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JULY is the month named after the great Roman Emperor, Julius Caesar who developed the Julian calendar in B.C. 46. In the original calendar before that there were only 10 months in the year. July is the month that replaced the fifth month called quintilis mensis in the old calendar.

HAIL, CAESAR!


THE MESSAGE GOES HIGH TECH
IT'S ONLINE FROM NO. 26


The MESSAGE is now online.
It has gone global.
You can read the MESSAGE from the Internet.
The web site Address:
http://www.mesian-message.com


It is a web site in colour and animated graphics with background music. Try to go online to read the MESSAGE.

The web site is created and designed by Michelle Chan Yew Wan, who is none other than my eldest daughter who has studied web design. The MESSAGE wishes to thank her for her meticulous and thoughtful work to produce a web site that adds more frills and thrills to the reading.


WHAT HAPPENED
50 YEARS AGO?

DO YOU KNOW?

An item of news in the July 16, 1954 No. 10 of the school newspaper The M.E.S.SAGE gave the following information:
The Anglo Chinese School (the M.E.S.'s name at its infancy) was started on February 1948 Fourteen students were still in the school in 1954. They were:
  1. Wong Mok Sang (Where had he run?)
  2. Chong Kui Fah (has this guy metamorphosed into another name?)
  3. Wong Moh Tai (where is she now, guys?)
  4. Ng Shui Chuan, (he is in Raub, fine)
  5. Hoh Lian Fatt ( he has kicked the bucket)
  6. Yap Kim Hee (Oh, This guy oft I see!)
  7. Cheong Yew Leong (We have not seen him for so long)
  8. Chan Suan Cheng (He is in Singapore but it is Tan Soon Seng he is now called)
  9. S. Subramaniam, (in ever loving memory only)
  10. Yap Kim Loy, (still living happily in the Lion city)
  11. Ah Kow, (a Singaporean who is now known as Fam Chong Ngen)
  12. Ah Heong, (better known as Chee Yew Tuck . It is in Singapore he is now stuck.)
  13. Ho Kian, (he quitted the world not long ago.)
  14. Wong Lan Chan (She lives near me but just to see her once is such a rare chance.)


  15. STOP PRESS: NEWS RECEIVED AFRESH - IN A FLASH E
    A bunch of us from MES met Lan Chan last month.
    Full report later on, perchance).



OH MY GOSH!

Who was the headmaster then? Oh my gosh! He was a Mr. Gosh - a giant sort of a bear-hand man. When he struck with his bare hands we had no defence. Some of us literally wet our pants! Ha, ha, ha. But this is only my delayed and smouldered laughter. For in those stringent discipline school days, who dared give out such laughter under such a strict headmaster? Not me, nor any of the others.

Hey! Take a head count. How many are still left kicking around?

How come I was not on the list? I started later, so I live longer, eh!



LET'S HEAR ANOTHER INTERESTING STORY

One day some time before 1954,(that's more than half a century ago, eh!) a teacher was standing patiently in front of our rowdy class. But his patience did not last. He grabbed a blackboard duster full of chalk dust. In the split of a second he flung it at Tai Ngan Chai (big-eyed guy).

The missile hit its target striking Tai Ngan Chai's forehead.
What happened? He cried. He bled.

"Woo, woo, woo.... I'll tell my mother!" Tai Ngan Chai (not his real name) ran home down in Ah Peng Street.

When he came back his mother was with him. They settled the case amicably with some words of apology. Unlike our present day parents, if you touch a student like that the parents would pull you to court and demand a pound of your flesh!


Tai Ngan Chai later became a primary school head. Whether he took revenge on his students is everybody's guess. But later he took to the bottle and held on to it for years before he went over to the other side with it - still intoxicated, perhaps.


FINALLY, FINALLY -
I MEET DR. ABU SAMAH FOR TEA


UMI HADIJAH SETS THE PACE

One day my mobile rang. The caller did not know me, as she admitted. It was from one Umi Hadijah bt. Sidek a marketing manager. She is none other than the spouse of Dr. Abu Samah bin Labak from Setapak.

          Umi Hadijah was probably prompted to call me after she read about my mention of the retrieval of her hubby back to the M.E.S. fraternity in MESSAGE 29. They have shifted to new premises. Mohd. Nor Mohammed informed me of Dr. Abu Samah's new address.

