Wednesday, October 31, 2007


A young parent and ‘blogger’ recently intimated his concern. Says he “…….. Sadly the simple acts and pleasures of parental love are not always appreciated by children. Only when parents are no more around then ……..”

For those of us who had the pleasure or directive to study Shakespeare, ‘soliloquy’ would be a familiar term as many of his characters spoke out in moments of unconsciousness or sleep. Poor us, as students of this English playwright, we had not only to understand the plot but to commit to memory the scripts inclusive the soliloquies less we failed to get excellent marks for literature. Indeed the above expression over the current trends of children showing diminishing concern for their parents and elders is a pertinent issue that seeks a remedy if not a new direction. I believe the young parent had a worrying or unhappy thought of circumstances expanding in the future. So do many others and myself included.

I would like to remember that almost forty years ago, while in Baling Kedah, a friend and an OCPD ( Officer-In -Charge of Police District) told me that he regularly contributed RM50.00 monthly to his father. A frugal amount I thought. Being an Indian and a sticker to filial piety he observed this contribution strictly. When he retired from the force, he had invested at least RM 20,000.00: a tiny sum for the parent who had invested greater wealth than that. Truly he has rewarded and honored them. Question! Can that be true too for us?. Regretfully I failed to follow his example.

Like you, I too have children. As they say colloquially, almost all except one “ sudah lepas” meaning they have moved on and married with family of their own. Already richer by more than a dozen grandchildren, we never ask for such investment. Being wage earner ourselves and now supported by the comfortable pension scheme, what we received have put us on safe pedestal and dependent on the generous hospital scheme if need be.

The question is “Why does it escape siblings from wanting to subscribe where necessary?” No doubt they may hand tokens of appreciations at Hari Raya or other celebrations. A steady contribution or investment would have been a good practice as Mr. Suppiah had done. Five siblings in a family all working and each one contributing even less than what Mr. Suppiah had done would have accumulated a small fortune. For parents who necessarily need care and attention at their late age, the more so they require our love.

If a ‘VW’ or a ‘Proton’ appears in the driveway one fine morning with a hand written note wouldn’t that be a dream? Of course they would do that for their maiden.

Imagine if dad or mum was to see such in front of the home. It is a dream but if it comes through it is a blessing indeed for all. In present context, a life insurance or medical benefit scheme would also be a fine gesture. Other examples abound.

Parents may enter into star ranking private hospitals for medical examination at the expanse of credit card facilities but nothing can replace personal attentions and warmth from the family. Observably we must salute the throng of visitors we see at public hospitals. They come to visit patients at the expense of distance or time even having to trudge on foot. That done because traditionally, they believe in religious and family obligations. Visitation is good for the sick while lending good deeds for the visitor.

I am spurt to delve into this absorbing topic due to a poem picked up from the NST several months back. I quote as below and may we ponder.

‘If you are ever going to love me
Love me now while I can know
All the sweet and tender feelings
From which the true affections flows

Love me now while I am living
Do not wait until I am gone
And then have it chiseled in marble
Sweet words on ice-cold stone

If you have tender thoughts of me
Why not whisper them to me?
Don’t you know it would make me happy?
And as glad as can be

If you wait until I’m sleeping
Never to waken here again
There will be walls of earth between us
And I won’t hear you then

I won’t need your kind words
When the grass grows over my face
I won’t crave your love and kisses
In my last low resting place

So if you love me, even a little bit
Let me know while I am living
So that I can treasure it."

(Quoted as from Robert Moreno’s The Time is Now)

Marriages outside the extended family and across borders or even nations though exciting and bringing about national and international unity place some encumbrances. Distance, priority and expenditure come into focus while the earlier smaller kampong style wed-locks among village communities guarantee inbreed and non detachment. Both nevertheless seek cooperation and understanding from partners, husbands and wives plus in-laws for the wellbeing of the family and lasting togetherness. Partners must share and give devotions and remembering always the needs for frequent visitations and niceties.

Yet we must forever remember one true obligation as repeatedly cautioned i.e. the dutiful obligation of children to always offer love, affection and prayers to their parents when they deceased. It is the only redemptions from pious children. We are first children while assuming the roles of parents later. Whatever way we look the resposibalities remain intact.

