THE MESIAN-MESSAGE NO.84, NOVEMBER, 2008
A CYBER FAN'S SERIES
THE TENGKU ISKANDAR 1ST EDITION
AIDILFITRI VISITS AND REELING BACK INTO MEMORIES
It was the worst of time to travel; yet it was the best moment to be on the road. I had joined the city exodus.
The north, east, south, west escape routes were supposed to be gridlock heavy with vehicles that was a jumble of
coaches, vans, MPVs, SUVs, cars and motorcycles. But blessed soul, I had chosen the best moment to go!
As I reached the Karak highway, it was just the time to the last breaking of fast for this Ramaddan. Vehicles
just pulled over the side of the highway. Whole families exited or stayed in their vehicles to sip in some liquid
and down some food to break their more than 12 hours daily Ramadan fast. They were just picnicking by the
highway. This was the time when you can see food is consumed everywhere and anywhere in trains, in buses, by the
roadside and by the sidewalks and in the crowded streets in town. I have also seen food being consumed in LRT
trains where during normal days, it was prohibited.
EID DAWNS IN BENTONG
Back in Bentong, the month of Syawal dawned. The streets were clear, and fresh was the air. Then cars began
converging onto the town mosque compound. In Bentong there is a new mosque overlooking the Tras Road padang
obliguely opposite the district hospital now. It was the Eidulfitri prayer hour for the Muslim community.
ADVANTAGE OF LIVING IN A MULTI-ETHNIC SOCIETY
I mooched around in town, taking my simple breakfast of tea and toasts spread with margarine and coconut jam.
Luckily the shops and the market were open.
That is the goodness of living in a multi-ethnic society. When one ethnic group celebrates the others still
could manage. Manage the essential services and provide the necessary conveniences for the rest. I heard that in
places like the UK and the US, when great celebrations hit the country everything came to a standstill. You
cannot go out and get a proper meal. Not like that in Malaysia, mind you.
VISITORS CALLED ON OUR MENTOR
A call came from Daniel. Selvaraj had informed me that he and another former MES teacher would come all the way
from Kuala Lumpur to visit our mentor. After snacking in town, they drove up to his bungalow. I too drove in to
join in. Not long after that came a regular couple: Garry and his spouse Mary. Our mentor was waiting for another
arrival, a far away couple. We waited for long. When the waiting dragged on and on our bellies began to growl. So
we drove down the road to a restaurant!
We lunched at the Yee Fatt restaurant. Just before we finished eating, Balachandran Nair and his spouse from Port
Dickson arrived to share the remainder of the delicious dishes. Thanks to Garry and Mary for the sumptuous
With full stomachs, John Chinniah, Selvaraj and me drove down to Sungai Marong to began our open house visit. We
called on Munzir and his family to wish them "Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri".
Teachers and the student Munzir had not met since the early 1960's. So they had much to talk and to dig up all
the bygone stories from memory. Lee Yew Kwong whom I had brought along highly commended the dried beef curry that
was so tasty. We had the signature Aidilfitri delicacy, glutinous rice cooked in bamboo and many other tidbits to
tempt and satisfy our taste buds. Thanks Munzir and spouse for welcoming us so cordially into your house! Munzir
said for Hari Raya Aidilfitri no invitation is necessary. Just call and you will be welcome in for little bites
or even for tiffin!
Next tea time came. We dropped into Haji Mokhtar Mat Piah's place. Haji Makhtar welcomed us with open arms. We
had a long chitchat. Health topics were our specialty and Mokhtar needs a lot of care and encouragement at this
moment. Feel free to call him to boost his morale and encourage him to boldly face treatment.
FUR BALLS-CAUSES & CURES
It was during one of those rare occasions when we went for a drink in a new sort of establishment: Old Town
Coffee shop. My daughter Dana mentioned something like her friends groomed pets. Our small talk led to a
conversation about cats. Strange, I mentioned that our cat was eating grass!! Blah, blah, blah.... That later
led me into searching in the Internet and here is what they said.
When a cat is seen eating grass, he may be doing this for a very specific purpose. In all probability he is
attempting to remove an obstruction in his stomach or intestine cause by fur balls.
All cats keep themselves clean and remove dead hairs by licking their fur. They are fastidious and spend much of
their time grooming themselves and each other. It's natural for a certain amount of the fur to be swallowed.
Sometimes it builds up in the intestines and causes a blockage which is called a 'fur ball.' This may cause
coughing, discomfort and constipation. It is easily remedied at home, but in extreme cases veterinary treatment
may be needed.
