THE MESSAGE NO.61 DECEMBER 2006
- THE WONG YENG KEE SERIES -
THE LEE SAI KAN 3rd EDITION
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2007
WE ARE AT THE YEAR-END AGAIN
So soon, we are at the end of the year again. I remember reading somebody's
exposition. Here is how it goes: Life is like a toilet roll. The more you pull,
the faster it will go. The year seems to go faster and faster now for many
of us, don't you realize so?
SANTA CLAUS WILL DESCEND AGAIN, WITH HIS JOYOUS HO! HO! HO.....
Christmas Day is our day to meet at our mentor's bungalow. Come along to see
how he and many of us are getting on. What time? Malaysian time: between
sunrise and sunset. If early, have chitchat; help lay out foods and dining
sets. If late, pick up the crumbs and wash the plates. On time, have a full
plate. If absent; God bless. See you there with all the rest! Terms and
conditions: Bring some provisions preferably in readily edible conditions.
Or you may cart in something bulky like a turkey all cooked, stuffed and
dressed. You will get thumbs up from all the rest. We will cut it up and let
everybody have a real Xmas treat. Simple as that? Yes!
THE GEM, THE SMILE - THIS IS FROM MR. MILES
Down through the years you have all given me
memories as priceless as any diamond.
The many facets of your friendship
have shone through your calls and cards,
your letters and your visits.
Please join me here at home on the 25th
for another sparkling Christmas reunion.
Hey, your presence is requested there,
Come Christmas Day.
Tales of reminiscence No. 1
TEACHERS COME TEACHERS GO
FROM BENTONG MES OF OLD
I plunged myself into English education in the old dilapidated building that
sat on the site of the new traffic police office now. The first teacher who
taught me then was a stout and serious man. He cycled to school as if he was
on a race. Why? His bike was a Raleigh. It was a sort of top brand two-wheeler
WE kids were scared to death with the stare of his fiery eyes that showed a
lot of white. He was a man you dare not fool around with. For, if he boiled up
his anger had no bounds.
THE SPELLING TERROR
He was a spelling terror. Spelling was our daily ordeal. After the spelling
session, he meted out caning on our palms with a rattan. One-for-one was his
way of rewarding students. Few students escaped the strokes from his rattan.
Finally, the rattan was reduced to a much shredded stump! And, we accepted all
the punishments like dumps! We were lucky that the strokes of the rattan did
not land on our bums!!
WHO WAS THIS?
There was a rather lanky man. By his physique we thought he was weak. But his
voice was thunderous and shrieks. We all did shake on hearing the roar from
this skeletal frame. Eh! He broadcasted my name. He used to call me, "Suy Sang
collect the books for me. Suy Sang read this. Suy Sang do this, Suy Sang do
that." This teacher was a Bentong guy living in Loke Yew Street. Who was he?
You think you have got him. Didn't he stay in the Bombay shop? Nope, he was of
Sino stock. Later he became somebody among the Chinese educationists
community. Guess, who was he?
SHE TRUNDLES AROUND
Then there was a teacher who was a fair voluptuous lady. She was like a
godmother to the kids in the primary. She trundled around with the bulk of her
body. Boys called her the "big chest lady". You cannot blame them for giving
her a nickname because really few of us knew how to pronounce her name.
HE WAS REAL SASSY
A strong young man fresh from school came to teach in our school. Girls were
his favourites. We called him the "savory wet man". Pardon me for using a
local slang. It was after girls he ran! He was real sassy.
But, soon he left and left many heart-broken lasses around. Fortunately none
of them elope with him for they were too young to ever think of doing so. All
they could do was to shed some precious tears! After that they were so so.
HE TEACHES MATH AND ENGLISH
A very good and serious teacher came. His father was somebody in the PWD. What
do you call it nowadays? He taught us Math and English. Someone labeled him as
the "nozzle-mouthed" guy because of his sharp lifting chin.
One day, he told us a little tale. Then he asked us to rewrite the story. The
tale inspired yours truly. I rewrote the story.
Wow! The next day in class, he read out my story aloud. I was praised sky high.
He said he could not help but to award me the highest mark - a lofty 95. He
left to study to become a technical man. However, he switched career and
became a headmaster!
