The year 1979.
Zubaidah, Azizah's sister was with us to help, when my sister Rubaihah left late last year, to continue her schooling in Form Four, for another two weeks, to Jan 17 Wed; a day eralier then Mek Maziah and her family returned to Terengganu from Jan 15 Mon; they came with me when I returned to Trg Jan 13 Sat with Num to negotiate a piece of land in Dungun. Then there were only four of us, including Ahmad Yusof until he moved to become a UKM resident fellow in Section 17 on June 19 Tue. It was a jovial beginning of the year with the double celebration of Chinese New Year on January 29 Mon, followed by Eid Fitri the next day Tue. The piece of land in Sungai Buah which Dr Wan Mohamed and I bought in light of settling down in few years time was finally finalised legally Jan 20 Sat in the Land Office Sepang. Jan 25 Thu Chemistry welcome the visit of Prof L.S. Bark (Dr Jamaluddin's supervisor in Salford) under IUC with a lunch in Shah Motel, PJ. This was the last visit from Salford.
April 1 Sun, seat-belt was imposed to motorist in Malaysia, and the following day Mon, long vac to end the 1978/79 session. Through to Mar end I taught fourth year paper on some rubber technology, demonstrating for a second year paper in Sect 17 campus; but I resumed the tutorial in PAS MU since the beginning of third term late last year. I had a firm rapport with Yusof Shamsuddin of Fajar Bakti (translation as well as a STP revision ms), Hassan Mat Damin of Heinemann then Sarjana (SPM revision ms with Pauzi
), and Kashim of FEP (formerly of Adabi)
Azizah returned active with the recreational games of badminton, sometimes netball, while I played tennis among the staff in Pantai Baru campus; this time Rubaini was watching us, sometimes forcing Azizah to stop in the middle of the game for her 'break' too in preferential. I took Rubaini back home to Terengganu for the first time on April 17 Tue. On a break in May my mother asked me to go to see Tok Hitam in Gelugor. Every one went. That was the last time I saw Tok Hitam, and my mother too, before she passed away a few years later. Tok Hitam was my supposedly maternal grandmother, my mother's paternal uncle's wife, the family who 'snatched' my mother for adoptin from her maternal uncle Tok Da Berahim when my mother was made an orphan at the age of about two. That last meeting was rather heart-breaking since my mother used to tell me that she never felt that she had a loving parents while staying with them. My mother was very happy to get married to my father because then she could be free from them.
Dr Pass, Dr Fitton, Dr Huglin of Salford University;
I had to resume my study to a doctorate this year. I was the last to go among my batch, in UKM as well as in other universities. My first enquiry was to McQuarie University, North Ryde, Australia last year Oct for the intake Feb 1979, but the good polymer chemist Prof J.S. Shapiro that was recommended, was not available until February 1980. So I turned back to England, to University of Technology, Loughborough and University of Essex in Colchester, and also UMIST Manchester in Nov. All welcomed my enquiry. I was purturbed by the place I had been before, so I pursued UMIST, which in a letter dated Mar 8 Thu (I received Mac 14 Wed) I was offered a place by Dr J.M. Birchall, the postgraduate admission tutor. It was on the background that Dr Pass, my MSc supervisor wrote to me Jan 31 of asking me to resume my study with him, citing a contact from the Association of Commonwealth Universities. He did because I wrote his name for my referee in my application for a Commonwealth Award. I think Dr Fitton, who I knew in Salford and came to teach in UKM in 1976-77 under IUC programme, knew via Roy Whitehead who succeeded him in 1978, that I was going for my doctorate this year, so he persuaded Dr Huglin to write to me to sort of 'invite' me to Salford. I knew that he was a good polymer chemist because I attended his lecture in 1975 on basic polymer chemistry which I had learned already in 1973 in UKM in Dr Suwandi's paper, so on June 29 Fri I replied to Dr Huglin that I would go to Salford if the registrar approved my tranfer from UMIST, which he did. Dr Fitton facilitated it by writing an instant express letter of offer to me for I guessed he had no doubt whatsoever on my ability from his experience of being a colleague here 1976-77. Or may be from Prof L.S. Bark who visited the department in Jan. In the meantime, I was named by the faculty for a Commonwealth Award to UK. The Dean, then Prof Zawawi
gave a good support. However, I was not selected, in fact this year none was selected from the academia, so I was given the UKM scholarship.
