The year 1976.
Reaserch had been going for more than a year then, but my supervisor Dr Pass prefer to wait to finish before mining for publication to begin. I heard many of my colleagues in other universities in UK had began packing for home; they were lucky since they enrolled in a one-year course work MSc. Those who engaged in full-time MSc research had managed to get conversion leading to a PhD degree. The least lucky was those in Salford, doing two-years MSc course works; whereas Salford was one of the University in UK Dr Noramly, the dean of UKM Science Faculty, approached to place the tutors for further training; and obviously Dr Noramly staked the best contenders. Salford lecturers knew UKM more than they knew UKM staff-to-be, whereas in other universities, the lecturers knew the students irrespective of where they came from or where they were going to work. I had the smallest advantage that I was on two-years MSc full-time research.
Left, the late Tun Abdul Razak (b. 1922 Mac 11; d. 1976 Jan 14), the 2nd Prime Minister (from 1970 Sep 22) of Malaysia. He commenced the DEB policy, announced in 1970 Jun. He was known to Malaysian as 'Bapa Pembangunan' (Father of Development). The premiership was passed on to his wife's sister's husband (biras), Tun Hussein Onn (right) who was the deputy since 1973 Aug 13 after the sudden demise of the then deputy Tun Dr Ismail.
Later, James Harold Wilson, resigned from British Premiership on Mac 17 Wed, said to be unabled to handled the British economy crisis (a pound was as low as USD1.94). He was the Premier since 1964, of Labour Party. His labour-mate, James Callaghan, took over the premiership from Apr 5 Mon. In the background was the Rhodesian uprising, very intense; the majority Zimbawean were rising to takeover the country from the minority whites (mostly English) led by Mr Smith. Nkomo, and Mugabe were waiting in their homeland for the British Army. Unlike the American, the British did not want a war to protect their skin. It did not unbother me at all, that on Apr 9 Fri I made a bank draft to be posted to BBMB, UM, so that I would have an account to save for any outcome, which before then I requested UKM to send all my salary and allowances to Midland Bank in Salford. The account was officially opened on Apr 16 Fri as communicated to me on Apr 21 Wed. I requested UKM on Apr 24 Sat to deposit my salary and allowances in the account, and also Ramli Hitam's due on my AU7700 when he was returning home to marry his bride on May 4 Tue; minus the driving licence fee which I asked him to renew.
Jan 14 Wed, I was in the kitchen about to prepare my dinner, when I was told by a housemate that a few minutes ago in the 7 o'clock Granada News that our prime minister, Tun Abdul Razak, passed away, in a hospital in London. BBC2 aired it in the mid-night news.
Ending Jan, I came to a sense that I had wasted a lot of money on the car; after all it had already taken me to almost everywhere in England and Scotland, mainly last year 1975; I decided to let it go and be with my thesis for the rest of the tenure. I first told to En Mansor about it, but after ten days examination he decided on Jan 29 Thu not to inherit it; obviously they were eyeing one of a much better than that. I phoned to advertise in the Manchester Evening News and it appeared for three evenings from Apr 12 Mon; three parties, all of English lads, responded to see the car in the late evening, but none was interested. The same sense prevailed on the hifi, and successfully disposed off to Ramli (the amplifier - Mac 16 Tue) and the deck to Pauzi (a Pioneer - a few days earlier). On the day British Summer Time started on Mac 21 Sun, my room was cleared from all the noise producing machines, except a b/w TV and an alarm radio/clock.
