THE MESSAGE NO 137 - APRIL 2013
SPONSORED BY HJ. ABDUL HALIM FROM KUCHING, SARAWAK
ATTENDING HJ. BAHARI SON'S WEDDING
2nd March, 2013. At 12.30 I pushed off heading towards PJ. When I drove into Section 14 I tried to locate the house. However, I got lost driving round and round. Finally, when I took the road from Sekolah Sri Aman driving straight into Paramount Garden, I located the place where the Hj. Bahari son's wedding was taking place.
On approaching the house, I saw several canopies in place. Guests were all over the place, walking, talking, sitting, drinking and eating. I asked to see Haji Bahari to show my face. When I located him, he told me that John Chinniah and Pathmarajah have already arrived.
I went to look for the duo. They were sitting at a well-decorated table and had finished eating. John is a familiar face, but Pathmarajah was a little strange to me. Small wonder, because I have only seen him once several years ago at one of the birthday parties at Dato' Ted Milesfs house. A little later, William Joo walked in with Nancy his spouse. The guests were a big crowd. The food was superfluous and good especially the briyani rice. We had a delectable tucking in.
As we enjoyed the feast, we talked of all and sundry. We met someone from Bentong too who also knows many of our friends in Bentong. Later we had a snap shot with Bahari and his spouse Siti Rohani bt. Mohd. Ramly.
Congratulations and felicitations to the newly-weds
ROZANA ZETI BINTI BASIR and HISHAM BIN BAHARI
FROM THE CAT CITY BACK TO BENTONG FOR A LOOK SEE
I got up and called Hj. Abdul Halim from Kuching, Sarawak. No, not a long distance called for Abdul Halim had flown in from across the South China Sea from Kuching. He had called me last night while I was driving home to Desa Petaling. Then and there I have promised him that we would meet in Bentong today.
So when I called him, he was ready. He told me house go to No. 120 in Kampong Baru. Soon I was on my way down to Kampong Baru looking for the house. As I was new to the area, I drove round and round. While looking about I called Abdul Halim again and again trying for direction to locate his house. It took me about half an hour to find the place. Then a man wearing a scalp cap waved. I drove towards him. When I alighted from the car, two strangers met. I did not know him, neither does he I. Anyway, we befriended at first sight.
Abdul Halim invited me into the house his sister's residence in Kampung Baru, in Bentong. We sat down and had a brief chitchat over a cold drink. It was very refreshing. Briefly, Abdul Halim started schooling in MES in 1950. He showed a class photo where the late Wong Yoon Chong was the acting principal and the late Surendernath was his teacher. He mentioned of a few names that are so familiar like: Munzir, Mokhtar Mat Piah, Mohd. Noor Lisut, Zainal Lisut, Zulkifly Ariffin, etc.
From the Methodist English School in Bentong, Abdul Halim his finished school certificate year in MBS Kuala Lumpur. From thence on he followed one of his close relatives and hopped over to Brunei where he taught in a school for some years. Then he went over to Kuching to teach in a secondary school called Sekolah Rakyat Tuanku Abdul Rahman.
From there he studied in the Rejang Teachers' Training College. As soon as he graduated from that institution, he was appointed the headmaster of Selolah Rendah Kebangsaan Bako. From there he was transferred to Sekolah Rendah Kebangsaan, Semariang again also assuming the headship there.
I drove Hj. Abdul Halim to visit our mentor. Dato' Ted Miles was very pleased and happy to meet him. He took some time and looked at some pictures that Abdul Halim had brought along before he recognized his formeer student. Here is a picture of Hj. Abdul Halim visiting his former principal. Both were so happy to have this opportunity.
Hj. Abdul Rahim married a Sarawakian and they have six children. He was here to visit his relatives in Bentong and in Janda Baik, the village where he was born and brought up, near Bukit Tinggi.
After visiting our mentor, I drove Abdul Halim to where our school MES used to be situated. Of course, the whole landscape where our school stood has completely changed. Not only the school was not there but the ground around the area had totally been bulldozed to make way for a new building. Up the hill now stands a new Rest House. Over and above the area are no found modern houses. I drove up there and descended back to the main road at where the Cathay Cinema was. But the theatre had given way to a shopping mall called Vega Mall.
Back to Kampung Baru where a row of eateries stands, we had lunch. During our feasting, Hj. Abdul Halim said he has some land to dispose of. After lunch we drove down to Benus to have a glimpse of his land which is situated yonder across the river. There is no bridge and access could only be had using a bamboo raft! There are durian and other fruit trees on the land according to the man. Anybody interested in an orchard across the river at the 3rd Mile Bentong-Karak road? It is available for rent or sale.
CELEBRATING DATO' TED MILESfS 86TH BIRTHDAY
On the 17th of February around twenty of us celebrated our mentorfs 86th birthday. It was a smaller gathering compared to previous years, but we had a very enjoyable birthday party for him.
