Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Tuesdays With Bapak (9)

The First Tuesday - April 10 2007
Abang Med walked into the living room and made his way to the piano at the end of the room.
I was behind him with Nina beside me.

"Tannggg", went a key of the piano.
Then, he seated himself and started playing a song. A lilting melody.

It was one of the many songs that Bapak used to "serenade" us when we were kids. But when Abang Med hit the keys, he made it sound much sadder.

Bapak, I had always believed, would have either been a musician or a dancer, if he had not thrown himself so completely into journalism and politics.

In his younger days he would play the harmonium (a musical instrument) belonging to his family who owned a "bangsawan" in the old days in Singapore.

Then, before he ventured into journalism, Bapak was known (to everyone except, I suspect, his own parents) to enjoy joining in the kampung festivities, including dancing the "zapin".

And then, journalism beckoned.

"Semalam di Malaya" was one of the first songs Bapak sang to us. It meant something to him. Although he did not say so but we knew it reminded him of his sojourn in Jakarta as an Utusan Melayu correspondent and of his return home to Singapore.

He had often referred to his time in Jakarta as his "political exile", a result of friction between him and Utusan Melayu boss, Yusof Ishak, with Lee Kuan Yew in the picture .

To me, it told of a poignant part of a man's life. I always imagined the sense of desolateness and isolation Bapak must have felt during that part of his life away from family and friends..

It used to touch a chord somewhere in me whenever I hear "Semalam Di Malaya" on the radio or when Abang Med used to play it for Bapak on the piano or guitar. Bapak would sing it with Kak Ton sometimes accompanying him.

Mak would sit, watch and listen approvingly.

That day after returning from visiting Bapak for the first time since his detention, "Semalam Di Malaya", like never before, moved me to tears.

When we were little, in the early 60s, Bapak would take out his "Akai" tape recorder and then asked us to gather around him.

He would then fix two rolls of tape onto the recorder and plug in the microphone.

This "ritual" was usually on weekends when Pak Cik Tongkat, Cik Senah and their children visited us at our Jalan Sentosa home in Kawasan Melayu in Petaling Jaya.

I would sing all the nursery rhymes I learnt in school and Lina (Pak Cik Tongkat's eldest) would join me. Everyone would have a great time.

Those were our early days in Malaya. We had just arrived from Singapore and newly-settled in the country. Kawasan Melayu seemed to be the place where the newly-arrived settled. There were familiar names, besides Pak Cik Tongkat, such as Samad Said, Mazlan Nordin, Alias Ali and Salim Kajai who were our "neighbours".

A few years later, Mak's relatives from Sumatra settled next door. Mak Cik Mon's relative was married to Mak's relative in Sumatra. Mak was about her only known relative in Petaling Jaya and lucky for her the next door house was vacant and ready to be occupied.

One of her sons whom we've known as Agam went on to become quite well-known as a singer/songwriter who has now made Indonesia his home. The music industry knows him as Odie Agam who wrote "Antara Anyir Dan Jakarta" popularised by local artiste Sheila Majid.

It turned out that Agam, then hardly a teenager yet, was already a good guitarist. He would "jam" with us. He and Abang Med who was also a cool guitarist got along famously and played music together.

We learnt a lot of Indonesian classical and folk songs from Kak Linda (Mak Cik Mon's eldest daughter) and her sisters Tina (Ristina) and Kechik (Suslita), The youngest girl, Magda was my best friend then.

I think we moved out of Jalan Sentosa in 1964 to Jalan Lembah in section 5, Petaling Jaya.

I remember, in our singing sessions in our Jalan Lembah home, Kak Ton rendered a Malay hit song "Selamat Tinggal Bunga Ku" or something like that. We told her that she should stop schooling and be a singer.

Now the living room echoed with the melancholic sound of Abang Med's piano rendition of "Semalam Di Malaya".

Hot afternoons and "Semalam Di Malaya" on the piano would ordinarily lull us all to a nice slumber.

But not today. Today we wanted to let it all out. In a song. Bapak's favourite song that meant so much to him years ago and now, to us in ways we could not explain.

