Thursday, October 25, 2007


Ini adalah catatan atas permintaan Pak Zainol Arshad : Getting To Know You & Acquiantance With The Kirkbyites .


Borned from a poor and rural family in the disrict of Sik , Kedah. Life was then very harsh for the family as I was born at the time when the Japanese invaded Malaya . My poor mother and father had to work hard as food was scarce . As everybody knows the Japanese confiscated anything for their own use ……..especially rice . My family had no choice but to eat tapioca cooked with leaves collected from the forest . Since small my diet was either mashed roasted bananas or ubi torak rebus . And I presumed most of the babies in the village ate that too.

Yeah, I was brought-up in that kampong , far in the jungle . The jungle life I got made me more or less like “ Kunta-Kinte” . The jungle was a “city” by itself . The experience of jungle life made me experts in certain fields . I can collect leaves , roots , shoots of trees that can be eaten .I could trap pelandok easily , I was able to catch them alive through a special method of drumming the ground. The pelandok will come jumping and dancing ,thinking that it was King Solomon’s beating the drum . Nowadays no way I can catch them . There are no more pelandoks . Everyday climbing up trees was a must . Then jumping down using the akar kayu like what the Tarzan used to do . Most fathers and mothers never bothered their children daily activities . The jungle was our playground . We too played football . We kicked pameloes all over through shrubs and bushes . Of course barefooted..

I cannot remember how the hell I was sent to school . I was a good scholar . I never skip attending school. I liked attending school. It was here that I learned to ‘love’ school teachers . And teachers ‘love’ me too . I often brought presents to my teachers . Mostly fruits of the jungle . Petai is no acceptional . My teachers also like buah lemba . It is a magic fruit : If you eat buah lemba , the plain water that you drink gets sweeter . Daily I walked about 2 kilometers to school , through the deep jungle . No shoes of course , because I felt uncomfortable with the shoes on .Sometimes wild boars passed my route to school . I was in my birthday suit half-way to school ,just to avoid the school uniforms got wet when trespassing through the bushes and what not . I only put on my school uniforms comprising of a white shirt and a khaki shorts when everything was OK . I carried a bag made from mengkuang palm leaves . In it I put my slate board . No books….I mean text-books . People today carry their laptops . The slate board ( papan batu) was our laptops then . I attended school bare-footed . I don’t remember any kid wearing shoes to school then .

I didn’t realize that I was a bright student until I was selected to the English school in the special malay class. Among my friends selected were sons of school teachers and the daughter of the district officer. I was only the only ‘jungle-boy ‘ . I believed that my success was due to my respect to my teachers . So I always kept in mind to respect the teachers.

At Ibrahim school I was given a place in the hostel . The hostel was just a wooden house with the roof made from nipah palms leaves . We had to share only one tap water to bath and wash . We had to queue to ease ourselves . But luckily there was a jungle behind the hostel , and in that jungle I made myself free to ease . Nobody knew it until today . Thanks God for being made me intelligent to suit myself to a new envoirenment . I don’t remember how I could cope up with life-style at the hostel . Especially at the eating table , I had to eat using fork and spoon . Everybody was talking in English , and I didn’t understand a word of English then . But how the hell I could adjust myself in any occasion …… culture-shock ………..thanks Allah . Later when I watched the TV series ‘MIND YOUR LANGUAGE’ , my nostalgic days emerged . Why not ! that characters of Ali Nadim and Sarjit Singh learning English with Mr.Brown made me laughed without end . When Ali Nadim was asked , “What is your name ? “ . His answer was ,” What is not my name” . I don’t remember how I myself answered it when my first English teacher Mr. Abdul Rahim bin Mohd Yusof ( a kirkbyite from the first batch ) asked me , as I knew not a word of English ……….It was a kirkbyite who made me uttered the first English word ….thank you Mr. Abdul Rahim…peace be upon your soul . Later when I was selected to undergo in-service course at STTI,Cheras , for a year , I again met Mr.Abdul Rahim . He was then a Vice-Principal of the college . When he saw me he shouted ,”Pak Hitam”, ( that was the nick-name I was popular with in school then ) . After separating for more than 20 years ,he could still remember me …..what a teacher he was ( so are the kirkbyites whom I got to know them ).

I am please to list out my former teachers from Kirkby : In bracket is the location of their service , where acquiantances permitted .

First batch:

Abdullah Yunus ……………......( Ibrahim School ,Sungai Petani )
Abd.Rahim Mohd.Yusoff ( ,, )
Ahmad Merican ( ,, )
John Augustin ( ,, )
Hj.Abu Hassan Ali ( SITC , Tg. Malim )
Hj.Baharuddin Marji ( ,, )
Ismail Osman ( Ibrahim School,Sungai Petani)
Maimunah Ali ( STTI , Cheras )
Siti Kalthom ( State Education Department )

Second batch :

Aziz Bin Omar ( Language Institiut , Lembah P )
Dr. Chua Tee Tee ( STTI , Cheras )
Hashim Yunus ( Ibrahim School )
David Raman ( Ibrahim School )
Wan Dus Muhammad ( SITC , Tg. Malim )

Third Batch :

Abd.Aziz bin Sultan ( SITC , Tg. Malim )
Shaari Isa ( SITC , Tg. Malim )
Syed Abu Bakar ( Sik English School , Kedah )

Fouth Batch :

Fang Ewe Churh ( Ibrahim School, Sungai Petani )
Mohd. Noor Che Noh ( Ibrahim School,Sungai Petani )
Ridzuan Md.Ali ( SITC , Tanjong Malim )

Others ( I don’t know from which batch )

1.Aziz Hasbullah ( Ibrahim School , Sungai Petani )
2.Zainol Akbar ( SITC , Tg. Malim )
3.M.A.Hussein ( Gov.English School,Rawang )

Incase I forget to mention ,if any , my thousand apologies ( quote : Sarjit Singh ( Mind Your language).

1 comment:

Azizi Ahmad Termizi: said...

Pak Cha

Nice to read your celoteh again. This morning I had the opportunity of meeting Hj Ramli Shaari (Kirkby second batch 1952-1954) in KL .

He is from Kuala Kangsar and is my father's friend although they are from diffrent batch in Kirkby

May be Pak Non knows him.