The Beginnings

Malaysia, Day 1 and 2

It has started! Kembara Kretapi 2019… After months of planning and almost 40 years of dreaming, at 2:28 pm today I boarded the MRT train from Kajang to Muzium Negara. InsyaAllah in 11 weeks time I will return to the same station, via many trains and a few ships and ferries circumnavigating the globe and seeing God’s good earth and the wonders of His creation.

Highlights of Day 1, Sunday 13 July 2018
. train 1: Kajang to Muzium Negara by MRT
. High tea with Mak, Dezi, An and the lit fam at The Majestic
. Train 2: the 6pm ETS from KL Sentral to Kuala Kangsar. Tqvm for the send off everyone 🙏
. Hishe C78 as the sherpa host, Yut Loy food fest

Alhamdullilah 🙏🚆🌿#kretapikir


15 July 2019

Kuala Kangsar

Kembara Kretapi 15th July 2019. Belated post (post Blackberry blues, getting used to the new Huawei!)… Day 2: You can take the boy out of Kuala Kangsar, but you cant take Kuala Kangsar out of the boy!

The day started early and honored to address the 7:15am MCKK daily assembly. Started with an impromptu Bung Wak, followed by a pep talk: told the boys 3 things: leadership is about service to others (🎼… khidmat ku berikan…as in the College anthem), importance of curiosity and zest for life (and travel and kembara is part of that) and a formula for their journey ahead – managing the three As… Aptitude, Attitude, (and if you get “there”), Altitude

TQ to Yut Loy for a special opening on a rest day for them (after some desperate persuasion / merayu 😬) for breakfast with the legend that is Mr Liew, its been 45 years since Mr Liew as a young police officer so selflessly coached the MCKK basketball team, pro bono, foregoing promotion, titles, board fees and other pecuniary benefits. He built generations of champions and most of all built the characters of his boys, many of whom have become towering men of distinction, continuing the culture of champions first learned on the somewhat decrepit courts behind Dorm 1 of Big School. The extra bonus was that Yut Loy would not take payment from this long time customer on a long train journey! 🙏

TQ to Br Hishe, Serpent C78, for being Sherpa for the KK leg, to HM Anand C79 for hosting at MCKK, for Sdr Ridzwa C86, for being my travel companion from KL to Alor Staq 🙏 Fiat Sapientia Virtus. Our time in Kolek was always intertwined with rail stories, pre PLUS highway, the not very trusty KTM trains were our main link from our respective towns and the MCKK gowns. Reenacted one trip from 1978 later in the day; the rail journey to Bangkok to play Vajiravudh; while the train was a Daewoo 1996 edition, it still took close to 20 hours to Bangkok, just like in 78. Alhamdullilah, happy, carefree and for a moment, felt 17 again 🙏❤️🎼#kretapikir


19 July 2019

Yut Loy Restaurant

One of the hope on Kembara Kretapi is the perchance and in some cases with some planning of the chance to meet the special “Light Travellers”! Special folks who have mastered or are on the path of the “Tao” of traveling light – long foregoing unnecessary baggage and in the process touching and lighting up a path for themselves and for others. Hence, it was great to finally have breakfast with Mr Liew, former special branch police officer, MCKK basketball coach for 45 years, Legend. On how he first met our Br Dato Aziz Salleh on a fateful day in 1974 at a phone booth in KK. The rest is history still in the making, 45 years on, 18 Piala Hamdan Tahir championships, first victory over Tsung Hwa in 2004, and generations of boys to men and champions groomed. Used basketball to further racial integration as a special branch police officer. In 1989, as national coach, he led the Malaysian team to our only SEA Games basketball gold medal. Completely selfless, he coached pro bono for 45 years and counting, foregoing promotions, titles and positions. Am completely humbled by this most deserving honorary MCOB, a great inspiration of reaching out to “the Other”. He learned the culture of others, repeatedly overcame prejudice and bigotry, and instilled character, discipline and the will to win to boys who would become men. If only we could bottle this spirit: The world and Malaysia needs it! A very special officer and a gentleman 🙏🇲🇾❤️ #kretapikir 


19 July 2019