THE MESSAGE NO. 67 JUNE 2007
THE WONG KEM CHIN SERIES.
THE DR. CHAN CHENG HOONG EDITION
WHITHER GOES OUR M.E.S OF OLD
THE SAVIOUR OF THE OVERAGED
Why the surge? The ACS was private and the school took in students who were overage.
Why children were overage? They missed school during the 4 war years - the Japanese Occupation.
When the war ended, we found ourselves including yours truly too old to be enrolled in the
government school - the Sulaiman School.
Then again the school took in students who were part-time too. Why students were part-time?
They were from the Chinese schools. They wanted to learn English to gain an advantage. They
studied in Chinese schools in the morning and then in ACS, in the afternoon. They are in fact
full-time in both schools.
HOUSED IN BORROWED CLASSROOMS
The ACS classes just suited them well because these classes were held in the afternoon using
borrowed classrooms in the Sulaiman School. We students were housed in a dilapidated bungalow
standing on the ground where the traffic police headquarters is now.
Yours truly was around in the primary. I remembered people said I was in half standard not
standard one! I wondered what it meant, then! The classes were bursting at the seams.
NO. 62 AH PENG STREET
The classes then spilled over to a shop house in Ah Peng Street. No. 62, the Hui Ning Association
still stands there now - the only remains of our beloved school.
As the school population kept increasing, classes overflowed over to the new Chinese Methodist
Church towards the end of Chui Yin Street.
Thus ACS, the infant MES was run at three different locations.
AN ATTAP ATTACHED ROOF
Then came expansion and consolidation. The Methodist Mission put up a building at the location
which most of us knew our school stood, throughout its history. Finally we had a roof over our
heads, but it was a primitive roof of woven attap leaves thatched. A zinc roof was too expensive
and a tiled roof could never be thought of then. When heavy downpour pounded on the roof,
it leaked. When gust of strong winds descended, bits and even chunks of the attap roofing just
tore off. The half planks and half wire-netting walls were painted black with some sort of
ACS BECOMES MES
The Anglo-Chinese School was renamed as the Methodist English School in 1953. And, in that year
saw the coming of a new principal - a white man. With an American principal MES shot into the
limelight. It was considered as an institution of high esteem and recognition.
Thenceforward, students came pouring in. Those who had left including yours truly returned
faithfully to pursue their studies.
The new principal and his diligence to see the school's development sparked off an era of
advancement that jacked the school into prominence.
A NEW AND BETTER BLOCK
By the end of 1953, in a period of just 12 months, a new block of 4 classrooms was built.
That modern block was funded by locals that were sourced by our so resourceful new principal.
By then MES had eight classrooms fully utilized in the morning and in the afternoon. So we had
sixteen classes. From thence on, the school grew by leaps and bounds.
THE HEYDAY OF MES
That era starting from 1953, was the heyday of MES that spanned forward for a decade. That was
the time when MES was a school to be reckoned with. It attracted students from other schools and
other states too. Even royalties including the Sultan sent their children to study in MES! All
these were possible because of the strict discipline enforced by the principal.
STUDENT INFLUX NO.1
Changes in the country's education policies also caused waves after waves of influx of students
into the school. The Standard Six examination weeded out many students from the government
schools. They flooded into the private schools. MES benefited from the exodus!
STUDENT INFLUX NO.2
Then there was the axe of the Lower Certificate of Education that barred many from proceeding to
an upper secondary education. Again the excesses of the government education system converged
into private schools.
STUDENT POPULATION GROW IN QUANTITY, QUALITY AND VARIETY
The Methodist English School student population grew in various directions: in numbers, quality
and diversity from the poorest to the high and mighty of the country's royalties. Yet our mentor
treated everybody equally.
The student population peaked from 1955-1958. Influx of dropouts from the government schools
improved the sporting capabilities of the school in soccer, hockey and athletics. As was expected
many of the newcomers have brains at their feet and such people performed many sporting feats.
Though with limited facilities, MES shot into the limelight in many sporting activities. We
excelled and gained fame in games. Imagine we did not even have a soccer pitch for our players
to practice! Yet our soccer team struck terror in this game!!
