Saturday, July 30, 2011

Passing The Baton

Nostalgia series #3

It was reported in the press today that OP Tan Sri Dr Munir Majid will be relinquishing his position as Chairman of the Board in MAS. He'll be passing the baton over to OP Tan Sri Mohd Nor Yusof effective from Aug 01, 2011.

I managed to rummage through some old black and white prints a while ago. Not quite clear but enough to recognize familiar faces. It brought back fond memories of school days at the RMC.

1964 Week-end Camp
Trolak, Kuala Kubu Bharu

Image 1: Clearing the camp area and pitching tent upon arrival
Extreme Left: OP Pui Cheng Wee

Image 2: OP Hank putting on his jungle boots in the morning

Image 3: Relaxing in the afternoon by the stream
From Left: OP's Suhut, Wan Halim (Datuk, Prof, Dr) Ghazali, Mansor Salleh ( Datuk, Prof. Dr)

Image 4: Another take by the stream
From Left: OP's Hank, Wan Halim (Datuk,Prof,Dr) Ghazali
Back: OP Mansor Salleh (Datuk,Prof,Dr)

Image 5: Cooking chow in a mess-tin in the evening
From Left: OP's Hank, Ahmat Samat, Yang Mohsin

Image 6 : Map reading exercise. We were crossing one of the many streams in the area.
From Left: OP's Leong Chai, Weng Yin, Munir Majid (Tan Sri) and Samsudin Osman (Tan Sri)

Image 7: Fording the stream where necessary
Extreme Left: OP Leong Chai (with dagger at his waist)

Image 8: A breather mid-stream
From Left: OP's Weng Yin, Rajendren, Samsudin Osman (Tan Sri) Nasir Hashim (Dr) Ben Lee, Jon Azman (ever so cheeky! ), Munir Majid (Tan Sri) and Hank

I believe OP Mohd Nor (Tan Sri) was also there that morning before we set out. He could be with another group for the exercise. His image did not appear in either of the snapshots.

Some 47 Years Later. These are recent snapshots.

OP Tan Sri Samsudin Osman (ex- Chief Secretary)

OP Tan Sri Mohd Nor Yusof (incoming MAS Chairman)

OP Tan Sri Munir Majid (outgoing MAS Chairman)

OP Datuk Prof Dr Mansor Hj Salleh (ex-UiTM Director now Prof at Malaysian Institute of Marine Engineering Technology, MIMET, Lumut)

OP Dr Nasir Hashim ( Chairman PSM currently ADUN Kota Damansara)

Friday, July 29, 2011


The Tamu vendor scooping up a plate of fresh water prawns bought by Mak Cik. It was a bargain considering freshness and price. It would cost somewhat double for a similar sized ones in KL

Fresh Water Prawns
(udang galah or the scientific name of macrobrachium rosenbergii)

I was in Kota Kinabalu in early June. I've been told the sojourn isn't complete without a visit to the Tamu. The Tamu is the equivalent to a morning village market where wares are peddled by native villagers. In western palance it would be somewhat like a flea market but confined to wet produce.

It was a gathering of sellers of mainly vegetables, poultry produce, sweets, snacks and fresh water catch. We were brought to the Tamu at Membakut about 5km or so from Bongawan along the Papar road.

Yusuf, Ebby's brother-in-law was kind enough to drive us there. We could buy all kinds of vegetables and fruits, some of which I had not seen before.

What struck me was the abundance of fresh water prawns rarely seen in K. Lumpur pasar tani/ night markets. These were the ones caught the night before at the estuaries of rivers ie fresh water but on salt water fringes. The taste and freshness beats those Tiger prawns caught at sea. The propensity for bargaining was the order of the day. The choice was varied but we get the satisfaction of fresh ones. The price range around RM20 per kilo but the sizes are bigger.

If you missed getting them at the Tamu, you can still purchase them at the KK airport where each are allowed 3kilos within the accompanied luggage limit before boarding. These were the frozen kinds caught at sea and more expensive. There is an outlet within the airport catering for last minute shoppers.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Ritual

Kimie looking a little apprehensive waiting for his turn

Norman already inside being comforted by his Mom, Adura. Dr Razak is partly seen on the right

Norman on completion of the procedure. None the wiser.

