Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Tuesdays With Bapak (8)


The Wait, The Letter and Jalan Bandar Police Station - Tuesday April 3 2007
"What do you think he is doing now? I asked aloud, as I flipped through the Sunday papers.
Abang Med and Kak Eda were also reading the papers in the living room.
They must have been taken by surprise by this unexpected question on a lazy Sunday morning.
"Bapak?", asked Kak Eda, as though needing a confirmation of the subject in question.
"No, King Ghaz," I replied, half in jest. No one laughed.
"Yah-lah.... Bapak. What do you think he is doing now? This minute?", I asked.
Abang Med put down the Sunday Mail and attempted to find a suitable answer to my question.
I must have interrupted his reading of his music column in the Sunday Mail.
"Probably reading the Sunday papers. Probably reading my column...", he said, trying to make light of a potentially emotional discussion.
Kak Eda who was on the comics section of the papers, was not quite amused by all this.
"Like they allow him to read the papers.
"He's probably in a tiny cell without a window. No papers, no books. Nothing. No one to talk to," she said. It was going to be a very depressing conversation.
"Is he given food?", I asked.

It had been more than two months that we had not seen Bapak. It was not as though Bapak was away on vacation.

It was a highly anxious and a very uncertain time. Quite distressing too.
Azah and Kamal were preparing for their MCE and LCE, respectively.
Although they faced no teasing and taunting in school, Bapak's absence meant that there was an absence of some form of discipline and firmness in their life. This was worrying.
Mak, not used to cracking the whip as far as studying was concerned, allowed these two so much leeway.
She allowed Azah to attend far too many "birthday parties" and Kamal, too many Saturday outings with his friends.
Kak Ton and Abang Med had to interfere which made things quite tensed.
No easy thing handling teenagers.
Kamal seemed far easier to handle, though.
Slow talk, a bit of psychology101, and Kak Ton and Abang Med managed get him back firmly on the ground.
They were usually able to talk some sense into him.
Azah, it turned out, had far too many distractions.
Mak - only when pressed for answers -- would only say that she was "always on the phone".

"Hah, boyfriend-lah tu," I remarked when I was dutifully told about her declining performance in school.
Kak Eda had her own take on this.
"Don't nag her. She doesn't need that. You have to understand her. You must understand the situation," she said.
So, the task of handling Azah fell on Kak Eda who would sometimes come home from college in the middle of the week just to check on her.

We were all anxious. It had been too long a period bereft of any news about Bapak.
One evening, as Mak sat with Kak Piah, Kak Ton and Abang Med over dinner, they discussed the family's predicament of not knowing about Bapak's situation.

Bapak had already made the confession on TV but there had been no word from the authorities after that. Were we able to see him at all?

So, the family decided that a letter had to be written. But to whom?

"To the Prime Minister," Kak Ton suggested. Mak was sceptical. But Kak Ton, feisty and fiery, was convinced that a letter should be sent "to no one less than the Prime Minister of this country". Abang Med felt that Kak Ton, being a journalist "would know what she was talking about".

Kak Ton said she would help Mak write the letter.

"Surat daripada isteri tahanan politik. Rayuan untuk keluarga bertemu dengan Samad Ismail," Kak Ton said, pointing out that Ramadan was nearing.

Good idea that Kak Ton wanted to help. But Mak knew Kak Ton well. A letter written by Kak Ton could be....harsh, perhaps? Even though she might not intend the letter to be so. Mak had a better suggestion, The family would ask Pak Cik Tongkat (Usman Awang) to pen it for her.

When Mak called Pak Cik Tongkat, he was more than willing to do so. He was just as anxious as we were about Bapak.

"Kak Midah jangan risau, ya. Tongkat tulis surat tu. Tongkat tunjukkan kepada Kak Midah. Tengok Kak Midah approve atau tidak, ya?", he told her when he came over as soon as he got the telephone call from Mak.

One Monday morning, I happened to be at home after the weekend, Pak Cik Tongkat came over with the letter that he had written.