The lady called me to discuss their complementary medical practice and to tell of Dr. Abu's colourful and successful story. That led me to want to meet this very interesting Mesian who was also waiting to see me in person.


TAILING DR. ABU


So one Thursday, when I was intending to return to Bentong I called Dr. Abu Samah. His place was on the way see. The medical practitioner thought that I was a stranger in K.L. eh! So he came round a familiar landmark to lead me to his place in Taman Danau Kota in Setapak. Thus from the Tawakal Hospital, I tailed a new Waja until I reached the area called Danau Kota. It was not very far.

We met and we held our hands in a most friendly grab. He was another buddy at first sight for me. Though we are Mesians but we have not met due to time lapse. Dr. Abu was in M.E.S. till 1963 while I packed off from the now already non-existent school in 1955.



HE TREATS US TO A BITE

Dr. Abu, as he is popularly known as, took me to an eatery with a most congenial atmosphere and treated us to tea. My missus was with me and we had a sumptuous snack there.


IN A CLINIC OF COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE

We were brought to his clinic of complementary medicine. It was a well-furnished place and very high-tech with equipment. There were several computers around. Dr. Abu did medical tests for my spouse and me all for free.

He checked our blood pressure with a high-tech gadget. Then he photographed my eyeballs with a digital camera that recorded our pupils on a diskette. He put the pictures of my wide-open eyes on screen and then did an analysis of my body health conditions. From his diagnosis, he told me of my dysfunctional complaints.

He explained the root cause of my hypertension is rather a minor malady. He told me there is nothing to worry. "Ha, ha, ha!" I chuckled happily. "Very good news," said yours truly. Sure he made me unusually happy. But my enemy is the damn cholesterol factor.



DR. ABU'S SUCCESSES AND SUCCESSORS


Abu Samah has trained many people to become practitioners of complementary medicine. There is a chain of such clinics that dotted the country. Even in Bentong there is a clinic in Ketari.

Dr. Abu has also gone on TV to talk on the role of complementary medicine in caring our health.

His latest project is to set up a University near Air Keroh in Malacca to promote the use of herbs to treat many difficult diseases.

Dr. Aslina Abu Samah and Dr. Hisamuddin Abu Samah both Ph.D. holders of complementary medicines his children, have picked up his trade in the clinic.


A VISIT TO SEE OUR MENTOR

Friday, 2nd April: At about 4.00 I made a call to our mentor. I told him that we had a lot to talk about. I bought some pastries from a Malay lady down the road. These were snacks for tea.

                             
BOM! BOM!! THERE'S A POPULATION EXPLOSION

When I arrived at the master's bungalow, I met Mr. Miles at the door. He immediately told me that there was an explosion of his canine population. From three, the total numbers of doggies had suddenly increased to one more than 20. One bitch had given birth to 8 puppies while another pooch had produced 10 babies. "Voila, that's a record breaker!" I let out a cry of surprise.


DISCUSSION ON ZUL'S EXHIBITION

Of course, we had serious matters to talk about. First we discussed Zulkifli's pet project of holding an exhibition of photographs of the former M.E.S. Zulkifli had called to inform us that three Mesians enthused in his project. John Chinniah had sent him his high pitch encouragement and proposals. Foo Yoke Yoon had even sent in RM100 to start the financial ball rolling in support of the exhibition. Alam Shah was in favour of Zul's grandiose proposition.

Mr. Miles and I are all for setting up a permanent display corner in his house. This was actually endorsed by John Chinniah's written proposal to Zulkifli, with c.c. to Mr. Miles and me.


ACTION, ACTION, ACTION!

"grrrrr, grrrrrrrr, grrrrrrrrrrr......"
"Wooooooo, wow, wow, wow, wow...." What a growl! Ouch, soon a brawl broke out!!


Kancil the bitch came by the door of the pantry. Lady the pooch stood at the entryway guarding her litter of 10 puppies. Kancil the intruder seemed to be the fiercer. She growled loud with anger. Of course, Lady the mother would not allow the other bitch to go near her litter. Both bared their fangs. Both stood their ground. Both growled aloud.