Halfway through Abang Med's playing, I sang to the tune. I knew the lyrics very well. So did the rest of Bapak's older children. Kak Ton joined in and then Kak Olin. What a sad performance.

"Semalam Di Malaya" would from then on be our "anthem" of sorts. I loved the song. And I love it more now.

Earlier, our visit had been one filled with mixed emotions -- sadness, anticipation, uncertainty and fear. But there was a lot more joy which warmed the occasion.

The drive home from the Jalan Bandar police station seemed to be much shorter than the drive to reach it earlier in the morning.

When Bapak walked into the huge room that had been reserved for our visit, Kak Ton almost collapsed.

I could see her face turned ashen, her eyes glistened. In fact, everyone seemed shaken by the sight of Bapak -- his head shaven, he looked so pale - almost white - thin, tensed and very nervous.

Abang Med, if he wasn't the number one son, would have displayed similar emotions as Kak Ton had.

Instead, he was stone-faced but he eyed the SB guys suspiciously. I can tell you, if looks could kill, those SB guys would have been dead in a second.

Mak must have sensed the tangible air of uneasiness in the room. If her children had any ounce of what her husband was made of, would there be trouble right here in this room?

But, on that score, Mak was proven wrong. Much as we despaired about Bapak's condition, we were overjoyed to see him that nothing else mattered.

It was Nina who broke the ice, so to speak. At first hesitant to go near Bapak, Nina then just hugged him, as though remembering that he was the reason for her to be in this strange place.

Bapak, thankfully, had the same old pair of thick spectacles on.
"So, they didn't throw them away," I thought.

I think everyone of us tried to act normally while at the same time, assessing (nay, studying) Bapak, from head to toe.

Was Bapak stammering? I asked myself.

Every now and again, we would look at the SB officers looking at us.

But they were extremely nice. Not just in their mannerisms as they gave us quite a lot of room to be with Bapak. But in their facial expression. They actually looked kind.

Bapak asked us very mundane run-of-the-mill questions about school, exams, Abang Med's column in the Sunday Mail, Kak Olin in the UK, his grandchildren and so forth.

The mood warmed up eventually.

Oh, how we wished one hour could last forever. When the one hour was up and we proceeded to say goodbye, one of the officers told us to not worry.

"Tak apa. Ada masa lagi," he said.

Mak thanked him and everyone resumed talking. Bapak listened mostly.

Somehow, we knew we could not say anything beyond the mundane things. And we knew he could not say anything beyond that.

We were later to tell each other that we wanted to "play safe" in case it would be worse for Bapak. Just a feeling but, truth be told, we need not have been so unduly worried.

Bapak, certainly, did not seem to be the same Bapak we knew. It was apparent to us that the two-month incarceration had changed him.

When it was time to go, the officers told us to wait in the room.

"Nanti bila boleh balik, kami akan beritahu," the older officer told us, amiably.

We kissed Bapak's hand and hugged him.

"Ok. Be good. Take care. Jangan boyfriend-boyfriend, nanti fail exam," he remarked before he left. Which of course, left us quite stunned. Did we touch on the subject of boyfriends with him?

But, because he said it so light-heartedly and to hear him say so in that way, warmed our hearts.

Yes, the drive home was less tensed.

Abang Med must have wanted to release tension when he decided to just play the piano and naturally chose that song.

After the sad singing session, there was a deafening silence in the living room as everyone wanted to get themselves together. I felt spent after mouthing the lyrics. It was an emotional experience.

Then Abang Med turned around. The sadness and anger had lifted from his face. In its place was a smirk.

"Next time, we follow Bapak's car, ok?"

No, it was not a question.


raden galoh said...

Oh Kak Ena! Oh Kak Ena!...My eyes went blurred reading this entry...Can I hug you sis?

