Sunday, October 31, 2004


One of the first koleq words that I learnt by heart was SPEKONG (modified from the English word ‘speaking’, it refers to an act of speaking in thick state dialect). In my early days at Prep School, I identified myself with my fellow Terengganunese (if there is such a word), so Wong, Ja, Toje, Awie, Zahadin and I were marked as being in one clique by the powers-that-be and the rest of the batch (technically Shahrin Jaminan was also from Terengganu, but he was a Johorean residing in Terengganu, so he could not speak perfect or fluent Teghanung Kite).

Our main rival for a clique was the ‘Klik Utagha’, with Mpro, Epit, Sheppe etc. as members (later on a confused Johorean considered himself as part of ‘Klik Utagha” too – refer to M Sazali Said aka Bobo).

These cliques must have driven the prefects mad, for apparently when one is a Prep School prefect, one has the ability to predict what will happen five years down the line. After a while I got a feeling that the prefects were quite worried that this clique phenomenon would disrupt the batch’s harmony and unity (understandably so since as we go along people tend to align to certain groups, but then that’s human nature which you cannot reverse). I reckon the prefects made a conscious effort to break us apart, including (but not limited to) sending Awie, Ja, Wong and myself on an errand at around 3 am in the morning to ‘play’ volleyball and run around the Prep School field with the famous Nik Azhar (during the night when he was supposedly possessed! We all came back in one piece though, the only threat that night was the charging lembus which got really mad when they were disturbed in their sleep!).

Anyway, the prefects got their wish fulfilled too soon – after Form 1 we all drifted apart and by the time we were in Form 5 we hardly spoke to each other. Wong and I were still quite close since he was sitting in front of me in Form 3, but the rest drifted apart. I only spoke once to Zahadin after F2, that was a few weeks before SPM – and after a break of 10 years we did manage to say ‘Hi’ to each other (with his comment about my beer belly) during our last reunion. This is in spite of my being in the same kampung as his.

As for Ja, although we can be considered as still quite close throughout the koleq years (what with his pre-occupation with one of my F3s in 1994!), he went to Japan after SPM, got married and settled down there. I haven’t seen him since.

I met Toje during the last reunion, did exchange a few quick remarks and jokes (with Chodak being the common man between us), but it was a far cry from the time we used to congregate at his, or Zadin’s or Awie’s bed in Prep School laughing at stuff that other people did not understand.

As for Awie, he got married this summer and I failed to turn up (curse me!). It’s very sad if only to recall how close I was to him in F1, and coming from such a generous family, we budak Terengganu owed him a lot during our early days in MCKK.

But people move on, it’s only that once in a while you come across something that brings back the old memories, in this case the following exchange of e-mails:

Ha ha this is classic, if you want to appreciate Terengganu (especially yg kerja kat Terengganu), you will enjoy this. Mujo aku dok Teghanung......

Mujo (exclusive for Trengganunese only)
Saturday, October 23, 2004

Mujo or mujur in Standard Bahasa means "fortunate" or "lucky". In Terengganu it means more than that. Mujo is an attitude, a testament to the optimism of the Terengganu folks. I believe that Terengganunese are optimistic. I haven't heard of any suicides there yet. No news whatsoever of people jumping down from coconut trees or drinking expired budu (preserved anchovy thick sauce) neat in order to expire themselves. You must remember that Terengganu people lived with ferries, morning papers that came in the night and other things people in the West Coast take for granted. In spite of doing without 4D shops, discos, malls or Hot Spot-enabled coffee houses, they are surviving well without any mental hospital in sight. All because they have mujo.

Like I mentioned previously, mujo encapsulate a philosophy in itself. It means one should thank God that it is not worse.

Time for an illustration.

(Cut to a scene of 3 village ladies in their kemban washing clothes by the village well)

Mok Long Selamoh: Guane doh adik mung Mek?
(How is your brother Mek?)

Mok Teh Som : Bakpe pulok adik dia?
(What happened to her brother?)

Mok Long Selamoh: Laaa! Mung dok tau ke Som?
(You don't know Som?)

Mok Teh Som : Dok tau setarang baghoh kita.
(I don't know anything)

Mok Long Selamoh: Adik Mek ni kena langgor lori kemareng.
(Mek's brother was knocked down by a lorry yesterday)

Mek Beso : Bukang lori Mok Long, beng ikang!
(It wasn't a lorry Mok Long, it was a fish van)

Mok Long Selamoh: Mujo bukang lori!
(Lucky it wasn't a lorry)

Mok Teh Som : Pah tu? Terok ke?
(Then? Was he seriously injured?)

Mek Beso : Kaki patah sebelah......
(One leg was broken)

Mok Teh Som : Mujo dok patoh dua dua
(Lucky both legs weren't broken)

Mok Long Selamoh : Tu pong mujo dreba beng dang brek.
(It was lucky that the van driver braked in time)

Mek Beso : Mujo beng tu dok laju..
(Lucky the van wasn't going fast..)

(Fade to black.)

If both legs were broken, the response would be "Mujo dok pecoh pala"(Lucky the head wasn't broken). If the head WAS broken, the response would be "Mujo dok mati" (Lucky he didn't die). If the worst happened and the brother died, the mujo would still surface. "Mujo lah bukang adik kita"(Lucky it wasn't my brother). You get the drift.....

Mujo. A nice word. Adopt it. Embrace it. It will preserve your sanity.

oh my god! what a riot! aku gelak kuat nak mampus sampai bos aku ingat aku dah gila.

'mujo' ado oghe tganung hok ado maso buleh taip explaination for mujo...
kalo dok orhgang laing dok pahang menatang mende mujo tuh!!!

tapi bab budu tu kena investigate dulu... sensitive wooo...