Wrath flared into instant frightening action. Kancil struck with a bite on Lady's nape. Lady retaliated and snapped back. They came together biting and clawing at each other. Fear struck our master. He went to prevent the fight from getting fiercer. Mr. Miles pulled to separate the bitches from each other. He struggled with the two ferocious fighters. I worried he might be bitten in the process of the clash.

Yet I dared not approach them, as I feared they might accidentally sink their fangs into my flesh. But things were not getting better. So I braved myself and went nearer. I pulled the door of the pantry closed. Lady was locked up there with her brood. Kancil whimpered away. Lucky the elderly and daddy to the puppies snubbed at Kancil the trespasser who certainly smelt of jealousy.

Even you could guess what the grrs and growls were all about. Bingo! We could venture to transcribe their war of howls and growls into common human lingo.


Kancil:  So what if you have two more than me!
Lady:    What do you want, now?
Kancil:  I just want to look at your babies.
Lady:    Don't come near my cuties.
Kancil:  How dare you stop me?
Lady:    Go away! Get out, now!!


Kancil's adrenaline gushed through her body. She growled and howled. She sank her fangs onto Lady's neck. There started the tussle with all their tense muscles. They would have continued fighting till one of them pass out. But no, the umpire rushed in to intervene and stopped the fight to death battle.


PEACE AFTER THE STORM

There was peace and quiet after the fight. Even the puppies stopped yapping away. Our master gasped for air. He took sometime to regain his breath. But he suffered no injuries, except for a scratch. What a struggle we had, just to mediate!



CHING MING ADVENTURES

(Please treat this article as a completely academic exercise if you have a different philosophy of life)


During Ching Ming day, we were walking about in the cemetery. Finally, we came to Mok Kam Ping's grave. My brother Chee Seong, the deceased's hubby had renovated it. Now it looked pretty neat.

Chee Seong told us that he had just done the new grave a week ago. He laid out the offerings and then we all arrived to pray. As the deceased was younger than my missus and me, we need not pray to her. We just stayed around watching the goings-on of the crowd.


LIVING OVER THERE IS JUST LIKE LIVING OVER HERE?

Just two graves away, a large family was praying to their deceased father. Among the paraphernalia offered to the dead man, was a birdcage. The sons and family members there were in joyous conversation. They said during his lifetime, the dead man liked to rear birds as pets. So they had bought and brought the birdcage to be burnt for him. Ha, ha, ha! Sure, living on the other side looked no different from here.

A few people enquired why the cage had no bird inside. Well, the deceased family members replied that the dead had to catch the bird on the other side. "Oh I see! A bird of paradise, maybe!" chipped in some busybody. Another round of laughter burst out from the crowd. Ha, ha, ha! That was a nice banter to tickle the ancestor in the hereafter.



MODERN ITEMS OF SACRIFICE

There were other gadgets of high-tech, made in effigies to be burnt for the dead. It is the Chinese belief that life on the other side is much likened to this side. That is the philosophy of the Chinese about living and life hereafter. Living over there can be similar to living on this side. So we could see people over here burning effigies of VCD, DVD, mobile phones, air-conditioners, cars etc. etc to send them over to the other side. People on this side could help the dead on the other side. That's the Chinese philosophy of life.


PROSPERITY SPILLS OVER TO THE HEREAFTER

Another thing that I noticed this Ching Ming was the items of food offered to the dead have become more and better than other previous lean years. I saw several families brought whole roast pigs (I beg your pardon) as sacrifice. When I inquired how much each animal cost, I was told anything more than RM400. Thus, people must have grown in opulence indicating that the economy is really on the uphill trend. People are more prosperous now that even the dead reap some benefits. Hey! Wealth even spills over to the graves.

BOM! BOM!! BOM!!!

Though the ban on firecrackers was on, but we heard firecrackers being let off everywhere in almost non-stop succession. Those must be smuggled items, yet so much was being burnt. These people must have paid heavily for the smuggled in items. Another indication that we are in for a good time, isn't it?


HELP!
THIS IS A
SQUEZZED IN CALL FOR SPONSORSHIP. FUNDS FOR THE MESSAGE IS SURE TIGHTLY SQUEEZED! COME, LEND A HELPING HAND PLEASE.

 Book and Quill
Written and edited by Chan Suy Sang with inspiration from his encounters with friends, fans and events.
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