The year 1987. The school reopen for the year on Monday Jan 5. Rubaini went on to Primary 3, tagging along then was Malini in her Primary 1. She had absolutely no problem whatsoever for she was very, very ready for it. She moved very fast to the extent that sometimes she annoyed her teachers for giving her (and not excluding the rest of the class) what she had already known; including writing sort of 'graffitis' in her exercise books to make her teachers 'understand' indirectly. On many instances her mother had to cool her down for the impatience.
Chitin Group moved on with the project for Teroka Rimba. A field survey to the northern region was made beginning on Wednesday Jan 7 covering Perak, S Prai, Kedah and Perlis. It was like a big hunt; Dr Arisol, Dr Pauzi, and the proprietor En Jalil went along. It took eight days. The bulk of the 'substances' were gathered in this trip. The relevant works went on throughout the year. In early May the survey report was submitted and it was continued with the 'factory' design. It was again involved a lot of 'search' for the material needed. And it took through to the end of the year, but fortunately then only around Klang Valley, the furthest being in Bukit Raja Industrial Area for the chemical-resistant glass-reinforced PE containers which were going to be adapted as the reactors.
I grabbed the first chance this year to be with my mother on Friday Feb 27; the following day I took her again to her childhood places and people in Mengabang Telung, and back to KL the next day. And again on Thursday April 2, at wee hours I drove to Trg in Num's car with him and Zaid Mak Teh Pah; this time for a very sad news: that Adik Ma passed away last night in KTGH of weak heart, twenty five days after she gave birth to a baby girl. I actually had not seen her since her marriage last year, perhaps it was the last time I saw and I talked to her. My mother was very sad, but invisibly I think I was sadder because I did not know what Adik Ma wanted from me during her days end, and I believe she did not dare to tell any body else, even her own husband.
Accent 2001, the PC that was claimed to be "local". The SU alone weighed ca. 10 kg. The HDD was only 20 MB. Did not remember the RAM and CPU speed; still in PC DOS type of OS. Color monitor but very low resolution (it tired the eyes very quickly). Double FDD 5.5 in each. It printed on Epson dot-matrix, but NLQ.
Ms polymer, "Prinsip Kimia Polimer" was well in the setting process, in top gear since the year beginning; En Amran ferried the gallei for proof-read. By Jul end it was in gallei 2, and made-up, and just before Dec set in I had finished the labourious indexing and submitted in electronic form. The job was made easier by the arrival of a Accent 2001 in April for Chitin Group, thus avoiding getting the HD harasment. I could not effort to let the rapport with DBP to get loose, so during the 'recess' in November, I attempted a quick adventure of translation; and the person in charge was Puan Rashidah Abdullah of the Translation Division. I had lost hope with Limma although I still entertained the MD with another ms in April, a more SPM-related one; I was browsing for other takers while planning to recall back my existing three mss. In November through to January, as always, there were Matriculation Exam, STPM (then I opted for paper 2), and my own faculty paper for the first semester exam.
Another luck knocked on Wednesday March 4. Dr Tajul of Education faculty asked me to help him in teaming up to write KBSM mss. He had gathered Dr Abd Rahman of UPM and Rashidi from the same faculty, and the latter pulled his associate Dr Subhan, making up five in the team. And many meeting were held throughout March including once in the Minister of Education's briefing, Tuesday March 10. The scheme was officially launched in July, and thus the full writing was set on. Dr Tajul was supposedly the team leader and he decided to team up with DPI publisher. Writing lower secondary text was a new experience for me and it was not a free-lancing job. Rashidi contributed a lot methodologically, and we had working meeting almost every day.
Ramadan clocked in on Wednesday Apr 29, followed sadly five days later by the passing of Tok Yam, Azizah's maternal grandmother. We spent the Eid 1407, Friday May 29, in Terengganu. On the following Sunday afternoon, AyahDa Man, in his brother inlaw's boat, took us: Abang Wi, Dolah and his bother, and Adik Jo, to the sea for "squidding". It was unplanned; actually it looked like unplanned because the incident turned out to be the natural reemergence of my deferred trait dominance: part of my blood 'came from the sea'. Although my playground was practically along the seaside, and grew up on the triple phase of the salty sea breeze, the tips of the wave tongue, and the ubiquitous dusty white sand of the beach, and all the living creatures at the interfacial world, I actually went to the sea only once before. It was in the late sixty when I tagged along a pack of kampung folks, on a Saturday morning, in a fisihing boat piloted by Rashid Pgln Batu to Pulau Kapas. I remember I had a mild sea-sickness immediately after the boat was tossed up by the waves, pushing in the salt-smelly sea-breeze. I was very fine on the return journey, in the evening. Then I went to boarding schools, leaving behind the 'unfinished' play; perhaps destined to be resumed in twenty years time. On this sea-going squidding, I was very fine. We accomplished 'well', on amateur scale, and docked back at PA jetty the next afternoon. I took the catches to my mother. She was so deliriously excited. Seeing the fresh 'live' squids with still sucking buds on the tectacles and fish with still stingy sharp scales, all still with crystal clear eyes, I saw my mother's spirit was so rejuvenated, full of past sweet souls. She worked to get herself up from her bed, tended the creatures dearly, the way I used to see she did every time when my father brought the creatures back from his carpentering trips in the coastal area.
