The year 1970.

SAS Board of Prefect 1970 (Push here to enlarge or here for details)

My final year in SAS. When I first came to SAS, I never thought of how I was going to leave it, in peace in one piece or in pieces, or when I left would I ever come here again. One thing for sure, I never hated the place I went and I went through, the way I never hated Jengka 5 where I contracted malaria. In fact I loved very much to remember the places I went to and these places always made me nostalgic, very sweet to remember, and how nice would it be if we could always travel back in time.

The new term began on Monday Jan 5, but I returned to the hostel on Friday Jan 2. I stayed in HB room, shared with Tajul Ariffin, the board secretary. The room was on the ground floor, below 1B5, next to a bachelor teacher quarter (CheGu Ismail Taib was staying). Next and attached to the room was the so called prefect room, which was used by prefects to hold the meeting and to study at off-duty hours (given by the school no light-off times), which has an attached bath room which in turn attached to another room which was used by girls as their afternoon rest room. The rest of the ground floor of B Block was the canteen (and a B/W TV set locked in an iron box hang at the ceiling height) and the recreation room. Tajul and I were thus "houseless", and it had been so for the past years, HB and the board sec were houseless. I was in 6SnA2, Pak Adja Radjman was the form teacher, and he taught physics; while CheGu Ghazali Hanafiah continued the HM.

Being a HB in a full-board school was not easy, a 24-hrs job, sometimes doing the job of Wardens. The stake I was putting up for agreeing to take the job was huge: my future; and I realised this last september. To perform the task I had with me six house captains [Mohamad Md Tan (A-Aminuddin Baki), Md Sharif Ninggal (B-Halimi), Aziz Sidek (C-Dato' Onn), Munier Tusat (D-Tan Sri Jamil Rais), Zakariah Awang (E-Hishamuddin), and Mahali Taib (F-Za'aba)] and thirty-eight prefects including seven girls; in a population of about 850 students. Even on the very first day, I was made to check whether all boys were back in the hostel or not. On daily basis we were looking after the school regulations, especially during off-class periods, so that things go well untroubled. When there would be any occasion, HM would summon me to his office, brief me on what would be going on, what were expected to happen, and told me what he wanted the students to take part. I rebriefed this to the prefects and then explained the students part to the students in the dining hall during lunch or dinner time. This practically translated into my almost every morning briefing with HM in his office - the scener I observed and got impressed back in 1967 when I first came here. And especially, on Monday morning, HM would let me know first, in his office, anything he wanted to tell the students, even when he wanted to fire a prefect for stealing, before he stepped in the assembly hall. I presumed the teachers had been told before me. Thus the last person to enter the hall during assembly was the HM, and usually the second last was me. I stood the front most of the students lines standing on the floor (except Husin Wahab or Zubir Ramli playing piano, and Alias Yusof "conducting", they would return to the lines when we finished singing "Negaraku" and "Negeri Selangor" songs), giving order "alert" when HM entered the hall, stepping towards the stage, directly to the rostrum, in front of the rows of teachers, already nicely seated; and the assembly began.

In early 1970, I enjoyed rising Malaysia flag on the pole here, in front of the school main building. In year 2000, they brought down the pole, and erected the so-called the biggest school crest in the country. They had unwisely traded the pride and glory for a meaningless name which will rot together when the board that made the crest rotted in the acid rain. I believed they would erect the new flag pole somewhere else.
I became very close to the school admin personnels and the workers too: The two En Mohammad's, and Che' Maria the clerks; the steward En Kamaruddin (whose wife Puan Zainon was the warden of girls hostel in Kg Baru), the lab assistance Yazid, the librarian Idris, and the general worker Abang Zainal who looked after all the school keys; and the van driver Gopal, and bus driver Abang Shaari; also the (raw) food supplier Mr Low, and his clerk Mohd Dom. Ah Chai, the canteen operator was never very good to me. I had less acquaintance with the cooks in the dining hall, even though I was the chairman of the food committee, but the committee sec, Jamaluddin Shamsuddin had a lot. The other job that I must never forget to do it or ask a prefect to do it, was to raise the Malaysia Flag on the pole in front of the school office every schooling day, not later than 7 in the morning, sunny or rainy, and take it down again at six in the evening. At first I did it myself, out of enjoyment, then I deligated it to the group leader to do it himself or to ask another prefect to do it. The flag was in the custody of prefect board in the prefect room all the time.