Since, I was in the living room, he showed it to me as well.

I was moved to tears reading the letter. Now, if you have read Usman Awang poems, you would know what I mean. It was the most touching letter I had ever read.

"Kalau Hussein Onn tak terasa apa-apa lepas baca surat ni, Ena tak tahu-lah Mak," I told Mak.

Mak stared at the letter, penned by Usman Awang.

"Terima kasih, Tongkat," she said. Pak Cik Tongkat smiled, looking quite pleased.

I was tasked to find out the Prime Minister's address (I got Kak Ton to help), write it clearly on a brown envelope, go to the Section 17 post office nearby and send it by registered mail.

I did all that. We had it all done knowing well that the letter might not even reach the Prime Minister. Kak Ton said if there was no response or if our request was denied, she would make her way to the Prime Minister's office, knock on his door and demand that we be allowed to visit Bapak. I had my own ideas of what I wanted to do.

But as it turned out, none of us needed to resort to any drastic or risky measure because a reply came.

Mak received a call, one morning, from a "pegawai' in the Prime Minister's office to say that a letter was on its way to our home. Our request to see Bapak was approved.

"It must be Pak Cik Tongkat's touch,"I remarked when told of the good news. I could imagine Hussein Onn holding the letter, so touched by the first three lines and then, just slumping into his luxurious leather chair after reading the rest of the letter.

I was sure that the Prime Minister was moved to tears and deep compassion. How could he not be?

A call from the police then followed, detailing a forthcoming visit.

Can you imagine our excitement? It was to be in the morning on a Tuesday at the Jalan Bandar police station.

"Jalan Bandar? Where was that?" we asked.

Man, it didn't matter to us if it was in Batang Berjuntai or Ulu Bertam. We would get there even if we had to walk!

Mak had been writing letters to Kak Olin who was in the UK. Kak Olin would call up everytime she received one. Her calls were brief but they would always make Mak's day.

Mak's letters were type-written because Mak was used to typing, having been a journalist with Utusan Melayu in her younger days in Singapore. And later sometime in the 60s, when she was writing her first novel,"Meniti Pelangi", she would be at the dining table, typing and typing away. So, this time, she would be typing her letters to Kak Olin late at night, the only time she was free to do so.

Kak Olin called up one evening and wept on the phone. She received the good news and was so happy but was also sad to not be there with us. It was a weekend and I was at home. I picked up the phone, spoke to her a while and as her voice was choking, I called Mak. I tried to comfort her but I was so bad at it which probably made her even sadder. Poor Kak Olin, I thought.

Ah. Mothers! No wonder the path to eternal paradise is at their feet. How she soothed Kak Olin would only come naturally to me when I have children, I thought.

Tuesday was fast approaching. When the day came, everyone was gathered in Section 16. Kak Piah, Abang Zul, Kak Ton, Abang Ani and Abang Med organised the transport for us to go to the Jalan Bandar police station.

"Remember. We have to be there at 9.30am. Someone will take us to a room and Bapak will be waiting for us there," Kak Piah said. My heart was beating so fast I was breathless. I felt cold sweat streaming down my forehead. I was nervous. Pictures in my mind.

We went in three cars. Mak went with Kak Piah in the car driven by Abang Zul. Lalin and Irwan were with her.

Abang Ani drove his car with Kak Ton and their little girl, Jasmine. Azah and Kamal were with them.

I was with Abang Med in his mini minor. Kak Eda was in the front passenger seat. Nina and I were seated in the back.

The drive to Jalan Bandar was taking forever.

We arrived. The cars were parked somewhere near a performing arts hall. Kak Eda and I found the place to be quite familiar because we used to come to this hall back when we were in form 5 (1972) during an inter-school drama competition.

It turned out that Jalan Bandar was a familiar place for us all. It was in an area where Bapak used to take us Hari Raya shopping for materials and shoes when we still needed parental approval for clothes and such.

