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THE MESSAGE JANUARY, 2004 No.26 -
THE ZAINAL LISUT SERIES,
THE CHONG YIT LAN EDITION

WELCOME 2004

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL



HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR
GONG XI FA CAI

THE LONG JOURNEY TO
A WEDDING PARTY

SEPT 13, 2003
BUKIT CHAMANG, BENTONG:

At about 3:35 p.m. Mr.Miles arrived. We wasted no time in getting ready to leave. Our itinerary: Petaling Jaya to attend a wedding dinner at Jaya.

At about 4;05 we left for PJ by car driven by me. I drove out slowly. Then we hit the karak Highway. Mr.Miles offered to pay the toll, but I politely rejected his offer realising it was only my duty to shoulder all the expenses of the journey. I accelerated steadily. The traffic was a little slack.

On the stretch of road over in Pahang, rain fell incessantly. As soon as we passed the watershed namely Genting Sempah pass, and entered the Selangor side of the mountains the sky was kind of uncertain. There were clouds and rain was imminent.

We passed the Gombak tollgate. Then we headed towards Batu Caves, over to Kepong and then entered the LDP highway. I pointed out to Mr.Miles the new IKEA furniture hypermarket. Our mentor seemed to know the area quite well as Kim his beloved son had lived there before.

We reached home in SS4D. There was no one in it at all. I made our mentor to sit in the hall. I prepared him a cup of MILO. That humble beverage saved his stomach from being overtaxed with growling later in the night. I talked to Mr. Miles while we were sitting in the hall. Our master seemed to be relaxing after all.



A SECTION 14 UGLY INCIDENT RETOLD

White Car At around six thirty, Mr. Miles, Helen and me drove out heading towards Section 14 to attend the dinner party. When we arrived there, we drove through the town. From a parking lot a car was backing out. I had just to slip in and parked my car there.

Diners
That was the exact spot when a car crashed into a crowd of diners sitting alfresco there months ago. The doomed car had hit the kerb, jumped the railings and fatally mowed a college girl. I told them of the incident.
"Is that so?" interjected our mentor. Yes, it was a real story retold.



HEADING TOWARDS OUR GOAL

We walked over to the Jaya supermarket now named the Cold Storage supermarket. Escalators raised us up three floors. When we came to the third floor we saw people outside a restaurant welcoming guests. Mr. Miles immediately recognised some of the reception people and they greeted one another. We were directed to a table set up to check the sitting arrangement of guests.

We were seated at table 5. Immediately, I handed over my red packet, the customary obligation of attending a Chinese wedding dinner. Our mentor dittoed.


WAITING IN SERENITY

We were shown to table 5. The banquet hall was still almost empty. We were just a little early. Anyway, we sat down and waited and enjoyed the earliest-guests-to-arrive kind of serenity.Gazing and wondering why most of the tables were still empty.

About half an hour later, the host and hostess came around.Mr. Aloysius Reyes and his spouse Chong YIt Lan met our master. Our patriarch and YIt Lan were so glad to see each other that they bear-hugged when they met. YIt Lan was overjoyed on seeing Ted.



OUR PATIENCE TESTED OUR STOMACHS GROWL

Now began the long wait for the feast of the occasion.We sat and fought away boredom with our babble. We ground into the tedium of seeing people gliding in and filling up tables. Yet seats were slow in being taken up. The first hour passed another hour started to tick away. A long 40 minutes later, the stage saw some activities.The crowd was requested to welcome the host and hostess.

Wedding Couple
The groom and bride then made their grand entry. At last the long wait had ended.The first course of the feast came exactly at 8:43.



Clock
THE GOING LATE MINDSET
Clock

This was a bit too late from the scheduled 7.00 sharp dinner date. It looked like, though we have developed much in many ways, yet people's mindset about dinnertime was still really behind time. Shall we say that many of our people still have the luxury of time. People always think of going a little late is not too late rather it will still be early!!!

Yes, to them an hour or more late is considered still early.But there are those who arrive at a dining occasion really early as their mindset is clocked to punctuality. Then this punctual set would be the victims of being-early-that-results-from-the-others' apathy.

What a pity! We were in this latter category, see.



