Thursday, November 29, 2012

Madras Hotel @ Tekka

Madras Hotel @ Tekka is one of a few budget hotels available in Little India, Singapore. It is about 7-8 minutes walk from the Little India MRT station, by walking straight through Buffalo Road and then Campbell Lane. The only downside is one will surely get wet if it was raining while walking from the MRT station to this hotel.

Check in is rather smooth and the staffs here are courteous. Its location is sort of strategic as there is a 7 eleven shop, convenient shops and various entertainment outlets nearby.

Having stayed in Hotel 81 Chinatown previously, I am more than satisfied with the size of a single room here (SGD 129). The room is clean and rather comfortable. However, the TV reception is quite bad and watching it is almost impossible.

Even the bathroom is spacious. Something I don't expect in budget hotels in Singapore.

Somehow the safe deposit box in the room is not reset properly. No instruction as well on how to use it. There is always the safety deposit locker facility at the reception office though.

Complimentary breakfast is served to guests at the pantry at the ground floor. The breakfast is rather basic consisting of bread, scrambled eggs, cereal and banana.

Madras Hotel @ Tekka
28-32 Madras Street,
Singapore 208422 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Tun Hussein Onn Memorial

Tun Hussein Onn Memorial is just a walking distance away from Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Memorial. 

This memorial was established with a view to preserving the memory of Tun Hussein Onn's sacrifices and contributions to the nation as Malaysia's third Prime Minister. Its objective is to house, preserve, exhibit and disseminate information on our "Father of Unity". The memorial building was once part of the Prime Minister's Department office complex. This building was placed under the charge of National Archives of Malaysia following the transfer of the administrative capital to Putrajaya.

The exhibits at the memorial include documents, photographs, newspaper reports, excerpts of speeches and souvenirs. The exhibition highlight the glorious era of his political career as Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Prime Minister of Malaysia. The memorial also displays the information relating to the biography and family background of Tun. The exhibition traces the life story of Tun from early childhood to the last day of his life.

Tun has undergone military training and joined the military during his young day.

Tun holds the distinction as the only Prime Minister who actually practising law.

This is how Tun's office look like , with his workstation, meeting table and waiting room adjacent to each other.

This room was created to provide an environment within which could be housed a number of items that were of particular significance to Tun Hussein Onn in his private life. Tun Hussein Onn was an avid reader whose private library contained over 750 books. His extensive collection is proof of how widely read he was. Also shown here are the golf set he used whenever he had time to join his friends.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Memorial

The Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Memorial was established to commemorate the deeds of the nation's first prime minister and the significant events of his premiership. The memorial houses all legacies of the Tunku and permits the scholarly study of his leadership and government.

The memorial is about 600m from the Bank Negara KTM station with pleasant and peaceful surrounding. Entrance is free.

The memorial was established in 1994 when new buildings were added to the original, which was the official residence of the British Resident of Malaya. The building, known as The Residency, was made the official residence of the Tunku between 1957 and 1971. There after it was made part of the complex housing the Prime Minister's Department. It also housed the office of the National Unity Board.

Merdeka Agreement 1956 was signed between Tunku as the Head of the Federation of Malaya Merdeka Mission and Allan Lennox Boyd, the British Colonial Secretary on behalf of the British Government at Lancaster House, London on 8 February 1956.

Tunku in the ceremonial attire that he wore at the Merdeka ceremony on August 1957. The "Muscat Dress" is the attire of official from Kedah. It consists of a black taffeta silk open jacket with epaulettes and an inner white shirt with flowery neckline and gold braided pants and headgear. It was tailored by G.K. Sediris Appuhamy of Messrs Gian Singh and Co., KL.

Tunku wore an Albertini shoes (made in Italy) during the glorious Merdeka ceremony.

When Sultan Abdul Hamid, Tunku's father, travelled to England in 1911 for the coronation of King George V, he was attracted to a gold curio in the shape of an ornamental button which contained reproduction of the sphinx. Tunku adopted the button which he won at family raffle as his crest and added the word "dibebaskan". It means "freed" and refers to the freedom which Tunku brought to Malaysia in 1957.

The Residency is historical as it was the official residance of first British Resident, the first Chief Minister of Malaya and the first Prime Minister of Malaysia. Numerous official functions and activities have taken place within the walls of the residency. 