In the middle of June, I prepared the passport for Azizah and Rubaini, and I got an unexpected help from En Nazri, the Immigration Officer staying back-to-back in Damansara. And we were ready by late September, including the medical check-up for Azizah and Rubaini needed by the British High Commission for the issue of a pass and visa to accompany me.
Ramadan 1399 set in Jul 26 Thu while I was in Terengganu on 'logistic' matter to go to England again: taking the fridge I bought from Mr Tan the neighbour in late 1976, in Ahmad Yusof Holden Kingswood, with my brother Num, for my mother wanted to used it. Many other logistic matters were carried out during this bless Ramadan. TV and cooker were moved in my car (also with Num) later Aug 17 Fri.
I recieved the official letter from UKM for the study leave to Salford Jul 27 Fri in Jln Pantai, and completed the agreement the next few days with Dr Wan Mohamed and Dr Mohd Wahid as my guarentors; the same day I helped the former purchasing his Alpine S in Wearn's PJ, the same place I acquired my Hillman Avenger in 1977 (and Dr Hamid's Cortina Mk III while our office were in FPI Sect 17). Within that few days to the end of Jul, all matters with UKM were submitted, including flight booking and scholarship advance payment; leaving the bedroom furnitures in the care of Mariati-Wan Ahmad in the neighbourhood and the sattee to her sister wife of Prof Hamid (geography) in SS2; books and small items in the metal chest to Dr Mansor Salleh in Taman Bandaraya, Bangsar; my hi-fi to Dr Akram in Sect 19. All of them had each gave us either a dinner, or iftar.
With all that packed, I moved out of the rented house No 7, Jln SS22/15, Jul 31 Tue morning. The owner's agent Makeswaran was there to recieve the keys; packed whatever in the car, and drove home to Terengganu, for my plan was to leave Azizah and Rubaini there until several days before departure. I returned to KL alone Aug 7 Tue to complete the rest of the preparations, and squatting in Ahmad Yusof's flat in Section 17.
I returned to Terengganu Aug 17 Fri, as planned, for the Eid, as well as to say good bye to my mother who had chosen to come to KL when my brother Num was deaprting to Aberdeen at a slightly later date. To my worry, Rubaini was very ill. She was having a high fever. She was then at the stage about to stand up on her own feet, and would begin her first step any time then. We thought she just had a measle; apparently it turned out to be a rubella, with all her skin thickly covered with rashes. The recovery was very slow and I made only one visit to a clinic in Kuala Terengganu; that the Eid 1399 Aug 25 Sat, we were visited rather than visiting, especially my mother's relative in Mengabang Telung and Mengabang Panjang, none wanted to miss, for the days after the Eid, for they knew that I was going to England again; including Musa Pak Ud Aug 27 Mon, my childhood mate who had moved to Banggol Katong when we were still small boys and we had not seen each other for the past seventeen years. Sep 1 Sat Azizah parents called for a farewell, but Rubaini returned my confidence only Sep 3 Mon and she improved very fast, faster than she suffered it although she had lost what she had acquired before she had the measle; that Sep 5 Wed we drove back to KL set for the departure; at night so that in a colder air.
Sep 13 Thu, off from Mariati's place Damansara to England for the second time. Azizah's family sent off; I fetched them at Pudu Raya in the late morning; a quick final checkup for Rubaini at Soo Clinic SS2; off to Subang at 4, and a short stop at Abang Sehat place. I gave my car key to Muhamad Endut (who bought it and JPJ matter settled Sep 7 Fri) at Subang airport. The flight route was via Singapore by MAS MH603 6.30pm to catch a BA12 10.30pm direct to London with a short transit at Bombay, India. We reached London Heathrow early next morning 0700 local time to be told that Manchester airpot was closed due to a strike by the airport workers. We had to be requeued for a shuttle to Liverpool. It was a long agony and tiring of waiting, after a long queue at the immigration gate. Finally at 1730 we boarded a small old shuttle BMA aircraft, a Trident to Liverpool in which Azizah and Rubaini were again in total agony for the thirty minutes flight. I myself almost made a misjudgement when I agreed after disembark to a strangely behaved fellow passenger in the flight to share a rented car to drive to Manchester; later to be told by the airport taxi receptionist that he was actually a drunk. She provided us a black cab that take us to Manchester through the Motorway for GBP24, for the last leg of the journey to 73, Upper Chorlton Road, Whalley Range to squat at Md Soot's
place. All were very tired, blanketed by the autum cold since this morning, that we fall asleep, still in Malaysian wee hours mood, in the middle of conversation with the welcoming friends Harun
and Mohd Osman
and their families. When Rubaini, then eleven months old, woke us up the next morning, she had all her nappy wet and her bottom was blue swollen in her urine, we were so tired that we had forgotten when she had her last nappy changed. She suffered the rashes throughout the winter.