Everyone seemed nervous. Everyone was walking briskly as though afraid of missing a very important appointment. Even Lalin and Nina. Mak held Lalin's hand while I held Nina's.

"Hurry," said Kak Piah.

So new for us all, this experience. This visit to the police station to visit a relative.

I looked at Mak. Was it like this for her when Bapak was detained in Singapore? Oh. But the police officers were Orang Putih.

Will we be meeting Bapak in a room as promised? Will there be a glass partition? Do we take turns talking to Bapak? What, what, what?

A plainclothes policeman was already waiting for us. He must have been waiting for us and he knew it was us.

He was very polite as he introduced himself to Abang Ani. He asked for Mak who then stepped forward.

If we had felt anger towards the police -- any policeman, for that matter -- that feeling disappeared. Dissipated. Replaced by this immense sense of relief that we were actually going to meet our father. By this throbbing anticipation.

We actually smiled at this police officer.

We followed him as he took us to the first floor. He stopped in front of a door.

"Oh.. Bapak di dalam?" Kak Piah asked.

The nice plainclothes police officer opened the door to an empty room. It was a large room. Empty except for a long table and a few chairs.

But where was Bapak? He was to be waiting for us.

"Duduk dulu, ya?" he said softly. But before we could ask anything more, he disappeared out the door.

"Tipu ni, agak nya," I thought to myself, not daring to think aloud. Would they dare fool us? How dare they!

Then, before we could make sense of the empty room, the door swung open. The plainclothes police officer walked in with another - a younger man, presumably also a police officer.

The younger officer held the door open as though, for someone.

Then, someone so familiar walked in, followed closely by two other men in plainclothes.

"Bapak!", everyone shouted, in unison. We ran to him. We kissed his hand. He seemed thinner, paler and haggard. He was wearing the same red checkered short-sleeved shirt he had on the morning he was taken away. We wanted to cry seeing this Bapak. But we were overjoyed just seeing him.

"Alhamdulillah!" I heard Mak whispered.

We then took him to be seated. We stood around him, although the police officers offered us chairs.

Bapak must have been overjoyed to see us too. But, how come he was not smiling. He was not frowning. But he was not smiling. He wore a very nervous look. He seemed withdrawn.

"Apa macam semua? ", he asked in a voice which I thought, quivered.

Now, what have they done to my father? Banish such dark thoughts, I said to myself.

Bapak is here and he is okay. He is the same old bapak. I held his arm just to be sure.

"Bapak, macam mana?" I asked. Then, he smiled. A quivering smile.

48 comments:

A10 said...

every morning the 1st thing I do is check this blog for the next installment of "Tuesdays With Bapak". Any plan to turn it into a book?

Anonymous said...

Dear Madam Nuraina..

What next... tak sabar la nak baca lagi and lagi.. For me is not Tuesday with Bapak, but Monday nite with Jalan Sudin.

Good Luck

Nani-Big Apple

Rocky's Bru said...

Ena, there is a movie coming out of this book that's coming out of you. I did suggest to Amir Mohamad that he does another movie on a "kominis". Here's Samad, a national icon who life's story should be read in our varsities and whose contributions created integral parts of our country's history. I was joking with Amir and Amir (Hafizi, of the Malay Male fame) that the movie should be called "The real Lelaki Konimis Terakhir".

But first, the book. You told me you have been talking to your dad about some of the things and people in the past. Keep it up. Many people have asked Pak Samad to write about his experience during the 5 years in detention. He has refused. Maybe you can convince him to share with us the burden of his memories.

After 8 instalments, we are getting hints about what so-called legends and kings were really made of. Hishammuddin, the son of the PM who ordered your dad detained, should read your TWBs and be humbled. Manja Ismail should borrow a little from the pages of this blog to become a better journalist and editor.

lubok melayu said...

Adik Nuraina,

Tidakkah dapat kiranya berkongsi isi kandungan warkah Tongkat kepada PM ketika itu? Kalau tiada salinan, mungkin kiranya masih di dalam simpanan Jabatan PM?

