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High 5
H EY, RAISE YOUR HAND
AND
GIVE ME A HIGH FIVE !
High 5

WHY?

THE MESSAGE WILL STILL THRIVE


CONGRATS WE ARE GOING INTO 2005



ON CHRISTMAS EVE WONG MUN SEONG gave our patriach and a few of us who made it a sumptuous dinner treat. Of course yours truly also tagged along to reap some gourmand benefit.

There was a table full of us: our patriarch Ted Miles, Wong Mun Seong and his wife. There was Ng Kam Thye who made all the contacts and did the running around to lasso in attendees and to make sure a dining venue was found. Mun Seong's former teacher Loh Wee Nam and his spouse were also in the crowd. Finally, I also roped in Lee Yew Kwong who gladly came along.

We were at the Hotel Krystal restaurant for the grand tucking in. It was an eight-course dinner with delightful dishes thrown in.

What a way to usher in Christmas Day! Our mentor was full and we were thankful for Mun Seong's so generous treat.




HEY,
HERE'S HOW WE CELEBRATE XMAS DAY !

Yes, we were there - at Mr. Miles's bungalow. It was Christmas Day Open house.

The earliest arrivals brought in a huge stuffed and roasted traditional Xmas fare - a turkey. It was from Choo Oi Mei, Mary and her hubby Gary. They delivered the bird straight into the kitchen and started to get ready for the party.

Then Dr. Abu Samah Haji Labak from Setapak chauffeured in his spouse and progeny in his Mercedes three twenty. Just behind him came Chan Siew Mun who arrived accompanied by Yap Kim Hee.

From as far as Pekan came Abdul Malek Engku Omar a retired fireman and his spouse.

Other people trickled in bringing delicious food and voicing their greetings to our patriarch. All wished him "Merry Xmas".

From Ketari came Lee Yew Kwong and his family. Even Lee Sai Kan traveled all the way up from Setapak by bus and then joined in Yew Kwong's entourage.

Peter Chong and Wong Yeng Kee slipped in after noon with some nice food and good tidings. From Taman Tun, KL came Haji Bahari Shaffie who recognized Lee Yew Kwong immediately. Balachandran and his family drove all the way up from Port Dickson.

From Temerloh came Teh Boon Tan. Also, Mohd Razlan and spouse raced all along the highways down from Kemaman arriving there at three. He had a big packet for our patriarch.

Our frequent visitor Zulkifli bin Ariffin descended from the high and lofty Cameron Highlands bearing gifts fresh from the farm lands.

Sarjeet Singh's spouse brought along members of her family with gifts for a festive visit.

Even Lim Pak Heng finally barged in after driving miles and miles from deep in the Jengka Triangle. He also searched and searched for our master's bungalow until finally he found it at four.

While we were busy with the party, Loh Fook Cheng called all the way from Singapore. He wished our mentor a very Merry Christmas. He regretted that this Christmas he could not make it, but he assured that he would be here sometime in the near future.


Our mentor was a very happy man that day on seeing so many of his former students and friends. You would be elated wouldn't you when so many people you know 50 year ago or so still come to see you!

Well if you have missed this opportunity, there is another occasion in February. We will celebrate his birthday early on the 12th of February. Yes, it is the 4th day of the Lunar New Year. I am sure you will still be in the festival mood.

Why not crown the New Year celebration with another party. Come along on the 12th of February. See your mug there.





A CHANCE TO SPEAK TO MOHD RAZLAN


This is a little story about a Mesian called Mohd. Razlan. One day out of the blue he called me from Kemaman.

We are strangers. We have never met before. Yet we are bound by the bond of loyalty for being former students of M.E.S.

So we engaged ourselves in a most friendly chitchat. It was but a normal conversation talking many trivial things as an introduction.

I spoke in a potpourri of pasar Malay and pidgin English. Razlan also adopted a most amiable tone through the phone. But our gabbing was light-hearted that made us also levelheaded. It was a way to diffuse any stranger feelings when two unknown people practise their gift of the gab.

Razlan mentioned some of his old buddies whom he has not met for ages. He especially wanted to see Mohamed Noor Moahammad and Dr. Abu Samah bin Labak.

