THE MESSAGE MAY, 2005 NO.42
THE LIM PAK HENG SERIES. THE LIEW CHOW YIN EDITION
WHY THE DELAY?
SHOCKED, SURPRISED, AMAZED, STUNNED!
You would have wondered why no MESSAGE hit your mailbox last month. The reason:
Postage skyrockets for sending it every month. It must be enclosed in a WHITE envelope
with address PRINTED on it too. No wrapper, no sticking of labels.
So I put on my thinking cap and hit on an idea. I found that two months' MESSAGES require
the equivalent of two postings. So from now on I shall dispatch you two months'
MESSAGES in one packet, for a trial period.
There is a little delay but it looks like this is more practical.
I hope this adaptation to changes would be best for the MESSAGE'S survival.
Remember it's just for a trial. Revert to old monthly practice? Your advice?
WHAT HAPPENED THIS MONTH MAY 1955
50 YEARS AGO?????
THE M.E.S.SAGE GOES
The first issue of the May M.E.S.SAGE in 1955 went all red. Was it to commemorate May Day
which was celebrated by the Reds? Have the Reds infiltrated our old M.E.S.?
Has M.E.S. been easternised following the Mao's pronouncement that the East is Red?
Had the M.E.S.SAGE's finances hit bottom and gone red?
No, no, no not that bad. That first issue of the May M.E.S.SAGE went red because we had
causes to celebrate. It was the first anniversary of the M.E.S.SAGE. Secondly, it showed
that the school had been keeping up with more advanced memo graph technology.
The school had bought the new technology. The duplicating machine had got a
new drum and printing screen that ran on red ink. So the copies produced were all red.
What a beautiful colour. I was sure the readers were pleased with the new issue.
THEY DID THE SCHOOL PROUD
Wong Yeng Kee, Chan Suan Cheng now known as our Singaporean Tan Soon Seng,
Tan Yet Ngor, Low Teck Hoi, and Chin Sow Cheong were in the news.
They romped home with prizes from the Bentong District Agricultural show.
The principal heaped them with CONGRATULATIONS!
AIDILFITRI IN MAY IN 1955
There was a Greeting to all our Muslim friends in the M.E.S.SAGE that says
Selamat hari raya
The Muslims celebrated hari raya on May 23 and 24, in 1955.
But how come Muslims celebrated aidilfitri on 14 and 15 November in 2004 and for this year
it falls on November 3 and 4?
The Muslim calendar is lunar. It has no leap year to synchronize with the solar calendar.
As a general rule, each aidilfitri will be celebrated approximately 11 (eleven) days
earlier than the hari raya puasa on the previous year.
WHAT CARNIVAL AGAIN?
Then the principal announced the 1955 Carnival will be on June 11. That kicked off
the feverish rush of activities that kept everybody busy.
HASSAN LONG FETES US TO HIS DAUGHTER'S WEDDING
On early December last, I picked up our patriarch. We headed towards Benus to attend a
wedding reception. It was the marriage of
Hassan Long's daughter Nurrhafidzza with her prince charming Rohailan bin Bayamin.
MESIANS COME FROM AS FAR A KL
There we met other Mesians. Peter Chong drove up from Seri Kembangan in Kuala Lumpur
with Lee Kim Thye in tow. Mohammed Nor bin Taayun brought his family up from Ampang to
congratulate the happy Hassan. From Sungai Marong came Mokhtar bin Mat Piah.
We all had a sumptuous tucking in as it was time for tiffin. Well, we also had a session
of interesting chitchat refreshing our memory of our past school and deeds.
We recalled many names that we never have a chance to meet for ages.
All wonder where and how they are.
THE SITTING IN STATE CEREMONY BEGINS
Then we heard the beating of the Malay hand drums that led in the parade of the groom's
entourage. The newly-weds sat majestically on their propitious day’s throne. Blessings
followed blessings from the relatives and elders of the bride and the groom.
When we left my passenger hopped into Peter's car and left for home.