Ingin saya bertanya: Adakah Hishammuddin Hussein mengetahuin sejarah arwah bapanya dengan Pak Samad? Pernahkah Bapak Menteri muda itu bertemu dengan Bapak Wartawan Negara yang dikurung selama 5 tahun kerana krisis kewibawaan pimpinan ketika itu?

Ghazali Shafie: di mana orang itu sekarang? Merengkok dalam ruang oblivion?

Ingin saya tekankan: Kita tidak boleh biarkan orang seperti Ghazali Shafie menjadi wira dalam sejarah bangsa. Takut nanti anak2 kita mencari al-Ghazali jugak.

Anonymous said...

Dear Nur,

I missed some your the earlier posts on "Bapak" but i will be going there right after penning this.
What i just read today is truly touching. How brave your mum must have been to have gone thro such turmoil..glad you had older siblings and good trusty friends around. Tears just welled up in my eyes when i read the part when "Bapak" entered the room in the Jalan Bandar police station. I wish you and your family well and i must say this " When bad things happen to good people, the good people just get Better and Better"

Subra.

raden galoh said...

Kak Ena,
Your story reminded me of my mom's grief when my dad was detained for a week in a lock for a crime that he didn't do...it was just a week and we alll suffered too much...and your family suffered more than a week trauma...oh migod...

syed syahrul zarizi said...

To a10

"every morning the 1st thing I do is check this blog for the next installment of "Tuesdays With Bapak"."

Sama la kita

elviza said...

Dear Kak Ena,

Before I know you, I was moved to tears after reading TWB

Now that I know you - it's even worse!

abu rabu aka ash wednesday said...

It was our first visit. I remember being elated, but I also remember being suspicious.

As we waited for bapak to be brought into the room, questions kept popping up in my head.

Why were the policemen overly polite? Was it some kind of ploy to make us careless in our conversation?
Why this room and not another? Because it had a high ceiling? And was dimly lit?
Was the room bugged?


You wouldn't ask those questions under normal circumstances. But there was still some anger in me as I thought of how our personal rights were violated by "these people" the night they took Bapak away. Should I trust them now?

Then Bapak entered the room...

My anger disappeared. As did my suspicions. I threw all caution to the wind.

The heck with it, I thought. It was a moment for us to savour, and nothing was going to take that away from us.

quinn the eskimo said...

nuraina

Ini dah macam sharazad and the thousand and one nights.

by the way anyone asking her about the book, enough already. It will be one, so don't ask anymore.

Hi&Lo said...

Dear Nuraina,

It must be very painful for you to revisit the truama Tue after Tue. I think you felt duty-bound to do it to prevent others from suffering the same fate.

It's not only one man being false accused but the rippling effect on the whole family is telling, esp the younger ones.

Grappling with an injustice so personal and deep, there cannot be a more terrible tribulation than that.

Despite all this, your family passed with flying colours.

Thanks for inspiring us.

The Ancient Mariner said...

Fascinating reading, so a book is surely a must.

I have also read Francis Seow's "To Catch a Tartar" and Syed Husin Ali's "Two Faces" and one thing is crystal clear: ISA must go.

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

a10: i started writing "Tuesdays With Bapak" because I wanted to "put down on paper" those dark moments in the history of my life and that of my family.
If there was no blog, I reckon I would be typing it in my PC or laptop. But, the good thing about a long time ago before there were computers and such, was that we kept diaries. Kak Eda and I kept diaries.
I ought to thank Rocky for nagging me to blog about it. well, I finally did blog about it. And then he suggested I write a book. Now,hold on, I remember telling him. WHy dont I just make print-outs of TWBs and send them to be "booked". Writing a book would need a little bit more work than what i am doing. altho i must say, the idea is tempting.
I do need permission from my father and my siblings.
so, certainly i am thinking about the possibility.
thank u.

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

Nani-Big Apple :

Thank you....