Rocky's Bru said...

i remember pak samad singing along semalam to malaysia with sharifah aini at his birthday party last year. the man remembered the lyrics and he sang it well!
i learnt to sing that song when i was in muar doing my form 6. during the holidays, i would return to emak and abah in singapore by bus (maju express, anyone remembers?) and i'd be humming that tune.
pak samad told me some stories about his indonesian exile but they are not fit to print here. when you decide to write the book, i will tell all (if your dad doesn't).
it will make tun dr ismail's adventure with life in genera, as depicted in the bestseller on his life and times, appear rather tame and sober!

sang diva said...

oh Kak Aina, your Abd Med saw the car they used to bring your dad to the police station?

I can't wait to read more.

salwa said...

Cik Ena,

Cerita Puan bukan sahaja menceritakan mengenai perjuangan maung Pak Samad, tetapi juga kaya dengan cerita-cerita kehidupan Puan adik beradik pada pada zaman itu. Saya tidak rasa seperti membaca biography yang penuh fakta sejarah, tetapi seperti membaca sebuah novel. TWB mengingatkan saya pada novel Wild Swans. Keep on writing.

abu rabu aka ash wednesday said...


We moved to Jalan Lembah in 1962, probably at the end of the year during the school holidays.

I was in National Type Primary School 1 (which was in Road 10 in Old PJ Town) from Std 4 to Std 6 (1960-1962). From 1963 to 1965, I was in La Salle PJ (Form I to Form III).

I don't remember ever walking (or being driven) to La Salle from Jalan Sentosa, so we weren't in Jalan Sentosa after I had gone to secondary school. Then again, I don't remember ever walking (or being driven) to NTPS I from Jalan Lembah, so we weren't in Jalan Lembah when I was still in primary school.

The only time that fits is end '62 during the school holidays. That was when we moved from Jalan Sentosa to Jalan Lembah.

On Mak Cik Mon's family: You forgot to mention Uchok (Amrin Majid). He is arwah Kak Piah's age. When Mak Cik Mon arrived in Malaya, Uchok was 14 and already a good guitarist. Do you remember Mak Cik Mon's kids singing Indonesian folk and pop songs with Uchok accompanying them on his red guitar?

Uchok quickly established his reputation in the neighbourhood as a great guitarist, and went on to be a founding member of the legendary Strollers. He returned to Indonesia some years later.

Ah, the Akai tape recorder. Back then (early 60s), that Akai open reel recorder that Bapak had was probably a top-end model. In the era of monaural recording, stereo was a novelty. Bapak had a bunch of very good expensive prerecorded stereo tapes (I remember one that had the song "Taboo", amongst others), which he listened to when he came back from work at night. Great latin numbers, with full stereo effect.

But what did Bapak do with the tapes subsequently? He recorded over them! He recorded our chatter and our singing over the expensive prerecorded tapes!

Do you remember us kids singing Rasa Sayang Eh, taking turns with the verses? I remember spontaneously "composing" the following:

Cik Kassim dengan Cik Fauziah
Sudah kahwin bersuka ria
Cik Kassim asyik ketawa
Cik Fauziah tersenyum pula

Far from a literary gem, I know, but it was off the cuff, and I was only 10.

And Bapak recorded Mak Cik Mon's children singing Bintang Kecil, Anak Ayam, Bengawan Solo, Bayu and countless other songs that just slip my mind right now.

Besides Semalam Di Malaya, Bapak also liked Kampoeng Nan Jauh Di Mato, which he frequently played on the guitar back then.

Bapak also enjoyed drawing, though he did not have much time for it. He had a collection of how-to books by Andrew Loomis: "Drawing The Head and Hands" is one title I remember. Where those books are now, I have not a clue. They are priceless.

Athene said...

Thanks for the great inside on your Bapak, one that I've never knew before. I guess not many people from my generation would take Pak Samad as musical :)

Anonymous said...

I meet your father once a year. On the eve of Syawal, we are there with some neighbours reciting the takbir, praising the greatness of Allah. And he will be there, in his wheelchair, listening intently.
I tell my son, who comes along; that's a very famous writer. He's unimpressed, as he is still young. One day I will tell him the story; the injustice. Allah will make them pay for what they did and reward your father for his resilience in accepting His trials.

