19 July 2013

Pakcik Reminisces ( Pt 32 )  -  Almanar’s 21st  & 300th Posting

This is Pakcik’s 300th posting for Almanar website, the first being on 20.7.2006, six years ago to day to be exact. This year also marks the 21st year since the private Alamanar trust was established in 1992. I sit reminiscing and decide to share with my dear visitors.

It all began with the end of my 30 years of working life. For several reasons I was very pleased that all had gone well with my family and our life in general. The burning question was whether, without a pension, we would survive on whatever saving (EPF and shares) and gratuity money I received. The answer was positive on condition we would slow down on our social activities which we had been enjoying over the years. Instead of being active members to three premier golf clubs it was time to call it a day and hang my clubs for good. For the good life we had had expressed our gratitude by establishing a small family trust fund for charity activities.

In particular I was delighted that my other half gave her consent that we moved our home away from Kuala Lumpur to another location where we would manage a simpler life, and in so doing we would leave our children in KL to fend for themselves without our interference with their family life. They had to learn to do what we had to thirty years earlier, raising them to be what they were. We have to show them that life goes beyond being of service to own family but to the community around us.

A year before we finally decided to leave KL I started looking for a piece of land in Kuala Terengganu. As chance would have it, I met an old school mate who was now a known personality in the village and who belonged to a landed family. When questioned for my purpose to settle in this quiet locality I casually mentioned that I would want to help local children. His spontaneous action surprised me. Without much further thought he showed me six plots of land from which I was free to choose. I decided on two pieces of land, each measuring one acre. One has a sea frontage.

Further surprise was waiting for me when he insisted that I named my price, putting me in a very difficult position. But I did and he accepted with a smile.

Sadly, that dear friend passed away several years ago. Today, it is a normal practice at Almanar that the children would recite Alfatihah for this dear man and for other individuals who had a hand in the growth of this humble one-man tuition centre.

When I started writing the Introduction to this blog on 20.7.2006, I only had a vague idea that this was going to be some kind of notes of events related to Almanar tuition centre which was beginning to show some progress. Blogging was Greek to me, but my three children relentlessly persuaded this old horse to post in blog instead of merrily using pen and pencil, the habit I acquired during my school days.

Gift from my children - Old fashioned brfitting the intended user!

I am glad I started. Six years today I have managed to post an average of 50 entries per year, making this the 300th posting. A very pleasant surprise, something I never bargained for, is the emergence of visitors who care to leave comments at a modest average of 10 per month. It is so unlike my school boy diaries. But of course the latter is full of ‘secrets’ which I would not wish my grandchildren to read! So I need to be wary of the fact I cannot put down in blog entries what can the privacy of my secret diaries.

 Part of my treasured possession – Not for public viewing!

Be that as it may, responses from readers give me cheers and encouragement when my Almanar tuition is not going as expectation. On a number of occasions I became so disheartened that I wished to call it a day. But messages from my visitors seemed to tell this old horse to buck up and keep pushing forward.

But at this age, being a septuagenarian, how much time do I have to enjoy the sight of the autumn leaves?

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan


No3 said...

Hi babah,

Let me be the first to congratulate you on this milestone. It certainly has been a long journey, but babah's journey in being a loving and giving person started well before your move to KT. I and my circle of friends can attest to that. You have been a father figure to more than just your own children, whether babah realises it or not. I think my two elders would agree.

I read somewhere that true happiness is when you commit yourself to something greater than you are. This is certainly true for babah, so comitted to changing the lives of so many.

With that, I pray to Allah during this wonderful month of Ramadhan that there will be 300 posts and more to come from babah.


No 3

K T said...

Salam, tuan Almanar. I am a loyal but silent follower i.i. till now. You have touched the lives of many children and they have become better persons because of what you do with them. I am glad you are sharing your experience.

NBK said...

Assalamualaykum pakcik..i also would like to congratulate you..your effort in al manar and in blogging. Its great to know about people who are willing to lend their hands beyond the comfort zone of their biological family...it inspires others to contribute back to the society...not just through zakat but regular contribution to those in need

Al-Manar said...


You, your two elders and circle of friends drove your mummy and babah crazy with problems; and having experienced that, it is now a piece of cake to handle the kampong children who simpply spend their time on hand-phones and computer games.

It is heart-warming and most satisfying to know that all is well with in my family - charity begins at home. Your challenge is not going to be easy with a houseful of females!

Love from us

Al-Manar said...


Waalaikim Salaam to you, too.
You have greater challenges with those students, one of whom is likely to be an ex Almanar. It must be frustrating to see failures among those who have struggled so long to have come so close to a successful end.

Selamat Hari Raya.

kaykuala said...

