My Durian Stories From Yesteryears Part 2

Durian tree picture from PINOY PHOTOGRAPHER @Flickr.com

Durian tree picture from PINOY PHOTOGRAPHER @Flickr.com

Many more stories about durian remains to be told. The continuation of this article will tell you more stories about it.

Durian trees in Klang, especially in Batu Belah, near Simpang Empat in Kampung Martin (my own kampong), in Telok Pulai Road, were but a few of the places where durians grew.

The “King Of Fruits” garner tremendous interest in many people. As such, hopefully this article will provide interesting reading to many.

In Klang district, durian are not grown on a commercial scale. They are in fact, “garden” fruit trees. Just like jackfruit, mangosteens, pameloes, sentul and ciku trees.

In Part I of my article, I wrote that durian trees should ideally not be grown alone. It’s best to have other durian trees grown beside it. However, trees that are grown in gardens do sometimes end up bearing fruits too.

Cikgu Yusuf, 68, who has since passed away, once grew a durian tree in his garden. It grew up strong and healthy. After about 6 years, it began to bear fruits. Young rascals in the neighborhood stole the fruits. Yusuf was so heartbrokened by the incident.

I once lived in Lorong Raja Muda, Klang. Quite a lot of durian trees grew in this area. My neighbor, Ah Siew and I frolicked amongst the durian trees even during midnight looking for the fruits.

In my institute today, stands alone durian. Its said its fruits are good. Hopefully, I will have the opportunity to taste one of them one day.

Durian ice cream from brownpau @Flickr.com

Durian ice cream from brownpau @Flickr.com

Durians are best eaten fresh. You can however be made into many things. Durian paus, a Chinese delicacy recently made it appearance in Ipoh. Should you visit Melaka, you will surely get to taste Pengat, a famous Malay cuisine.

Durian can also be made into ice cream, biscuits, dodol and sweets as well. Durians’ usage is indeed endless!

To talk about durian growing areas in Klang district and its surrounding areas, mention should rightly be made of Bukit Kapar, a small kampong recluse of some 10 km north of Kapar town.

Foothills are suitable for the growing of durians. In the 1960s, a school boy friend, Mohd Yazid, supplied me and my friends wonderful durians from Bukit Kapar.

Durians above are not big. They maybe small but its taste is heavenly. Believe me, when I say, if you should put an “ulas” of Bukit Kapar durian into your mouth, the taste or sensation would mesmerize you.

Yazid once adviced me, if you do not know how to look for the best durian, just seek out the Kuching Tidur or “The Sleeping Kitten”, as the Malays call it.

The fruit is crooked in shape, likened to a sleeping car, curled up in slumber. You would have then made the perfect choice.

One of my former colleagues, Mr Tan, from Penang, once resigned from his place to work. Tan was said to have wanted to go back to Balik Pulau, Penang to grow durians. His ambition however failed. His land was reported to have been too acidic.

Had his project been successful, yours sincerely, would surely be visiting Penang Island for durian feasts today!

Do you know that Banting Road or Langat Road, the road that leads one to Morib beach or Goldcoast Beach today, is well known for durians?

Locals say, after the town Jenjarom, durian trees grow a plenty on both sides of the highway!

A group of my school mates once purposely cycled to Morib Beach, about 20 miles from Klang at dawn, just to pick up the durians that have fallen onto the road during the night and early morning.

Datsun 1200 picture from LusoFox @Flickr.com

Datsun 1200 picture from LusoFox @Flickr.com

In quest of The King Of Fruits , I still remember how my Malays colleagues and I travelled in his Datsun 1200 from Sekinchan to Kuala Kangsar town, looking for durians. The mission there may not be too successful I agree, but we got to see the royal town of Perak anyway.

Speaking of durians still, my former colleague, Mr Wong, a former taxi driver, tells me he is currently contemplating going into the durian selling business in Petaling Jaya. Mr Wong has promised me a supply of D24, X.O., Mau Sang Tong and 101 king of fruits. Will this promise materialize is yet to be seen.