Farrah said...


My comment is actually on last week's posting. Last week, a visitor (Cheryl) asked:

"Is (your and your siblings') ability to write a natural family trait, or is it due to your upbringing?"

In your reply, you attributed this flair for writing to being "from a generation that was schooled in English."

I think you were being humble - which is commendable - but by being so, the real secret is not shared.

I remember Abang Med telling me that when you were all young, your father would buy you all tons of books read. This itself is not an uncommon practice - many parents do that. The difference, I think, is this: not only did your father buy you books, he also made you WRITE ESSAYS regularly. And when you were a little older, made you read and analyze editorials.

Now, THAT is uncommon, and THAT's the secret. But We all know now the result of such a practice, don't we?

It's something worth emulating.

- Farrah

J.T. said...

Very nice Nuraina. I am once again gripped by your story. I cannot wait for next week.

Anonymous said...

About Ash Wednesday's Rasa Sayang Eh pantun, was he refering to Kassim Ahmad and wife? Just curious.

zewt said...

hi kak nuraina,
am thinking of doing something called 'tuesdays with mommy'... wondering if that is a breach of copyright... your tuesdays with bapak :)

TWB compiler said...

If you want to read the all TWB posts (from the 1st till the last but one), compiled in a single location, click here.

Kata Tak Nak said...

To whom was he refering the 'jangan boyfriend boyfriend'? Ha ha out with it, out with it.

kak ton said...

abu rabu aka ash wednesday said...

Do you remember us kids singing Rasa Sayang Eh, taking turns with the verses? I remember spontaneously "composing" the following:

Cik Kassim dengan Cik Fauziah
Sudah kahwin bersuka ria
Cik Kassim asyik ketawa
Cik Fauziah tersenyum pula



Perhaps you should tell the visitors to ena’s blog who they are - Encik Kassim & Cik Fauziah, the names mentioned in your pantun.

They are not just names you pluck from the air. They are real people, still living and whose love story can be likened to the film “Antara Dua Darjat.”

kak ton said...


Today, April 10th, would have been arwah Kak Piah's 61st birthday and Bapak and Arwah Mak's 62nd wedding anniversary.

Arwah Kak Piah was born on the day Bapak & Mak celebrated their 1st wedding anniversary.

Anonymous said...

Dear Nuraina,
Bapak sings too? Waaah, thats so sweet (with Cik Pah Aini). There's nothing like having "orang tua" at home. Ada berkat, they say. Please treasure Bapak. Mana nak cari....?
Salam to Bapak and all at home.

p/s: baby Sharmaine... dah pandai buat apa? pegang botol? senyum?
muah muah!

Rubiah Ariff

Hi&Lo said...


Like JT, me too, gripped by your untold story and cannot wait for next episode.

Naughty you for making us impatient for Tuesdays.

Anonymous said...


I know last nite is my date with Jalan Sudin, but unfortunately late last nite my time la, duk cari my TWB tapi tak dak lagi, maybe lewat petang baru you post your nice piece of life story ni. So this early morning as early as 6.30 am,I bangun the 1st yang I buat ialah cari my laptop, because I know my TWB mesti dah ada kat blog you ni, so this week my date with Jalan Sudin is really Tuesday.

Take care and please dont stop writing.


abu rabu aka ash wednesday said...

"Instead, he was stone-faced but he eyed the SB guys suspiciously."

I was stoned-faced, was I? Muka masam aje, kot? However, I'm not surprised if I seemed suspicious of the SB guys. From then on, that was to be my usual demeanour at the police station. For a few months, at least.

...if looks could kill, those SB guys would have been dead in a second.

I didn't know I was in the same league as Evil-Eye Fleegle with his quadruple whammy...(anyone remember the Li'l Abner comic strip?).

"(Agam) and Abang Med who was also a cool guitarist got along famously and played music together."

