayne Hosker for contributing his Penang article based on his opinion whilst his stay in Malaysia. He would like to contribute more articles to our newsletter in the future. I therefore wish all fellow members “Happy Reading”! Editor
Loh Siew Wah
Setting up MWTGA Official Website
Urge all members to have a standard batik Tourguide uniform.
Urge all members to have email addresses , save cost sending E-newsletters and information.
Work with NGOs to train Heritage Guides, Museum Guides and Garden Guides in order to create job opportunities for female guides.
Join World Federation Tourist Guides Association. Please check site: http://wftga.org
All members will be given a “recycle bag” as appreciation for supporting the Association
Confirmation course with ctres(s) + Eco-Host
Date: 01-05 Dec 2009
Venue:Taiping Zoo Training Hall
Cost:RM 550 Contact: 017 8111 031 Erina Loo
Bank: Mbb 514 235 803 196 by 15 Nov 09
Fax: 03 03 907 444 33
(continued from previous newsletter..)
Article written by Wayne Hosker based on his experience whilst on his visit to Malaysia
Balik Pulau means on the other side of the island” One has to cross the spine of hills dissecting Penang Island to get to this district on the western side of the island. In the late 1700’s, Penang island and mainland were part of the Malay Kingdom of Kedah, which was constantly under threat from Siam. When Burma threatened Siam, the Sultan of Kedah took advantage and supported Burma with arms. This enraged the King of Siam who then threatened to attack Kedah. During this period instability, Chinese residents from island of Phuket and Malays residing in the southern Thai districts of Pattani , Yala and Satul moved further south by land and sea, into Kedah (including Penang Island). A total of approximately 70 refugees took refuge in Balik Pulau by land and sea, a district in the south-west of Penang Island, protected by hills all around. These refugees moved in groups , settling in small farms and planted padi , coconut , fruit and coffee.In 1786, Francis Light negotiated for Penang island for a price of 10,000 Spanish Dollar from the Sultan of Kedah in return for British protection from the Siamese. By 1794, the East India Company had clove and nutmeg plantations in Balik Pulau and Chinese businessmen had developed rubber and coconut plantations. By the late 1800’s Balik Pulau had become a thriving agricultural centre.
After our farewells to the ‘chemist’, we arrived at Batik Pulau around lunch time. Loh had talked about Penang Laksa for a long time before I arrived in Malaysia and today I was going to taste it for the first time. Penang Laksa was on sale at a café for RM 2.50 (36p). Penang laksa (Malay: Laksa PulauPinang), also known as assam laksa from the Malay for tamarind, is made with mackerel (ikan kembung) soup and its main distinguishing feature is the assam or tamarind which gives the soup a sour taste. The fish is poached and then flaked. Other ingredients that give Penang laksa its distinctive flavour include lemongrass, galangal (lengkuas) and chilli. Typical garnishes include mint, pineapple slices, thinly sliced onion, hε-ko, a thick sweet prawn paste and use of torch ginger flower.
I was so impressed with this dish that I had 2 bowls and have yearned for the taste since I came back home.
Loh wanted to introduce me to an old friend of hers by the name of Fong Ten Sent. Fong is a silversmith and makes his own silverware. Loh knew I had a passion for how things were made so this sounded good to me. She is a frequent visitor to his little shop and often stops to say hello to him when she is there. He is a small man with a sense of pride about his work. He makes small silver trinkets but his pride and joy is in a little wok, fish and ladle set he mass produces by hand, an idea of his from some years ago when mass produced gold and silver reared its head. And to think he started as a barber’s apprentice before he became a goldsmith’s apprentice in Georgetown. He is also rather fond of showing interested people his ‘fame’ in an article in a Malaysian newspaper
Fong Ten Sen’s pride
Fong and workbench
Continuing our journey to the Penang War Museum was a pleasant ride until we had to be redirected because I got us lost!! But once we were there, we had to drive carefully because the road up to the museum car park is narrow, uphill and winding.
Penang War Museum was built by the British Army in the 1930’s to protect British ships in Penang Harbour from oceanic attack. The Japanese conquered the island as part of their domination of Malaya in December 1941-1945. It was turned into the War Museum 30 years later by a local man (Penangite) called Johari Shafie.