In the beginning of the year, many societies carried out their activities by the students. I was made to keep track each of them and keep the liaison with HM. In return I told all those responsible, normally a prefect to let me know of their upcomming activities and if possible to discuss with me prior to the date and time. I keep the job of chairman of food committee, by virtue of being HB. I refused other posts in the soc. Nonetheless, I became an active member of Science Action Club of the Sc&Math Soc, Electronic Group, out of my self-interest; the other active group was The Rocket Group. The same also went for games to be held and arranged by the students themselves. I had never been very good in any games, and thus never play even for the house. I never received any prize for winning a game in my life untill the end of 1970. I played games just for the fun of it, not for the skill of it. I was very much indebted and I really felt it in my whole nerves and muscles the symphaties of CheGu Aishah, my geog teacher in form five, CheGu Baharuddin, my chemistry teacher in form five, and CheGu Omar, acting Chief Warden at one time. CheGu Aishah was the only teacher who congratulated me personally (on Wednesday Jan 7) for the appointment; CheGu Baharuddin gave me a very personal advice on how to use the time like mine on Friday Jan 23 when he borrowed my boot (which I inherited from a senior friend last year) and took me to see his new place in Seremban on Sunday Feb 15 when he moved for a new job, apparently as an ESSO chemist in PD; CheGu Omar related to me in PR his experiences in Australia when he knew I was offered a scholarship by MARA on Saturday Sep 5. And surely not the least, was Mr Jimmy Thomas. He taught me GP. All the time in the class he never forget to keep me in one piece infront of the students no matter how bad I performed. He never start a new lesson to the class until I was in, no matter how late it was, he always waited for me to make sure that I would not miss any of his lessons. Unfortunately he was not a warden who stayed in the school quarters. During the last two terms I was promoted to CheGu Shahriza's group, but Mr Jimmy Thomas never let me down.

H He!!
Li Be Bo Ca N O Fe Ne
Na Mag Al Si P Su Cl Ar
Ka Ca Sec Ti V Cro Man, Fe Co Ni Cu Zin Ga Ge As Se Brom Ker

The thirty-six elements in four periods of the Periodic Table that was in my head; the section included in the STP syllabus. I told this mnemonic device only to Alias.
Thursday Jan 8, ten new prefects were appointed from among upper sixth form and fifth form to complete the board, and the next day new 40-seater bus for SAS arrived. Before that, our only means of "official" transport was a 15-seater van of coaster class. Since then each class took turn to go for Friday prayer in the National Mosque. I never went when it was my class turn because I did not have the baju melayu sepasang which the student ought to wear to the National Mosque. Sunday Jan 11 fourth-former arrived for registration. It was carried out by prefects. In their first night prep, I chose form 4A to talk about SAS. When new commer set in, unfortunately the 'senior' got restless to get accomodated, and school regulation began to disarray. These was noticed by HM as a deterioration of discipline. I began to get that 'snarl' from HM on Wednesday jan 14, three days before our new assistant head master, CheGu Ibrahim began his duty (while waiting for his final results from University of Malaya) and assumed the duty of chief warden. The HM's dissatisfaction continued, but things did not get better and better over the term and the term that followed. Over the months I got the effect of the stresses, and naturally I passed some of the stresses to the prefects, who in turn passed on to the students, but some of the prefects refused to deliberate it. These resulted in strains between me and some of the prefects, and some of my class-mates, and some of my long time mates. Sometimes I felt like I was really in a very bad shape. On Thursday Feb 5, I defied the CW direction by giving shelter in room A2 to two parents who arrived late in the evening from an east coast State to send their son and had nowhere to stay for the night other than hotel. Monday Feb 23, during the assembly HM openly pointed the finger to upper sixth-former, and on Monday March 2, also after the assembly, the finger was directly pointed to the prefects themselves. This dragged on to second term untill finally on Tuesday May 5 I led Jaafar, Aziz Sidek, Jamaluddin Shamsudin, and Tajul for a courtesy visit to the quarter of CW to admit that it was our weakness, and it was pushed by inside inherent nature of students who came to this school.