Actually, I wasn't yet a cool guitarist (whatever that means) at the time - I had just started to learn to play the instrument. Bapak bought a guitar for me (as much for himself, I suspect) in 1960. It was a Rossini acoustic tricolour sunburst f-hole model (tsk, tsk - it is not what you think: "f-hole" refers to the shape of the apertures on the guitar body). Great tone and feel. Half the time, Bapak would be the one playing the guitar. His favourite was "Kampoeng Nan Jauh Di Mato".

Later, after my LCE in 1965, he got me an electric guitar - a Teisco - and matching amplifier. Sunday mornings would be his day on the guitar. He would plug it in at full volume and pluck away. You could hear him even if you went halfway up Gasing hill. Every time he played, I hoped that none of my friends passing by thought I was the one playing. Not that Bapak didn't play well ... it was just that he played songs of a different genre (um, generation?). So uncool to a teenager whose musical horizon only extended to Cliff Richard, The Shadows and the newly-emerging Mersey sound.

Back to Agam: Agam was closer to Olin's age, and I to (the late) Tina's. Despite that, I got along well with Agam. But I also fought with him half the time. The fights, though, were like fights between brothers - easy to start and just as easy to end and patch up. Unbeknownst to us, however, our fights took a toll on our mothers.

About Kak Ton: "We told her that she should stop schooling and be a singer."

Kak Ton always enjoyed singing, and actually had a powerful voice at a young age. She had a kind of vibrato that was very had to imitate. I remember Kak Ton had a songbook (perhaps many) with hand-written lyrics. In those days, you'd listen to the radio and try to decipher whatever was being sung.

For the song "Too Young", I remember what she wrote. There's this line in the song that goes:
"And then, someday, they may recall".

Kak Ton wrote it as:
"And then, someday, America"

I was 14 then. Kak Ton, 16.

- Abang Med

acciaccatura said...

some songs will sure to bring back some memories. thats what i like about songs.


raden galoh: hugs hugs.... come over for mee rebus on tuesday at Kafe 4-teen, section 14, PJ.
alamak...i think i will try to remember happy times in my next TWB...

sang diva: no, abang med didnt see because the car carrying Bapak left before we did. But, abang med was adamant in wanting to find out.

salwa: thank you. I am sure every family has its own wonderful gems of history.

athene: i know what you mean. just a little insight there for TWB readers


anonymous at 2:42pm: hello neighbour. thank you very much. and i am sure i know you.

JT: most kind of you. Thank you.

anonymous at 6:12pm: yes yes. they are kassim ahmad and his wife. what ash wednesday/abu rabu did not say is that kassim and his bride had their wedding at our Jalan Sentosa home. Abang Med taught me the verse and I sang that part at their wedding.

Zewt : by all means, zewt, by all means. I violated a copyright : "Tuesdays With Morrie".

abu rabu aka ash wednesday said...

Anonymous @ 6:12 PM

The "Cik Kassim" mentioned in my pantun is indeed Kassim Ahmad.

I was only 10 at that time, but if I remember correctly, "Cik Kassim" and "Cik Fauziah" (Sharifah Fauziah of the Antara Publication clan) had their akad nikah at our house. It was a marriage of two people from two different classes. The event must have made quite an impression on me for me to have "composed" that pantun - to the extent that I can still remember it today, 47 years later.

Kak Ton, you know more about this. Maybe you can elaborate and fill in the gaps, and correct me if I failed in my recollection.


KTN: hmmmm... I really have no idea who Bapak was referring to? I have a sneaking suspicion it was Azah.

Rubiah: Thank you. so kind of you.. and Insyallah, I will.
Baby sharmaine pantang mummy dia bercakap while breastfeeding her. nanti kita keep you updated, ok?



yes, i remember. I caught us by surprise too that he could remember the lyrics!
oh, that song gets me all the time.
about Bapak's stories in Jakarta.... i think i know what they are. u are right, not fit to print here.
you know, Bapak never told her those other stories about his Jakarta experience until we were "old" enough. We refused to believe him. We insisted that he was making them up to shock us. He would snigger and laugh. So we really did not know whether they were fiction or indeed, fact.
We still don't.

