Monday, December 10, 2018

My "Feelings"

A modern-day letter/journal shared with my LSD friends of Lima Sains Dua 1975 with their spouses, other fellow Johannians of SJI including girls who joined us in Form 6 only. 

My Dear Friends or should I address you as My Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Please take some quiet time to reminisce what I am about to share below. It's from the Feelings of my Heart. It will only take me a short time to share online as I have spent my life being a "Chronicler" that I didn't realize. This title was given to me by our intelligent friend and former Microsoft MD in Malaysia, Benedict Lee Ban Hock, not too long ago in our brief online chat.

I like to warn that this sharing is not just using multi-media technology of today,  but is also a reflection of a post-millennial era of Human Consciousness, especially of mine, that can flip from one moment of time here to there as well as from this location to there in an instant, even the change of a subject!

Let's start with some old pics:



Some who viewed this old pic above taken some time in our 1974-75 school years together, like Chian Howe, Wooi Teck, Chuan Huat and I seen in a more current Dec 2018 pic below, where we were trying to recall where the above photo was taken at.

In our small get together a few nights after the 8 Dec 2018 turning 60 big reunion dinner, Chian Howe thinks it's Mimaland, Chuan Huat thinks it's Camerons, I thought it could be Lake Gardens and Wooi Teck wasn't really sure! I guess we all learned as we started to discuss past memories that we really remember only the ones that we had strong feelings or emotions about. This is because they happened many many years ago and since then, many more memories have been added to our memory bank that may make the earlier ones to become more faint to be recalled especially specifics are concerned!

One thing good about old black and white photos and books like our farewell 'Red Book' made from a large expired thick red diary is that if we can store them away properly, they become precious years later just like how antiques become priceless I guess! So when scanners become more affordable and more efficient or effective in size and speed, I started scanning big time to add to my blog journals to bring back more memories as shared below:

One thing for sure that can be stable in this online journal is about my "Feelings" shared today when we are all qualifying into the senior citizens class! Fortunately, I realized from young that I naturally had poor memory and compensated my weakness with the use of photos, videos, written records and later with computer technology to index all that I wish to remember so that I can recall them specifically and fast too at any time present or in the future.


As mentioned above where we couldn't figure out where that photo was taken at, a video created below of our turning sixty reunion event I believe can keep our memories for a longer time as compared to a photograph when shared in a future time. If our memory gets too short to know where is the above place in this long post I mentioned or one had skipped it while quickly scan-reading down to this point of the journal to read, just click here to auto-scroll up!  The two links I've provided thus far was the first that leads you to another page to explain the meaning of the word used. The second to 'click here' was to lead you to another part on the same page you're on here. This is a sample of the online technology today, using HTML language, of the flexibility one has to direct a reader/user to share more information. If one is not familiar with how to maneuver around a smaller sized smartphone screen which is harder compared to a larger computer screen, just avoid clicking any links at all as it's not necessary to follow the optional redirection or flow provided. Just scroll up and down like one is reading a book by turning the page forward or backward.

So let's continue on with sharing of my Feelings experienced in helping to organize this Dec 8, 2018 event:


The last photo above from my memory was after our Form 5 major exam and we all wanted to celebrate and had a party at Kim Hock's residence at Jalan Yap Kuan Seng which is very near the KLCC today! Now the reason the red arrow points to Zubir is just a few nights ago, we had a long chat on the phone. He was the Malay boy from our special class of Science two whom I had deeper roots with as with as he grew up with me in the same Kampong of Ampang Jaya together with another Johannian named Alvin Lim Kim Chuan whom I classify as one of the many affiliates of our Legendary LSD class. Click here to jump below to the section where I will write what Zubir shared with me that helped me reawaken my Consciousness of how special our Class of 4 and 5 Science 2 was that planted something in us that made a big difference for our future. It became a rationale we possessed where each could create our own narrative that would strongly influence the decisions of our life's future after leaving school. 

I said we were  'Legendary' as this plaque we donated to the school meant to encourage others after us to follow the same Spirit of the Eagle that made us Legendary!

Now after Form 5 in 1975, we began to go in different directions as some did not continue to Form 6.

