Posts Tagged ‘Monsoon Cup’

 Ahmad Alias and his children enjoying a karaoke session at Ri-Yaz Heritage Resort and Spa in Pulau Duyong yesterday.
Ahmad Alias and his children enjoying a karaoke session at Ri-Yaz Heritage Resort and Spa in Pulau Duyong yesterday.

KUALA TERENGGANU: Life has never been the same for Ahmad Alias after his wife walked out on him almost a year ago.

Left with six school-going children, aged between 6 and 16, the 43-year-old odd job labourer said it had been a constant struggle to juggle time between running the household and earning an income.

He said putting food on the table had not been easy as suitable jobs, especially at construction sites, were few and far between due to the economic slowdown.

“Now that I am a single parent, I can no longer venture out too far from home to work and that has made it harder for me to bring home regular pay.

“But we are learning to adjust to our new life and my eldest child, Siti Nur Shafikah, has been a big help in keeping things together at home,” said the resident of Kampung Tajin in Hulu Terengganu, who was caught by surprise when he received an invitation to celebrate Fathers Day at Ri-Yaz Heritage Resort and Spa in Pulau Duyong.
Ahmad said that was the family’s first Fathers Day celebration, adding that the boutique resort was kind enough to pick up the family on Saturday morning for a two-day, one-night stay at its royal suite.

“We have never set foot in a hotel before, let alone spend the night in a royal suite at the resort, famous for the Monsoon Cup competition.

“It has been a memorable experience for all of us, being treated like royalty even if it is only for a couple of days,” said Ahmad, adding that he accepted the invitation because he knew his children needed a break.

Siti Nur Shafikah, who is in Form Four at Sekolah Menengah Kuala Telemong, said she and her siblings had never seen or eaten so much food on Fathers Day.

“We had so much fun splashing in the pool, singing to a karaoke set in the living room and having a dip in the jacuzzi. But the best treat for us was to see abah (father) smiling again,” she said.

Ri-Yaz Heritage Resort and Spa general manager Malizan Zakaria said the presence of Ahmad’s family had made the Fathers Day celebration at the resort special.

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Irwan Amir Rufianto Mohd Suhartono showing some of his batik designs.
Irwan Amir Rufianto Mohd Suhartono showing some of his batik designs.

KUALA TERENGGANU (NST): Just like his batik designs, Irwan Amir Rufianto Mohd Suhartono, 29, is one of a kind.

Despite his Indonesian name, Irwan is from Kampung Pasir Panjang, and not from Indonesia, although he admitted to have been inspired by Indonesian batik motifs.

The self-taught batik designer said Indonesian batik was unique and could be recognised by almost anyone at just a glance and that was what he wanted Terengganu batik to be some day.

With no formal art or design education, Irwan, who studied civil engineering at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, said he was groomed to join his family construction business but instead decided to follow his heart.

“That was almost seven years ago.
“Now I am happy that my works have been widely accepted and I am proud to say that I have stayed true to my heritage by incorporating the colours and flavours of Terengganu in all my designs.

“In addition to flora and fauna, I have included other common sights such as the breaking waves, tree barks, beach pebbles, river granites, waterfalls, raindrops, traditional Malay boats and animals,” he said.

His proudest moment was when he saw former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi wearing his batik shirt at the Monsoon Cup sailing competition in 2006 — that was when he knew his sacrifice and hard work had paid off.

“But I have yet to come to terms with my business direction. I am still without a retail outlet of my own and all this while, all my designs have been marketed under other people’s labels.

“I make it a point to only create exclusive, one of a kind design, so there are no duplicates, be they hand-painted or block design,” he said.

Irwan’s creations will be on display at the Duyong Pancing Festival at Ri-Yaz Heritage Resort and Spa in Pulau Duyong from June 4 to 6.

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