26 May 2013

I met my seniors ( Pt 1 ) – Don’t trust IC number

Why is it so hard for some to declare their age? We need to steal a glance at someone’s Identity Card and the number tells it all. It is as easy as that, isn’t so?

One of my lunching friends from the Group of 1955 says that according to his IC number he was born in early 1936 making him 77 now. Discreetly he keeps reminding me that he expects respect from me because he is very much older, hence my senior.  His elders helped to cheat on his date of birth to make him young enough to be eligible to join the Secondary English school after completing his Primary Malay School.  I have heard this sort of claim from elder members of my family. It was normal before our Independence, before we even thought of IC. So if I say I am 76, showing my IC as proof, you need not believe that I am that YOUNG! I could have cheated to convince my Makcik that I was not too old to be married to!  In short, this friend I often go to lunch with, is my senior. I call him Dzul for Dzulkifli, spelt differently from the accepted spelling, Zulkifli.  Now do not let me digress into explaining the reason/reasons for the spelling of his name. If I do that I would be tempted to tell the world that I own THREE names, all legally documented, plus at least two other names. Persons of my age group and older would do wonders with age and name just for a simple reason.


My senior, Dzul (L) and Hj Abubakar

Lesson to learn: Do not always trust an IC number nor trust the name shown!

Knowing that Dzul is senior to me, not just in age, mind you, I give him his due respect. At times I salute him in recognition of his old position as a Major, a commanding officer in the Territorial Army (Askar Wataniah), for which he was awarded with PJK, AMN etc and I am just a simple Pakcik, full stop. You see, he was all for voluntary work long before I understood what services for the community meant. Now let us go back to this IC business.

One day last week, on my way home from shopping with my other half I was waved down at a road block strategically set up soon after a sharp bend. I always think that this is a devious and an unfair way to catch an errant motorist like me. Standing humbly in front of the police man I did not have to see his IC to tell that the he was a young officer paid to do a job.  And I knew it too well, why I had been stopped. Both of us, my good wife and me, did not have our safety belts fastened. Dutifully, as requested, I handed over my driving license and Identity Card.  At the same time I pleaded to be excused.

Encik ( Mr ), we have just come out from a shop around the corner. Pakcik ( I )am an old man and I have no intention of breaking the law willfully. Please look at Pakcik’s age on the IC. An old man like me forgets some time. I cannot drive very fast and we are close to our home.”  

It was the power of suggestion and my addressing myself as a humble ‘Pakcik’ (Uncle) instinctively made him look at my IC number to determine my age. Well, I knew it worked when I saw his face breaking into a smile. Changing to a much gentler voice he addressed me,  Pakcik, my father and you are of the same age. Pakcik may go now. Please, don’t do it again.” If only he realised that it was my third time to be caught and all were at the same spot as well!

You see what happened when one believed an IC number. 

Any way I will remember to fasten my seat belt before coming to that sharp bend again in future. As I have to pass that almost every day I hope I would automatically fasten my seat belt before reaching that corner.  The fourth time may not be as lucky. Someone may be sneaking behind a tree somewhere before the corner scrutinising me and my seat belt.


That is just the prologue to this short series. It is all about age and IC numbers.

My yesterday class at Almanar started late, at four in the afternoon to be precise. Having so much time to myself, from morning until four, I contacted my lunching ‘senior’, Dzul and suggested a drive to Kuala Berang about 40 Km away from K Terengganu. A week earlier there was a short write-up in a daily about a man named Idris who was 109 and healthy. That intrigued and prompted me to learn the secret of longevity!

As planned, the two of us left his house at nine sharp. It was a pleasant morning’s drive with me co-piloting my ‘senior’ driver. Soon he was getting irritated with the number of traffic lights he had to stop and start. Believe it or not we had to go through 30 traffic lights on that 40 Km trip to Kuala Berang. On our way back I did the counting, meticulously giving a tick on a piece of paper each time we reached a traffic light along the four-lane highway. Terengganu city planners seem to have special craze for traffic lights and one-way streets!

To pacify Dzul I expounded the theory behind the number of traffic lights and one-way streets. Our learned city planners want to be sure that visitors to beautiful Terengganu drive round in circles and stop at as many places as possible and go round in circles in order to make them stop to watch and appreciate the beauty of this city and its environments, instead of whizzing through without as much as digesting messages on the many gigantic billboards along the roads and at road junctions. Keropok lekor and nasi dagang should not be the only reason for ‘visit Terengganu year’.  

In Kuala Berang we were joined by another senior person. His name is Hj Abu Bakar, a cousin of Dzul’s father, and he is 84 years old, according to his IC. Looking at Dzul and his Pak-sepupu ( father-cousin) I do believe he is 84.  

It is not inappropriate to make a stop here. I have more things to write about these senior people mentioned above.

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan.


Ismail aka Pak Mail said...


Salam. Looking at the photo, your 'senior' does not seem to be 77. He seems much younger. Perhaps you are right about not to believe at someone's age when looking at the IC.

And thank you Pakcik for often frequenting visiting my blog though not having much interesting content.

Anonymous said...