This could be the last gathering of most of us still in Kuala Lumpur in 1976

Now some started to journey overseas like this photo in London UK of 1976 Nov/Dec.

After one year at Taylor's matriculation program, it was my turn to go overseas for my education in Feb 1977. Grateful to have this pic to remind me of my LSD and affiliate friends who took the trouble to see me off!

I guess the magnet of the LSD 'Feelings' caused me to find Victor Liow whose family had migrated to Melbourne Australia.

This strong magnetic force also worked on Govind who like all the years to this day, he will suddenly show up like he did in the photo above after hitchhiking all the way from Perth to find me in Geelong Australia before finding his way hitchhiking to Europe and then finally to the US to continue his education!

This photo shows my Mom and Sister-in-Law visiting me early 1978 to check on me haha! I share this photo to highlight Lim Tong Leong who is the older brother of Alvin Lim Kim Chuan, from my same kampung who was the very reason why I chose to study in an unknown University in Geelong when my matriculation results qualified me to go to Melbourne Uni or RMIT college. I felt that he was a Johannian affiliate to LSD too due to his younger brother who is also an LSD affiliate who became my buddy for life! It was the best decision I made as from my buddy's brother, I learned how to be really independent by picking his Architect's brain and follow all the crazy outdoor lifestyle he exposed me to in Australia.


Something happened to me in Australia where from LSD mindset, just before I turned 21 in the year 1979, my life was augmented with the LDS culture, same 3 letters slightly changed in its order! LDS was the short form for the full name of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
After I graduated from the university in 1980, I came home to serve a voluntary mission for the Church.

My old friends of Sc2 made an effort to come and visit me in Kuala Lumpur where I was based for some time.

While serving a mission from 1980-82, I had developed the habit of keeping a personal journal


After I completed my voluntary mission for two years, I found my future wife in Singapore and we planned some holidays in KL during our short courtship with another courting couple Ben and Swee Joon who did their sixth form in SJI together

When we all finished our education, the marriage course or of course was the path to follow and here is a photo of Ben and me in our dating years in 1982 on a trip to Fraser's Hill together with our future wives!

However, the strong bonds of "Feelings" kept us two couples close to each other together with many of our other classmates for many more years to come.


At Benedict's first home in 1986, after being the first to be married, that we are aware of as those days there was no cell phone or internet to easily know for instance if Baldev Singh got married earlier or not than Ben and Joon. We were glad to have an informal reunion to also help him move some furniture too as helpful friends.

After that time, many of us began to become busy in establishing our careers as well as starting our own families. There were only smaller reunions that occurred for our 5 Science 2 or Lima Sains Dua (LSD) group with our affiliate Johannians until:


Going back 20 Oct 2013
Turning 55 reunion video history





How the spark started on 12 Feb 2017
Turning 60 reunion idea thought of in a Chinese New Year lunch in PJ hosted by Thim Mun:


Video promotions for the reunion event on Dec 8, 2018, started and continued till close to the date of the event :









 





Sharing of the discussion about why our 5 Science 2 or Lima Sains Dua LSD class was exceptional in a phone call with Ahmad Zubir: 



Ahmad Zubir was the only one of our four Malay boys in our 5Sc2 class that I could keep in contact over the years as our roots were deeper together as I use the term, we came from the same 'Kampong' or village in Ampang Jaya. From the photo above he is 2nd from the left pointed out with the red arrows on my Malay classmates in 1975. On his right is Malek Reedzuan. Further on Zubir's left is first Darius Abdullah who is followed by Shaidan bin Sulaiman.

I would visit his home by bicycle and vice-versa. However, once we left SJI school, as time went on, we each would get busier continuing our life's journey with further education, career, and marriage.  It got harder to stay connected with each other especially when technology like Social Media, did not exist in our early days. A Malay boy student friend that I could continue to stay connected with was Ainuddin Hamid, who was not from our 5Sc2 class but was also from our same 'Kampong'. He also eventually lived not far from our Kampong off Jln Ampang as I did. So after we finished our education and came home to Kuala Lumpur to start our careers and own family, we could continue to stay in contact. But where were my other Malay friends from LSD?

