Sunday, January 07, 2007

Never Too Late

Mendailing, Javanese and Blogging

Been wanting to do this since last year after I left the NST.
That would be 10 months ago, give or take a couple of weeks.
Ah, Blogging. An entirely new experience for me. I kept saying I would do it.

Man, I could do it. Easy Peasy. Nothing to it. Piece of cake.
Heck, everybody else was doing it. How difficult could it be?
After all, my pal, Zaharah Othman, started her 'Kak Teh Choc-a-Blog' two years ago. (Oh, she just celebrated her blog's second anniversary).

Isn't it just a matter of putting your thoughts into this thing called blogosphere?
Been working as a journalist for more than 27 years. Surely, writing for myself without anyone else subbing or editing it, will be a picnic.
And if people want to read it, they are welcomed to do so. And if they don't , they can skip it. It's a free country.
It's a free world. We have choices. Options.

Yeah, yeah. So I did start a blog. It was called 'Seri Mendahiling'. Rocky (of Rocky's Bru -- and I am not dropping names. I know the guy. He is my latte mate) helped me get started.
He suggested the name because of my Mendailing heritage on my (late) mom's side.
He seemed to be intrigued by that, he being a Minangkabau, Antah and Lerap et al.
But I am a Javanese because my dad is Javanese. Tradition, custom and culture dictate that we have to follow our father's line, I argued.
Seri Mendahiling sounds more, er, exotic than Seri Jawa, he reasoned. Ok, ok. Sounds ok to me.
I give up.
So. yes, there was a Seri Mendahiling blog started sometime last year. In June, maybe. Or was it August. My first posting was a one-liner about belly-dancing. It went something like ' Let's belly dance. Liberating'.
To make it easy for me to start posting, Rocky suggested that topic as I had taken up belly-dancing as a once-a-week keep-fit routine and enjoying every minute of that liberating experience.
But I was too nervous to write beyond that one line.
Suddenly , it seemed sacrilegious to let anyone else know about that bit of my life.
So aware was I that it was a blog. God knows who could be chancing upon it. Judging it. Criticising it. Criticising my passion for dance.
Suddenly, I was nervous. As though my articles written those years I was at the NST were never read by anyone but me.
That was that. No more postings. Writer's Block. Writer's Blog Block. Dead Mind. Dead Brain. Brain dead, more like it.
'Seri Mendahiling' got lost, never to be recovered.
And Rocky kept bugging me about it.
'You should start blogging, you know. Seriously blogging. I am sure you have a lot to say about things', he would tell me.
More like a challenge. Always indicating that I shouldn't let my experience as a senior journalist/editor go to waste.
Yes, Rocky dear. I have a lot to say about the state of country. The state of the world. George W. Bush. Guantanamo. Saddam Hussain's hanging. Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Toll increase. Crooked politicians. And belly-dancing.
So, at 9.15pm, at Austin Chase, BSC in Bangsar, KL, on Jan 7, 2007, I began seriously blogging under a different blog name.
Thank you, Rocky for helping me get started again.
So what's with the number 3540 and that road name?
It is a very very special number. That's all I am willing to let on.
Now, about Jalan Sudin -- just being sentimental. It was the road (in Singapore) along which stood my (maternal) grandfather's house. I was born in that house 50 years ago.
The road is long gone. So is my Oompong's (grandfather in Mendailing dialect) house.In fact, so is the entire Kampung Melayu in Singapore 14.
That is the reason for 3540 Jalan Sudin.


Rockybru said...

Ah, not a man's world anymore, uh?
Welcome to the wild, web world, Ena. So now we can, once again, read your political analyses. Perhaps brother Syed Nadzri will hire your blog just for those analyses!
Do tell us how Pak Samad's doing from time to time.
All the best!

Anonymous said...


Great! Just great! Simply great! It's about time. I can understand the apprehension in the initial stages. But once you're in, you're hooked. Another voice to voice another view, perspective, opinions..

Welcome my dear sister!

Anonymous said...