Dr Pass called to see me in the late evening of Jan 9 Fri to ask me to begin writing up, while furnishing the experimental works and told me that he was going to Tanzania for three months under an exchange programme; I was left to Dr Lawton for anything at all that I needed during his absence. My current programme required only one more experimental series, testing the CD75 for stabilising function in the barium meal. By the end of Jan, I had some skeleton of my thesis constructed. Dr Lawton read my first chapter and ok-ed it by Feb 11 Fri. I felt a sense of indispensability when Martin brought Dr Roy Harrups of Kalcerton College to see me on Feb 23 Mon for a rapport on my project because the project in Kalcerton College was based on the results of my experiments. That was followed by the request by Prof Phillips a report on my project on Feb 25 Wed because he was going on an African Tour in Apr to imbibe more projects on gums. Dr Lawton supervised the writing and it was handed over on Mac 8 Mon. Martin, who was at the end of writing a PhD thesis himself, asked to see my references on Apr 2 Fri; probably Dr Lawton told him that I did very well in my introduction chapter. When I bumped up Dr Pass on Apr 9 Fri (the first day since returning from Tanzania) infront of the library he asked me about the writing, not the experimentals.
In March our lab was joined by an elderly Argentinian research fellow, Dr Edgardo Docter who got a UN grant and came here with a family. I once visited (44, Hayeswater Road, Urmston, Mac 26 Fri) with Jaafar the Iraqi, his family, with a son Fernando and a daughter Andrea for I could not bear to see him unhelped, including clearing the lugage in Alexandria Dock of Liverpool Port, Mac 29 Mon; alas it was a small chest slightly bigger than the postman-size. They were very nice and friendly people; the visit was just like if I were visiting my uncle.
One marriage early this year; that of Shamsuddin and Che Nor, the reception of which was on Feb 14 Sat, but was mostly for the undergraduates; three days before I recieved a letter from my sister that the engagement ceremony to Azizah was perhaps on the same weekend or the weekend before; and a letter from Azizah, with the same content my sister had told me. Mac 11 Thu received a letter from Salmah saying that Dr Noramly was seconded to the Ministry of Science and Technology (to pioneer the setup of Nuclear Energy Research Centre - PUSPATI) and the deanary was passed on to Dr Ishak Tambi Kechik (biology); she herself remained in the dean's secretary office, since Noramly time; a few days afterwards, Harun came over from Kalcerton to elucidate on the accomodation he and his wife Maimunah (due for their first baby in Jul) would dwell once they come to continue in Salford. Late Mar and early Apr were break seasons; and as always got swarmed by frieds from all over the place; nonetheless those we had got together before: the Reading group. And a baby girl was born this year, May 20 Thu to Alias Yusof_Bijan; and another girl to Rahmalan on May 26 Wed; and finally on Jul 4 Sun a baby girl of Harun_Maimunah.
I went out to see Britain only once this year; that was when I could not resist the temptation of going to see places when Yusuf asked me to accompany him, in his car, with Zuriati also with them from Norwich. It began on Apr 14 Wed (pre-Easter), we headed north-easterly. The first stop was in Huddesfield when Zuriati failed to locate her cousin; through to York and Scarborough in a thick fog, and the weather was worst in the North Yorkshire Moor; until we reached Richardson Rd Hall of Residence of the University of New Castle to put up with En Mokhtar Bidin's family (a math lecturer when I was a student in 1973 - like En Najib, was on his leave for a PhD).
The next-day, Thu, from New Castle to St Andrews via Edinburgh. Kak Karimah (they returned the visit to Eccles, Manchester on Jul 3 Sat) provided us with enough food for the day; visited Alnwick, Banbourgh Castle, the fishing village of Eyemouth, mealed at Sunbar and reached Edinburgh at half-past five; a break at Kirkcaldy after failed to locate any garage for a tyre replacement; through in the dark of the night we reached St Andrews at ten; and successfully located Wahab Kosai (Biology tutor) and had a warm sleep that night. We spent Fri in St Andrews, sight seeing, to Dundee seeing those in Dundee, including Md Nor Embi, and at night back to St Andrews, met Ustaz Halim (FPI tutor;) and to bed. Apparently those in St Andrews and Dundee talked and played golf. Nona provided us with sufficient food, like Kak Karimah did on Sat, so we cruised towards Glasgow. The target was the Barrowland where Maimon and Zuriati bought a lot of lace. From Barrowland we headed south, homeward bound, but had a stop at the South Shore of Blackpool; to reach Eccles at about eight. I returned to the Village the next day, Apr 18 Sun; finishing off the easter break the following day, Mon, in around Eccles - Monton: Ramli Hitam, Azmi_wife, Misri_wife, Dr Ali and from Reading, Bachok, Ibrahim Baba, and Wahid Samsudin.
