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THE MESSAGE APRIL, 2004 NO. 29 -
THE ANONYMOUS SERIES. THE LOH KOK KEONG EDITION


To all Sikh Punjabis

Sat-sri-akaal-ji< br>
OH! BHAI-JI

WISHING YOU A VERY HAPPY VASAKHI

THE SIKH NEW YEAR



Yes, the Sikh New Year falls on the 13 of April as it is fixed by their community. Though it is not a public holiday as the Sikhs are a minority, yet on this joyous day we could see strong gatherings of Punjabis in many parts of the country. Oft-times it is an interesting phenomenon to see the Singhs with the fluttering gowns and the Kaurs with flowing shawls, strolling around. The ladies are also brightly dressed in colourful well-designed suits of Punjabis.

Of course, the men wear the trademark turbans while the little ones tie their hair in skyward pointing buns. On this auspicious day, they just celebrate and have funs.


A VERY DISAPPOINTED APPOINTMENT

One day our mentor told me of his trip to Temerloh to attend court for probate. That was his duty as one of the Princes's trustee. He went there by chartering a taxi for RM80. On arrival at the high court, a notice on the doorway greeted him. It said that:

All hearing of cases fixed on Monday are postponed to Thursday.

The trustees had arrived. Other than Mr. Miles the other trustee was one lady from Sungai Petani. The lawyer also appeared.

But the hearing was postponed just by putting a notice on the Temerloh high court doorway.

Of course all the three who blindly groped there fumed. They left immediately. What a disappointed appointment they had from an office of high authority. Reason: probably overlapped by and overjoyed with overflow of festivities



TEA FOR THREE     Sipping Tea

We went into the kitchen. Our grand "young" man boiled some water in a kettle.  It was for Santa to make tea. In an instant, there was a knock on he door. In came Anthea followed by Santa. The couple always comes together. Purpose: to whack their grey matter in a battle of words and letters. They were coming for a game of scrabble with our master.

With the hot water Santa made tea for three. One cup for his spouse, one was his and the third cup was for me. Our patriarch refrained from drinking the beverage because of its efficacy in keeping him from falling into dreamland.



INTRUDERS BEWARE

Mr. Miles mentioned something about the barking of dogs outside his doorway the night before. When he checked in the morning he found traces left behind by the ravages of wild boars. Then he also found a dog caught in a snare. Well, he said there were snares set up by wild animal poachers in his little patch of jungle. Beware! Intruders, you may find yourself hanging in the air upside down like a wild boar with a leg bound. Yet you would be regarded as trespassers.

Blue Puppy

In fact one day, I found one of his canines heavily bandaged in one front leg. Our master told me it was because the pooch was caught in a jerat trap. Poor girl, she was limping around on tripods.


WHAT HAPPENED THIS MONTH
50 YEARS AGO?

APRIL 1954
CONCEPTION


Our mentor, Mr. Ted Miles, the then principal of the Methodist English School, conceived the idea of publishing a school newspaper on 12 April. On the next day an editorial board was elected with Yip Fook Khim as editor-in-chief. The foetus of the newspaper was named
M.E.S.SAGE


A MASSIVE FLOOD HITS BENTONG


TUESDAY, THE 13 OF THE FIRST MONTH OF 2004 WAS A REAL UNLUCKY 13 DAY FOR TENS OF THOUSANDS OF RESIDENTS IN BENTONG.

According to eyewitnesses and people hit, a torrent of muddy floodwaters swept down from first mile Tras Road.

The Repas River burst its banks.  The brownish sea of water spread over the land. The headwaters struck early in the morning at three. Avalanches of murky water overflowed the Chanmang Road and thundered down into Repas village then spread over Chamang Village. Some houses in these two villages were under more than a metre of water.



FIRST HIT: REPAS VILLAGE

The floodwaters wreaked havoc upon the residential houses in Repas Village. For example, a resident Chew Chan said,

" Someone  shouted at me through the window, there's a flood, get up. when I stood up I was in knee deep water. It was reaching up to the bed. I could not do anything, but to jump on the stairway and let the water take over the whole house. The mattress went under.  The wardrobe floated, swayed and collapsed on the mattress.

Pots and pans in the kitchen went up dancing on the rising water. As I looked out of the window, I saw a somebody's larder floating by. The current was swift and soon the cupboard disappeared. Debris followed and the whole road in front of my house was like a river. Even my refrigerator took to the water and collapsed on its side." He said.



