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MARCHING INTO MARCH


Just a short while ago we have ascended to the New Year 2004. The celebrations of a string of festivals have made time flew. We have leaped from the leap day of 29th February just a few days ago. Now we are marching into March - the third month of the year. Bravo!

Historically, there was this inauspicious Ides (the 15th day) of March as in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar's play. Caesar was slain on this soothsayer's pronounced unlucky day.



MUHD. ALAM SHAH HJ. HAAMIN SURGES IN


This little anecdote was prompted by a very unusual incident. One fine day the house phone in Bentong rang incessantly. The missus took the call and then passed it to me. The caller was one Muhd. Alam Shah bin Haji Haamin from Temerloh. He was a stranger to me. But he is one of us in the M.E.S. fraternity.

Alam Shah told me that he was coming for the 2003 Reunion Party scheduled for December 20. (Yes, he was there). Welcome Muhd. Alam Shah. He was a Mesian who came into our alma mater in 1954, a half century ago! Welcome back to the fold. Thanks to Foo Yoke Yoon who told him of the existence of the MESSAGE and the M.E.S. fraternity. Has anyone of you been looking for this guy? Dial him. Say hey! Spring him a surprise.

Or write to your buddy to ask him how he was faring all this while.


E-Mail ME to 

find out


SOME MESIANS STRAY

Of late a few letters have ricocheted back to me courtesy of our considerate postal service. But the addresses had shifted houses without exercising the courtesy of informing me. Are you so fed up with the MESSAGE that you don't want to hear any more about the M.E.S fraternity? If you movers are still interested please keep in touch. Could you tell me where you are, please?

GET YOUR MAIL REDIRECTED

If you shift houses, there is a facility of the postal service to redirect your mail to your new address for two (2) months. That is the grace period for you to inform your change of address to all your friends and acquaintances. Contact the nearest post office for the service.

You need to fill in forms (Pos-Mel 13) and (Pos-Mel 14), please.




AN EXEMPLARY MOVER

Thanks to Selvaraj Daniel, who did the rightful thing to inform me when he shifted from XXXXXXX to XXXXXXXXXX Briefly he wrote to me:

***********************************************

Dear Suy Sang
Please be informed by this letter, that my family and I have moved out of 999, XXXXXXXXXXX, Kuala Lumpur to our new address:-

No. 999,
99999, XXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXX
Tel. No. 00-9999-9999

Thank you.

"Grace and Peace"
Sincerely,
Selvaraj Daniel          

(use this sample to keep us informed. By courtesy of Selvaraj Daniel)

What a thoughtful guy he is! For his thoughtfulness, he should continue to benefit from the MESSAGE.

***********************************************



Now also Kapt. John S. Foenander (Rtd) has given me his new address. Thanks, captain.
Then again, Kumarasamy had finished his contract of service in Brunei. He could be contacted at: Selangor, Malaysia.



THERE COME 2 LADIES

WHEN I visited our patriarch one fine day, I met two ladies. They were the beautiful Agnes and the attractive Sri. The ladies were our mentor's former colleagues. I imagined that the two ladies were hunting for a durian treat. However, the duo took Mr. Miles for a luncheon treat at a restaurant down in Chui Yin Street.

          Agnes and Sri were also after garden plants to breed. So after lunch, they drove him down to the nursery just outside Desa Damai to purchase some saplings and hybrids.
When I arrived Agnes and Sri were scouring Mr. Miles's back yard both for  cultivated plants and jungle grown wild species. When they left they have packed their little dainty little Kanchil of a Malaysian car with plants, rambutans and the famous Bentong durians. I was sure they had enjoyed the brief one-day Bentong visit.


Blue Dog LOST AND FOUND PUPPIES Blue Puppy

On that day, two of our patriarch's cute little puppies were not around. We looked for them all around the house compound. After a short search they emerged from somewhere safe and sound. Well, he has quite a big canine brood then. Now they have found new homes to live as people's pets and be patted.



HARI RAYA AIDIL FITRI AT MUNZIR'S HOUSE

This was Hari Raya Aidil fitri.  Mr. Miles had short messaged me. He had been to Haji Munzir's open house party. Munzir had extended his invitation to me.

At 3:50pm I drove down to Sungai Marong. I have been to Haji Munzir's house only once and thought that I could make my way there. I went round and round until I came to a surau or prayer house. From there an MPV with the registration number WAK 3, came out to lead me in. Munzir was in the MPV with Zainal at the wheel.

On arrival I climbed up and descended into Munzir's well-embanked house. You know many houses there are fortified by water-proof embankments as Sungai Marong is highly flood prone.

"Selamat Hari Raya, Selamat Hari Raya Aidil fitri".

Zainal and members of their families. Zainal had driven up from PJ to see and visit his many relatives. He also came to visit our Mesian Haji Munzir and his family.

Green Green

FOOD, FOOD, FOOD TO FILL MY TUMMY.

Well, food is the main programme in an open house. I was led to the gourmet table. There I found foods galore. There was an array of delicacies for me to savour. Lemang, rendang, ketupat and satey with appetising curry gravies. An assortment of various goodies also tempted my taste buds. Just a pinch of each was enough to appease the craving of my sweet tooth.

One thing I observed is that nowadays Malay family elders distribute little green packets containing money something like angpaus given away by the Chinese. To Chinese an angpau means a red packet. I never imagine that the little money bearing packet could change to also mean green packets.

"Duit raya" is the expression of this gift of generosity that captures the hearts of children tremendously.

Orange Orange

MUNZIR SET FOOT ON TERRA AUSTRALIS AGAIN

Munzir had come back from another sojourn to the land of the Aussies. He had been away from the country for more than three months in a stretch. He was again in Perth to explore further that great continent down under.

Pink Pink

POOCHES POOH SHIT

This time Munzir observed that the local Aussies were great lovers of canine pets. In many places he found what are called dog-training centres.  On the streets he saw pooch shit collecting bins. Canine lovers dutifully scoop up what their pets drop and into the bins the stuffs would be dropped. Of course the owners carry little pooper-scoopers with them.  Oh my, people go that far just to have pet canines! But it is easier to deal with animals than to deal with humans isn't it so? Animals do not retaliate so viciously as humans do to their foes. So the story goes.

Paw

TASTING THE FRUIT OF HIS LABOUR

Munzir took me to his orchard sort of a garden to show me round the fruits of his labour. He had planted sugar canes, papayas, bananas, coconuts, rambutans, etc. By stretching out his hand Munzir just plucked a handful of the hairy fruit for me to savour test.

Each fruit was as large as a grade A hen egg. When I peeled off the hairy skin I could see the succulent translucent flesh. When I put it into my mouth, it just tasted sweet and juicy fresh. As I masticated, the seed just separated from the crunchy flesh.

People People

SHE SPEAKS FLUENT CANTONESE

After savouring so many Malay delicacies plus rambutans to satisfy my sweet tooth, I took my leave. Then only I noticed that Munzir's spouse is fluent in Cantonese for she was yakking away effortlessly in that dialect with her'opposite neighbour - a Chinese lady. A new discovery, eh!

When I finally left, I was loaded with two takeaways: a box of aidilfitri goodies from the charming other half of Zainal and a bunch of grade A-egg sized rambutans from 'unzir's lean-to orchard. What a fruitful and wonderful visit this was. I will certainly come again, Munzir.


Tree

  A TREE FALL UNNERVES OUR MENTOR
 
Tree
I rang Mr. Miles to tell him that I would be at Malay wedding of Haji Abdul Rahman Osman's niece in Kampung Baru.

Ted Miles told me that he had been struggling to clear the driveway that had been blocked by a fallen tree. Jestingly, he said he had a "landslide at my place too". That brought to my mind that the North-South Klang Valley Expresssway had a thunderous rock fall a few days ago. The highway was then blocked by debris that had to be cleared off. Huge rocks and boulders slid down the slope during the avalanche of rocks. The highway was blocked. Workmen had to blast off the huge rocks to repair and open the highway. No it is still closed till today!



WE ATTEND A MALAY WEDDING CEREMONY


At 12,30 ON December 20 Helen, Alviera, Astonia and me left for Kampung Baru in Ketari. We were going to attend a Malay wedding party. As we arrived, a kompang troupe was waiting to welcome the groom and everybody. We walked to the canopies set up for the luncheon party. Haji Abdul Rahman bin Osman, the host came out to welcome me. He grabbed me with a bear hug squeeze. People have already started the feast.  We wasted no time to join the tuck-in of delicacies.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

THE BRIDE GOES TO BRING IN THE GROOM.

After dining, an orchestra of kompang came a beating. The bridegroom was arriving. The bride went out to receive the groom. She led him to the "throne" where they sat in state in a "bersanding" ceremony. Then came relatives to sprinkle scented water on the couple. They strewed saffron rice on the newly-weds as a way to bless and to wish them all the best.



MAIL FROM HIGH ABOVE

I have received TWO two-page typewritten letters from someone from high above. It came from Zulkifli from the Cameron Highlands.  In the letters he told me of his dream. I might as well write about his fantasy.

One Sunday Zulkifli was as free as he could be. He grabbed hold of the clippings of Mr. Miles's Past Notes from the Sunday Times. He read the anecdotes and viewed the pictures there. Soon he fell into a dream. Let's glean his dream for the cream.


ZUL'S DREAM

Zulkilfli has a colossal project in his fantasy. He proposed that we hold a photo show to display hundreds of old photographs taken in those bygone M.E.S. glorious days.

Yes, he suggested that all the photographs from Mr. Miles's Past Notes be put on display plus all the pictures that still left unfaded in our master's albums. What is the great idea?

Hold an exhibition of those photos as an attraction to bait and decoy all the Mesians. Pull them back to Bentong just for a brief visitation.  What a high and noble ambition!

Purple Star

BLOW THEM UP
SHOW THEM OFF

You may ask who would look at those tiny black and white photos. What is the use and purpose? No, Zulkifli suggested that we get organised and blow up those pictures maybe to life size or at least 12R size and have them on show. For that purpose, he wanted to have it organised with funds raised for the exhibition. That was why I said it is a project of a gigantic dimension!!

Zulkifli is thinking of us categorising those pictures according to events such as Bulan Bahasa Malaysia, school carnival, concerts, etc. There would also be sections on sports, extra-curricular activities, socials, hostel life, teachers and buildings. (I regret to say for the last item, none exist now except the photos.)

Latest: Zulkifli, Mr. Miles and I have recently met to discuss the project.

Purple Star

TENDER YOUR VIEWS

May I invite everybody to tender his/her opinions and suggestions? A yes, would set us off knocking our heads to go ahead. Even a negative no is a good indication of what is in your head.

If nothing comes from you we wonder what has happened to you.
To reply use the wrapper of this issue.

OR

Phone us, write to us, e-mail us or SMS us your views. Tell us what you could do; what you could contribute. Thank you.


 Book and Quill
Written and edited by Chan Suy Sang with hopes that the breath and soul of the MESSAGE would remain devoted readers and supporters.
http://www.mesian-message.com



EXITS CHUI WAI MING


OUR HEARTFELT CONDOLENCES GO OUT TO THE KITHS AND KINS OF THE LATE MISS CHUI WAI MING WHO SUCCUMBED TO PNEUMONIA AFTER BATTLING FOR MONTHS WITH CANCER ON THE 5TH OF February 2004.


THE LATE CHUI WAI MING HAD BEEN A GREAT FAN AND SUPPORTOR AND HAD EARLIER SPONSORED AN EDITION OF THE MESSAGE. SHE WAS A RETIRED TEACHER AND AN ACTIVE SOCIAL WORKER.

HEREWITH WE EXPRESS OUR DEEPEST REGRETS.



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