Tuesday, December 16, 2008



Muntadar al-Zeidi membuat kejutan di akhir tahun 2008.Membaling kasut ke muka Bush dalam satu majlis di Iraq.Itulah kemuncak kemarahannya pada Bush.Usahanya memperakperondakan Iraq menelan jiwa ratusan ribu.Termasuk askar2nya sendiri.Berbillion dolar habis begitu saja.Itulah gelagat manusia moden yang ingin menjadi kalifah di bumi Allah.Di Vietnam rakyatnya merana hamper 30 tahun.Di kemboja hampir 3 juta rakyat yang tak berdosa dibunuh dengan kejam oleh Khmer Rouge di pimpin Pol Pot.Ada sumber2 mengatakan lebih dari 6 juta dibunuh dengan zalim.Hari ini ribuan pelawat pergi menyaksikan peristiwa itu di seluruh Kemboja.Tapi apa yang mereka bawa balik,Cuma cerita2nya saja. Tanpa keinsafan.Manusia kurang belajar.Manusia kurang berperasaan.Manusia kurang menilai yang baik dan buruk.Mereka cuma ghairah menonton saja.

Baru2 ini kawan aku ke kemboja.Aku sudi berkongsi ceritanya.semoga kita dapat keinsafan dan mengenal diri . Siapa kita sebenarnya? Apakah matlamat hidup kita ? Kemanakah halatuju kita?

Di bawah aku perturunkan emel kawan ku…………..semoga termaklum dan kita nilai sendiri dari kacamata kemanusiaan sejati.

Emel 1

Best wishes from Siem Reap, Cambodia, where Angkor Wat is. If you haven't been here and you'd like to remind yourself how fortunate, lucky and blessed in life you are - come to Cambodia and see how poor the people are. Go back in time. Come before the full impact of the tourist trade has really taken over.

You need not travel with a tour group or stay at 5-star hotels. Come on your own. Check on the Web and you can get good accommodation for as cheap as US 10 pax per room per day.
We are staying at The Shadow of Angkor Guesthouse in Siem Reap which is right in the city. ( Check it out on the Web ). It is only US 20 per day for a room for four persons for us. This guesthouse is like a two-star hotel but with only a few rooms, It is like the very expensive pensions ( guesthouses) in Indonesia. It is homey here and very CLEAN. It's got it's own cafe. There's free internet service. We are the only Asian guests! The others are Canadians, French, Australians or Americans

You pay everything in US dollars in Cambodia but a standard meal at the small outlets with international cuisines in Siem Reap is between US $2 to $3. I had a dish of Khmer herbal soup of beef ( choice of chicken, fish or beef) and rice for US$3 for dinner but being terribly hungry had a plate of spare-ribs ( pai kuat wong) for US$ 3, too. The soup was excellent and the four big pieces of spare-ribs were delicious, too.
I'm waiting to try out a Mexican breakfast for US$ 2 or opt for a slightly more expensive one for US$4 later this morning. I'm opting for French food later in the day. Every meal on the menu at all the eating outlets seems to between US$2 - $4. ( we checked this out yesterday evening). The outlets are like any of the cafes in Melbourne or in a Western country.

However, if you have an iron stomach and are not afraid of the runs, you can get a meal for US 0.25c at the local stalls. We saw a lot of Westerners at the stalls yesterday evening - they were the brave and adventurous ones. A few of the other westerners were standing on the road and enjoying the aroma of the cooked food, before deciding what to do... dining the stalls or the cafes.

We have booked a motor-rickshaw to take four of us around to Angkor Wat and sightseeing for US$13 per day. We'll be here for four laid-back days. Then we'll take a five-hour boat trip to Batambang ( US$20 fare per person) and then a taxi to Pnomh Penh from there.

Be wary of the charity scam at the floating village on the lake in Siem Reap, though. One is asked to buy pencils and exercise books for the pupils of a floating school. One may be taken by the plight of the pupils to do so. But with the number of tourists doing so, the pupils will be showered with books and pencils, don't you think so? I think the pupils are being used by the boatmen and the stationer. Don't fall for this trick. Anyway one can give the floating fishing village at the lake a miss.

Cheers! - the tortillas and nachos calling!

Emel 2

Travelling the ten-hour journey - 5 hours by boat via Battambang and then 5 hours by taxi - to Pnomh Penh, I couldn't help but reflect on the millions of souls of the Cambodians who were tortured, then slaughtered or massacred by their fellow countrymen - the Khmer Rouge. What a terrible period of madness!

