The year 1978.
It had been fourteen months Azizah lived with me. Right on the very new year I went to the wedding of Hamdan, my other dear friend since 1967 in SAS, through to UKM and Britain 1976, a lecturer in Chemistry UTM, then in Jalan Gurney, without Azizah for she went home to spend a couple of days since christmas break (from Dec 28 Wed while accompanying my sister Ani). And on the same day my brother Num took off to Munich, Germany for his first oversea training (to Mar 18 Sat). My mother and all my brother and sisters were sending him off at Subang Airport, as well as during the home coming. Azizah sent me a letter because I guessed she missed me a lot that she returned back by bus by January 6. Before January ended I could tell then that Azizah had conceived again, on our first outing to Muar taking Mak Ngah to visit her grandson Muhamad whose wife was then beginning her teaching career. I had my first glance of UKM permanent campus in Bangi on March 25, last year. Since the chemistry moved to Pantai in mid Nov last year, my presence in Sect 16 campus was for the practicals only, and many times for the prayer in the mosque; and I was dragged instead to play tennis in Jalan Pantai campus, the game Azizah could not participate, plus her inhabited womb. However, sometimes, I dropped by to pray at the mosque, especially on Fri. The 'phenomenon' continued with Jaharah_Ramli Jaya with a baby girl (Jan 13 Fri) who stayed in SS22, just over the next street; whose wedding we attended in Kluang, Johor, Apr 8 Fri 1977 (Mek and Hah were visiting, so we took them together - so did Dr Jamjan who, while on leave, we picked at his home in Air Itam, Muar on the day - Dr Akram, the acting head insisted me to drop by for a consent arising during the Examiners Board meeting a few days before).
Roy Whitehead replaced Dr Allan Fitton under the IUC. He taught theoretical chemistry. Since I had not been very often seeing him in Salford 1974-1976, I could not do more than a colleague. He was around from late last year for the semster, through to Apr after the exam. Only while he was here I remembered that in Salford, he used to have a yellow Ford Cortina Mk III, with a K-reg. Jun 5 Mon, a new US PC, Dr Ron King, reported for duty. He was to lead the polymer chemistry practical, the theoretical of which SK370 were in my lectures. I had many sessions of discussion with him.
Jamaludin returned Jan 17 Tue on completion of his doctorate, the second to join his alma mater of chemistry department. Md Soot paid Jamal's hospitality when we arrived in Manchester in Sep 1974. Azizah and I participated in Sukiman's engagement Jan 28 Sat in Kg Baru. I drove in his Allegro, because my car had a very fishy smell from last night pasar borong trip.
Mar 12 Sun I took Azizah to pay another visit MakTeh Endon, who was staying at the hospital quarters Jalan Dr Latiff. She was a dear friend of my mother, before moving to KL (when I was a boy) after separating with her husband (Pak Id, paternal uncle of my childhood mate, Musa);
Tan Sri Dr Anwar Mahmud, Mohd Ghadzali Ahmad; Ishak Imam Abas; Assoc Prof Dr Shaharir Md Zain;
Assoc Prof Dr Nik Rashid Ismail; Syed Arabi Idid; Omar Ahmad;
Dr Wan Mohamed who had just returned from Britain in May 16 Tue stayed with us for a few weeks before he became a Resident Fellow at the UKM College Pantai Bharu, Jul 2 Sun. I helped him fetched his lugage from New Pacific Hotel at State PJ May 17 Wed, after returning from Bangi for the PKAUKM AGM, perhaps that was my only presence in such an academia meeting for I knew that I had a little to contribute apart from being a 'pious' member. With him I eyed a piece of land in Sg Buah, said to be on sale by the colleague Dr Amir Sharifuddin, Dept of Economy, who was staying in Damansara also. We saw it Jul 3 Mon, and decided to go on, one half of an acre each; payment to be settled in a few installments. I also attended his wedding in Rantau, Negeri Sembilan at the end of the year.
But, May 18-20, in the middle of the long break, Symposium Universiti was held in Bangi. All academia were sanctioned from their leave. The frontier staff presented their 'papers', all were about to create the milestones for the successful UKM. Many papers were actually irrelevant; otherwise, notably the one about the academic administration by my former teacher (CheGu in Padang Midin) Dr Nik Abd Rashid Ismail with his opinion of 'loop-hole' and 'loop-knot' which he impatiently introduced during Q-time of somebody else paper, then reintroduced (anti-climaxed) during his paper. Right or wrong, that was the first time sparks were seen as a result of abrrasive friction between the opinion of the academia and the administrator; it would keep on sparking for many years to come. Utz Hassan Salleh, a vateran of FPI suggested that UKM should precede the staff welfareness by setting a minimum salary for staff (whatever he does for UKM, albeit cleaning the floor) not less than 1K. The climax of the symposium was the presentation by joint Registrar-Bursar paper, Ghadzali Ahmad - Ishak Imam Abas, chaired by the NC Dr Anwar Mahmud. During the question time they was a nasty exchanged of words. Dr Shaharir (a PKAUKM rep in the senate) accused the registrar of manipulating the the senate minutes. The accused replied by saying that the accuser was a "pendusta" (a liar). The next day, the news osmosised that the presenter team had tendered a 24-hr resignation. Since then, both jobs were openly tendered among the academia; and apparently the systems were at work, not that the person on the chair; and since then UKM began its chart of history. Syed Arabi Idid (from Mass Com of FSKK) won the job of the registrar, and Omar Ahmad (from FPP) the bursar. I was posted to the 'rapporteur' team; noting the 'contents' of discussion in one of those workshops; in partner with Dr Ahmad Jantan of geology - with whom I 'concluded' the report at Terengganu Hotel (Kedai Binjai) May 25 Thu (while I was on leave May 21 - Jun 3, and he was on Geology field trip).