Denial syndrome, perhaps?


abang med (Abu Rabu)

hmmm... mustve got the year all mixed up.. i figured out the date 1964, based on my memory of arwah ompong fetching me from school when i was in standard one. oh dear, i've even got it wrong. 1963 wouldve been closer. but, yes, 1962 was the year.
and i of course i remember abang ucok. but vaguely, though.
i do remember that he could play the guitar real well.
i remember "bangawan solo" sung by Agam, strumming his guitar,at the porch of our Jalan Sentosa home.
I remember, Magda and I (it could be eve of Raya), dancing about in the compound singing "bintang kecil di langit yang biru, amat indah, menghias angkasa, aku ingin terbang dan menari, jauh tinggi, di tempat kau berada".
Our jln sentosa house was actually the middle of three "linked" houses. there were no fences separating the houses or the compound, but there was, if i remember correctly, a common fence and a single gate.
and for a long time, i didnt realise that "bintang kecil" was an Indonesian song.

and those drawing books. he had a couple, i think. the other was drawing of faces. i am sure they are somewhere in Bapak's house...



it seems like yesterday that kak olin, kak eda and I together with tajuddin and ariffin (abang ani's brothers) were sitting at the dining table writing essays for Bapak, figuring out what was written in the Straits Times editorials, or writing about the books that we read.

we were in secondary school. bapak would always fail us.

so unfair, we declared. how come our english teachers gave us high grades?

it's best that i don't repeat his reply. but you have an idea..

(Note: Farrah Chin Abdullah is my sister-in-law. Abang Med's wife.)


kak ton,

thank you for reminding me about arwah kak piah's birthday. AlFatihah.
and Mak and Bapak's wedding anniversary.


hi&lo: thanks again for visiting TWB...
as i have said to raden galoh... perhaps TWB needs to be a little less sad..
tooo teary...

a malaysian in riyadh said...

Abang Med wrote:
There's this line in the song that goes:
"And then, someday, they may recall".

Kak Ton wrote it as:
"And then, someday, America"

I was 14 then. Kak Ton, 16.

Had similar experience when I browsed through my cousin's songbook filled with hand-written lyrics and photos of the various singers. She wrote "Pergi ke kedai Harapan Jiwa" when Ahmad Jais (I think) actually said "beri sekadar harapan jiwa".

The bangsawan troupe is indeed an old world charm. Have never seen it performed life, but I remember I was mesmerised when RTM showed a bangsawan play with prima donna Minah Yem (of the Bawang Putih Bawang Merah fame) along with several other casts of the Malay Opera way back in the 70s.

TWB has it all .. politics, then arts and music and what next?




politics, arts, music, and what next? politics again, perhaps. Surely not sex! oh mercy me. No.

thank u, aMiR

mekyam said...

aMiR: TWB has it all .. politics, then arts and music and what next?

aMiR, you forgot "parenting"!

the Razzler said...

Kak Ena ..

I am totally enthralled with TWB now. My week will not be complete without reading your posts.

Thank you TWB compiler for the link.

Have a nice day, Kak Ena .. :) :)

elviza said...

Kak Ena,

Just write the book!

Rocky said he ll edit it because he only wants to edit potential bestsellers. He told me this personally at Devi's - the first day I met him

I will buy the first edition hard cover and home it at my favourite shelf of the library. So please, just write the book

You must sign my copy ok? See ya soon

Lat's big fan (and Pak Samad's big admirer) said...

wah, kak ena, dah ada twb compiler! we know now there will have to be a book on this.
just wondering ..
how many times did Lat, Malaysia's most famour cartoonist, make Pak samad a subject in his creations?

is it true that Pak Samad was the one who discovered Lat?

pls share. or, better still, if you can write a chapter on Lat and Pak Samad by speaking to Lat. I am sure the guy has a lot of stories about Pak Samad. Please, Please ..


the razzler: thank you. it is good to know that people read TWB. till next week!

Elviza; hello elviza. that is surely something worth thinking about.
Insyallah, I will do it.
Hahaaa...you are so sweet!

Mekyam : thank u, mekyam!

sang diva said...