ACTIVE IN MANY ACTIVITIES
Then also the students were more active in taking part in the many post independent activities
like singing contests, beauty contests and all the activities in promoting the use of the
National language. MES participants were so groomed and active that they carried away many
THE FLOCK HAS LOST ITS SHEPHERD
However, MES's popularity declined with the departure of Ted Miles. The Methodist Mission
promised great things in Kuantan. Mr. Miles was lulled there with the promise of setting up a
great Methodist institution of higher learning. With the movement of Ted Miles, even some
students migrated with him to the new State capital.
CHANGE IN GOVERNMENT POLICY CAUSES FURTHER DECLINE
MES Bentong declined, students left and even the source of students was stopped. The government
introduced free education and automatic promotion. The school in Bentong fell into disrepute and
was finally abandoned. Even the two buildings became drug addicts and vagabonds haven.
THE PLACE IN NOW BULLDOZED
Most recently in 2007, mechanical monsters struck. Somebody had taken away even the land that
MES used to stand. Bulldozers had rumbled in and raked bare the ground. Not even the skeleton of
the school is left to indicate the place where many of us were nurtured and grew up.
The mutilated site of the former MES
Can someone write aN obituary to mark the going of a so memorable building and the demise of a
great Institution of learning?
ANSWERS TO THE QUEST TO FIND HOW MALAYSIAN YOU ARE
1. Northern slang for 10 sen
2. Lake Gardens
3. Negeri Sembilan, meaning "What's there to say?"
4. Roti bom, roti pisang, roti planta, roti telur, roti sardin, roti tisu, roti bawang
6. Minyak gamat made from sea cucumber, for wounds
8. Northern dialect that means coming and going but ending up at the same spot
10. String hoppers
12. Air batu campur OR All Asia Broadcast Centre
13. Six yards
14. Just in time or just fit or just right
15. Batu Ferringhi
16. Kopi cham
17. The news
21. "Other" or Lain-lain
23. A corruption of "go astern"
24. P.Ramlee's Getaran Jiwa
26. Jalur Gemilang
29. There's none - lah
SCORES AND EVALUATION:
We suggest you spend at least one hour a day at your nearest coffee-shop.
Okay, you may claim to be the average Malaysian with a score in this range but you could watch
less CNN on Astro and more local content on RTM.
Wah, you one true blue Malaysian-lah.
Top quality belacan. We are truly impressed, especially if you know the answer to No. 24 which we
admit is very tricky!
FAMILY IS SPECIAL
Family is so special. This is very beautiful...please read!
I ran into a stranger as he passed by, "Oh excuse me please" was my reply.
He said, "Please excuse me too; I wasn't watching for you."
We were very polite, this stranger and I. We went on our way and we said goodbye.
But at home a different story is told, How we treat our loved ones, young and old.
Later that day, cooking the evening meal, My son stood beside me very still.
When I turned, I nearly knocked him down. "Move out of the way," I said with a frown.
He walked away, his little heart broken. I didn't realize how harshly I'd spoken.
While I lay awake in bed, God's still small voice came to me and said,
"While dealing with a stranger,
common courtesy you use,
but the family you love, you seem to abuse.
Go and look on the kitchen floor,
You'll find some flowers there by the door.
Those are the flowers he brought for you.
He picked them himself: pink, yellow and blue.
He stood very quietly not to spoil the surprise,
you never saw the tears that filled his little eyes."
By this time, I felt very small, And now my tears began to fall.
I quietly went and knelt by his bed; "Wake up, little one, wake up," I said.
"Are these the flowers you picked for me?" He smiled, "I found 'em, out by the tree. I picked 'em
because they're pretty like you. I knew you'd like 'em, especially the blue."
I said, "Son, I'm very sorry for the way I acted today; I shouldn't have yelled at you that way."
He said, "Oh, Mom, that's okay. I love you anyway."
I said, "Son, I love you too, and I do like the flowers, especially the blue."
Are you aware that if we died tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter
But the family we left behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives. and come to think
of it, we pour ourselves more into work than into our own family, an unwise investment indeed,
don't you think?
So what is behind the story?
Do you know what the word FAMILY means?