He...heee...natang berayok mok....!!! Aku pung sebenor nyer memang dok guna sokmo doh perkataan 'mujo' nie terutama kalu masa 'safety talk'... Cakap tentang 'risk assessment'.... Memang 'mujo' perkataang unik orang teganung........ So joke kelako nie boley tamboh dalam presentation next time aku kot.......

Kelakar la perkataan mujo lucah jer......lagipun dekat dekat ngan perkataan muta...mujo= muta muta = mujo. Rough , muta tak de ke dalam kamus org terengganu?

Last time aku check perkataan "muta" still tak de dalam kamus orang Teghanung, neither did the phrase "astaga wa glebek nyeng was stepek wek" although it is commonly used by younglings from Terengganu yang baru pi ke negeri orang....

Impression: MCKK 1905-2005

I was in KLCC (again) last week, so in order to exhaust my tax rebate for books (RM700) I made a customary visit to Kino. Lo and behold, a commemorative book on articles written by budak koleq or others about MCKK was prominently displayed on the shelf.

Picked the book, paid and went straight to the car. While waiting for the engine to warm up, I flipped through the book – only to discover that most of my articles either in koleq mag or batch’s website (this or previous versions) were included in the book.

A quick glance of the book shows that it’s exactly what it says on its back cover – it’s a compilation, and boy did they just compile everything.

To a certain extent I was quite touched that some of the articles were immortalised in the book, although I wish I would be asked first. Most of the articles were very badly written, in my own opinion they were not up to the standard for publication. We have a problem in this batch – those who can write really well like Fazurin, Chamat or Jita are simply too lazy or could not be bothered to write articles to fill up koleq mag or the batch’s website, despite repeated requests and endless bitching from me.

To avoid the website project from degenerating into a ‘white elephant’ and laughing stock, I had to write the articles to fill up this website myself, hence the second-class quality of many of the articles.

Sometimes I wonder whether the Committee did read the articles first because some of them are not only badly written, they are very superficial to add the dramatic effects – and poor the prefects and other groups which always ended up as a punching bag in my articles! (I can tell I am going to have a very long talk with Nik Nazmi on this wink wink)

Anyway, with the inclusion of seven or eight articles on the Class of 94, it makes this batch one of the most documented batches in the book – ironic considering the reputation of this Class as a mediocre and erratic batch.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Of Joining The Rat Race

My F3, Ahmad Zakri Salleh has followed the footsteps of those before him in Dorm 21 – this smelly and rather mundane dorm has a track record lately of producing accountants, in fact in much higher proportion compared to other dorms. Zack recently qualified as a Chartered Accountant with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia (ICAA) after a stint at PwC, and is now attached to Petronas.

3 of my F5s in 1992 (the ones that I can confirm) turned out to be accountants – Epit Kassim did his ACCA a couple of years back, Amar graduated from Australia in Accounting, whilst Nazerk is lecturing in accountancy at MMU. Out of 6 Form 5s in my batch in 1994, four became accountants. I abandoned engineering for accountancy at the end of my university degree, Auzir went straight to Australia to do his accounting degree and post graduate studies (currently attached to BDO), Ayien was under accounting scholarship from TNB which he continued to serve till this day. Champ did his ACCA. Only Aslam and Mior continued with a profession or studies in engineering.

I was quite looking forward to seeing Zack after all these years – he was one of the nicer ones of my F3s who did not really work up my nerve. There were 2 other of his batchmates, Kamarul (who did ACCA in Ireland) and a F5 baru who was too quiet I couldn’t remember his name (excuse ma!).

Although we were only separated at most by a mere 24-month in age, I was quite surprised at the gap between our respective worldview and perspective of life. Here was I sitting down with young executives, fresh in joining the rat race and eager to make it big – as opposed to myself and Allen who are quite laid back about the whole thing. Sometimes I wonder whether my circle of friends are relatively not as ambitious as our peers each time I meet other people, or being outside KL makes me insulated from the ups and downs of the yuppie life and the rat race.

Names were dropped here and there about this guy and that guy from this batch and that batch doing very well. I exchanged understanding and cynical glance with Allen, both cynically moaning the dead end job we are stuck with (but somehow we are quite happy with it).

All in all it was a good time spent to catch with some of my juniors, who were not really close to me when I was in koleq. Not surprisingly, Zack still looks very much like the TV3 mascot in the mid-90s!

Monday, October 25, 2004

May Day For Justice Revisited

A slight change from the usual koleq-related blogs - after all MCKK will always be MCKK regardless of how much I devote my time discussing it here.

Tun Salleh Abas was removed from the Lord President Office in 1988 when I was in Standard 5. The removal, soon I discovered in the process of growing up, left a wound quite deep in my heart (and many others I suppose), for it was one of the first of a series of incidents which made a mockery of the notion of justice in this country. My sympathy to Tun Salleh went a bit further than usual because his origin in the padi field of Besut is more or less similar to mine, although we were separated by at least half a century.

The wound had not even begun to heal when the country was inflicted with another tragedy - both caused by the same man, Mahathir Mohamad. The events of 1998 had a greater impact on my value system, and it is then that I become overly cynical with the political establishment in this country.

One wishes that one day we can proudly announce to the nation and the world that the wounds are finally healed, that we as a nation can look forward to a better future and a future where justice is upheld supremely. But even if Malaysia ever rescues itself from the predicament it is in now - there is even graver acts of injustice perpetrated on hourly basis in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan and all over the world.

At least, it is in the brave people like Tun Salleh, who stayed true to his conscience, that we find strength to continue living in this difficult time without ever losing hope.

*ps - This batch lacks lawyers - to date there's only one practising lawyer, with the rest who did law degree opting for other careers (advisory etc.). This could be one of the few occasions that we actually lament the lack of lawyers among us (hope I will not regret this in the future).

The following is an introductory from Tun Salleh Abas's book May Day For Justice.