It was a very hectic days just before the first term ended, full of memory-carving incidents. The school was practically in the festive mood: the week that followed was the "Festivel Week". Sat Mar 21, a cordial visit by ca. 60 Kolam Air School (Sekolah Menengah Perempuan Jalam Kolam Air) students. Their HG, Norilam Ramli naturally became my special guest for the afternoon. The nick "Kolam Air" was a dear name to SAS, because it was the only malay-medium girls full boarding school in Kuala Lumpur. They were thus like our dear little sister. Kolam Air - SAS in the 1970s were really a sister to a brother. It rippled on for several years to come. But Monday March 23, during the morning assembly the prefects were 'snarled' again for the untidiness of the school compounds. The students were very busy, since last two weeks, in setting up projects for the annual exhibition, and they continued in the afternoon. In one project, Zaini Asmawi were making nylon, and he needed sodium hydroxyde solution. He got the idea from his form five chemistry by putting sodium metal into the water in a beaker next to a lighted bunsen burner. He forgot about the hydrogen gas by-product which exploded (with a sound audible through out the school) immediately in front of his face. He sustained an eye injury and treated at KLGH. He had to wear a dark glasses for the rest of his tenure in SAS. At night, about eleven plus, as I was about to close my eyes, Tajul woke me up saying that a burglar was in the hostel, in A house; some of the students were mounting a chase and the burglar was caught, in STTI. When it was brought to me, unbelievably he was one of the fifth-former prefect. HM called an emergency assembly during class recess the next day, Tuesday March 24, and he was fired from the board. In the afternoon I ordered to mount a full scale "cleaning campaign" by all students, including girls, throughout the school compound.

Saturday March 28 it was cross-country day. I just watched them running since I was houseless, and I was going to be so again during the standard test and school sports day next term. It was followed at night by "Malam Senirama" of PBMSAS in which HM, wardens, and I were made the guests of honour by the society. Monday March 30 was the Speech Day 70. I was sorry to myself because I was called to the stage only to receive the traditional HB gold medal. Tuesday March 31 was the Exhibition Day, and opened to outside visitors, mostly from surrounding schools, in PJ down to Kajang. Wednesday April 1 was supposedly students versus teachers games day, but later I read it as an "April Fool" day. The actual games, sepak takraw, football, netball, etc were fine, but the climax was a badminton game between HM CheGu Ghazali and his assistant, CheGu Ibrahim pair against Tajul and me. It was quite an amusement (or perhaps an embarrasement) to HM in the teachers pair and me in the students pair for both of us had one thing in common: we were very bad in badminton. The teachers pair relied heavily on the AHM, while my pair relied on Tajul who was actually good in sepak raga, not badminton. However the former was very much better and finally my pair lost 15-6; all the 6 were by Tajul. Thursday April 2, tidying up for the week festival. Friday April 3, I went home for the first term break. Like second term break last year, I took the initiative to charter the same company bus, for about forty students for the home comming to-and-fro trips to KT.

The Minister of Education, Datuk Abdul Rahman Yakub;

The second term began on Monday April 20, but as always we returned to school on Saturday before that. I did fine during last term GP test, so Tuesday April 21, I was 'promoted' to CheGu Shahriza's group. Fresh lower sixth-formers arrived on Thursday April 30. Learning from the fact that HM assembled fourth-formers in the hall to brief about the school when they first came in January, I took the initiative to do the same, at night. During Maulud on Sunday May 17, we were honoured by the extended visit of the Minister of Education, Datuk Abdul Rahman Yakob. We had dinner together, then maghrib and isyak together, and then listened to his talk until late night. Friday May 29 assembly (we had assemblies on Monday and Friday since March) was the last assembly for HM CheGu Ghazali. He was moving on to the education department. I gave a short tribute to him at the rostrum before he began, and a present on behalf of the students, and Jariah, HG, gave another one on behalf of the board of prefects. CheGu Ghazali actually had made an investment in me in the SAS HB tradition when he appointed me as the Acting HB last year September. I realised it many months later. Unfortunately he did not have the time to see his investment actually matured and the school got the payoff. It was in me that I carried it to the end of the year until the following year when STP results were announced. But I was the 'material substance' that had to bear the previous tradition and had to deliver (fortunately successfully) the new tradition. My successor eventually completed and furnished the new HB tradition of SAS.

