The year 1986.

The school reopened on Monday Jan 6. Rubaini was very eager to return to class (in Standard 2); so did Malini, but I could see her despairing impatience knowing that she was to stay another year in Tadika (for the third consecutive year); actually she was more than ready to go to Standard One primary although she was only six. She could read, write, count, and memorised many Ayats already.

Publications with Limma looked like going to evaporate. So I focused the time available on the ms polymer. I had already some sketches of the ms, and seriously put on to become texts as early as January. My first contact with DBP was only on Friday Oct 17, which led me to get in touch with En Amran Joned of the Educational Book Division. Previuosly knowing myself when he was a biology student at UKM a couple of years ago, En Amran really pulled me into Dewan. The ms then was very much ready. To furnish its appeal, it was decided to be submitted in electronic form. I took many months to input it into the disks via department PC (an IBM clone - with Word Star 4 the word processor); and obviously the then HD tried many times to harass to process. By the time he was very mad at me, I had almost finished, and then moved to the HP9830, which he had zero knowledge about it, even its inheritance existence, to get the plotted illustrations. By the end of the year, it was ready to be read and evaluated for setting.

Update 2006 - Amran and family (first three from left), in UCE, Birmingham, UK, in his third year Doctorate programme in Multimedia Application in Schools and Colleges. (Right) My daughter Rubaini and her daughter (in Nottingham in her first year Doctorate in Food Science) were visiting. In 1986, Rubaini was in year 2 SRK - 8 years old;

HP9830, and its Plotter, a marvalous machine at that time to prepare a CRC for a technical ms. This machine was purchased in 1973 when I was in 3rd year. I did not have a good time with it then; but now it is almost 'mine' for no one know how to use it. The OS is a firmware type, executes by BASIC language, the media storage is a cassette tape that others use it only to store the songs. With the advancing PC (although still at command line stage), more and more of the colleagues forget about it. Perhaps I was the last person to use it before it was finally put to permanent 'retirement';

Chitin Group inched forward a step by getting Teroka Rimba to spend about 65 kRM to try to set up a chitosan 'factory'. To the end of the year half of the first phase survey were carried out, mostly to the cold storages around KL, which we understood that they were not the bulk of them.

1986 Jan 19 Sun, construction began, exactly a year after the uphill next neighbour moved in;

With some hard-earned cash in the pocket, and available 'tukang', Pak Jid and his team, I began the construction of my residence in Sg Merab, next-neighbouring to a SASian-UKMian immediate junir, who was one leap infront (also constructed by Pak Jid), even had moved in since Jan 20 last year; then a lecturer in Department of Computer Science of Faculty of Mathematical Science. It began on Sunday Jan 19. It took me only a few days to draw the plan, showed it to Pak Jid to make sure that he understood the way I wanted it. At that time he had just finished on Dr Jamil's residence in Kg Bakar Baginda, and finishing Dr Ismail's 12-room house in Sg Kantan. In the course of the construction, he helped me a lot to put things physically right. I bought all the materials needed for the construction. They took a long break during Ramadan which began on Saturday May 10, but by the year end it had progressed to about fixing the ceiling and windows frames before plastering.

My mother's health deteriorated faster this year than the years since I was informed in 1982. She was unwell since February, and on Monday 17, in the evening, I made emergency home-comming, all of us including my brother Num when Abang Ra rang us to tell about mother. The matters were compounded by the occasions of the marriage of Adik Ma on Friday Feb 21, followed by the admission of Adik Hah for her first baby, Monday Feb 24. Eventually my mother herself was admitted to the hospital on Wednesday March 19. I returned home, alone by bus, to visit her. She was indeed very ill, and I read that she might be unwilling to come to stay with me when my new residence was ready. The last time she visited me in Bangi, was in late January last year, shortly after Adik Hah got married; a few days after Muzani was born.

Adik Ma's marriage was to everybody's joyful moment, for at nineteen she knew that, although very hard to start, she had to make her own life. Azizah gave many encouraging advices and she trusted Azizah very much, the way she trusted me in her many letters she wrote a few years back, in her middle teen; I knew that she knew that I knew about her more than she knew about herself, or any body else. Azizah lent her as many attire as she carried, even the ones on her own body, to make Adik Ma gain herself self confident.

On my return, Wednesday March 26 I found that my office was burgled, the door was broken opened. Curiuosly, when the security was called in, nothing was visibly stolen; everything on the table, in the cabinets, and in the drawers looked untouched. Who might have done it? And for what? The next day, a letter arrived in my pigeon hole; it was a poison-pen letter dated March 21, invoking the past 69-70 in SAS. Who might have written it? Only about two weeks later I noticed what were stolen from my office: it was my foreign notes collection stuffed in the passport wallet, the most was the pound notes the surplus of 1983; all estimated to totalled up to 1.5 kRM; and a week later a post-dated cheque in a file in one of the folio in the drawer of one of the two filing cabinets (valid on the last day of March). It was a very clever and professional burglar indeed! I did not think there was any relationship between the burglary and the poison-pen letter. Several letters like the latter came occasionally, especially during near exam time, but I knew they were from the first year students who took my SK1062 paper, under pressure to get A grade for admission to the medical faculty.

We spent the Eid 1406, Mon June 9, at home, and on this festive period I took my mother to see her childhood places and people in Mengabang Telung and Mengabang Panjang. She had bad times again in August, October and December; on all occasions I returned home. In October, Rubaini had a rather long ill, a low level fever for several weeks that I had to help her with her school schedules like returning library books, and that was just before her end-year exams; obviously it cost her a bit. During the Dec home-comming journey, Wed Dec 31, we started at 5.30 pm in Bangi, after very tired in the office, and around the peripherals. We reached Kemasik at about 5 am the next morning. I was very sleepy, so did every body else. Rubaini was sleeping on the back-dash of the old KE30, Malini and Zidni on the back seat, and Azizah and Muzani on front passenger seat; and during that few microseconds I fall asleep, and the car lost control. The steering wheel was turned by the non-aligned wheels on the rough roads, it made a sharp turn. We were saved by the 'fate', the car turned to the right, between two telephone posts. When I was awaken by the near-accident, the car was on a dead-stop on the road shoulder, heading towards Kuantan. Rubaini fell on Malini and Zidni, Azizah got her head knocked on the wind screen and she got a slight bruise on the lips; only was Muzani, then two, unwaken. All my muscles were trembling. I uttered a long "shukur", so did Azizah, made the reverse U-turn and stopped at the nearby Kemasik Mosque for a prayer. That was how I spent my wee hours of the new year 1987. I continued the journey, slowly, in full alert and regret and scared and all consciences in full function and we reached home at ten in the morning.

Edition dated Jan 1987