Pak Jid's crew returned to resume works on the house in late June, but they would leave again for the Eid Adzha on Tuesday Aug 4. The house was about seventy percent finished, and many delicate and expensive accessories were on the site exposed for vandalism. So, on Saturday Jul 18 I decided to moved to my new permenant residence. The water supply and electricity supply were 'loaned' from the uphill neighbour. Only one room was 'ready': the kitchen and its allied bath. The rest, seven rooms and five bath were doorless and waterless. We lived in the kitchen for two months. I asked Pak Jid to fix only one door, the front door, and sealed the rest with timber bar; sense of security was only for the night, during the day the sunlight would secure us. I took along only the cooker, several utensils, and accessories for Rubaini and Malini for their schooling. The rest were still in Bangi and the tenure in fact was continued. My days suddenly became very hectic for Rubaini and Malini had to be ferried to and fro, in the morning to the Primary School and in the afternoon to the Religious School. On Tuesday Jul 28, we received the first guest in our new house: Pak Li and family, my kampung-folk and Abang Wok and family, my cousin inlaw, who came for their daughters degree conferement in UKM. They stayed for several days through to the weekend, with us in the 'shelter'; I did some quick makeshift work for a bath upstair for their convenience.
We spent the Eid Adzha, Tuesday Aug 4, also in Trg, leaving my vulnerable house in Sg Merab to the fate. On this occasion, I did not miss to take my mother to her childhood places and people, this time in Tanjung Gelam. I needed to spend as much time as possible with my mother in Trg for she had been home-ridden, and she seemed to be rather reluctant to leave her world to stay with us in Sg Merab. It was her right and with her only home-ridden situation, I must respect the right. Her friends and neighbours around, relatives and all her every day acquaintances were equally importance to her at every moment. And I thought she had put more concern on Adik Ani who was in upper secondary end in Tok Jiring and Adik Jo who was in his lower secondary end, boarding in PERKAYA hostel though in Pulau Kerengga, and schooling in SM Merchang, although I knew she knew that I could take care on both of them to continue to bring both of them up. When I was with my mother, I'd rather not elaborate on the progress of my house because I knew that she preferred me to go back to her. And thus every time I talked to her on the phone she would firstly asked the well-being of my children.
1987 Jul 18 Sat moved partially to the new residence; electricity and water on 'loan' from uphill neighbour. Sep 5 Sat LLN completed the switch of the electricity; Sep 12 Sat JBA connected the water supply. Sep 27 Sun fully MOVED;
The utilities came one after another in September, with LLN electricity on Saturday September 5, followed by Selangor JBA on Saturday September 12. With that two important basic needs, then there was no point to hang on in Bangi, so Sunday September 27 we moved for good to become a bona fide citizen of Sungai Merab Luar. Pak Mat Kayu Ara and Teh Zaini and their families, with his one-ton pickup came down since the day before to help moving the belongings, every single bit, to vacate the house. I returned the keys to Dr Karim, the house caretaker during Friday prayer time in the University mosque, October 10. And on Wednesday October 28 the telephone line was restored from the old number. Nonetheless the house was not completely ready. The walls still needed paints, many floors and the surroundings needed touch up and finishing jobs. All were done by Pak Jid's workers while staying with us, and it took many more months after that.
We were one of the pioneer citizen in the area. When we moved in, the closest house was Dr Abd Rahman's, followed by Ust Jamli and Ust Ahmad Bakar uphill, apart from the "rumah hantu" changing inhabitants. Further 'upstream' were Ust Ismail's group of about eight, also slowly in the pioneering neighbourhood; followed by Ust Mahmud Saedon's group a 'leap' away, and finally 'the distant' Kg Bakar Baginda. The nearest downstream neighbourhood were the Jajang's family at the highways lips. Between these spots were either oil palm or non-oil palm bushes and shrubs, inhabited by all kinds of creatures, including wild boar. Rounding up the year, we managed to get back to Trg again, Tues Dec 22. I took my mother to her childhood places and people in Mengabang Telung on Sunday Dec 27, seeing mainly MakCik Yam and MakLong Su; and we were there to the end of 1987.
Edition dated Jan 1988