It was a totally new experience for Azizah, and Rubaini did not know anything, except repracticing to toddle after she lost one during the heavy measle last September. We got a place and moved only on October 6 Sat, only two unit away from Md Soot place, Flat 2, No 77. By then we made ourselves present in Manchester and Salford peripherals, including among almost all family students in Eccles, Monton, Peddleton, Cheetham Hill, Moss Side, Rashulme, Longsight and Irlam that it was a lot of visit to make on the Eid Adzha on October 31 Wed, and also at Salford U since its opening on October 1 Mon with my Lab N22 of Cockroft and my supervisor Dr Huglin, as well as the colleagues in the lab, John D Sloan, Khan, and Maimunah
, a UKM tutor of the same Department, on her finishing year from the time I left in late 1976. Joining at the same time was Ibrahim
from Kalcerton College, North Wales, my former student in UKM, on PUSPATI bill. Later Azeem, an Egyptian joined the group. I commuted to the lab by bus, unfortunately by two connecting busses, and it took me about two hours total daily travelling. We had also registered to a local NHS doctor, Dr Rashid at Ayres Road, a walking distance from our place, in need not only for Rubaini's rashes, but also for a clear and better experienced knowledge that Azizah's womb was then inhabited again, by our second baby. Before everyone could feel the pearcing winter wind through the needle hole in the windows, we almost settled down with the arrival of our crate on November 7 Wed shipped by sea, containing a few textbooks, two pieces of 'mengkuang' mats, a pair of 'lesong sambal', three boxes of Maggi of each flavour, a bottle of 'tempoyak', a cake of 'belacan', many packets of 'keropok', a cartoon of canned Milkmaid sweetened condensed milk, a cartoon of Ayam Brand sardine, four packets of half kg Boh Tea, a bagful of spices, Azizah's 'personal belongings' and several parcels from severals friends in Malaysia to be delivered to their friends in various places in Britain.
Before I left for Britain, I had completed a translation and a manuscript for En Yusof Shamsuddin of Fajar Bakti, another translation for En Hasan Mat Damin of Heinemann, one manuscript for him when he moved to start Sarjana Enterprise, and completed reading of a translated manuscript for Wiley Singapore. I told Wan Hanisah Omar, the SDOR producer in RTM, on my last recording session on January 4 Thu, that I would be away to Britain for a couple of years to come. I tried to push Dr Arbain Kaderi (from Zoology) to replace me; I took him to meet Wan Hanisah in Wisma Radio Angkasa Puri Jul 27 Fri, I did not know what happened between them after that. I had also completed supervising two students, Arisol Alimuniar and Rusli Abd Ghani who eventually joined UKM Chem Dept to be in the same polymer field, and left for UK a couple of days after my departure. I later learned that the former went to Durham and the later to UMIST. Many of their friends, all known to me for I taught them in their fourth year, had also flown to UK to various universities on various different sponsors, UTM, UPM, USM, PUSPATI, or even JPA. My brother Num had also won a scholarship to do an electronic engineering degree in Aberdeen, Scotland. He and his wife departed ten days later than me. I believed they settled themselves very fast that by winter break they managed to come down to Manchester to visit us, and even took a chance to visit Trafford Park, the home of Manchester United. Azizah adapted well, she could even go to the town alone when I took a frolic time with Rubaini at home, after spending full time in the lab, knowing that winter is a good time to gather experimental data.
Edition dated Feb 1999