During British rule, it was the official home of the British Residents in Selangor. In 1880, it was relocated from Klang to its present site by the British Resident of Selangor, Captain E. Bloomfield Douglas at Brockman Road later renames Jalan Dato' Onn by Tunku in 1963. In 1888, Sir Frank Swettenham attempted a reconstruction of the Residency, on the same site, taking care to maintain the essential character of the original building. The Residency continued to be occupied by subsequent British Residents of Selangor until the outbreak of WW II.

This is a long table in this dining room that can accommodate 30 people. It was venue for official dinners and extraordinary Cabinet meetings that used to drag on even after normal working hours and right through the night. A number of major decisions were made in this room. The Tunku held official dinners here for Heads of Departments every month. The idea behind these dinners was to promote friendliness and goodwill among them.

This room was known as Cairo room on account of the chairs (white in colour) that were brought from Cairo. This room was used as a venue to hold discourse with foreign dignitaries.

This room is located in the front part of the Residency building and contains a number of lazy chairs and round tables. It was used as a waiting room during Tunku time.

Telephone with antic table and chair at the hallway inside the Residency.

On the first floor, inside Tunku's Master Bedrrom there are 2 single beds and a table with a small table lamp was placed in between. There is also a cupboard, a round table with 4 chairs are placed at the front entrance of the room. The Tunku had his tea here in the mornings as well as before playing golf in the evenings.

There are a number of guest rooms on the first floor. Each guest room has 2 single beds, a table and a table lamp. On one occasion, the room was occupied by an Ambassador, who was the guest of the Government.

This table was used for the 1st Cabinet Meeting on 10 September 1957. Back then there were less than 15 ministers.

The old office of Tunku is well depicted here from the meeting room, Prime Minister's Department staff office, private secretary office and Tunku's personal office space.

Tunku used to ride on these Chevrolet cars during his tenure as the Prime Minister. Such a classic vehicle and looks well maintained.

It is my opinion that the Residency is still fit to be the official residence for the nation's Prime Minister as well as been the office of the Prime Minister. It's definitely a masterpiece the nation can be proud of. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Bank Negara Malaysia Money Museum & Art Gallery

The newly opened Bank Negara Malaysia Money Museum & Art Gallery has an impressive new modern building.

It incorporates modern architecture with an intriguing spiral steps at the centre of the concourse. Admission is free. The museum is located on the 1st & 2nd floor while the art gallery is on the 3rd floor.

Malaysian coins were first minted on 12 June 1967 with 5 denominations bearing the same motif. All coins dated 1967, 1968 & 1969 were struck at the Royal Mint, London. However, the 1& 20 sen coins dated 1970 were produced at the Hamburg Mint in Germany. All coins in denominations from 1 to 50 sen have been minted locally since the opening of the Bank Negara Malaysia Mint in July 1971.

This is a cheque writer from 1910s, sourced from G.W. Todd & Co., Rochester, New York. The cheque writer was used to protect a cheque by preventing the monetary amount from being altered. It leaves a numerical or written value impression in the payment amount section that is very hard to tamper with.

Perforation is another form of protection used against fraud. A cheque perforator punches small round holes that form perforated numerical as well as having perforations that are permanently inked. This cheque perforator was used during the 1890s and was manufactured by Wesley Manufacturing Company, New York.

This is how the Governor's room look like. Located on the 19th floor of Bank Negara Malaysia's headquarters, this room has been occupied by four of the seven Governors. With the decor that has hardly changed over the years, the focus has been on the desk at which successive Governors have made decisions that have helped shape the nation.

This silver tray is a farewell momento to the Bank's first Governor, Tan Sri W.H. Wilcock in 1982. It is engraved with the signatures of the first Board of Directors.

The signature of Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz is probably the best known in Malaysia. It has appeared on all the different denomination banknotes for more than a decade, originally signed with this unimposing fountain pen.

Old currencies dated from the primitive age until the colonial era is on display here. The museum has a very comprehensive money collection here and should attract those who has keen interest in the history of currencies used in this country before.

The evolution of the design of the Malaysian bank notes are well depicted here. Should be rather nostalgic for those who had been used those old bank notes before.

All the commemorative coins issued by BNM are on display here too. I must admit it, I never saw most of these beautiful coins before.

The Art  Gallery has a variety of collection of artwork by Malaysian artists accumulated since the early 1960s.

There are so much things to see and do here. Getting here is easy. Get off the Bank Negara KTM Station and walk about 10 minutes to reach the museum. One can also opt to get off from Bandaraya LRT Station and get across to the Bank Negara Headquarters office and start walking from there onward.