THE MESSAGE NO. 68 JULY 2007
THE WONG KEM CHIN SERIES
THE SAR KIM LEN 3RD EDITION
HEY! PLEASE NOTE MY CHANGE OF E-MAIL ADDRESS:
TO E-MAIL ME PLEASE USE THIS
LOSE NOT YOUR WAY,
THE BEST WAY TO GET THERE
One day John Chinniah drove up to Bentong to attend a ceremony. After attending the function of great
he wanted to drive up to visit our mentor for a look see. But he hit difficult country. He drove his car up a
muddy driveway. It got stuck in the mud. His car tyres were bogged down in slimy muck. His car body was
splattered with sticky brown sludge!
HE ALMOST GAVE UP
So he gave up and drove back to town. He drove around to find somebody to consult. Bravo, he thought of ESSO
in he drove to meet Wong Yee Kee, the ESSO boss. He inquired, "How come Mr. Miles's driveway is so muddy?"
When Yeng Kee later bumped into me and related John's pathetic story, I could not believe my ears. How could
got bogged down in mud when I know very well that our mentor had just mended his driveway a month ago?
been a landslide that hit the new driveway? I decided I must see it with my own eyes.
JOHN DID ARRIVE
So I drove up to the third mile to see Ted Miles. The new driveway was clear and alright. There was no landslip,
nor landslide! And to my surprise, John had arrived!!
RAIN POUNDED BENTONG TOWN
There it was. His car splashed with mud all over. I asked John what had happened. He told me that he had taken
the wrong turn and landed in somebody else's land. Suddenly he noticed the difference and made a quick about
turn. The place was muddy because for several days the sky in Bentong had been pouring heavily.
HE FOUND IT MOST CONFORTABLE
On his second round, John really found our mentor's driveway comfortable and most easy to drive up to his
bungalow. It is just a smooth drive up the one-vehicle passable estate road. For it had been leveled, graveled
and tarred too.
HE MADE TOO EARLY A TURN
What actually happened was that John made too early a turn at a spot before the real entrance. The actual
entrance to Mr. Miles's property is rather hidden. Not only John had mistaken but many people had missed the
entry way to Mr. Miles's bungalow too. Our mentor had commented that the little inconvenience makes the
to his place more like a challenge! Oh my! How he turns people's plight into a joke so light!! However, the
entrance is so naturally located that it could lead many people to make mistakes. It is a real challenge because
the entrance has been there all these days, from time immemorial!
OVERSHOOT OVER THERE
A cocksure way of getting the right entry way - if you are driving up from Bentong - is to overshoot over to Desa
Damai. That is the new housing estate that used to house the then Shanghai Pahang estate labour lines.
CRUISE BACK AFTER A U-TURN
From the entrance to Desa Damai make a U-turn. Then cruise back about 200 metres or so, keeping an eye on your
left as you go. You will see a little tarred entry way sloping up at an incline. Take that entrance and you will
end up at the doorstep of Mr. Miles's bungalow. This way is safer to for you don't have to straddle your vehicle
in the middle of a most busy thoroughfare. Try it one day!
HEH! SEE WHO IS HERE
On Sunday, May 27, 20076 Paul Fong Sheik Phooi threw a wedding dinner for his son in Raub. "What! Paul Fong in
Raub! Isn't he in Canada?" you might ask me.
Yes, he is in Canada alright. Yet he has come over here on a flight! He returned for a visit after a long
36 years of living in a far, faraway country - Canada! He came back to throw a dinner. Purpose: to celebrate his
eldest son's marriage and to treat and meet kiths, kin, friends and long-time-no-see acquaintances.
DAVID FONG AND HIS BRIDE
Paul's eldest son David Fong has tied the knot with one Siunie Sutjahjo daughter of Wibowo the elder Sutjahjo.
Eh! These names sound Indonesian, don't they?
Yes, they are Indonesians but of Sino stock. The bride's father as is written in Chinese character surnamed
Choy and Kok is the surname of his spouse.