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

rocky -- Alamak!
And I am not aware of this development in my life!

Yes, I have been talking to my dad, interviewing him about some people, including Tun Dr Ismail, as I was reading the book on him.
I agree with M Bakri Musa who reviewed the book authored by Ooi Kee Beng, that Tun Dr mahathir should have been interviewed. Tun Ghafar was interviewed but Dr M was not. I wonder whether they did try and Dr M didnt want or they didnt try at all.

Anyway... the movie? the book first then.. (Did I just say that?)

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

lubok Melayu:

Warkah yang di matapenakan oleh Tongkat Waran?
Ini harus di cari, di bongkar. Mungkin adda salinan, mungkin tidak.

Ghazali Shafie : Beliau masih ada. Usia pun dah tua, seperti Bapak.

Kata Tak Nak said...

Thats very cruel of you, very, very cruel for stopping there. I only feel this way when I finished latest episode of HOUSE every week. Sungguh kejam.

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

subra : thank you.

raden galoh: Oh dear. I am sorry to know that.. i hope your family got over the experience ok.

syed syahrul: Thanks, bro.

hi&lo: thank u. i am touched

quinn: I thank you.

Ancient mariner: Thank you, captain sir. I went over to your blog. You have pictures and stories of the past. Fascinating. I will certainly be yr regular visitor.

Elviza: It was really nice meeting you yesterday. Thanks again for visiting TWB. Give a kiss to little Luqman. And regards to Jeff, yr hubby.

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

abang Med AKA Abu Rabu AKA Ash Wednesday,

I was with Kak Ton today for mee rebus. She hadnt read today's instalment of TWB. So I told her.
One thing I had not mentioned was that Bapak looked disoriented when we first met him after so long. I thought he did look disoriented because he did not look like the Bapak we knew.
He did not look confused. Just disoriented. I suppose, he was not as young. He was already in his 50s, with 10 kids. Later, after his release, he told us why he was that way, what they told him ....

Kak Ton also remembered that his head was shaven... so that was the real initial shock. Bapak's physical appearance. I am remembering it now. Kak Ton was right.Bapak looked like a conscript. We wanted to cry when he walked in. But we were too happy that we could see him..

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

kata tak nak,

oh dear... i didnt mean to be so kejam. please bear with me...i realised (dah terlambat nak rewrite) that the story dah terlalu panjang..

so sorry. Next tuesday will arrive before you know it.

Anonymous said...

Hi

I've been following TWB, and thoroughly enjoy the unfolding drama.

It is even more interesting when your siblings put in their take on the situation as well, and I hope they continue to do so.

Looking forward to the next instalment.

sang diva said...

Kak Aina, I would strongly students of communications and media studies in particular journalism students reads your TWB, so that they know, it's not easy way to be like we are now.

And for them to understand the challenges to be journalist, not just interviewing SIti Nurhaliza and Mawi saja.

It angered me when many of these students think it's their given rights to be a journalist and that only people with journalism degree are far better journalist than others who don't.

Oh I just can't wait for the next TWB

sesat said...

Dear Nuraina,

To have your Bapak wrongfully detained must have been a harrowing experience for you and your family. You write TWB with your heart and take your readers on the journey with you. I can't help but share your family's anxiety, frustration and anguish. The tenderness that defines your family dynamics is ever-present and moving.

Thanks for sharing TWB with us.

ME136 said...

I'm hooked to TWB, Ena, like you would never imagine but it is only now that I'm posting my reaction. I like your fluid style of writing and the comments your siblings make add to what you have written. They share their observations, their memories and subsequently, the chance to see the happenings through their eyes.

-vanitha-

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

rocky,

just to correct you --the detention orders were not signed by Hussein Onn (Prime Minister) but by Ghazali Shafie (Home Affairs Minister).
I have made this rectification in (a comment) one of my TWB postings.

Bapak and many others (the numbers vary from one source to another) were released when Dr M took over the premiership.

a malaysian in riyadh said...