Kak Aina, saya ingin minta izin untuk meng'copy' dan paste TWB elsewhere for my own reading at home.

It's far better than reading Harry Potter.

Anonymous said...

Ena, you should get Pak Samad to ask the NST to release his pictures and cartoons and whatever relevant documents to him to help you with your book.
Learn from the Tun Dr Ismail lesson. The precious letters and related documents of our famous son are now in Singapore possession. It's a shame.
Don't let the same happens to Tan Sri A. Samad Ismail. Knowing his relationship with Lee Kuan Yew, my fear is that some quarters may want to change how history is and reduce Samad as just footnotes in the Malaysia-Singapore annals.

Thank you,

Rocky's Bru said...

allow me to correct a mistake. i meant Semalam di Malaya (not semalam di malaysia).
maaf to all.


Adik Nuraina,
Tahniah. Sudah sembilan episod Selasa Bersama Bapak, semakin lama semakin memaut. Tentu Pak Samad akan rasa bangga kalau beliau tahu project buku ini.
Saya harap pihak-pihak tertentu mengambil initiatif untuk membantu menjadikan projek buku Life and Times of Samad Ismail suatu realiti.
Kementerian Penerangan mungkin mau membantu? Atau tokoh wartawan (lower case) Zam, yang jugak Menteri Penerangan (upper case) lebih mahu buku tentang dirinya ditulis terlebih dahulu?
Saya juga ada terdengar ura-ura Amir Muhamad mau bikin filem tentang Pak Samad. Harap berkat semuanya.

Sekian, terima kasih.

~penarik beca said...

lubok melayu said...

Saya harap pihak-pihak tertentu mengambil initiatif untuk membantu menjadikan projek buku Life and Times of Samad Ismail suatu realiti.

Jika projek ini siap dan Zam masih lagi Menteri Penerangan, saya yakin Zam akan arahkan Kementerian Penerangan terbitkan buku ini dan dilancarkan dgn dengan gilang gemilang oleh Perdana Menteri.

Nuraina, salam from my wife, one of TWB ardent fan..

a malaysian in riyadh said...

Yes I must not take parenting for granted. You really hit the nail on the head there and what a timely reminder, I must confess. Coincidentally, yesterday I immortalised your signature title "mekyam" in the course of my work. It is mark of respect and I hope you don't mind at all.

a malaysian in riyadh said...

Sis Ena
Fine if you are reluctant to do a Dina Zaman and include sex in TWB. But at least tell us those
"beautiful gems he (Pak Samad) used to utter even tho it turned the air blue in the office" which Kak Teh mentioned in her blog. aMiR

zorro said...

Ena, I cried 3 times so far. The first time was when I left home at 12to join the La Salle Brothers in Penang. En. Rahim Ishak, the younger brother of Yusof Ishak, was our neighbor in Jalan Pauh, Taiping. He told me,"Swee, we will welcome you home if you dont like the new life." The next time we met, he was my guest of honor at St.Patrick's Katong Prize giving day. He was then the Minister of State for Education. The second time I cried was when I delivered an eulogy at my Dad's funeral service. I had chosen for the congregation to sing along with me and my family Bette Midler's "Wing beneath my wings." That was my dad, unobtrusive, humble, quiet, always in the background....always behind..but nevertheless the wind beneath my wings. Just a moment ago I stifled a sob reading your post. It was definitely the combined strength of loved family that was the wind beneath your dad's wing. Must meet your Abang Med!!!!Looking forward to next Tuesday.


Nani(Big Apple) : Thanks again....betul2 on Tuesday, ya?

Accia { yes... i do find that music can affect us that way.


aMiR : if i repeat those words... this blog will turn blue. tsk tsk tsk, aMiR.....

Lubok Melayu : Mudah2an, saudara. Insyallah.

Penarik Beca: Waah! saudara betul berkeyakinan!
Waalaikumsallam to your wife. And kirim salam to her too. Thank You!

Lat's big fan (and Pak Samad' admirer): I will try. thanks for the suggestion.