A Volswagon Beetle and a Peugeot 604. It was not, not yet, a phenomenon, Malaysian students returning home bought a car, a lux car, and took home along as a personal effect. Apparently my Burmese housemate, Maung Kyaw (and his country-mate Ken), was very enthusiastic about it. He viewed one a yellow VW Beetle in Mac and bought it in Jun. With an L-licence, he asked me to teach him driving the car (knowing that I had a driving licence, Malaysian though), in Jun through to Jul. The VW reminded me that of the hostel wardens in SS, Trg, in 1964, CheGu Ghani and CheGu Nava, who each had a similar car. Obviously En Mansor had in mind of buying a super car to take home to Malaysia, even before he arrived in Oct last year. When I left England in Oct, he had just a Fort Escort; when I visited them in 1978 after he returned home, I saw he was driving a Peugeot 604, the most expensive car in the UM campus at that time (perhaps excluding the NC's Citroen). Mercedes was not yet prevalent.
My favourite "astronomical" observation spot from my room in the Village; the westerly wiew, which I recorded at 3 pm on Dec 21, 1974 and 1975 (left), and the view on Jun 21, 1975, and 1976 (right).
My later part of tenure in Salford began set-in mid Mac when Harun came from Kalcerton to elucidate the accomodation in Salford after May or Jun to come especially in view of Maimunah was delivering in Jul. Since then he had been trying to solve it; including attempting to acquire the hospitality of Jamal_Siti and Misri_Rubi in Eccles_Monton (with whom they stayed temporarily when they moved to Salford on Jun 20 Sun). By May end they were really in need. I took a proactive step by securing the booking (for them) the ground flat of the 23 Ellesmere Ave, currently dwelled by the Japanese family Mr Shiboya_June, to the landlord Mr Smith; the middle flat beeing dwelled by Jamal_Siti, and the top flat by Yusof_Maimon.
Shiboya_June, and their two sons, the ground flat dwellers, in Jun 1975, celebrating Maimon's son Hilmi (left); and a farewell bid to Hilmi on July 4 1975 Friday who was going to grow up in Malaysia (middle); and their returned dinner in June 1976 before they left home to Japan. June cooked a Japanese specialty for us, "ohagi", which as I found out was a 'pulut' covered by sweetened red bean; which was the inside-out version of our 'pulut-berinti'. I had not moved yet into the flat during these occasions, but as I always greeted Mr Shiboya and June every time I visited the flats, June insisted to include myself in the 'family union'.
It was very sunny days in late Jun, I spent most of the weekdays in the Village to write up the thesis, and many "orang putih" were sun-bathing in the field across the houses; one mid-day Jun 23 Wed, a couple (I reckoned a pan-south eastern european) was caught in the blue act in the full views of all those in the kichen and rooms facing the open field. My contract in the Village expired Jun 25 Fri and I renewed for another month to Jul 28 Wed, in House 27 room 36 (I moved on Jun 28 Mon - Hilmi helped). By then those in Kalcerton College began their migration to Salford: Laily and Anuar Kasim (Jun 25 Fri), Zaizi (whom I met on Jul 12 Mon). The Ellesmere flat which I had talked and booked from Mr Smith was rumoured to be 'hijacked' by Saifudin the Sabahan; that on Jul 5 Mon, in a 'duel' in front of the flat, backed by Jamal_Siti and Yusof_Maimon, in the presence of C.J. Smith the landlord and the 'contender' Saifuddin (and wife Dayang), I got back the flat for Harun; to move in from Jul 15 Thu, the day Shiboya would be leaving; and I would also be staying in the flat (the flat had two rooms). Jul 11 Sun, a thief got into my room in the Village while I was in Atan's room. All cash were gone; it was suspected to be the job of a "spy Leman", a friend of the Iraqi's Alladin's foe.