Fur balls are thick. matted tubes of fur that build up in a cat's stomach or intestines. They occur because a cat
continually licks its fur to remove dead hairs from its coat and to keep itself clean. This loose fur is
swallowed, builds up and it then regurgitated or passed through its faeces. This happens about every two weeks.
Long-haired cats tend to swallow more fur than shorthairs and so are more prone to the adverse effects of fur
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
If the cat cannot shift the fur ball, its intestines could become blocked. A cat with problem will vomit more
than usual, will be continually hungry but able to eat only a little at a time. Eventually, the cat will begin to
lose weight and look in poor condition.
A longhaired cat looks beautiful but is prone to fur balls. Regular grooming will help to avoid the distress
such a problem causes.
The simplest remedy is prevention. By brushing and combing your cat regularly, particularly longhairs, there will
be less fur to be swallowed. Fur balls obstructions can be treated at home with liquid paraffin. Give 15ml
(three tsp) on day one, 10ml (two tsp) on day two, and 5ml (one tsp) on day three. The fur ball should either be
regurgitated or passed in the faeces. Cats should not be dosed with liquid paraffin regularly but only as needed.
If there is no change, then your cat needs to be examined by a vet. In extreme cases, surgery may be needed to
remove the intestinal obstruction.
DID YOU KNOW?
One of the reasons cats eat so much grass is to help them vomit up fur balls. If you have an indoor cat it is
important to provide it with kitty grass most pet shops stock it.
Serious bowel obstruction caused by the build-up of fur balls is a new phenomenon in cats, the result of
selective crossbreeding, which has produced cats with longer and thicker fur.
The pineapple fruit has many beneficial effects to the human body. Pineapple contains the protein digesting
enzyme mixture called bromelain. This enzyme is natural anti-inflammatory that encourages healing. Bromelain is
also very effective in treating bruises, sprains and strains by reducing swelling, tenderness and pain. This
bromelain enzyme helps break down the amino acid bonds in proteins, which promotes good digestion.
Pineapple juice was also found to be effective in dissolving mucus and aiding recovery from the once dread
disease-tuberculosis. Pineapple has also been thought good for heart condition.
Pineapple is best eaten fresh as canning or bottling divides the vitamin C content by three. This promotes the
digestive process because only protein compounds that have been broken down into smaller components can be
absorbed by the intestines and enter the bloodstream.
Pineapple also destroys harmful bacteria in the stomach and intestines.
Pineapple juice also relieves sore throats and bronchitis. However, it should not be used by those with
Hemophilia or by those with diseases of the kidneys and liver.
It can be useful for heart patients but it seems to reduce the time taken to coagulate the blood which is not
good for those with kidney and liver disease.
Pineapples are rich in Vitamin C which is a common antioxidant that protects the body from free radical damage
and boosts the immune system. Vitamin C is used by the body to help metabolize fats and cholesterol, absorb iron,
and synthesize amino acids and collagen. Collagen will help our skin look healthy and clearer.
Vitamin C increases the body's ability to fight invading bacteria and other toxins that contribute to gum
disease. Periodontal disease has been linked to heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. This disease destroys
gum tissue and underlying jaw bones. Vitamin C also decreases the severity of colds and infections. It helps
build and repair bodily tissue and promotes wound healing.
Pineapples are rich in manganese that is needed for your body to build bone and connective tissues.
Pineapple also strengthens the bones of older people as well as the growth of bones in younger generation.
WHAT HAPPENED THIS MONTH 50 YEARS AGO?
November 1958, MES was abuzz with parties and tests. Work was galore for there were examinations and examinations
for all. There were the school examinations and also the public examinations - the LCE. LCE was the public
examination for form three. By passing the LCE, students could be accepted to be trained as teachers.
In fact quite a number of students from the school passed the LCE examinations and entered the DTC to be trained
as teachers. The end of the year school examinations also kept the teachers and students occupied.
More names were found in our mentor's diary for the November, 1958.
There was mentioned a Bakar, Razak, Chow Yin and Ah Ming who volunteered to donate blood to save the life of an
aboriginal woman. Yeng Kee, John Chinniah, Surendranath and Harbans Singh were just mentioned in Deepavali
celebrations. Of these I know Yeng Kee is still busy with his businesses. John Chinniah, a specimen of the former
MES teachers, has retired from his career in the National Museum. Surendranath had surrendered and exited over
to the hereafter. In Klang Harbans Singh is hibernating - house-bound and retired not fired!