Practising penmanship on his 80th birthday?
Waiting for the dishes? Hope they don't bring them in literally! We dont want to go away
hungry!!! But the food that came was aplenty.
(Front row - seated from left) Mrs. Wong Mun Seong, Wong Mun Seong, Mr. Ted Miles,
Jimmy Chu Sin Sang, Wong Yeng Kee, Chan Suy Sang.
(Back row - standing from left) Mong Yong, Mrs. Mong Yong, Chin Khin Sang, Wong Thin Ching,
Yap Kim Hee, Lee Yew Kwong, Tan Seng Chow.
I STUMBLE INTO A SCRABBLE DEN
One Sunday when I visited our mentor it turned out to be a "birds of the same feather flock
togetherh sort of gathering. There came Anthea, David and Dara. Together with our mentor,
there were four - I mean whites all. They have come to have a game of scrabble, their version of
an addictive indoor game - something like mahjong to locals.
A ONCE BITTEN TWICE SHY GUY
Anthea is the usual scrabble player together with our mentor. David a Briton is a retired
restaurateur. The heavily built gentleman felt a little uneasy on hearing the continual barking
of the dogs. Our mentor inquired why? Then David began his "once bitten twice shy" story.
HE DELIVERS NEWSPAPERS
When David was young he earned pocket money by working as a newspaper delivery boy. He went round
a certain neighbourhood and delivered newspapers to subscribers early every morning.
HOUNDED BY A HOUND
One morning, he was on his rounds. He came to a house and entered its compound. After dropping
the newspapers by the doorway, he turned round to go. A ferocious hound sprang out from nowhere
and rushed after him. David dashed out, but he hit the fence. He made an unexplained escaping
feat. He leapt over a tall fence. Luckily, the canine missed sinking its canines into David's
most vulnerable part - his behind.
David went back to his boss and requested that he would like to be let off his job. "Why?" the
boss inquired. "I might not be so lucky next time around, from the fangs of that ferocious hound."
That was how David's answer sounded.
NO YOU CAN'T GO
The boss was reluctant to let David go because the lad was an excellent delivery boy. He always
delivered the papers to the doorstep of houses - never ballasting the papers in like missiles
into people's house compounds.
So the boss went to speak to the lady of the house. She promised to leash her canine to make
it safe for the delivery boy to come around.
HE WAS A RESTAURATEUR
David later ran an eatery in Penang. But just recently his partner passed away. David was not
willing to stay. He closed it down and chose to travel around. He is now enjoying his twilight
years as a senior citizen seeing the world go by.
SHE PROMOTES ENGLISH
Oh, the other scrabble enthusiast Dara is a young American lady, a government employee working at
the local education office. She is a key personnel in the planning and implementation of
programmes to improve the teaching of English especially to our rural pupils.
Dara has picked up a good working knowledge of Bolehland's language. She told of an incident
when one of her kind proposed to a local girl. The guy said, "Boleh kita kawin?" And by reflex
the lass said, "Boleh". For anything you ask "boleh" is answered with a reflexive loud and
IN BOLEHLAND - PROPOSE
Hey, isn't Bolehland the best place to propose to a girl? You are sure to get an affirmative
answer. It's reflexive to say "boleh" you see! With that exchange of "boleh kita kawin" and
"boleh" thus commences their romance. Or is it that then and there the romance ends?
May I hear your comments? Boleh?
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE FOLLOWING IN JUNE
LAU FEE CHU
ZAINAL BIN LISUT
MOHD NOOR MOHAMMED
CHEONG AH MOI (MRS. HOH)
TG. ABD. WAHAB B. TG. ABD. AZIZ
CHEONG YET LAN
LU AH NGAN (MRS. LAU)
THAM CHEE LOONG
MOHD ZABIL HJ ABD.KADIR
HAJI ABDUL RAHIM
TAN BENG CHIN
LENG KAM YEE
LOO TEE SEE
MOHD NOOR TA'AYUN
ONG SEK KEE
SAM PAK LAM
CHRISTINE CHAN FOOK THYE
SAR KIM LEN
YAP MING FATT
Before signing off, may I invite you to be a sponsor please! Boleh?........