YMIH : yes yes, i should do that!
thank u!

Sang Diva: of course, of course. silakan. and thank u.



my dear zorro, what can i say? i am so touched. thsnk you for relating all that here in this blog.

thank you.

(PS: Hopeful that Abang Med will be able to meet us at mee rebus!)

cheryl said...


tnx for for following up with Nuraina for me with your post. I thought there was more to it than just being schooled in English.

I agree with you. It's not common for parents to inculcate the writing habit in their kids. Pak Samad's practice is something we should all try to emulate.


sesat said...

While reading the lyrics of Bintang Kecil in one of your posts, I sang the song for the first time in decades. Nope, I wasn't just humming the tune, no ma'am, I was actually singing it out loud. And I can most certainly relate to the act of "dancing around and singing Bintang Kecil". I sure feel like a reminiscent mouldy oldie this evening.



i can practically hear you singing the song. oh dear. have i made you an oldie mouldie?
i am curious. how did you know the song?

sesat said...


Indonesia is my country of birth. As the old saying goes, you can take a girl out of the country but you can't take the country out of the girl.



true true. couldn't have said it better.
thank you for the reply.
until next tuesday, then.

Hi&Lo said...


TWB is fantastic lesson on strength in the midst of adversity.

Anonymous said...

Dear Madam,

Kalau buku you tu dah siap jangan lupa translate dalam bahasa Malaysia dan I boleh tolong edar or jual di New York ni, bukan apa supaya, anak-anak Melayu yang tinggal di sini dapat mengetahui mengenai sejarah orang Melayu dalam bahasa mereka sendiri. So in a way dapat belajar bahasa ibunda samada mak or bapak depa, selain yang ditulis dalam English.

Actually ramai anak-anak Melayu yang dilahirkan di sini masih tak dapat kuasai bahasa Malaysia.

Kalau ada buku dalam bahasa kita, mereka bukan saja dapat mendalami bahasa Malaysia mereka juga dapat mengetahui sejarah perjuangan seorang Tokoh, who believed in himself and make changes in our journalism world.

Besides that the other reason is because I also want my kids to learn my native language and know our history especially my idol-Pak Samad-, who have movitated me in my world of journalism here in New York.

Again, please dont stop writing your TWB.


kak ton said...

Abang Med wrote:

There is this line in the song that goes
"And then, someday, they may recall".

Kak Ton wrote it as
"And then, someday, America"

I was 14 then. Kak Ton, 16.

Ayaah. You drop my water face-lah!

Naah, couldn't have been me. Must have been Olin. Hmmmm... but then, she was only nine.

Could it be Kak Piah?

I know, I know. It couldnt have been her. She wasnt staying with us yet, she was still in Singapore with nenek.

Hey, it was Ena lah. I know it. Am sure, am positive. It was Ena. She loves to sing too.

Masa tu, dia baru nak belajar cakap "orang putih", tulis & eja.


kak ton said...

abu rabu aka ash wednesday said...

Kak Ton, you know more about this. Maybe you can elaborate and fill in the gaps, and correct me if I failed in my recollection


After their marriage, the couple moved down to a house nearby (the house, which, I believe, Suraya Altas, the NST Entertainment Editor is living with her parents now).

Later, Kak Fauziah and Abg Kassim left for the UK where he pursued his Masters.

They have four children (if I am not mistaken), blessed with many “cucus” now, and have been happily married ever since.

Anonymous said...


Kalau nak dengaq lagu binatng kecil sila klik link di bawah atau copy & paste on to yr browser


bintang kecil, dilangit yang tinggi
amat banyak, menghias angkasa
aku ingin, terbang dan menari
jauh tinggi ke tempat kau berada

orang lama said...

TWB compiler said...
If you want to read the all TWB posts (from the 1st till the last but one), compiled in a single location, click here.

TWB Compiler

It would ber nice if you can link the tune Semalam di Malaya to Nuraina’s TWB page (http://www.strawbox.com/TWB/)

Semalam di Malaya IS Pak Samad’s signature song.