03 June 2012
Perginya Tun Abdul Razak
“ Hassan, Tun kita dah meninggal. ( Our Tun has departed)”. That was a brief few words which we pray we do not hear too often among us, the Group of ’55.
Sixty years ago, during the British colonial era I joined an ‘ English School’ after completing my ‘Malay School (Sekolah Melayu)’ and ‘Sekolah Arab ( Arabic/ Islamic religious school)’. The school only had one class of Standard 7 ( equivalent to the current Form 3). In those days we did not have the luxury of choice of schools, the likes of Sekolah Integrasi, Sekolah Elit, Sekolah Imtiaz, Sekolah Menengah Sains, Sekolah Cluster and so on and so forth today, not to count the various international schools. For the first time I was in a co-ed school.
The English School I joined had only one class of Standard 7 (current Form 3). A boy named Tun Abdul Razak (with hereditary title Tun, just like Megat, Wan etc) was there with over forty others comprising of Malays, Chinese and Indian boys and girls. A total of 42 of us survived the following three years to sit for the Cambridge Senior Certificate School examination (SPM exam of today) in 1955.
The Malayans (not Malaysians) of those days did not pride themselves with children passing an exam with all A grades etc. Getting a Grade One (of three pass grades) was most enviable and achieved by very few. Even getting a Grade Three was lauded; and a fail was acceptable to start life with. All national newspapers would carry the pass lists every year. No comparison was made between the success of one school and another and no state claimed to hold record passes.
Our ‘Tun’, with his towering figure, was a jovial boy and a crowd puller. With a third grade in the Standard 9 ( now Form 5) Cambridge examination in 1955 he earned himself a job with the state government. At the end of his service he retired as a successful family man. He was then holding the respectable post of Assistant District Officer (ADO).
Our dear Tun often joined us for lunch, a cheerful person as ever although of late his health was failing. His loving wife preceded him a year ago. So now we have lost our Tun, number 16th to have left of the original total of 42. We were friends for a good SIXTY years; and now I am left with lots of pleasant memories but with nothing to offer but prayers that our Tun will be among those blessed by Him.
Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan