Thursday, October 20, 2005

In Memory of Datin Seri Paduka Endon Mahmood

Today Malaysia loses her First Lady Datin Seri Paduka Endon Mahmood her demise will be a great loss to the local Malaysian arts and culture scene.

Datin with her passion for local handicrafts and traditions, has taken it upon herself to revitalise pride in Malaysian crafts, both locally and internationally.

She launched the Nyonya Kebaya - A Showcase exhibit in Kuala Lumpur in 2003. It was her hope that the exhibition and book will raise the awareness of the unique aspects of the cultural heritage of the Peranakans and inspire Malaysian designers and artist.

Currently her collection is on loan to The Asian Civilisation Museum (Singapore) from 9/3/2004 to 29/5/2005.

DATIN also wrote a book The Nyonya Kebaya: Century of Straits Chinese Costume


Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's wife, whom he described as his No. 1 supporter, died Thursday after a nearly four-year battle with breast cancer. She was 64.

Endon Mahmood's death -- which comes less than two months after she and Abdullah marked their 40th wedding anniversary -- is the biggest personal blow to the Malaysian leader since he took office in October 2003 following the retirement of his predecessor, longtime leader Mahathir Mohamad.

Endon, who recently underwent months of intensive chemotherapy in Los Angeles, passed away at the family's official residence Thursday morning in Putrajaya, Malaysia's administrative capital, after being released from a Malaysian hospital Monday, said Abdullah's spokeswoman, Esuriyanti Ahmad.

"The family members were at her side, everybody was there," Esuriyanti said, adding that Endon would be buried in a traditional Muslim funeral later Thursday.

Abdullah, Malaysia's fifth prime minister since the country achieved independence from Britain in 1957, had been married to Endon since September 4, 1965. They have a son, a daughter and four grandchildren.

Abdullah has often publicly called Endon his "No. 1 supporter."

When his mother died of natural causes in February 2004, Abdullah telephoned Endon in the United States, where she was undergoing treatment. She later told reporters that he said: "I've lost my mother and I don't want to lose you too."

Endon discovered she had breast cancer in 2002 following a checkup after her twin sister, Noraini, was earlier diagnosed with the disease.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Tan Cheng Lock Baba House

When I saw this report in The Straits Times on Saturday 8/10/2005. I was so happy as this is something that will take Peranakan culture out of the museum if the initial plans are follow through.

$5.5 million (Singapore Dollars) was given to NUS(National University of Singapore) but with an unusual request that the money is use to acquire Peranakan homes in Singapore and Malacca.

This request came from the last surviving daughter of the late Tun Tan Cheng Lock founder of Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA). Miss Agnes Tan who is 85 years old asked that NUS acquire a Peranakan house at Neil Road and two more houses at Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock in Malacca.

The house in Singapore will be used to teach young Singaporean about Peranakan history, culture and tradition and will be named the Tan Cheng Lock Baba House while the other two houses in Malacca costing S$1.5 million will be restored and use for to study subjects such as the conservation techniques of historical bulidings.

The house acquired at Neil Road belongs is one of the last remaining authentic homes which belong to a Peranakan Wee Lin an engineer whose ancestor is Wee Bin who was a shipping tycoon. Plans include having a Bibik impersonator as a live-in housekeeper and also into making the house a centre for exhibitions, talks and performances and to include the Wee family history.