THANK YOU HASSAN:
The stamp on the envelope / wrapper of this MESSAGE had traveled
from Bentong to me in Petaling Jaya. Then it was stuck there as the ticket for its passage
through rail or lorries or planes to reach you. It is Hassan Long's contribution
in kind to ensure that the MESSAGE will finally arrive at your mailbox.
Hassan sent me a bundle of stamps for use in sending this MESSAGE. "Thanks Hassan".
I am saying this from the bottom of my heart and on every reader of the MESSAGE's behalf.
PICKING UP COMPANY
One day I went to visit Ng Kam Thye at his office.
Kam Thye passed me our mentor's house insurance policy. It was for onward delivery.
Immediately I called Mr. Miles. He replied that he was in town at the post office -
just behind. I suggested that we go for a drink somewhere. I drove over to see him at the
back of the post office. There he was inside his jalopy reading the day's mail.
SIPPING COFFEE AND TEA
We drove down to ESSO station and visited Wong Yeng Kee. From there we proceeded to
the neighbouring coffee shop for coffee and tea. As we sloshed, as we sipped;
we smacked our lips. We updated our gossips. No, we did not tear anybody to pieces as we
quipped. Nor did we say much about our acquaintances and encounters of recent date.
WET, DARK AND DRY
We complained a little about the monsoon weather. Yeng Kee grumbled about the occasional
outages of power. The power disturbances often hang his station computer.
There was also some harsh words leashed out at the water department for they too often
cut off supply despite rain had been pouring down everyday from the overcastted sky.
BENTONG TOWN CUT UP
Oh my! We forgot to babble about the changes taking place right in the middle of the town.
Loke Yew Street and Ah Peng Street were undergoing a massive facelift now.
The road dividers there had been bulldozed away. Both streets would be turned into
busy one-way thoroughfares.
THE TOWN TURNS INTO A RACING GROUND
Traffic from far and near, bound for the north would speed up Ah Peng Street.
Two wheelers, four wheelers, 10, 12, even 20 and thirty wheelers will whisk through Ah Peng
Street heading to Raub, Lipis, and straight up to Kota Bahru.
Vehicles from Kelantan, Raub and Kuala Kubu Baru will race down Loke Yew Street one way now.
They roar and tear the through town heading east and south.
With wider roads, traffic congestion in town would be solved now. This is all for the
convenience of the long distance drivers who dare anybody to cross their way in town.
So locals now have their woes. How to cross the streets with traffic passing at daredevil
BENTONG FOLKS LAMENT
The public here opine and complain. We enjoy no benefit as few people will stop in this
shantytown for bite or to take a sip. All the drivers rush through the town have the
go, go, go mindset to speed off for their destinations in the south or the north.
"My gosh, Bentong has nothing to offer!" they thought.
A SOJOURN HERE IS GOOD
YOU GET CHEAT GOOD FOOD
But hey! You know we have the many nasi lemak stalls, ice-cream parlours, noodles stalls
and snack corners. Then, there are the restaurants that serve excellent Chinese,
Malay and Indian cuisines at such bargain low prices that you just cannot imagine.
WESTERN FOOD, TOO
Talking of cuisines, one day I joined Ng Kam Thye while he was enjoying a steak.
You know I could also order a lamb chop. His grandchildren tucked into chicken chops.
There you are, if you like to enjoy western food even here you could get something good.
Yes, I wonder why we could have lamb chop, chicken chop and another chop.
Why is it that cow’s meat is steak and not beef chop anymore? Yet fish is fish with
spud chips. To end the story I did not get a free lunch but the dinner was on Ng Kam Thye,
not on me. Thanks.
STOP HERE AND TAKE A BREATHER
Believe me you long distance travelers Bentong is a town for you to stop for a bite and
take breather! You sure will enjoy a smoother and less stressful drive and ride after
your taste buds are exercised and your stomach satisfied. So a stopover in Bentong town
can be good experience now.
So stop. Fill up you tank and stomach. Then be off!
The one-way street traffic in Bentong town came into effect on the 19th of January.
The pre-emptive fear of the residents was unfounded. Traffic now moves more effectively.
Ah Peng Street now looks more busy. Conservatism and inertia have given way to changes
HERE COMES OUR CYBERFAN S L YEN
One fine day an SMS came in. It was from SL Yen – the MESSAGE's ardent cyber fan.
He said he would like to meet me for tea.
He would be driving all the way up from Mantin to see me.
While having tea, I came to know that Yen was planning to teach English tuition in China.
He had discovered that English is in great demand in that country with a population that
runs into billions.
(He has left for China and I hope he is still in one piece there, unless he has dumped his
bachelorhood and come back as a pair.)
Why do the Chinese want to learn English? They realize that English is a language of
science and technology. There is a craze in China to excel in this field to earn more money.
Make full use of your teaching experience Yen. Good luck and hope you will achieve
your dream!Make your billion from a country that numbers more than a billion.
Yen is also trying to publish books on herbs in Malay. What an enterprising fan!
Go ahead and fan out into fields that you think will bring in more yuan or yen, great fan.
Later on you will start thinking of making dollars and euros. Presto!
With him there also came a Mr. Teoh. That guy is an avid reader who always carries a book
with him as companion. Well Yen sell Teoh the first copy of your books before they
hit the bookstores.
Now talking of herbs and cures, suddenly I remembered Dr. Abu Samah from Setapak.
So in the evening I called this doctor of complementary medicine. His voice crackled with
excitement and I was sure his eyes would have glistened.
We agreed to meet for lunch and fixed the appointment.
LUNCH DATE WITH DR.ABU
One day in December last - time : 11.20 a.m. I called Dr.Abu Samah to inform him I would
be going downtown. I drove out. The highway was clear. I drove towards town.
Then at Jalan Tun Razak, the gridlock built up. Traffic just snarled along.
When I reached Setapak, I made a left turn but my decision was wrong. I went into Prima
and was lost instead. I called Abu. He told me to go to Danau Kota which was not very far.
Yes I drove out and hit the highway again. I saw Danau Kota. I parked the car and then
walked in front to find the clinic. I missed it. Later on only I realized that
I was just in front of it.
I walked in. Dr.Abu was with some patients. So I waited in the guest room. After about 20
minutes his patients left. Abu called me in and we sat down to have a round of powwow.
Then Dr. Abu drove me to Carrefour in Wangsa Maju for a bite at a Deli. Yes, we had lunch.
Dr.Abu expressed his heart-felt concern for our mentor and enquired about his living
condition in Bentong. I told him there was nothing to worry about. Ted Miles is happy and
kicking around. Our patriarch is safe and sound.
Abu indicated that he would be happier if he could slip in and see him.
He wants to find ways to show his gratitude for what our mentor had done for him while
he was in school and even later out of school. Well, Abu, you really want to show
so much ado. You are so grateful. I said I will see what I can do.
Dr. Abu brought me back to his clinic. When he was free, he explained how he wanted to
sponsor the MESSAGE. He would come in as a series sponsor. Later he would chip in to
produce a supplement issue - a bonanza edition. His suggestion coincides with my ambition
for I too wish to produce something to mark a very important occasion. What is it? At this
very instant we will keep you in suspense until such time when it is appropriate to reveal
In his work Abu Samah dispenses herbal medicines to complement the health of his many
patients. In his contribution to our newsletter publication he would produce a supplement
Dr. Abu many thanks, lots of compliments and much gratitude, from Suy Sang to you.
Tabik - my salute!
FROM NEXT MONTH ON, THE DR.ABU SAMAH SERIES WILL BE LAUNCHED.
NOW FOR EDITION SPONSORS WE BECKON. COME ON, WE NEED EDITION SPONSORS TO TAG ALONG.
WE WANT EDITION SPONSORS TO SUPPLEMENT EACH EDITION TO ENSURE THIE MESSAGE'S CONTINUENCE.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO
||MOHD. ZAINON B. IBRAHIM
||MOHAMAD RASELY ZAKARIA
||FRANKIE HOH OI CHYE
||FOO YOOK YOON
||LIEW FOOK CHOY
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