Mahathir was continually upset with the Judiciary because the verdicts in a number of cases went against the Government. According to then Deputy PM, Datuk Musa Hitam, one of his favourite slogans was "Hang the Lawyers! Hang the Judges!" From 1987, he intensified his verbal attacks against the Judiciary in the news media, making damaging statements which clearly demonstrated that he did not understand the role of the Judiciary as being independent from the Executive and Legislative arms of Government. That the Judiciary exists as a check-and-balance against the excesses of the Executive appeared to have been a concept he never fully grasped. Instead, he accused judges of the sort of political interference that would result in confusion and loss of public confidence in the Government. Hence, to curtail the powers of the Judiciary and subsume it beneath the Executive became one of his cherished dreams.

In April 1987, after an UMNO leadership contest in which Mahathir very nearly lost to Finance Minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, there were allegations that several delegates who had voted were drawn from branches not properly registered under the Societies Act 1966. An appeal was filed by eleven UMNO delegates to have the elections declared null and void. This was a very serious matter for Mahathir because if the appeal succeeded, fresh elections would have to be held and he might lose. The matter finally came before Justice Harun Hashim of KL High Court who ruled that under the existing law, he had no choice but to declare not just the elections invalid, but the whole of UMNO an unlawful society as well. The country and, more particularly, UMNO, went into a state of shock.

In most modern democracies, a political catastrophe of this magnitude would have result in the immediate resignation of the party's President and Prime Minister. But Mahathir did not resign. He informed the country that the Government would continue running the country. Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang and Tunku Abdul Rahman called for a vote in Parliament to establish Mahathir's legitimacy but those calls were ignored. Mahathir then set in motion the machinery to form a new surrogate party called UMNO Baru. His opponents, however, wanted the old party revived. The eleven UMNO delegates then launched an appeal in the Supreme Court to have the 1987 elections alone declared illegal and the party not an unlawful society.

Mahathir fully understood the danger to him of this pending appeal. He had to act quickly. In October 1987, he launched the notorious Operation Lalang in which at least 106 people were arrested and detained without trial under the ISA, including three very articulate critics, the Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang, political scientist Dr. Chandra Muzaffar and leading lawyer Karpal Singh. The official reason for the arrests was that a highly dangerous security situation had arisen but this has been strongly disputed as nothing more than a shameless fabrication. The broad sweep included even environmentalists and Consumer Association spokesmen. Four of the most outspoken newspapers -The Star, The Sunday Star, Watan and Sin Chew Jit Poh - had their publishing licences suspended. When, after five months, the papers were free to publish again, they were no longer the same.

Mahathir's next move was to push through Parliament far-reaching amendments to the Constitution so that the Executive gained in power enormously at the expense of the Judiciary. There was general indignation at this rude behaviour which shocked a good many people. The indecent haste and the fact that the amendments were made at a time when the Government's main critics were in detention, including the Opposition Leader and six vocal MPs and outspoken newspapers demoralized added further to the appalling injustice of the situation. Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia's beloved first Prime Minister, put it succinctly: "It was legal, but was it just?" Others noted angrily that the Constitution had been raped once again. In a speech, the outgoing President of the Bar Council, Param Cumaraswamy, said:

"The Prime Ministe's vile and contemptuous allegations, and the accusations levelled at the Judiciary and our judges left many shocked beyond belief. His speech which was full of venom, hate and spite with no substance whatsoever, illustrated his complete and total ignorance of the role of the Judiciary and the judicial process itself. He has indeed defiled and defaced the Constitution. It is surprising that those 142 MPs who voted in favour, after taking the oath that they would preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, had no compunction about destroying one of its basic structures."

One visiting parliamentarian was astonished at the lack of public debate. In his own country, he said, such amendments would have taken years.
Next, after having curbed the independence of the Judiciary, Mahathir set about destroying its integrity. This was the removal of Tun Salleh Abas as Lord President in 1988, a move which Tunku Abdul Rahman described as "the most shocking story in modern legal and judicial history,"

Tun Salleh Abas was a man of humble origins - his father was a sailor and small village trader - who rose to become Lord President, the highest judge in the land and head of the Judiciary while remaining a deeply religious man.

By March 1988, Mahathir's scandalous and violent public attacks on the Judiciary had so provoked the judges that Tun Salleh was obliged to call a conference. Twenty judges met in the Supreme Court one week after the debilitating and shameful Constitutional amendments were made. By unanimous agreement, a letter was drafted to the King (also the Sultan of Johore) and copied to all Sultans, expressing disquiet over various comments made by the Prime Minister. The letter was delivered on 25 March and Tun Salleh left soon after for medical treatment in the United States followed by a pilgrimage to Mecca. He had a most important duty to perform upon his return: he fixed the hearing of the crucial UMNO Eleven appeal for June and, because of its overwhelming significance, decided that a full coram of nine Supreme Court judges should hear this. Three days later, Tun Salleh was suspended from his official capacity by the King on recommendation of the Prime Minister. In the same hour that he received the suspension letter, the Acting Lord President, Tan Sri Abdul Hamid took the UMNO Eleven case out of the calendar so that the link between the two was difficult to deny.

Tun Salleh's suspension came after he refused to bow to Mahathir's pressure to either resign or retire, even though financial inducements were offered, including mention of a lucrative job in the International Development Bank in Jeddah. The initial reason given for the suspension was that the King had taken great displeasure over the letter Tun Salleh had written on behalf of all judges. According to official records prepared by the Attorney General, the King had requested Tun Salleh's removal in an audience with the Prime Minister on the "Wednesday morning of 1 May 1988" after the weekly Cabinet Meeting.