Waitress THE CHEF AND HIS TEAM BEAM Waiter

Chef

But the long wait like the Long March had left us with growling stomachs. That made the chef and his team of cooks to jump with joy and chuckle with ecstasy. They saw as soon as a dish of food was laid out on the table, all started to dip in their chopsticks and before long there was only left an empty plate. You can imagine what the cooks would say, " Ha, ha, ha, see our culinary skills have brought us that far."



THE STORY OF THE ROYAL CHEF

The Royal Chef

I have heard of a story of a clever royal chef. She asked the emperor to skip lunch just to relish her dinner. The emperor devoured the dinner in haste and of course his highness commented that was the best food that he had ever tasted.

A PLOT OR A PLOY?

Now I wonder whether many of the dinner waiting games have the same theme.Is it a ploy that the cooks with the host and hostess employ to starve people first so that when finally when they are sated, the diners would say that is the best meal that they have ever enjoyed? Ha, ha, ha I have fantasised too far.But isn't this worth to create a little laughter?

Back to the other day's dinner, we were really satiated, as our stomachs were brimful and completely filled. Thanks to our host and hostess. Even our patriarch also said, " the food was good." It was a night that we would never forget because when we reached home a new day had already dawned. The minute hand of the clock had gone into the next morn. If anything I said here disturbs a neuron or frays a nerve, I beg your pardon. Will yer just let bygone be bygone.



Thank you YIt Lan for sponsoring this edition to add to your daughter's wedding felicitations.



KIND WORDS & GOOD DEEDS FROM JAKARTA


Hey guys! Remember Don Turman the missionary? He e-mailed me recently. He is now again in Indonesia with his family. He has extended his pastoral tenure for another stint of two years in the country currently ruled by Megawati Sukarnoputeri.

Don and his other better half, Ramona, have three sons and double the number of grandchildren. In the message he sent me, he said he enjoys reading the MESSAGE. He said he may chip in to prolong our newsletter's life history.

As the Reverend puts it his address "has gotten corrupted", yet all letters I sent him were duly delivered. Yes, Don's address in our list was too complicated. Put it simply it should be:

E-Mail ME to find out! E_Mail 

ME




SOME INTERESTING VISITORS COME

One Saturday at 4.30 I called Mr. Miles telling him that I would be on my way to his house for tea. I drove down to the Malay village and purchased some pastries. Then I drove straight to the Third Mile to see Mr. Ted Miles.When I arrived I saw a car parked outside. It was some sort of a four-wheel drive.

I walked into the kitchen.Mr. Miles introduced me to a young and slim lady.She was Hayati, born in Kuantan and now resides in the Federal capital city.

Sitting at the little round marble table was also a man called Bernard Sibert.He was the son of a Telekom officer in the 1950's down at the Bentong Telekom office.He frequented Mr. Miles's house when he was still roaming around in the 1950's for it wasat the Sulaiman School just down the road that he used to study.

Bernard had worked in the aircraft industry.In fact he had been an instructor pilot who had flown many different types of planes big and small. He had a frightening experience of landing safely an aircraft with a dead engine!How lucky!!

We had a very interesting chitchat.When dusk began to fall we departed and headed back to our individual abode.



K.C. PATRONISES OUR MENTOR'S PERSONAL BOOK STORE


Also, one fine day K.C. Wong called me. He was looking for Mr. Miles's books on Past Notes.I directed him to call our mentor.After contacting our patriarch, K. C. drove up to our mentor's bungalow.He made a purchase of several of our mentor's books.

He intended to present some of the books to his buddies.That is certainly a great idea to help bring down the stock of books of our mentor.I am sure many more people be they mentioned in the books or not are very interested to read the anecdotes in the Past Notes.A great idea is to present them with the books.



FETED BY A PUNJABI FAMILY

ON Deepavali Day we drove down to Taman Wangi. Oh! that beautiful and fragrant name of a garden. We visited Balbir Kaur and her family members. We had another meal of curry, chappati and many other delicious delicacies.

Eating, eating, and more eating were in store. But when we arrived at Ayah Samy's house, we decided to feast no more. We just took a drink and munched some titbits, that was all, though we were offered another sumptuous course of delectable delicacies.