Yo Ena,

You finally got round to doing it!
Better late than never.

U writing abt Jalan Sudin makes me nostalgic. Arwah Mak Chak, Arwah Kak Zaiton, Kak Ramlah, Kak Leha ( who took care of you when arwah Mak was at work) came to mind. Not forgetting Arwah Pak Cik Tongkat (the late Usman Awang) & his late wife Kak Senah, who lived opposite Ompong's house.

And my friends.Wonder where they are now. Kut dah beranak cucu. Lost touch with them since we all moved here some 46 years ago.

Kinda sad, aint it? The place where we once lived & called home is no longer there.

Feel like crying just talking abt it.

Anyway, welcome to the world of blogging.

p/s U wanna blog on what huh? Politiks ke? :)

Anonymous said...

Selamat memblog, Puan Nuraina. Seorang lagi bekas wartawan tinggi mula memblog. Yang rugi akhbar. Yang untung kami semua. Gigihkan.

Anonymous said...


Welcome to the new media. Unlike Malaysian journalism, there's no one to look over your shoulder to tell you what you can and cannot write in our blog.

Looking forward to read your thoughts.

Anonymous said...


Didnt yr seniors at ITM called you a Jawa murtad?

He he he! Anak keturunan Jawa, tapi ta' pandai cakap bahasa Jawa.

Joke, joke only. Jangan marah.


Anonymous said...

Good for you. Once you have started blogging, you must go on. But, you must write something that can excite everyone of us. If you thing something is bad, you must say so. No cover up, please.


Shanghai Fish said...

Welcome to blogosphere dear...this is more like the outer-limits ,and now you have come full circle! heh...heh..!will be interesting to know what goes on in that pretty head of yours, as I'm sure you'd put it to good posts ! Good for you and what was main-stream media's loss is blogspheres' gain...Cheers darling !!!

Anonymous said...


Welcome to the blogosphere from the Cina Apek who really lives in Jawa. Perhaps Mbak can also blog in Bahasa Jawa from time to time. Hehehe.

Look forward to further postings from you and drop by if you visit the land of your ancestors ya?


To Rocky -- Thanks for getting me started and giving me the inspiration and encouragement. ok ok... in short, thanks for nagging me into starting the blog.
Political analyses? Yes, and no. I need to feel so strongly about an issue to want to rant and rave about it, blogging.

To AhmadT (my boss at NST when he was group editor at NST) -- terima kasih, kekanda.

To(my eldest sister Maria Samad) Kak Ton -- Yess.. so many wonderful childhood memories.
sob sob. and remember that haunted house up the road? the ghost stories about kampung melayu?

To Jawa Parit Burn , Shanghai Stephen, kain aku and sheih -- thank you. I need to just look around me to get inspired...and that adrenalin running.

To anonymous (at 5.09am) -- you know, sometimes, writing for your peers is lot harder. Thank you for the kind words.

To anonymous (at 6.06am) -- yeah yeah. how can i forget? I was JM (Jawa Murtad)3. My older sisters Norlin was JM1 and Noraida was JM2. We were teased because the seniors found out we were of Javanese descent but in their book, we did not look Javanese. My two sisters couldnt quite speak the language. But I could, though I did not let on. Our dialect was a little different.
And Jawa Murtad was not my only nickname.

Ex BH -- I will try not to disappoint although we may have our own idea of what "exciting" issues are.

Unspun-- Waduh! Kabare, Mas. Nyong iso ngomong jowo siti' siti' wae. Ojo takon2.
Thanks for visiting. Hope to hear from you again, kawan lama. And i know i have said it before many times. I'll say it again. you are still the most handsome Cina Apek (this side of the world, at least).
Bukan mau mengampu, deh. Ngomong2 yang benar.

Anonymous said...

nuraina saisd...

I'll say it again. you are still the most handsome Cina Apek (this side of the world, at least).

I second that.

Hey uspun, I remember that somebody who used to squeeze Rajes's shoulders whenever he got turned on seeing you.

The Malays call it "geram pindah".