I started going through my old albums and journals to find out that Ahmad Zubir and Darius Abdullah were last seen in our  LSD class reunion in 1986, confirmed by checking our Class Red Book that had a page with multiple photos of that day shared above.

Then with Social Media technology in full swing, the following video was captured:


This meet up occurred in the year 2016 and was shared live on Facebook as it happened!

As I started to follow up with my Johannian friends on the phone for our "Roaring 60s" reunion event, I had a very interesting long conversation with Zubir on the phone, my friend from the same Kampong!

We started talking about our LSD class, recalling all the wonderful memories especially amazing things we achieved like the Thailand trip especially!  Then he said something that hit me in My Consciousness...that there was something special in the combination of different characters in the class that somehow made us acquire a special/magical attribute that was 40 years ahead of our time! Those words he said that was well articulated or words that caused an effect on me like a lightning bolt. I guess this was due to a book I've been writing and preparing to publish as soon as possible, from an unknown aspiring author from Boleh Land, that has been on my mind all the while! My book is covering the most important topic of Human Consciousness where Scientists and Religionists are giving all sorts of differing opinions and views!

While busy with all that research and writing both in my online journals as well as my book draft, I continued to follow my Heart and Mind to connect to old friends as I often wonder about them where have they gone and why I don't run into them like I can run into others. Then it happened. After finding Ahmad Zubir which was easy as he was from my same Kampong, I wondered what happened to Darius Abdullah, Shaidan bin Sulaiman and Malek Reddzuan? Then it happened....

I was in std 6A3 on the far right back and Nazli Shah is on the far left back.


I went to a lunch to celebrate Nazli Shah's birthday (middle arrow) at Bilal Restoran Jln Ampang where Kamarul Bahrein (right arrow) at the lunch was also from 6A3 but not in the B&W photo above. But guess who was sitting beside me?

Darius Abdullah and Ikbal in the centre who brought him to the lunch celebration! Now you can compare the old pics of Darius as well as Zubir with the colored photo of two of them above that is in color and the B&W photo of the class pointed out by the arrows with names in the caption below.

I told Darius at lunch, sitting beside me, that I had been thinking about him for a long long time over the past years as we were sitting quite close together in class at school during Forms 4 and 5 years. I've never met him in all the different gatherings or reunions of our schoolboys over the years so was wondering where he had gone to. Lo and behold, he suddenly just showed up. He and Ikbal decided to stay longer after lunch to sit down with me to catch up with one another. I learned that he and Ikbal were part of a special program by the government in the 70s to place students like them who lived in villages outside KL to integrate with students who lived in the city. They lived in student dorms or 'asramas' in Malay where green army trucks would ferry the students to school and back each day. I remember seeing those army trucks parked near the school in my student days thinking there were parents who were in the military who sent their sons to St John's. After so many years later, I now know why were the trucks there and appreciate how the government was helping to improve the standard of education in the country for those who were living in the outskirts.

I asked Darius if he knew where were the other two Malay boys and he said he did contact Shaidan once before and that he was a doctor in Ipoh. Later through our WhatsApp connection, he gave me the link he found through Google here.  I followed up and soon got to talk to Dr. Shaidan who is an anesthetist today.

Dr Shaidan came late as he had to travel from Ipoh where he works and live today. Compare this look from a photo I captured of him at the party to the old B&W class photo above where he is on the far right pointed by the red arrow, we can see that one can tell it is him.

So there was only Malek Reedzuan left who was unaccounted for. Now at this point in writing, I cannot recall how I could find the contact number of Dr. Malek Reedzuan who runs clinics with his wife in Johore Bahru as well as restaurants and a Karaoke centre!!! I just know that as I'm doing my best to contact long lost friends when it came to finding the 3 Malay boys not from my kampong, Darius, Shaidan and Malek, the moment I saw Darius in the lunch celebration, I knew there was some 'Synchronicity' going on or 'Serendipity' of my life occurring again as recorded in past journals starting from here.


I got to connect to Dr. Malek Reezuan on WhatsApp to receive the above photo of him on the left with his first wife, Dr. Nafisa on the right, also a doctor and his daughter Saleha an accountant. He is married to two other wives. From his first wife alone, he has 5 children and 7 grandchildren. The 8th grandchild will be born in June 2019 he informed me!