Kimie being briefed by Dr Razak before going through the procedure

Kimie confidently allowing himself while being comforted by his Mom

On completion, Kimie was allowed to look when he requested for it

He was happy on seeing the result before leaving Dr Razak's room

Norman ready to go back home after the procedure

Kimie ready to go back also


Most men folks can relate to this especially so those who are circumcised. Circumcision is the act of removing the foreskin of the male sexual organs mostly associated with religious reasons. This is relevant to the Muslim and Jewish faiths. I can readily relate on how the Muslims do it though I would not think it would be that much different for the Jews ( I stand corrected)

In certain family groups the ritual would be accompanied with some festivities to acknowledge the coming of age, sort of. However things get simpler nowadays. It would just be a normal visit to the doctor who would just perform a minor surgery.

The Mid-50s and Earlier

How it was done then was how my brother Ghafar and I went through it. I was 11 and Ghafar was a few years younger. My late father had gathered our relatives for the week-end. There was a little do, some prayers in the evening to seek the grace of ALLAH SWT the Almighty that everything would run smoothly.

The next morning both of us were made to take a bath. The duration was longer than the usual baths we used to have. It took quite some time. The idea was to numb the outer parts of the body in readiness for the ritual.

We were then brought in to the ‘operation theatre’. There was no operating table, nor bright lights over above nor any contraptions, wires, nothing. The only ‘props’ was a 3ft banana trunk, some small vessels of water, two pieces of bamboo chop-stick like ( but slightly longer) and kite-flying paper as ‘bandages’. The surgical knife or whatever was no where to be seen. So that was it.

I was to go first. I was still shivering from the cool dip earlier. I was called over still in my sarong, to stand astride the banana trunk. The sarong was then lifted a wee bit like how the ladies curtsy before the Queen and I was then made to sit astride the trunk on my bare butt. You know how cool is a banana trunk even touching it by hand, more so now when your bare butt was in contact.

The sarong was then slowly lifted to my waist and the whole world now suddenly had a glimpse of my manhood. It was not that flattering given the effect of the cool dip and the cool banana trunk. Everyone’s attention was centred wholely on my crotch. It was pretty embarrassing to say the least!

Two burly relatives one on each side held down my shoulders. Two others held my knees one on each side also. It was somewhat like a wrestling lock which could put the WWF wrestlers to shame. I just couldn’t move!

The Mudin ( the person to conduct the ritual) was sitting cross-legged directly in front. He took the two ‘chopsticks’ and stabbed the pointed ends into the trunk. The very act was intimidating! He then took my ‘John’ in his hands, recited certain verses, pulled back the foreskin inside out and confirmed it was ok to proceed. Whew!

Next the ‘chopsticks’ were pulled out. He deftly held them in his right hand . He pulled the foreskin towards him with his left hand.It was nicely and firmly stretched. He then clamped it with the 2 'chopsticks. I had not up to that point in my life been manhandled in such a fashion. He pulled it back stretching it further and pushed the two sticks now clamped, forward towards me. This had the effect of having the penis head out of the way. Apparently he was ready now. I closed my eyes recited some Quranic verses of whatever I could remember. There was no anaesthetics applied. He could have at least applied the some such sprays that footballers use these days . None of those then.

Suddenly ‘swish’, I could almost hear it. I did’nt see it coming. Blood spurted out. I could only let out a slow ‘aah,’ half whispering. It was painful! Only then the 4 burly handlers switched their roles. Instead of restraining, they now held me with care and then extended reassuring words. I did not pass out but I felt nauseous .

I opened my eyes. A shaving knife similar to the ones found in Indian barber shops was still in the Mudin’s hands. It looked shiny and sharp with traces of blood. Blood was then still oozing out from the wound.Blood was all over. I was later told the knife was hidden in a sheath behind him around his waist. Apparently with a quick movement he just brought it down on the stretched foreskin and had it severed.

The Mudin then applied some concoctions ( to arrest the bleeding it seemed) reciting verses at the same time and wrapped my proud ‘John’ in the kite paper ( absorbent and soft ). There were no stitches whatsoever. The pain was unbearable. A piece of cloth was then wrapped around it and knotted.

In the evening when an elder came for a routine check, blood was seen dripping slowly. Bang Lang Sarin who was there then requested for some shallots to counteract. He munched them (skin and all) then lifted my sarong, recited some verses and blew out his mouthful all over my ‘John’. It worked, apparently. After about 15 minutes the dripping stopped.

I was then transformed and ready to face puberty like a man!

Ghafar was next and he went successfully through the same procedure as I had experienced.

