Saturday, October 07, 2006

Halal/Haram of Ilmu

"XXXXXX. Tadi ke XXXXX, apa hal. Nak kena sumpah seranah, kot teruk spm nanti. Nak ke... Kan ada waktu teluang tu study. Tunggu le saya balik. Nak bg tau cg XXXXX dulu. Degil... Tak selamat hidup."

An SMS from a Malay College teacher to his/her student

I have thought for a while whether I should comment on this or not. Despite the backlash, maybe it is a good reminder to all of us adults and parents that certain things are just off limit.

I have heard about some personalities who make a habit out of cursing the students. Usually on "tak halalkan mengajar, jadi tak berkat in your exam, padan muka". I was quite taken aback that these personalities take comfort and pride when students they don't like do not achieve good results in exams. These "bad" students were then made examples to the rest, usually "padan muka teruk, ilmu tak berkat, saya tak halal".

I do not want to go into the merits and demerits of managing supposedly problematic students. I come from a family of teachers, from my own siblings and many many cousins who take pride out of the noble career. So I can sympathise with the challenges and ordeals teachers have to deal on day to day basis and my admiration for them always.

Yet there must a certain "terms of engagement" in the duty of a teacher.

I have had my share of troubles in koleq. Once, I was bundled by Gedebe (together with Tungkid, Peah, Nik and a few others) into the sports storeroom behind the Senior Com and without a question, he asked us to line up. He whacked our backside so hard with his legendary belt - and to make matters worse, the buckle travelled all the way to the frontal private part, leaving a bruise at the tip of the genitalia for a few weeks to come. The pain to pee then, was worse than the pain to pee after masuk jawi!

I did many other things which some teachers were uncomfortable of. I published underground Warta KPKM that allegedly was the catalyst for the showdown between F5 and Prefects Board in KPKM election in 1993 - as a result, there was a long discussion with Tuan Haji Alimuddin (at that time he was the HEM) in his room. Gedebe also told me to stop writing for a while.

Pendek kata - I had created quite a lot of problems in koleq, in my own ways. Yes I did not have a colourful disciplinary records, yet I was a headache to some of the teachers.

But never in my life time I was threatened with this capital penalty of "kena sumpah, tak berkat belajar and lingkup study". Even Gedebe who could no longer tolerate my antics nearing the end of my days in koleq, just opted to keep a distance and he was not as chatty with me as before (to his credit, it was all my fault).

Gedebe was perhaps one of the most enigmatic teachers ever served MCKK (after all, mana nak cari cikgu kejar budak dengan parang!) - yet I have never heard him curse anyone. He would beat the hell of out anyone (remember the classic Shosha drama in the Dining Hall in 1991); yet one cannot help to reflect that most of the time, he did that out of love (and uncontrollable rage!).

Most of the teachers I come across beat us out of love - and I dare say this because they have never uttered any ill-feelings or wishes for something untoward for our future. If any, they always manage to see the lighter side of any "bad boys".

Remember Miss Au Yoong's fling and love affair with 5 Sc 5. With all due respect to 5 Sc 5, if I were a teacher back then, it would have been a great challenge to stay for a period in that class. Managing Kalai alone is more onerous than looking after one whole F1 or F2 (credit to Kalai!). Yet both Miss Au Yoong and the boys of 5 Sc 5 managed to bring the best out of each other - I watched the "Kehidupan Terlampau 1994" video and have to admit that Miss Au Yoong could not hide her happiness or how touched she felt when the boys of 5 Sc 5 greeted her at her car one day for one special occasion.

(to those uninitiated ones - 5 Sc 5 ni buleh kira dungeon laaa dulu, tempat students paling colourful! The next contender 5 Sc 4 je laa kot)

Or who could forget Tungkid's complete transformation to the point he was awarded a Special Award by the college for that transformation - because of the efforts, attention and love that Miss Liew showered on him. Fadli and I (and the Sc 1 boys) were also very close to Miss Liew - yet there was no way we could rival Tungkid's closeness.

And Tungkid never looked back - his personality, hard work and most importantly empathy (and understanding) are the exact same traits that have become the mark of the man now, that were nurtured by Miss Liew back then.