(L-R) Husin Wahab, Mat Zakaria, Sulaiman Md Nor, Izzudin Hamzah: 1970 May 30 Sat, in RRI Sg Buluh, Selangor.

UPDATED 2009: A special reunion, 39 years apart. From 1970 May 30 Sat in Sg Buluh RRI, to 2009 Jun 13 Sat in Section 19 Shah Alam.

CheGu Ghazali left a legacy, that from that day all prefects must wear the blazer during the assembly. Teachers met after the assembly, perhaps they were having the farewell themselves; thus the Friday was almost a free Friday. In the evening Harun Hamzah popped in, and later with Arif Othman, we went to visit Alyas Mamat and Musa Sukarman in the nearby TTTC. CheGu Yasin Maidin assembled A and B boarders after dinner because they made noises before the noon Friday prayer; and that was before we had our cinema in the hall: Commanche. Sat the following, Science Soc made a trip to RRI Sg Buluh. As a courtesy, in the evening after having some physics discourse with Raja Daniel, I organised a small party to help Abang Shaari the driver washed the bus which got quite a muddy when it ditched on the road side from Sg Buluh to made way for the incoming car. That very same night, talent time was held in the hall. I watched only half way; I watched TV instead in Abang Shaari's quarter; and later accompanied Jamaludin to accompany the girls back to Kg Baru hostel. Sunday May 31 was even more memorable. I put on a nice dress since early in the morning. Took the bus at Cheras stand and off to Malacca Street waiting for Wan Muda Mamat, as promised in my phone when I received his letter May 27 Wed. Wan Muda was my two years senior in SM Padang Midin; when I left for SAS in 1967 Jan, he had just finished his SPM; apparently he got a job in RTM and stayed in Pantai Dalam. He did not have a specific place to go for the outing; so I suggest, which he agreed, that first we go to fetch Zawiah in girl hostel in Kg Baru. Arguably she preferred a more exclusive plan; but I was in dilema. She compromised; so we went to Wan Muda's place in Pantai Dalam, by Sri Jaya bus, first to Jln Sultan Mohamad Bus Station, then another one to Pantai Dalam; one of those 'shelters' later renamed squatters for demolition purposes. It was past mid-day. She cooked, we had a nice Trg meal, then I took her back to Kg Baru; and back to Cheras with Arif Othman who was in the hostel when I arrived. It was a long day; I still had time to read my books, for the tests were approaching, before retiring late at night. But it was a short day too, it passed very quickly.

The dawn of STP and its 'after-affairs' began on Friday May 29 when we signed the examination form, I filled the MARA scholarship form on Wednesday June 10 for a place in an Australian University, and went for the interview in the HQ, Jln TAR on Monday July 13 which resulted in an offer I received on Saturday September 5, as a permanent candidate. Mid-year exam started Thuesday June 18, in which I had the feeling that I could go through to the end unhitch. I also filled in the Ministry of Education scholarship form for local University and went for the interview on Thursday Aug 13 in Jalan Ilmu, PJ. The STP trial beginning Monday Oct 5 confirmed my feeling that I was on the right track. STP timetable arrived on Thursday Oct 15, unforgetting that the day was my coolest colleague, Jariah's birthday.

SAS Sports Day 1970, June 13. Mr Tan Pok Chin was mad at me for unable to locate the school flag. How would I know? Who kept it after the last year occasion? In the end, instead of carrying the school flag, I hurriedly made to carry the Malaysian flag instead, hand-sewn by Jariah to shorten, otherwise it would be dragging on the track.

