THE MESSAGE NO. 77 APRIL 2008
A CYBER FAN'S SERIES
THE SAR KIM LEN 4TH EDITION
ALL FOOLS' DAY
YESTERDAY & TODAY
AND SHOCKING TOO
April Fools day began in the 1500s when the Gregorian calendar took over from the Julian. Those who forgot the
change and attempted to celebrate New Year's Day (previously celebrated on the 1st of April) on the wrong date
were teased as "April fools."
It has become tradition on the first of April to pull harmless jokes on those near and dear to us. Many have
indulged in some practical jokes on that day. So beware on April Fools' Day!
Other theories on the origin of this All Fools Day are:
This day of pranks is related to the arrival of spring when nature fools mankind with fickle weather.
April Fools' Day is also thought to commemorate the fruitless mission of the European crow that was sent to
search for land from Noah's flood-encircled ark. And other stories are varied.
Anyway, just "APRIL FOOL TO YOU," I would say. You have just been caught unaware!
WHAT HAPPENED THIS MONTH 50 YEARS AGO?
On 1st April, 1958, April Fools Day celebration or interruptions were in vogue. Many were poked jokes after
jokes. Pupils called at the Principal's office asking what and why they had been sent for. But Ted Miles laughed
them off with cries of "April Fools". Even our mentor himself was fooled. He received the biggest joke of all:
a live toad sent through the post in a nicely packed parcel! He knew of the sender, but neither repercussion nor
reprimand was proffered. It was treated as a joke, a harmless prank or a real banter!
Now jokes aside, let's us re-reel to reveal what went on during the whole month of April 1958. To deal with boys
in the hostel who smoked, Ted Miles allowed some to smoke till they choked. They rejected cigarettes after trying
the first stick after being shown the stain on their fingers from smoking.
There was a mention of typing out and issuing report cards. He is still keeping some of those cards waiting for
their claimants. Are you one of them? Come visit him and make your claim!
The rest of that month was school holidays. Like all white men and women, the remnants of the colonial era,
our mentor retreated to Fraser Hill to get the feel of living back home. He rested in the Methodist Staff
bungalow where the weather was cold that he had to sit in front of a lighted fire-place at night!
Most of the bungalows then were the reserve and preserve of white man. A local couple wanted to have a room,
but they were turned away because of their low monthly pay! Mr. Miles noticed the ostentatious arrogance and
pretentious snobbery of the British. But the days of their snobbery, fastidious and arrogant demeanours were
YOURS TRULY AND HIS BUDDIES IN THE LATE 1950S
And this month fifty years ago, Harbans Singh fell out of a coconut tree. He had climbed the tree near his house
to pluck some young coconuts to entertain some workmen from LLN. When he reached the top of the tree he
hold of the stump of a leaf branch. The branch had been cut by the LLN men, a few days earlier. It had shrunk and
loosen from the trunk. So as Harbans pulled at it, it tore off from the tree trunk. Poor Harbans tumbled down all
the way until he hit the ground. That was why there was a "thud" sound!
When the LLN men heard the "thud", they thought it was a coconut. But they found Harbans groaning in pain on
ground! His right leg was fractured at the shin. He had to stay in hospital for a month! Yours truly went to take
over his class in MES, temporary!! Fortunately, my full time teaching job was in the afternoon. I remember in the
class was a boy named Ang Fan Choon. That guy has long migrated and settled in the US!
Those were some happenings in April, 1958. Nostalgic!
CALLING ON FRIENDS IN KLANG
ONE fine Sunday, I just felt the urge to meet some nice Mesians. So I drove out and hit the Federal Highway. It
is the highway connecting Kuala Lumpur and Klang notorious for its traffic jams. But it was a Sunday and so it
was clear all the way. Within 20 minutes I was there - in Klang.
I SEE LIEW FOOK CHOY
There I have arranged to meet Liew Fook Choy at a chosen rendezvous. Over a cup of tea and munching some
breakfast tidbits, we had a heart to heart tete-a-tete. Fook Choy said he was originally from Tras.
FOOK CHOY'S STORY
Immediately I recalled that was the town the whole population was transferred to a detention camp somewhere
Ipoh. When did that happened? Probably in the early 1950's. Who did it? The British administration - our former
Why? It was too near jungle filled hills and mountains where Communists terrorists easily hide and stealthily
strikes. Ambush was their fighting style. The bandits had shot dead the then British high commissioner in
Malaya - the late Sir Henry Gurney. Tras is near the place where the shooting took place. So the government of
the day transferred the whole population of Tras to a far away place. They thought they would starve, snuff and
flush out the Communists that way. Alleluia!
After that, Tras really became a ghost town during our younger days. The single row of shop houses was empty
and deserted. Some rotting; others dilapidated. As you traveled past the town, there was a sort of eerie feeling
that no one was around. But now it has been revived after the Emergency. Fook Choy's mother still stays there
and he visits her quite regularly.
FOOK CHOY STILL EMPLOYED
Nowadays, Fook Choy still works at the same place since years ago. If you pellet-feed your chickens, goats,
cattle and pet animals, that feedstuffs might have passed through his hands. Gold Coins is the brand.
Other than studied in Bentong MES, Fook Choy had followed our mentor to continue his education in Kuantan. He
still could remember many things that happened there in the new State capital.
RING, RING, RING,
HEY! HARBANS SINGH
Later we went to visit Harbans Singh in Jalan Tamarind. We had a nice chit-chat. Harbans recalled how he met
dealt with various bossy, what more nasty, bosses during his working life. One was particularly funny for Harbans
could not distinguish his nationality. He looked ebony externally, but he carried a name which was distinctly
For his honesty and readiness to speak his mind, Harbans was picked at and chucked around. For example, once
was uprooted from Johor Baru and flung north to Kedah's capital town!
Oft-times he was eligible for promotions, but the boss held back his recommendations. So he was stuck in his job
for years without climbing any rungs of the electricity lamppost ladder! Ha, ha, ha. But he loved his vocation
and dared even to disconnect people's electricity even up to the level of dealing with royalties. Hey, he was
such a brave and daring byai-ji.
HE'S NOW A GRANPA
Harbans Singh is a grandfather now. There has appeared a baby Harjot Singh who looks so cute. The baby is now
centre of attention in the family that is without dispute. Harjot is the issue from Harbans's daughter whose
wedding I ceremoniously attended in the Klang Sikh Temple, a little more than three years ago.
GURMAIL FIXES US A MEAL
Gurmail Kaur, Harbans's other half prepared a most delicious lunch of rice and chicken curry plus some vegetarian
drumsticks that looked like real sticks. You only get the taste of it when you scrap, lick and then smack your
lips. It was a very appetizing dish. Thanks for the lunch treat.
As we dined, we chattered about modern people's life-style. I said, "few people cook nowadays." "Yes," Gurmail
said. "I've heard a couple working in Kuala Lumpur whose only home-cooked meal they ever have is when they
occasionally visit their in-laws." She continued.
Why the change in life-style. It is because of the present hectic life. People work and when they are let off,
they consume time on the way home: traffic jams. When they arrive home they have no time to cook. So they
eat out first before hitting the road. Or, they buy out and take home their food. This is because buying out or
taking away is so convenient nowadays.
HIS FURNITURE CAPTIVATES ME
After bidding the family goodbye, Fook Choy led me to his house in Taman Saga, via an area called Andalas. I
surprised to see so many houses, shops and factories around. I had a short visit. Fook Choy's set of highly
varnished and so presentable completely wood furniture impressed me so much that it almost magnetizes me
leaving so fast. But time was ticking away fast. So, Fook Choy led me out of the maze of roads until I was shown
the way back to PJ. I hit the highway. It was a smooth drive home all the way via the Kesas Highway.
GET SET TO CURE YOUR STOMACH UPSETS
CHINESE TRADITIONAL STYLE
I met Loh Kok Keong in Bentong, over the Chinese New Year holidays. From our conversation, I learnt a secret cure
for gastric ailments from Kok Keong. This was what he said:
Double boil two 100-year old eggs with some fresh leeks for eight hours. Then drink the pasty concoction.
Remember not to eat leeks during the next month. You do not have to worry about stomach upsets from thence
All stomach troubles will be gone!
Note: double boil - put the contents of the two smashed 100-year old eggs together with some fresh leeks,
in a closed container and boil it in a pot of water. Chinese say "dan" in Cantonese, or "tun" in Mandarin.
Remember for 8 hours. And eat no leeks for a month after that.
Well, I am glad to pass this on to you because I care. You gastric sufferers out there; try it if you dare. Who
knows your gastric pains may go away. The ingredients seem to be ordinary stuffs: two century eggs and some
leeks! Simple isn't it? But terms and conditions apply: Do not eat leeks before a month has expired.
Kok Keong's brother, Loh Fook Cheng last time told me how to rid my house of cockroaches. I tried it and now
only roaches I find in my house are dead ones. so very effective, indeed!
BEWARE TAKE CARE
A serious note about heart attacks - You should know that not every heart attack symptom is going to be the left
arm hurting. Be aware of intense pain in the jaw line.
You may never have the first chest pain during the course of a heart attack. Nausea and intense sweating are
common symptoms. 60% of people who have a heart attack while they are asleep do not wake up. Pain in the
wake you from a sound sleep. Let'S be careful and be aware. The more we know the better chance we could
A cardiologist says if everyone who reads this message sends it to 10 people, you can be sure that we'll save at
least one life. Read this & Send the link to a friend. It could save a life. So, please be a true friend and send
this article to all your friends you care about.
MEETING SAI KAN FOR BRUNCH
One morning, Lee Sai Kan called me. He said he had received MESSAGE 76. He had read that Mr. Miles was stung
bee on New Year's Day 2008! Sai Kan was concern about that. He hoped that our mentor is alright now. I told him
the affirmative and assured him not to be over apprehensive. I had just been visiting our mentor over the
Now Sai Kan is a regular reader and sponsor of the MESSAGE. He has already been very supportive. So one
called upon him at his residence high up in a highrise jutting into the Setapak sky. We went to have a drink and
ate some cakes. We chit-chatted for old time's sake.