To end this second article on durian, my nephew, Simon who resides in Bukit Tinggi, Klang, has an Indonesian maind working for him. The maid told me something which I could hardly believe.

She informed me that there is a lone durian tree growing in one of the double story houses around the vicinity of the Methodist Girls School (MGS) Klang.

The Indonesian maid was right. The durian tree, albeit not too big, was indeed bearing fruits during last season’s harvest.

And finally, one final episode regarding the King Of Fruits. In 1970s, a driving school proprietor friend of mine, Encik Kamaruddin, travelled to Perak in a Datsun C20 van in search of durians.

During the entourage’s journey back to Selangor, one of the instructors named Bob elected to sit behind the van, accompanying all the durians. Bob must have been having a wonderful time opening up the durians all night long!

Durian D24 picture from tankahn @Flickr.com

Durian D24 picture from Ato Belen @Flickr.com

The durian season will soon come to an end. After reading so much about the King Of Fruits, what are you still waiting for?

Do you fancy a D24, D2, a Super X.O., 101 or a Mau San Tong. The choice is yours. Enjoy yourself!

Masalah Kronik Pengguna Jalan Raya Di Malaysia


Seseorang pemandu ataupun penunggang motosikal haruslah menyedari bahawa sekiranya hendak memandu kenderaan mahupun menunggang motor, hendaklah memiliki lesen memandu. Tanpa lesen memandu, seseorang itu dikatakan melanggar Seksyen 26(1) Akta Pengangkutan Jalan 1987.

Selain daripada itu, merupakan kesalahan kalau memandu dengan lessen yang sudah tamat tempohnya ataupun “mati”. Memandu dengan lesen memandu yang sudah habis tempoh masanya akan mengakibatkan pihak syarikat insurans menolak perlindungan ke atas kenderaan-kenderaan sekiranya ianya terlibat dalam sesuatu kemalangan.

Pendikata, kenderaan-kenderaan tiada berinsurans.

Memandangkan perkara tersebut di atas penting, maka para pemandu serta penunggang motor hendaklah memastikan bahawa lesen memandu mereka sentiasa “hidup” sewaktu mereka sedang mengen-dalikan kenderaan.

Kita harus menentukan bahawa lesen memandu kita diperbaharui serta memastikan iaitu kenderaan-kenderaan yang kita memandu ataupun menunggang itu mempunyai lindungan insurans yang sah serta mempunyai cukai jalan yang lengkap.

Sebagai empunya kenderaan, adalah tanggungjawab kita sendiri untuk menentukan segala-galanya dalam keadaan yang teratur dan kemas.

Tidak lama dahulu, JPJ atau Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan, telah memperkenalkan sistem baru di mana tarikh kematian lesen memandu para pemandu di ubahsuai mengikut tarikh kelahiran ataupun hari jadi.

Seseorang dengan demikian, maka pihak JPJ percaya, pemandu-pemandu tidak payah khuatir tentang masalah lupa membarui lesen memandu yang telahpun luput ataupun mati. Dengan demikian, di harap para pemandu mulai sekarang, tidak perlu lagi disaman ataupun diambil tindakan oleh samada pihak polis ataupun JPJ.

Adalah langkah yang di buat oleh pihak JPJ itu sesuatu yang bernas?

Sebagai seorang pengajar kereta, saya memang bersetuju dengan langkah JPJ yang baru ini sesuatu cadangan yang memangnya baik.

Akan tetapi, pihak yang bertanggungjawab dan berkuasa itu seharusnya ingat bahawa terdapat perkara-perkara lain yang lebih penting ataupun serius yang kini wujud yang sepatutnya diperhatian yang sewajar.

Oleh yang sedemikian, artikel ini akan menumpukan perhatian kepada beberapa masalah yang sedia ada yang kini di hadapi oleh masyarakat “pengguna-pengguna” jalan raya Malaysia hari ini.

Diharapnya, selepas artikel ini di siarkan dalam blog ini, maka tindakan segera oleh pihak-pihak akan diberikan. Sayugia di ingatkan iaitu masalah-masalah yang dikemukakan dalam artikel ini bukan merupakan masalah yang baru. Hanya pihak yang berkuasa malangnya tidak memberi perhatian yang sepatutnya kepadanya sehingga sekarang.