There are serious doubts as to whether this audience actually took place. The first of May 1988 fell on a Sunday, not Wednesday as the Attorney General recorded. Even if the day of week were corrected, there can be no Cabinet meeting on a Sunday. That the King expressed great displeasure only on 1 May, when he had in fact received the letter on 25 March cast further doubt over this assertion. It is difficult to believe that the King wanted Tun Salleh removed purely because he had protested about the public insults directed against the entire Judiciary by the head of the Executive. In any event, royal displeasure would not be a constitutionally valid ground for dismissal. Indeed, Mahathir advised the King as much in a letter written four days after this probably fictitious audience; however, the Prime Minister went further in the same letter to say that he would investigate Tun Salleh for any evidence of misbehaviour. In any event, the King did not clear up the mystery and, in an audience with Tun Salleh, actually asked the latter to step down without giving reasons although the Conference of Rulers had already asked for his reinstatement. Amazingly, Tun Salleh was suspended and a Tribunal set up to determine his fate before any formal charges were laid.

The Constitution does not provide for the removal of a Lord President. While the Tribunal need not be an inappropriate means, its composition was to say the least, disgraceful. It was composed of six acting and retired judges, although the Constitution required an odd number to prevent deadlock. Of these -four from Malaysia, one from Sri Lanka and one from Singapore -only the Sri Lankan enjoyed a rank comparable to Tun Salleh's. This was contrary to the very reasonable dictum that one should be tried by one's peers rather than one's juniors. The fact that two retired Lord Presidents of Malaysia were available but not invited was glaring.

There were grave conflicts of interest with three of the Malaysian judges that should have disqualified them from sitting: Tan Sri Abdul Hamid who was next in line to succeed as Lord President and who had also participated in the conference of 20 judges which resulted in the letter to the King; Tan Sri Zahir who, being also the Speaker of the Lower House, was beholden to Mahathir, the principal complainant in the matter at hand; and Tan Sri Abdul Aziz who, although a former judge, was then a practising lawyer and, more incredibly, had two suits pending against him at that time. But Tun Salleh's objections were ignored and when the Bar Council issued a statement calling for the Tribunal to be re-constituted, both the New Straits Times and The Star refused to publish it. Further, it was decided that the Tribunal would sit in closed sessions although Tun Salleh had requested a public hearing.

The charges, when finally published, were manifestly absurd. Running over 12 sheets of paper, it was clear that quantity had been substituted where quality was lacking, and some of them actually related to Tun Salleh's behaviour after suspension. Many of them related to his speeches and press interviews, whereby sinister meanings were imputed to various innocuous comments that he had made. To cite an instance, in a speech at the University of Malaya, he had said: "The role of the courts is very important to bring about public order. If there is no public order there will be chaos in this country and if there is chaos, no one can feel safe" On this basis, Tun Salleh was charged with making statements criticizing the Government which displayed prejudice and bias against the latter. Another statement of his, "In a democratic system, the courts play a prominent role as agent of stability but they can perform this function only if judges are trusted," resulted in the charge that he had ridiculed the Government by imputing that it did not trust the judges. These charges were doubly ludicrous in the light of Mahathir's many poisonous attacks against the Judiciary.

It is not surprising that Tun Salleh, after reading this catalogue of fantasy crimes, refused to appear before what was so evidently a kangaroo court. The Tribunal, after refusing representations made by Raja Aziz, Tun Salleh's leading counsel, that it had no constitutional validity to sit, chose instead to proceed so hastily that it wound up deliberations, including the examination of witnesses with just four hours work. As it prepared to issue its Report, Tun Salleh's lawyers sought an urgent stay of proceedings in the High Court. This would normally be granted immediately at the least possibility that an injustice may be about to be done but, here, events turned into utter farce.

Instead of immediately reaching a decision as expected, the presiding judge, Datuk Ajaib Singh, after the court had been in languorous session the whole day that Friday, adjourned hearings for 9.30 am the next day. On Saturday however, the judge emerged in court only at 11.50 am and, even then, postponed hearings again for the Monday! In desperation, Tun Salleh's lawyers, knowing that the Tribunal could easily release its Report before then, sought the assistance of Supreme Court judge, Tan Sri Wan Suleiman, in his Chambers. The latter agreed to hear them in open court in half an hour's time and called a coram of all remaining Supreme Court, one of whom, Tan Sri Hashim Yeop, refused to sit. The soap opera reached an apogee of ridiculousness when Tan Sri Abdul Hamid, head of the Tribunal and Acting Lord President, gave orders for the doors of Supreme Court to be locked and for the seal of the Supreme Court to be secreted away!

Undeterred, the five Supreme Court judges ordered the policeman on duty to open the door forthwith. After less than half an hour, the Court ordered the Tribunal not to submit any recommendation, report or advice to the King. Tun Salleh's lawyers were typing the Order to serve personally to the Tribunal at Parliament House when news arrived that the gates of Parliament House had been locked! At this point, Justice Wan Suleiman rose to the occasion and, calling the office of the Inspector General of Police, told a senior officer that any impediment to serving the Order would constitute contempt of court. The gates of Parliament swung open and, at 4 pm, Raja Aziz and his team served the Order to the Tribunal members who were found to be still hard at work on a word-processor that Saturday afternoon. All six members accepted service without complaint.

It would appear that justice had at last prevailed but, four days later, all five Supreme Court judges were suspended. Almost every rule that was broken to suspend Tun Salleh was broken again to suspend them. The prohibition order they had made were revoked within days. A second Tribunal eventually reinstated three of the judge: Tan Sri Azmi Kamaruddin, Tan Sri Eusoff Abdoolcader and Tan Sri Wan Hamzah but Tan Sri Wan Suleiman and Datuk George Edward Seah were removed from office.

The UMNO Eleven case was quickly dismissed. The removal of Tun Salleh also saw the resignation of Deputy PM Datuk Musa Hitam who, according to popular wisdom, could no longer stomach Mahathir's ways.

Of Prefects etc.

