THE MESIAN-MESSAGE NO. 160 MARCH, 2015
THIS EDITION IS SPONSORED BY TAN KIM WOK
From David n Maxine Carey
They are an American couple David Carey and his wife Maxine who is keeping in touch with our mentor for years. Though they are much more advancedin years.
My wife and a friend discussing not hearing from Sir for some time now, and just wondering if you would give me an update on his well being. Noted in your Oct. notes that he appeared to be frail and maybe easily fatigued. Thanks so much for any light you might put on this.
WE CAME FROM KEARNEY MISSOURI
Chan, this a small look at the town where Maxine and I lived 40 + plus yrs. before moving here to Chillicothe, MO. It is known far and wide as the home of an infamous outlaw named "Jesse James".
You are welcome to peruse this site and click on Google maybe for info about Jesse. 02/03/2015. ~ Dave ~
KEARNEY IN MISSOURI, U.S.A. THE HOME TOWN OF THE INFAMOUS JESSE JAMES
Hey this looks like some small town in Malaysian somewhat like Karak doesn’t it? It real was a cowboy town before where Jesse roughed it out, right !
The whole afternoon was boring and free. The weather was stuffy. The sky cloudy. If a shower descended it would wash the heat away.
Since I was so free I reminisced. There was an incident that I could remember very vividly in the early 1950's. Our family was still living on the outskirts of Bentong town about three miles away. Our dwelling was a sort of attap thatched abode. The time was around the Chinese New Year too.
One morning a troop of soldiers rushed in to ransack our dwelling. They found a crate of aerated water - fizzy drinks under the bed. They asked why we have that. They probably were speaking in Malay or some other language because those soldiers were mercenaries in the British army.
British army! Yes, those days Malaya was under the British. Yes, Malaya not Malaysia for the latter country came into being much later. The language the soldiers used I could not understand. Then I said the word 'English'. They called in one of the soldiers who could speak English. The soldier asked me, "Where your father?"
"Go market buy vegetables, Chinese New Year." he soldier nodded. Pointing at the crate of aerated water he asked, "why this?" Again I answered "Chinese New Year." With those few words of English the soldiers were satisfied. They left and went to search other rubber plantation dwellings.
If they were not satisfied they could have burnt our house. They did that to a few houses around the rubber plantations a few days earlier. They knew the communists visited those houses.
Yes, those days studying English was quite a dangerous thing too. Many of my friends criticized me. They said why I studied English the language of the enemy! In spite of that many of their brothers also were in English schools including some children of real communists.
One of my class mates in fact went back to China following his father's arrest found that the spluttering of English he learnt helped him to deal with Hong Kong's businessmen. He became a very successful cross-border trader even under the Chinese Communist Government.
Oh yes the British! Many of us remember them to be kind and helpful. No, not at the beginning like in the later 1940s, They had the mentality to destroy the enemy at all cost! They arrested people on the slightest suspicion. They shot or hung those communists whom they had caught. Hearsay! An example: my cousin brother a veteran in the Anti-Japanese Army who was adamant and remained in the jungle. He was caught. He was put in front of a British soldiers firing squad for target practice. His mother cried her heart out, but she dared not claimed his bullet-ridden body.
They repatriated the whole families of those who had dealings with the communists. Many of my friends and relatives met their back to China fate. They were welcomed by the Chinese and given jobs or continued their studies. Many of them were absorbed into main stream of society. Some are now very successful business people.
The British soldiers burnt down houses in the outskirts, etc.etc.
The kind and helpful British only came when they changed their strategy of dealing with the communists. First to made all efforts to win over the people to their side. They treated the people well like resettling them in new villages. They built schools for their children. They even enlisted the local people as home guards teaching them how to use rifles, etc. What happened when a communist was caught. Then he would not be used as a target practice for a firing squad. He would be made leading member and guide of a team of soldiers on their outing to hunt down communists.
HOW I CELEBRATE CHINESE NEW YEAR In 2015
For me a senior citizen there was not much excitement on the coming of this Spring Festival. Spring Festival! This is a new term only cropped up during the past few years. With the rise of China, new things came into being one of which is the Spring Festival. Those days it had always been Chinese New Year.
In the past I used to busy myself with the hustle and bustle of buying ingredients for cooking the reunion dinner. But this time round the younger generation took over. No, they never bothered to drag a basket or a trolley to the market! They never made any purchases.
When it was time to feast they came and chauffeured me to a restaurant. There we had our reunion dinner, no hassle of cooking and washing up. Just ate and talked. THEY paid of course - very much more than the cost of home cooking. The meal actually started with a new year course. We tossed. We tossed into a large platter of shredded vegetables and salmon fish slices called yee sang. It is a signature dish for the new year only in some countries in Southeast Asia particularly in Singapore and Malaysia. The dish is not even found in Hong Kong, nor in Taiwan and definitely not in mainland China.