Watching a two-hour concert by Dave Clark 5 in the Olympic Stadium , later, on arrival in Pnomh Penh, I couldn't help but pray for the millions of victims of the Khmer Rouge pogrom. The poor unfortunate souls when alive would have filled the stadium many, many times over.

Sitting on the balcony early this morning, watching the trickling volume of traffic below, I couldn't help but think of the mansions of the slaughtered doctors and professionals which have now been converted into guesthouses churning in the tourist dollars. I pray that the children of the victims, and of the killers - some still living albeit camouflaged now among the population - will strive to bring peace and prosperity to all Cambodians.

Emel 3

We are staying at a 15-room guesthouse in Pnomh Penh - The Waterview - it's very clean. The room is very large with two double-beds. It's only US$30.00 per day. The guesthouse is nestled among a lot of guesthouses and modern cafes and restaurants in the area.There is the Malaysia restaurant facing another halal restaurant closeby.

I had a one-foot baguette with jam & marmalade; two sausages and two soft-boiled eggs for US$1.90 this morning. I enjoyed the baguette - it's oven-fresh.
I had a US$2.50 Cambodian herbal curry & rice for lunch. The curry was completely unique to me. I really relished it.
We had steamed-fish, cha kardo ( Cambodian dish - chicken, full of herbs and very spicy), braised beef, Cambodian salad, for dinner together with a banana shake, a pineapple shake, a rosea drink and a lemon juice . It was a tasty and delicious dinner.The bill was US$20.25.

Pnomh Penh is clean where our guesthouse is. There is hardly any litter albeit a little dusty because of new constructions. However in the other places especially the markets, litter can seen. But the toilets are very clean at all the public places we've been to - no foul ordour whatsoever, either.

I bought two pairs of Nike shoes. They may be imitations from Thailand. I am quite pleased with them, though. The cost of the two is equivalent to one-third the price I paid for a pair back home. I now will have five pairs of shoes for tennis - a different pair each time I play the game!

Emel 4

It's a day to do the sights on our own, today - no hiring of motor-rickshaw ( tuk-tuk) to take us around.
I hope you have not mind the ramblings of my trip here. It's a very simple trip - nothing compared to any of those you have been before where you had better accommodation and better food in the large hotels. But we are very satisfied with the small guesthouses and the food at the small modern cafes and restaurants that lined the streets.

It's a trip - a belated birthday gift - given by our elder daughter, Nicole. I am a Libra so you know when my birthday was. She got the air-tickets for me and my wife. Well, the good Lord has been kind to me a week before the trip. I struck RM10,000 on the numbers so I have paid for all the accommodation, the food, the entrance & guide fees, before Nicole could do so. She has managed only to pay for the boat and taxi fares! She wanted to repay me for everything but I have refused to accept it.

I feel I am physically stronger than my wife and Nicole. They get knocked out after the excursions and go to bed early and rise late. I go to bed late but rise early. I get up at my usual biological clock of 5.00am which is 4.00am here. It's 5.30am now but 6.30am back home.

I am waiting to go for breakfast in half an hour's time. Then I'll take a tuk-tuk to church. Pnomh Penh starts waking up early. I can see a lot of bicycles, motor-rickshaws and cars at 4.00am local time from our balcony. There are a lot of people walking, jogging or exercising their dogs on the river promenade, too.

It's 6.07 now. I'll leave you for breakfast and then to church at 6.30am.
Sorry for the ramblings... just killing time before I start my day. Ha! ha!

Emel 5

It's 4.50am and from the guesthouse, I can hear the mosque across the river calling muslims to prayer. It reminds me of my three-year teaching sojourn at a secondary school on the east coast of Malaysia.

Talking about mosque, I'd like to tell you of an incident that happened to me yesterday morning. I hailed a motor-rickshaw and asked the driver to take me to church after breakfast. He could not understand me so I placed my palms together like in prayer

He immediately nodded his head and kept on saying "Ok, mosque, OK mosque"

I said,"No, no, church" and used my index fingers to make a cross.

He saw the sign but kept on saying "Mosque, mosque, I take you. OK?

Finally, I drew on a piece of paper a steeple with a cross on top of it.
The driver's eyes brightened in understanding and he said to me "Oh! ka - to - lik, I take you".

We soon arrived at a gate which said "Catholic Church". The tuk-tuk went into a huge compound where there were several buildings but there was hardly any sound to suggest that a Mass was on.

I walked round the compound. I saw a small building which looked like a Hindu temple but with a cross on the spire. I could see some urns in it. This suggest a columbarium for the dead.There was a lttle old church but the doors were closed.

I then saw a Westerner coming down the stairs of a somewhat new building. I approached him and it turned out that he was a visiting priest from a small town to the north of Brisbane, Australia. he told me that there would be a Mass in Khmer on the floor above in an hour's time. There would be a Mass in English at the old church after the Khmer Mass.

I opted to attend the Mass in Khmer. When I went upstairs, I was taken by surprise. The huge hall had no pews, only mats on the floor. There were only three chairs behind the altar. The tabanacle was a little Hindu-like temple but with a lighted cross on the tip of the pointed roof.

Soon the hall was filled up with Cambodians sitting either cross-legged or with the legs to one side on the mats. When the priests came in, they were all White men. I recognised one of them as the French priest who was featured in a cable TV documentary on the killing fields. He had said in the TV clips when it showed him being evicted across a bridge to Thailand that the country had gone mad.

The Cambodian Catholic bishop and all the local priests and religious had been exterminated by the Khmer Rouge. There were an Indonesian, a Korean, and an Indian priest running the parish in Siem Reap.

The congregation at the Khmer Mass comprised mostly of young adults and very young children but very few elderly persons. The missing elderly Catholics must have been sent to death in the mass graves, too.

There were some nuns from Mother Teresa community. I recognised them from their blue-lined white saris. I spoke to one of them who was from Bihar, India and another from Papua New Guinea. I spoke to a nun from the Don Bosco community. She told me that the community ran kindergartens, a school and a vocational school, trining girls for the hospitality industry. She told me that there wer no Khmer in her community.

No matter, what religion you belong to, I am sure you will be overwhelmed by the religious fervour of the young Khmer congregation.

How were the Cambodian bishop, priests and religiousslaughtere d by the Khmer Rouge?
One dreads to think about it. The Khmer Rouge initially killed their victims with a shot in the head, then to save bullets, the victims were budgeoned with a hammer or a hoe. They wer also beheaded with crude blunt weapons to exert the maximum torture before death. Children and young infants were held by the feet and then bashed to death with their heads hitting the trunk of a tree.

Emel 6

I visited the King's Palace in Pnomh Penh. I was told that all the dancers of the Royal Ballet of Cambodia were killed by the Khmer Rouge except for one who managed to escape. She's the one now teaching girls to dance for the Royal Ballet of Cambodia.One can visualize the magnitude of the atrocites of the Khmer Rouge by imaging one's city being emptied of all its people and then the people being systematically slaughtered. The Khmer Rouge did this to Pnomh Penh and then to other towns.The massacre started with the killings of doctors, lawyers, teachers, dancers, singers, bishops, priests, religious, the rich - anyone showing a bit of education or intelligence were rounded up - tortured and exterminated. The majority of the victims were Khmers together with some Indians, Pakistanis, Australians, Americans and English who were unfortunate to be in Pnomh Penh at that time. Two million people were killed. Whole families were exterminated. You can check this out on the Web.Let this not happen again. Stand up against those few who want to make their utopia on earth. They start by banning certain activities but eventually with full politcal power they will create hell on earth for the majority of the population.

Emel 7

We have had all out food at the bistros and modern cafes in Siem Reap and Pnomh Penh. My wife wanted to try the food at the stalls in Siem Reap. She said that since a lot of white foreigners could be seen having food there, it should be okay. I told her to wait until near the end of our trip. I had been warned before our trip by a friend who had spent a year doing missionary work at a small village, not to have food at the stalls or strictly Khmer coffee shops. He said that the cleanliness there was always suspect.Two days before our trip home, we had food at a stall opposite the Russian market in Pnomh Penh. There were a lot of white foreigners there, too. It was only US$1.00 for a meal. I had a bowl of delicious Khmer curry. The very next day, Nicole and I had tummy upsets and then the runs. We had to rush to the toilet so often. We took some capsules which I had brought for such eventually of having diarrhoea. It was fortunate that the runs stopped on our flight home.We came home late yesterday eveining. The medicine seemed to have run its course. I had the runs again this morning.Excuse me ...to the toilet again! Sorry.Cheers

Semoga kita semua mendapat sedikit sebanyak maklumat,walaupun kita tak mendapat kesempatan ke sana.



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