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THE MESSAGE NO.74 JANUARY 2008
A CYBERFAN'S SERIES
THE CHEN KHIN SANG EDITION


HAPPY NEW YEAR 2008
GREAT

A MOST TIMELY RESCUE FOR THE MESSAGE


The last MESSAGE was sponsorless, after reiterating all and sundry that are less. I ran out of funds but not out of spirit. However, something strange, something miraculously, happened. A fan descended like God-sent. Someone from cyberspace crashed in with a bang to prolong the MESSAGE'S lifespan. How did you make the contact? Through the Internet! He comes from the US. I am so glad. It is none of us from my list. He is not a Mesian, indeed. He comes in as a cyber fan, a most welcome guest. Thanks.

The guy has read my MESSAGES online. He enjoyed perusing them from No.26 to the latest issue I have made.

"As long as you continue to write and Michelle* continues to do a great job of getting them online, I'll want to continue reading them as long as possible." He said in an e-mail to me. It looks like he has been hooked by the MESSAGE and addicted to reading it!

He thought I am doing a great job! Voila he thinks, "The MESIAN MESSAGE is a unique selfless undertaking you obviously thought to accomplish for what I consider to be philanthropic reasons. I'm certain you've spent thousands of hours in your endeavor to give many people an immense plus in their lives. As we grow old, things of the past seem too far away to enjoy. You've brought many people to the present with their past of about a half century ago. Bravo to you."

I can only said what I have done is just, "so, so".

And most of all he propelled me into space with his praise. Saying, "you write with poetic license." Wow! I almost lost my senses.

Who is he? Sorry, I must respect his request for anonymity. Confidential, please. This edition and some future issues will be in your hands by virtue of his sincere generosity. Thanks again.

*Michelle is my eldest daughter who constructed and updates the two websites of the MESSAGE for us regularly. She is a great camera hand too.



Life does not need to be a terribly sombre experience!

How To Clean Your Toilet


1. Put both lids of the toilet up and add 1/8 cup of pet shampoo to the water in the bowl.

2. Pick up the cat and soothe him while you carry him towards the bathroom.

3. In one smooth movement, put the cat in the toilet and close both lids. You may need to stand on the lid.

4. The cat will self agitate and make ample suds. Never mind the noises that come from the toilet, the cat is actually enjoying this.

5. Flush the toilet three or four times. This provides a "power-wash" and rinse.

6. Have someone open the front door of your home. Be sure that there are no people between the bathroom and the front door.

7. Stand behind the toilet as far as you can, and quickly lift both lids.

8. The cat will rocket out of the toilet, streak through the bathroom, and run outside where he will dry himself off.

9. Both the commode and the cat will be sparkling clean.

So cruel eh! But see who signed it!!

Sincerely, The Dog

Dog Rules

In some well-known parts of Asia like Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Seoul, etc..., the above signatory's arch-enemy would say, "he should end up in the pot or the wok!" - Miau. Don't I deserve a standing ovation from the world's purry-furry community?



What Happened This Month 50 Years Ago? JANUARY 1958

History is nostalgic except if you have a knack for it. Yet some of us especially at an advanced age like to tell grandmother's stories. A member of my own family tends to repeat her stories, especially the unhappy episodes, again and again even in exactly the same words and precisely the exact sentences like a recording!

However, I am going to bring you back in history to the year 1958 to the month of January. Here it goes:

A dream fulfilled. That was what Mr. Miles did feel when the calendar turned to 1st January, 1958. He had the hostel for out of town boys set up in a bungalow in town.

In fact, a second dream had also come to fruition. He had resumed the headship of the Methodist English School. So he captained the ship and commanded its life boat too. An achievement, a development, something many people in town looked forward to.

Students from outstation began pouring in. By early January, the figure of hostel residents shot up to 18, a very auspicious number according to some locals reckoning. No teething trouble in running the hostel in the beginning, for Mr. Miles was firm and strict with a set of rules ruling over the inmates.

The news of the new hostel spread. Somehow, it got into the ears of the Sultan of Pahang, the late Sultan Abu Bakar. One day, the headmaster of the Sultan's son called. He told Ted Miles that His Highness wished to send his son, Tengku Abdullah, to study in MES and be a lodger in the hostel too. He suggested the prince be exempted from some of the hostel's rules. Thinking of the best way to avoid bringing in a royalty and giving way to rules and reality, Ted Miles insisted that the rules could not be relaxed or broken. In other words, for the sons of royalties and the issues of ordinary citizens, it was equal treatment. He thought that would put an end to the enquiry!