So it was confirmed that MCKK now has F3 prefects. Where they are stationed or what will be their duties are not known, but the mere fact that they exist presumably creates a lot of excitement (and antagonise certain groups). There was a short discussion on the topic in the batch net, but after a while (as usual) they digressed.

Ramli, Fadli \(Corporate\)
21/10/2004 02:51 PM

how come very the banyak one anjing in koleq ??

60 ??...dah tu separuh batch anjing is it ??...

jadi orientation anjing ( is that the name ? ) jadi macam kenduri kahwin is it ?

kau dah check belum ada mandi bunga this year untuk 60 orang tu ??

sure hell it's gonna be a full swimming pool and habis sapu semua bunga tanam by MDKK....

M Sazali B M Said
20/10/2004 02:59 PM

60 total prefect laa.. F5 to F3, so most probably die letak 30:20:10..

M Nadzrie B Azhar
21/10/2004 03:18 PM

Aku rasa terbalik la.... 10:20:30

Ramli, Fadli (Corporate)
Thursday, October 21, 2004 2:56 PM

speaking about Chomang,

apa kabar dia ?..anyone tau the whereabouts of our former BELOVED PREFECTS ?

Pica - update kan Asyraf
Abun - update kan Jeril
Ayien - update on ID

siapa ada relationship lain dengan Chomang & Puyeng ?..cant think of any...

M Nadzrie B Azhar
21/10/2004 03:26 PM

Point tu yang paling aku setuju dgn ko wong... kalau tak pasal chomang paksa aku hafal zikir, wirid & doa tu, mesti aku lost jugak skrang ni.....

M Sazali B M Said
20/10/2004 03:15 PM

tau ler ko taknak orang tau ko nie orang ganu, tapi takdela semua yang ending with 'ng' ko delete 'g' die..

chomang in terengganu is still chomang in other states..

nie mcm bebudak utagha la ni, bola jadi bole (ikut vocab KL kunun)

M Rafizi B Ramli
21/10/2004 03:41 PM

Aku rasa kau dah tersalah konsep laaa Wong, seniority complex that they mean is more like junior takut kat senior... like Bala kena jerit kat Jach'a sebab Bala panggil dia Jaapa (pronounce "Jak-po").

Jach'a 92: Ko kenal aku tak...
Bala 94: Kenal bang (dengan confidentnya)
Jach'a 92: Sapa nama aku.... (muka ganas)
Bala 94: JAAPA.......

Ha ha ha dah lah tido kat belakang block F1, panggil orang Jakpo pulak tu....

Wan Azman
21/10/2004 03:21 PM

Puyeng aku jumper dia masa aku lawan bola dulu.... 2 years ago.. Kerja dgn
PJH ( Putrajaya Holdings ).... Actually aku main for my company lawan
PJH.... But suddenly aku dengar ada sorang mamat menjerit and sounds very
familiar macam 'ooo kauorang boleh gelak lagi yer..' ...tengok-tengok puyeng

M Rafizi B Ramli
21/10/2004 03:35 PM

Ni aku sah-sah ko tipu Wong..... tak caya laaa aku......

Sunday, October 17, 2004

We Screwed Up MCKK’s Tradition?

I picked this up from a notice board for budak koleq. There has always been discussions on the future of koleq and how things are run (mostly criticisms of the current way of running the school – deemed to be doing the school and the kids harm by not teaching them the “tradition”). Sometimes, out of boredom I would usually pick up the gauntlet thrown and give my opinions, although I noticed I had a knack for ending a thread of discussion. Each time I put forward my thought on an issue (especially MCKK-related issue), the discussion suddenly ends prematurely. So after a while, in order not to do a disservice to MCKK by ending any discussions on it, I refrain myself from participating (I can hear at the back a loud “yeah right!”)

Anyway, read this – quite interesting reading:

Idris House
Posted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 10:56 pm
Post subject: Is Losing Tradition A Threat

Sorry guys but i have to let this one out... of late, i am beginning to fear that the new hm is revamping the school...becoming more like an ordinary school. A lot of our beloved tradition which had been practised for so many years would be erased. I know, some of you guys think that time changes... so let us follow the flow. But isn't traditions supposed to be kept and taken care of? Coleq flourishes partly due to its age old traditions. If we take this away, what will be the things that differentiate us from the other schools? Below are some of the facts and the rumours, (remember! still rumours) that are quite rampant:

1. FACT - some of the present form 2's had been elected PREFECTS
2. RUMOUR - some of these F3s (in 2005) will be in Prep School
3. RUMOUR - some F2s will stay at Prep School next year
4. FACT - there will be 60 PREFECTS next year; F5, F4 and F3. Traditionally only 30+
5. RUMOUR - there would be no more cubes for the PREFECTS. Only the Custodians (Prep School & New Hostel) will get cubes. Reason: The PREFECTS would become like katak bawah tempurung and don't know about the welfare of the other boys in his dorm.
6. RUMOUR - The cubes would be turned into stores for luggage.
7. FACT - As of last week, Duty PREFECTS cannot go to town anymore
8. FACT - No more college rounds during Prep for the Duty PREFECTS. Reason: It interferes with their study
9. FACT - The Juniors don't recognize the PREFECTS due to #8 above
10. RUMOUR - As there is the Majlis Perlantikan Prefects, there will also be a Majlis Perlucutan Jawatan Prefects later this year or early next year for those who had been newly elected but do not perform...BUT the PREFECTS were not told about the criteria of what's considered 'performing'
11. RUMOUR - There will not be another Prefects Orientation Week (POW) (which had been carried on for years by MILES and MCOBA). The orientation will be done by BTN
12. FACT - The HM said that he doesn't like traditions
13. FACT - The HM doesn't like POW
14. FACT - Lunch is not compulsory (not sure when this started)
15. FACT - Duty Wardens must stay in school till the next morning (Warden room's at our ping pong room and furnished with beds and a fridge)
16. FACT - Some of these PREFECTS will take care of the Canteen, Dining Hall, Surau etc. They will be PREFECT CANTEEN, PREFECT SURAU and all those F**** Sh***
17. FACT - The use of bicycle had long been limited. There's a quota for each block.
18. FACT - The HM wants to abolish 'Seniority Complex'.
19. FACT - The HM still has 2 stickers of SDAR on his Unser but only 1 sticker coleq(OK...this item is purely sentiment...)
20. FACT - The school does not recognize Cinema Club as an organisation
21. FACT - Town leave is only on Saturday after inspection. Sunday needs permission.
22. FACT - There is a Sunday morning assembly with Games attire.
23. FACT - There is Sunday morning Prep after assembly till noon.
24. FACT - The Prefects cannot give punishment while the boys are a. sleeping 2.studying 3.eating.
25. FACT - Any physical punishment ( if there's any) to be given only during Games Hour
26. RUMOUR - The HM doesn't like Old Boys (to me, based on my interactions with him, this is a FACT)

