August 13, 2010


For my third Creative Writing assignment I chose to do a feature on Klang. Wow, as if there were no better places to write about >.>

In a Not So Faraway Land

“Klang residents can’t speak a word of English!” a friend of a friend snorted snootily. I gasped; I spluttered; and I choked; for I am solid proof of a living, breathing being, born and bred in Klang that knows more words in the English dictionary than Bill Gates can buy, if I do say so myself. Poor old Klang has long been the object of torment and misconception at the pleasure of Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya, and Subang Jaya dwellers. Sadly, outsiders see Klang in a stereotypically negative way and would give no room for change of perception for as long as the sun rises in the East. When someone asks where I come from, it takes one word–Klang, for them to exclaim “Klang?!” with that look of annoyance mingled with disgust. What’s sadder is that these fallacies I must say are even shared by Klang locals themselves. However, one thing is evident and that is Team Klang sticks up for our own little town, and is ready to bark back any criticism coming from the impudent ignoramuses from supposedly, and I quote, “cooler” parts of the Klang Valley.

To know this misunderstood town a little better, let’s delve into a bit of its history. Klang is the royal capital of the state of Selangor. The Sultan’s royal palace, Istana Alam Shah, is located at Jalan Istana, recognizable by its huge gilded purple gate. Real gold, you ask? Nah, I doubt it, or chunks of it will go missing every day. It is rumoured to have an enormous aquarium with an amazing variety of marine species, pampered with royal treatment. Who knows if it’s true? I’m not allowed inside palace grounds. It would certainly be a shame to get shot for trespassing and die. My late grandfather, may he rest in peace, had interesting tales to tell about the palace as he’s been to visit several times. He knew the late Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Al-Haj, may he also rest in peace, personally. Unfortunately, now that I’m on the road of appreciating and absorbing as much history as I can, I’m too late!

Klang is named after the grotesque Klang River which snakes across the middle of the town. One of the reasons Klang is taunted relentlessly is because of this very river to which everyone will agree as obscene, repugnant, radioactive, a flagrant error of humanity, and every other foul word in the book. Fishing is free there if you have a taste for mutant seafood. A rapid growth of modern townships such as Bandar Botanic and Bukit Tinggi has really hyped the place up. JUSCO Bukit Tinggi mall is a welcome change to the dead Klang Parade or decrepit Shaw Centrepoint. Bukit Tinggi especially is effervescent at night with the brightly lit commercial blocks. Restaurants and cafes stay open till late.

The town boasts of a few monuments like the Tugu Keris. It is a flashy, towering silver Keris that ‘hellos’ motorists on the left side of the Federal Highway. Built in 1985 as an emblem to the Silver Jubilee of the Sultan of Selangor's installation, it…hasn’t rusted. Besides that, there is the Klang Royal Gallery located in the nonagenarian Sultan Suleiman building. It contains the hoo-ha, heritage and history of the Selangor sultanate. If that’s not enough, let’s take a trip to the Gedung Raja Abdullah. This big brown boy first housed weapons, tin, and food. Then, the British converted it into an administration office. Today it’s a tin museum; a window into a whirlwind past that was crazy and colourful.

Ah, and what’s a town without food? Klang is known nationwide–or at least around the Klang Valley–as a food sanctuary. The dish that renews our faith in mankind and bears people a scrap of reverence towards Klang is (long live forever) bak kut teh. Literally translated from Hokkien to English, bak is meat; kut is bones; and teh is tea. So you can pretty much imagine what this dish looks like. A clay pot filled with pungent dark soup, pork, an assortment of mushrooms, and fried bean curd. The only fault my finger can point at is the gross pig intestines.