THE MIDGET LOUDSPEAKER
There came a very loud speaking teacher. Actually, he was a midget sort of
figure! We wondered why he always put his hands in his pockets. Some boys
observed him and said, "he was playing pocket billiards!" What did they mean,
the puzzle still remains. Were there marbles in his pockets? But he sure used
to scratch and scratch!!
HE INSPIRES US IN SCIENCE
This guy inspired many of us in Science. He was a serious guy - young,
handsome, robust and ambitious. Many girls were attracted to him. But alas,
he left to further his study in such a hurry. Who was he?
OH I SEE WHAT HE SEES
This teacher came to school riding a cute little bicycle. He always wore
sunglasses even when teaching in his classes! One day he confessed to an
enchanting lass. He told her why he always put on sunglasses. Just to admire
her in class!!
HE TOLERATED SOME NONSENSE
A stout man became a teacher in the school. He wore reflective sunglasses too.
Nope, he did not wear them to look stealthily at girls; but to prevent the
wind from blowing directly into his eyes. Why? Oh, he rode to school on a huge
motorbike. He spoke with a very accentuated Indian accent. In class he was
very patient and tolerated some noise and nonsense. "Who was he,"
could your discern?
Hey, can you remember some of your teachers and their idiosyncrasies?
Contact me and tell some stories! I am sure many of us could dig up little
tales from your school day history. The best time is come on Christmas Day and
gives us a first hand story. Agree???
SOMETHING ABOUT THE OTHER-WORLDLY
In a few stories, sometimes I strayed to say something about the other-worldly.
For example, the vampire ghost of the ara tree, the pranks played by the
hostel gang, and other little weird scary stories.
One day came Wong Yeng Kee. He brought his grandson along. I could not
remember what happened on that day but our talks seemed to stray.
Yeng Kee heard Mr. Miles said that his pets were running a wiry after
the storm. He said his canines spook and almost ran amok!
Then Yeng Kee said, "animals could see things from the other-worldly. That's
why in the deep of night they often bark and howl aloud. They see creatures
from the other-worldly around."
"Animals could see. Children also are exposed to the things of the
other-worldly," stressed Yeng Kee.
Then Yeng Kee glanced at his grandson, a below 10-year-old. He said the lad
had seen his late grandmother (Yeng Kee's deceased spouse) around.
Then the boy gave us a first-hand story......
THE STORY OF A CLAIRVOYANT BOY
Yeng Kee's grandson said:
[ One morning, I was walking towards the bathroom. To reach the bathroom,
I had to pass in front of my late grandmother's bedroom. Oh, she had gone a
few days before. The door to the bedroom was ajar. I looked into the room. She
was lying on the bed there. I walked past in a flash. But I've forgotten my
shower towel. So I went back to fetch it from my room. As I walked past that
room again, she was standing by the window. I shivered. When I've got my towel,
I past the room and looked in again. She was there no more. ]
That was what Yeng Kee's grandson saw and said. What a clairvoyant lad!
"Such ghosts of close relatives are harmless souls," Yeng Kee told.
Have you ever encountered creatures or phenomena of the other-worldly? You are
welcome to come in with your most scary stories!
RETURNING TO NORMAL,
CHANGES ARE INEVITABLE
I visited our mentor a month after the 901 storm. Along came Lee Yew Kwong.
We sat down to learn what had been done as far as repairs to his house are
Well, he has had the roof mended with a hundred tiles. These tiles were made
in France, salvaged by someone in Kajang. Compliments from Foo Yook Yoon's
brother-in-law named Irwin. Thanks, generous one.
The tiles did not fit in perfectly for his whole roof was covered with tiles
brand-marked "MALAY" only. Somehow, the workmen did a good job in fixing and
fitting in the most suitable slots though there were four tiles short.
The gutter at the back of the house came crashing down during the storm. That
was replaced with a new plastic gutter that now directs the flow of rain water
into the fishpond.
The cost of labour and some materials totaled up to 14 hundred ringgit. It was
quite a sum of money. Fortunately, there came an old boy (but he is still a
young man now) who had made his money. He came in to cushion off the burden as
a sort of doing a work of philanthropy.
