Friday, June 14, 2013

Teluk Batik ... Teluk Rubiah .. memories of a lost playground

Showing off the place where I grew up in brings much sweet memories as well as heartaches .... sweet memories of the wonderful times I had in the place I grew up in ... heartaches to see what people do to destroy in the name of 'development' the natural beauty of the places.

I dedicate this blog to Teluk Batik & Teluk Rubiah ... the lost playground .....

I brought my guests to Teluk Batik .. to show off the beautiful beach in my hometown ... I always think that Sitiawan/Pangkor has the most beautiful beaches in Malaysia .. I have seen and been to many other beaches .... all kalah to the beauty and sand of the beaches that I grew up in .. till I went to Teluk Batik last week ...

It was in Teluk Batik that I was baptized ... by Rev. Hwa Chien as a teen ... it was in Teluk Batik that I had my 1st MIF camp ... in the chalets (right side of the beach) -- still there now ... and later we had it in the chalets on the left side of the beach ... but the place is now torn down ... perhaps business was bad ... it was in Teluk Batik that I first learned to kayak ... and it was in Teluk Batik that I had my 1st campfire and sleeping on the beach experience --- SMei and I were in the school band and the school band organized campfire night in Teluk Batik. We zzzz till suddenly we felt our feet cold and chilly .... low and behold ... the tide came to our "bed" and we had to shift our beds ... :0 .... the beach used to be bigger and longer ... my coconut trees which I used to sit under to enjoy the breeze is now all gone!

Looking at Teluk Batik now ... it looks the same as PD or Morib or Batu Feringgi or Teluk Cempedak ... Danga Bay ... Tioman Island ... Tanjung Bidara or Klebang Beach .. all the same ... commercialized! This is what 'development' and 'tourism' has done! Sad sad ....

As I googled on Teluk Rubiah .... --- the beach that we used to cycle some 20-30km to almost every Saturday mornings .... hike up .... through land (jungle path) or if the tide is low ... hike among the rocks till we reach the hidden beach .... we get the beach all to ourselves .... we sometimes hike from Teluk Rubiah to Teluk Batik ... and "shower" in the waterfall near Teluk Batik.... the jungle before Teluk Rubiah was the place where people who undergo OBS (Outward Bound School) training will be sent to for solo camping ... they are given few match sticks, canned food and a tent ... they are suppose to survive 2 nights perhaps on their own in this place.

When I was young, I asked the locals (people from Kampung Kamaruddin) why no one build chalets or campfire or zzzz in the beach -- and the legend of this place ... it seems this beach is haunted ... haunted by the ghost of the princess ... she was promised to be married but she waited and waited on the beach for her lover to return and he never did ....

Anyway ... the horrifying fact is that -- first, some goons came and build a golf resort on it and destroyed the beautiful tracks we used to hike from Kampung Kamaruddin to Teluk Rubbiah .... now, the resort is sold to an iron factory ... the entire place had been destroyed ...

The author of the blog seemed to be upset ... but as a local who grew up enjoying the place even before the resort was build --- its even worst the feelings ... i cut and paste the article and pictures of the place .... just in case this info go missing some day but I doubt the genuine concern of this article because the author seem to be promote Teluk Batik-Teluk Rubbiah hike at the end ...

The Teluk Rubiah Beach & Golf Resort or Teluk Rubiah as it was known, has closed its doors. The valley is sold to a Brazilian iron factory. From October 2010 on, the valley will be permanently closed to public, the golf course will be transformed in an iron factory.

