29 July 2010

With a sigh ( Pt 3 ) - good news ?

Two news items left me heaving sighs of different kinds.


A) ‘Sekolah pelajar hamil tetap ditubuh’ ran the head-line in a local daily.

That is truly fantastic. This will help girls who have prematurely ventured into marital activities. The presence of this ‘special’ school will offer these young mothers a chance to continue their studies - especially in Biology, I suppose!

Thinking aloud, if such a school proves successful, with many of them churned out as experienced gynecologists by our universities of ‘ bertaraf antara bangsa’, many more girls may see this as an incentive to ‘qualify’ joining this very exclusive school – (nauzu billah)

At the end of our class one day last week a Form 1 girl whispered gleefully to Pakcik that a Form 3 girl she knew had given birth prematurely and was now out of school; and she is from a poor family. So would the ‘dream’ school solve such a family’s problem?

Shouldn’t I draw a sigh of relief that someone has found a brilliant answer to one of our increasingly serious social ailments?


(B) ‘Kekalkan UPSR, PMR’ runs the front-page head-line of another daily.

Malay Consultative Council (Majlis Perundingan Melayu) which represents 126 Malay NGO’s wants that the two current examinations be retained.

The final decision has not been made but I hope the power that be will hear the voice of this large group. Thus far I have refrained myself from making any comments on the current hotly debated issue.

We have been having enough issues with our current education system to delve into more. To me our efforts ought, in the first place, to be coordinated to improve the quality and competency of present and future teachers to enable them to be truly qualified to teach effectively the subjects they are assigned to. Secondly, the principles and heads of schools must have the skill in managing an organisation. We can win half the battle by improving weaknesses in these two areas. Improving salary scales and more opportunities for promotion may not help much. It is worse if promotions are politically influenced and nepotism is allowed to flourish. How often do we hear that ‘so-and-so should have never been there’?

Teachers introduced into schools around 1950's and 1960’s were a class of their own. They were trained at various centres in Malaya (then) including the two very famous training colleges in Tanjong Malim and Malacca, and the two premier colleges in Kirkby and Wolverhampton. At the end of their training they were credited with just diplomas, not the glorified degrees of today. But they were excellent and dedicated educationists.

What did the authority in those years do right? Do we have to reinvent the wheel? Kereta lembu used to have hard wooden wheels. If there is one today it would have tyres and tubes, or tubeless for that matter!

Many would not agree with my comments. Of course we are all entitled to make. After all I was never trained to be an educationist. But I am sure many would join me in giving a salute to MCC or MPM for their stance.

And here I heave a sigh of relief.

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk Kemanusiaan

19 July 2010

Moment to Reflect (Pt 1) - Bila Musim Durian Tiba - berguguranlah

When autumn leaves begin to fall
Bila buah durian mula luruh kebumi
Sepuluh budak hitam


This morning a phone call from an old classmate brought the sad news that one of our normal biweekly lunch group of four passed away in KL following a heart operation... Ten days ago I called him up for our lunch, my turn to host, but he declined, not feeling too well. That was the last time I heard his voice.

So an Indian member of my lunch group has left us. In our group were one Indian, one Chnese and two Malays, a true Malaysian community, closely knit without false and pretension.

So I have lost another of my group of ’55. He is the 14th to leave us of the original group of 42. Yes, out of forty two fourteen, ONE THIRD, have gone. Who will be No. 15th ?

Two days ago I bought four very good local durians from a roadside seller. He had only about twenty fruit, all from his trees. “I know my durians, pakcik. They are good. Musim tahun ini tak panjang.” I paid the price he asked for and left to enjoy the fruit with my family.

It is just like “Musim durian dah tiba dan akan berakhir when the last has fallen”, a reminder.
And this afternoon I received the following e-mail from my daughter:

‘Just to inform babah that my ex-school mate, a cancer patient, died this morning’

Dalilah Tamrin has departed. I often visited her blog to read and to admire the thoughts of an exceptional hamba Allah. She was one of those whose attitude towards life inspired me in my work. I listened to her words in the song composed, and I felt the way she felt of the unavoidable truth.

It is just like “When autumn leaves begin to fall”, a reminder

May Allah reward her with mercy


Biarlah kita

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan

09 July 2010

With a sigh (Pt 2) -Tak adakah siapa yang nampak?


Pakcik’s June 8th posting carried the following news items:

“MB instructed for a thorough investigation into the alleged case of sixteen girls in a secondary school in this city being found pregnant.” ran a line in a local newspaper.

Isn't this a 'good' and early start ?

Now Pakcik will add recent news of this famous city of ‘persisiran pantai’.

‘As many as 10 couples are caught daily by anti-vice volunteers along the Tok Jembal and Teluk Ketapang beaches, which are increasingly becoming favourite haunts for sexual trysts………Many of them are said to be students from institutes of higher learning.’

So, at last, it has progressed to the institute of higher learning of ‘taraf antara-bangsa’ no less!

A state executive councilor was reported to say that ‘These activities could lead to moral decay among our youths if we keep mum on the matter ……’ and he planned ‘to suggest to the state government to light up both beaches and intensify patrols at the areas’.


? ? ? ?

So, what do we do Mr Holmes?

Elementary, my dear, Watson, elementary
This definitely has to do with the beautiful beaches. If it is hard enough as it is to maintain the city street lights can you do it for hundreds of kilometers of beaches? So remove the sand,Watson. Be a sand exporter of taraf antara-bangsa. Of course you will destroy the beaches. After all you ‘bakar kelambu kerana nyamok seekor,’ right?


The Message


Tak adakah yang nampak ?

The following minor incident took place at an Al-Manar class early this year.

Aliya (not her real name), a frail looking girl of thirteen, had joined our class of Form One about one month earlier. Whenever Pakcik talked she listened and stared at Pakcik attentively from her seat in the second row. But when everyone else was busy copying what was written on the white board, Aliya bent her head over her friend’s book, copying from it and never bothered to look up like others. Obviously she had problem with her eyesight. “Aliya, why don’t you use your glasses on the table?” I questioned her.

It turned out that the pair of glasses in front of her belonged to her elder sister. She borrowed it to come to Almanar. It helped her along the road somewhat but not good enough to read the board.

Hearing the explanation I asked her to move to the front row. But it was still not good enough. The best I could do for her was to make her sit right across my table, with the white board barely two meters away from her. Lo and behold, it was still not good enough.

Where did she sit in her class at school? Well, the answer was in the second row.

I questioned myself, ‘tak adakah seorang guru yang nampak? If there was one did he/she really care to do something?”

To borrow Quranic ayat in Al A’raf : 179- (in different context) :” ……they have hearts with which they fail to grasp the truth, and eyes with which they fail to see, and ears with which they fail to hear. They are like cattle …..”



Aliya was not the first case. We had another early this month. Both could not be more deserving to get the glasses for free. I can understand how their humble parents feel to walk up to the majestic building called school in their slippers to seek help.

With the help of Al-Manar’s well wishers both children can now see the light; more motivated knowing that there are people who care. After all each pair cost RM 89/= , insignificant to many but meaningful to a few.

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan