Incognito No More

My dear friends (that’s everyone who reads this blog, OK?),

In the three years I’ve maintained this blog, I’ve gone by the name Mat Bangkai. This has elicited a number of reactions. Some were amused, some were appalled, some were turned off. But I suspect that many just read me anyway, regardless of the name.

Today (a day as good as any), I would like to wish all of you readers a warm and heartfelt ‘Thank you’. I am touched that you have made me a part (no matter how small) of your lives. I hope you have enjoyed reading me as I have enjoyed your company through the years.

Often, I’ve often been asked the reason why I chose the name Mat Bangkai. For the record, when I started this blog, Bangkai was the word that best described how I felt at the time. Yes, those were trying times. But the thing about hard times is that they eventually pass. And pass they have.

Now that the reasons for going incognito no longer exist, I will shed the Mat Bangkai name and blog under my real name. Yes, the mystique of Mat Bangkai will be gone. But I hope you will still like me all the same – and that blogging as the real me will not turn out to be a mistake

Have a good day, my friends.

Best regards,


53 thoughts on “Incognito No More

  1. O I am so happy to be able to call you by your real name..Man my BIL dah lama told me your real name..And so HELLO!
    So glad to meet the famous very amusing well-known Sofian!
    Man cakap you memang terror tulis English dari duluu!


    Your BIL, Man, and I go back a long way, ma’am.I don’t know about ‘terror’ but I do write in English quite a bit. Someday maybe a book, eh? If only you were a publisher instead of an art dealer…

  2. Yes, Sofian, old chap!

    I will be dropping by, and as always, very looking forward to share your reminiscing of your time in good ole England as I too have had such a time!

    Red Alpha

    Yes, sir. Together we will hunt down those memories. Tally ho!

  3. hi sofi,,,nice to meet you.
    very thotful of u to provide a pic (of ur goodself)that offers two singularly unique perspectives of the man.
    dare i say..many of your loyal “fandoom” may prefer to reflect then to radiate?


    Its a wonderful pic, yes? Its by a budding photographer friend of mine, Shahrir Saadun. The reflection is a metaphor of the Mat Bangkai who has gone away.

    Fandoom? Fandoom it is then! ROTFL

  4. Awwww, sofian.. no matter what your pseudonym, you’ll remain that offbeat, kelakar and occasionally fiendish Mat B to me. Am so happy for you, now that your life has turned around. Cubaan semuanya tu, and you came through little scarred but alright nonetheless.. Alhamdulillah..

    saya (puteri kamaliah?)

    A little scarred is an understatement, ma’am. But let’s just ‘connect the dots’ of the past – as espoused by Steve Jobs

  5. Good for you, Sofian 😀 I’ve known you as Sofian my homeroom-mate, and Mat Bangkai is kinda … errrr … not-quite-approachable-sounding 😛

    Yo QOTH!

    Yeah, the name was kinda forbidding…

  6. Henry Fonda?, David Niven?, aiyah u had ruin the fun lah. OK, first impression, u remind me of that James Bond movie character Goldfinger’s body guard Oddjob, ya put on a bowler hat & u’ll be exactly like him…..hahaha..can u crushes a golf ball with your bare hand?

    Anyway Encik Sofian, this is your prerogative & I’m sure you have your own very good reason. I shall respect that & see u still as my buddy Matt but I don’t know about your fairer sex followers, u know lah some r very shallow one….hehehe. Oops that last line of mine is probably why I still need to be incognito, for my own personal safety mah 🙂

    Good luck & many Cheers,


    P/S – Sofian, now u gotta be EXTRA careful what u write b4 u publish, since u had already exposed yourself.


    Ah, Oddjob! I was racking my brain for the name. The resemblance is uncanny, eh? No, I cant crush golf balls with my bare hands – yet. But I am diligently training my squeezing technique. Trouble is when I squeeze too hard, milk comes out out of the training apparatus. *evil grin*

    See? Even tho I am no longer incognito, I am still the same guy, eh?

  7. Salam,
    Now we know where the ‘sof’t spot comes from; ‘Sof’ian, of course. Hi there Mr.Boe. Glad you are incognito no more. Much, much better than that mat decomposed thing, whatever… Me-still shrouded with the veil.
    Meeting you last Friday was great. No reason not to read your masterpiece(s). Jangan ada yang ter’disappointed’ sudahlah sebab the mystery is now lifted. But, I seriously doubt it!
    Welcome to the face and the name to these wonderful pages!


