Month -3-09, April

The first week of Apr was very much the final week of Mar. And as anticipated is a very long month. It was the examination month in the campus, beginning 17 Mon; and also Matriculation that took to the end of the month.

The Festival of Figures

OTRs are the amount one get tied to for the merchandises A to Q for ten years (120 months). He pays back monthly for the next 120 consecutive months as in PM to give a total of S. The staggering differences are given by D, which are distributed over 120 months with the amount as in the D/M, which all of them are ca. 35-38% of the cost of the merchandise. In other words the "sen/RM" tells him that every RM he borrows he got to add 35-38 sen for the 120 months duration; or as in "/month", 0.29-0.32 sen per RM per month, as confirmed in the last column. Yes, about one third of a sen, very small indeed they tell him. But it is per RM per month. It is small indeed if the merchandise cost one RM and he pays back in one months. But, no, his merchandise, say Q, cost RM106888.94, and he could only level it in 120 months! - 3650 days!!

The Longest April

The long Apr commenced since Mar 25 Sat the day Sekolah Alam Shah (SAS) in Putrajaya was officially hatched into Sekolah Sultan Alam Shah (SSAS). Its real soul it said it brought from Cheras that became the matter in SSAS was rather not pretty at all; as it was from the beginning when it snatched the name SAS in Cheras and put it in Putrajaya. The only thing nice about it was that that school in Putrajaya is SSAS, and IT IS NOT SAS. SAS has not become SSAS. SAS is still in Cheras, and thank goodness it is crystal clear now that SAS is still in Cheras/BTRazak, not in Putrajaya. The one in Putrajaya is definitely NOT SAS. It is NOT SAS! No! it is NOT.

The hard rock fall off on April 5 Wed when the gang of 7 were expelled from the school; that eerie incident included the HB. It was a case of, in ordinary words, extortion involving money; in SBP jargon, "high council"; in street language, "gangsterisme". That the HB was involved was scary indeed. I could not imagine myself what could I have done in 1970 that would made the HM decide to expel his HB from the school. It was narrated that the HB "guarded" the "tradition" of SAS. That when it was made known to the Principal about the "tradition", the Principal got very mad, indicated that the "tradition" was not pretty at all. The "tradition" was more of a "ritual", containing many anecdotes of a long epic.

Who dare to tell anyone, especially to the teachers and more especially to the parents that life in SSAS is full of "ritual" and "tradition" that make the leaver a hamster or a gangster, shall be irradiated irreversibly to full gaseous state; knowing cowardly that F1 and F2 dare not;
The seven unfortunate who were netted to pay the price: The HB (#1), a prefect (#2), a class monitor (#3); the rest are in some places in the koku. They were born "SAS-ian" in 2002 and grew up to full "SSAS-ian" 2006, failing to uphold the dignity of SAS 63 at its raison d'etre. From the other side of it, they were lucky because they got the lessons of life early;

The "ritual" left a few objects as clues: the hall Dewan Perdana Putra, the piano, the steel ruler, and the burger;

The incident bridged the gap I was wondering all these while: that SBP-er did not perform during the Matriculation, some of them even has to be terminated because of less-than-2 PNGK; that SBP-er in local Universities were known non-performer; that the academic cloud in the local universities is like with SBP-er absence. My thesis is: that majority of the SBP-er are in agony under non-academic stresses throughout their stay in the school that it took away their academic exercises to unstress it. The only one thing they were looking forward was the time it would be over; they are happier when the time come rather than getting worry about how to go beyond it. The small fraction who made it were by virtue of their destiny since they were picked. The rest fall to a background function.

The longest publication process in the 50 years history of DBP; It was the publication of EST, jointly with UTM. The matter was not as great as it sound, but the first experience of publishing an original encyclopedia was very tasteful indeed. A mere 3519 entries, by 1023 authors, are actually not a big deal, especially the latter, but nevertheless phenomenal for a start. The cost run into millions; with a set leveled at 2k+, the customers would only be institutional;

It started the way back from 1993 through the oceanic waves of tidal and monsoon to 2006 when eventually the index was published. 12 volumes representing each a cross section of terrestrial knowledge. Only a steel courage and a martial wit could expand each volume into each encyclopedia itself. The launching was officiated by the Minister of Education, YB Dato' Sri Hishammuddin; Apr 14 Fri in the new elegant DBP building, now known as 'Menara DBP'.
My more important incident was the unscheduled meeting with two persons: Prof Madya Dr Wan Ali Wan Mat, my classmate in SAS 1969-1970 who I have not met since then (36 years ago); and Prof Dr Ishak Haron who was my school teacher in 1965 in Padang Midin Terengganu who I only viewed him a few times from a distance; well remembered by everyone as the Negaraku teacher (Mentioning CheGu Ahmad Yahya and CheGu Saadiah intantly took him to Padang Midin 1965;) - he loughed aloud when I retouched the Negaraku episode to wake him up, because he was not a music teacher; he was a teacher of preschool paedegogy);

Its me, on the very first day of the 56th year;

April 19, Wed; PPSKTM organised a day workshop on how to go about searching the direction in R&D in the current 'hostile' environment backgrounded by the RMK9, launched a few week ago; used to be commented by that the lecturers are the bunch lot who wasted a lot of the country's money, the amount the country would be much better off by buying the technology needed. They like to talk about the "niche", as though they are a knife with a cutting edge whereas they are a rolling stones with the blunt edge getting blunter day after day; as though they knew that to be in a niche there are uncontended strength peering at the edge. Descrepencies are visible everywhere; with many more are going next year, PPSKTM edges nearer and nearer to permanent disability. Today next year would be my last day; it would be Thursday; then come Friday the day after, my retirement commence. 1951 Apr 20 was also Friday, the day I was born. Incidentally, day-date for 2007 and 1951 are superimposable.