Apakah masalah-masalah yang dimaksudkan itu? Di antaranya masalah-masalah yang dimaksudkan itu adalah:

1. Tidak memakainya topi keledar sepertimana di kehendaki oleh undang-undang negara.

Meskipun undang-undang negara kita memerlukan topi keledar di wajib pakai oleh para penunggang motosikal, namun demikian, peraturan ini nampaknya telah diabaikan oleh ramai penunggang-penunggang motosikal negara kita.

Nampaknya, bertambah banyak lagi mereka yang mengabaikan penggunaan topi keledar masa kini. Di kawasan kampung atau-pun taman-taman perumahan serta di bandar dan pekan, kita dapat memperhatikan bagaimana peraturan yang penting ini telah diketepikan oleh jejaka-jejaka kita.

Oleh demikian, pihak-pihak yang bertanggungjawab khasnya pihak polis, haruslah mengambil tindakan tegas terhadap mereka yang melanggar undang-undang ini. Sekiranya tidak, perkara-perkara yang tidak diingini mungkinnya akan wujud.

2. Mengangkut lebih daripada seorang pemboncit di atas sebuah motosikal.

Sebuah motor sebenarnya bermaksud untuk membawa seorang pemboncit saja. Tetapi di Malaysia, kita seringkali nampak penunggang-penunggang membawa 2 ataupun 3 orang pem-boncit di atas sesebuah motosikal.

Kadang-kalanya, kita berpeluang melihat 3 ataupun 4 pemboncit menaiki sesebuah motor pula. Ini adalah suatu perbuatan yang salah dari undang-undang negara.

Pihak-pihak yang bertanggungjawab, iaitu polis, seharusnya diminta mengambil tindakan tegas terhadap mereka yang melakukan tindakan-tindakan yang salah ini.

Penghuni kampong, lumrahnya sungguh gemar melaksanakan tindakan yang salah yang tertera di atas. Tindakan-tindakan ke atas terhadap pesalah-pesalah ini, sebenarnya adalah untuk ke-baikan penunggang-penunggang motosikal itu sendiri.

3. Mengguna lampu-lampu jenis “xenon” oleh para pemandu.

Para pemandu Malaysia, sudah tentu sedar bahawa adalah meru-pakan satu kesalahan menggunakan lampu berjenis “xenon” pada kenderaan mereka. Penggunaan lampu-lampu xenon sebenarnya adalah dilarang.

Pihak berkuasa, iaitu JPJ telah berkali-kali mengumumkan lampu-lampu jenis xenon yang “original”, iaitu yang dipasang di kilang-kilang boleh diguna. Tetapi, lampu-lampu yang diubahsuaikan dan dipasang oleh pekedai-pekedai akssesori adalah merupakan “haram”.

Tetapi yang paling menyedihkan adalah nampakanya pada masa kini, lebih banyak lagi pemandu-pemandu yang membuat kepu-tusan untuk menggunakan jenis lampu xenon yang salah ini.

Pada pendapat saya, penggunaan lampu xenon ini kian lama kian menambah. Sekiranya tindakan segera tidak dibuat bagi melarang penggunaan lampu sedemikian, keadaan ini akan bertambah bu-ruk dan keadaan ini akan tidak dapat dikawal suatu hari kelak.

Pihak yang bertanggungjawab harus merenung tentang masalah ini dengan segera. Hentikanlah masalah ini dengan seberapa segera yang boleh.

4. Tidak mematuhi kepada system lampu isyarat di negara kita.

Pengguna-pengguna jalanraya, khasnya penunggang-penunggang motosikal khasnya, sangat-sangat gemar mengabaikan penggunaan lampu-lampu isyarat. Di Singapura, saya diberitahu, tindakan-tindakan tegas diambil oleh pihak berkuasa ke atas pengguna-pengguna jalan yang melanggar isyarat lampu isyarat di sana

Kenapa lampu-lampu isyarat di Malaysia seringkali di abaikan oleh pemandu-pemandu serta penunggang-penunggang?