Let’s show our love always. It comes in varied forms and certainly not in small doses.

( Life has shown me the loss of many closest to my heart yet affections redouble resoluteness and continuity)

Thursday, October 25, 2007


AS WE drove home from Kuala Lumpur yesterday, we played the versatile singer's CD on the car radio player and Dato S.M.Salim's rendering of 'CINTA DULU DAN SEKARANG' hit a memory note. It was good music, fresh and lively. More so the wordings or 'senikata' that goes with it help to draw back the curtain of time and focus on present reality. How do we fall in love then? Or perhaps more appropriately how do we express our love then? Any difference from now? Perhaps friends would like to share their thoughts and experience. After all we have gone through that glorious path and its lasting memories linger in our soul waiting to be kindled with a touch of yesteryear's. Ha, Ha. This is my version.

First let me first quote part of the song rendered by S.M Salim.

" Cinta dulu dulu

Cinta malu malu

Cinta dulu dulu

Memang susah hendak bertemu

Bila sudah dapat bertemu

Hendak cakap apa pun tak tahu

Tegak berdiri tersipu sipu

Seram sejuk kaku membisu" ........

Truly as teenagers or secondary school students we desired to make friends and what more with those of the opposite sex. So either through pal-pal clubs or friendly introduction we came to know new friends. Our writing skills improved because we corresponded. The postman became our true friend. We delighted when we saw him approaching. Surely to bring long awaited letters and maybe a photo included. So it took another week or more when the postman returned for moments of 'happiness'. Those who were more friendly and active would have friends even outside the state or overseas. It may be true to say that writing friendly correspondence between friends of either sex improved our expression and confidence. What more we learn to quote from poetry, idioms and well known writers or playwrights. Our letters became expressive. But that was the limit.

Given the opportunity to meet, either at a school gathering, sports field or the movie house what was said by S.M. Salim came true. Imagination grew wild."Oh boy! This is an opportunity to touch and hold hands. Smell fragrance and sweetness or maybe whisper sweet words" When the chance came it was as expressed by the singer. "All froze. Silence and iced". Unable to say anything except stare. In the end maybe a note delivered discreetly upon departure. Still the meeting was heaven sent.

I am sure each and everyone of us has his or her own personal story of early 'courtship' or ' first love'. Those that had experiences decades ago would realize the vast differences now. Surely no more friendly postman to look forward to. No writing pads and correspondence. No more buying stamps at the post office. No need for pan-pal clubs or introduction.

Hand phones, photo images, sms, emails all allow for up-to-date access to friendship and 'getting to know you'. No more 'ais kacang stall' or 'kedai mee abu' etc. It has to be 'Starbucks'. 'MacDonald' or 'KFC'. Kalau kata S.M.Salim mereka tak berani pun pegang tangan dahulu kini peluk pun ta'apa. Then we had our parents breathing on our backs. Even letters can be intercepted or censored. Phone calls. Unheard of in many homes. Strictness was the order of the day. More so: 'Adat resam dan pantang larang dipegang teguh dan diamal sebagai budaya Melayu'. We were a sticker to old order and ethics.

Be it as it may. For sure I feel the use of hand phone. sms etc has contributed in no small way to many present short comings. It permitted for free expressions without hinderance. No check. No censorship. Then again expressions, correspondence, writings, spelling etc. fall short of the best that is required. No way that we return to the old format. Therefore 'Cinta Dulu......." seems to have its goodness and effects. Perhaps more are spent as compared to the snail correspondence of yesteryears. We certainly cannot go back in time .

Only what do we expect in the near future?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


A collegue writing under 'Seri Kepayang' soliloquized the observable trends of children being distance from their parents and therefore growing unappreciative of their duties and sacrifices. He lamented that ths tendency would weaken the Malay traditional values especially respect and care. Just like Shakespeare who allowed his principal actors to verbelly expressed their thoughts,








One Hari Raya years ago we discovered this Triumph 500 cc
motor cycle which was a dream in the early 1950's. It was in perfect condition.
Can you imagine the breeze blowing on your face as you cruise with the throttle opened
and the twin exhausts deafening the atmosphere. Attired as we were, it certainly brought nostalgia of younger days

Thursday, October 4, 2007


The eight nations competing in the Quarter Final of the 5Th Rugby World Cup in France beginning Saturday 6 October 2007 are vying for the prestigious Webb Ellis Cup named after the considered founder of the game. Webb Ellis Cup is what Thomas Cup is to badminton or Jules Rimet Cup ( Fifa World Cup) is to football. The three have world followings.