Well, there are many others but these are the current ones and since the new Prefects had just been elected last Friday, obviously they take center stage.

Guys, please tell me that I am wrong...

Sulaiman House
Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 11:01 pm

imho, giving the new hm time to implement the new codes and suppressing the old ones is not the right way. it's harder to resurrect a dormant tradition. the main problem would be because the ones who should know the traditions aka seniors don't know them anymore. then, how can the traditions be resurrected again, i wonder? worser still, due to the absence of it, the boys would no longer identify with the traditions and that would make the resurrection that much more harder.

then, the only ones who would still be able to reinstill the traditions would be us the old boys. but we can only do so much. when the love for koleq, the speret koleq is no longer there, or at least not as strong as it has always been for generations of budak koleq, all our efforts would be futile. love is like a plant see, if it's not nurtured it would wither and die slowly.

just my 2 cents
But thy eternal Summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st.

Idris House
Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 7:01 am

It's true...due to some reasons. There seems to be a blackout period where such traditions had not been passed down or perhaps even though passed down, but not practised. I can see that one of the culprits could be Hassan Hashim.

Now you see why I just have to comment on this one despite my earlier remark that I usually exercise restraint – that blackout period inarguably includes 1994. In fact some people would have been more forthright in pointing out that 1994 was THE blackout period.

Most of the grouses or so-called threats against the “tradition” in the above posting revolve around the Prefects Board, of which some members in the 90s claimed to be the “Guardian of Tradition” (I had even seen an ex-prefect’s card given to juniors under his ‘guardianship’ with the “Guardian of Tradition” in bold). I was never a prefect or a biawak or anything in koleq – a mere budak biasa with no allegiance to anything but the memory and experience of Malay College. Some may point out that I therefore have an axe to grind, although if I were still obsessed with events in secondary school after all these years, frankly speaking I am quite ashamed of myself.

But it is important to scrutinise the Prefects Board, its strengths and weaknesses and its relationship with the general body of student in koleq, before we jump on the bandwagon of this “extinction of koleq’s tradition”.

When we were at the end of our Form 3 (end of 1992), the age old tradition of prefect selection was changed. Whereas previously prefects were selected by the teachers and the outgoing F5 prefects, a new system of “selection” was introduced. This is where the flaw first appeared, and this flaw continued to dog (no pun intended ha ha) the Prefects Board for many years to come.

When I was in my junior years, prefectship was considered of having some value, commanding a certain respect since the holder of that red badge, maroon blazer and maroon tie was appointed after a careful selection process by the teachers, wardens and the outgoing Form 5 prefects. Even this, however, did not guarantee that each student who by criteria should have been a prefect; became a prefect. There were a lot of examples – Raja Mohd Ariff Shah (Ayih of 91), highly respected and well regarded by teachers and juniors alike, chose not to become a prefect but a KPKM president. Likewise Zamir of 92, chose a similar “career” in koleq.

To put things in perspective, Malay College had long practised a dual-party system with each side (being the Prefects Board and Students Union – KPKM) presenting credible candidates and leaders - hence a stable albeit sometimes fragile balance of power was ever maintained each year.

This was set to change when the new system of selection was introduced at the end of our third year in koleq. For the first time, aspiring would-be prefects were required to submit application form and CV in order to be short-listed for selection. In retrospect, the intention was (and is, since it is still being practised) noble. It wanted to train MCKK would-be leaders to be able to write CVs and present themselves nicely on paper. However, whoever came up with this idea, never considered (or underestimated) the effect of such a system on prefects’ credibility for years to come.

The effect on the Class of 94 was plain enough – the number of applicants was extremely low with most people who were expected to become a prefect, abstained from applying. Leadership is an issue of recognition and respect – and Malay College boys have long been indoctrinated that respect is earned, not given. As such a lot of people – egoistic as they were, but budak koleq by nature are egoistic – thought it was unnatural for “leaders” to go and seek recognition and respect. Recognition should be accorded to these “leaders” as a mark of respect – either by being appointed to a prefectship, or elected as a KPKM Exco. Either means has its own legitimacy in MCKK.

The resulting Prefects Board therefore was made up of motley crew of people - who sometimes did not entirely gain the respect that should have been accorded to a prefect that to a certain extent, they became the butt of certain people’s jokes during our time. It was unfair for them since they paid a high price for that opportunity to be leaders in MCKK – the majority of those appointed this way from my batch either lost their job (i.e. got the boot out – so this Majlis Perlucutan Jawatan is not particularly a new thing in MCKK) or left MCKK completely at the end of 1993. The repercussions are sometimes too harsh and cruel to mere 16 year olds.