I hope whoever is going to do the adaptation/translation/transition from TWB blog series/book to movie will do justice to the infinitely moving storyline. And the casting? An all-star cast? Hmm, who dares to play Kak Ena? You do still look 20 now, don’t you sis and can play yourself to the hilt, no? And what about the show stealing scene:
(a) Pak Samad’s vulgar outburst to Miss Overzealous, or
(b) your audacious outburst “Oi pengecut, mari sini kalau berani” after chasing him (alas in vain) in high heels, or
(c) your dating scene with Nina in tow, or
(d) other dramatic scenes which you and your siblings have not told the TWB ardent readers.
Oh what a limitless prospect …
aMiR

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

anonymous at 6:53pm : thank you for taking time to read TWB.

Sang Diva: i dont know whether young people are interested in history...

Hi&Lo said...

Nuraina,

How ambition can blind one man to do the most cruel thing.

Very sad to read your Bapak looked disorientated. From accounts of ISA detainees, I shudder to imagine the trauma and pain.

Our strength can only come from God who is most loving and most compassionate.

Am not religious but acknowledge all good things come from Him.

Kak Olin said...

Ena,
Bless you, my dear adik, you have relived for me those torturous early months of Bapak’s incarceration. Through you, I can now fill the vacant pages of my own memory bank. You know, I had gone back to England with such mixed emotions. I had felt then a sense of hopelessness because being away meant I was alienated from the suffering, from everything. I could not share this with anyone there. I simply did not trust anybody. And for a long while I carried with me this enormous guilt. Difficult as it was, what kept me going was Mak’s letters which were always lovingly written, full of updates on the family and Bapak’s health. They were never tainted with self pity. Yes I remember making that call. Precious few minutes trying to make sense of what was said. Mak was ever so comforting. But afterwards, I had felt emotionally drained. Still crying. Trying to picture my Bapak and missing him terribly. Agonising about what was being done to him. Did I tell you that I had in fact gone to the London office of Amnesty International on my return? They had adopted Bapak as one of their ‘prisoners of conscience’ and showed me a story written of his arrest. I felt so proud reading it. Knowing something was being mooted cheered me up, although I knew of course that nothing would come out of it.

Athene said...

Puan Nuraina, I'm truly honored that you're the 1st person to leave comment on my blog. You are such an inspiration. Now, if only I could get KakTeh to follow suit.

syed syahrul zarizi, ini addiction yang digalakkan.

Kata Tak Nak, TWB is more exclusive, if you can't wait for the next episode to air, you can't just head to nearest dvd stall/internet to get the dvd :)

~A10~

Anon. Fm Miri said...

Why the quivering smile Sis?

abu rabu aka ash wednesday said...

Ena

I'm not surprised that you Kak Ton can still remember that Bapak looked disoriented. This detail was not registered in memory bank. I guess girls are more observant about and sensitive to such things.

But I do remember thinking "what have they done to him?"

It was not triggered by how Bapak looked. It was more the length of time between his arrest and our seeing him that day. So many things could have been "done" to him within that period. (Especially getting him to "confess" - it was surely made under duress. But what?

Scenes of interrogation flashed through my mind. Sleep deprivation. Mental torture. Psychological games. Good guy, bad guy. Bright lights. Faceless tormentors.

Bapak was no longer the strong, defiant twenty-something activist that he was thirty years before. At 51, was he able to hold on to his sanity after the interrogations?

Anonymous said...

Jln Sudin,
In the previous posting, one or two commentators wrote to tell u of their singapore roots. I'm not frm spore, but i'd like to share with u this book that i found about kampung life in geylang serai. It's called "A kite in the evening sky" by Shaik Kadir.
It's published by Federal Publications and i believe used as std text for lower secondary in Spore (well, good for them). It's the story of a kg boy and a close-knit community life. I like it becos it doesn't descend into mawkish sentimentality.
I picked it up at a warehse sale. I now think i picked it up becos as I as leafed thru the book, i saw... P Ramlee movies. Do try to find it.
Ps,
Author ends whistling "Terkenang dimasa dulu" by R Azmi. And i too went on nostalgia kick. Had me u-tubeing the song, and hey presto. R Azmi had a sad ending but, as they say, that's another story. Gnite
Anida

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

sesat: It's people like you and some others who keep me going with TWB. Thank u.