Some students were getting ready to go into the world. Sheh Phooi and Kow Yong were toying with the idea of
getting into a technical school to join the future generation of technocrats. Munzir was about to try join the
government service. Just to become a pen pusher? No, later he rose to the rank of private secretary to the state
secretary. Tengku Abdullah was going to take up arms to defend the country in trying to join the army.
The late teacher Surendranath was leaving the country. He came back later, married and had a daughter. Ng Shui
Chuan organized a well-organized departure party for him.
Leong Ah Sui, Tat Pin and Say Kuang were mentioned in minor accidents in doing the chores in the hostel.
And finally was mentioned Syed Adnan and a host of other of our mentor's friends and acquaintances from far and
near joining in the month's life of fun.
Yours truly was still stuck in a primary Chinese school teaching mostly ABC. In my mind I began to query: Why
study so much when your work requires so little. As the local saying goes to cut a chicken you don't need a
machete for slaughtering a cow!
A PRINCE ROMPS IN
I don't want d message 2 b terminated becoz I enjoyed reading it. I love MES n frankly speaking can't stop
thinking of my hostel plus school life. Why must d hostel and school be demolished? Love all Mesians and
The above is a text message I received recently. Who was the I? Surprised? So was I. He is a royalty. Tengku
Datuk Iskandar Abu Bakar SMSed me. From the above I realized what I was doing was appreciated by many including
Certainly, many enjoyed reading the Message now called the Mesian-message. Great that a prince still speaks
highly and laments loudly about our now non-existent school, and still loves the people or personalities who
studied and worked there.
Tengku Iskandar has romped in with sponsorships of three consecutive editions. To start off this is his 1st
edition - the Mesian-message No. 84. I beg your pardon for this little furore!
AN ACADEMIC E-MAILED ME
Then an academic has also e-mailed me. He was my primary schoolmate back in 1949. It was in an out of town
village school that we met. Suddenly he came into my inbox, but immediately I recognized his name for in the
academic field he has made a name.
Who was the name? Dr. Voon Phin Keong. In a follow-up e-mail, he said he had studied in MES or could it be ACS!
Later he had taught in MES too before he joined the University of Malaya and propelled himself up to be one of
the university's professors.
Welcome back to the fold you two MES high and lofty achievers! We are proud of you, prince and professor.
DIY TIPS AGAIN
A group of us were having dinner at a restaurant. Oops! while a friend was pushing a scoop of red hot spicy curry
gravy into his mouth, the gravy inadvertently dripped onto his shirt.
I thought that would spoil his evening, but he was calm and composed. He wet a tissue paper with beer from his
glass. Then he applied the dripping wet tissue paper to the curry gravy spot. With a few swipes, the gravy was
gone. So that is a way to clean away a curry gravy blot!
Then the other day, daughter Dana said, to rid an oil patch from clothes, there is also a simpler way. Just pour
some talcum powder over the spot. In a short while the oily patch will disappear!
From whom did she learnt this? From her deceased maternal granny! For years the old lady had passed down the
secret from many generations!!
Quick! I must experiment the trick. I splashed a handkerchief with red hot oily curry gravy. Then I poured some
talcum powder over the oily curry blob. I left it to stand for a few minutes.
Then I observed. The talcum powder had risen to become fluffy and coloured with the colour of curry gravy!
When I washed the handkerchief, the curry patch and oil were gone!
Bravado! The trick worked superbly. Thanks to the old lady! Now you thank me. I will thank you back when you come
in with your tips, tricks and long-time kept secrets!! Agree? Gee!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE FOLLOWING IN NOVEMBER
||JOO SHEK PHIN (WILLIAM)
||MOHD KHALID M. YUSOFF
||YIP FOOK KHIM
||LEE YEW KWONG
||ISMAIL B. MOHAMED
||NG KAM THYE
||JOHN D CLEMENT
||CHAN SEE PHONG
||TAN GEE SIN
||TONG AH TAI
||WONG FOONG CHAW
||LAM HAY YIN
Grateful to all the sponsors who had helped this the humble Mesian yet informative newsletters,
to run into more than 80 numbers. We are nearing hitting the century target. Come in sponsors; come in to lend a
hand. I owe you many thanks.
Pick a MESSAGE from the top left column to read.
You'll be entertained no matter which edition you choose !!
Remember to come back SOON for more NEW and INTERESTING MESSAGES uploaded every month !!
You had just read MESSAGE 84