The year 1985.
January was very hectic indeed, every one. On the very first day, Tuesday, I went to SAS, not really to revisit. It was on many friends pushes, in Bangi, for a protem alumni meeting. I joined the society, paid the annual fees, with membership number 074. It was not a nostalgic reunion though for most of the attendees, nearly filled the SAS hall, were of the earlier batch, much senior than me. My last visit was in 1971. SAS indeed had changed a lot physically since then.
The following day, Wednesday Jan 2, I took Rubaini to her new school, SRK BBB, a walking distance from our home, to begin her first day in Year 1. She was in the afternoon session. Malini, her younger sister who was always very eager to school, sometimes accompanied me to accompany her; but most of the time she was very happy with her second year (proper) in Tadika. Zidni was growing very fast, but many times so susceptible to weather changes which landed him in the nearby Zul Klinik. Sometimes others took on from him, including myself, he got off slower because he was so resistable in feeding the medicines. I took the note that from then on our going about would be 'sanctioned' by another 'invariant': the school breaks, to add to the existing university breaks which overlaps only marginally. I thought for some moments that my life then had begun to repeat itself, in different place and different time. Abdullah Ngah, my kampung mate who registered for his non-degree course in November last year in FPP, and had been staying with us, conceded and returned home for good on Friday Jan 4. The eventual arrival of our fourth sibling, another contending boy, Ahmad Muzani, was on Sunday night Jan 13 in Pantai Medical Centre, delivered by the same O&G Dr Ariffin Ngah Marzuki, the UKM VC in the 70's, the same doctor who delivered Rubaini and Zidni. Azizah got the help of her sister Zubaidah, mainly to attend to Zidni, until Feb 12, joining her brother, Norizan, who came to stay with us since his last year end SPM, until March 1. Many friends were visiting, those of my office colleagues, my long time friends in SAS and UKM, and those I knew in Manchester. When Muzani was strong enough, we returned the visits as soon as possible, and as far as in SS22 Damansara Utama where we lived for three years until September 1979.
Chemistry Department, UKM in mid 1985; some of the staff.
Front row L-R: Dr Laily bin Din, Dr Zuriati Zakaria, Dr Baharuddin Yatim (the Dean of FSFG), Dr Ismail Mohd Nor (Deputy Dean), Dr Yang Farina;
Middle row L-R: Dr Ibrahim Baba (Head of Dept), Dr A Hamid Othman (Deputy Dean), Dr Md Pauzi Abdullah, Dr Mohd Wahid Samsudin;
Back row L-R: Dr Rusli Ghani, Dr Ahyar Idris, Dr Mat Zakaria, Dr Arisol Alimuniar, Dr Harun Hamzah;
The job at Matriculation Centre, in which I had to coordinate its chemistry examination matters; a new engagement with Puan Zainah of MPM, on Thursday Jan 31 for an exactly similar business, plus degree course examinations in the faculty took through to the end of April. Running concurrently to the end of the year were chemistry mss preparations (co-authored with Dr Wan Mohamed) for publication with Limma Enterprise in Jln Ipoh, standing published K Moden by Sarjana, monthly article of chemistry in Mastika of Utusan, and occasional invitation to write in popular megazine, such as Sarina whose Isnin Tawaf rang me directly on Monday March 25; and in FEP and PFB. In March also I began scribing the proposed ms polymer to be published by DBP. Also in March, and going to be pervading for many years to come, Chitin Group moved for a fund application in agricultural sector. It culminated as 01-07-03-002, led by Dr Arisol.
My lucky 13, was on Wednesday in March; I received the official confirmation letter (dated March 12) from UKM Registrar of my promotion to an associate professor in the chemistry department, back-dated to Dec 1, 1994, a PTH post which otherwise would crystallise me in a bottle-neck. No one congratulated me, except Dr Ismail, the deputy dean who endorsed my application form. Among friends, the senses of survival began its metamorphosis into the nerve cells of physical beings. In the faculty meeting on Wednesday April 3, I spoke a lot, with Dr Mohd Yusof Othman, about matters arising from the dress code of students in the laboratory, that right after the meeting a colleague from physics department rang to insult me for my views on the matter which he meant an unparallel regress with my new appointment. At about the same period Chem Dept got the new head which meant some bumpy rides for me ahead.
Tuesday April 30, I took all in the family for a home-vacation for a week, while visiting Sek Sultan Mahmud in Gong Badak on UKM matriculation 'ticket'. Tuesday May 21 Ramadan set in and the Eid 1405 was on Thursday June 20 which was spent in Bangi (and also Aidil Adha on Monday Aug 26); not long before new 1985/96 session began on Monday July 8. Saturday Aug 17 was the 13th degree conferement ceremony in which I joined the academic lines of parade. I went for another visit to the UKM Matriculation school centres again from Monday September 30, this time in northern areas in Kedah - MRSM Kulim and SMSAHalim Jitra), and KM Ipoh, Perak, together with the teachers: Suhaimi (biology), Osman (Math), and Andrew Sowell (Physics). The director, Dr Harun was also with us. During that long together, I learned a lot about Andrew, originally an American PC, married to a Losong girl, later I knew as one of my hons student.
During the univ long vac beginning early May, the mss which I promised the various publishers, took on me days and night in the office and at home. A word processor machine was needed badly to acomplish the tasks. After a quite a search up to Taman Megah, near Kelana Jaya, while on a courtesy visit to En Yusof Shamsuddin, formerly of Fajar Bakti, on Wednesday May 8, I decided on a SR EX300, daisy wheel with a formatting memory, trading in my SR25CE golfball which I bought in Manchester in 1981 to type my thesis, then had developed alignment problems on certain letters. Nontheless in the office, PC had begun its appearance. By early October, I managed to hand it, and felt that it was going to become a very important tool to me. By the end of the year, my ms polymer was slowly fed into it, beginning with the sorting of entries of tables in the appendices. Unfortunately, my mss with Limma did not go well, the publisher it was, even with my partial funding; had moved to Sg Penchala since early Nov.
Since we had re-marked to build our residence in Sg Merab (Dr Abdul Rahman, our next neighbour had already one leap infront and moved in on Sunday Jan 20), I decided to make the land in Sg Buah as an orchard. I got the help of Pak Mat in Kayu Ara, Damansara to clear and maintain it. He came to Bangi almost every weekends, until he got married. I helped taking his troupe to Bukit Mertajam, on Saturday October 19. Obviously, since then he rarely come for the purpose; and since then the orchard had undergone 'reforestation'.
December was very busy with STPM schedule, but I managed another break in Trg for several days from Tuesday Dec 10. On Monday Dec 30 I received a call from a development chemist of an US-Aust company making plastic lenses, inviting me to work with them; but it was occluded by the multiplicity of mss around me, physically visible then.
Edition dated Jan 1999