Well, in Indonesia whatever your race, your name has to be Indon laced. Yet, among members of the same race,
they would mention their Sino names to show their origin. Not like in Malaysia Chinese keep their Chinese names
unscathed and original. Indians are still called Samy, Rama and Mutu. So are the various names of the diversified
races in the Peninsula, Sarawak and Sabah. Their names are originals! And racials, natives and even aboriginals!
At first I thought Siunie is of mixed blood. But checking on their family tree she is also Chinese. So, from now
on one of Paul's family tree branches will be Canadian. But they are Malsysian and Indonesian. Both are of
By the way, for Chinese the surnames are the code of descent. There are said to be one hundred surnames for
Chinese. However, I am sure there are more than a hundred of them! Otherwise how a hundred Chinese
could cater to name a few billions of the Chinese people!! Anybody like to make a guess and give some
clear up my mental mess?
CHINESE SURNAMES FORM A LABYRINTH OF RELATIONSHIPS
With the surnames Chinese maintain a labyrinth of relationships. Chinese of the same surname, not just the
spelling but the actual Chinese character bearing the same surname, are all related. For example, the surname
for Chan, Chin, Tan, Ding, Ting are all written in one Chinese character. They are from the same ancestor thus of
the same blood. They are not supposed to marry a spouse of the same surname because they are close relatives,
from time immemorial. But there are occasional exceptions! Then they are clustered in clansmen associations with
the same surnames! In Bentong for example, you will see a number of these associations with members of the same
BACK TO TALK ABOUT THE DINNER PARTY
Oh, I beg your pardon, I think I have forgotten. What? The occasion, the function, I mean the dinner party.
Our mentor Mr. Miles and I and my missus drove over from Bentong to Raub.
WE WERE THERE EARLY
We arrived at the Ah Fatt restaurant at 6.45 p.m. for the dinner scheduled at 7.00, after driving through a
heavy and thunderous tropical downpour. The visibility on the highway was close to nil. The whole stretch from
Bilut Valley onwards was all misty and foggy with the landscape a blanket of grey.
TWO SESSIONS SAME LOCATION
With difficulty we found a parking lot. We walked towards the front of the restaurant. There was a crowd around.
When we asked where the dinner was, nobody seemed to know. We were told to go to the back. We inquired
Nobody seemed to know what we wanted to know. Then, a guy said, "there're two functions going on, the early
5.00 o'clock session started an hour late due to the rain. Come back at eight." Yes, if the earlier function
started so late, we must be too early. "Oh my!" scoffed I.
WALKED THROUGH HALF OF RAUB TO FIND A COFFEE SHOP
Yet, at 7.45 we began to walk back to the restaurant. Again no one was at the door! So we inquired again.
seemed to know. So we asked some stragglers around. "Yes, the Fong Shek Phooi's function is just in front. Use
that entrance! But they have just finished their second course!!"
WE CAME EARLY YET WE WERE LATE
What! finished the second course? The sky seemed to fall upon me. Mr. Miles and Wong Yeng Kee who had joined
had really to squeeze in among a sea of strangers who all focused their eyes on the latecomers! My temperature
shot up beyond the top. We were early, how come we became so late! This was something I could not take.
a voice beside me, I was emboldened and decided to bolt!! I told Yeng Kee and Mr. Miles that I wish to go!!
I made for the door!!!
SUY SANG THE LEBAI MALANG
What for to stay when people had yummied through the feast almost half the way? It turned me into a character
the famous Malay farcical tale's fame. I was made into a Lebai Malang. You know, Lebai Malang rowed upstream
attend a function. When he reached the place, the function was over. Then he sailed downstream to attend a
When he arrived all guests had dismissed.
So my missus and I bolted and drove back to Bentong, to attend another function. The sky seemed to know that
were boiling hot. It poured and poured and poured non-stop. We turned on the air-conditioner full blast for to
dissipate the heat we must. And also to demist the vapour that kept gathering on the glass.
SOMETHING TO FILL OUR PLATE
At the other party that we went to, luckily it was that of a close relative! Late, yet there was still something
to fill our plates!!