KEMANSUR WAS SUBMERGED

From Repas Village, the floodwaters mowed down plants and anything that obstructed its way carrying with it whatever that could float and move along. The current swept into the town padang. The field was painted a muddy brown after the water had travelled further down. Then it hit the houses in Kemansur Village. The onslaught of water from Repas was reinforced by the floodwater from Chamang. The Kemansur Village was badly hit.


PERTING VILLAGE HARD HIT

From Kemansur the floodwater flowed down to Perting Village. That biggest village in Bentong was completely inundated. No house was left dry. Those near the estuary where the Repas River and the Perting River meet were worse hit. Some houses were under more than a metre of water.

The town was not left unscathed. The lower part of Chui Yin Street where the Krystal Crown hotel stands was under water more than a metre deep. The water reached the Thong Fatt Value-mart where the aqueous attack ended and the water level began to descend.



SUNGAI MARONG LIVES UP TO ITS NAME

The murky floodwaters swept down to Ketari where it just spread over the lowland in Sungai Marong. Here some houses were under more than a metre high in brown muddy waters. Like I said before Sungai Marong really lived up to its name as a river.

The floodwater cascaded over the metre high embankment of Munzir's house. It was under more than a metre of water. Munzir's spouse and little ones had to take refuge on the rooftop of their car porch!

However, the inundation did not last long. Hours later, the floodwaters receded. But it had left a mess of damages and destruction. No holes nor nooks below the water level was left dry. All was now coated with a thick layer of fine brown slimy mud. As the water level descended the floors of houses were then covered with the mud some six inches thick.



NOW THEY HAVE TOO MUCH
NOW THEY HAVE NONE


While the water was receding, the cleaning up began. But another blow struck. Everybody's tap was on, and many got only a trickle of water. Some taps went dry. Residents did whatever they could and swept away thick slime of brown mud. That was what the Repas villagers did.

Down in Perting Village, there was not even a drop what more a trickle from the taps. Villagers were left high and dry after the flood. They ran to the river to carry water for the washing up. Fortunately, later in the evening tankers came and supplied some water for the thousands of villagers to wash up and cook.



DESTRUCTION AND DAMAGES

Destruction and damages were seen inside and outside the houses. Within mattresses, cushions and electrical appliances, plywood walls, wardrobes, books anything that was not salvaged was muddied and soaked. Without damaged goods were heaped around houses. Tons of garbage were left to be collected. Many cars and motorcycles were submerged. Their engines stalled.

A gloom descended upon the residents. What more rain further threatened, for dark and low clouds gathered again in the firmament. If another shower were to pour, the ravages on the residents would be more. All prayed that rain would not again pour.




SYMPATHIES POURED OUT FROM OUR HEARTS TO ALL THOSE MESIANS HIT BY THE FLOOD. THEIR HOMES MUST HAVE BEEN DELUGED BY THE STINKING WATER AND THE MESSY SLUDGE. SORRY, THAT WAS WHAT WE COULD DO IN SUCH MERCILESS NATURAL CALAMITY. BUT WE SHOULD TAKE IT EASY.



ENCORE! MOHD. NOOR


Some time ago, Mohd Noor Mohammed wrote me a note. He said he had gone headhunting. First he went twice to the very interior of Pahang to hunt for Mohd. Razlan.

He confessed that he was trying to hit two birds with one stone. He wanted to attend someone's wedding lunch and to capture Mohd. Razlan. He fulfilled his first mission, but he could not get Razlan.

Mohd Noor's vain efforts led him to speculate that Mohd. Razlan might have left our shore for a good cause. But, no, no, no Mohd. Noor, Razlan is still on our shore though he is definitely nearer to the beach now. Our mentor has informed me that Mohd. Razlan is now in the East Coast. He is residing in Kemaman. I suppose he had gone back to his "deep and familiar pool" as the Malay saying goes.

However, Mohd. Noor triumphed in his head hunting expeditions in the jungle of concrete and steel with air always polluted. He managed to track down the ever busy Dr. Abu Samah bin Labak in Setapak. Mohd Noor had sent me the doctor's name card.

When I called the clinician, he was so glad to hear me.  He invited me for tea. I still have to make the appointment to visit our doctor of herbal medicine. Well done Mohd. Noor. Thanks.
"Encore, encore, encore! Hunt some more !! Mohd. Noor."