Vanitha: I never knew that. Thank u much.

aMir you are pricless!

KC said...

Oh dear, 6 more days to go till next tuesday :(

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

hi&Lo: you know, i just happen to have gone through such an experience. and i just happen to be blogger so i am able to share my experience with you and many others. when i first got my TWB out in February, I didnt realise i touched so many people. I thought people would be detached from it. i was wrong.
thank you for following tWB with me.

athene: you are welcome. this is what cyrberspace is allabout...staying connected with people who are "connencted" with you. we may never meet, but that's ok. if and when we do, that will be great.
kak teh is going back to the UK today. why dont you go to her blog and post a comment. she makes a point to reply.

Anon frm Miri: aaah, my dear friend. i will tell you why his smile was quivering. sebab bapak nervous. sebab apa dia nervous....sebab he went through very very tough interrogation and like my brother said,bapak was no loner the strapping young man of 20 (or so)during his first and second detention.

Anida: thank you. i will suirely try to find it. i know geylang serai well. many singapore malays do as well.

KC: time flies, KC, time flies and before you know TWB wil be there on yr screen. thank you

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

abang med :

there are things i remember and there are things kak ton, you and kak olin remember which i don't.
but then, when you mention those things that i don't remember, you trigger something in my mind and i begin to see flashbacks and start remembering...as though i am watching a movie in my mind's eye.
now, the 1st time we saw bapak after so long was a happy occasion but i remember how "traumatised" we were looking at bapak.

kak olin: just a few months after you returned home from the UK, bapak was released.
what a feeling!
but those days when he was in detention were trying. Alhamdulillah, we had Mak,ourmpillar of strength, and each other.

Anonymous said...

Puan Nuraina

In addition to your narration of the drama that your family are privy to, I also enjoy posts by your siblings.

It's almost like watching a novel as it is being written, with adjustments being made in real time.

One thing that I notice - you and your siblings write very well. I know that you were a journalist (plus one or two others?). Is this ability to write a natural family trait, or is it due to your upbringing? Just curious.

- Cheryl

mekyam said...

Dear Nuraina & siblings,

Thank you for another profound sharing.

I'd like to echo The Ancient Mariner, ISA must GO!

When we let human dignity be trampled, we all lose our humanity.

Anonymous said...

Dear Nuraina, This week's TWB brought back some painful memories for me only with a different twist. I was about 6 years old when I accompanied my dad to visit an uncle at the "rumah orang gila". Pakcik Mahmud was kept there for onbservation (charged for trying to kill his wife -- the SYT was "carrying-on" with another fellar). What I saw there that day, the cries for help, the sorry sad of affairs, made me sick. I was determined to help out and at least try to make this world a better/safer place for others. I became a nurse. My motto:If I can make one sick child smile, 1 mark. Relieve pain, 2 marks. Rub a young mom's backache during delivery, 2 marks. That has been going on since. Friends say I am crazy. Someone has got to do a job, and I realised if I dont, there will not be others following. My salam to you and all in the family.
p/s: Pakcik was discharged of the case. SYT ran off and has not been seen. SYT (Sweet young thing).

Rubiah Ariff

A Voice said...

I am curious of Tongkat Warrant's composed letter. Hope to have a glimpse of how it was expressed.

jorji said...

Nak baca surat tu jugak!!

Hi&Lo said...

Dear Nuraina,

I read every posting to see how your TWB moved your readers. By this measure you are a great success.

Pain not addressed will remain repressed. We need to seek closure for healing.

Puan Rubiah,

You were only six and already so sensitive with a big heart. How something commonplace had such a great impact on your life and purpose.