April 20, Thu; my completion 55 yrs yesterday. Today, I begin my first day of 56. I spent the whole day today completing the LHDN form, due by end of Apr, so that in exactly 365 days time I would retire in peace and hopefully in one piece. It was not the too many blanks that to be filled in that took that long, but the hard backups of the correct figure which required digging deep into the office 'archive'. The day Dr Ito in Japan mailed me the header and footer for the article to be published online in the Chemical Education Journal he editored. This is probably my last paper in journal, since it takes upto a year for one to come out from the press. 365 days to clean the Room 2154 of the Chemistry Building, I massed up for the past 23 years since 1983 Mar.

clik to enlarge This was followed by the second twice-a-session 'gathering', this time, in the Grand Blue Wave, Shah Alam, April 24 Mon to 29 Sat. Sitting front row L-R: Dr Juriffah (KUSTEM), Fadatul (KUSTEM), Zarina (UIAM Matriculation), Noni (KM Perlis) (the three, minus the 3rd, were UKM grads in different years, and one way or another attended at least one of my class); standing back row L-R: Yusof Daud (UKM Education), Fatimah Ibrahim (KM Perlis), Dr Mat Zakaria (UKM), Fadzilah (UIAM Matriculation). Missing was Hukil Sino of FSKB UKM. I was always amazed by their keen and accurate, fast, durable over the stuffy condition of the hotel 'life', endurable against the pressure to finish; the things I could not remember I had them or not when I was at their age. They were sincere, approachable, humurous, and whether the orginiser know or not, they are indespensable. Since before setting off, I planned to visit my school day close friend, Sulaiman who stayed in Sect 19 Shah Alam, and a civil engineer in JKR. However, deep into the Saturday afternoon, the schedule were so pact in the short time, that we were not blessed for a reunion. He came for my daughters' wedding in 2002 Aug, after a 'long lost' since 1970 Nov.

Meeting those I have met before

SESERI had its new (2nd) principal since 2005 Jun, CheGu Zuraidah Hj Mohamad, replacing CheGu Sabihah the 1st principal. It was a mere destiny to have met her in SESERI PIBG since last year 2005 Jun. The school annual megazine MUSTIKA SESERI 2005 published in 2006 Apr insighted some biodata of her. A piece of it, that 1968 - 1974 she was in TKC. 1970 was her third year, probably in F3. One day in 1970, when I was in Upper Six,

" - And it prolonged to the following day Jul 5 Sun, in the bus to Telok Kemang Beach, Port Dickson. It was a very memorable day for us; actually it was the most and the last memorable day. CheGu Batoebara went along; it was organised by the Malay Society. In the evening we dropped in Tunku Kurshiah College Seremban (all girls college - still in English medium then) and the girls had a match of netball; and that was after a short debate programme. Just before we were leaving, the head-girl took me around to see her campus. And before we actually left Seremban, we still had time for a stroll in the Lake Garden..."

I am wondering, in 1970 Jul 5 Sun late afternoon, in TKC, if the little girl Zuraidah was not on home outing, what was she doing at the time in the school while my 'entourage' was visiting the College. What was the name of the TKC 1970 head girl; I wonders, how is she doing right now. I could not paste even a pixel of her apart from the white-blue uniform.

The charming 'girl' on CheGu Zuraidah left is a SESERI chemistry teacher, CheGu Intan Baizura, a graduate from UKM 2003 (sat in several of my papers, but unfortunately not under my supervision), and a TKC-ian too. Her SPM was 1998, thus a year junior than my daughter Malini who CheGu Intan remembered very well; and amazed herself to see me when I checked-in Malini's sister, Alyani last year Jan.

National event of the month, The passing of Tun Ghafar Baba, 81, 2006 Apr 23 Sun, and MGG Pillai 76, 2006 April 28 Fri. Both were veterans in their own profession; aged five years apart, passed away five days apart. Both shared many things about Malaya and Malaysia although each said it using differents words. The former, rather a local, was a politician, a second deputy to a PM in crisis time. The latter was a journalist who had a long experience with international news agencies.

April receded subtly into the long weekend to include the Labour Day May 1 Mon day off; everyone, including Alya (and her schoolmate Alia) was at home since Sat. There are two not impossible, although unprobable, missions waiting in May, beginning the 2nd Tue.

Chapter dated Apr 30, 2006