TRIPPING INTO LOCAL TONGUES


Let's go pasar in our bahasa. During the Lunar New Year I received an SMS from K.C, In pidgin Malay it said:

Quote -

Kong hee lu
Hidup satu libu tahun!
Hali busat suda mali
Limau beli satu loli
Wa, ada bikin silap
Wa vely soly, tapi
Wa angpau lu misti kasi,
Kamsia,
Wa depan bagi, K.C.

Unquote.

Suysang cakap ini:

Terima kasi K.C.
Lu mau angpau apa macam Raya punya jam taada mari ?
Hi, hi, hi,
Suda habis busat punya hali taada kasi lagi.

Satu pasal lagi KC ji,
Lu berani mintak angpau lagi?
Bukan lu suda ada lawa punya bini?

Cakap gua ini aje geli hati,
Kalu lu mari angpau tentu gua kasi.

Terima kasi satu kali lagi.


I am sorry that I have committed this atrocious murder on our national lingua franca. It is done in jest to make our hearts feel lighter. Ha, ha, ha. I am sure you are bursting your sides with uncontrollable laughter. Ha, ha, ha,......

Other than K.C. Wong, Hema Latha also SMSed good wishes to me. Thanks.

Sam Pak Lam phoned me and very traditionally wished me a very Happy New Year of the Monkey.

Sorry, in fact earlier Peter Chong called me to wish me Happy 2004.

Wong Mun Seong called and said " Gong xi, gong xi". He asked, "when is our mentor's birthday party? "

"Oh! it's in the middle of February", said yours truly.
Cards also never ceased to flow in. Thanks. But I thought I had sent you all the happy wishes through the MESSAGE. That's all till this stage.

Haji Abdul Rahim rang to thank me for his first ever received MESSAGE and the next.



SOME ONE FROM THE ICY NORTH CAME A VISITING


Yeng Kee had a story about his relatives from Harben China. I had written how ardent was Yeng Kee to see this uncle of his. The last time he tried he was prevented by the cold on reaching Beijing he had make a turnaround. However, this time his uncle turned things round. He came down to meet him in town.

So when the old man was around, Yeng Kee took him round. Yeng Kee was happy to tour-guide him wherever he wanted to go.

Kuala Lumpur attracted his uncle. They went shopping for branded articles. He bought some branded items with great satisfaction - either in quality or in terms of money.

They also made a trip to Port Dickson driving along the highway there. He said the place is less popular for tourist now because of the sea pollution.

I wonder how spoilt the Port Dickson beaches are as I have not been there for years! Has development marred the once famous coasts there?





WE MEET AND HAVE A
LUNCH TREAT


When Mr. Miles, Zulkifli from Cameron Highlands and me met, we discussed about Zul's high and mighty project. He wishes to hold an exhibition of photographs of our good old M.E.S.

Finally, when things were hammered out and some preliminaries agreed upon, our master said there was recently opened a new curry house,  a branch of a similar shop in Raub.

We went out for a treat of curry fish head and other titbits. It was a good and satisfying meal. Our mentor insisted that he gave us a treat. Thanks, we were just there to eat.



HAPPY BIRTHDAY BASH


Yes, our patriarch's birthday fell on the 16 but we celebrated with him on the 15 February since the latter date was a Sunday.

Before the celebration day, Wong Mun Seong had called me twice to make sure that I informed him.

Yes we were there at our mentor's bungalow on Sunday 15. Who were we? Wong Mun Seong, John Chinniah, Sarjeet's spouse Balbir Kaur and family, Peter Chong, Lee Kim Thye, Lau Fee Chu, Wong Swee Yong and me. There was also a crowd of our mentor's friends and old colleagues. Even Mahalingam and David Chinniah dashed in at the last minute but they stayed in for two nights to keep our mentor company.

Luck was with us for all brought in a variety of potlucks that materialised into a very happy tucking in party. How lucky, there was no repeat of delicacies.

Birthday Cake

ONLY ONE CAKE APPEARED FOR THE SYMBOLIC CEREMONY!
S.O.S.


MAYDAY, MAYDAY

Want some more doses of reading matter and laughter? Let's talk what most matters. Sponsors are running out before we hit October.  We need new sponsors to continue this newsletter.

HELP! WOULD YOU STEP IN TO PREVENT AN IMMINENT DISASTER -
THE TERMINAL DEMISE OF THE MESSAGE?

Finis yeh!
Nah, I must say to ya:
April fool
before I leave ya.
Hahaha......


 Book and Quill
Written and edited by a foolhardy fellow called
Chan Suy Sang.

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