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THE MESSAGE NO. 49 - DECEMBER 2005,
THE DR. ABU SAMAH HAJI LABAK SERIES,
THE FOO YOOK YOON 2ND EDITION.







MASTER-MINDED BY DR. ABU SAMAH HAJI LABAK
THIS SPECIAL EDITION IS JOINTLY PRODUCED BY
DR. ABU SAMAH HAJI LABAK AND CHAN SUY SANG


Hurray! The MESSAGE is 5 years old. Very young indeed! But it had done quite a lot of good deeds. It has kept 200 plus former M.E.S. teachers and students in constant touch. It has reported the goings-on of many of us; and most importantly about the health and livelihood of Ted Miles - our most revered patriarch.






DR. ABU SAMAH MAKES HIS MARK
By Chan Suy Sang in collaboration with Dr. Abu Samah



Some miles outside the gold rich Raub town was and still flourishes a Malay kampung of shanty homes. It is that little village town called Dong.

A half-century ago or so almost naked children, roamed, played and scrambled around Dong. Among the street urchins, teddy boys and village ruffians was a little boy named Abu Samah. This is one Dongian who has made his mark.

Abu was his nickname as they all called him. Nobody among those of his childhood friends could imagine that Abu Samah could take such a giant step and roots himself in Setapak. In fact many Mesians don't even know that this low-profile guy is now so sought after for a cure.

Miraculously he is working miracles too. He treats many people who were trashed out by many a professional who prescribed cures but yet the patients were doomed and pronounced incurable. So Dr. Abu Samah complements their treatment and presto many patients' health were returned.

Among his patients he is well-known for his herbal cure that he imports from the US. In fact he was trained in the States in psychology that later he switched to iridology.

He often travels to Jakarta and China to conference with experts in those countries.

According to our mentor, he had been used as a guinea-pig (I beg your pardon but it is actually a rodent) before. He was the student who tried out most of our master's typewriting book while it was in manuscript form. Abu had been his Malay language proofreader. I wonder if he was his munshi too.

To conclude, Kumarasamay has e-mailed me and told me that Abu Samah was our prinipal's "blue-eyed" boy. Oh, since our mentor's eyes are blue, I thought when he looks at anybody he or she will always appear blue to him, right! But Abu's eyes are black certainly not blue to me.

As a past favourite he now heaps praises on our master and even fills his pantry regularly with groceries.


Butterflies and Flower
A BOUQUET TO YOU DR.ABU
Butterflies and Flower










THE REVIVAL OF THE M.E.S.SAGE
By The Editor




On Christmas day 5 years ago, a few former students including me attended Mr. Miles Christmas party in his bungalow. Our mentor showed me the names and addresses of a few former students.

Seeing that most of the people around were interested to have names of their friends and addresses, I pick up a short list and said I would type out the list for him. Then I sent out the list. There were a mere 10 names.

I sent out the first list to the 9 people. Why nine? Ahha! You don't expect me to waste 30 sen and send a copy to yours truly, do you? A few more names came in. Again I sent out the list with 16 names.

But alas! How could this state of affairs last? It was meaningless, I thought at last. I must send a letter explaining what I was up to. Thus went out after the third dispatch. The fourth was a long letter written in lighter vein. I asked for headhunters. Purpose: to rope in former students and educators of our old Methodist English School Bentong.





OUR MENTOR'S LIFE STYLE

I wrote things like the lifestyle of our former principal Mr. Miles. Thus appeared these lines, "Snakes are his frequent visitors. Wild boars are his neighbours. Monkeys descend to share the fruit of his labour".





BENTONG'S ATTRACTIONS

I described about the physical attractions of Bentong. So goes these lines: "yonder over there the Chamang Waterfall is still beckoning us all. The Perting Dam has burst its walls. Much of Bentong is inundated when the sky pours."