Mr. Miles here wishes again to say many
to you, kind philanthropist, great man. Who is he? Excuse me, but the
gentleman requested me not to blow him up with my verbal explosives. Ha ha ha.
We should give him a big hand for being such a generous and humble man. Ok!
OTHER THINGS I NOTICED
Trees were down; some lost their foliage crown. Now the Sun shines directly
into his compound, even enters the house. The front yard on the left is now
devoid of trees. There remains only debris. To fill up the void, our mentor
had planted a cempaka and a neem sapling. The cempaka tree is to provide shade
and scent when it flowers. Oh! I beg your pardon it will take years for all
these to happen!
The neem tree is a native of India. It has small serrated leaves. It is new to
While observing the two planted saplings, Yew Kwong noticed a beautiful red
flower lying on the ground. He was interested in what he found. Our mentor
pulled a plant out of the soil and gave it to Yew Kwong. I too requested for a
shoot to plant in my house compound. It's called a bromeliad.
I felt so glad. I thank him for that.
HERE COMES MORE PEOPLE
After the 901 twister disaster, our mentor's bungalow is now distinctly
exposed. That attracts the attention of many people. Driving out of Bentong in
the direction of Raub, look right at the 3RD km milestone you could see a
weather-beaten and mould-ridden bungalow. hat is the house of our mentor.
Looking at it people would inquired, "Is it occupied?" Some wonder if it is
abandoned, haunted and derelict it lies!
IS SHE LOOKING FOR A MONK?
One such inquisitive passer-by was a nun. One day she was passing by when she
saw the house. She searched for the approach road, found it and then trekked
up to investigate. Looking for a monastery or nunnery! Looking for nuns or
monks!! She found none. She only discovered a lone dweller - our mentor an
ordinary citizen, and a Caucasian!!!
The reverend sister Meiji was a loquacious species of her kind. She and her
companions had a good visit. They said they would come again.
A CROWD CRASHES IN
Sure enough, days later she brought in a crowd. The visitors during this
second round included some mass media people full of questions and curiosity.
Do not be surprised if one day we see a footage of our mentor and his bungalow
ARE WE BORN TO BEG?
Speaking of the bare-headed and bare-footed members of the human race,
sometimes we find them begging in the streets and market place. In saffron
robes they are attired. Genuine or otherwise, I just could not recognize! They
appear to many people's eyes as holy people. But some consider them as
It is a truism that man is a creature born with a mouth to be fed. But he is
also endowed with two hands to get his needs. That we must never forget.
Stretching the hands to beg is far from the purposes of the two body appendages
they are meant for!
I have read and watched documentaries on TV of the special conditions in some
countries. There, the male population always aims for monkshood. Gosh! They
throw away their manhood. What a waste of procreative abilities they are born
with! If that is the case, then what would happen to the human race?
If all go into the monasteries and nunneries, then on whom the young, the
elderly and even the able-bodied will depend? Where do off-springs come from?
God send?? I think they are heading for the end - the extinction of man!!! If
no seeds were sown then goes barren the world! Not only there's nothing to
harvest, but there wouldn't be any mouths to feed at last!!
There had been great men in history who discourage men from seeking and hiding
in monasteries. They too discourage women from entering nunneries. For both
are required to fulfill their duties to preserve and propagate the human
species! That is Nature in its glory. Else, how are you going to answer for
yourself to the Almighty, when you go to meet your Glory?
Hey everybody, don't forget when
and where we had met and will meet
On Christmas Day December 25th
Where? There, on the Third mile
At the residence of Ted Miles
Come and say "Merry Christmas"
and have a yakety-yak session
and a tucking in occasion
with our mentor and other Mesians.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE FOLLOWING IN DECEMBER
ABD. MALEK ENGKU OMAR
FRANK ANN FAN CHOON
MUH ALAM SHAH HJ. HAAMIN
CHEONG SANG FAH, PETER
FOO YU PONG
YAP CHOY MING
SHAMSUDDIN SALLEH (HJ)
TAN KIM WOK
OOI KENG HONG
Written and edited by Chan Suy Sang
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