When I returned to KL Jun 4 Sun, it was without Azizah, for I felt she missed her family; instead I took along Nawi MakDa for a KL tour (to Jun 7 Wed), the thing he always wanted to see. He stayed with me for several days, taking him to see KL at a close range, lunching in western Sheferd Inn Sect 16, dining in restaurant, incl a buffet dinner at Ampang Park Jun 5 Mon, and the next door show, and searching his relatives. Azizah returned Jun 15 Thu with Mansor Tanjung who then I helped to sort his car finance in Pudu.
Jun 19 Mon 78/79 Sesion began; I felt the load of teaching getting heavier, plus a need for different kind of variety, so I stopped demonstration in PAS, UM. A person named Zahari Osman of a tuition centre called Institut Parabumi at the Sect 16 roundabout was in want of my assistance. At first I wanted to become a tutor, but he insisted that I be his personal tutor, so I agreed. Since Apr, several nights a week (many times accompanied by Azizah) I went to the place and this guy Zahari asked me any question he liked to ask. The story went around that he was an MU medical student, renting a room in nearby Sect 14. The story raised many more question than answers. As the time went by he showed more actions with many questions with them, visiting me in my office with tuition matters rather me visiting his centre, and that he kept skipping the pay cheque, amounting to more than 2H at the end of the year. I kept the job of giving talk to the Rangkaian Pertama of RTM on "Sains dan Orang Ramai" throughout the year 1978, from last year, 1977, but the producer changed from Abdullah Hj Hakim to Shaari Awang; then 1977 Sep to Wan Hanisah Omar. Kashim of Adabi's Widya always gave me a space for every montly issue of the megazine throughout 1977-78; when he moved to FEP, he always consigned me for the contract translation throughout the year.
Jul 1 Sat, Convocation #6 UKM, for the first time done in Bangi, the DECTAR - Dewan Canselor Tun Abdul Razak (the congener of UM's DTC - Dewan Tunku Canselor). I attended; being conferred the degree were Zali MakTeh and Awang Johor and their families. The festival was erected along the road, the main road UKM-Kajang, right along side the Dectar.
Kelantan State election was held Mar 11 Sat after the DUN was dissolved by the emergency act when it 'observed' that the state was in 'on the verge of trouble' (everyone quoted the then PM Datuk Hussein Onn's words in the parliament: "Demi Allah saya tidak bermain politik di Kelantan" - By Allah, I do not play politics in Kelantan). It marked the defeat of PAS, 2/36, albeit, NF joined ventured 23-11 with a new party Berjasa to form the new state government. General election was Jul 8 Sat. Azizah and I voted in SRJK Tamil Ladang Effinghan, at the back of Damansara Utama; that was the first time we voted.
My lecturership interview last year 1977 Feb 24 Thu was confirmed by a letter I received Jul 11 Tue from the registrar.
Then came the August, that we were having a baby was unconcealable, forcing me to make arrangement for the delivery, in Pantai Medical Centre, under Dr Ariffin Marzuki, the UKM VC in my student days. Her first "unwell" was as early as Mar 21 Tue that my mother (happened to with us) took over in the kitchen; and I took her to see the Dr (at Ruby Majeed clinic, Sect 16 - a UKM panel) the next day. The night Apr 27 Thu, after a visit by Mohd Embong, Omar Taib, and Mohd Mohd Yusof, Azizah had another 'strike', and I took her to the penal doctor the next day.
The Japanese room-mate at PMC; Rubaini at home Oct 16 Mon in the cot I made myself;
My mother nursed Rubaini for a few days; MakNgah (my father's elder sister) was with us for about two months; a special pose with youngest brother adik Jo;
Then, after the Eid (Sep 5 Tue) break (Aug 26 Sat - September 10 Sun), I left her with her parents completed with all the documents needed. I went back to see her ten days later Sep 20 Wed, still in one piece, but then she decided to return back to KL and deliver in PMC. That took me another job to persuade any adult relative to be with us. I managed to get Mak Ngah, as everybody else got her for every delivery, who I fetched at Pak Madah. We returned to KL Sep 22 Fri plus Azizah's mother and the three lower kids. I baught some woods, and began the carpentering of making a baby cot, and touched up a steam-bed borrowed from Zaini at Kayu Ara; all were ready by Oct 2 Mon with many help from Zaini and Muhamad. Azizah's mother returned to Terengganu Sep 30 Sat.