Anonymous said...

yes ena, write what you want, what pleases you or that which upsets you. You will make Bapak proud I know. Jalan sudin is indeed long gone, and so have most of its residents. but I remember clearly how carefree and happy our childhood was before we moved to Jalan Sentosa, PJ. Of course, when we were older we would go back during the school holidays. And it was always difficult to say goodbye to both Jalan Sudin and Jalan Yahya, Mak Echon’s mee siam, and the best ‘jenganan’ in the world. Such wonderful memories!

Anonymous said...

Welcome Kak NS !
Thanks Rocky. We got another blogger's view to read.


Anonymous said...

kak ena, I'm one of the junior reporters in the sister's company, who always wonder how you can write political views during your time in en nes tee like flawless, whereas I just can't. maybe because of the genetic, I don't know. but always look up on you.

well, selamat datang ke dunia blog, walaupun saya sendiri mengambil masa bertahun baru mempunyai keberanian memblog.

it doesn't matter, really, what you want to write, as long as you want to write it.

yang penting kita suka, dan biarlah orang nak kata apa pun. betul tak?

yang part someone breathing down ur neck, hehehe I agree with you.

Pasquale said...


I hope you don't mind criticism and constructive mid-boggling bitching on you blogsite now that you have opened yourself to the public domain, so to speak.
This is what I think. You and other bloggers, Rocky included, truly believe you can change courses via the internet! Let me just tell you, you had better have the stamina to fight these evil group or otherwise you will lose, you will lose your personality, you will lose you the ability to interact with people and when that happens life is simply not worth living. As I can tell you this much the fate of this country is not even in the hand of Umno, let alone Dollah Badawi. This big hinterland called Malaysia is not now beng ruled by elites such as the one led by Mahathir, Daim, and now Abdullah Badawi. This country is, from now on, is in the hand of very powerful people who will stop at nothing to achieve their objective or target! As Jalan Sudin was once in the Malay hand, it is now just a dream, as Jalan Malaysia will be in the hand of not-us in the very not too distant future! It is strange and sad to see leaders like Mahathir and his elitist and arrogant daughter Marina, Tawfik Tun Ismail now trying a futile attempt to hog the limelight and to hopefully grab power again, well you guys lost it and they aint going to give it back! Sorry Nuraina you are a friend but when you have a blogsite expect the anguish of the inner sanctum of many helpless people like me, and the sad part is there is nothing that you and other bloggers can do to change anything now! Enjoy your adrenaline rush while you have it!

Amir Hafizi said...

Yay! Wai lo kam! Wai lo kam!

Anonymous said...

You've been bookmarked
...for my mailing list...

Anonymous said...


Write from the heart
Write with passion
Write what you believe in

But dont let that passion blind you
Or cloud your judgement
Or even obssess you

You'll be biased for sure...
But in your biasness, be fair!

Atok said...

salam perkenalan. blog hopping from KT's who just announced to the world of this new addition [ she's building her empire to take over the blogsphere :D ].



Sdri Noraina,

Selamat datang ke dunia blog.

Saya yakin Sdri boleh meneruskan sumbangan kepada dunia kewartawanan melalui medium baru ini.

Selamat maju jaya.

Terima Kasih.

wahi said...


mandailing? Are you a Lubis? Kotanopan as homeland? Just wondering about roots...

Anonymous said...

hi nuraina,

came here from rocky's blog. GREAT!

btw, i see our doomsday naysayer pasquale is also here. ignore him he has issues. it's called living in his own world.

publicma said...

selamat datang ke dunia blog
catatlah apa saja
kerana bangsa kita
kurang catitan


BaitiBadarudin said...