Teluk Rubaih
Teluk Rubiah beach, from October 2010 only available for the
lucky 500 who will work at the iron factory.
The take over must have been prepared for some years as there is a lot of money involved (I heard RM20 million. And if it is not enough... a few kilometers at sea a new platform will be build for the huge cargo ships to dock.
What will be the situation for Lumut, Seri Manjung and Pulau Pangkor? Huge ships will come to bring raw iron and take the processed materials away. This will mean a lot more pollution to area and will have an effect on both Teluk Batik and Pangkor beaches.
Teluk Rubiah
Pangkor tourism will be affected.
  • Teluk Batik beach will be polluted.
  • Pangkor fishermen will find that their catch will be more polluted and have difficulties with finding the fishing waters.
  • Marina Island project is doomed, who wants to buy a condo or apartment close to such a factory in polluted waters?
  • Garbage and waste, already dropped by ships will increase and pollute the beaches all around including Pangkor and Teluk Batik (it is already a problem).
Regardless what the factory will do to try to reduce the effects of environment damage, there WILL be damage done. It's already begun.
Teluk Rubiah
Unusual view over Teluk Rubiah from one of the surrounding hills
Teluk Rubiah has its own beach which will be lost for tourists too. One can only wonder why such a factory has to be build right next to a tourist destination as Pangkor.
The 29 traditional styled chalets will not be destroyed and be in use for staff and management.
Teluk Rubiah golf course
Teluk Rubiah is sold for the sake of "progress". And the reason for the sale? Teluk Rubiah Beach and Golf Resort didn't make enough money. Actually, the resort made money, but it was the golf course that cost more then it brought in.
Teluk Rubiah golf course
With the lack of decent promotion there were not enough investments to maintain the quality of the resort and went in decay. Am I exaggerating? For each chalet the last few years was only ONE set of sheets and towels available!!! It's a sad story and what is worse, it seems no one cares about here in Seri Manjung and Sitiawan. The decision has been made, the factory will come and Teluk Rubiah will be rebuild at a small beach close to Teluk Batik. And to serve the golf lovers, a small golf drive range is being build at Teluk Batik.
Teluk Rubiah
Am I a cynic to call this "progess"? Wasn't it possible to give this area which is so close to both Teluk Batik and Pulau Pangkor a more touristy destination? I can only hope the fishing industry at Pangkor will not suffer too much from this project. And as for Teluk Batik, there is already at some days more rubish drifting on to the beach from what the ships drop in the ocean. It will only get more and the water quality will get less.
But money talks, as always. I can only wonder who is making the money in this case.
Teluk Rubiah beach
This view will only available for the lucky 500 who will work at the iron factory


There's a good hikes to do from Teluk Rubiah to Teluk Batik. It is unclear if this will be possible in the future as, which makes sense, Teluk Rubiah will be no longer assessable for public. I am glad I have been able to do many hikes in this area, so at least I can show you what a pleasure the jungle here is. Read more this hike from Teluk Batik to Teluk Rubiah

Thursday, June 6, 2013


As I was preparing Emptiness as a sermon, I was surprise to the words and phases used to describe it - a person that is facing emptiness situation when the person feels a lack of meaning or purpose in life, lack of sense of self, emotional numbness or despair, bored with life, lazy, lonely and depressed. Think that many of us can identify with these feelings. I for one, can .. and I thought it was just sian mood ... or just being lazy ... and then it hit me ... why sian and lazy .... cos I feel a sense of emptiness and void inside.. And this begun my search for answers -- why is emptiness there and how then we deal with it?

How do people normally deal with this sense of emptiness? Common ways is just to start filling it with all sorts of activities and things --- from physical chase (money, properties, possessions, shopping, pleasures of life - sex ... wine, various addictions etc) , emotional chase (love, relationships) mental chase (knowledge, power of the mind). King Solomon summarizes the way men fulfilll and deal their emptiness in Ecclesiastes 1 & 2 .... concluding that all activities under the sun is like chasing after the wind, meaningless, meaningless, ie, its empty.

There are three reasons why we feel empty :
a) God created emptiness when He created heavens and earth ... Gen 1 : 1 - 2. Though He created emptiness, He begun to fill it with the splendor of the universe, land, water, plants, animals and men. Everything that He created had a purpose and function, ie, He did not create something to leave it void but to ensure that everything that He created has a purpose .... meaning. Hence, we all need to find out the reason and purpose God created each and everyone of us. Until we find this out, we will be drifting from one end to another, one thing to another and therefore, feels empty.

b) Ecclesiastes 3:11b says that God has placed eternity in us. Meaning, we are created for eternity. Hence, nothing in time and space can fulfill the void in us until Jesus fills us with His eternal life. In a way, I find that this is a build in mechanism to search and thirst after our Eternal God.

c) It is S.A.Tan's method to makes us empty so that he can fill our mind, hearts, life with his desires, thoughts etc .... so that he can control us. His ultimate plan to control us so that he can kill, steal and finally destroy us. However John 10:10 says Jesus came to not only give us life but life more abundantly --- which means Jesus came to fill up our lives ... till it overflows ... and it is never His intention to empty us.