Nonetheless, June, July and August days were still very much of school days. The new HM, CheGu Mahpor Baba began his duty on Monday June 1, and it began with the assembly. Over the weeks he took the concern of school discipline by himself and he assured me many times that he would back me up for anything I do good for the school and leave the matter entirely to him for all things which I was unable to do. He made an effort to attend the board meeting, together with CW CheGu Ibrahim on Tuesday June 16; after the school Sportsday on Saturday June 13. Being HB, I was 'houseless', as was Tajul, but on that day, while entertaining the invited guests, I met my former teacher in Terengganu, CheGu Husin Ahmad. He was then HM of Sekolah Menengah Petaling. At first, obviously he could not remember me, but a sure anecdote with him in 1965 put him right on the point to remember who I was. It was an early Friday morning when I woke him up to tell him that I was leaving the hostel to commute to school; my childish and foolish decision. He gave me a twenty minutes lecture, still in his night dress, and on the twenty-first minute I changed my mind. I owed him that short Friday morning 'sermon' which otherwise I would not be able to see him again since I would not be as I was then. Then, I collected others to join: W. Mohamad who was in first year UKM and Alyas from nearby TTTC (both were my one year senior in Padang Midin and SAS), Zawiyah, Kalthum and W. Fatimah (in form six in another school around KL). I remembered two other things happened on this sports day jun 13 1970.

The radio transmitter; Sulaiman and I manned the booth today, Wed, Jul 22, 1970 in the National Interschool Science Exhibition, in Language Institute, Lembah Pantai.
In 1970, I refused posts in many societies, except to be active in the Science Action Club, Electronic Group, out of my intense interest in electronics. On the suggestion of Pak Hitler, the chemistry teacher, and adviser to the rocket club, the club received the supervision of Pak Kurishman (who was very good indeed in electronics), his fellow Indonesian teacher in Kuala Pilah. With full consent of HM, he began his weekend visit to SAS on Friday Feb 6, and I reserved the girls room next to PR room for him. The club decided to build a transmitter with a final intention to form the school radio station. Izzuddin, Husin and Sulaiman were my constant active front runners, plus other students. In about a months, with a school budget, the transmitter was built, and on Tuesday evening March 10, began transmitting at 4.15 MHz on the SW band, limited to a radius of 2 miles (to avoid having to take the HAM radio licence). The project was one of the attraction during the March 31 Annual Exhibition. Pak Kurishman finally got himself transfered to SAS from Monday May 4 and he continued to assist us. It was then taken to the National Interschool Science Exhibition in LI Lembah Pantai on Monday July 20 for four days, together with other projects, including the Rocket Project, the artificial egg hatcher, and the "strike anywhere" match. The "match" project really did strike, on the last day of the exhibition, when one of the projects students used his bare hands to sweep the powder to clean the table to pack-up; and the powder striked, burning both of his hands. An LI general worker who was at a close watch rushed for a rescue; asked for any raw eggs which were fortunately available from the artificial hatcher project, broke them on a plate, and told the student to soak the burnt hand in the liquid egg, and do not take out until he came back. He came back about an hour later, and mysteriously the student's hand became unburnt when he pulled them out from the egg in the plate.

1970 Jul 5 Sun, the bus stops and drops; the netball on the ground; the debate in the hall; I was taken around for the 'tour'; never imagined I would be spending quite a fraction of my time here later, not yet told then when;
Jun 18 Thu, mid-year exam began with physics practical; it ended Jul 3 Fri with principal math. The end was celebrated around the free tickets to about eight of us, including Zawiah to watch the Malam Seni Melayu in University of Malaya on Jul 4 Sat night. And it prolonged to the following day Jul 5 Sun, in the bus to Telok Kemang Beach, Port Dickson. It was a very memorable day for us; actually it was the most and the last memorable day. CheGu Batoebara went along; it was organised by the Malay Society. In the evening we dropped in Tunku Kurshiah College Seremban (all girls college - still in English medium then) and the girls had a match of netball; and that was after a short debate programme. Just before we were leaving, the head-girl took me around to see her campus. And before we actually left Seremban, we still had time for a stroll in the Lake Garden.