When it was time for dinner A Toyota Vellfire rolled in.
Why is this so? Nobody knows! A wild guess that gives a lead is from the word "low" in Cantonese. All of us Chinese were migrants or descendants of migrants a fact we all cannot deny. What was the purpose of coming to Malaya, Indonesian, or this part of the world that many Chinese called Nanyang? Answer: In search of opportunities, to look for wealth. This search is called "low". Tossing the yee sang dish is actually 'mixing all the ingredients of the dish' called "low" in Cantonese. The word 'sang' means life and yee sang had slices of raw fish in it. Raw is also called sang. "low sang" is the act of mixing and tossing the yee sang ingredients.When doing the tossing toss it high meaning getting more opportunities earning more money. But oh my! Never say "low hai" that would be very offensive and abusive to senior ladies. It is "low hie."
Back to our reunion meal. It lasted for two hours and many a time we were attended to by waitresses and waiters plus their manager. It was a great treat indeed.
APPRECIATION FROM READERS OF MY BOOK
Has been a great read (of your book TED MILES REVEALED) Suysang ! I found Ted to be a great guy right from start to finish. Well, hasn't finished yet.
Would venture to say will be a gracious finisher. Thanks for your GOOD book about his life and shows him as a Malaysian Patriot along with yourself !!!
Sincerely, Maxine and Dave.
AN APPRECIATION LETTER FROM JOHN CHINNIAH
The book "TED MILES REVEALED" by upcoming small town author Chan Suy Sang has carefully portrayed Mr Miles in his early twenties, front cover and the same person in his late eighties, back cover. A very interesting and revealing illustration.
Suy Sang and his son visited me on Christmas day and after some titbits, a drink each and as usual after exchanging a few interesting events of yesteryear, he placed the book in my hand and left.
No sooner had they left, I anxiously started to read the book about a person whom I have known for more than half a century and for whom I have great respect and admiration.
Frankly, some of the things Mr. Miles did, no man in his stable mind would do especially during the emergency when a "white man" was always an easy target of the then communists.
The book glories an American who spends most of his life in Malaysia without missing "petai and nasi lemak" in his daily menu.
After serving as a missionary pastor with the cross in his hand in Pahang, he took over as Principal of MES, a private educational institution with an enrolment of 350-400 students from different walks of life, drop-outs, rubber tappers and those unable to get a place in government aided schools.
When I joined the school as a teacher, I thought MES stood for Miles English School. I was very disappointed when I found I was wrong.
The book also reveals Mr. Miles as an unselfish man who shared his love and his knowledge with the students, mainly those boarded in his rental hostel. A valuable transfer of American educational technology to the Malaysian in the early fifties.
I can recall correctly, the author in his intensive research has made no mention or introduced any names of the dedicated teachers who were also responsible for making MES and Mr. Miles famous by their undivided service and loyalty.
The teachers collectively initiated nightly classes for the weak students and helped to instill a passion to pay more attention to their studies to get good results.
They spent most of their valuable time training the hockey, football and table-tennis teams and speaking of achievements. The school hockey and table-tennis teams were Pahang state Inter School Champions for many years in a row.
The football team was equally good.They knocked out some of the giants in the Bentong District Football tournments. Who were these unsung heroes, notably Mr. Wong (a former principal), Miss Maud Foenander, Brian Foenander, John Foenander, Serendra Nath, Shamsuddin Pandak, Ahmad Awang, Hilda Poonu, Mat Gimon, Selvarah Daniel and many others.
Frankly, an inclusion of those educators would have made the book better and more interesting reading material and knowledge sharing instrument among the Mesians.
Today most of the younger generation in Bentong hardly remember MES or where the school stood. Only a handful of the aged inhabitants recall the glorious days of MES and the name of some of the teachers.
Mr. Chan, You have done an excellent job and done it well.The Mesians are very grateful, if I may say so.
God bless you Dato Ted Miles.
I playfully hope my sincere views will not displease anyone and am anticipating it will meet with Dato's blessings, soon.
P.S. Please regard my views with a sense of humour and not treat them as leads for rumours. - John Chinniah.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO
THE FOLLOWING IN MARCH
||TEH BOON TAN
||LOH KOK KEONG
||JOHAR B. ZABIDIN
||LOH FOOK CHENG
||A. KRISHNAN ARUMUGAM
||HJ. TENGKU PUJI
||ABU HANIPAH MOHD
||ZULKIFLY M. ESA
Pick a MESSAGE from the top left column to read.
You'll be entertained no matter which edition you choose !!
Remember to come back SOON for more NEW and INTERESTING MESSAGES uploaded every month !!
You had just read MESSAGE 160