THE SPIRIT OF THE M.E.S.SAGE THRIVES

These bits and pieces about our mentor and Bentong aroused the interest of many former students to know more. I heard rumblings of appreciation and praise in spurts and splatters from many quarters. So I wanted to continue writing and send out the newsletter naming it as the Spirit of the M.E.S.SAGE. Remember? The M.E.S.SAGE was our school newspaper started by our mentor.




HOW TO FINANCE IT?

Mr. Miles wrote to me warning, "sending a newsletter to all cost money. How are you going to finance it?". Frankly, I have no idea then but to dig into my own pockets. After all, the whole project was my baby and I have to bear all the responsibilities.

At the end of dispatch four, I mentioned something like asking for a sponsor as the project was burning holes in my pockets and denting my wallet.




WHO'S THE FIRST SPONSOR?

Bravo! Wong Yeng Kee came in to finance the next newsletter. He is the pioneer of all newsletters that followed behind. Thanks to Yeng Kee for standing so steadfastly behind me.




EACH EDITION BEARS THE SPONSOR'S NAME

To express my gratitude for Yeng Kee's generosity, I named the 5th dispatch as the Wong Yeng Kee edition. From thenceforward sponsors surged in and each edition bore the sponsor's name such as Peter Chong, Lu Ah Ngan, Yip Fook Khim.... So the ball started rolling.




NAME LIST EXPANDS

Then the name list of M.E.S. former teachers and students keep on increasing. Thanks to the co-operation of students and friends who helped to tracked down the lost friends. The list continued the upward trend. It touched 100 and then 120, 150, 170. At press time we totaled 203.




MUN SEONG LAUNCHES THE SERIES SPONSORSHIP

Wong Mun Seong sent in a whopper and then I supplemented the sponsorship with a series sponsor. Mun Seong pioneered the second tier of financing the MESSAGE. Great, thanks for the cue again, Mun Seong.




INCREASING FANS

Besides the financial backing, appreciation and praises are not lacking. So much so a few people even said, "we are waiting for the arrival of the MESSAGE when the month begins". Thus, I searched and dug into history; scrapped and created little stories for the enjoyment of everybody. Even a few non-M.E.S. friends and fans have swept in to join the den.












THE SPONSORS SNOWBALL


These names have headed/will head the pages of past/future editions: Wong Yeng Kee, Peter Chong Sang Fah, Lu Ah Ngan, Yip Fook Khim, Kumarasamy, Haji Munzir Abas & Hassan Long, Chan See Phong,

Lee Yew Kwong, Paul Fong Shek Phooi, Sam Pak Lam, Haji Shamsuddin bin Salleh, Wong Mun Seong (series of 10), Datin Alice Loke, Ng Kam Thye, Sar Kim Len, Chui Wai Ming, John Chinniah, Cheong Ah Moi, Loh Kok Keong, Haji Bahari Shafie, Vincent Lee, David Chinniah & Mahalingam, Chong Yit Lan, Zainal Lisut (series of 3), Hema Latha, Zulklifli Mohd. Arrifin, Anonymous (series of 2),

Loh Fook Cheng, Wong Thin Ching (series of 5) Muhd. Alam Shah & Joo Shek Phin, Lee Sai Kan & Chan Siew Mun, Haji Mokhtar Mat Piah, Kumarasamy (2nd edition), Foo Yoke Yoon, Lu Ah Ngan (2nd edition), Chan Loy Thye. Chui Tai Fan (series of 5), Yen Swee Lim, Harbans Singh,

Balachandran Nair, Lim Pak Heng (series of 2), Ng Kam Thye (2nd edition), Liew Chow Yin, Dr. Abu Samah bin Hj. Labak (series of 12), Paul Fong Shek Phooi (2nd edition), Hema Latha d/o Subramaniam, Chan See Phong (2nd edition), Chan Shu Fan, Lee Yew Kwong (2nd edition), Foo Yook Yoon (2nd edition), Foo Chin Foong, Foo Yu Pong, Loh Fook Cheng (2nd edition), Datin Alice Loke (2nd edition), S. Ramasamy.