Jun 27 Sat, in the middle of my mid-year exam period, I got my only visitor throughout my 4 years tenure in SAS: he was my cousin AbangLi, my AyohChik's son in Seberang Takir. He came to visit his maternal cousin Ayob (form 5) who was ill in GH and whose mother was contacted by HM by telegram. We all went to visit him in GH, with Putih and Ibrahim Jusoh. While around the hospital I managed to locate MakTeh Endon, my mother's long time close friend in Pengkalan Arang (before she moved to KL when she separated from her husband PakTeh Id who was Musa's paternal uncle - Musa was my childhood playmate-; she and her new husband, a hospital worker stayed at the quarters at Jalan Dr Latiff). That evening I went to AbangLi's place (a quarter) in Batu Garrison (they were staying with in-laws). That night I acquainted their two children, Yus and Saufi. We went to visit Ayob again the next day Sun, and I parted to school in the late afternoon.

Second term break began on Friday July 24, but I told my mother that I was not going home, to stay in the hostel to give some extra times to my books. I sent off Zawiyah at Malacca Street on Saturday morning July 25 for her home term break, and I sneaked myself to Kuala Sentul on Sunday the following day for a fresh air with my brother until Wednesday. I stayed at the hostel for the rest of the ten days break, with a few friends, initially with Tajul, then when he went back to Penang, Jamaluddin Shamsuddin, and later Sulaiman and Husin accompanied.

Third term and final term began on Monday Aug 10. Many friends expressed their desire to put more times on the inevitable STP; Tajul moved to his old room A4 of A-House leaving me alone in HB room. I took one room in C-Block as my private study room which I normally used in the evening when everyone was on the field. Uneasy with the moody atmosphere of many fellow prefects, I moved myself to room 2A3 of B-House, staying on a bed next to Sulaiman, and used HB room as my study room with friends. The prefects made a last frolic before we would "retire" when STP set in; it was on Aug 30 Sun in Port Dickson at the same place as in Jul 5. CheGu Ibrahim, the board advisor, went along. I took a dip in the water, and a funny thing happened on getting out of the water; Hakim Borhan got deleriously entertained and happily assisted.

It was September, I named Raja Daniel R. Ismail to be my successor, HM agreed with my proposition, and his appointment was announced during Monday morning assembly, September 7, together with new prefects from among the lower sixth and a few from the fourth formers. Raja Daniel was one thousand times better than me, in every aspects. We were bonded together by the physics and math numerical problems in the textbooks. From that day, I was still in charge, but the tasks were carried out by the non-upper sixth formers; we were "retired" for full trottle towards STP. I made my last frolic with friends, in English Language Society trip to Cameroon Highlands on Saturday Oct 10.

Farewell Dinner 1970, Sat Oct 24. L to R: Jariah Hj Masud, CheGu Ibrahim, CheGu Mahpor, Mat Zakaria.
Then came October. Farewell dinner was held on Saturday night 24th, my last official function. It was followed by "Majlis Baca Yasin" on Thursday night Oct 29. Ramadan clocked in on Sunday November 1.

The count down began with the eventual STP on the November 3 Tue with practical papers. It was subsidiary biology for math classes. I did not do well, the same as when I was sitting for my SPM biology in 1968, but I had a strong confidence that I would get through even with not so high grade. I went to prefect room after the paper and again in the afternoon and studied in HB Room to the evening. Waiting for the break time, I had a chat with Sulaiman and Fadil. I had an argument with Dahan early in the afternoon, but enjobly spent in HB Room with the books for the rest of my time today, but spent the night in my dorm.

Nov 4 Wed, started after sahur with the books, and during the school periods I spent most of the time in HB Room and the prefect room, minus a short nap in the afternoon. In the evening I spent sometimes at the 'banks' for a fresh evening breeze, to continue at night, and to bed in the HB Room.

Nov 5 Thu, started rather late. I absented all classes (it was no teaching class anymore actually - I had the privilege of HB Room solely for my own use or the prefect room) during the school periods, and spent keenly on the books in HB Room and prefect room, with a long break of chat with Sulaiman and Fadil in the afternoon to early evening. I resumed in the evening, starting with a short nap, through to the night to one o'clock; but retired in the dorm.

Nov 6 Fri, started very early, but it did not last. I spent all the period times in the HBR or prefect room, and other times in the dorm but I felt very hungry that only in the afternoon I could open the book. It was a rather jolly day today; it a pictures in the hall Tarzan Met His Challengers, and I went to bed at the bell time in the dorm.