Back in the early 1950's , the soggy SAHC ( Sultan Abdul Hamid College) field would see the school rugby team testing their prowess against opponents from Penang Free School or the Edwardians of Taiping.. The three Alma maters were Rugby Unions champ in their respective state. Other schools tried hard to emulate them. The three schools had headmasters who had toiled in the grandeur of Eton, where the game was supposed to have originated and as such the competitiveness and backing.

Decades later residential schools Sekolah Menengah Sultan Abdul Halim Jitra ( SMSAH), Sekolah Tuanku Abdul Rahman Ipoh (STAR) or Sekolah Dato Syed Omar Alor Star (SMDSO) rose to the occasion.

I played rugby then and represented the school and the Kedah State XV. At Kirkby Teachers Training College I won the College Colors and represented the College XV when we played against local English Rugby teams 1956 - 1958. Playing the game in England in sometimes near freezing weather and on undulating field alongside strays cows could be daunting. Yet I always experienced a certain euphoria when on the field during the double 40 minutes sessions. On one occasion I traveled to Twikenham London to see the game at what was then the exclusive rugby field in Britain. One exciting experience when we played in Britain was to strip bare and have our warm showers together with both playing team after the game. What a finale!

They call it a gentleman's game. Far from being rough, scary and disorderly as many envisaged it to be. Have you ever seen players mowed down or blood oozing from their faces or bodies? Likely you would spot it in the football field. Then again how many people know and understand the game. Because very few schools in Malaysia play the game now. The die-hards who were rugby players like me have all retired. I had a spate of time coaching school and state players in the 1960's when I was in Brunei and at SMSAH. Alas our playing days are over.

So when the current world cup comes every four years and this being its fifth time since the Webb Ellis appeared on the rugby scene there are surely many fans including old players like me attached to the TV at least. Rugby has remained the active and popular sports in Australia, Fiji, New Zealand,England and South Africa. Argentina, France, Samoa, Scotland and Wales are equally in the same leagues.

When the Quarter Finals begin this Saturday we will see the following nations competing.

6/10/2007 Australia ( Wallabies) vs England venue Marseille
New Zealand ( All Blacks) vs France venue Cardiff

7/10/2007 Republic South Africa ( Springboks) vs Fiji venue Marseille
Argentina (Pumas) vs Scotland venue St. Denis

Hard to predict who will get into the Semis. The Wallabies, Fiji and All Blacks are equally strong and fast. International Rugby players in the competition are in the range of sixth footers and 85 - 105 kg in weight. They can be devastating but agile and fast. The margin of scoring varies. e.g Aus vs Japan 91- 3, Aus vs Fiji 55 - 12; Eng vs USA 28 - 10, RSA vs England 36 -0 ; Eng vs Samoa 44 - 2.

For friends who are new to the game please remember there are 15 players in each side. There is no goal scoring. Players make a try when they crossed the opponent's goal line scoring 5 points. Then a conversion is made with a 'place kick' or a 'drop kick' earning 2 points. A penalty when given and taken successfully earn 3 points. Again the ball must be kicked so that it goes in between the two uprights of the H shape goal post. Players play with hands and feet. The oval ball like 'buah kana' is the object of the 'scrums', 'line outs', 'passing', 'throw in' etc. The ball must be passed backwards. Throwing or passing in front is a fault. The players play in such positions as ' hooker'.'prop'.'lock'. wing forward', '8th man'. 'scrum half', 'fly half', 'side wing', 'centre' and full back'.

Mind you no goalkeepers. Most exciting when a player flies in, diving with the ball after a run through the barriers of opponents. What excitement and relishment. Even after all these years there remain the joy of rugby game.
Enjoy the game and look for the Finals too. The next Rugby World Cup will be played in New Zealand four years from now 2011. Let me know how exciting it is.