But, the Sultan sent his emissary, the Menteri Besar or the Pahang Chief Minister to press further for the prince's coming! It came to a point when Ted Miles was summoned to the Rest House to arrange for the prince's admission into the hostel and the school. But though dealing with big shots, no protocol was accorded. It looked like everything was done as an everyday arrangement.

What about the special privileges for the issue of royalty? None at all. It was from His Highness who stripped off all the privileges from source. In Ted Miles's diary, I found the following record:

"His Highness wanted it made perfectly clear at the beginning that the Tengku was to be treated like the other boys with Rm10 a month for pocket money."

It was with great relief that our mentor felt not to have to impose his rules on the Tengku. But it was the cruelest and certainly the biggest cut of all for the prince who used to have RM 250 allowances a month. It was the most shocking for him to have been relieved of his hefty sum!

The rest of the hostel lodgers were from all walks of life but were mostly poor such as the sons of rubber tappers, paddy farmers and odd job labourers. Some had to request that their expenses for board and lodging of RM 75 a month be reduced. The hostel master listened and entertained their pleas for he was a most understanding and generous man, indeed. In fact, he tucked and stowed in a jobless old boy who no more studied in his school as a free lodger too. How mindful.

Among the hostel boys he instituted the practice of "Dressed Dinner". But these functions were actually lunches being mostly held at lunch hours. At such "dressed dinners" the boys appeared in their best. They were formally attired complete with neckties or at least bowties. They also invited guests. Purpose: to practice table manners and promote social etiquettes!

So much about the hostel. With such development it sure will flourish and became a student lodging place in great demand.

And our mentor developed a liking for Malay traditional dance. Dancing while holding plates in both palms! I wonder in such performances in front of guests like in a wedding, the main attraction was the fun watching the man or the dance! For in such gatherings of locals the white man always stood out. Moreover, he was the most eligible bachelor in town!

As this was January, the school re-opened with more students but the newcomers were in the secondary. Enrolment drastically dropped in the primary. Why? The government introduced free compulsory primary education - the new education policy. In the new Standard One class, there were but a pitiful five children only! MES being a private school had to survive on school fees.


And yours truly started teaching A, B, C in a school where the children were all Chinese and spoke only Chinese. I wonder why I studied Mathematics, English Literature, History, Physics, Chemistry and Biology for! Teaching required so little of what I have mugged into my head. Yet it was quite challenging to talk to and to face a class! Dealing with little humans is a real difficult task!!

My buddy Yip Fook Khim had bolted back to his hometown in Johor to look for a job there I was sure. Only Hooi Yew Chee continued his studies preparing to enter the university. Many of the rest of my schoolmates had scattered helter-skelter to foray for jobs and struggle to earn a living. I remembered one who ended up working in a shop with a pittance salary of RM60 a montH! Many others like Chan Siew Mun, Wong Lan Chan and Ong Sek Kee had started teaching in schools already. Chan See Phong dabbled in a radio shop in Bentong to learn a bit about how radios crackle and beep; and to earn a little for his keep. Outside the classroom, out there, it was a wide, wild yet sometimes nice and promising world!!


Nostalgia, nostalgic, isn't it? Go out and get some fresh air to rid of it !



PALANISAMY ELEVATED TO THE STATUS OF FATHER-IN-LAW

 Wedding Couple Waving

On 16th December, assistant manager N. Palani son of Nyanasegaran tied the knot with teacher P. Sheela, daughter of a Mesian Palanisamy. The glittering wedding ceremony was held at the great hall of the Karak Chinese School. The wedding was followed by a reception for relatives, friends and well-wishers. Congratulations to the parents and the newly-wedded couple.



WONG MUN SEONG HOSTS A X’MAS EVE LUNCH TREAT

One Saturday in December, Wong Mun Seong called our mentor to make sure that he was available. Available for what? For Christmas Eve lunch of course. When I met our mentor later, he said, "now Mun Seong's Christmas lunch is a tradition." In my heart I said, "Glad it has become like that for I and some others too would be feted." We are gourmets just far from being gourmands yet. Check! We like to taste good food not crave for it!

So I made calls to find out who were available. Sure I got hold of a handful of old boys and a girl too. Most accepted the invitation without much ado.