I got the impression that this is still happening this year in MCKK. The so-called “Guardians of the Tradition”, as a result of flawed selection process, are not entirely the typical excellent students you would expect to become a prefect. I was told that many of them have academic problems, or that they are mostly made up of those who excel in sports (which by tradition fare a little bit worse in study) since they were the ones who did apply and so on. Gone are the days when a prefect commanded such a respect that he constantly received a standing ovation during the assembly, like Adlan Benan of 1990 (despite being a burung, MCKK’s euphemism for a new Form 4).

Thus the first thing to do, in order to combat this so-called “extinction of traditions” is to tackle root causes of the problem. Ensure that the prefects selected have natural calibre i.e. those who would have been the natural leaders of his batch with or without that red badge, maroon tie and blazer. In each batch there will be a group of these “natural leaders”, to whom his batch mates will eventually gravitate to and become separate groups within the batch. It is usually these natural leaders who determine the direction of one’s batch and subsequently MCKK’s in a particular year.

So long as the majority of prefects are viewed with amusement or badmouthed behind their back for not commanding the respect of their peers, this problem is here to stay. It is not enough to indoctrinate them during each POW (not Prisoners of War, but the MCOBA-organised Prefects Orientation Week) with this grand vision that they are the guardian of this sacred tradition – they must have the natural talent to be a leader in the first place before they can carry out their job. It is even more dangerous if prefects of shoddy personal qualities are overloaded with this grand vision, because it is usually them who tend to be gung ho at “guarding” the legacy to the point of provoking their teachers and peers.

Which brings us back to the original theme – did we screw up the so-called MCKK traditions in 1994?

(I feel as if I am looking at the issue too seriously, as if I was a youth from the China’s Cultural Revolution generation discussing what went on in their teens, or a youth from Nahdatul Ulama in 1966 discussing the purge of communism in Indonesia which killed hundreds of thousands. Ha ha to think that I am only talking about a prank in school...)

It is true that many things did change briefly in that short period of 1994, some were permanent, but others were brief only to be reversed by the people after us.

Prefects Orientation Week was organised by the teachers instead of MCOBA (although not BTN), but it was not even a Prefects Orientation Week. It was a Student Leaders Orientation, combining would-be prefects and KPKM Excos. The rationale was very simple – the whole of college witnessed the deterioration of goodwill and relationship between the teachers and prefects and students (each at each others’ throat) in 1993. One prominent prefect from that year gloatingly told us once how still managed to get a very good SPM results despite boycotting the class for a good part of the year, to give an example of the prevailing mood at the end of the year (what I failed to tell him was that he could have got 10A1s if he had not lost the teachers’ goodwill!). The atmosphere was not really pleasant – recently a friend from the batch related how he felt sad that his final year in college was overshadowed by the minority groups – prefects, baddies etc.

Which was why the first instinct of anyone coming back to be a Form 5 in 1994 was not to repeat 1993 (although I would not mind having the Latoque’s fame of taking the bus for a ride, that was classic). For that to happen, the extreme right-wing nature of Prefects Board needed to be neutralised so that it did not provoke the general body of students again. Likewise, those at the left-wing extreme had to be brought to the centre, so as to create a fragile compromise yet firm enough to maintain order and avoid provocation. I can speak for myself that it was quite simple, the lay pupils like me with no allegiance to either side needed to reclaim our stake in the livelihood of the school, because we did not want one minority group spoiled our final year in MCKK.

That fragile compromise ensured peace for the rest of our months in MCKK. No detention class was ever given to anyone in that year, no big disciplinary cases, no deteriorating relationship with the teachers or among ourselves.

But it came with a price – many compromises had to be made.

Prefects had to forego the right to roam college grounds and Kuala Kangsar on their bikes. I had always been left wing in my political opinions (although I only realised this after I left MCKK), never had I viewed positively the phenomenon whereby a minority group of students stands higher than the rest of us because they were allowed to cycle when all the rest had to walk. It might sound trivial, but the bikes had to go (or limited to one bike for each block, restricted to certain uses only) if the compromise was to be maintained. So that’s one tradition gone, and I admit it started with our year.

It was also in 1994 that F1 stopped wearing a pair of shorts with the long stocking. I was never privy to the real story, although bits and pieces that emerged sound close enough. As a result of the process to “assimilate” prefects into the mainstream, MCKK in 1994 (by MCKK I mean the teachers as well as the F5s) agreed that Prep School and New Hostel would no longer be taken care of by prefects. They were replaced with student representatives. Initially it was KPKM Excos who were supposed to go to these two outposts, but they proved to be too remote for them who had spent a lifetime in Big School, that at the end other people were sent in as replacement, including a few F3s (in Prep School there was Ayul of 96, in New Hostel there was Che Gap of 96 etc.)

I was told this enraged MCOBA, which understandably looked at the whole thing as Haji Hassan’s attempt to undo MCKK’s tradition (although the fact that the majority of students was a party to this so-called effort to undo MCKK’s tradition had always been ignored – somehow it is easy to be xenophobic and attack outsider than to look at reasons why MCKK-bred students agreed to the initiatives in the first place). A compromise was reached, whereby F1 students would be allowed to wear long pants (Ustaz in MCKK had long campaigned for the abolishment of shorts for F1) in exchange for prefects reinstated in Prep School and New Hostel.

But although a much more neutralised group of prefects were reinstated in New Hostel, it was not the same case in Prep School. MCKK chose to appoint those student representatives, who by heart and belief would never qualify as prefects for they were fiercely independent and liberal even back then (conservatism is not in their dictionary), as prefects. I would have thought MCOBA would have been even more enraged after that, feeling that they have been short changed by Haji Hassan.

So that’s another tradition gone, although it only managed to hold on for one year (the people after us were not as crazy as us).

Sunday morning prep also started during our year, although protest was actually raised (college boys would unite if they were compelled to do more work!).