    We’ll do what we did more often soon. We’ll make a difference with the kids, OK?

  8. Hi Pakcik Sofian (er?),

    Back home is where the soft spot heart is…but MB still suits you best. Perhaps a “Mat Bulat” or Mat Botak? Hehe..Peace!


    There are those who have proposed that MB should stand for Mean Bast*rd!


  9. that you..? nah…you’r somewhat cute..and doesn’t deserved the ‘pakcik’…yet..and that killer, boyish smile..? sheesh, you r one son-of-gun..and those words of Voltaire?..I take it back…:)


    Awww… I was getting used to being called Pakcik; it was kinda nice. And sir, while I wholeheartedly agree that women is a dangerous pursuit, I no longer have the inclination (nor the energy) to pursue them – I let them come to me instead 🙂 (yeah, sure!)

  10. wowee…and i wonder why MB…your reason for going naked 😀

    i did go HARRRRR! where’s the camo pants or at least rugged jeans with a fag over your lips? BUT BUT but….ehk! you remind me of Afdlin Shauki!! *hurhurhur*

    still, it’s the flow from your nibs thats turns me on *lol* OKAY…i know…so salah! But you know what i mean of course.

    *waves* salam che. sofian!!

    salam amyemeelea

    On the streets, I have been mistaken for Afdlin Shauki a couple of times. But I think I’m slightly lighter, tho – and NOT as good-looking

  11. Hello kind Sir 🙂

    I enjoyed reading all of your writings. Thank you for being there for us, and for me especially. Without shame, I am convinced that I want to be just like you someday – a witty old master with an acute sense in writing. Thank you!



    You making me blush here – and Bangkais are not supposed to blush

    Thanks, Afiq

  12. Bro,

    Calling you MatB would still be valid, right? Looking forward to that book that you’re gonna write.


    MatB works for me…

    The book is there, somewhere(more or less) – all I need now is a publisher

  13. Sir,

    It is easier for me to address you as Abang Sofian than er..MB

    x mrsm sban and dil955’s room mate


    You can call me anything you like, ex-MRSMer and dil955’s room-mate 🙂

  14. Wow! This Umbai place is… uhmmm.. really something, eh? *grins* Mat B or Sofian, you’ll always be the dude with that irrepressible brand of wiry humour 🙂


    I think its something in the water here, Andrea 🙂

  15. The man has usmasked himself, and i’m pretty sure the world is welcoming him in anyway he wants to be known 🙂


    You are a kind man, tranquility

  16. Sofian, may I ask where was that picture of you sitting on the bench taken? Those are really huge mirrors and I was almost expecting to see an 80’s pony-tail down the back of your collar, hehe


    Pic was taken at Universiti KL premises, the one at Bandar Wawasan, Kg Baru.

    Why no ponytail? My clients wouldn’t take too kindly to ponytails on their trainers, ma’am.

  17. dear bangsof,

    i’ll be back with justifications for that nick of choice of miine! 😀

    right now there’s a lot of snow waiting for mekyam & the hub on the street. at the rate the snowplows and snowblowers are traversing the streets & blvds, energetically chucking the white stuffs along the sides, we won’t be able to find that tiny thang we call car soon. as it is i hope we don’t dig the wrong mound. hahaha!


    Good luck clearing the snow, ma’am

  18. Sofian,

    So thats your real name eh! Whatever…a rose by any other name will smell just as sweet. In the meantime I will still remain NanaDJ.


    Thank you, NanaDJ.

  19. Mat-san,

    Waah!This is monumental…akin to the unravelling of the mystery of the Shroud of Turin(or something close to that).

    You`ve taken the unpredictability out of the equation now.My own reaction?Not quite the image I had in mind,as my romantic side had always imagined a Bogart clone or some super-cool dude in that mould, or a devil-may-care personae ready to sweep any s.y.t off her feet, like Gary Cooper or Clark Gable. But, your image is consistent with the Blogger known as Mat-B…kind, a little bit disillusioned with the going-on`s around you,patiently tolerating the idiocies and kiasu-mentality of the sea of faceless people in the city,and finally, being able to be somewhat unaffected by your environment, having achieved a Zen-like state in order to stay sane and normal.That yuppie dress style too is not unexpected.

    But, my dear friend, Elviza`s reaction here is, to me very, very honest.