Nov 7 Sat, started right after sahur, on books with Alias in the HBR, a short nap in the mid morning in the dorm and continued to the afternoon meal. Mid-day out to KL with Alias and Fadil watching Airport at REX. It was too tired by the evening; supposedly reading the books, I fall sleep early in the HBR.

Nov 8 Sun, was a rainy day, right from the morning. I read the books only lightly for the following day was another practical paper. I spent most of the time in the prefect room, on and off in the HB Room, to the bed time at night, early, in the dorm.

Nov 9 Mon, STP continued with Physic practical. I did not feel quite well, and had to go out to 'resuscitate' a few times during the exam. I really was very tired because of the unwell and after the exam I just laid flat on bed in the dorm. Prep classes were lifted from today, because non-sixth formers were busy with their packing for the year-end break. They littered the hostel area with cans and refuses, that at about eight the warden ordered for an assembly in the hall to stop the 'frenzy'. I needed time to gather my strength for the next day, that I retired on time in HB Room.

Nov 10 Tue, after sahur, I pulled the final piece of strength in the dorm. The STP today was Chemistry practical. I made it for the exam. Lower sixth and fourth formers began their 'exodus' today (except those who sat for Suplementary papers); those in B-Block gave away for A-Block was needed to be vacated for some outsiders to board for some programmes. I had a short rest, then late afternoon, with Sulaiman and Fadil, moved our belongings out of A-Block. Sulaiman and I stayed in HB Room (my former room since Jan), and naturally ended day through the night just with chatting with Alias joining.

Nov 11 Wed, with the fourth and lower sixth former gone, class activity ceased. The hall and some classes were rearranged to become the examination hall for the written exam. The upper-sixth former were left in 'peace' to look after themselves in the hostel throughout the exam period. School regulations became a non-matter for they were big enough to align with the time. The bell (especially the very long one at sahur time), nonetheless, still rang at meal time, by the upper-sixth former prefects. Prep classes were also up to the individual, in the dorm or in the class. There was practically no light-off time. The 'maturity' of the upper-sixth formers were clearly visible from today, I mean, to be, or not to be. The exam mood started when the night fall for tomorrow. With Sulaiman now my room-mate, I was sort of 'adduced' to his better tune, and pulled myself for the final hurdle. Nonetheless, I yielded to the noisy 'new life' in the prefect room, I decided for only a light touch on the books and retired rather early. But it was noisy in the PR, that I lost some of my sleep.

Nov 12 Thu, the restlessness prolonged to the far mid-night that many were disturbed. At two in the wee hours I was awaken; I made some quick 'tour', a break at the scouts room (where some scout upper-six formers used it as their 'HQ' for the 'final battle'), and stayed awake to past sahur, then only I could get some sleep. Apparently some teachers were watching from a distance; in the afternoon, HM CheGu Mahpor summoned me to his office. He was not that furious after all; he talked more about my future welfare (his HB) than the restlessness of the STP-obia. He was worried that I might fell into the same shoes as the previous HB's. I could only said that I would try my best, and that I was in the best of form. That was the first time I felt that actually SAS cared about me; it was not that I was brought here to fight my way through. I was so naive not to sense that he knew that there were something in the store for me. The intensity loosened a bit knowing that the written papers would only be in the following week; up to late mid-night, I read a novel instead, a rather 'erotic' one: Humper, before 'scanning' the books.

Nov 13 Fri, I regained the momentum, for almost full half of the day, either in my HB room or the prefect room. During 'resuscitation', I watched the 'Juara Kugiran' on TV in the late afternoon to nearly mid-night after watching the Malay film Berdosa.

Nov 14 Sat, I was in 'full speed' with the books, although late start, through to almost mid-night either in HB Room or prefect room.

Nov 15 Sun, Another day I kept myself in one piece for tomorrow, the written exam start, from early morning. I retired early for that.

Nov 16 Mon, the STP written began today with Physics Paper 1. It was very much a relief, because I managed to stay cooled to the end. So that in the afternoon I had several games of chess with Raja Daniel, having some fresh breeze at the bank, to the shop in Cheras with Sulaiman, and via STTI on the way back.