THE FESTIVITIES CONTINUE

So, we had a wonderful Deepavali all came from our Indian friends' generosity and hospitality. But that was not all, there was more in store. This happened on the day after October 24.

John Chinniah had sent out invitations to many Mesians for lunch in his residence.

JOHN CHINNIAH'S PARTY

From Bentong I hit the Karak Highway at 11.30. In less than an hour I was already in front of the La Salle School at Sentul. While I was strolling towards the Malar Villa my mobile shivered. Yap Kim Hee was in the vicinity and searching for Malar Villa. I directed him to drive towards Singer. We met and the two of us went to visit John Chinniah.

We talked and reminiscenced with our host about life in Bentong long ago. We recalled people whom we had met and those whose whereabouts seemed to have become mysteries. But we did remember some whom we had seen and those who had also called it a day from this wonderful world.

John, his spouse and beautiful daughters entertained us to a sumptuous meal of a variety of tasty and spicy home cooked delicacies. The Mesians there were Yap Kim Hee, Peter Cheong, Lee Kim Thye, Linda Lu Ah Ngan and her husband, Zainal Lisut and his spouse and of course me.


ZAINAL - THE GREAT NARRATOR

Among these we had a great talented guy in telling stories. As soon as Zainal approached Kim Hee and me, he spluttered off with an unending chain of tales that he has gathered from his journey through life and his hobby. His stories ranged from his shock discovery of sarongs hung out to dry in the backyards of some English homes in Southampton to acquaintances he met in London.


HOW THE SARONG APPEARS IN THE UK

How come the sarongs appear in Southampton in England?During the Emergency, British soldiers were sent to our country to fire at communist terrorists.

As Zainal told his stories he veered off to say that some of those soldiers aimed differently.Besides pursuing the enemies, they also chased after local beauties.So lo and behold, they came as singles but returned to the UK as couples.You know in those colonial days, our girls were so attracted by those high and mighty colonials.So the soldiers instead of taking away lives brought forth more human beings.These girls and their off- springs later sailed away with their hubbies.

But they never forget their ubiquitous sarongs and brought them along.And, so those sarongs were seenby Zainal during his roaming in Southampton.He saw the sarongs flapping in the wind in that distant land above the wind.He inquired of the owners of the sarongs.He was not wrong.Some Malayan dames had got entangled with the Mat Sallehs and brought the sarongs along!


THEIR GRANDFATHERS' STORIES

History does not escape Zainal's fabulous memory.Once he met with Wong Mun Seong and they discovered that their grandfathers were great buddies in fighting and dodging the atrocious Japanese in the 1940's.Zainal's grandfather literally saved Mun Seong grandfather's head from the samurai sword of the Japanese.Yamashita's name was used to fend off raids by the Japanese army upon the areas under the Lisut's protective and influential wings.Zainal, the Lisut family must be very proud of you for this story.

Even Yap Kim Hee gave an authentic nod to Zainal's stories.For Kim Hee was most grateful to meet back his buddy.They hail from the same enclave at Half Mile Tras Road Bentong, see!


So much of their grandfathes' stories. Zainal really kept us spellbound with his unending stories throughout the party.



Dancing 

Couple DECEMBER 20, 2003 PARTY DAY Dancing Couple


I went up to the Miles's Mansion to make preparations for the year's Big occasion. It was party day.It was the Reunion Do for Mesians in 2003. I found most of the oil lamps already filled with kerosene ready to be hung out to light up the pitch-dark driveway.

Then our mentor and yours truly brought out the little oil lamps and strode down the lane. We fixed the lamps on top of pieces of bamboos already pegged to the ground. We had other lamps on stilts driven into the ground. All the while a drizzle neutralised the hot and humid tropical air. We had a cool and almost chilly day.


THEY COME FOR THE PARTY

Dance Couple I stationed myself down the road to guard the entranceway. Soon a car pulled up in front of me and out came our ever-caring lady from Temerloh. Foo Yook Yoon tiptoed towards me. She carried a bagful of goodies meant for our mentor's Christmas festivities.