    Guidance: Let`s just say I guess I`m about 20-Kgs lighter,a wee bit shorter(maybe by just a couple of mm`s),neatly mustachioed, and definitely with more hair, than that pix I see here, and about a decade more experienced(and therefore, that bit more cynical, inside me only though, about most things that go on around me).But,like you, I survive armed with a continuous sense of humour, holding on to fond memories of some really tender moments in the not so distant past,and holding on dearly to the longing which goes on all the time to be far from this madding crowd to find some time from a really hectic career and lifestyle to soothe the still glowing embers smoulderin inside me.



    Ah! If only my appearance is as you have imagined…

    But alas, this is what I have become. Now, if I can lose this excess 20kg and be more like you… my doctor would be a happier man – and I guess my wife, too… 🙂

  20. Bro

    Sofian is unmasked! This is indeed a moment for followers of your blog to give pause to. While the mystique was delicious, this unmasking is equally succulent (to me at least). The foodie references does suggest that I should get a snack soon!

    I like the photo. The mirroring suggests a duality that many bloggers (myself included) tend to have – between the real world and the virtual world. I like the nuanced suggestion conveyed by the photo. That said, I actually feel that you should post a photo of yourself resplendent with a Pagoda T-shirt and a sarong contemplating the serendipity of the jetty at Umbai (with fishing boats, nets and a coconut tree as backdrop). Now, that would capture the mood of your recent posts. It’s just a thought 😀

    de minimis

    I am working on this. Going to get me a camera soon – my first camera!

  21. Salaam Sdr Sofian.
    You are exactly what i had pictured in my mind, except for the hair-style, ha ha.
    Anyway to come out of the closet (so as to speak), in my book, takes a lot of courage and with humility too. Your my Man bro…..


    You da man, too!

  22. En Sofian? I’ll have you know that you are a very good-looking chap!

    This, compared to the mental image I have of you, up in my head, which is horribly worse!..err… quite hideous rather! LOL!

    Can you blame me, though? Coz every single term you’ve used to describe yourself has been most unflattering! Perhaps that’s a clever strategy you’ve employed, eh? Hmmm…very clever indeed…hehehe!


    Pat Ong

    You making me blush here!

    I wish I were that clever… 😉

  23. Aaaaaah sofian…. at last i dont hafta think of u as mat bangkai yay!! to be honest, the images of roadkill kept creeping into my thoughts no matter what i did and now thankfully, theres the image of YOU.. thank you 😀 and rest easy friend, its the writing thats making us come back for more, and more.. and more 😉


    You’re a gem,ma’am

  24. Salam and hello Sofian,

    I’ve been a silent reader for months. Decided to introduce myself today. Feel free to call me A or Sky. I hope to return to good old England someday.

    Keep on writing!



    Thanks for dropping by. Always good to have friends around.

    Yeah, someday we’ll return to England, eh?

  25. Off topic Sofi, I thought u might like to observe a minute silent for Air Commodore Charles Widdows; RAF Spitfire & Hurricane test pilot who passed away last month at age 100. He commanded a night fighter squadron in the Battle of Britain. Up to his death, he was the Battle of Britain’s oldest surviving pilot.


    Air Commodore Stanley Charles Widdows, RIP.

    Thanks for the heads up, Tommy. Yes, I guess he will always be remembered for his work as test pilot for Spitfires and Hurricanes at RAF Martlesham Heath and his gallant leadership of the No.29 night-fighter squadron. Why he was given command of Blenheim and Beaufighter squadrons is a mystery to me. The man belonged in Spitfires and Hurricanes.

  26. It’s more alluring to be reading from a Bangkai than a name next door (no offence to the Sofians around). So I shall stick to Bangkai, may I?


    Sure! Bangkai works for me, too.

  27. ..he who does not separates himself from others by opinions or dogma is called a Sufi, Tommy…and you called him Sofi..nice..hmmm..sometimes what is not said speaks louder than words..:) yes, pakmat will call him Sofi, too..


    Wow! This may be more than I can chew…

  28. laaa…sama nama ngan my husband…spelling pun sama…size jer tak sama!! haha! jangan marah…nice to meet you, encik sofian!


    Marah? Taaakk… nanti kena jual…

  29. okay… so why ‘bangsof’?

    pasal en sofian is way too formal,
    and just sofian sounds not so special.
    sof pulak bunyi like mat indon jer,
    and pian would be waaay too familiar.
    now bangsof for me just does the trick;
    abit of your name and abit of the old nick!

    i think the benign reflective pose and smarties [m&m to yanks] won’t melt in the mouth expression in your portrait totally match the gentle wit we’ve come to associate with you.

    great coming out, bangsof… nicely done. surprises are all pleasant ones!