Dear Pakcik,
Alhamdulillah! Good intentions are always blessed with a good path along its way. Things have been made easier and somehow they fall into place easily. Congrats on your 300. Best wishes to al-Manar on your next 300. You planned for and made a good decision with great responsibilities! Keep at it, Sir!


abdulhalimshah said...

Dear Pakcik,
Your footprints in the 300th postings are very admirable to say the least. As a septuagenarian, you are in the elite group who write exceptionally well in Queen's English which is a rare achievement nowadays. Your postings will grace our blogging fraternity for as long as Allah's allow you to continue, Amin.

Al-Manar said...

Dear Hank,

Indeed things often fall inti place when do things without over emphasis on personal needs, the latter has to be of life, the survival factor. See how your Haiku. I still remember when the subject was first raised and yoy took it on with gusto, and now you are there, my friend.

Al-Manar said...

Akhi AHS

You have been too liberal with your compliments, my friend. We, the old timers, do have something in common, something we learnt during the earlier years, before we started to have so many cooks experimenting with their personal recipes. Even the Malay language has become English/Malay rojak.

The 300 came without my realising it.

Wan Nadiah said...

Salam, "Pak Cik",

Congratulations on your doggedness even when there is great temptations to call it quits. Ha ha, even a silent reader has been lured to leave a comment on your achieving this milestone. May you continue to make a difference to many more lives- either through the physical al Manar, or the virtual Al Manar. ;) More importantly, may Allah accept all your amal as amal solih. Ameen. Wan Nadiah

Al-Manar said...

Walaikum Salaam
I seem to have forgotten this silent reader. WA was in KT recently but we did not have time to get together. Thanks for dropping by. An email will follow shortly ( kalau tak lupa! )

naliahmad said...

ZZZBDear Pakchik,

Congratulations indeed.

I remember when i was first introduced to your blog by our mutual friend,I had stayed up late to read all your posts and only became current after several nights.Through your writings, full of quiet wisdom and humor, I feel I have come to know you a little bit. And what I know, I very much respect and admire.
May we be privileged with lots more posts from you here at almanar.

Al-Manar said...


If I say laudly that I addmire you for some very rare faetures it will be the case of I scratch your back and you mine. And Our mutual friend means business!

I am trying to figure out your ZZZB.

Salaam to you and family

GUiKP said...

Alhamdulillah for the selfless service for the last 21 years, and may AlManar continue to offer a beacon of hope to the Pengkalan Maras community and beyond. May Allah swt bless both of you with continued good health to serve the impressionable Gen-Y teens. Selamat Menjalani Ibadah sepanjang Ramadan.

naliahmad said...

Dear Pakchik,

Everybody knows zzz is for sleep. You only have to figure out the b. And when you have done that, you can tell me because I certainly do not have any idea what that is.

Rosyada said...

Dear Pak cik,

Congrats on your 300th post!
What you're doing is so inspirational!

Al-Manar said...


I keep watching for your new entries in vain but can understand the reasons. The reasons seem to be similar to those in your positions. For that reason it is an honour to catch your occasional visits. I still remember meeting you and wife for the first time at the book launch of Awang Goneng at Kedai Pak Lah Yunan, all now just a memory of an era gone with the wind.

Selamat berpuasa dan berhari raya dengan keluarga. I wonder how the 'big' boy is doing, enviably raised in a family like yours.

Al-Manar said...


I keep watching for your new entries in vain but can understand the reasons. The reasons seem to be similar to those in your positions. For that reason it is an honour to catch your occasional visits. I still remember meeting you and wife for the first time at the book launch of Awang Goneng at Kedai Pak Lah Yunan, all now just a memory of an era gone with the wind.

Selamat berpuasa dan berhari raya dengan keluarga. I wonder how the 'big' boy is doing, enviably raised in a family like yours.

Al-Manar said...


Ho ho you do not know wat B stands for. Whe you go asleep withh ZZZ you will naturally have air liur BBBasi!

Al-Manar said...


I notice you no longer write as regularly as before. If seems quite normal now for staff at schools and universities to be saddled with extra work loads. Thank you for making the time to visit. Selamat berpuasa dan berhari raya

ninotaziz said...

the autumn leaf
has a way of falling gently
a beautiful descent

each moment
depicting a lifetime
of love, wisdom

a beautiful descent
swaying in the coastal wind
and lands on bumi pertiwi

ninotaziz said...

Thank you Pakcik for all your dedicated work towards raising the quality of life for our anak bangsa. I worry for our future generation. Would they realize how lucky they are to be born in this beautiful bumi pertiwi.