Museum entrance and newspapers
As soon as you walk in, you can see old newspaper clippings on a signboard of how the war museum curators have promoted the museum in the past. Once inside you can see this is an unmistakable British outpost. You walk past a signboard declaring ‘Malaya: Border Check Point’ printed over a British Union Jack. Walking along the downward paths past military gun emplacements gives you an idea of how the soldiers manned these massive guns. From the many low ceilinged living quarters, you can see things on display such as rifles with attached bayonets, boots and rucksacks on a shelf as if expecting their owners to come in at anytime. Carrying onward to more gun emplacements, we came across the grave of Sergeant John Wolfe, his tin helmet still resting on his grave. A sad reminder to us all of how we should continually strive for peace in our world.
Gun emplacement and grave of Sgt. J. Wolfe
Just as Loh and I were pondering who John Wolfe was, the heavens let loose. I had come to Malaysia in the monsoon season although this was the only evidence of it throughout my 3 week stay. We splashed our way along paths to find a shelter out of the rain when a poor fellow working for the museum came running and drenched just to give us umbrellas. What a wonderful thought. Within minutes the water was almost coming over the tops of my shoes as we watched it bouncing off the sandy paths making a sea of watery slush. The sound was absolutely deafening in our little shelter so Loh suggested heading back to the souvenir shop/ticket office to wait for the rain to go off. It didn’t. And after what seemed to be an age, the storm finally relented enough for us to mount the bike and head back to the hotel. Even though I had not seen much of the museum, what I did see was worth the RM20 entrance fee. Next time I come here, I will continue my visit, storm or not, then the RM20 will be a true bargain.
Rain-Malaysian style Heading back to Baba Guest House was no mean feat as it seemed the storm had abated long enough for us to start our journey back before another deluge hit us. This time it continued for the whole time we were in traffic. But having painted a scary scene of the Malaysian weather, the rain is quite warm even riding open air at 60kmh.I was not cold in the slightest.
After returning the bike and getting our RM100 deposit back, we arrived at the hotel like a pair of drowned rats. Not having time to change, we gathered our things and thanked the owners for a pleasant stay before calling a cab to our next hotel.
By Wayne Hosker If I may, I would like to relate a brief account of a very wonderful little man that I met in Balik Pulau, Penang. He is a silversmith by the name of Fong Ten Sen.
50 years ago, Fong embarked on the road to become a silversmith. But it wasn’t always this way because his father wanted him to work in a kedai kopi or barber shop after completing primary school. But Fong did not want to work in a coffee shop.
So it was that he took an apprenticeship as a barber and being paid 30 sen per child and 60 sen per adult which he says was very good money in those days. He remembers that 10 sen was enough to buy a piece of ikan pari which now costs around RM2. Digging out earwax as well as shaving and cutting hair did not appeal to him so, after only one month he went to try his hand at the coffee shop. He found this to be very unrewarding because ‘serving coffee does not require any skills and you don’t learn anything’.
His determination and passion for shiny things eventually had his father relenting, and as his father did not know the craft, he was sent to Georgetown to learn his new trade from a goldsmith. He was an apprentice for 3 years living on RM 8 per month which was nowhere near enough because he remembers that in those days you needed at least RM 2 to RM 3 per day to survive.
After completing his apprenticeship, the goldsmith hired him for RM 60 per month. He stayed with the goldsmith for 2 years before he decided to go it alone.
For 18 years he made his own jewellery for various gold traders. Then in 1978 machines were introduced to Balik Pulau that made more fancier designs that could be made faster and enmasse. For a small outlet like Fong’s, this indeed spelled bad news for after a few months, Fong lost his job and he was soon selling kuih in Chai Leng Park, Serebang Prai which he did for the next 3 years until his father fell ill and died. He stayed in Balik Pulau to help his mother until she too died.
At this time the shop no longer sold gold because the family had spent RM 10,000 on his mother’s treatment for cancer. Then 12 years ago Fong came up with the idea to make his own silver tea pot set and a wok with a ladle and small fish inside. Of which I am the proud owner of both and my friend is in possession of a silver bracelet he made. But even though he is still scraping together a living, he would not advise you to take up his art. There were times when he didn’t sell a single thing and often wonders if his life would have been better had he taken his fathers’ advice and been a barber. His sons do not intend to follow in their fathers’ footsteps and it is a shame that Fong’s hard work should end this way. But knowing all this has not diminished his outlook, for in the brief time we spent with him, his smile showed what is truly a Fong characteristic—a heart of gold.