Razlan heaped praises on me for producing and delivering the MESSAGE. He stressed that he enjoyed reading it. He spoke highly of the stories. He is a real fan and buddy. I was overwhelmed by his flattery. I almost swoon under his compliments that he rattled out to butter me!

Razlan is now a retiree hiding away in the little East Coast town known as Kemaman. His life is now carefree, but like many a person who was formerly in the once noble teaching profession, he still moonlights to keep himself busy. Well done, Razlan!

Call him if you have missed this your old buddy. Contact him at: E-Mail ME to find out. Say "Hello, hi". Suy Sang had said that to thee on Christmas Day at three.





WHAT HAPPENED THIS MONTH
JANUARY 1955
50YEARS AGO?



This is a reverie back to January a flashback of half a century. In January 1955, there were wonderful good news with a tint of bad news. The M.E.S.SAGE failed to produce an issue. No M.E.S.SAGE appeared and it looked like we would not hear any news.

The good news were a few and very exciting too. Our principal, Mr. Miles welcomed the New Year (1955) in Singapore. He was so involved in a conference there that he stayed on until the last day. But the next day was school re-opening day!

So on the afternoon just before the school reopening day, Mr. Miles raced back to Bentong. Actually, he almost did not make it. For on the way back his jalopy, that infamous weakling of a car, stalled several times and had to be doctored by various mechanics along the way.

I think his old faithful was giving him the jitters to remind our master that last minute rush is always dangerous and cannot be trusted.

When the next day dawned, the school was as busy as a beehive. There were much buzzing, bustling and hustling around. Many new students were feeling the first day of school blue. It was actually good news for the school!

Many classes were bursting at the seams. The total enrolment suddenly skyrocketed and chalked up to 500 strong. This huge number was a record, for we had never had so many students before!

Two new commercial classes were also added to the regular classes of the school. They accommodated part-time students from the Chinese schools. The Chinese school students were hyper-excited to come and touch our new typewriters. They also wanted to learn to keep accounts Western style and to experience the "chicken scratch" type handwriting called shorthand.

Our Principal and his staff were kept on their toes. Actually often they were on the run to catch up with a run for admission into the school.

You may ask: Hey, Suy Sang! How do you know all these without the M.E.S.SAGE? Were you there? Yep. Even then you must have a super memory. Nope. Then?

Messages Messages Messages Messages Messages

My source:
The Past Notes Volume I.

Donft you have a copy of that book? If no, get one from our mentor. Quick, make a dash for it. You will be lucky if you could get one from the Popular Book Store. All his books are limited editions, you know! Grab it or else there will be no more!!




THE SECRET OF KEEPING FIT -
JUNGLE TREKKING





Like I have said before, our mentor has a good physique. I have declared him as fit as a fiddle and slim in the middle. Now I know how he keeps his body so fit. It is an hour of morning walk. Unlike many of us, he does not jog. He indulges in strenuous and vigorous leisure walk.



IT'S UP THE AIRY MOUNTAIN
DOWN THE GRASSY VALE

His exercises involve rugged jungle trekking. He takes the route through the jungle at the back of his bungalow. It is an uphill trudge, follow by a downhill stretch and then climbing a slope again before he turns back. Over there is a plot of land with many durian trees - an orchard.

The trail takes him through thick undergrowth and lofty trees all protected from the sun under a foliage canopy. Yet the walk would have made him perspire profusely.

HECK, THERE ARE MOSQUITOES,
LEECHES, BIRDS AND INSECTS!

Mosquitoes buzzed around him, landed and punctured his skin to take a good meal. Leeches sometimes claim a share of his blood. However, the melodies of chirping birds and the shrill calls of insects entertain our mentor all along the track.

He said, "It's like an orchestra that nowhere else you can get!" No wonder.

THE LUCKY DAY

During the durian season once and only once, he had picked up one or two of the spiky fruit. Then he had had a hearty meal of the pungent flesh! "Hmmm...great", he had said.

DURIANS SUIT HIS PALATE

We know white men and women feel repugnant against the odour of durians. "Durians smell obnoxious. They taste repulsive, horrible," they said. They keep their distance from the messy dungy fest. We tender them our regrets!