|The souvenir was safe and sound at home in Damansara Utama by Nov. It replayed well the LP I collected while in GB. Bacharach: String for Pleasure; Bert Kaemfert: Specials, Lullaby for Lovers; Billy Vaughan: La Paloma; Elmer Bernstein: Theme Musics from the Great Brando Films; Geoff Love: Latin with Love, Big Wars Movie Themes, Concerto Movie Themes, Big Terror Movies Theme, Top TV Themes; Glen Miller: Beatles Hits; Hammond: All Times Great Movies Theme Vol 1, Vol 2; Herbert von Karajan: The Waltz; Hollywood Sound Stage Orchestra: Love Story; James Last: Non-Stop Dancing 1973, 10 Years Non-Stop; Jim Reeves: 40 Golden Hits; John Denver: I want to Live; Johnny Douglas: Great Chaplin Film Themes; Lennon and McCartney: Tijuana Style; Manuel and the Music of the Mountains: Sound of the Night and the Music, El Bimbo, Mountain Fiesta; Midori Mori: El Bimbo; Nana Mouskouri: British Concert; Olivia Newton John: Greatest Hits; Original Sound Tracks: A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More, Paint Your Wagon, Paper Tiger; Paul Mauriat: Stereo Spectacular, Salutes the Beatles; Pepe Jaramillo: Mexican Fiesta; Perry Como: 40 Greatest; Ray Conniff: Say it with Music, Bridge Over Trouble Water; Roberto Delgado: Fiesta; Rodrigo: Cencerto de Aranjuez; Shoji Yokoughi: Blue Dreamers; Simon and Garfunkel: Sound of Silence; Stokowski: The Planets; Studio 2 Stereo: Break Through; Tammy Wynett: Stand by Your Man; The Hanwell Band: Bandstand Brass; Tommy Garret: The 50 Guitars; And the exclusives of: Banjo Spectaculars, Best of Bee Gees, Children TV Themes, Doctor Zhivago, Emmanuelle Cha Cha, Favourite TV Themes, Golden Hit Songs of the 60, Great Action Film Themes, Hawaiian Pacific Serenaders, Impulsion 16 Great Artists, Music from the Theatre, Petula Clark, Pop Corn Electronics (the intro music RTM chose for my "Sains dan Orang Ramai" talk program in 1973 and onwards), Spectacular Sound Effects in Stereo, The Best of Bassey, The Best of Hugo Montenegro, The Most of Lulu Vol 1, Vol 2, The Shadow Greatest Hits, The Sweet Sound of Tijuana, The Very Best of Osibisa, Western Camp Fires, Western Themes.|
Aslam, a pak, my constant lab-mate. He followed Prof Phillips to Kalcerton in 1975, but spent many periods in Salford in 1976 when he believed that it was time for him to write-up his thesis. He was a futureless when I left him in Oct 1976, although he got his degree. He took me once to his flat in Peddleton Salford, asked his wife to cook and we had the dish of the common 'chicken beriyani'.
Sep 21 Tue, Aslam woke me up in the early morning to go to the campus to see Dr Pass for the 'verdict' of my thesis. But it was a shocking moment in Dr Pass's office, he told me that the thesis had not even been sent to Dr Pete Morris yet, the examiner from North Wales Institute. It was a big let down. I saw Dr Pass noticed the despair in my eyes. After a rather long talk we compromised that I would defer the flight home for two weeks and then do whatever needed in order not to defer for the second time. I went to UTA office in Cross St immediately and deferred my flight schedule to Oct 11 (MAN 1115 BE4417 LHR 1430 AF849 CDG 1815 UT566 SIN 1930 MH654 KUL 2015); and cabled home (at Paddleton Post Office) (I was in a light fever from injections I took on Sep 10 Fri, and today, for the travelling). I learned later on that apparently the wire I sent home about the deferement did not reach the destination. It caused a considerable stress to my mother in Subang Airport on September 24 evening, the eve of Eid in Malaysia, when I did not appear from Flight MH672 from Singapore, until Pauzi found her and explained what had happened. The Eid 1396 was celebrated on Sep 24 Fri. I spent it the whole day to mid-night in Linton House, Manchester with En Mansor family and went with them to visit Mohamad Sulaiman; and also the following day with other from Ellesmere Ave, including to Md Md Tan; and we were visited in Eccles the following day, including Mashkuri (just arrived from Malaysia) and Dr Ali (and wife Rohana); and another four including Wan Md Zin (Sep 30 Thu - to stay to Oct 4 Mon, on top of already Anuar and wife) on their way to Kalcerton. I popped in and out of the lab during the few days of early Oct, chatting and acquaintancing the lab mates, Martin, Aslam (lately spent more times in Salford than in Kalcerton, Sister Wilson, and Bernard as well as Dr Pass who kept on convincing me that things would be ok within these few days.