So if the theme of this fear of “extinction of MCKK traditions” revolves around prefects, it is true that there was a black out of tradition during Haji Hassan’s time, especially in 1994 since the teachers and HM especially relied more on KPKM than Prefects Board. Prefects Board’s role was somewhat eclipsed in 1994 – although I bet no one from the Class of 1994 would complain about that, we left MCKK happily ever after.

But there were also additions to traditions that came from our year in the field of cheering. Banners were introduced and it survived till this day with the slogan “For Honour We Stand, With Valour We Fight”. Likewise, we swapped school uniform with a cheering T-Shirt, something which has lasted till this very day.

All in all, to a certain extent, I think the writer’s concern (whoever Nul is) is valid, although I prefer if we do not become too dogmatic and rigid with this concept of maintaining the tradition. Because tradition, as a loose combination of practices from yesteryears, is a fluid thing – one day it is a tradition, tomorrow it is not.

The guiding principle of MCKK (in fact of any school) should have been to bring out the best out of every student, so that they become an exceptional man in their own field of expertise. In this respect, I do agree with the general view of old boys of MCKK that scoring straight As in SPM is not the same with being an all-rounder and it does not guarantee future (although it does guarantee immediate future). But one has to balance this over-arching desire to produce a well-rounder according to MCKK’s mould with parents’ expectation that their children obtain a good SPM result to enable them to compete with other excellent students (from other schools) in getting scholarships. Ministry’s expectation compounds the situation.

In the end, it is not easy to balance it all and I don’t envy anyone who becomes MCKK’s headmaster. I would not necessarily agree with everything that he does, but I appreciate the challenge and would not talk of the task as if it is a kacang goreng. There is no prescribed ways to bring out the best out of a group of egoistic, know it all and stubborn 17 year olds that budak koleq have always been and yet still remain within the expectations of MCOBA, parents and the nation.

To those involved in reviving MCKK’s dwindling fortune, I wish them luck, my prayers are with you.

(I obviously did not have much to do this weekend since vice activities are strictly prohibited during Ramadhan – that leaves me patah kaki, hence this long blog)

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Fadli is Back

Am not sure whether most people realise that Fadli is back for 5 days since Wednesday, and will be leaving for Paris again this Sunday. He did ask whether I can make it to KL for a coffee this weekend - but am not in the mood to spend my first day of puasa away from home.

Fadli is back since his much beloved grandmother had to go through an operation. I was told the operation was successful and she is recuperating.

Also would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone Selamat Berpuasa!

Friday, October 08, 2004

MCKK Debating Team's Annual Dinner 2004

Group photo - the English and BM teams after the dinner, please click here for more pictures

The boys forked out quite a sum - partly from their own pocket, partly from the prize money they collected this year - to throw a dinner for the teachers, the coaches and the team members. I was given the impression that it has become a tradition that annual dinner for any team is done in such a formal and expensive manner.

The ride to Ipoh was somewhat too noisy to my liking, we had to use the 1990s bus (the one that Latoque took for a ride) because the new bus was on a trip to Singapore. I thought we would never make it to Ipoh, but luckily the skilful and experienced Pak Cik Anas pulled us through.

I was accompanied by Canoe (Class of 93) since everyone else could not make it. Canoe summoned all his jambu-catching spells from his younger days to put up with the dinner - and despite all the bitchings he hurled at me, I think he quite enjoyed the weekend.

We went through a post mortem of what happened this year and I sincerely hope everyone learns our lesson. They will be on their own next year, so we wish them all the best. We will be watching from afar.

*ps - I had a difficult task explaining that Noni Kapet does exist in our batch, with enquiries after enquiries from the boys!

The Fat, The Bald and The Boroi

The kings of fat and boroi group in persons - Epit & Mpro, more pictures here

I was around in KL last week and requested for a dinner with Epit, since I needed some tips from him on how to pass a degree. Unknown to me, Epit managed to pull together a collection of the fattest, the baldest and the most borois from this batch for a dinner at a restaurant called Tupai-tupai near Istana Negara.

First, Epit's direction to go to Tupai-tupai was very confusing, it took me a while and a few cursing later before I arrived at the restaurant. To my surprise, Epit did not book a table, but a space with a small low table. It would be bad enough that all these fat people have to sit around one table, imagine when we all have to duduk bersila around that small table.

First problem - the tummy got in the way. Second problem - the jeans are not designed to accommodate bulging body parts. Third problem - the tummy could only take less food now that its volume was reduced. etc. etc.

But the dinner was good (I mean the conversation during the dinner). Not surprisingly, most of the time the dinner was occupied with bitching people who were not there. Then some discussions on what went wrong with budak koleq and Malays in general - basically the whole night was well spent bitching everything under the moon.

We were also discussing about MCOBA membership and Kalai thought that it is high time that batch members join MCOBA in droves. We were all fired up after the dinner, but after one week I have not heard anything from anyone.

The dinner also celebrated Badut's planned wedding next year (if it does go ahead), Abon getting his second child (so I understood), Ameba finally getting ahead of Bala in the relationship game (yes, he was whispering on the phone a few times, maybe trying to tell us all that he is in a relationship nowadays ha ha), Epit going to a 6-month long quarantine at Intan and Mpro starting his MBA soon.

The club (although not so exclusive considering how many fat people around in this batch) also decided that two gatherings shall be carried out in the near future - one during the fasting month (not sahur though because people coming back from clubbing and sahur just do not match) and one after raya. As to who shall take this up, as usual no one staked a claim.

It was a good night and each time we went out to catch up like this, it reminded me that as dysfunctional a batch as we were and still are, we are not that bad. Maybe being dysfunctional makes you closer to each other - and to know that you close ranks after all these years makes my heart warms up (I just want to end this blog with something nice, I am not this sentimental about the batch - we do have our own life you know, whatever impressions this blog gives about our lives)