Tuesday November 24

We selected our bus carefully and were rewarded with no kids and a front seat. Our bus got lost going to the Chinese Buddist Temple so we got a drive through the Chinese suburbs of Ipoh. We were a half hour behind the others and missed the guided tour through the temple. There were no explaination boards around so we understood little of this temples significance but it was pretty awesome.

The cave temple was beautifully done with a polished concrete floor and lots of marble tiles. The many large statues were painted in gold. Various levels have us a good overall view of the cave and the lovely reflection garden on the other side of the cave and surrounded by high limestone karst formations.

Everything was lush, damp and well tended.

Next was the city of Ipoh. This is the capital of the Malaysian State of Perak. It's history began with the tin mining in the 1880's. The tin rush sparked huge growth and wealth. The population was 27500 by 1914, mainly Chinese immigrants.

We did a heritage building tour on foot in the heat, starting with the Railway Station, a twin of the KL Railway Station built in the Neo Classical Style. Often referred to as the “Taj Mahal” of Ipoh.

Town Hall and old post office by same architect as station.

The town is named for the Ipoh tree from which in times gone by the indigenous people used the toxic sap for their poisoned darts fired from a blow pipe. 2 trees still survive in the city and this is one of them.

The clock tower is a memorial to J.W.W Birch the first British resident of Perak. The panels portray famous figures from world history.

Wall murals by Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic adorn the walls of many old warehouses and buildings.

We were let loose to find our own lunch and we settled too quickly for a basic Chinese Restaurant. We should have looked further afield before deciding as the girls found a great spot for lunch while wandering around afterwards.

I was still searching for 5mm fuel hose to replace what I had borrowed back in Indo to fix the Genset. No luck there.

On the way back it was raining too hard for our planned visit to Kellie' s Castle but we did stop at a large fruit shop where we sampled many different fruits.

Quiet night on Gemini Lady with Aircon actually running for a while.

Wednesday November 25

I went off searching for the fuel hose I needed. My search took me back over to Pangkor Island with Graham off New Views. No luck there so I sought help from James and ended up driving around with him for 3 hours solving other yachties problems and requirements until finally we found 5mm fuel hose at a paint shop would you believe, where James needed to place an order for paint.

It was interesting chatting to one of the local shopkeepers here in Lummut, Malaysia. He was absolutely disgusted with his country after media reports today indicated that 11% of Malaysian Muslims support ISIS. Discussing this with others later I also heard that media sources have suggested that 25% of British Muslims support ISIS. I have seen secret video footage taken inside the London Mosque showing a lecture to some women, the content of which I would definitely call seditious. The question remains: how do we manage the Islamic question at home? ISIS is one problem and a convenient target to bomb but the more insidious issue for the western democracies and possibly the more moderate Islamic Countries, is what is currently being preached inside the Mosques of our Islamic communities. To some degree we seem paralysed by our constitutionally enshrined rights to free speech and freedom of religion. Our current laws on sedition are mired in controversy as they impact free speech. The central question here being, “Is speech which may be considered to incite seditious behaviour an action or not?” The only precedent legal cases I have seen referenced date back to the days when communist ideology was considered seditious in law. I think it is about time we had some open community debate about where we draw the line between freedom of speech, freedom of religion (and I include atheistic communism and any other ideology that fits under the broader definition of religion as “world view”) and seditious behaviour.

We might even have to go further and first consider what our own and other Western Democracies actually stand for and value. A bill of human rights might result that provides an ideal and a benchmark for our politics and laws.

Hopefully from the clarity of this perspective we can target the root of current problems such as, what I consider to be, the seditious side of Islam, lawfully and without vilifying or living in fear of the millions of wonderful Muslim people in our own communities and throughout the world.

Got back to Gemini Lady around 1430 absolutely starving. Fortunately Lea had bought some French Quiche and Lemon Merangue Tarts from the local French cook.

Caught up with Cattiva to trade some movies and music and saw Ray off Parlay to give him the fuel hose. All chores complete we were all set for a big night at the Marina with dinner and a band. The same band we enjoyed back at JB. The food was great. The beer was free and we danced all night. Great finish to our stay at Pangkor Marina. Big thank you to James, Rose and all the crew that worked so hard to meet all our needs.

Thursday November 26

Left the Marina and motored around to the lovely bay in front of the restaurants on the west side of Pangkor Island. Spent most of the day catching up on this blog while local jet skis and Watersport boats did circles around us. One jet ski rider came in too close once too often and got the air horn right in his ear. That got the message out there and the operator came out to apologise. Dinner ashore at the great restaurant we enjoyed for a lunch a few days ago.

Friday November 27

Moved round to another part of the bay to get away from Watersport enthusiasts. Bit of SUPing around the bay before spending one and a half hours underwater cleaning the hull and props. Just beginning to get some of the barnacle activity this area is reknowned for. We have been asked to carry the 10 VIP's for the Penang Convey under the Bridge. It's the 10th Anniversary of Sail Malaysia and a big milestone for our organiser and all round great guy Sazli. So Lea has been in the galley making slice.

Big thunderstorm just went through as I write this with lots of rain, noise and flashes. Next stop Penang.