By Mansor Puteh
One thing I liked about being able to work on this documentary is that I was able to find the right excuse to return to
after my first visit there in April, 1990. Portugal
I was in Lisbon for the first time in April, 1990 when my feature film, ‘Seman: A Lost Hero’ was selected for the Figueira da Foz Film Festival where I found out that it was nominated for best film.
It was also in
then when I had tried to pitch for my
documentary at a film production company which in the end did not take it for a
series of programs they were producing for a local television station. London
Unfortunately, the program also did not go on very far, and the few documentaries that they had commission were also not so well distributed in film festivals or discussed.
I had flown into the old airport from
London where I had to wait for five hours before catching
the Portuguese airline TAP flight to .
Filming for the documentary also took me to
Palembang, Jakarta, Macau,
Hong Kong and Paris where I had thought of
from there during the last Ramadan. Portugal
But the plan was aborted and I got stuck in
for the whole week.
I went to Paris Lisbon from a few days after Hari Raya
Puasa. Kuala Lumpur
This time it was easier as I did not have to get a visa to enter the country like I had to the first time.
I was lucky to be able to go to
for a seminar on Asian cinema,
where I took the time to go to the Portuguese embassy to get it. New Delhi
But the local Indian woman staff asked for some money before I was able to collect my international passport. And she would do it openly like it was not an offense.
They now have a consulate, but they are not helpful in any way.
This could be the reason why some had to be pushed to walk the streets to become pushers of drugs, and they would do it so openly whether what they are doing is actually what they are doing.
Or if they are just trying to see who buys the drugs so the authorities could follow their tracks, and especially if they order a large consignment that the pushers say they can supply as I do not think there are that many people in
who consume the matter privately. Lisbon
I did not see any of that. Maybe I had come to
when they had
become tired of demonstrating and were now resting, before they take to the
streets again. Lisbon
And from what I could see there was no poverty there. The roads are clean and the drains not clogged like in
. The tourists flocking the Praca
do Comercio looks local, but most of them are from the EU. Few are from
elsewhere. Kuala Lumpur
There are many Bangladeshis operating souvenir stalls and I also got to go to their area where they have a small masjid.
The Muslim population in
seems to be quite large or significant
as I can see many men wearing the skull cap or ketayap and women covering their
heads; they are mostly Africans who are probably from the former Portuguese
However, I found out later that there is a much bigger masjid in the city when I was taking the tourist bus and also the bus taking me back to the airport.
I tried to look for the Rua Afonso de Albuquerque or
Afonso de Albuquerque Road,
and found it in my Tablet and in the process was accosted by the stone statue
of Dom Manuel 1.
He was the King of Portugal in the Fifteenth Century who had ordered Portuguese fleet to sail the seas to reach Goa in
India, Melaka in Tanah Melayu, Macau in China and Jakarta
and Timor Timor in Indonesia,
sitting outside of the . Military
But when I wanted to go there I could not find it. Even the locals who live and work near the road did not know about it.
The road must be so narrow and so hidden and so unimportant that they could not show me where it was.
I guessed it was near the old church where many tourists would flock to, but with so few of them actually praying.
At the side of the church building is a tram line where trams pass along taking passengers comprising of tourists mostly.
The locals do not need to take them as they do not run too fast, along the roads which look old and narrow as most of the old roads in the city are.
Most of the Portuguese would not know that their ancestors were formerly Muslims.
And it seems that most of them also do not know that they are Catholics, as much as the others in the west whose ancestors had gone on the crusade, which now does not mean much to them anymore, as one church after the other has been neglected and left to be sold off to some Muslims to be turned to masjids.
There is a much larger masjid I saw as the bus was taking me back to the airport from the city. It looked new and was probably built by the Arab and other Muslim businessmen there.
I wish to go to
for a return trip and if I get to do that, I will surely want to drive to the
other cities including Porto and Figueira da Foz, and perhaps enter Spain to go to where a Malaysian friend is living. Malaga