    You’re way to kind, ma’am.

    Bangsof works for me, too…

  30. Salam ‘MB’, Elviza’s sigh… u killed my imagination. But mine was of someone with kopiah, wearing kain pelikat, a Winston ciggy in between his fingers, lepaking at a tangga batu somewhere in Umbai – writing his masterpieces in almost near perfect English.

    BUT, BUT, BUT the ‘hair’ & the ‘middle earth’ still fit in my imagination very well though. Kahkah! Jgn mare. So I guess I can still use ‘MB’ for these two reasons?


    Of course you can, ma’am.

  31. Salam Abg B,
    Honestly, when I started reading your blog, it didnt cross my mind to visualize how you would look like. More of enjoying reading what you have posted.

    But now that you have revealed yourself, well, its a bonus. I’m pretty new myself here. More of silent reader. So, compared to the rest who were here longer, I consider myself as lucky too, to be able to see the real you!


    Its good to meet you, Umie38

  32. Errrrr Pak Mat, that Sufi stuff did not cross my mind at all. I was just thinking back in my younger days in kampung where the girl next door called Sophie who was my mentor on ‘how to keep yourself in a woman good book’, ya Good old Sofi…hehehe.

    But I hope one day to be as deep & as wise as u, Pak Mat……….hmmmmm..maybe once all my teeth drops off, then we become sucker not chewer…hahaha.

  33. Fell in love with your writings ever since I read your stories about a loving couple at Regan’s Park (correct me if I’m wrong at the spelling). I too had the same feeling as yours, being a “bangkai”. So I blogged to feel the emptiness. Yours are part of my inspirations. Others would be Bergen and Awang Goneng. I took up Sir Pok Deng to remain partially anonymous — means, some readers might know me and let them be. For those who aren’t, let them riddled. It’s fun and that makes me feel big in heart.

    Well Uncle Sofian, you look great. The photo above speaks a lot.

    Sir Pok Deng

    Thank you.

    You have the makings of a fine writer. Your imagery is strong and your I suspect you are one who is capable of feeling very deeply. Let’s make this journey together. What say you?

  34. saudara sofian,

    unlike elviza, you’re exactly as i imagined you’d be ! (maybe i’ll tell you why another day)

    sorry for being away for quite sometime as i’ve not been well.


    kassim ahmad

    as salam

    Hope you are better now, sir. Always an honour to have you visit.

    When you are up to it, do share why/how you were able to imagine me to be as I am.

  35. I wish I could have notice the existence of this blog since it first started three years ago.

    Fret not, Grey. You are here now. Look forward to seeing you again.

  36. finally, no more bangkai. i never like the word.

    u shud call urself mat machismo 🙂

    note: didnt know my fren skyjuice is a follower of ur blog.


    Bangkai does sound too much like a riff-raff, eh? But that phase is over now

  37. Haha, no more Bangkai huh? Bangkai sounds menacing but you have a kindly face, so a very pleasant surprise 🙂


    You are too kind, ma’am.

  38. WHOA!!!

    I had imagined you to be skinny, unshaven with unkempt hair, kinda hippyish looking, always with a cigarette hanging at the corner of your mouth, and what’s weird was that in my mind, I never placed you as any race. You were just Mat Bangkai. Pretty daft of me, coz Mat Bangkai is more of a Malay name than anything else.

    Turns out that you’re handsome dude! Sofian suits you indeed!

    Meanwhile… Mat Bangkai will always be that bangsa-less hippy in my mind!


    Thank you, ma’am. I’m just not accustomed to being thought of as by handsome by anyone.

    Funny, isn’t it? In my mind Mat Bangkai is also that ‘bangsa-less’ hippy that time forgot.

  39. It’s finally nice to put a face to your nom de plume. Nice to meet you, Sofian.
    I’ve not been actively blog-hopping, but this is a very pleasant surprise! Another mystery unravelled. Hurrah!


    Nice to meet you,too, ma’am.

  40. Salam Sofian,
    Its liberating, this Sofian going naked, eh? With loads of charm and wit to dazzle, can I say that I am very very glad that you are not drop dread handsome too? It’s a nice surprise…

    As salam rovitah

    The only woman who ever accused me of being handsome was a lady by the name of Enchum Mohd Bahar: she was my grandmother. So, that doesn’t count 🙂 No one has has ever dreamed of calling he handsome – no one in their right mind, that is…

    I am glad it was a nice surprise.

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