The reason I am writing this is not to be sentimental - but to give examples that a teaching profession is a labour of love, hence the utmost satisfaction must also be derived from the love that the teachers and students have for each other.

It is even more profound in a boarding school like MCKK - because these are our alternate parents, mothers and fathers while we were away from home. My parents never stopped mentioning that they raised me until I was 13, the rest I spent with my teachers and colleagues in MCKK and overseas after that - a clear sign of how grateful they are of the amanah that had been carried out by our teachers back then.

We were very lucky because we were blessed with teachers who loved us to bits. Even when as a batch we failed the expectation to make a record in SPM, the then HM wrote a melancholic letter to me in Scotland (of which I still keep) expressing his pride and love for all of us as a batch and how we had made his life easy. To him, the rather disastrous SPM result was a takdir, which he accepted gladly - since it was from an unexpected candidate.

How I pray and wish that a boy in Malay College now is showered with love in the same way that our teachers did way back - for that is also one of the tradition and ingredients that make MCKK experience so fulfilling.

However, one must begin to wonder what sort of environment children are subjected to - when teachers curse and deliver pronouncements of halal and haram of their teachings freely as matter of habit! It would not be long before students begin questioning adults' sincerity if each time they make mistake, we curse and pray for them to fail!

In my opinion, students do not have to worry when cursed (or threatened with haram ilmu!) by teachers with questionable sincerity, because I doubt their prayers have berkat in the first place!


  1. Anonymous9:37 AM

    ni budak budak sekarang, or yang pernah hidup ngan cikgu ni, tak nak comment ke?

  2. Setinggan Overfloor1:43 PM

    aku tak faham komen 1st nie...Care to elaborate?

  3. aku rasa dia mintak present boys yg ada experience with this type of cikgu, or maybe this particular cikgu, to say something.

    because sms tu allegedly sent to one of the boys (forwarded to me).

  4. Memang melampau..Tapi yor last line says it all. orang yang curse orang tu sendiri ntah2 hidup dia tu takde barakah..kalau tak, tak kan keluar ayat cam tu?
    biarkan dia perasannnnn. rezeki Allah yang bagi.

    Hopefully cikgu haida dapat menjalankan amanah dia sebaik mungkin..amiin..

  5. i was told that this is the same teacher who banned budak2 f1 from queing (suruh pi mana 2 jalan berterabur je) on the basis buang masa.

    ha ha ha bangang punya argument.

    but then again i was also told that dia budak SAS ha ha ha, so did not ask further question lah.

  6. Setinggan Overfloor4:26 PM

    budak SAS mmg la tak yah beratur...sekolah depa kecik...golek2 pun samapai...

  7. Anonymous11:07 PM present boy nk comment..
    full msg die ni.."Q***m. Tadi ke prep skul, apa hal. Nak kena sumpah seranah, kot teruk spm nanti. Tunggu le saya balik. Nak bg tau cg a****h dulu. Degil...Tak selamat hidup."
    mcm ni cerite die..that day was jumaat.mase tu, cikgu ni x de.then, ada la 3 org PREFECTS (one of them was headboy) ni pergi prep sch. coz ade laa sebab yg munasabah. tibe2 je, that evening, one of d prefects yg pegi tu dpt msg ni... *to be continued

  8. Anonymous11:30 PM

    students are afraid to argue with him in certain topics (esp f1's life) simply because he'll do d same thing (cursing)

  9. Anonymous11:32 PM

    die matriks kt sas

  10. Setinggan Overfloor5:42 AM

    orang mcm ni mmg tak layak jadi cikgu...mengabihkan bogheh yo...

    tapi as students, kena jugak hormat dia sbb mcm mana pun dia tetap seorang guru and should be respected for that, and for that only.

    selagi dia tak suruh buat perkara mungkar, buat bodoh je la...

    bab doa2 dan sumpah seranah tu, bior le, dia syok sendiri tu....Allah tahu nak aminkan doa yang mana satu...

  11. La Vecchia Signora6:20 AM

    Cikgu nie polark pasal die ingat bebudak yang gi Prep School tuh nak kacau jambu2 Form 1 die kot..