Ini adalah sebab penunggang-penunggang motor khasnya, kurang berdisiplin. Masyarakat yang lemah berdisiplin sudah pasti tidak diharap mematuhi peraturan-peaturan seperti lampu isyarat.

Apa sebenarnya yang seharusnya dibuat terhadap masalah yang serius ini?

Pihak-pihak yang bertanggungjawab seperti polis, JPJ dan majlis tempatan di gesa mengambil tindakan segera dan tegas terhadap masalah ini. Denda-denda yang lebih berat harusnya di kenakan.

Lesen-lesen pesalah dicadangkan dibatalkan ataupun ditarik balik. Selain daripada itu, rancangan “A.E.S” (Automated En-forcement System) di mana kamera-kamera CCTV digunakan di tempat-tempat yang sibuk serta di tempat-tempat lampu isyarat hendaklah dipasang dengan serta-merta.

5. Tidak menggunakan alat-alat “handsfree” semasa memandu.

Tahukah anda iaitu menggunakan telefon bimbit sewaktu me-mandu tanpa menggunakan alat “handsfree” adalah salah?

Surat pekeliling K17(A) R.T.R, melalui mahkamah, boleh mendenda di bawah Seksyen 119(2), Akta Pengangkutan Jalan 1987, jumlah sebanyak RM300 ke atas seseorang pemandu yang melaksanakan perbuatan salah menggunakan telefon bimbit tanpa alat-alat handsfree.

Pemandu-pemandu adalah digalakkan supaya berhenti di tepi jalan yang selamat unyuk menjawab panggilan-panggilan yang mereka terima. Tetapi sayangnya sekali, berapa ramai akan menyahut cadangan saya ini?

Memandangkan bahawa keadaan ini makin hari makin rumit, pihak yang bertanggungjawab, iaitu pihak polis khasnya, digesa supaya mengambil langkah-langkah yang tegas bagi mengatasi masalah ini dengan segera.

Adalah diharap bahawa pada suatu hari kelak, tabiat penggunaan telefon bimbit tanpa alat-alat handsfree tidak lagi dilaksanakan oleh pemandu-pemandu di nagara kita.

6. Merempit motor oleh jejaka-jejaka di negeri kita.

Merempit motor sangat digemari oleh jejaka-jejaka di nagara Malaysia. Di bawah Seksyen 81, Akta Pengangkutan Jalan 1987, tindakan-tindakan tegas boleh di ambil terhadap mereka yang mengambil bahagian dalam perlumbaan haram.

Mereka yang menganjurkan perlumbaan yang sedemikian juga boleh didakwa. Tetapi tidak terdapat apa-apa bukti untuk menunjukkan bahawa peserta-peserta lumba haram ini akan ber-henti menyertai perlumbaan yang sedemikian.

Meskipun ada dendaan-dendaan yang untuk aktiviti ini, seperti dendaan setinggi RM2000 serta motosikal-motosikal boleh di sitar oleh kerajaan, namun demikian rakyat-rakyat Malaysia tidak merasa khuatir untuk teruskan menyertai perlumbaan-perlumbaan berharam itu.

Pihak berkenaan, umpama polis serta pegawai-pegawai lain hendaklah cuba mengatasi masalah rumit ini dengan langkah-langkah yang lebih berkesan. Kegagalan mengatasi masalah mer-empit motor telah mengakibatkan kehilangan banyak nyawa dan pelbagai jenis masalah kepada orang ramai juga.

Baru-baru ini, seorang rakan anak perempuan saya, yang berasal dari negeri Oman, telah terlibat dalam satu insiden kemalangan dengan sekumpulan “mat rempit” dekat bandar Puchong, Selan-gor.

Peristiwa tersebut di atas, berlaku pada 11.00 malam. Kumpulan yang merempit motor, yang berjumlah seramai 50 orang telah merempuh kereta mangsa dekat lampu isyarat. Selepas merosak-kan kereta mangsa itu, mereka mencuri telefon bimbitnya serta wang-wang sekali.