I was in bed for more than a month. I got up occasionally to clean up the wound and for my daily routines. I had broth and liquids initially and avoided eggs and other ‘itchy edibles’ ( prawns,cuttlefish, pineapples,peanuts etc )

The 80’s and 90’s

My son Hafidz had it done in 1987 when he was 10. Shadah was shedding tears to no end ( before and after) mindful of what I had gone through. She cried before the procedure , saying she felt the pain ( I couldn’t imagine how) She cried after when Hafidz felt the pain in the evening on the first day. That was when the effects of the anaesthetics had worn off.

Yes, around this time the procedure had undergone change. We brought Hafidz to OP Dr Idris in TTDI. Just as in any minor surgery, the good doctor applied anaesthetics by a few injections on the foreskin. After a few minutes he just nonchalantly used his scissors and followed with the stitches to finish the job. Nothing of the harrowing experience of a shaving knife and raw flesh.

My other son, Azhar also had it done at OP Dr Idris sometime in 1997 following the same procedure.

Present Day

It is literally a stroll in the park. This is best narrated with the pictures above of my grandsons during the school holidays in December last year. They were not subjected to pain. It was laser technology that cuts and mends simultaneously. No scissors cut, no wound, no blood, no stitches and most of all, no pain. They were smiling when they walked out from the clinic.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

High Tea

The Entrepreneur

OP Hamdan with his array of goodies waiting for us at his restaurant. It is invitingly at a chic location in Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) amidst shady trees with ample parking space. It is the:

Nutri Saji Caterer Enterprise at No. 25, Lorong Dato Sulaiman 7, TTDI 60000, KL. Check it out. Hamdan 014-338 4331)

I had alluded to OP Hamdan's restaurant in an earlier posting (here)

OPs Mahfar (Datuk), Parid (Prof, Datuk) and Yahya (Datuk) having the first course.

OPs Shah, Naidu and Mohamad (Datuk - fondly called Sham common for those having Mohamad as a name but popularly known by their father's name. Though close friends may still call him 'Mat')

OPs Zahar, Jamil (Datuk) Shah and Naidu

OPs Razali, Shah and Mahfar (Datuk)

We had high tea at OP Hamdan's early this month, July 02, 2011 to be exact. We first met sometime in 1959 or 1960 (depending on intake) as a fledging and fresh-faced third former at the RMC ( the then FMC in PD) Currently most of us are retirees but take on the role of a consultant whenever required. Two are gainfully employed, after having retired earlier, OP Parid a Prof in Architecture at a major private University and Mohamad as the Group Chief Accountant in a large corporation.

This is basically an occasion for an informal yarn over old times and may happen again at some other times in future. Altogether 12 were present but Norshaari and Hank are not anywhere in the pictures ( a technical error somewhat)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Ebby and Mas - Wedding in Bongawan, Sabah

The Jurunikah explaining the preliminaries to the couple

Sequence of Wedding Photos in Bongawan

Explaining the bridegroom's responsibilities

The Akad, solemnising the marriage vows

Reading the consequences of not providing for the bride

Signing the designated marriage documents

The Bride reading of her responsibilities

Handing over the Mas-kahwin

The bride kissing the hand of the bridegroom signifying her first act of obedience

The Bridegroom slipping the ring on the bride's finger

The bride returning the favour

Doa on completion of ceremony

Shadah and the Bridegroom's mother

The men-folks with bridegroom

The first picture as husband and wife

Creating a heart signifying love

Mas' uncle with Ghaffar

Berzanji before merenjis

Ghaffar, Father of the 'groom blessing the couple

Munah, Mother of the 'groom blessing the couple

Amri, the eldest brother...
Aza, a younger brother...

Alimi, cousin of the 'groom

Dayang, the sister...
Azlan, a younger brother...

Ebby waiting to meet the bride

Ghaffar's family
The entourage proceeding towards the bride's house

The couple on the dais

By the doorstep

The couple with the 'groom's parents
The Bridegroom's family
The Bride's family
The Bride's family again
With both mothers

Sequence of Wedding Photos in KL

Nabil my grandson and Qhaty

Alimi and family, arrival as guests in KL

Yunus bridegroom's uncle as a guest

Before proceeding to bridegroom's house

Mas' relatives from Kota Kinabalu
Before leaving
Walking towards the house, with Azhar as bestman

Kak Ngah and Bang Ngah as guests
Arrived at the house and treated with a spot of silat of welcome by Atan

Silat by Atan, bridegroom's uncle
Main Table
Main Table again
Main Table
Kak Lang, Bridegroom's Aunty and family