Hi, welcome on board!
Another female blogger to equalize blogosphere.
And 3540 Jalan Sudin sure reminds me of 38 Jalan Damai, Kampung Melayu Kaki Bukit, Singapore 14.
Have fun blogging!


kak olin -- aah. for just one day in kampung melayu.... remember air batu malaysia, air batu kepal?? nasi rawan? nasi jenganan?
for that one day.....

ex-NST, sufi, amir, atok, FL2020 -- thank you.. hope to see you again.

publicma -- terima kasih. kita bersama dalam perjuangan..

anonymous (5.06am) -- what can i say? aint easy, but i will try.

sang diva -- i was yr senior in NST.. but you are my senior in blogospehere. syabas to you.

pasquale -- i hear you, man/

A kadir jasin -- i am honoured, sir.

wahi -- iye.. marga ibu saya ia lah Lubis. kerabat ramai dari marga nasution. ada juga harahap.. mungkin juga siregar.
Ompong saya dari Medan. Tapi nenek saya (arwah ibu saya) orang Burma.

QueenB -- woweee, sista.. orang kampung melayu. aduh. Kaki Bukit. cool.

Anonymous said...

tak la kak ena, in blogsphere, we are equal to each other. orang bukan tau kita start blog bila kalau depa tak menengok posting yang lama2 atau history blog tu.

saya lagi segan, orang lain asyik dok cerita pasal politic la apa la, saya lebih selesa cerita hal sendiri.

Anonymous said...



Just discovered that you're now a blogger. About time too.

Please convince Gutsy Grandma to do the same.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous (at 6.06am): Is that you Rosli?

Anonymous said...

Dear Puan Nuraina,

First - Congratulation on your new blog and now your blog dah kena bookmarked by us.... hehehhee the x malaysian journalist who are over the seas now...

I might not know you personaly but I suka baca your reports masa you dengan nnnn ssss tttt duuuulllluuu.

As junior journalist, I always nak belajar macam mana nak tulis and also think like you.

Is good to see you in this web world. Really look forward to check you blog everyday same as others esp Bro rocky, kudakepang, akadirjasin, ahmadT, MM and kak teh.

Again thanks to bro rocky and Datuk Ron, yang sembang banyak pasal your new blog.

Satu permintaan from me, who are million miles away from home, Can you write about your father? The old man has inspired me in many way esp in writting and journalism world.

To you, Rocky, MM, Datuk Ron, Datuk Kadir Jasin, Datuk Ahmad Taib, Kak Teh and esp those pengasas (i would say) bidang kewartawanan di Malaysia (Alahyarham2), you guys the best. Thanks for making bidang kewartawanan negara satu bidang yang memberi kesan mendalam terhadap pemikiran anak bangsa untuk melihat sesuatu perkara itu secara berbeza or maybe I would say -look things beyond it-

Cool MAN! and all the best


Unknown said...

Welcome to blogging world...

Anonymous said...

Dear kawan,
Welcome to blogsphere world. I just want to encourge you to also champion the rights of all abused cats and dogs (whether pet or not pet) in this country. Also please remember the poor animals in our hutan hutan especially where currently their home is being flattened to make way for oil palm plantations. God will surely then champion your other causes as you take care of these.
Terima Kasih.

Anonymous said...

Abu Rabu said...

Please convince Gutsy Grandma to do the same.


Who's this gutsy grandma? Is she yr grandma, Pn Nuraina?

Must be hell of a granny to be computer savvy & to keep up with time.

Way to go granny, whoever you are. Would certainly love to visit yr blog if you started one.

Anonymous said...

anonymous (12:49 AM) said ...

Who's this gutsy grandma? Is she yr grandma, Pn Nuraina?

Must be hell of a granny to be computer savvy ...


Gutsy Grandma is NS's sibling and fellow (ex-)journalist, who earned that moniker after chasing two snatch thieves who dared grab her handbag while she was waiting in her car outside her house.

(One of the baddies unexpectedly got to meet his Maker as a consequence of his misdemeanour.)

Gutsy Grandma is not your ordinary grandma. She's only a grandma by virtue of having grandchildren. On all other counts, she's a sharp 18-year-old.

Anonymous said...

Ah - the sweetest being to walk on the face of this earth - who u kidding the bitchiest perhaps!!

Anonymous said...

Just discovered your blog. I grew up on Jalan Sudin too. Miss it so much.