But our mentor is special. He has accustomed his nose and palate to the smell and the taste of the king of fruits. He enjoys gulping down the rich and pastry durian flesh. He is not only a Malaysian by letters and words. He is a true Malaysian by habits and food. Durian has become one of his favourites!

Now back to the jungle trek.

One morning a very strange thing happened while our master had reached deep into the jungle. There came a youth on a motorcycle. On seeing our mentor there the youngster was totally taken aback. You want to know why?

A WHITE MAN IN THE WILD?

He thought: What! a white man in the wild? Incredible. So he asked our mentor in a suspicious voice. "Where do you come from?"

AN ALIEN, A CELESTIAL BEING?

"Aye," thought the guy, "this could be some alien or some celestial being."

Our master pointed up the slope in the direction of his bungalow all hidden by some bamboo groves and thick foliage. He said, "up and over the other side. Beyond."

The youngster thought he was pointing at the sky. He said in his heart, "oh my, from the sky!"


I CAN GRANT YOU A WISH

He could have believe our mentor if the latter had said, "I will grant you a wish". The youth would believe it.

I am sure the young man would ask: "Make the durians fall," for that was what he came there for.

Our mentor could easily past muster and could have told him, "eenie meenie minie moe, durians will be on the ground tomorrow".

He could have then let the miracle to take its own natural course because the durian falling season had just started.

HE MISSES CRANKING A PRANK

But from what our master said he just let slip the chance to spring a prank on the young man. What a pity to have let go such a golden opportunity to crank up a prank! Ha, ha, ha.

WHO IS THE CELESTIAL BEING?

Hey, a white man in the wild! A young guy in the jungle on a motorbike!! I wonder who thought who was a being celestial!!!



WOW, BIG CATS ON THE PROWL


Tiger Leap Forward

Before ending our conversation on that day, I mentioned something that raised a scare. One day my younger sibling was tending his durian orchard. Suddenly from the bushes something leaped out in front of him. You know what he saw? A tiger. Luckily, the big cat did not attack but ran away.

Now, rubber tappers around here have seen such creatures before. They prowl around to foray for food especially wild boars.

Well, who knows, they might make a mistake and make man the target! Or if they are forced to take a meal after failing to find venison or veal. Then itfs u if u r in view.


Tiger
WHO'S THE PROTECTED SPECIES?

"The tiger is a protected species," we agreed almost simultaneously.

Our mentor chipped in and asked, "if one day I were to come face to face with one of those yellow-and-black-stripped critter, I wonder who is the protected species?"
"Aye", I replied. "In that case Mr. Miles the tiger is still the protected species. Aren't you instantly upgraded to become the endangered species? If the tiger feels he should take a meal he is entitled to it."
"What should I do then?" Our mentor was very eager to know where he would stand.
"You should fight with all your might," said I.
But the outcome! "Unknown. Unless the tiger decides that you constitute a hard bite. Then it would give you a respite. It might be satisfied to walk away with one of your canines to enjoy a smaller bite!!." Chuckled I.

Tiger Wreath
Ha, ha, ha.....! Come on, hold your sides.



HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO

Birthday Cake Green

No.
NAME
BIRTHDAY
1
LEE SAI KAN
JAN 1
2
YANG AHMAD MAT RAIS
JAN 1
3
KOK AH KOW
JAN 5
4
ABDUL JALIL MOHD DIN
JAN 7
5
MUNZIR BIN ABAS (HAJI)
JAN 21
6
TAN CHEONG LUNG
JAN 30
7
WONG LAN CHAN
JAN 31



AN ESPRIT DE CORPS CALL


Dear Mesians here is it! To you we beckon and entreat. Allow us to grace the header with your name of an edition of the MESSAGE

Let your name roller coaster through a series.

Reach out for the cheque book and be a sponsor please. RM100 to push out an edition. Multiples of it to pull us through a series.


MANY THANKS


 Book and Quill
Written and edited by Chan Suy Sang from spasm of expressive waves heaving from his much over-crowded head. Wishing you a prosperous year ahead.
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