From August onwards, if you care to tune in Pakcik, I will be on Bernama Radio 24 at night. Telling stories. Legends. Folklores. Perhaps your students can listen in. It's in English. I hope I can touch the lives of our next generation. What you do is inspirational. I can just hope I am up to it.

Al-Manar said...


That poem touches me deeply. Thank you. Your comments will be the subject of my coming posting.

KotaStar said...

Sdr Al Manar,

Selamat pagi dan tentu sekali ada orang diTrengganu merasa lega hasil keputusan semalam. Nampaknya kalau ke Pulau Perhentian bolehlah singgah di Al Manar.Similarities seems to go in couples too.Of the same age group now we seems to hit on the same number. Checking on my posting after yours having a head start of a year July seems to give me a 300+ count too. Yes we seems to do fairly well for a 70+ person being able to hit the tab amongst other things. Nevertheless I envy you for having yr true diaries with all the dossiers intact.BTW if you receive a magazine SAUDI ARAMCO WORLD a free copy it is bcause I submitted yr name n address.I take off my kopiah for yr continuing success at AlManar. SALAM

kotastar said...

Kalaulah sampai ke ALManar insyaAllah I will bring along my rifle to shoot the pests that are breaking open yr coconuts. tapi the trees are dwarfs pula.

Temuk said...

Assalam al-manar
Alhamdulillah, and congratulations on all your life achievements. The local community is certainly very thankful to you for all the good things that you have done for them. And may all those students who have gone through the al-manar school continue to remember that they too have a role to help their community when the time comes.

Al-Manar said...


Many thanks for the the magazine. Indeed we have not done too badly using this nrew IT thing.

I did not follw the Besut election and was surprised to find in this morning paper that it was over. Whatever the result may be, nothing is going to change much with this old couple by the sea.

Let us kmow of your plan to go honeymooning to Perhentian or Redand. Dropping by our home is a must with your gun and all.

Selamat Hari Raya sdr.

Al-Manar said...


Waalaikum Salaam Sdr AH. That 'life achievements' you mentioned does not truly reflect the real situation. It is like talking about the beautiful 'belalai gajah' which sounds grand but on occasions the fruit are just rotten.

You questioned Y and I do as well with heartache over the children I am facing now. You must have found out the disease of your mango tree and I hope I can learn something from you because my mango tree is giving rotten fruit; and young children of Almanar are showing signs of social problems. I ask 'Y' as well. It hurts to see the problem getting worse among these young teenagers - the mango tree and teenagers' increasing social problems.

Selamat berpuasa dan seterusnya Selamat Hari Raya dengan keluarga tersayang.

koloGnyer said...

Dear Pak Cik, Gut gemacht! - Good job and well done!

Today i learnt new word from this posting - septuagenarian.

May Allah bless you to keep charging.

Al-Manar said...


I suppose Gut gemacht means good very much?

My spirit lightens up when I see this Koln resident, 'Kolognyer'. I keep imagining the bridge spanning the river not far from the cathedral. Is my memory right or is it just an imagination?

I still have no news from that boy doing engineering in Germany. I will give the address the moment I get it. The one in Russia is back. I will try to get his address, or I will give him yours to contact if he does a bit of travelling your way

koloGnyer said...

Yeap, absolutely right Pak Cik.

The bridge spanning that you imagine is Deutz Bridge, who cross the Rhine river.

For German language, sometimes meaning of the word can be different depend on the situation.

InsyaAllah 'jika ada rezeki' i'll meet that boy.

Wish you, Selamat Berpuasa dan Selamat Hari Raya.

Al-Manar said...


So I was not just dreaming of that bridge. The boat trip aline the Rhine is most memorable of all boat trips. The Rejang and Niah (Sarawak) and Kinabatangan (Sabah) river trips are of different catagory.

Call on us again and Sealamat Hari Raya

Al-Manar said...


You were the second person to post a comment - on 19.7.13. Today 3.8.13 I come to notice it and how sad I feel over this. TWO WEEKS' late is a humiliation to you. I must apologise. Pleave forgive for my ooversight.

I wish I knew your email to send a private note. Would you drop me a line on almanar@pd.jaring.my please?

madame blossom said...

My doa for your prolonged life and health and iman.
May your efforts be rewarded much now and continuously until Hereafter. Aamiin.

Al-Manar said...

Madame Blossom,

Quite often in life we need all the helps,wishees and doa to keep hgoing. You have a king thought. Thak you. I do hope to see more of you and your comments. I have particular interests in the secondary school education in Singapore. Are you or do you know of Singapore bloggors blogging with education in mind?. Email mail me on almanar@pd.jjaring.my. To my mind Singapore is very far ahead of Malaysia in this aspect.