    Die nie suka sangat sumpah2 orang die ingat die keturunan mak Si Tanggang ke?
    Kang kena sumpah jadi sesumpah kang (ok la.. yg ni mmg bell tapi everyone ada off day die kan mcm Epit dgn "sorry naik lorry" nye..)

  12. unfortunately this thing goes unnoticed or un-reprimanded. if we were at work and we have this habit of cursing subordinates to the point that it becomes the office talk - if i were his superior, i would pull him aside and ask him to change. we have mechanism even to "fix" this thing.

    the problem is - whether the school authority approves it, or this bapak tanggang is so high super power that he is untouchable.

    the most regrettable thing is dia jaga prep school, so it seems. the stage where courtesy, discipline and manner paling penting.

  13. why don't some of us oldboys go and give this fella a visit.

    i don't think i ever encountered this kind of educator in all my years at koleq, or even after that.

    but in the end, budak koleq should be smarter and just ignore this fella.

  14. bukan bapak tanggang la noni..
    tu datok kepada tanggang belah mak. sebab mak dia yang menyumpah, bukan bapak dia..kan?
    tu cerita version orang klang..

    aku terasa nak buat ziarah la kat cikgu prep school yang mulia sorang ni.

    dok ghok cetong aku nok layang orang ning..

  15. mari menziarah cikgu ni, bagi nasihat sikit, nak tangan - tangankan pun ok jugak. hangin lak aku bila tau mamat ni ex-sas...

  16. ha ha pulak datuk tanggang blah mak?

    eeh korang pernah jumpa dia laa, masa dinner reunion kita yg buat kat dining hall koleq tu dia datang.

    aku dah pelik dah, mamat mana pulak yg datang ni? ko ada mengajor aku ke dulu, umur2 mcm aku je ha ha ha....

    tapi umur dia memang dekat2 kita je.

    so suruh f1 kita (f194 and f295) balik tibai kot.

  17. 94028987:27 PM

    i don't think it's an entirely new thing,sbb during my time pun ada sorang cikgu fizik suka sgt ugut dgn reason yg diberi cikgu tu ibarat mak,and doa mak tu doa yg pasti dimakbulkan Allah. It's the same thing la,kalau tak ikut apa dia cakap dia threaten to doa supaya budak tu fail or don't do well in spm

  18. Anonymous9:06 PM

    Time kitorang cikgu fizik cuma suka ugut suruh isap kapur tulis ajer
    (diorang nie tau ke dak kapur tulis ngan blackboard? Time diorang dah pakai whiteboard marker dah kot)

  19. disclaimer: penggunaan nama 'tanggang' tak de kena mengena dgn 'tanggang'(idris) 8993.
    dia baik

  20. ha ha ha hucs sempat lagi buat disclaimer on behalf of tanggang.

    ye tanggang tu tak suka sumpah2 orang, dia jalan pun mcm shrek sikit

    (alamak bulan pose).

    dulu cikgu maki jugak e.g.:

    "woi semaun"! dll

    tapi x de laa sampai ugut tak nak halalkan. hang ingat hang wali! kalu ada cikgu mcm ni administrators kena tegur, x baik.

  21. tijay 081:03 AM

    bende sumpah seranah ni its really true.dis teacher wrote a sms to dis f5 prefect just bcos die dtg n makan lunch kat prep school.i do face such problem often cos he's my warden in prep a prefect der.anyway, dis sumpah seranah thingy has become a norm among some teachers kat koleq.some of them do take it as a way do change students and some of them do it for fun(or habit i would say)just bcos there hate some students 4 some reasons.(dis particular teacher is well-known 4 dis).yeah, so dis is how budak2 koleq face life in koleq n frankly speaking we just dont like to b treated like dis(si tanggang tak teruk mcm ni)sum students try to do something good 4 koleq but bcos some teachers like dis one dont like it, den kene sumpah..

  22. sorry nyampuk. cikgu tu cakap ilmu yg dia ajaq tak berkat? kalau camtu, gaji dia yg tak berkat....
    they are paid to teach, regardsless the ordeals and hardships, tak payahla nak buat drama swasta pulak... teruk betoi cikgu zaman lani! mencemar duli tol