A matured beauty who had just discovered the M.E.S fraternity was chauffeured in by her hubby. Mrs. Teh nee Lai Mei Ying hails from the royal town at the Klang River estuary. With her also came Lau Fei Chu and Maggie Lee.

Tailing them was Peter Cheong who brought in a new faceRichard Low Qooi Tee. The latter had retired from the Royal Malaysian Navy.Muhd. Alam Shah came with his buddy Ismail and the latter's male progeny.

Ng Kam Thye drove in with the Kuantan couple Mr. & Mrs. Loo Tee See.There came also Kam Thye's two grandsons to keep company. Wong Mun Seong arrived with Wong Thin Ching in the former's MPV. P L Lau came in his Mercedes with Linda Lu Ah Ngan his spouse in tow. Wong Yeng Kee motored up in his new Wira to meet us - particulary Peter Cheong Sang Fah.
All the gentlemen and ladies, young and old trekked up the gradual uneven and untared slippery estate driveway. For all vehicles were barred from ascending the slope as the ground was soft and parking space was limited up there.


THEY BROUGHT THEIR FAMILIES

Then our Bentong most caring and supportive family came in a strong team of five members. Their caring mom, Balbir Kaur, managered and led in her team of four. But alas their father Sarjeet Singh had to guard his own factory because their watchman was off duty. Their son, Harjinder, had just returned from Ho Chi Minh City after helping the country to clinch the bronze metal in basketball in the SEA Games.

Yours truly did not want to lose out in number. So I towed along a brood of seven made up of daughters and grandchildren.

By 8.00 p.m. most partiers have already gathered. We began the grand tucking-in. It was a mouth-watering meal of chicken, mutton, vegetables, rice vermicelli and nasi briayani.

Even towards the end of the party two more Mesians crashed in. They were Haji Bahari Shafie and Joo Sheikh Phin. Though they forwent the food, they came in bearing gifts and good tidings.

During the pouring out our hearts session many of the partiers expressed their gratitude and appreciation. All wanted to continue our yearly gathering as a tradition.

Ng Kam Thye lamented of the suspense he experienced while waiting for people to join the function. Wong Tin Ching sale-talked the beauty of the East Coast attractions. Mun Seong endorsed his buddy's presentation. Others highly commended the opportunity created for them to see Mr. Miles and their long lost friends on this occasion. Linda Lu led the songbirds in a high-tech sensational karaoke innovation.

Chitchatting and getting to know one another dominated the evening.
Let's hear a few clippings from our chattering:


"I was there in the 60's".
"I left in 1955".

"Mr. Robert Lobo read m and n with a heavy Indian accent"

"'Come along, come along', that came from Mr. Wong whenever a soccer game was on

"When Mr. Henry swung his cane, Ah Kow wet his pants "

"Our hair stood on ends, when the HM struck with his bear-hand."

"He hawk-eyed us; his face glowed. We knew he would blow with the fury of an erupting volcano. We all froze. "Who was he?

"Mr. Surendranath had an enchanting smile topped with an Indian movie-star kind of enticing moustache ".
(Sorry he is now remembered as the late Mr Surendranath).


Very boring eh! Nay, we were recalling the bygone days. We were remembering. We were reminiscing. We were digging into the remotest corner of our brain. We were sailing down memory lane.

In his welcoming speech Mr. Miles enumerated all the buildings of our old M.E.S. that had been demolished. Our mentor said they are presently waste ground or some other building stands there now.

From those who attended the party I roped in more Mesians to notch up our list to 186.



STRAYAWAYS

THE LETTERS TO THE FOLLOWING MESIANS HAVE BOOMERANGED BACK TO ME.
HAVE THEY CHANGED THEIR ADDRESSES?
WHERE ARE THEY?
HEADHUNTERS, HELP!
DON'T LET THEM JUST ESCAPE OR STAY AWAY.

1. GEORGE CHEN
2. MOHD RAZLAN MARZUKI
3. SOO SONG QUAN
4. LEONG SIEW LENG
5. ABU SAMAH BIN LAMBAK


 Book and Quill
Written and edited by Chan Suy Sang with hopes for the new year to bring forth bursts of inspiration and zoom in a stream of juicy narration. Great things lie ahead. Just wait.
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