We soon started to call each other on the phone to catch up with each other. Through our many conversations on the phone, I discovered he was a different Malek I knew at school who was very quiet in class and spoke only very softly. On the phone, he was very lively almost as I am and we could call each other at any time to feel like speaking to each other!

I also discovered that his birthday was on Dec 8 itself so I informed him that he will be our Special Mystery Guest for the evening not just because of his coincidental birthday but that he had actually worked in the mental illness department of many of the local hospitals in the country and that he feels he has discovered how to open one's mind to be happy every day!


Apprehension mounts towards 8 Dec 2018 due to planned street protests in Kuala Lumpur

Protestors against ICERD wanted to continue their protest in the streets on Dec 8 despite the fact that the new government had decided not to ratify their former decision to accept it. I was in fact in the meeting in KL on Nov 9 when there was an online live coverage of Malaysia's representative speaking in a meeting under the United Nations below:




The government would allow them to protest and I personally thought it was a fair thing to do in Malaysia with a democratic parliamentary system in place and that I myself had joined street protests in the past too! These were against corruption in the government, protesting under the BERSIH yellow flag that eventually resulted in the loss of the UMNO party or the national coalition front of Barisan National in the GE 14. This time around, the majority of the votes of the citizens allowed the opposition coalition under party Harapan to win who then formed the new government we have today.

A couple of days before Dec 8, Mothership news in closeby Singapore was giving reports their Ministry of Foreign Affairs MFA was warning Singaporeans about the street protests to advice their citizens against travel to Kuala Lumpur. This same news was reported in their Straits Times news too. This caused some of our old boys now who have moved to live and work in Singapore to be concerned.

I did my part to respond to the online messages that were coming to me that all would be well with my reasoning that follows: 1) Malaysia is a peaceful country as long as I have lived here for 60 years except for 1 racial riot that was started by political groups marching in the streets on May 13, 1969 which caught the police and armed forces of the country off guard. 2) This ICERD issue was toned down when the government had already decided not to ratify their decision earlier to accept ICERD. 3) The authorities had approved the protest march against ICERD,  specifying to the protestors which streets they are allowed to march in from 10am to 6pm only which means the police would be controlling the protestors and wouldn't hesitate to lock up anyone who violated the law or create civil unrest on that day 4) I had made contact with friends I know who are with the police to ensure that they are closely monitoring the situation in the city before and during the day of protest itself. 5) I had contacted and added a close friend of mine, who is an experienced Bersih demonstrator as I was, to our Dec 8 reunion planning WhatsApp group. He has a motorbike like I do including a drone to make surveillance from the air on the day of our function so we can get any early warnings of trouble. 6) I gave assurance and guidance that our event location at GTowers Hotel in Jln Tun Razak beside the Muslim Tabung Haji building was in a well-protected area with foreign embassies. I also referred to the maps showing roads that are closed will not block anyone from PJ, Bangsar, Damansara, Kepong, Cheras, and Ampang side from driving to the event location. 7) Finally, on the day itself, I had to make sure I was there with the crowd of protestors to make sure everything was going peacefully as I had personally anticipated. The following are photos and videos from my www.talklane.com production.:


I was right there in the middle of all the action where they took a peaceful break for the 1pm prayers on Saturday, Dec 8

The lady with the white hat is from Channel News Asia who flew in from Singapore.

There was also our local Astro AWANI reporter, Arfa Yunus doing a live coverage.

The social media reporter from TalkLane was captured by one of the local cameras projecting the live footage on a large screen put up on the stage where the Muslim leader was giving the prayer. He was standing wearing dark glasses close to the MC who was looking at the watch to pass the microphone to him to say the prayers:


It was a celebration by the ICERD protestors which all turned out very peacefully, Malaysian style!

This allowed the SJI event of the Roaring 60s on Dec 8 to carry on peacefully too with more fun of course!

VIDEO 1 - Feelings



VIDEO 2 -  After Dinner celebration


CLICK ON THE PHOTO BELOW FOR MORE PHOTOS





This current work-in-progress journal post will be continued and edited where necessary...