By Muhammad Izzuddin Abd Radzak
KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) -- The shop is simply named 'Kedai Songkok' and inside, an elderly man can be seen hard at work on his sewing machine.
Where this city's songkok makers are concerned, Bachtiar Mustafa, 82, is probably among the last of the Mohicans involved in this trade.
Whilst carefully putting the final touches to the songkok he was making at his shop located at the Urban Transformation Centre (UTC) in Keramat here, he told Bernama he learnt to make the Malay traditional cap during the 1980s purely by observing the songkok makers who operated in Kampung Baru, here.
By Sakini Mohd Said
KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) -- While it is the norm for traders to offer price cuts during Ramadan to lure customers, beauty salons also jump on the bandwagon by offering attractive discounts on all kinds cosmetic procedures.
Using the testimonials of their "satisfied" customers and specially-created videos to promote their array of skin whitening and tightening facials, and face and body sculpting treatments, these salons are the bane of qualified aesthetic doctors.
This is because many women who fall prey to the cheap packages offered by these salons are forced to seek the help of doctors when they end up with complications.
By Ravindran Raman Kutty
The writer Ravindran Raman Kutty is an award-winning communications practitioner and a fellow of the Institute of Public Relations Malaysia.
KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) -- My recent trip to Europe, especially to Amsterdam, Holland, inspired me to pen my thoughts on cycling. It is extremely interesting to watch office workers, parents, students, teenagers and market goers zigzagging on the streets of Amsterdam.
Many a time, my wife and I were cautioned by the cyclers as they rode past us at high speed and without much noise. They looked so happy riding their bicycles unperturbed by the motor vehicles. Cycling has helped to improve the local air quality as it reduces 65 percent of nitrogen oxides (NOx) emitted into the air per kilometre travelled. (NOx gases are usually produced from the reaction between nitrogen and oxygen during combustion of fuels and they contribute to the formation of smog and acid rain.)
There are more than a billion bicycles in the world, twice as many as automobiles. In recent years bike production had climbed to over 100 million per year (compared to 50 million cars).
By Sakini Mohd Said
MUKAH (Bernama) -- The Sarawak Songket Weaving Centre has what seems like a peculiar prerequisite for people who wish to take up songket weaving.
As Saanah Suhaili, who is chairman of the Rajang Songket Weaving Group that operates at the centre, puts it in Bahasa Melayu, "Sesiapa yang ingin jadi penenun di pusat ini wajib menyolek. Kalau datang dengan tidak pandai menyolek, memang tidak akan jadi songket Sarawak." (Anyone wishing to be a weaver at this centre must be adept at making-up. If they come without being good at making-up, it will certainly not be Sarawak songket.)
For a moment this writer thought it was compulsory for all the weavers at the Sarawak Songket Weaving Centre -- located in Kampung Rajang in Belawai, about an hour's drive from Sibu -- to wear make-up but Saanah, 63, quickly explained that what she meant was the weavers need to be skilled in the art of beautifying the songket. This, she added, is to ensure that the quality of the heritage craft is not compromised.
By Erda Khursyiah Basir
KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) -- The "balik kampung" rush is well underway now with Hari Raya Aidilfitri just two days away.
With the festive season having become synonymous with a higher incidence of road accidents, it is imperative that those heading back to their home towns give priority to ensuring their vehicles are in tip-top condition.
Driving carefully and observing road safety rules are also essential to ensuring a safe journey home. Among the common causes of accidents are speeding, driving on the opposite lane, overtaking other vehicles, changing lanes suddenly, being careless when entering or exiting a road at a junction, tailing other vehicles and making U-turns illegally.