Monday, July 27, 2009

Taken For A Ride Again

Except for a few curious glances from seemingly uninterested beach-goers, the recently concluded second edition of the Asian Water-cross Super Cup Terengganu at Batu Buruk Beach almost went by unnoticed.

Of course, the beach was crowded on Friday and Saturday, but it was clear that almost all of the visitors were more interested in the Armed Forces Exhibition, also held in the vicinity.

Local resident Awang J who stopped by for lunch at a nearby fast-food restaurant said he thought there were some rich kids playing around in the water on their jet-skis.

When told about the supposedly famous professional jet-skiers competing for a prestigious cup in a state-sponsored tournament, Awang said he would rather be at Pasar Payang watching people buy durians.

Another sightseer Mahmud said jet-skiing was just not his cup of tea.

"Judging by the number of spectators watching the race, I take it not many people like the sport.

"But then again, we are now famous for hosting unpopular sports ," he said.

Some of the media people there were not having much fun either.

An elderly gentleman who claimed to be Bernama's representative said it was a lousy race but somebody had to cover it.

Azmi who writes for Sinar Harian said getting race results from the organisers was like pulling teeth out of a tiger's mouth.

"The rest are much wiser for not turning up at all," he added.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Plenty Of Fish In The Sea

But not at Ri-Yaz Heritage Resort and Spa in Pulau Duyong, said
Khairul Hamizy Ramlee.

He may be biased in his opinion as he was probably the only contestant in the Duyong Fishing Festival who failed to catch a single fish.

The fishing competition was held a few months ago but the agony of his ultimate defeat that day, just will not go away.

Back then, he used to think of himself as an able angler.

But the humiliation at the home of the Monsoon Cup has made him scared even to steal a glance at his old faithful fishing rod.

"Until that fateful day, I had never failed to catch a fish.

"That must be a sign or something for me to stop fishing for a while," said the 24-year old resident of Gong Pak Maseh.

He said he would never enter another fishing competition.

Not until he makes amend at the next Duyong Pancing Festival.

"The next one was supposed to be held there last month.

"But it was called off for some reasons at the last minute.

"I heard they re-scheduled it to somewhere in November.

"Perhaps, it is better for me to wait a while longer as at the moment, I don't think I'm ready to pick up my rod just yet," he added.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Best Murtabak In Town

The best murtabak in Kuala Terengganu is at Restoran Selamat. At least, according to photographers Aswadi of NSTP and Arjasneh of Bernama.

"It's simply delicious and the curry is to die for," said Arjasneh who admitted he just had to go for an extra helping when met at the Jalan Sultan Omar eatery on Wednesday night.

Harian Metro writer Khairul who decided to join them for dinner was also full of praise for the dish.

"I've heard people talking about the murtabak here and now I can say, they are not wrong,"

"I'm impressed with the serving size too and not to mention, the RM2.50 price tag," said the self-proclaimed big eater.

Murtabak maker Awang was beaming with pride.

He said his murtabak was not doing all that well until a few months ago.

"It's all because of the customers who kept providing me with tips to improve the taste of my murtabak.

"I've been tinkering with the ingredients, adding fresh mints, coriander leaves and even a dash of rose syrup," he said.

In the end, Awang said, he managed to do it just right.

He must be right as regular customers Din and Napi could only say, "one more please."

Friday, July 3, 2009

Thank You Mr Mat Milo

Mr Mat Milo handing out Milo drinks during the MSSM Squash Championships

His name is rarely mentioned before, during or after an event.

But his presence usually bring relief to a lot of people, young and old, especially those who spend time under the scorching sun.

Sporting events in the land of the Turtles will not be the same without him and his big Milo truck.

Athletes, supporters and spectators are all the same.

When it comes to quenching a thirst, they are all fans of Mr Mat Milo and his free-flowing ice-cold Milo drinks.

He is truly one of the unsung heroes of the sporting world.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Lost Without Los Batakos

Life at Ri-Yaz Heritage Resort and Spa is not the same again without the singing group Los Batakos.

The Indonesian quartet ended their stint at the home of the Monsoon Cup yesterday, leaving hollow feeling among many regular diners at the resort's Verandah Restaurant.

For almost six months, band members Harry Mountne, Winter Siregar, Vedro Sihombing and Naek Sinaga kept resort guests entertained with their unique brand of music and vocal prowess.

They were definitely part of the resort attractions, said regular visitor Esmadee Endut who admitted to have become a fan of the group.

"They may not be Los Lobos but they sure can sing 'La Bamba' and 'Beautiful Maria'," he said.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Kings and Queens For Special Children

After a break of one year, a chess competition for special children in Terengganu was held again, this time at Ri-Yaz Heritage Resort and Spa in Pulau Duyong on Saturday.

Jointly organized by the resort and Mumtaz Murad Ali Sdn Bhd, the event attracted participation from 12 special education students from schools in Kuala Terengganu, Marang, Dungun and Kemaman.

The contestants, aged between seven and 14, may be autistics, dyslexics, hyper-actives, hypo-actives or slow-learners but in front of chess boards, they were transformed into regular chess players.

They were a determined lot with only one mission: to be the champion.

Tournament favorite Muhammad Danial Zainuddin struggled in the preliminary round but the 14-year-old autistic student of Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Agama Sheikh Abdul Malek managed to defend the title he won two years ago.

12-year-old dyslexic Muhammad Nur Firdaus Nor Azli, a Standard Six student at SK Padang Hiliran, had to be satisfied with the runner-up position again.

But it was debutant Tuan Mohd Sholihin Tuan Zahrin who represented SMK Ketengah Jaya, Dungun, who created a stir in the competition by finishing third.

The 14-year-old hypo-active student proved he was made of sterner stuff when he almost caused an upset by narrowly losing to the reigning champion in the semi-final game.

Fourth place went to Mohamad Amir Zulhilmi Dain, 12, of SK Pusat Bukit Besar after going down tamely to Sholihin in the battle for third.

Each of the top four winners received a trophy, certificate, cash and prizes while the rest of the contestants went home with a certificate, cash and prizes courtesy of Kedai kasut You, ANZ Engineering, Mydin, Giant, Nasir &Sahabat, Celcom, The Sports House and Hedaco Travel.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Close, But No Cigar

Sholihin (right) looking calm and composed during the semi-final match against reigning champion Danial.

Tuan Mohd Sholihin Tuan Zahrin came close to winning the Terengganu Special Education Chess Challenge 2009 at Ri-Yaz Heritage Resort and Spa in Pulau Duyong on Saturday.

But the 14-year-old student of Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Ketengah Jaya, Dungun, failed to capitalise on early mistake made by defending champion Muhammad Danial Zainuddin, also 14, in the semi-final game.

Competing for the first time, Sholihin, a hypo-active person, could have been nervous when he made a wrong move which gave Danial an opportunity to gain an advantage by taking out his opponent's Queen.

Danial, an autistic student of SMKA Sheikh Abdul Malek, went on to win the game before clinching clinching the title with a victory over Muhammad Nur Firdaus Nor Azli of SK Padang Hiliran in the final.

Dyslexic 12-year-old Firdaus had earlier beaten Mohamad Amir Zulhilmi Dain, also 12, of SK Pusat Bukit Besar, Kuala Terengganu.

Solihin won the battle for third place over Amir but he could not help thinking that he could have won the title if not for the wrong move he made against Danial.