Polis nampaknya tidak dapat membantu selesaikan masalah yang rumit ini. Peristiwa-peristiwa seumpama ini merupakan publisiti yang buruk untuk negara kita.

Selagi usaha-usaha konkrit tidak diambil bagi mengatasi masalah rumit ini, masa hadapan bagi negara kita nampaknya malap. Pihak-pihak yang bertanggungjawab seharusnya mengambil tin-dakan tegas demi untuk mengatasi masalah yang penting ini. Ian-ya harus diatasi dengan segera.

My Durian Stories From Yesteryears Part 1

This blog not only writes on things regarding “driving instructions” and “vehicles”, but from time to time, touches upon subjects such as crab catching as well.

I have been an avid catcher of the above crustacean, the ketam batu variety for more than 20 years. The period stretching from the late 1960s until 1970s.

Speaking about crabs, they Malays consider it makroh. Some on the other hand, say it is haram to consume it. In the seventies, crabs were being sold for about RM15 – RM17 per kilo.

Flower crabs or ketam pasir as it is known, were going for about RM1.50 or so then. Recently, I chanced to observe the above said crab being offered for sale for about RM25 per kilo at the supermarket.

You may wish to know how much the ketam batu crabs cost today. Well, my sister, Molly, and her husband, Mr. Ooi, contend, they come at a price of RM45 – RM50.

To end today’s introductory story on crabs, a few weeks ago, my family, which includes my wife, my son-in-law, my daughter and her children, were at the Siu Siu Chinese Restaurant on the foothills of the famous Then Hou temple in Taman Seputeh, Kuala Lumpur.

Amongst the dishes that we ordered was a crab dish cooked curried style. The above single crab dish was tagged at a whopping RM108, not inclusive of GST, mind you.

Picture from Sodanie Chea @ Flickr.com

Picture of durian by Sodanie Chea @Flickr.com

Beside scrabs, it is fair to tell you that I can likely be considered as a self-proclaimed authority on the King of Fruits, which incidentally, is none other than the “durian”.

As this fruit’s season now happens to be in full swing, with the fruits being now sold in every corner of towns in Malaysia, I believe, therefore it won’t be right if no article is written about it.

The durian stories which I know are indeed many and varied. According to my maternal grandmother, Mdm Ee Siew Mooi, the mum to my mother, Ong Geak Tee, the durian is closely associated with the Lord Buddha. I shall not disclose to you they relationship between the above duo so as not to offend lovers of this fruit.

Should you be a Buddhist, go ask your mother or better, your grandmother about it. She, it is believed, will surely know about it.

Anyway, it case you are not aware, let me tell you that my grandmother fancies eating rice with durians. I still remember vividly, my grandfather, Ong Hock Chuan, a petition writer, purchasing one or two durians each day for his beloved wife.

Before continuing further, reading about the King of Fruits, readers might like to inquire why I consider myself an expert regarding durian. Well, you see, in my younger days, my family and I lived in Klang town. We infact lived in Jalan Teluk Pulai, and the surrounding jungle infested areas of Lorong Raja Muda, Simpang Empat, Teluk Gadong and Riverside Road.

Durian tree picture from tankahn @Flickr.com

Durian trees by tankahn @Flickr.com

Kampung Martin, which is located in Telok Pulai itself, was in reality my kampung. Alongside durian trees, there were mangosteens, langsat, rambutan trees, duku, guavas and sentul as well.

You name it, all the fruits were there!

Besides this, banana trees grew in abundance. Pisang Ceylon, rastali (King of Banana), pisang embun, pisang tanduk, pisang awak and pisang raja were amongst the few banana varieties I still recall.

I still remember rather clearly then, inspite of the fact that so many years have since gone by, I was then in my teens, around 12 – 16 years old. In Kampung Martin itself, there were roughly 6 – 7 durian trees. There was a huge durian tree which grew to about 100 feet high. Its fruit was, without a doubt, very delicious!

Other durian trees, which were younger and therefore shorter in height, bore equally delicious and fragrant fruits as well. Except for the above durian trees I mentioned, I don’t recall any durian tree growing behind my kampung, that is nearby my alma mater school, ACS Klang.