At the beginning I said this sponsorship will develop like a snowball. Looking at the list of names above the snowball has grown as it falls. Come one, come all. Come and cling onto the snowball. Then the MESSAGE will continue and prevail. Long live the MESSAGE.







BAHARI COMES UP FOR A LOOK SEE

By the editor in collaboration with Haji Bahari Shafie






One fine Saturday I called on our mentor. You know what I saw? Half a durian on the kitchen marble table. The pungent aroma of the spiky fruit wisped about the air.



Durian
AMERICANS EATING DURIANS
Durian


Bahari Shafie had come around. Tuan Haji from Taman Tun Kuala Lumpur had driven into town. He came to visit our mentor. With him also came a couple in tow. Who are they? They are Americans, a pair of senior citizens: Prof. Dr. Gregory Livingstone and his spouse.

They have come under the Silver Hair exchange programme. Under that citizens swapping friendship scheme a handful of Americans come to live in our country. Now the couple has been here for 4 long years. They must have like Malaysia so intensely that they are reluctant to pack off. "Not until 2008h", they said. They enjoy the kindness of our kind. Not only that but they have taken to feast on the great spiky fruit flesh.




HURRAY, MORE DURIAN EATERS


On that day after a sumptuous lunch at the Rest House, they had durian for dessert. And, the prof. and his companion consumed so much of the messy pungent stuff that you could say it was an after meal fest. It looks like some white men and women too are taking a liking for the durians now. That is a good development because that means the consumers of durians will increase.

In fact we want more durian eaters. There is a glut of the spiky fruit here in Bentong during every durian season. Instead of selling by the kilo thorns, skin, flesh, seeds and all, as it used to be before, durian growers nowadays face the problem of over production.



Durian
DURIAN ORCHARD BOOM
Durian


Why? During the economic recession many years ago, the price of rubber hit bottom. So, plantation owners axed and chain sawed down their rubber trees. They turned thousands of acres of rubber land into orchards of durians.





FARMERS LEARN A LESSON


Ain't it an economic truism that when there is an over-production of any agricultural crop, its price would sharply drop? It might go so low that it could not cover the harvesting cost! In fact, historical facts had shown that an abundance of corn in the fields were better burnt down than to lose more money on the cost of labour and use of machinery for harvesting the produce!

Over here in Bentong and in many of the durian producing areas, durians are left to rot because orchard owners could not recover the picking cost!





DURIAN DIRT CHEAP


You could now rake in a heapful of the spiky fruit for a few ringgit. Or, it costs like 50 sen to a ringgit for a fruit that would give you a stomachful of the pungent, (I beg your pardon, it's fragrant to Malaysians) flesh.





Durian Line


THE SWING OF THE PENDULUM


Now the pendulum has swung back. Rubber price has skyrocketed even up to the infamous Korean War level of more than RM2 a kilo.

Those who lost out on the durian planting rush are now laughing with their lucrative rubber harvest ! Ha, ha, ha. Like the saying goes, "those who laugh first laugh last". How true it is, like they say, "one man's woe is another man's gold." Emmm....! Now the stink of rubber attracts more customers than the strong aromatic fragrance of the durian.





A LUCKY HERO OF M.E.S.



By the editor in collaboration with Juku Singh



One night my house phone rang. The call came from my pal, Harbans Singh, from Klang. What did Harbans want me to do?

He wanted me to look up his friend called Juku. I told him, "I'll see what I can do." Meanwhile he would also do his best to make contact.

Since Juku is a Sikh I suggested to Harbans Singh to trace his buddy through the Sikh community. This is because we know that the Sikhs are closely knitted and a minority.




SEEK YOU WILL A SIKH


A half hour later, the phone rang again. Harbans Singh was at the other end. He had tracked Juku Singh down and had spoken to him. What a feat! How did he do it? He dialed 103 for telephone directory.