Left to right: Nancy Joo, Lee Kim Thye, Choo Oi Mei, Datof Ted Miles, Chan Suy Sang, Tham Foo Sam, Mr. Jeya (partly hidden), Ng Kam Thye, Mrs. Jeya. (Not in picture) Mr. Thum Kok Cheong and his wife Tracy.
TRAVEL ITINERARY: BALI PART 1
The flight from Kuala Lumpur to Bali took three hours. At Ngurah Rai International airport our Balinese tour guide met us and a few maidens came to garland us with flowers. What a wonderful welcome to Bali.
We were led to board a tour bus with the label BUS PARIWISATA. Back home in KL it would be called BAS PERSIARAN, the Malaysian way of calling a tour bus.
Our tour group of more than 20 people was taken for a long 3 hours ride through difficult country roads that snaked along most of the way. Finally at 8.00 pm we reached a place called Lovina in the north of the island. We were asked to get up at 5.00 am the next morning. Purpose: to take a boat rides out to sea to see dolphins swimming wild in the water!
Next morning we groped out in the dark walking quite a distance to a beach. On the beach we waited for the sea to calm before we could take a boat ride out. We waited until 7.00am when our young Balinese tour leader named Woo had to call off the plan because the sea was extremely rough!
Instead we watched dolphin stun performance in a pool. TWO dolphins were made to perform various stuns. However, the show was far from spectacular. Things moved very slowly which later I learnt is the cultural trait in this tropical country.
I asked two Balinese girls about a few things that I wanted to know. They told me that about 90 percent of Balinese are Hindus. The rest are Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, etc. The majority of Balinese do not eat beef. Being Hindus, they consider the cow as sacred and holy. From the two damsels I also learnt that each Balinese house is guarded by nine deities all placed round the house. They prayed three times a day to the deities.
Our Balinese tour leader later also explained that each house has an outer entrance built high with rocks. Blocking the entrance just a little inside is a wall. The wall is to prevent ghosts and spirits from entering the house compound. Balinese believe ghosts walk straight. When they were blocked in their attempt to go into the house compound they just bounce back out.
Next day, the bus took us to visit a temple on a lake. It is called Ulun Danu Temple. It was there that we saw with our own eyes a prayer procession in progress. The participants were all smartly dressed In Balinese garbs mostly all white and with a head cloth. Some carried the paraphernalia for sacrifice and offerings to their deities mostly on their heads or their shoulders. There was an orchestra of drummers and other local musical instrument players. Many of us aimed our shots with our cameras on them. However, the procession participants paid no heed to our actions. They proceeded on.
Just before they reached the narrow entrance to the temple the procession stopped to perform some sacrificial ceremonies. A man probably a priest or somebody with authority unsheathed a wavy dagger called keris and beheaded a new born chick still with yellow feathers. The chick's head dropped to the ground. I saw with my own eyes the headless chick kicked and struggled about on the ground for a few minutes before it turned motionless. The procession went on and entered the narrow entrance into the temple.
The rest of the ceremonies I was not able to see as entry to the temples was only for devotees and ceremonially attired Balinese. Later when I asked our tour guide why a chick was decapitated as sacrifice, he said that is only a local practice.
We left Ulun Danu Lake and the coach headed for another temple called Mengwi Royal Family's Taman Ayun Temple. This place has something to do with a previous king who ruled heaven and earth with iron fists! The temple is inside a high-walled enclosure which inside is surrounded by a moot. Only on important occasions the place is fully crowded. In ordinary days, it is deserted. At the entrance to this place there was a cock fighting ring with statues of the owners and each with a model of a fighting cock. The tour guide told us that nowadays cock fighting is still a living sport.
WISDOM OF THE DAY:
1. BALINESE LIVE A VERY LEISURELY SORT OF LIVES. EVERYTHING IS DONE SLOWLY. THERE IS NO HURRY. IF THEY FEEL LIKE WORKING, THEY DO IT. BUT THEY ABANDON WHATEVER THEY ARE DOING AT WILL. WHEN INSPIRATION RESURFACES, THEY MIGHT CONTINUE!
2. The tallest building in Bali is about 15 metres high. It is approximately not taller than the tallest coconut tree. In other words, man-made structures should not be taller than God given or nature's creation.
3. Tap water in Bali is not fit for drinking because the soil from where the sources of water come from is full of minerals and other elements. Even boiling the tap water does not make the water fit for drinking!
By Chan Suy Sang
(Next issue: TRAVEL ITINERARY: BALI - PART 2)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE FOLLOWING IN APRIL
||LEE KIM THYE (MRS TONY)
||CHAN SIEW MUN
||CHIN AH SANG
||LEONG AH SUI
||YAP YOKE CHIN
||LAI MEI YIN (MRS TEH)
||YAP YOKE NGOH
||CHOI THIAM EWE
||ABDUL MALEK BIN AWAG
||BAHARI SHAFIE (HAJI)
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