The city of Ipoh, in the Perak state of peninsular Malaysia, is famous for its cuisine. Natives claim that Ipoh's water, which is relatively hard (high alkali content) owing to Ipoh's location on top
of a large karstic formation, makes the food especially tasty.
Ipoh is also a famous production hub for tasty light and dark soy sauce.
A bowl of Ipoh Laksa
Bean Sprouts Chicken (Cantonese nga choy kai - 芽菜雞), and Hainanese chicken rice (Cantonese Hoi lam kai fan - 海南雞饭) - This consists of chicken meat, assorted chicken innards and beansprouts (served in the case of Bean Sprout Chicken, may be omitted in Hainanese chicken rice) boiled in the abovementioned hard water and served with soy sauce and sesame oil. As mentioned above, due to Ipoh's water, Ipoh's bean sprouts are shorter, thicker and difficult to find elsewhere.
Chee cheong fun (Cantonese - 豬腸粉) - This is a breakfast dish which consists of large flat pieces of flat rice noodles rolled up and served with sweet or spicy sauce. Unlike the chee cheong fun in Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh has it with minced pork sauce and mushrooms, topped with preserved green chilli, a sprinkle of deep-fried shallots and sesame seeds.
Dim sum, or dumplings and other delicacies typically served for breakfast or lunch, are also widely enjoyed by the locals of Ipoh. Several famous Ipoh dim sum restaurants aree located at Jalan Leong Sin Nam.
Flat noodlesor Ipoh "Hor Fun" (from Cantonese hor fun - 河粉) - These are flat rice noodles prepared in the hard water. There are two varieties. Sar hor fun - 沙河粉 is served in a clear chicken and prawn soup with chicken shreds, prawns and spring onions. Chau hor fun is fried with a little dark gravy, as opposed to Penang char kway teow which has no gravy but is fried with egg, prawns and cockles. It is also different from Cantonese-style wat tan ho which is completely immersed in clear, egg-starch gravy.
Fried cuttlefish vegetables (Cantonese yau yee oong choy - 魷魚蕹菜) - This is a dish of cuttlefish with kangkung and sweet and spicy sauce on top.
Hakka Mee is a type of noodles - It is yellow in color, normally served in soup and with meat such as pork or chicken fillet. Hakka Mee originated from the town of Seremban further south.
Ipoh laksa (Malay: Laksa Ipoh) - Laksa in Ipoh tastes sour and spicy, . The noodle soup contains prawn paste.
Salt-steamed Chicken (Yim gouk kai) - This dish is prepared by using paper to wrap one whole chicken together with salt and certain Chinese herbs and double-steamed for several hours. With this cooking technique, the meat will not lose its tenderness and the essence of chicken can be preserved as well. The combination of salt and herbs gives the meat a unique flavor.
Claypot chicken rice (Chinese - 瓦煲鸡饭) - This kind of chicken rice differ from the HaiNan Chicken Rice, this is served in a claypot and mostly cooked with charcoal. Most of the time salted fish is added in the rice but sometimes is not according to one's preference. The most famous one come from Bercham, the popularity spread throughout Malaysia including famous tourist destination Genting Highlands.
Sate (also written as satay) is meat served on a skewer, served with peanut sauce. The Ipoh satay is similar to satay served elsewhere in Malaysia.
Tempoyak is a popular Malay delicacy. It is durian extract which is preserved and kept in an urn. Commonly eaten with chillis and other dishes; it is well known due to the popularity of its key ingredient, durian, among the locals.
Ipoh is famous for its pameloes
An unpeel pemelo
Fragrant biscuits (Cantonese heong peng - 香餅) - These are flaky biscuits with a sweet filling, and are often bought as souvenirs by tourists to Ipoh. Among locals, 'heong peng' is famous in the suburb of Gunung Rapat, which is purportedly the pioneer in their production. For the best and most original taste, dipping the biscuit in water is not recommended.