Hey, Paul I think I needn't offer any apologies for my absence at your party! I have gathered all the energy,
eagerness, interest and intent to attend. But it turned out to be something that I have never intended!
That's all, pal.
To people who host parties, could you or your representatives show at the door, please! Have someone to pass on
the correct information, especially where the location might cause confusion; things like several functions at
the same location, what more with several sessions!
Just dump any bum at the door to guide people, chum!!
I wrote your name on sand it got washed.
I wrote your name in air, it was blown away. then
I wrote your name on my heart and I got Heart Attack.
*~*~*~*~* *~*~*~*~* *~*~*~*~* *~*~*~*~*
God saw me hungry, he created pizza.
He saw me thirsty, he created Pepsi .
He saw me in dark, he created light .
He saw me without problems, he created YOU.
*~*~*~*~* *~*~*~*~* *~*~*~*~* *~*~*~*~*
Twinkle Twinkle little star
You should know what you are
And once you know what you are
Mental hospital is not so far.
*~*~*~*~* *~*~*~*~* *~*~*~*~* *~*~*~*~*
The rain makes all things beautiful.
The grass and flowers too.
If rain makes all things beautiful
why doesn't it rain on you?
*~*~*~*~* *~*~*~*~* *~*~*~*~* *~*~*~*~*
Roses are red, Violets are blue
monkeys like u should be kept in zoo.
Don't feel so angry you will find me there too
not in the cage but outside laughing at you!
Ha, ha, ha..... let's burst out in laughter to exhale and dissipate all the pent-up anger.
WHY AFGHAN WOMEN STILL WALK BEHIND THEIR HUSBANDS
Barbara Walters of Television's 20/20 did a story on gender roles in Kabul, Afghanistan, Several years before
the Afghan conflict, she noted that women Customarily, walked 5 paces behind their husbands.
Ms. Walters approached one of the Afghani women and asked, "Why do you now seem happy with the old
you once tried so desperately to change?"
The woman looked Ms. Walters straight in the eyes, and said without hesitation, "Land Mines."
MORAL OF THE STORY: Behind Every Man Is A Smart Woman.
HIS NEIGHBOURS MIGHT ATTRACT PREDATORS
One day I inquired about his 'neighbours'. He said they are a plentiful lot now. I chipped in and commented.
"They might attract predators. Big cats might come in to look for a feast of wild boar meat." I teased.
"Oh, that reminds me of the tiger that came rushing into this house in 1954!" said our mentor.
"What! A tiger in this house?" I almost screamed out.
"Yes, in 1954, when one Mr. Ian Davidson was manager. A huge tiger came into this house. The dogs chased it out."
"There was a big story in the Straits Times then. Check it up in the Internet." he said.
I have not checked it up yet. Why? I would like you my fervent readers to do some homework. Log in maybe
for "tiger, Ian Davidson, 1954 Shanghai Pahang Estate The Straits Times or The Malay Mail.
Tell me the story when you have made the discovery.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE FOLLOWING IN JULY
ABU BAKAR MOHD ISA
HOOI YEW CHEE
LEONG SIEW LING
YAP KIM LOY
GOH SENG KWANG
NIAM HOCK SEK
CHUNG KOON SUNG
Half a year had gone by. How fares everybody? Living happily, I see. Else you or somebody would have informed
me. The MESSAGE goes on. Only that it has a bleak future. I wish to make its number to hit a century, Would you
help me? Be a sponsor, please!
THESE THREE HAVE EXITED
The cronies of the senior class of 1960 that I described are a silent lot. None of them contact our mentor
or me. I am sure the majority of them are still kicking around, except for three.
Who are the special three?
1. Mohd Fakhruddin could not answer my call anymore because he is now to be remembered as
2. What about Rohaya? She is now to be referred to as Allahyarhamah.
3. Tengku Jamil is now to be kept in our memory only as Almarhum Tengku Jamil.
I am sure the rest could still be contacted and brought back to the MES fold!