Xmas Lunch With Miles

The bunch at the Xmas Eve lunch


We had a sumptuous ten-course lunch on the 24th at the Bentong Dragon and Phoenix Restaurant. Mun Seong is a busy man with housing projects at hand. He had just flown back from Taiwan after a reunion with classmates and friends. For Mun Seong had studied in other schools, and had reunions with his other school mates too.

The food was superb. The gathering was most friendly and charged with mirth. Mr. Miles, Chan Siew Mun, Ng Kam Thye, Tan Seng Chow and Lee Yew Kwong represented Bentong.

Yap Kim Hee, Mong Yong and spouse drove up from Kepong. From Kuala Lumpur came Lee Sai Kan and Peter Chong. Chen Khin Sang also joined us from Damansara Jaya. Of course, our host Wong Mun Seong came up with his other half. ours truly with a junior in tow strode in to join them all. It was a rowdy occasion. Everybody tried to say what had transpired during the past 365 days. We wasted no time to brag about this and that while we were fed. We chattered about robberies to sorceries. Some dug deep into history reviving stories of happiness, miseries and tragedies.

This year, our mentor presented each with a copy of his latest book Sea Spray and Flying Fish. The book narrates his two sea voyages from the US and back and his Malaysia to the US return trip. No, he mentioned no shipwreck, nor being washed ashore by any gigantic waves! He sailed in safe and sound and most willingly after all, not being cast ashore. Want to have a copy? Get it from the Silver Fish bookstall in Mid-Valley, Kuala Lumpur. Or, contact our mentor directly to make enquiries! A third way to get his Sea Spray and Flying Fish is to see him personally and be ready to fish out RM20.

It was great fun listening to the tales of that exclusive bunch. It was a wonderful and most filling lunch. Our accolades go to Wong Mun Seong and Mrs. Wong.




HIS CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS SPILL OVER FOR DAYS


25TH DEC. 2007: As early as 9.00 in the morning well-wishers trickled in to meet and wish Ted Miles: "A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS".

First, came Yap Kim Hee who also brought in Chan Siew Mun from Ketari. Next Lee Yew Kwong drove in with a pair of his grandchildren on board. Zainal Lisut and his spouse pulled up in his MPV with plate No.3.

Mahalingam, S. Ramasamy, Kumarasamy and another very familiar Samy appeared so early though they came from different parts of the country. There came also Anthea and Santha, a pair of early birds; nice and polite ladies.

From Taylor's College cruised in Mary and her hubby Garry who carted in a cooked turkey.

When I reached our rendezvous with Sar Kim Len in tow, I was greeted with glee by all and sundry. Well, when we laid out our fares, the table was almost full. It was already 12.00 o'clock. We waited no more. At the signal of the host, we took to the over-sized table dishing out whatever we like to tickle our taste-buds and filled our empty stomachs.

There came also a newly-wedded couple Dara and Leo, great friends of our mentor. Fatimah and her little emperor came in and joined in the tucking-in.

Peter Cheong brought in a roasted Xmas signature bird weighing a hefty 7 kg. Last but not least, rushed in Wong Yeng Kee. "The nearest is always the last to arrive, eh!" we teased Yeng Kee. However, Yeng Kee was much amused for he has many tales to entertain us as he tucked away at the Christmas goodies.


Xmas Food at Miles

Look at that, the Xmas spread, yummy!

To end the day, the lady at the local wet market where Ted Miles used to patronize brought in her whole family. They cleaned off the food from the table. I guess his pets must have cast a most unfriendly look at that last batch of guests!

When I called our mentor, he said Hilda Ponnu brought in her other half Mr. Cheong to celebrate with him the next day.

"So the celebration spilled over to Boxing Day," I gladly said.

"Oh, it will spill over more days," our mentor said.

"My son Kim, his wife Joanna and granddaughter Merdeka, will be arriving from Canada." He explained further.

Then he would have more chances to cry out our grand old man the late Tengku Abdul Rahman's password for Malaya's Independence: Merdeka, Merdeka, Merdeka....... At last she has come to visit her grandpa; and from so far.





HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE FOLLOWING IN JANUARY

Birthday Cake - Green

No.
NAME
BIRTHDAY
1
LEE SAI KAN
JAN 1
2
KOK AH KOW
JAN 5
3
ABDUL JALIL MOHD DIN
JAN 7
4
MUNZIR BIN ABAS (HAJI)
JAN 21
5
SELVARAJ DANIEL
JAN 25
6
TAN CHEONG LUNG
JAN 30
7
WONG LAN CHAN
JAN 31


 Book and Quill
Edited and written by Chan Suy Sang
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