You turned an adversity into multiple blessings.

See how God works tho we might not understand the purpose.

shar101 said...

Dang! Reading TWB on a Wednesday does not make me feel any 'better'.

Ever had that feeling of anxiously waiting for the next episode and when it arrives, you become inexplicably hesistant to open up the blog entry.

This morbid attraction of mine for TWB is truly mind-boggling.

Anyways.......

From a journalist, to being a blogger and now, potentially, a movie actress! Who would have thought that it could go this way, Nuraina.

When life throws you a curve ball, grab that bat and swing as hard as you can.

kak ton said...

Ena dear,

After two agonizing months waiting for news about Bapak we were, of course, excited when told that we could see him.

But my heart sank when I saw him entered the room. Bapak, with his head shaved, was thinner and looked like a stranger, more like a prisoner-of-war, rather than the Bapak we knew.

He must have gone through two months of hell. But to see bapak in that condition?
It was shocking. He wasn’t smiling. Wasn’t he happy to see us, his family -
his wife, children and grandchildren (Jasmine was four years old and Irwan six months)?

Oh my God, what had they done to him? Damn them. How could they do this to Bapak?

But we all put up a brave front, didn’t we? This was supposed to be happy family reunion.

Nothing was going to spoil this meeting, not even the anger we felt towards the SB officers. (Okay, I know they were doing their job. So were the SB officers who interrogated Bapak. So was King Ghaz. All of them… doing such a fantastic job to keep the country safe by putting this “communist” away for the next five and a half years).

But at that moment, we were one “keluarga bahagia” again. A complete family - there was Mak & Bapak with nine of their 10 children (Olin has returned to UK), sons-in-law and their two small grandchildren. Just like the good old times.

And Mamin & Irwan got to see their beloved Datuk again.

Oh what a joy that was to see their happy faces – and that of Lalin’s and Nina’s too!

p/s. Couldnt access the internet since Tuesday. Computer was down so tak boleh baca twb. Hence the late response.

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

cheryl : thank you. on writing well? oh, we have never looked at our writing tht way. perhaps because we were from a generation
that was schooled in english (as the medium of instruction). most of people i know are comfortable speaking and writing in english. and i know many others whose command of the english language is excellent. just read some of the comments here.

mekyam: thank u, once again. nice to "see" you. And yes, i agree.

Rubiah: You must one of the few nurses so dedicated to your calling. May God bless you and sustain you and protect your health so that you can continue with your wonderful work.

A Voice & Jorji: I am as curious as many others about the letter. I will ask my sister (who now lives with my dad) to check my late mother's bureau. I still can't believe tht i remember the letter. i cannto remember it word for word but i remember how incredibly touched i was when i read it.

Hi&Lo: Thank you. You are most kind.

Shar101: journalist to blogger. Yes. But,aaah...movie actress.. don't think so.
Truth be told, tried that with Fatimah Abu Bakar years and years ago wth Shuhaimi Baba. Chickened out because I was so so so so malu. Ok . Nuf said.

the Razzler said...

Dear Nuraina ...

Thank you for sharing TWB & inspiring us !!

I was moved to tears with the strength & bond that you & your family shared.

My heart goes to Bapak & your family, too!!

Take care .. :) :)

sang diva said...

Kak Aina, itu lah masalahnya. bukan sekadar budak2 sekarang ni yang menganggap matapelajaran sejarah tu tak berfaedah, mak bapak dan pak menteri pun sama jugak.

kalau tak, takkan mereka nak sekat buku2 yang berunsur sejarah seperti buku Chin Peng tu? Selama ni kita cuma dengar one side of the stories saja, kita pun nak tau apa bendanya yang Chin Peng tu faham dengan perjuangannya.

Ini tidak, semua nak censor, seolah-olah kalau semua rakyat Malaysia membaca buku perihal komunis, semua menjadi komunis. Yang peliknya buku2 pasal Chairman Mao tak pulak kena sekat.