04 September 2009

Another Son Commented – Tanah Tumpah Darah Ku

Pakcik’s No 3 , my second son, has sent me a comment related to Merdeka. He is a senior manager for a multinational consulting firm. What he discovered during a recruitment dialogue with a group of young Malay graduates was somewhat beyond his expectation. Pakcik would like to have it posted here, with the hope that readers can share what he had to say. I would certainly like to think that his is not an isolated case – the awakening of our young ones. Here is what he wrote:


Contributing to the nation – there is hope yet.

As an aside to Abang Nuar’s comment on Merdeka and nation building, I’d like to share what happened in the office last month.
I was asked to help recruitment with figuring out how to better attract good capable Malays into the firm, something which the firm has always struggled to do. As a way to gauge what makes the freshies ‘tick’, we organized a forum with a group of our newly hired to understand what were their career aspirations and why they had joined us.

I opened the floor to the young and energetic group for them to share their thoughts. Sure enough, it started with the ‘usual’ ideas of what makes a great career. They wanted an exciting job, something that challenges them, somewhere that allows them to learn, to build skills, to be paid (..and paid well!), to travel, to open up their minds. This is not going to help me very much I thought initially. Haven’t I read about all these things in our recruitment brochures somewhere before? However, as the discussion went on, another theme seem to emerge. It was about how they would like to give back, about contributing to society, about building the nation.

Was this just a ‘politically correct’ answer to my tired prodding of “is there anything else?”, or did they genuinely feel this way? Can I trust these young twenty somethings? What do they know about contributing back? Wouldn’t they at this age be more concerned about getting that first car, or that flashy new phone, or travelling or generally having a good time?

The answer was a heartwarming no. Pragmatically, of course they wanted these things, but somehow beyond achieving all that, real fulfillment comes when you have left behind a legacy, have touched the lives of others and have, ultimately, help build a nation. One even quoted Raja Nazrin’s speech “You don’t have to be in public service to do service to the public”.

I think we can sometimes get despondent when all we read about these days are how the young are selfish, how for Generation Y it’s all about me me me, how no one appreciates the struggles of the past and how society has become less and less caring.

Well, after listening to this group of ‘kids’, I feel a renewed sense of optimism. It’s not all bad, there is hope yet.


Amran “

Pakcik’s response to him would be:
During babah’s time in office there were occasions when I faced young graduates. Certainly babah did not detect your finding. Perhaps I was using different and ancient recruitment tools. If this is the prevailing attitude among the young graduates - and I would like to wish that to be a trend - there is hope indeed as you said. But of course we do not lose hope.

“ ……..and never lose hope of God’s soothing mercy ……” Yusuf : 87

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan


Kak Teh said...

Abang Ngah, reading Nuar's and Amran's email to you, I cant help looking back on their growing up years. I have seen the different stages of their growing up and even through those years of Freddie Mercury and mohican hairstyle days, I knew they were going to grow up responsible young men and I must say I am very proud of them. I am sure Amran truly believes that renewed sense of optimism that he felt after that session. God bless and much love, Abang Ngah and Kak Mah.

Al-Manar said...

You have had 'snapshots' of our children in their process of growing up – the Freddie Mercury guitar and the Mohican hairstyle days. But the best shot of all was very likely the one taken by Hulaimi of one of them, to remain nameless, nine-year old in his birthday suit in a bath-tub in a Chapel Side flat! Hulaimi should lend Abang Ngah the photo for this entry.
Love from us all to you and Hulaimi, and the children

Memorable trails... said...

Salam Pak Cik,
Been missing several of your posts.Seems that viruses are everywhere now,even in my laptop wiping out my Window..
It is not too much for me to say that reading your post on Merdeka has helped to renew my energy and spirit to continue teaching in this part of the country.
There are times while driving along the quiet and deserted road leading to my school for my extra night classes, passing acres of rubber trees and oil palm plantation, I cant help questioning myself 'What am I doing at this time of the night driving through other people's kampung?Should I be sitting comfortably in my sitting room watching TV or coaching my kids?Afterall, these pupils are not my "waris".
But now your post has the answer to my questions.I am doing this as part of my responsibility as a Malaysian and Muslim.Since I am not a billionaire, all I can give is my service to the future generation who will later shape our Malaysia.
Your post has certainly made me feel a lot better!
Thank you Pak Cik.

Al-Manar said...

Kak Teh,
Amran has sent this as his response to your comment:

"Auntie Zaharah,
sometimes I wish I didn't have witnesses to my misguided youth!... and shouldn't that infamous polaroid be faded to oblivion by now !

Kak Teh said...

amran, we are but a recorder of events and the more interesting the event, the longer it remains in our notebook. I'm afraid the picture, yellowing as it is, serves to make the memories more colourful, apart from it being something we can hold you to ransom with. I'd give anything to see the look on your mum's face the day you landed with the Mohican hairstyle!

Al-Manar said...