Nov 17 Tue, the paper today was General Paper. Passing this paper would furnish one acquisation of the STP full certificate, or otherwise, no matter how good other papers were. I felt I did not have to push very hard on this paper because I kept the notes of my days in English since Jan 1967. Even though tomorrow would be a science paper, I managed to have a leisure time in the evening through to the night with friends.

Nov 18 Wed, the paper today was Chemistry Paper 1. This was the first paper that started late: 11.15 am. In order not accumulate the stress, I asked Raja Daniel for a few games of chess. And at night I glued to TV, listening to the Quran Competition, but I retired late.

Nov 19 Thu, Mathematics Paper 1. I felt some stress in it, so I did some exercises for Paper 2 in the evening, before I went out at the banks for a fresh breeze, with Sulaiman. With that I could unstress by the radio and retired rather early.

Nov 20 Fri, I received an envelope from MARA, asking me to proceed with the medical chekup. I went to the school office in the morning to have all the documents ready, then to En Ibrahim house to be signed, then straight to the nearby Lady Templer Hospital for the checkup; but was deferred to the next day because of lack of doctors. I spent the rest of the day reading a novel Dagger Splash and retired early.

2006, what left of the Lady Templer Hospital. A very small portion of it is used as a government Health Clinic, the rest is left rotting and haunted;

Nov 21 Sat, I felt a mood to scan the Chemistry books. I did it all day to the night in my HB Room or prefect room; breaking up in the evening for the fresh breeze at the usual place and reading another novel Murders Goes Nap.

Nov 22 Sun, another unstressing day on chess games with Sulaiman with only on eye on the Math and Chemistry books. I took a 'tour' around the school compound in the evening, knowing that very soon I would be leaving this place, to almost iftar time; and went to bed early.

Nov 23 Mon, STP resumed with Math Paper 2, but in the afternoon, 2.45 to 6.00. So in the morning I went to Lady Templer Hospital for the medical checkup, and had a quick nap before sitting the Math paper. I felt rather tired and rest almost the rest of the day.

Nov 24 Tue, In the morning I walked to the Lady Templer Hospital again for the radiologist report, not ready yesterday because the doctor was busy. STP resumed with Chemistry Paper 2. It was also in the afternoon, and this was the second last paper. Sensing the smell of final days, I spent the rest of the day chatting with friends; and retired early.

Nov 25 Wed, the school returned all the scholarship balance today, and every one (I included) rushed to Pudu Malayan Banking to cash it, and in the afternoon, sat my last paper, Biology. I submitted my answer one hour before the time set; rushed to KL for some shopping. I did not bother to see the last sunset in SAS this evening because I was excited to go home. Packing commenced immediately after iftar. I believed that it was my mother's and my father's non-stop prayer and the Ramadan blessed month that took me through my STP, the way I wanted, considering that my tenure in SAS towards the end of the year was very, very choppy indeed. I spent my final night in SAS with some of my closest friends of that time: Sulaiman, Izzuddin, Zubir, Husin, in Kedai Pak Ali for a food spree on Sulaiman.

I left SAS on early morning of Thursday, November 26. I walked, shouldering all my belongings, alone to the Tong Fong bus stand in Cheras, not in pack the way I came on Thursday evening January 19, 1967, to Pudu, KL, then took an express taxi to Kuala Terengganu, in time to be with my mother, my father, and my brothers and sisters for the Eid on Monday November 30. I carried with me a gold medal of SAS traditional HB token, a testimonial from HM, which I received by post in Dec, saying that I was a very good pupil indeed, and a non-committed message from MARA telling me to be prepared to be sent to an Australian university in February next year to do Electronic Engineering on a sholarship only a few from SAS had won. A close friend, Sulaiman carried the same letter.

I missed the school very much and mostly I missed many friends who were with me all the way days and nights, and I especially missed very much a person who I tried to win since 1964 in Padang Midin and joined me in SAS in 1969; things turned into a chaotic misunderstandings towards the end of 1970, and eventually tolled by the fate, we parted for a very simple reason: that I was an ordinary imperfect person.

Edition dated Apr 2006