AK, I have just gone through your blog @ 3.15pm having to do something much earlier. well thank you for mentioning me in the blog. As usua we have a lot to relate to each other, may be more some other times when we sit down and chit.As for know I cannot speaaaak, ha ha ha.dzul

kaykuala said...

Dear Pakcik,
When we joined the FMC in Form 3, we were supposed to be 15yrs old (some younger). But those from the East Coast at that age were bulging with muscles. Their Birth certs were statutory declarations some with just the year declared. Others had months but no dates.

Biologically most were older than their declared age. It didn't bother us we thought until we had to meet them on the football field (the first game of the season) Invariably most of us got the end of the stick from them. Football boots aimed at the ankles or knees and not the ball were disasters! I remember those!


Al-Manar said...

Dear PakMail,

If that 'senior' person looks younger then I would look even younger! Please, do not try to flatter me, my friend.

Thank you for your early arrival.

Al-Manar said...


PakMail says you look younger than your age. You will have to take me for dinner to enjoy on his behalf.

Al-Manar said...


East Coast children are tough by nature because of Keropok Lekor! One very dear friend, Datuk Mustapha Awang, left us to join form four (then Std Eight) at FMC in 1954 - in Singei Besi I think. He would have a chance to reach the very top military post had he not been called to meet HIM in a helicopter crash in Sarawak. He was a typical tough person - My AlFatihah my him.

Nur Emyinda said...

Salam Pakcik,

People can be identified old because of some changes in their activities or social roles. For example: when they become grandparents, or when they are retired from their job (when they begin to do less or different work). Euphemisms; is the term - old, elderly.

Well, reading this entry reflects something worthy to ponder. Age is just numbers actually. Wisdom comes with age. Thus,Pakcik

i. managed to be excused from the offence made with the excuse given (hahaha...not all doing the same is lucky)
ii. deserved to be respected by the young officers...being elderly @ father.

Words of wisdom there is: Grow old gracefully...be happy.;-D
God bless!

abdulhalimshah said...

Dear Pak Cik,
Birth certificates were only introduced when the British introduced it for the purpose of filling up the Register of births, so that they could keep track of the number of people they have under their administration. Thus the Malays adapt its use very well to serve a purpose. Maybe it was their way of circumventing the rules to get by.

Al-Manar said...

Nur Emyinda,

WAKSalaam to you too.

You write with ease of conviction making me feel that your are my 'senior' as well. Give me your IC number!

It is heart warming to feel that you have given your busy time to digest my rambling above and to give some feed-back.

Al-Manar said...

Akhi AHS,

Did you take advantage as well? I suppose you did not, being a disciplinarian. Coming to think of it I cannot remember the use of thumb prints in those days. Practically all signatures were in Jawi. I had mine as well then. On the other hand, not every elderly person went to school then, but every one knew Quran, hence the Jawi script - my sore point on the enthusiasm to 'rumanise' Malay language.

Nur Emyinda said...

Salam Dear Pakcik,

My IC? Hehehe...not to worry about those numbers anyway...For sure and i'm definite you are much my SENIOR. U deserved the utmost respect from me actually ;-)

Im honoured to get someone like you reading my not-so-interesting blog contents and thus leaving positive comments; like yours...so, its my pleasure to reply then. Thanks again Pakcik. Btw, "all work and no play makes Combi a dull girl" hehehe...so in the midst of my busy schedules and work, i'll always try to find time "to be with" my cyber friends...;-D

ahmad humairi said...


Umur hanyalah angka. Ada yang awet muda dek kerana mengamalkan makanan kesihatan yang berlambak di pasaran sekarang!

Semakin bertambah angka semakin meningkat pengalaman - ini yang polis respek ni.......cuma jangan selalu lupa dahlaa..

Al-Manar said...

Nur Emyinda,

We all possess different tastes in blogging; in language, style, subject matters etc. We cannot please everyone and I do not think we should. I comment freely, at times rather sarcastically.

So if you choose not to disclose your IC I have to respect that. Just keep it close to your chest.

Al-Manar said...

WAKSLaam Cikgu Humairi,

Age can be a very sensitive matter, Cikgu. Kadang2 saya rasa tidak mahu beri tahu bila ditanya. Umpamanya kalau yang bertanya kelihatan uzur dan umurnya jauh lebih muda dari saya. Terasa takut memberi kesedihan kepadanya. Betul umur panjang pendek bukan ditangan kita.

aliya said...

Dear Pakcik,
Chinese always count the gestation year which means that if you were born after that year's chinese new year, you're already a year old on chinese new year day.Born in January, I was already counted as a 2 year old girl on chinese new year 1971 when I was only a month old!

naliahmad said...

Dear Pakchik,

This is a very amusing read.

I think the numbers on my IC stand a 50% chance of being awry. while the year is correct, the day and month are pretty questionable. This is because on my birth certificate, my date of birth is stated as January 26th while the date the report was made is January 2nd of the same year, which means my birth had been reported even before I was born. Either date may be erroneous, or worse, both! I am just thankful they got my name right. I have heard so many horror stories of misspelled
names on older birth certificates.