Moreover Klang is famous for viva la seafood. We easily have the best seafood cuisine in the whole region if not the country. Tucked away in remote, tiny Telok Gong, it is accessible only by car as no other modes of public transport go this way. Looks like we want to keep it our little secret and not have to share it with the rest of the world. But a secret like this is hard to keep and people come from as far as Johor and Singapore to try the must-do-before-you-die seafood. The locals and I swear by the seafood served in Coconut Flower Seafood Restaurant. It is like riding a Spanish fighting bull through the eye of a tornado. Oops, cat’s out of the bag now!

Let’s not forget the celebrated Klang Cendol along Jalan Nanas. The business has come a long way since starting out on a tricycle. It advanced to a cendol van, and now the business owners have a shop so full of customers, they can retire in five years and live like kings. I take joy in describing cendol let alone eat it. Cendol is a sweet Malaysian delicacy usually taken as dessert. It’s made from shaved ice, topped with creamed corn, grass jelly, red beans, and green noodle-like cendol from which the dessert is christened; rose syrup, coconut milk and gula Melaka spilling at the sides of the bowl, all swept up in the shape of a volcano. And rightly so because the taste is just explosive! Other than cendol the shop sells rojak, another popular, lip-smacking meal. The word rojak means mix; hence the dish is an outrageous blend of noodles, bean curd, hard-boiled eggs, fried dough fritters, bean sprouts, and cucumber, with a splash of thick, sweet and spicy peanut sauce. Voila–a perfect blend of Malaysian ingenuity.

For a dash of the old-fashioned feel, Chong Kok Kopitiam delivers aromatic, world-class coffee, scrumptious toast and nasi lemak. Why do I call it vintage? Because it’s a delightful little shop out of time; stepped out of a classic film and into the twenty-first century with its antique tiles and glass window panel, the words “First Class Bar” plastered across. That’s just what was during the British colonial era–a first class bar. Old customers love nothing better than to sit at a table with a cup coffee and reminisce about ‘the days’.

The Klang community never goes hungry with around the clock mamaks. Thank the heavenlies for mamaks. How do the anes/boss’/joes manage to keep on their feet and serve ravenous customers all those hours? Hats off to the people who serve, ladies and gentlemen. But enough about food or I’ll be rushing off to the nearest mamak.

Klang culture is loved by many and despised by some. The mood is quaint, quirky, old school, and unhurried. City dwellers accuse Klang of being ulu (rural or backward). They expect us to bask in their magnificence of cosmopolitan modernity, but I tell you the glorious bulbs that dance and light Klang up can bring KL to the stocks of medieval shame. Time slows down in this town and people are relaxed. Even the cost of living is lower so it’s good news for skinflints like my Chinese self. Best of all the traffic is not as constipated as it is on the busy streets of KL.

Klang is a blend of the old and new with long-standing places like Melawis and happening new sites like Bukit Tinggi; and that’s just South Klang alone. The birth of Bandar Baru Klang in the North rang no jubilant bells because it began as lifeless as dried out pickles. The place was a white elephant during the 90s, but as sure as the tiny acorn sprouts into the mighty oak tree, so did BBK grow into a thriving vicinity. Soon Aman Perdana and Setia Alam joined its ranks and formed the formidable North Klang that boomed to the borders of Shah Alam. We truly have the best of both worlds.

The largest and busiest port in Malaysia, Port Klang, is no stranger to us. Formerly called Port Swettenham after Sir Frank Athelstane Swettenham, Selangor’s British Resident in 1882, it was his brainchild export tin after the old harbor, Pelabuhan Batu, was too shallow to anchor vessels the likes of the Britannic. It during the tumultuous WWII that Port Klang contained another kind of transport–allied aircraft. It was here that the Royal Selangor Yacht Club was initiated by then Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak. Port Klang is currently under the jurisdiction of the Majlis Perbandaran Klang (MPK).

MPK finally pulled through with the new flyover that connects North and South Klang. The works took forever to finish. In fact, construction had been going on for years and it really clogged up traffic. Now the flyover is open, traffic has eased but the orange cones and bumble bee concrete dividers are still in sight. Sigh, the council is lazy Klang culture personified.

The regrettable part of Klang culture is the association with high crime rates. “Klang is a den for thieves and pirates”, someone once joked. Boy would I give him a taste of my sucker punch if I weren’t a lady. “Crime is frequent in Klang but so is it everywhere, you moron.” Residents are always careful not to compromise on safety. Move in a group, don’t go out in the dark, keep your eyes peeled for unusual activity around you, and run away from motorcyclists brandishing machetes.

The Little India enclave is one of the endearing pieces of the Klang puzzle. Competition among scores of shops leads to cheaper prices, leaving consumers spoilt for choice. Stalls occupy both sides of Jalan Tengku Kelana and overflow onto back lanes. A myriad of Indian articles such as sarees, accessories, textiles, food, flowers, gold, and household items are available. Deepavali sees the street turn into vibrant spectacle of colours, lights and sounds. My personal addiction is the Indian coconut candy. There is no leaving Indian street without a box of candy. Little India just about puts Klang on the map of civilization.

Ugh, the slimy part of Klang culture called the lala culture makes my stomach churn. Lalas are people who throw on mismatched clothing and accessories, inspired by God-awful Japanese fashion. Their hair are impossible splatters of colours and come in extraterrestrial shapes. There is no particular age-group for this parade of freaks. You get baby lalas and grandlalas. They don’t realize they look like Christmas trees or rodeo clowns. They are fashion disasters; their clothes cheaper than the free peanuts served on airplanes. It’s not that lalas can’t be found in KL, PJ or Subang, it’s just that they’re concentrated here in Klang. No wonder they call Klang the Lala Headquarters.

Another charming aspect of our culture is Taman Rakyat, the recreational park packed with screaming kids and robust senior citizens. There are slides, swings, see-saws, monkey-bars and everything rowdy children dream of. It gets annoying being surrounded by a throng of running, pushing brats, but it is a play park. There are also empty plots where youths show off their skills on skateboards and rollerblades. These empty plots are also occupied by the same group of adorable elderly people every evening, line dancing or practicing Tai Chi. Picture this; wrinkly grandmas and grandpas put on the radio, get into position, move energetically with Oriental fans in their hands to some crackly female voice singing an old favourite Chinese ditty. Behind the park is mountainous ground with a trail that the very same group of elderly folks blaze up and down every dawn in their tracksuits, funny caps and “Good Morning” towels. Wow, these ancestors are incredibly gung-ho!

The times I think about Klang and the funny tales it has to offer tickles me pink. It reminds me of the story of the frog who turned into a handsome prince. This is the extraordinary saga of how a friendless plot of red earth, weeds, wild trees (and slithery reptiles, I’m sure), became the town it is today. So stop picking on it like the townspeople did Frankenstein, thank you very much! Still could do with improvement on infrastructure and I’m sure we could find room for more shopping malls though. All in all, Klang has an odd charm that doesn’t lure you with an untamed fiery passion if you’re new to it, but is forever to the kooky Klang gang who call it home. And how!

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August 12, 2010


Omg NOW i update???

This is an assignment from Sem 5 which I got D(istinction)
CAIR assignment 2

Dengue Fever Hits Hard

May 27, 2010

By, New Jo-Lyn

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia is facing a dangerous health situation due to the dengue epidemic with 834 cases and two deaths reported last week alone, according to the Ministry of Health.

The total number of cases that have been reported from the beginning of this year is 18, 815, showing a 10 percent decrease from the 20, 974 cases that were reported for the same duration in 2009.

“The current 34 dengue hotspots are located in Johor, Pahang, Negeri Sembilan, and especially Kuala Lumpur and Selangor where urbanisation and abandoned projects provide breeding grounds for Aedes mosquitoes,” said Health Ministry Director General Tan Sri Ismail Merican.