"That's a strange name," said the telephonist. But okay she searched the directory. Sure enough she found Juku Singh's telephone number. Immediately Harbans got connected to his long lost buddy. After a long conversation Harbans came back to me.

Without any dilly-dally I rang Juku Singh. I don't know him but when I asked if he is from M.E.S. our conversation became friendly. So we talked for a while and promised to meet one day.

What is so special about Juku? We have to go back to history. Remember the terrifying standoff in the AIA building in the 1970's? Juku was one of the real life characters in that horrifying drama. Here's the story:



DRAMA THEN TRAUMA


Back in the 1975, on August 4th the AIA building in KL was taken over by the Japanese Red Army. There was a standoff between the terrorists and the local authority. Juku then worked there as a guard and on that very fateful day he should have been off duty. But fate dumped him back there to relief somebody!

He went up to the ninth floor of the AIA building to investigate a reported robbery. As soon as he jutted his head out of the lift door a bullet hit him. Juku sprawled on the lift floor. In seconds he was turned into a bloodied man. The bullet went right into his head through a spot just below his right eyeball.

Juku

"The bullet went right through my head" Juku said.

Juku's friend dragged him to a clinic. After some initial treatment he was sent to the hospital for a thorough check-up. What was up? The medical men thought they must cut him up. They wanted to remove the metal piece of the bullet from his head. However, more than 20 X-ray films showed no sign of the slug.

Luckily, the bullet was very powerful. It went right through his brain and emerged from the back on the left. So no pellet was lodged in his head.

Anyone could have expired, but Juku survived. Providence gave him a longer life. For two months he was hospitalized including 26 days he had to lay flat on his hospital bed. This dormant existence emaciated him turning Juku into a match stick figure. His legs quivered under his bony weight. The medical team at the hospital decided no surgery for him, for in his brain they saw no foreign body.

After 5 months of rest Juku made a complete recovery. Hurray!

When I visited Juku recently, he showed me the scar below his right eyeball and another healed wound behind his left ear. We had a long conversation as he narrated the incident to me telling every detail. He illustrated his story with pictures taken from newspaper cuttings. Those days he suddenly became a man of great bravery. Even the American ambassador to Malaysia awarded him a certificate of gallantry!

Juku, you are darn lucky!





MERRY CHRISTMAS

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2006




WE SHALL MEET AT MR. MILES'S HOUSE ON CHRISTMAS DAY DECEMBER 25TH 2005. SEE YOU THERE RAIN OR SHINE FOR SNOW FALLS NOT IN OUR CLIME.








Birthday Cake Green

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO


No.
NAME
BIRTHDAY
1
ABD. MALEK ENGKU OMAR
DEC 4
2
VICTOR DASS
DEC 4
3
FRANK ANN FAN CHOON
DEC 11
4
MUH ALAM SHAH HJ. HAAMIN
DEC 12
5
CHEONG SANG FAH, PETER
DEC 14
6
FOO YU PONG
DEC 16
7
YAP CHOY MING
DEC 19
8
S. AYAH SAMY
DEC 22
9
SHAMSUDDIN SALLEH (HJ)
DEC 22
10
TAN KIM WOK
DEC 26
11
LAI HOE CHOON
DEC 27
12
OOI KENG HONG
DEC 28








REMEMBER: THE MESSAGE NEEDS U AS SPONSORS






CHEERS AND CLAPS FOR DR. ABU SAMAH WHO CO-WORKED WITH ME TO PRODUCE THIS BUMPER ISSUE. THANK Q TOO FOR CONTINUING THE SPONSORSHIP OF THE SERIES. THANKS ALSO TO FOO YOOK YOON WHO SPONSORS THIS EDITION.







The next two pages is a master piece of the MESSAGE written by our master, mentor, patriarch, patron, advisor, former principal and now our great pal - Ted Miles. The reading might be rugged but go the extra miles to understand it. On your mark, get set. Bang.....




AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MY EARLY LIFE
By Ted Miles











You had just read MESSAGE 49


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