It would be very interesting indeed to know all your names. But no matter how many names you may have, to me, you shall always be my Pakchik Hassan.

School Of Tots said...

Dear Sir. Nice posting as always. Looking forward for more narration on the beauty of rezki from Allah called AGE.

Al-Manar said...


This is the very first time I hear about this kind of ageing. Chinese did not build the Great Wall for the fun of it, invented abacus in a dream, nor cook up the herbal mredicine without proven results and basis. May I seek your agreement to post something on this subject one of these days? Otherwise I would love to have you as a guest writer for a special posting on this very itriguing subject, would you, please, consider?

Salaam to you and family

Al-Manar said...


Obviously you do not know and I should not say this; but for a small fee I will tell you. I was discretely told that you have a twin who was given away and is now liiving near our house. So there was a mix-up in the IC.

As for my names, my parents had wanted fifteen children but were blessed with so few, each of us has a number of names to make up the fifteen, beating you.

tinta sakuradesa said...

AsSalam Pakcik,

A dedication to you,

Stones in the Road from the album Essential Mary Chapin Carpenter:

"When we were young, we pledged allegiance every morning of our lives
The classroom rang with children's voices under teacher's watchful eye
We learned about the world around us at our desks and at dinnertime
Reminded of the starving children, we cleaned our plates with guilty minds"

and also;

End of the Line by The Traveling Wilburys from the album Vol. 1

"Well it's all right, even if you're old and grey
Well it's all right, you still got something to say
Well it's all right, remember to live and let live
Well it's all right, the best you can do is forgive"

Life is beautiful Pakcik. Live it to the fullest!All i can say from my reading of your blog entries and your now commitments, u sure do have a heart of gold. MasyaAllah, may All The Almighty blessed u always...


p/s Pakcik, dont ask me how its melody like, i just got to know the lyrics ;-D

Al-Manar said...

School of Tots,

I am pleased I have written something simple and is to your liking. There are a couple of parts related to this but I may have a short break. I get bored myself with too much of one thing. It must the AGE don't you think?

You have varied interests as well. I am guilty of visiting without leaving my 'visiting card' as I used to on your blog long ago. Your side bar shows a good list of bloggers. After reading your posting I glance through your list of updated bloggers to pick ones I fancy to visit.

I hope your 'anak Bongsu', a clever child, is keeping well in the new environment. Aren't you lucky>

Al-Manar said...

Tinta Sakuradesa.

WALKSalaam to you.
That is a high praise I do not feel I deserve. I am not into songs as I used to but still play the oldies (Nat King Cole, Broery, Idris Sardi, Fairuz for Arabic songs etc)when I am at the wheel on a long drive with my sleeping beauty beside.

You must learn the melody and come over to serenade one of these days!

All the best, Sakura.

tinta sakuradesa said...

AsSalam Pakcik,

May Allah The Almighty blessed ypu always...

Well Pakcik, be assured you are in close doors and windows or be ready with raincoats and huge umbrellas or perhaps an enormous canopy for it might be a heavy thunderstorm due to my singing of those songs ;-D.

p/s ... perhaps, let me just try out the " do re mi so fa la ti do - do ti la fa so mi re do" and see how it goes for a start... ;-p

Al-Manar said...



That is good enough for me and thak you.

Awang Goneng said...

My old IC (the one with your face peering from an oval shaped clear plastic) began with 11...I wish they'd allowed me to keep that. I'd wow the kids with my year of birth, 1511.

Al-Manar said...

Awang Goneng,

Mi, Abang Ngah took 'anak buah Kak Mah' to Pasar Kedai Payang which they had heard so much. Of course I landed up poorer by a few ringgits. Pushing our was through the holiday crowd I could not help thinking of the future of this part of my past. I have lost my musuem-rated home, Pak Lah Yunan's bbok shop and this I will as well during my life time? On the way home I had to buy today's Sunday to read your 'nonsense'. There it was more about Kedai Payang.

I could not help taking a sweep at town planners for their skill in turning KT CITY roads into a series of F1 circuits with lots and lots of traffic lights.

Before the recent election Abang Ngah was asked about its outcome. Jokingly, I prophesied that the residents of the whole area from Batu Buruk all the way through Tanjung to Kedai Payang would oust their YB. One restaurant I go often with friends for lunch on Jalan Tanjung Kapur has closed down because of one-way-street. Now we know. But do all human beings with heads have brain?

Salaam to Zaharah and all.

ninotaziz said...

I was worried when I saw the title of your post. I couldn't bear to read another post election allegation. Thank goodness it was nothing of the sort.

I have come to a crossroad and His Almighty is making it very easy for me to choose as He sends me little assurances here and there that Insyaa Allah it will be alright. And I have learned to have more faith in His guidance.

I will be on Radio 24 Thursday night around 9.15pm if you'd care to tune in. The next day I leave for Jogja to attend the International Congress of Asian Folklores - I have never been to Indonesia. I am thrilled.

Al-Manar said...


The fruit of labour is sweet. Yours is sweerer than many others' because you have toiled over it and are finally tasting the result. Makcik and I are happy for you.

With greater faith in Him all will be well for you, insya Allah