According to the Health Ministry’s Disease Control Division, Selangor holds the record for the highest number of cases at 1,370 between Jan 1 and 23. This is followed by Sarawak with 645 cases, Kuala Lumpur/Putrajaya with 246, Johor with 166 cases.

The ministry continues its proactive measures to restrain the epidemic by increasing public awareness. So far 705 clean-up activities have been conducted, more than a thousand talks given, and nearly 2 million factsheets have been distributed throughout the nation.

The Health Ministry also commenced fogging to kill mosquitoes and larviciding to destroy Aedes larvae. However the local authorities met with resistance from some house owners who would not allow them to enter their residences, while some were not home during the day.

He warned that the government will fine households up to RM100 and organisations RM300 each time they refuse to allow fogging in their premises. People are urged to ensure that their homes, schools, and places of work are kept clean and free of contained water.

Though the ministry is carrying out these disease control measures many are still not aware of the risks of allowing mosquitoes to breed in their residences. “It comes back to the public’s awareness about keeping their surroundings clean to prevent the mosquitoes from breeding,” said Deputy Health Minister Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin.

Under the Destruction of Disease Bearing Insects Act, those found to be breeding Aedes mosquitoes will be slapped with a RM500 compound for each site, and a possible fine or even a jail sentence.

Datuk Rosnah said the rise in fatalities is caused by circumstances where first-time dengue survivors became infected with the disease a second time and infected people who delayed getting medical treatment. “There is no vaccine yet for dengue and there is no medicine to overcome the disease,” she said.

The Ministry of Health claims it has not received any reports on dengue cases from schools throughout Malaysia. Schools and Parent-Teacher Associations are urged to organise gotong-royongs at least once a week to clean up school compounds.

Lim Kit Siang of the Democratic Action Party (DAP) commented that he was unimpressed with Health Minister, Datuk Liow Tiong Lai’s “indifferent” and “irresponsible” remark on taking dengue cases seriously when the numbers have doubled since the last year. “Malaysia needs a real war and not a ‘phoney war’ waged by spinmeisters,” he said.

34-year-old personal assistant Mahani Hashim who recovered from dengue fever has become more vigilant over epidemic and inspects every crevice inside and outside her house. “Now I spray every corner with aerosol in case there are any mosquitoes hiding and throw away stagnant water. I don’t want to get dengue again,” she said.

Dengue fever and Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) are acute febrile diseases which usually strike in tropical countries. The diseases can be fatal and are transmitted by the black and white Aedes mosquito.

Information on Dengue Fever and Dengue haemorrhagic fever


  • Dengue Fever and Dengue haemorrhagic fever is an infection of four known flavivirus transmitted by the black and white Aedes mosquito that causes severe flu-like illness.
  • Worldwide incidences have recently risen and approximately 40 percent of the world’s population is at risk of infection.
  • The Aedes mosquito is known to breed in urban and semi-urban areas where pollution is higher, and in tropical and sub-tropical climates.

Signs and symptoms

  • Symptoms include severe headaches, muscle and joint aches (myalgias and arthralgias), and fever.
  • Another symptom is bright red rashes that appear first on the lower limbs and chest, eventually spreading over most of the body.
  • Abdominal pain, diarrhoea, vomiting, and nausea can occur.


  • No vaccine or medicine has been developed yet to overcome the virus but there are many ongoing testings.
  • It is crucial to execute timely supportive therapy to manage shock as a result of bleeding.
  • There must to be careful monitoring of vital signs during the critical period of two to seven days of fever.
  • Drinking more fluids is necessary to prevent dehydration.


  • The spread of dengue flavivirus is primarily controlled through fogging (adult mosquito control) and larviciding (larvae control).
  • Aedes mosquitoes breed in collected water. Draining the water or larvicide treatment is recommended.
  • Use insect repellent and mosquito nets to avoid being bitten.
  • A transgenic strain of Aedes aegypti was recently developed which produces females that are flightless so they are unable to mate or bite.

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