Madam Gold,

Thank you for saying that my post, in some way, helps to make you see the reason why you should ‘merentas desa ditengah malam buta’ to help those who are not even your ‘waris’. Madam, may I say something personal, something I believe? Our waris are the ones who will receive the rewards for what we have sacrificed and laboured for those poor children. From what I have read of your posts, you are an envy of many for having children performing so very well academically and otherwise in boarding schools, and the younger ones doing as well. Siapa yang merestukan dan mengapa? Are you not performing what is said in surah Albaqarah – ayat 177? It is about sacrifice.
Pak Cik

Anonymous said...

I like this statement: "you don't have to be in public service to do service to the public". That's what I'm going to do....
Nur Azira

Anonymous said...

I agree with you zira. Teaching is also a public service right?

Al-Manar said...

You can a lot of service once you have gone through your course in pharmacy


Of course as a lecturer you can do wonders. But do you not think your little baby ( who, if I remember correctly, is less than one-month old, and the first of
T W E L V E! ) needs your service more at this very moment?

Al-Manar said...

Kak Teh,
Now Anwar has the following to be ddressed to you:

"To digress from the topic, a short note to Kak Teh.

Aunt Zaharah,
Those years when the only communication with babah & mummy was by snail mail (7-day aerogram) or fortnightly calls (20 pounds phonecard for less than 4 minutes) , my lifeline whenever homesickness & missing mum's cooking were unbearable (frequently that was!) would be to head straight to your place.

You and uncle Hulaimi never raised an eyebrow accommodating me … odd hour visits, weekend stayovers, and those unforgettable hearty home cooked (or Khan’s) meals. Yours was a safe haven whenever this quietly rebellious youth wanted to be left alone yet with… shelter and good food! So if you reckon I’ve grown up and old somewhat in a good way, it cannot be without taking onboard some of the rich values emanating from your wonderful family.


Dear Zaharah,
Judging from the tones of Anwar's and Amran's notes it becomes obvious to us why, whenever the subject of your family comes into our conversation, we get to detect that special tenderness towards you all. Ainun as a rule expresses less but we know her soft spot for you is equally entrenched. Words of thank are never adequate. God bless you as a family. With love from us,
Abang Ngah and Kak Mah

Anonymous said...

This is Izah,
salam, pakcik.

My sister, Fadzilah is missing the great time being your student at Al-Manar.
This is the latest entry from her blog:


I’ve just finished watching Sivaji The Boss movie..

It is not a newly released Tamil movie, but I can not find the right time and mood to watch it..


It is such a great movie, just like Slumdog Millionaire; these movies show the real things happening in the country named INDIA..

reality bites..


poor them..

Thank God for allowing me be a MALAYSIAN =)



I’ve got a bad news...
My English is not improving, it is not getting better..
How I miss my old times at AL-MANAR's English class..
How I miss Pak Cik being my English teacher..


Years have left us..

I'm no longer an AL-MANAR student..

miss all those touching moments..

Thanks a lot Pak Cik for being my teacher..

You are always one, as I learn from afar now just by reading your blog post..

I still don't have guts to meet you, I am really sorry..

Pak Cik’s words that I will never forget:

Pak Cik only asks for what is good for us not for what we want.
HE knows better..He knows what is the best for us..
so just pray and ask for the best..

" dan boleh jadi kamu benci kepada sesuatu padahal ia baik bagi kamu, dan boleh jadi kamu suka kepada sesuatu padahal ia buruk bagi kamu. Dan (ingatlah), Allah jualah Yang mengetahui (semuanya itu), sedang kamu tidak mengetahuinya. " (Al-Baqarah : 216) “

Izah Hamid

Al-Manar said...

Thank you Izah. I did not know she has her own blog now. I will pay her a visit. Yesterday I met your father at the news stand. It seems your little nephew is better and can now make the trip to IJN.Alhamdulillah.

Dr.UmiKalthumNgah said...

Dear Tuan Al-Manar,

Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

It was a pleasure seeing your words at my blog.

You have done a wonderful job and have lived to a very ripe old age, doing good to others and the needy...Something which I intend to emulate in another 6 years (when I retire from my present post)...Insya Allah.

Maybe you and wifey can share a few tips with my other half and myself?

Will send you an email later.

Thanks again for dropping by...

Al-Manar said...


Thank you for your fine words and I look forwards to your e-mail.

Anonymous said...

Hi, as you may already noted I am recent here.
In first steps it is really nice if somebody supports you, so hope to meet friendly and helpful people here. Let me know if I can help you.
Thanks in advance and good luck! :)

Al-Manar said...

Dear Anonymous,
I need help in many ways. Unfortunately I cannot simply ask you as I do not know you at all - what area of help you can offer. I thank you and I do hope you would send me a note by e-mail so that I can say to you personally what I need. You can use my email on home page - almanar@pd.jaring.my
Tulislah dalam bahasa Melayu kalau itu lebih selesa kepada Encik/Cik.
Salaam dari Pakcik