With that final arrangements Azizah delivered our first baby, a daughter, Siti Rubaini on the night of October 14 Sat, fourteen hours after admission. Rubaini 'returned' home Oct 17 Tue at about sun set, in the drizzling of PJ Damansara weather. My mother arrived from Terengganu Oct 18 Wed for ten days, followed by Azizah's mother to Nov 1 Wed. We had quite an Eid Adha Nov 10 Fri with many friends and relatives visiting. Behind the scene, my cousin Ahmad Yusof who stayed with us since August 10 Thu, helped. He was then a master student at UKM's Biology Department. When Mak Ngah went home on November 30 Thu (with my mother), my sister Rubaihah who came with my mother Nov 15 Wed, stayed on to help Azizah, through to the end of the year when she had to return to Terengganu to resume her schooling in form four.
Many of us began to resume their postgraduate studies to doctorate, the first was Azahari Salleh of UTM (UKM-mate) of whom we attended the farewell in his home in Cheras Mar 4 Sat and took off Apr 6 Thu night to U Essex, Cholchester. My room-mate Sri Nurestri left for London May 7 Sun, so from the following Mon, I rearranged my office for a single-occupancy; it was a very luxorius space; followed by Md Soot in September. Then Md Soot farwelled us Sep 16 Sat in Damansara for his departure Sep 26 Tue to Manchester. My own schedule began by posting an inquiry letter Oct 12 Thu to McQuarie University in Australia for admission in Feb 1979. My idea to Australia was to avert the British biting winter, or the 'barbaric' America. I received the answer about two weeks later from Prof J.S. Shapiro, that he would be available only in Jan 1980. I felt that it would be rather late for almost every one had already gone for their doctorate.
Some other anecdotes: Mar 12 Sun evening, joined Ngah Awang (volvo), Wan Ahmad Jusoh, watching Malaysua Cup Final, Terengganu - Selangor (0-1) in Merdeka Stadium, my first watching of live footbal match;
Mar 16 Thu afternoon, I took for home lunch Dr Nor Muhamad Mahadi, a SAS-ian 1969, who a few days ago returned from Australia with a doctorate;
Updated: 2011 May 8 Sun, in Pengkalan Arang, Kuala Terengganu, the Imperial 290 Litton, bought, 1978 Mar 23 Thu $335, in Jln Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Kuala Lumpur. It still works, a character at a time.
Mar 23 Thu afternoon, in Jalan TAR, I bought a typewriter, Imperial 290 for RM335, for then I wan in the middle if attempting for a manuscript for PFB to publish. I had established already a warm rapport with its editor En Mohd Yusof Shamsuddin. Azizah helped to decipher my handwriting with difficulties, especially with the chemical formula.
Mar 24 Fri afternoon, visiting Mokhtar Ngabang Telung in Kg Batu, a distant relative of my mother. I first met him in SS in 1964. He ended up working in the Geological Survey Dept, Ipoh, but chose to stay in Kg Batu, Ipoh Road. Umi and Nawiah who were finishing their teaching training in Kg Batu School, found them. His younger brother Yusof went to UKM at about the same time with me 1971-1973.
World Cup 78 was in Argentina; Jun 18 Sun was Peru-Poland (0-1), the eve of which at Sect 17 shops, I met Abdullah Embong, one in 9-pax 1966 from Padang Midin, who was then in CDC, Education Ministry, who I last met in 1970; Jun 25 Sun from mid-night was the final Argentina - Holland (3-1). Muhamad Ali challenged (and won on count) Spinks in the WBA, Sep 16 Sat, live in the morning.
My first car accident, Nov 25 Sat, at the junction of Jln 13/4 - Jalan Semangat Sect 14, 1.30 pm, a BW 4279 banged my rear, so I hit the front car a PW-reg Datsun 100A. I took the PW to Sect 8 (Yeh, the foreman who repaired most Chem lecturers cars) for repair and paid himself, but BW refused to pay, so I took him to PJ police station. Only by 6.00 I was attended by Sgt 9348 who verdicted his fault and to be summoned in court. I repaired my car for the time being, not much though.
Dec was very much returned to normal with added Rubaini. Dec 17 Sun Ahmad Yusof took me to visit Dr Mustafa Hj Jar in Duplex, my geography Form 3 teacher in Padang Midin 1966, who later became a UKM antropology lecturer. Rounding up the year was the wedding of Dr Wan Mohamed in Rantau, Negeri Sembilan Dec 24 Sun. On the day I met for the first time Wan Sulong, the flying color student in SSSS in 1964 (from whom Wan Mohamed was nicked 'adik Long'; he was then a teacher in Kluang, Johor). My cousin Ahmad Yusof, partly helped, and I managed his brothers who came from Terengganu, putting up in my place to their departure in Pudu Raya Dec 27 Wed, together with my sister Rubaihah and Azizah's brother.
Edition dated Apr 1999