CheGu Ariffin Suhaimi.

Head Master Sekolah Alam Shah (SAS) when I enrolled in Jan 1967. He took over, I heard, from the first HM, CheGu Halimi Hj Sarbaini. Naturally, being a teacher, and HM too, he never knew me personally, not untill many years later in the course of my destiny. He cared a lot his 800+ full-boarded pupils; although he did not teach, he personally went to form five classes during night prep to give "extra-class" a few weeks (during study-leave weeks) before SPM. He picked up a few zoological subject (his master degree specialisation) and discussed the possible questions that may arise, and "correct" answer to write during exam. I had myself once for my class, 5Sn2, on Nov 4 1968 Mon night, the night before Practical Exam started; it was about the butterfly reproduction (our biology teacher was CheGu Aminah). I learned a lot from his lessons. I did well in biology, well, at least I was the best in the school in SPM 1968, of which I received my reward during the Speech Day 1969, on Jul 19 Sat (together with Chemistry, to which it was attributed to my other teacher who I never stopped admiring, CheGu Baharuddin Ahmad). Alas, when I returned for form six in 1969 I was more interested in Physical Sciences, thus enrolled in Math class, 6SnB2. The disinterest in biology flashed a few times in my mind by the fact that, medicine through biology was not available for malay medium at the University of Malaya.

Before CheGu Ariffin tenure in SAS, pupils went to Kampong Congo (presently Bandar Tun Razak) for their Friday prayer. I had a few times walked down the hill to Kg Congo for the prayer. CheGu Arifin made or affected a change. He made the pupils performed the friday prayer in the school, by making makeshift mosque the hall and later the adjoining gymnasium. Prayer mates were bought and BUSAS was assigned to manage 'the mosque', and he invited an Imam and a bilal from Kg Congo, initially to conduct, but later to overseer while he himself lead the prayer. In later years, senior students and himself lead the prayer.

Perhaps the most challenging episode of CheGu Ariffin, in my view, was his 800+ resposibilities during the infamous May13 '69. Our security was actually provided by a team of real army, for CheGu Arifin himself, being a member of Regional Corps, was called for duty.

While in Japan in 1968 he wrote a poem for the pupils for he cared what should happen to the pupils a priori; he wrote a contemporary peom only SAS-ian could understand, it was not the DBP type. The poem was preserved in the School Megazine ASAS 1968.

CheGu Ariffin ended his service in SAS on Jul 31, 1969, taken over by Chegu Mohd Ghazali Hanafiah, the deputy. The pupils were rumored that CheGu Ariffin was going to become the Principal of RMC in Sungai Besi, but the following year, 1970 May, when my seniors first embarked on the maiden year at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Jalan Pantai Baru, they met CheGu Ariffin who was then the Head of Deparment of Zoology, Faculty of Science. When I enrolled in UKM in May 1971, CheGu Ariffin wasn't there; he had already left to Reading, UK, for his PhD. When I was in Manchester from Sep 1974 to Oct 1976, I never had a chance to meet him, although I visited Reading twice, as early as Dec 1974, during the period. When I returned for duty in Oct 1976 in UKM, again, it was only his traces left. He had moved to become a TNC at UPM. A few years later, I noted that he was in protem team of several educational institution. Finally, many years later I noted that he was a #2 in UIAM, the project of which was coordinated by him since 1982. He retired a doctorate academician, a Dato' Professor Dr, plus a Colonel in commanding REJ 502 AW, in early 90's. ... And eventually, I met him again, ... on Sunday, Aug 25, 2002, in Meru Klang, in a wedding reception of his wife's nephew's son, who is my second SIL. Of course he did not know me personally, so I humbly introduced myself, my being from 1967 to then.

CheGu Ariffin was one of the VIP on Feb 8 Sat night 2003 gallant dinner, the night the history of SAS, Jalan Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, he co-pioneered was written.