A Tribute to My Chinese Heritage

10 09 2019

The above beautiful piece of art portrays wild orchids with Chinese characters “幽兰”, which means “orchid”, is hung on the wall of our living room.

It was a gift for my mother by our Chinese friend saying that it will bring us ‘ong’; but my father had it hung at that particular spot because it is indeed a very beautiful gift.

I am a Malay and I am very proud to be one; the beautiful Chinese piece of art with the Chinese characters in our living room does not make me less of a Malay.

I cannot read Mandarin, but thanks to our dear family friend, Aunty Helen Ang, we are able to understand what the Chinese characters say; and as orchids in the Chinese culture symbolises wealth and fortune, I guess it does have something to do with ‘ong’.

People often remarked that neither my parents, my siblings nor I have the typical Malay looks, even though both of my parents are Malay; I think it is the result of our mixed bloodlines.

My maternal grandfather is a Malay with Peranakan Chinese and Middle-Eastern ancestries along the family bloodlines while my maternal grandmother came from Chinese bloodline.

While my paternal grandfather is a Malay, my paternal grandmother is a Malay with some Siamese and Middle-Eastern bloodlines.

I come from a family with a very rich history especially from the lineage of my maternal grandfather where Tun Zain Indera of Tersat, who came from the lineage of the Sultanate of Johor-Riau was my 8th great-grandfather; my great-grandfather, Haji Awang Omar bin Dato’ Mata Mata Tua Yusof was the younger brother of Dato’ Seri Amar Diraja Haji Ngah Mohamad bin Dato’ Mata Mata Tua Yusof.

As I am very proud of my maternal grandfather’s ancestry, I am also proud of my Chinese ancestry.

My maternal great-grandfather, Hj. Ya’acob Abdullah Al-Yunani whom we affectionately called Appa was a Chinese Muslim and his Chinese name was Tung Foo Piew.

Appa told us about how his father, Hj. Abdullah Sulaiman Al-Yunani sailed from Kwantung or Guangdong in the 19th century to start a business and a new life in the Tanah Melayu.

What makes me really proud about my Chinese ancestors is that despite coming from a different country with a different culture and traditions, they managed to assimilate with the local Malay community around them.

Appa said that it did not take a long time for his parents to able to speak Malay and for his father to learn to read and write in the Jawi scripture.

Appa wore his baju Melayu with ‘kain pelikat’ and ate Malay food but he also loved the Chinese style soups, noodles and tofu which we also do enjoy regularly in our home.

And despite being proud of his Chinese heritage to the end of his life, Appa spoke fluent Malay, practised the Malay custom and proudly called himself a Malay, as he met all the criteria to become a Malay as stated in the Article 160 of the Federal Constitutions.

Appa who called Tanah Melayu his homeland was happy to assimilate and had a very high respect for the Malays and was thankful to be accepted in this country as he knew life in China used to be hard, which was the reason why his parents risked their lives sailing to Tanah Melayu in seeking for a brighter future of their children.

And I am also proud to learn from my mother’s uncle that a great statesman, Tun Tan Siew Sin who was a former Minister of Finance was a distant relative of ours from my maternal grandfather’s side of the family; and that our ancestors came in the same boat to Tanah Melayu long, long time ago.

It is the respect and love for our country as well as for our fellow citizens and obeying the laws of the land that makes us a very special nation.

Please click the photos for larger images:

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Photos: China’s Shenzhen Hit By Landslide

21 12 2015

Rescuers search for survivors amongst collapsed buildings after a landslide in Shenzhen, in south China's Guangdong province, Sunday Dec. 20, 2015.  The landslide collapsed and buried buildings at and around an industrial park in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen on Sunday authorities reported. (Chinatopix via AP) CHINA OUT

Rescuers search for survivors amongst collapsed buildings after a landslide in Shenzhen, in south China’s Guangdong province, Sunday Dec. 20, 2015. The landslide collapsed and buried buildings at and around an industrial park in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen on Sunday authorities reported. (Chinatopix via AP) CHINA OUT

The official Xinhua News Agency said a landslide had buried 33 buildings in Shenzhen’s Hengtaiyu industrial park, in the city’s northwestern Guangming New District, a major manufacturing center in Guangdong province across the border from Hong Kong.

AP reported that at least 91 people were missing by Monday, however no deaths were reported.

The official China Central Television (CCTV) broadcaster reported that a  nearby section of China’s major West-East natural gas pipeline had exploded.

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Photos: Typhoon Usagi Hit Southern China, 25 Killed

23 09 2013

Typhoon Usagi  slammed into southern China on Sunday evening. 

Nanfang Daily reported that the typhoon made a landfall at 7:40 p.m. yesterday in Shanwei city, in Guangdong province after veered away from Hong Kong at the last minute.

Australia Network News reported that at least twenty-five people were killed on the China’s southern coast, including thirteen in Shanwei which is in the eastern fringes of Guangdong province. 

The typhoon brings very strong wind, storm surge and heavy rains that could cause flooding and landslides.

Xinhua reported that in Shanwei city, the strong winds blew cars off the road near a gas station and houses were toppled.

Flights to and from Hong Kong and three mainland airports were canceled.

Ferry services around the area were also canceled, while Fujian province suspended shipping between mainland China and Taiwan.

Xinhua reported that intercity trains including the high-speed rail to Beijing, Shenzhen and Hong Kong would remain suspended until Tuesday.

Thousands of people were evacuated from coastal areas and temporary shelters were opened.

Hong Kong delayed the opening of markets, banks and schools.

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd. said it scrapped morning trading today.

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China Hit By Typhoon Chanthu-Pictures

24 07 2010

Typhoon Chanthu made a landfall on Guangdong province Thursday noon, July 22, 2010.

Typhoon is a natural disaster.

It brought strong winds up to 126 kilometers per hour and very heavy rain.

It made the bad flood in China even worse.

2 people were killed when the very strong wind knocked down a wall.

It then weaken to a tropical storm.

In Hong Kong the heavy rain caused a bad flood and killed 1 person.

This is the worst storm that hit Hong Kong in 30 years.

The storm will cause heavy rain as it continue its journey to other parts of China.

High winds brought by the Typhoon Chanthu, July 22, 2010. ( Xinhua )

A flooded road in Haikou, the capital of Hainan province after hit by Typhoon Chanthu, July 22, 2010. ( Xinhua )

A flooded road in Quanzhou in Fujian province, July 22, 2010. ( Photo: CFP )

Dark cloud in the sky over Zhuhai, in Guangdong province South China after Typhoon Chanthu lands on the province on July 22, 2010. (Xinhua)

Surge caused by Typhoon Chanthu on the Hailin Island,Yangjang,Guangdong in South China, July 22, 2010. (Photo CFP)

Photo of flood in China. (AP Photo)








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