Fruits - Ipoh is famous for its fruits, such as seedless guava, pomelos and durians. Pomelos are sold in front of Sam Poh Tong (三寶洞), along Gopeng Road (the old Route 1 that links the towns in Perak and neighbouring states). These stalls cater mainly for tourists driving into Ipoh. Alternatively, one can go right into the Tambun-Ampang area where most of the pomelo plantations are located to have more choices (and more competitive prices).
Ipoh white coffee - This is made from coffee beans specially roasted with palm oil margarine. Ipoh white coffee is abundant in the Old Town of Ipoh. Many locals strongly believe that the aroma, taste and texture of the traditional "white" coffee blend is superior to commercially-packed sachets or those found outside Ipoh.
Kampar Chicken Biscuits(Cantonese kai zhai peng - 雞仔餅) - They are also a popular souvenir for tourists to Ipoh. These are famous in Kampar, a neighboring town of Ipoh.
Chicken biscuit (kai zhai peng)
Kaya Puff - These are pastries consisting of flaky pastry (akin to currypuffs) with coconut jam (kaya) filling.
The famous Chapathi Sardine and Briyani Rice with Honey Chicken in Gunung Rapat,
Understanding the health benefits
Of bee products
1.Royal jelly It is a creamy white sticky fluid, strongly acidic, with a prudent odour and bitter taste. It enhances metabolism, sexual ability and performance, improves hormone balance, lower cholesterol and blood sugar, goof for fertility, menopause and related symptoms, helps reduce skin blemishes, wrinkles and sore joint syndrome. Provides relieves for rheumatic fever, backache, helps weight control and boost the immue system.
2.Propolis The main chemical composition found in propolis are flavonoids, phenolics and terpenes. It is a natural antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal agent. Serve as protection against virus infections such as colds, flu and herpes. Excellent for ulcers, sore throat, bad breath , mounth sores , pain control , shingles, wound burns. Reduces the side effect of irradiation , oxygen free radial damage, as well as poor liver function. It also a remedy for malignant skin growth.
It is the male germ cells produce by flowering plants for fertilization and plant embryo formation. It is popular because humans cannot collect such a wide variety of pollen. It is unique protein food source since it contains all elements that are vital for the normal functioning of the human organs. It enhance human brain cell activity, protects against hemorrhage of the brain and the problem of infertility serves as fat loss supplement.
4.Pupa It can improve total mental function as it helps to relieve from migrane problem and headache , enhance sex performance , reduces grey hair and balding. It helps in reducing menstrual pain , irregularities and menopausal symptoms.
5.Bee Venom It refers to the sting of the bee. It is a strong immunological agent and stimulates the body’s protective mechanisms against diseases. It can enhance our body blood flow, which is good for rheumatism, uric acid , and arthritis.
6.Honey Honey is sweet and viscous fluid produced by honey bees from the nectar of flowers. It can improve the general condition of body. It has a flavourable effect on bronchitis, asthma , sinus problems , allergies and combat headache. It beautifies and soothes the skin, clears many skin disordes , hastens the healing of wounds , brings to normal the gastric juice acidity and helps to improve our digestive system.
8" x 5" x 3" retangular cake tin or 2 small retangular cake tins
Method 1) Cream butter, sugar and vanilla essence in a large mixing bowl.
2) Add in lightly beaten eggs and beat mixture with low speed for 1 - 2 minutes.
3) Add mashed banana and continue beating for another 1 minute.
4) Dissolve baking soda in milk. Sift flour, (and mix cinnamon mixture into sieved flour). Add these two items into the mixture in stages alternately while beating. Beat with medium speed for about 5 minute, or until well combined.
5) Preheat oven with 180°C. Grease cake tin with olive oil or butter, and spoon cake mixture into it. Place cake tin in middle rack and bake for 45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted (into middle part of the cake) comes out clean. Leave it on the rack to cool for 1-2 hour (or until completely cooled) before removing from cake tin. Cut and serve, or store it in a food container for next day consumption.
Sign at a hotel. "Help! We need inn-experienced people." Sign in butchers window: "Pleased to meat you." Sign on a door to a psychiatric ward: "Please do not disturb further." Wanted. Widower with school-age children requires person to assume general housekeeping duties. Must be capable of contributing to growth of family.
Mixing bowl set designed to please a cook with round bottom for efficient beating.
When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reaches , don’t adjust the goals , adjust the action steps Confucius