Finally, Oct 8 Fri, I went to see Dr Pass to find out that Dr Morris had not sent any words yet. He persuaded for another deferement although he knew that I did not like it; but he also understood that I must go on Monday, no matter what was the outcome. He gave his copy to be corrected and suggested that the correction would be minor of which I could ask the Martin to do it. I did what he suggested in Lab 201 - my last day in the lab - after which I said good-bye to my labmates. I spent my last hour at Salford University in the Peel Cafeteria for a cup of tea, then to the Registrar office to leave my address in Malaysia; and drove home to Ellesmere Ave. Oct 9 Sat night, dinner in Ramli's place at Half Edge Lane, then to Azmi's place in Belmont St, who asked me to return again tomorrow (the day Anuar told me in the early morning that he and his wife were moving upstairs to stay with Jamal_Siti) for a lunch after which to Misri's place nearby; and on the final night in Ellesmere Ave on Sun there were many friends in mood to send me off tomorrow, including En Mansor and family who would take me to the airport.
Harun and En Mansor and the families bye-ed me off at Mcr airport in the morning of Oct 11 Mon; almost 'strayed' in CDG Airport; and in Subang in the evening of Oct 12 Tue; it was raining when I arrived, the ground hostess stood on the ladder at the aircraft door giving an umbrella each to the disembarking passengers. Obviuosly Subang had not changed very much for the past 25 months, but the Federal Highway had. I almost lost my sense of bearing during the drive out from Subang; and the Damansara Utama, where we were then firstly going, was almost a 'foreign land'. 25 months ago the place was a rubber estate reachable only on a bone-shaker bikes.
The first block housed the lecturers; the rest were occupied by the instruments which were light enough to be able to stay on the wooden floor. The Dept Office had since moved to the similar blocks at the back of the compounds; near the hostel blocks.
October Monday 11, I left England for good, took off at Mcr Airport at 1115 on BE4417 to London Heathrow. I had a small argument with the immigration officer on the exit to board the AF849 to Paris at 1430 because my visa had expired for about ten days. He said it was an offence to stay in England without a valid visa, of which I admitted, then prerogatively he let me go because of my emphasis that I had finished my study and was going home and would not come back. Paris CDG airport was big, as was Heathrow, and all the writings were in French, and there were escalators criss-crossing to go to everywhere. I could not get the short cut to the quick transfer check-in, instead I was taken by the escalator to the exit door, via immigration, then custom, then check-in for UTA's 1815 UT566 to the Far East (Bangkok-Singapore), via immigration again and finally to the boarding lounge. A German was seated next to me in the long flight to the Orient; he was going to Melaka to install a sawmill. A transit in Bahrin at 0215 Oct 12 Tue; and in Bangkok at 1315 for another transit, to reach Singapore at 1745; and the final flight transfer on MH654 at 1930 to eventually reach Subang Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday evening Oct 12, 8.45 pm. It was a great joy to be home again, at last. Home sweet home. My mother was waiting for me; Mek and AbangWi (who came from Trg this morning in rented Ust Nik's car), my younger brother Num (then a technician in Telekom Training Centre in Gurney Rd), Yusof_Maimon, and Azahari; dinner at Yusof's place in SS22/5 Damansara Utama then moved to retire in my brother's place in Ampang with a jet-lag in the middle of the night.
I began my lecturership on Oct 26 Tue when I returned from the break in Trg. Chem Dept was in the second campus in Sect 17 PJ; almost all 'chemical activities' were carried out here, including lecturers' offices and the dept office and its staffs. Other depts in Science Faculty, and the deanary itself, were in Pantai Campus. The Head of Dept was Dr Jamjan who returned from Australia late last year. Other lecturers were Dr Suwandi, a naturalised Indonesian, Sri Nurestri who had just returned from New Zealand and with whom I shared the office, Dr Ariffin Aton who recently returned from Leeds and Dr Akram Ayob also recently returned from Loughborough, Prof Isjrin Nordin (actually was finishing in a few days time), and Dr Sjamsul, both were on loan from Indonesia, and two contract lecturers, Dr Roger Card (from Australia) and Dr Paul Rusmussen (from Canada), and most recently like me, Pauzi and Md Soot; then Dr Sukiman (Oct 27 Wed). Dr Bowen was at the end of his visiting; we gave him the farewell tea party on Dec 20 Mon evening in the Dept. I gave my first lecture on Nov 8 Mon 9 am, SK470 - Macromolecular Chemistry, four students - the day Yusof and I hustled in Port Klang (North Port) to 'extricate' our trunks into a rented UKM lorry to Damansara Utama - I attended the first Department Meeting on Nov 18 Thu (also attended was Dr Allan Fitton from Salford, who arrived a few days ago on IUC exchange program for six months), FPI Meeting Room in Sect 17. The first Faculty meeting I was supposed to attend was on Dec 4 Sat (#74) in Meeting Room G Block of Pantai Campus, but it was deferred to the following Wed morning which I did not go. The first meeting I attended was on Dec 21 Tue. The news about my thesis was eventually communicated to me by Dr Pass on Nov 3 Wed; it was only minor corrections which, as was arranged in Oct, would be done by Martin; he even suggested the corrections to which I fully agreed, and he said that he was writing a paper based on the results.
A home in Sg Kayu Ara. Many FPI students with their families rented homes like this. It was a very decent kampong life.
Ostensibly, Nov and Dec were the time I regathered the old acquiantances and acquired new ones. There were floaters who claimed they wanted to make ever-lasting friendship with all the newly returned staff, promising that they would never forget even to the day of burial; the Pridential's Ms Noriah (Nov 3 Wed), the Lion's Joachim, MCIS's Zainal and Omar (Nov 22 Mon) - the night (with Zizah on Num's bike) I met Othman Ngah in Medan Selera who said that he had just graduated last Jun. Many UTK (Gurney Rd) staff, notably Azahari, Hamdan and Fadil took part-time tutorship in UKM. They came in the afternoon for the job in Sect 17; and by evening, many times, I borrowed their car to fetch Zizah to the campus to play badminton for the evening in DMF.
The Eid Adha was on Dec 1 Wed, for the first time I spent the festive day away with someone, and for the first time Zizah spent it away from her family; it was only around the place, with only two visitors: Pauzi and Azahari (and families) and I visited Yusof to end the day; Amin in UTK visited the following day. Dec 10 Fri, a bus-load 'entourage' from Trg arrived - all in MakTeh family, AyohLi, MakNgah's, My mother's (Jo and Ani), Zizah's family (GrandMa, Awang and Zu) - to put up in my place, to send off Zaid, my cousin, to Kuwait; tripled the trouble by poor flight time-tabling (to Dec 12 Sun). Again I seeked the help of Azahari and Fadil for their car to transport them; and somebody turned off the meter-tap, causing a great stress for them to wash; and Zizah, for the first time learned to deal with (a lot of) visitors. As the year dissipated, things cooled off, to weave into the new year 1977. I had just started my new phase of the trial of life.
Edition dated Feb 2004