Talking further about durians, it’s only right that I tell you about a clump of durian trees that grew near Simpang Empat, along Telok Pulai road itself. The above durian orchard, if you may call it, belong to a Mr Ah Poh, who I remember, worked for the TNB.

Durians from those trees, though small, were of good quality and without a doubt, fragrant and of fantastic aroma. The above fruits, were unfortunately for personal consumption only.

Before carrying further regarding the existence of durian trees around the areas of Teluk Pulai, Lorong raja Muda and Jalan Raya West areas, you should rightly be told about a few things I know about durian.

It is said the durian tree cannot be planted alone. Ideally, it should be grown in a cluster. It is believed, durian trees need cross pollination for its fruits to germinate. For this, it is believed, the presence of flying foxes, squirrels and birds play an essential role in ensuring the durian fruit grow successfully.

Secondly, about durian trees, cows are not to be allowed to come near the trees also. It is believed, cow dung and the cow’s urine will cause a major disaster to the durian trees.

A third thing regarding durian trees, which I think one and all should be aware of its durian orchards are affected by carbon monoxide or car exhaust fumes. Believe it or not, there used to be numerous durian trees around Batu Belah area, near the Shapadu Highway. The above trees, near the Arabic School hostel nearby, used to produce quite a lot of durian fruits in my younger days.

Alas, this is not to be the case today. Why?

Has carbon monoxide and exhaust gas been responsible? Your guess I as good as mine.

The Durian by Alex Khoo @Flickr.com

The Durian by Alex Khoo @Flickr.com

Another fact of fallacy about the consumption of durians, advise lovers or connoisseurs of this fruit believe, is never to consume durians with alcoholic drinks. I will refrain from naming the product or alcoholic drink involved fearing repercussions.

Eating durians with certain cokes might bring about disaster as well. People with high blood pressure problems should also be careful in the consumption of durians. Toe the moderate line seems to be the advice that should be adopted.

I feel it is only appropriate that I divulge to you the below episode. A Malay instructor friend of mine, who is form Meru town, told me a story whereby his mother once had a stroke. A facial palsy attack, you might say.

One day, during the durian season a few years ago, the family were reportedly preparing a Malay delicacy dish known as pengat. My friend’s mother, who was unfortunately down with partial paralysis on one side of her body, could not restraint herself to ask her family for some of this delicious and mouth watering durian concoction.

Durian pengat by Li Tsin Soon @Flickr.com

Durian pengat by Li Tsin Soon @Flickr.com

Believe it or not, upon consuming a spoonful of pengat, my friend’s mother lapsed into a total paralysis altogether. Unbelievable maybe, but it is a true story nonetheless.

What I have related to you thus far about durian us only the tip of the iceberg, so to say. The large stock of stories I have on the King of Fruits is only just beginning. Wait until you hear the rest of it.

Unlike the yesteryears that is the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and the 1990s, today, the durian industry in Malaysia has come out to have successfully evolved species and high quality durian fruits.

A few years ago, we saw only the advent of D2 and D23. Yes, they were costly then. If previously, we durian lovers had very few choices to choose from. In 2015, the availability of mouth watering durian fruits of today such as 101, the Musang King, the Super XO series, the Mau Sang Tong and others spell bound durian lovers.

Say what you like about durian, this fruit looks like its not meant for the consumption of Europeans or foreigners. Presently, I am in the process of tutoring an English girl, she is 23 and an internet English language teacher.

The Musang King by Alex Khoo @Flickr.com

The Musang King by Alex Khoo @Flickr.com

Recently, she was asked has she yet tried tasting durian. Her reply was, “I have not”. Anyway, she said she fancies the mangosteens more.

To end this short story about the Malaysian King of Fruits, permit me to tell you one of why my teachers told me as a school boy years ago. He said, Europeans consider the eating of durians as likened to consuming a custard pie in the toilet. Urgh! Or is it? Decide for yourself.

The remaining stories pertaining to this fruit will most likely be followed up in another article on a later date.