Monday, March 28, 2011


The large open space of a Malay home minus the furniture allows for a gathering of neighbors and guests for functions especially religious do. The windows open wide guarantee cool flow of air.

 A gathering of guests especially friends and neighbors for a 'khenduri aruah' and reading of Surah  Yassin at the home.

   The ladies 'Marhaban' group came to add their participation. 

The two staircases as always attracted guests to have their photos taken there. It was as such before and now still. 

 The greens and the river in front of the home lend a homely   atmosphere

 It has taken a year to rebuild this traditional home, taken from its original site piece by piece and reassembled as it is now. On site a friend lent his old motor-cycle to add to the age of the home.It is now known as "Teratak Warisan" ( A Heritage Home).

 This young nephew gazes out, perhaps wondering what it is all about. The 'deeds of the father' he understands since he is lovingly cared by both parents. Hopefully he will continue to do so when he grows up.


Many years have passed by. Many an experience have been tested and involved. We too have had our share of our own breeds: sons, daughters, grand sons and grand daughters etc. Over the years, since we have ourselves  touched the status of a sexagenarian or even an octogenarian maybe we want to focus and recollect what we have acquired since. Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in his latest book, an autobiography 'The Doctor in the House' did not fail to have an account of his father detailing how much he benefited from him. Maybe that spurt this topic too.

My father Mohamed bin Abdul Raoff died when I was still a teenager; not having completed my Senior Cambridge Certificate or the Standard IX in the school ranking. Now of course the fifth form or the SPM examination. I mentioned the word "acquired' just now meaning in all senses a huge contribution in all its conglomeration and specifically dear to our hearts of course 'knowledge' .

The 'old man' a terminology quite often used in reference to our dad seems to relish his seniority even though the referrer himself maybe younger still. Yet it puts him already on a high pedestal. Recognizing him as a senior person, a doyen already. A sage. Of course learned in all his wisdom.

I am often distressed at disclosure such as " The sins of the father" which suggest the misdeeds leaving many to believe and yet never discovering the natural and grandeur contributions heaped by him. Could be our own failure too, never or least writing or mentioning the better sides. I would like to make amends and put on record my own story with the hope it will spark awakenings.

The 'Teratak Warisan' is a case in point referring to the heritage home we have managed to rebuild and on another piece of land. It has been sixty years and more when my father as a school clerk built a wooden home as a shelter for the family.Whereas many of his friends, then bought motor cars popularly known as Austin, he invested his money on a home; replacing the older one standing on the plot of land at 9 Jalan Sekerat off Jalan Baru ( Jalan Putra). Alor Setar. I remembered the two Malay carpenters or house-builders to be specific and especially Pak Said a former prison personnel who toiled days and months to build the house. It was no easy task lifting and erecting the heavy pillars and allocating the beams in their positions via brute strength. Mind you no machinery to assist. The chosen hard timber such as 'cengal' or 'tembusu' which father acquired from Baling and Changlun withstood the test of time and remained perfect till today. Even the 'meranti' boards for the floors and walls  were perfect. Extraordinarily ninety percent of the timber were reassembled again to make the house that we rebuilt.  Yes they succeeded in giving us a beautiful home. My father enjoyed his home for only a few years but my mother lived to her senior years comfortable in the home her husband and my father had built. We treasured the time we grew up there.

With the completion of the rebuilding of the old home recently, it struck upon me how fortunate and blissful we have been all these years. Yes the good deeds of our fathers hunt us; hitting hard our tepidity of never valuing their innate contributions. Our fathers left us treasures, heritage, peace of mind and above all a wonderful shelter. No we never realized their worth. maybe we were searching for something else. Never discovering yet it was there.  They must know and endure hardship having lived through the depression years, the war and the emergency. Not us we live through years of rebuilding and comforts. They saw the urgency and need.

The good deeds of our father, speaking of course of the bread earner who has left us are many folds. As a public service person he left his pensions to the wife. Our mother in all her endearment used the financial assistance to bring up the family. The house standing where it was guaranteed shelter and safety for decades later. Wisely and passionately adjusted the property and whatever trusted upon us would remain lasting gifts. Grief and regret only when heritage goes with the wind; sold off, mortgaged and unredeemed. 

Having rebuilt the old home, in all its originality excepting the roofings and the heights and positioned in a rural setting by the side of a river with several mature fruit trees on site, it could only mean success. We could imagine both father and mother smiling at the thought that their home lives on.

It was thus at the 'khenduri aruah' that we had recently on the occasion of moving into the 'new' home that I mentioned of the fortunate who were left with treasures but sadly failed to see its very existence and yet lamented over the lacks of things. Maybe they too have forgotten the education and training they have acquired; all the characteristic traits of a good man and woman and all the wisdom of growing up. Many of the elders at the 'khenduri' concurred. Much as they too have received 'treasures' from their parents they too have invested and dedicated many for their children. They are intangibles of course for the moment. Many would hope that their homes too would be cared as we have done for 'Teratak Warisan'.

It has taken us on a course of rebuilding  and yet it has reshaped us to realize the magnanimity of our parents: father and mother. Truly they have given us richness beyond calculations. No ringgit but intangible assets in all their glories. Wishing that this outburst of sentimentality, regret or overjoy will make the reader wants to discover the treasures that he or she has acquired or would acquire later. InsyaAllah.


Azizi Ahmad Termizi: said...

Tahniah Pak Non. A labour of love and a homage to a loved one.

aofuad said...

Pak Non,
I too remember my Tok Su Yam's house very clearly.It was a huge house then. The house is similar, in some aspect to my Tok Wan's house in Akar Peluru. The verandah and the living room, and the windows with wooden louvres that can be opened to let in the sunlight.I too remembers my Tok Tam's house in Simpang Kuala and Tok Su Nah's house in Lorong Seri, Jalan Telok Wanjah.On my next trip back home, i will try and photograph all these houses for my memories. I am not sure whether there remains any more the Govt Quarters in Jalan Pegawai or Lorong Wan Mohamad Saman.
I am not sure whether my house in Putrajaya will stand the test of time.

kotastar said...

Thank u for yr comment. Rumah kerajaan di Jalan Pegawai dah hilang. Semuanya di roboh dan kayu-kayu dijual. Rumah To Wan dan adik-adiknuya masih ada. Thank u for reminding about them. Yes we need to get them in our album, satu kerana bangunan dan bentuknya dan kedua mereka semua sedar dari awal lagi untuk menyediakan rumah untuk anak-anak.