So, how then do we deal with emptiness? King Solomon besides giving a list of empty activities, he also gave us the key to solve emptiness in Ecc 2 : 24 - 26 :

"So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God. For who can eat or enjoy anything apart from him?  God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy to those who please Him. But if a sinner becomes wealthy, God takes the wealth away and gives it to those who please him. This, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind." = the key is God ..... apart from God, one cannot find fulfillment or be full.

Now, the challenging question we need answer is : Can we, who have Jesus eternal life in us and filled by the Holy Spirit feel empty? .... my answer : OFF COURSE!!! and these are my reasons why we still feel empty inside of us sometimes.

1) Looking at the life of King Solomon again, we can find the 1st reason why men feel empty inside though one may have the entire world at the tip of his fingers. Ecc 2:10 gives us the key reason why : Anything I wanted, I would take. I denied myself no pleasure. I even found great pleasure in hard work, a reward for all my labors. Here, we can see King Solomon succumb to 3 deadly sins that caused him to turn his heart away from God - the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. Once our heart and focus is turn away from God, we will step into emptiness. But we will not know it until we are far far away from God ... cos we will for a moment be very busy with lots of other things .... but at the end, we will realize that the things leave us empty and dry ... like the song goes : Jesus I am weary, won't You come and fill me .. earthy things have left me dry ... only You can satisfy ....

2) Unanswered Prayers according to our ways and our timing
Like a child who does not get what he wants, we can also go on a sulking mode when our prayers and requests are not given, especially when we have been praying over a period of time. When we sulk .... we feel angry with God, reject His presence and feel disappointed or even hurt by God. Emotional weariness and tiredness sets in and draw us away from God, leaving us with the feeling of empty.

3) Physically tired and drained. One cannot deny that when we are too stressed out and drained from the demands of life, work etc, we feel empty inside.

4) Sin, disobedience and pride/arrogance. We know that sin separates us from God and when we do not want to deal with a prolonged sin, and think that it is OK or we are right, this will harden our heart and blots out the presence of God in our lives. Knowing this, David cry out to God to blot out his sin and not to take away His Spirit and presence away from him (Ps 51 : 9 - 12)

5) Finally, emptiness is in us - why? Because we are born in void, in sin we are created, born into emptiness, into hell until Jesus snatched us away from sin and hell and fill us with His LIFE. This means that it is our nature, our flesh man to feel empty. As much as we struggle with our old man, our sinful nature daily, we will also struggle with emptiness constantly because it is part of us.

So, what's the solution to emptiness? Allow me to suggest 3 familiar steps :
1) To come to God again and re-focus our lives once again on God. There is no other way, only God and God alone can fill us and not leave us dry.

2) Mend the leak in our spirit -- now that we know we have emptiness within us, try to identify the reasons of this feeling .... if it is sin that we need to confess and humbly ask Holy Spirit to change us, do so. We need to spent time to connect with ourselves and connect with God once again

3) Eternal life is lived by FAITH and not by sight or emotions. Thus, do not allow emotions control and determine our steps -- after all, emotions come and go .. and hearts can be deceiving. We need to trust His Word and not our emotions. Eph 5:18 ask us to be filled with the Holy Spirit .... go be be filled!

Finally, the good news is .... emptiness, though it is real, it is not to stay, it is not a permanent thing in our lives. It is not eternal when we have the ETERNAL LIFE of Jesus in us!   Halleluyah!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Prayer Camp 2013 Stations

Something which I precious that I have picked up and really enjoy and appreciate from TTC and handling Prayer Day is prayer stations. Prayer stations like station games is stations prepared to help people to reflect and connect with God - allowing space for Holy Spirit to speak to one through the stations. 

We have just completed our 2d/1m prayer camp at Tg Puteri Golf Resort. This is my second time organizing a prayer camp with the youths.  There were only  9 campers this time around but the figure is just nice for me to manage and we all fit nicely into the bungalow at the resort .... ample of space to create stations.