During the past year Sai Kan told me that he had been afflicted with a few ailments. He had stones in some part
of his system. Even now, he says he carries one jagged pebble in his renal system. That prevents him from
carrying heavy things. If he does he gets pains.
Last year Sai Kan has had three operations, albeit minor ones to probe suspected major dysfunctions. Doctors had
tried to insert, the catheter through his wrist to check his aching heart. Aborted, because of the excruciating
pain, and so they have to refrain. Instead they made a cut below his stomach and put the tube in. But our kind
and good-hearted Sai Kan still has a good heart. The doctor found that major organ in him is still functioning
excellent. Now he carries a tube from his kidney to aid him in his business of urinary!
What, with so many cuts and spare parts, has Sai Kan been torn apart? I imagine you may ask, "Is he still in one
piece?" Yes, he is.
When I visited him we took a 2-kilometer walk to breakfast at a coffee shop. Externally, he looks normal except
that he has to be careful. Mind you, surprisingly Sai Kan is now aged 72! Yet his action and gait are still so
steady, so cool too!! If you cannot match up with him, boo!!
THE LOHS FROM SINGAPORE VISIT OUR MENTOR
Sunday, 2 March, 2008: Loh Fook Cheng with spouse in tow visited our mentor. They have come all the way from
Singapore. They took a taxi from Kuala Lumpur that brought them right up to Mr. Miles's bungalow.
Fook Cheng had followed his younger brother's footsteps on this visit. For Loh Kok Keong the younger sibling had
flown in from Sabah to join our mentor's 81st birthday celebration.
Now, in came the more senior Loh. They had a nice chit-chat with Mr. Miles, talking about one another's present
lifestyles. They also dug into memory lane to reminisce of days and events gone by. The Loh couple really enjoyed
and appreciated the greenery all around and breathed in the fresh jungle air found.
FOOK CHENG WITH OUR MENTOR
Fook Cheng and his charming spouse not only enjoyed the nature back here. They also took our mentor out for a
bite to savour some local gastronomical delights. They are particularly pleased with the tastes of local
dishes what more with their most reasonable prices.
FOOK YIN ROPED IN
When I met them down in the city the next day, I bumped into another Loh sibling. Loh Fook Yin is her name. She
resides in the vicinity of my area in Petaling Jaya. We had a long and interesting chit-chat delving into this
and that. Most of all we dug into our roots trying to reminisce the past as much as we could. Our common
we are all Bentong folks from Bentong town.
SHE TAUGHT US MANY THINGS
Fook Yin had worked in homes with some old folks. From the senior citizens she dealt with she had picked up
wisdom. Learnt some useful practices and cures that work so efficaciously on certain unexplainable ailments that
Once she got a sizable foreign particle into her left eye. A senior lady told her to burn two strips of paper,
one red one white. Then she had to collect the ashes in a cup of water. Next, she brushed the affected eye and
took three sips of the water. The irritating foreign body in her eye was gone after a while! Strange but it was a
cure that scientific theory cannot explain. To the medical fraternity, it might be embarrassing.
FOOK CHENG LIMPING
Even just the day before I met him, Fook Cheng's right foot developed a sore. In spite of rubbing ointment and
applying other medicines, the pain remained. Fook Cheng could but only move with a limp.
Ping! The folks around Fook Cheng thought of something! They asked him to light some joss-sticks and burnt some
prayer joss-papers. Not long after that, his sore was no more. Surprise: "How would you explain it? No, don't hit
against the wall. You just have to believe it." Those folks believed he might have kicked and offended some
spirit! So he had to appease it. What, spirits in our midst - in the city of PJ? Say what you may.
Ok, let's have no more ado about voodoo; nor talk anymore about mambo-jumbo, too.
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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE FOLLOWING IN APRIL
||LEE KIM THYE (MRS TONY)
||CHAN SIEW MUN
||CHIN AH SANG
||LEONG AH SUI
||YAP YOKE CHIN
||LAI MEI YIN (MRS. TEH)
||YAP YOKE NGOH
||CHOI THIAM EWE
||ABDUL MALEK BIN AWANG
||BAHARI SHAFIE (HAJI)
WE WISH TO EXPRESS OUR HEART-FELT SYMPATHIES TO SELVARAJ DANIEL WHO LOST HIS WIFE ROSALIND d/o
B.DARLINGTON, ON THE 23RD OF FEBRUARY. OUR CONDOLENCES TO THE BEREAVED FAMILY. MRS. DANIEL LIVED UP TO
THE RIPE AGE OF SIXTY-SIX YEARS.
LEAVING BEHIND BELOVED:
Husband: Selvaraj Daniel,
Mother: Grace Darlington
Rev. Adam Loh
5 grandsons and a host of relatives and friends.
Edited and written by Chan Suy Sang
who has and will continue churning out tales after tales to inform and to re-reel our news past and present.
Pick a MESSAGE from the top left column to read.
You'll be entertained no matter which edition you choose !!
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