22 May 2012

A forced rest

In brief:

There was more stealing of telephone cable for copper. Almanar line was down for four days; hence my excess to the cyber world was out. I have just heard that one of the two culprits was beaten up and died after three days in ICU with broken skull.

Stremyx line is well and healthy now but Pakcik, on the other hand, is under the weather. Hopefully, it would not too long before the old computer can begin to spin something.

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan

13 May 2012

Pakcik reminisces ( Pt 24 ) – My Brickfields, the Little India,


Today is 13th May, a date which brings back sad memories of this day forty years ago – May, 1969 (click here for the earlier posting). Fate had it that I was made to play a role following the tragic incident of that day. Brickfields happened to be the focal point for me. Coincidentally this little enclave of Kuala Lumpur, now the Little India, played an important role in the early days of Pakcik’s family as well.
One posting may not do justice to the importance of Brickfields to me and family. So this one is likely to be followed by another at a suitable time later

 Kuala Lumpur 13th May, 1969


My recent trip to K Lumpur

By coincidence I got swept by the flood of traffic along Lornie Drive ( now Jalan Syed Putra ) into Brickfields Road (now Jalan Tun Sambathan). A sense of panic was beginning to creep in when, to my relief, I caught sight of a vaguely familiar school grounds and buildings I knew so well as La Salle (Primary) School. Hence I knew where I was driving and heading for. In those days I could probably proceed blindfolded from that point. As expected a row of old two-storey shop building came into view on my left. There used to be the large Anthonian bookstore which I frequented long, long ago before the birth of today’s larger bookstores.

Following that building there should be a familiar hotel on my right just before coming to a three-way junction. I had intended to turn left into Traverse Road and to Bangsar, but I found myself too late and was again swept staright ahead.  Had I turned left I should pass a building which housed a clinic used to be run by a Dr Rashid Malal, a distinguished Malayan amateur golfer. This fellow member of RSGC (Royal Selangor Golf Club) was our family doctor for years and years.

So I missed that left turn and had to go straight. Immediately on my left I could see in my mind's eye the picture of an oil depot with a tank farm containing some six huge cylindrical steel tanks standing upright in a bund wall. (The wall was designed to contain oil spillage in case of an incident which should never happen) Those huge tanks contained petrol, diesel and kerosene which supplied consumers in and around Kuala Lumpur. I was made to be in full charge of that complex during the infamous May 13th 1969 riot to make sure that the police and the military vehicles would have uninterrupted supplies of fuel. I was a civilian with a curfew sticker on my car driving the deserted and eery streets of Kuala Lumpur. 

All those oil tanks had gone and now I was approaching KL Central instead.  Gone was the parcel office of KL Post Office where I had to go sometimes to collect parcels posted from abroad which needed to be checked by Customs office for dutiable goods. On my right I should see a long row of two-storey shop building  where I used to have lunches. In particular there was a Makcik shop, a very good family restaurant serving genuine Malay foods. I am certain that Malay shop was long gone.

I wonder if I did pass Scott road and the old cinema. Before I knew it I was again being swept by traffic into the road leading to Pudu Raya and into Mountbatten Road (now Jalan Raja Chulan - Oop, I am wrong said GUiKP in his comment below. It should be Jalan Tun Perak. You see, I still live in the past, Batu Road, Foch Avenue etc.) From there all was familiar again. At last I was out of the wood.

How did Brickfield become so prominent in the life of my family?

Fifty years ago this year I started my working career in Singapore where the multinational I worked for had its  regional head office. From time to time I was to travel to its KL office which was not very far from Brickfields, and also to visit  the oil depot mentioned above. For my convenience, on each of my trips to KL a room was booked at a reasonably good hotel within a walking distance from the depot and also from a ‘taman selera’, a well frequented row of food stalls along the road past La Salle school. I belive this 'taman selera' is still in existence.

On one of my visits to KL office I returned to the hotel fairly early and without the normal company of an office colleague.  Early in the evening I drove to the ‘taman selera’ and returned to the hotel immediately after having my supper.  I decided to stay in to catch up with my work.

It was near midnight when there came gentle taps on my door. I wonder who could the late visitor be. Immediately on opening the door there was whiff of perfume and a young pretty face was smiling straight into my eyes. “ Saya datang kalau encik hendak apa apa. Saya boleh tolong.” was her gentle stream of words. I knew what a suitable answer ought to come out from me.

My oh my! Did this bachelor executive look lonely enough and still hungry after after that supper? He was sorry that he had too much work to finish! Or shouldx she be invited to finish off his work? Anyway that was his last stay at that hotel, a place and an incidence to remember. 

Insya Allah I will have more serious subjects to write about in due course.

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan.

08 May 2012

Natural growth

I have no skill in planting anything. Dig a hole and bury the roots and let the plant grow, if it decides to grow. Water it if necessary at the beginning. At least that is my philosophy - rooted in laziness according to Makcik. Makcik, of course, has her own views and her own ways.

More than a year ago, I took out from the pots a few of her orchid plants and wrapped them round a couple of casuarina trees (pokok ru) around our house with some coconut husk to keep the roots covered and damp. Speaking out with authority, I convinced Makcik that plants would grow well in their natural ways. No one goes around the deep jungle watering orchids of all kinds and giving fertilizers. After all that was how I planted those casuarina trees in the grounds of our house. They grew sky high forcing us to have a few shortened down to roof height. My reasoning sounds logical enough I am sure. Believe it or not look at the results of FREE growing.

On casuarina stem


On casuarina stem

Whatever-is-called growing healthy on coconut trunk- old leaves hanging down 

One of these days Almanar will offer courses on Natural Growth ( plants, not children)! We will need to call on expertts like Temuk to be our guest lecturers.

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan

01 May 2012

Child abduction

The two of us were in KL last week for a couple of days. On Friday our grand-daughter, a Standard Six pupil of Sekolah Kebangsaan Bukit Damansara (SKBD), was all very bubbly and excited to tell us something on alighting from her school bus. A man tried to abduct a Standard Five girl from her school.

In that incident a man approached one girl to tell her that her mother was not well and he was to take her home. The girl had the presence to get the school office to contact her home. That was fortunate for the family.

The school was quick to call a meeting of parents on the following day to brief what had taken place and security measures to be made with immediate effect. Altogether THREE abduction attempts had been made at that school within one week.   

Sunday papers carried this news and that of a successful abduction at another school about six kilometers away,but the abductors were not as lucky at SKBD. The following Sunday papers carried the news. 

Sunday Star 29/4

SKBD which is about two kilometers from our house in Damansara Heights.
The culprits seemed to have done their homework, having a good idea of their intended victims. For a start it is easy to assess a child’s backgrounds studying in this particular school. One simply needs to watch which child is being sent and fetched by which chauffer-driven car and to which home the child is taken back to; and there are many big cars and luxurious homes in this particular locality. As our grandchildren belong to the minority group who board school buses we draw some comfort from this fact. Nevertheless, as we have three grandchildren in that particular school we are no less concerned.

We hope visitors to this blog will bear in mind this new threat to our small children.

 Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kkemanusiaan