I was very blessed with many helping hands from the "young adults" of our group .... we have a driver, a cook (a great male cook I might add!), a person to manage money, logistics ... a "back-up" man who stands in the gap to help in any area that is overlooked. I very happy to see them reaching out to love and be the Da Ker / Jie to the younger ones.

The drive to Tg Puteri makes one feel as if we are driving to the end of the world .... :) .... anyway, we finally arrived .... a little disappointed that the recreation provided by the resort is not very well maintained and not available ... example ... the Amigo horses .... the guy say .... oh ... the horse is not around .... went some where some where to eat grass ... may come back tomolo ~~~~ welcome to Malaysian mentality --- semua boleh one ... :0

Going thru search engine and through prayer, I prepared the following for the camp :
Cross in the center of the room ....

Various ways of prayer :
a) Wailing Wall --- prepared a poster for people to write their prayers on paper and paste on it

b) Healing wall --- a poster prepared with a little prayer and promises of God regarding prayer. Encouraged the participants to take time to stand in front of the wall to pray for someone they know who needs healing -- physically or emotionally or mentally or even spiritually ....

c) Count Your Blessings -- thanksgiving corner.Participants are asked to write down what they can thank God for in during the time in the camp

d) Prayers on butterflies flying towards heavenward -- in this station, members are asked to write their prayers for Malaysia on the butterfly paper provided and hang them over the strong provided.

e) Over the map of Malaysia ....
At this station, members to think of what we want our nation to be and what we want to pray for Malaysia. In a word, write in the colorful post-stick paper provided.  I got all of us to sit around the map of Malaysia, stretch out our hands and pray the word that we want to pray for. Surprised to see that post-sticks all across the nation .... the youths really pray for various states in our nation.

Creative Reflective Stations :

Reflective Painting Prayer Station :
       Participants are given a picture with a Bible verse on it and asked to read the Bible verse in the paper you have. If you do not understand, please ask your Teacher to explain.

      Pray and ask God what He wants to say to you through the verse
      Start painting / coloring … as you do open your heart, be still, listen to His voice ….
      Write down your thoughts, what you hear and how you feel ….

 Reflection :  The Greatness  of Your God, Your Creator

Touch & Feel & See Prayer Station

·         Take a stone from the basket and read the verses prepared(I prepared scriptures on God's power in creation)
·         Take your time to Touch, feel and look at the texture and formation of the stone.
·         How do you feel? What thoughts come to your mind?
·         The same Person who created the stone you are holding created you …
·         What is Your Creator telling you?
·         Write them down

Candles and soft worship music to enhance the atmosphere

 Symbols of Hurt :
 Got the youths to read the following instruction. When they are ready, they are to take the candle and go to the 3 burning candle prepared in front (3 = Father, Son & Holy Spirit) to light their candle up to burn up what is written. It signifies that by themselves, the cannot forgive or be forgiven. Only when we come to God, He will help us.


The world is broken in many ways. Everyone experiences broken relationships.  Our relationships with others, God, the planet and oneself.
What hurtful things have been said to you? What hurtful things have been done to you? If you were to write a word, or draw a symbol to describe these, what would it be?
Draw it on the paper provided. As your do, acknowledge Gods presence here with you now.
Now, flip the paper over (or take a fresh sheet).  Think of what hurtful things you have said and done.  If you were to write a word, or draw a symbol to describe them, what would it be?
Draw it on the paper and as you do, continue to allow God to be part of the process.
Look at your symbols; do you want to take them with you?  Or do you want to let them go?
If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will purify us from all unrighteousness. Jesus said, “If you let go of the hurtful things people do to you, so God will also let go of the hurtful things you do.” This is forgiveness.
Think carefully. Are you willing to let go? If you are, then take the candle and burn the paper. Let go of them as God lets go of the hurtful things you do.
You are loved. You are free. You are forgiven.
Write down your experience in this station.

  Feelings on Plate Station :

      The plate represent your face
      Creatively express how you feel on the plate right now …. sad, angry, hurt, happy, excited, confused, tired, lonely …..
      Write down why you feel like that
      Ask God to take away your negative emotions and fill you with His love and joy
      Take a verse : pray, declare and claim it in your life