Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Tuesdays With Bapak (2)

Morning Was Broken - Tuesday February 20 2007
Mak sat motionless and silent for a long while after bapak was taken away. She seemed so calm. No tears. Was she in shock? We couldn't tell.
Then, she looked up.
"Go back to sleep now. Don't worry, your father will be home tomorrow," she said reassuringly.
It was already about 4am. Wouldn't that mean "today"?
There was an aching silence. That was quickly broken when my older sister, Kak Olin pointed to the floor where some books were strewn.
"What a mess," she muttered as she picked up the books and hastily placed them back in the bookshelf.
Oh, she could be mopping the floor for all anyone cared then.
Trust Kak Olin, a stickler for neatness!
We were all bapak's blue-eyed girls but we had long suspected that her eyes were bluer than ours.
Too overcome with shock, she wore a vacant look the entire time and was breathless everytime she attempted to speak.
Couldn't blame her. She had just come home two days earlier from England for the summer holidays and because of bapak's busy schedule, was able to spend only a few hours with him on the day she arrived.
She was not alone on that early morning in June 1976. Abang Med, Kak Eda, Azah, Kamal, Lalin, Nina and I were with her. Dazed and confused .
Mak was holding Lalin, then 9, by her side. Our youngest, Nina, 6, was on her lap. They had been up since the special branch guys came, and saw bapak taken, and driven away.
Mak asked Kak Eda to check on Irwan, our five-month-old nephew, who was asleep in her room upstairs.
She had been upset when one of the policemen "stormed" into her room, and began ransacking the shelves and drawers, looking for God-knows-what.
I think grandmothers would kill for their grandchildren. That guy would have had it coming had he stayed in her room just a little bit longer.
To her, he did the unforgiveable and the unthinkable. In the process of messing up her room, he kept stepping over little Irwan who was asleep on the mattress on the floor.
Okay, okay. Mak wouldn't hurt a fly. And no profanities would ever come out of her mouth.
But, there really was no telling under the circumstances.
Thankfully, baby Irwan (my parents' first grandson) slept through it all.
There we were. Sitting around in the living room, trying to make sense of it all. No words were spoken. They were not necessary. Nor important.
Outside, we could see the lights in our neighbour's house across the road. They must have, somehow, been awakened. They must be very curious, we thought.
Then mak beckoned Abang Med.
"They (the police) have gone now. You can call your sisters and tell them about your father. It is up to them if they want to come here," she said, her voice strained.
She was referring to our eldest sibling (Irwan's mama) Kak Piah and second, Kak Ton (Maria), They were the only married ones then and were living nearby with their respective families.
Soon after the calls were made, they arrived with their husbands, by which time our youngest Nina, then 6, was sobbing .
Mak held her close, comforting and soothing her.
Kak Ton and her husband, Roslani, first. A short while later, Kak Piah rushed in, her husband, Dzul close behind.
As soon as Nina saw Kak Ton at the door, she ran to her and cried uncontrollably : "Polis tangkap papa Nina. Polis tangkap papa Nina."
Kak Ton took her little sister in her arms. She herself looked so confused and shocked.
Then she became angry, almost hysterical.
"Dammit. They just gave him an award. Why? Dammit, why?," she kept asking.
It was just a few months earlier that bapak was awarded the Literary Pioneer Prize or Hadiah Pejuang Sastera by the government.
So what gives?
Mak was still calm. She looked up at the clock on the wall and asked us all to go back to sleep.
She would stay up with our older sisters and their husbands, she said.
It was nearly 5am. How could we? We just wanted to stay up and be together.
Mak looked at Kak Piah and Kak Ton.
"Your father expected this, you know. He said after Hussein's and Azmi's arrest, they will be after him," she said, softly. as she held Nina, gently stroking her .
Yes, we remembered the newspaper reports. Singapore Berita Harian journalists Hussein Jahidin and Azmi Mahmud, were arrested some time earlier by the Singapore authorities for communist activities.
"You remember what happened in Singapore? Your father had to make a swift exit?"
Ah yes, the hasty exit in his car via the causeway a few months earlier.
Bapak was accompanying my sisters and I to Singapore after we received the tragic news of my (maternal) grandfather's passing.
Kak Eda and I were then studying at ITM (now UiTM) in Shah Alam. We got the news early in the morning and rushed home to prepare to leave for Singapore with bapak.
Bapak's company (NST) car was driven by his driver, the ever loyal Encik Majid. Mak and Abang Med had already left by air to be in time for the burial.
We knew we would not be able to make it for the funeral because in Singapore, it was a rule that a Muslim burial be over and done with quickly.
No sooner had we arrived at my grandfather's house in Jalan Sudin when my aunt (my dad's younger sister) told him that my brother was stopped at the airport by some plainclothes policemen.
They had wanted to know if he was "Samad". How strange, we thought. Surely they would know that Samad was a much much older man.
My brother told them he was "the son". They checked his passport and let him go.
That was enough for bapak. He told Encik Majid: "Let's go back."
Somehow, the Singapore authorities "missed" him when he entered and exited the island.
My father had literally fled Singapore.
Yes, we could see what was going on. And it was chilling.
The strain of the ordeal must have taken its toll on us.
My older sisters and their husbands got up to leave. Everyone was too numbed to say anything anymore.
We slowly made our way back to our rooms. I turned to mak and asked:
"Do you think they will release bapak?"
"I don't know, I don't know... Insyallah.. we'll see, we'll see," she whispered.
She didn't sound as reassuring now. Or was she just so tired. So spent.
None of us could really sleep. The uncertainty was painful.
I could feel fear. And then, anger seeping in, threatening to take control.
I remember tossing and turning. And then, waking up to my sister's cry.
The morning papers had the story.
And the screaming headlines: "Samad Detained". Or something to that effect.
For us, life was never going to be the same again.


Unknown said...

kutu really hopes Allah will really bless and forgive your mother. WaLlahi!

If only i can emulate such a steely personality... (Malaslah nak berangan-angan)

Unfortunately, kutu cant guarantee those up there will not torture someone else's daughter with this kind of ordeal again.

Anon. Fm Miri said...

Morning sis,

Keep it coming. Love to visit your blog.


P/s Wat say you abt sheih motion as posted in his blog today: ..I wish to put a motion for 3540 Jalan Sudin to buy us a birthday cake and let us blow the candle at Wisma Denmark on Thursday, the 22nd February 2007 at 2.30pm. All bloggers are invited. Please Walk With Us and celebrate this wonderful moment together.

Anon. Fm Miri said...


out of topic. One of the link in your Favourites not working [Unspun]. You can try removing the "http//"



anon. from miri.

thanks... have removed the http..

Anonymous said...

Sis Nuraina,
To paraphrase Usman Awang (I think):
walaupun peristiwa hitam itu dah jauh tersisih, hati terpaut padanya masih.
Look forward to every Tuesday.

Anonymous said...

I hate to receive late night & early morning phone calls. They, more often than not, meant bad news like deaths and accidents. I have this phobia… about receiving phone calls at such an unearthly hour ever since the night bapak was arrested

How could I forget- that early morning phone call, Ena?

What? Bapak taken away. For what? On what charges. Hysterical I was and confused too.

The hell… for some subversive activities? Yet just a few months month before, the Government had conferred on him the Pejuang Sastera Award for his contribution in the literary field.

Somehow I figured out that it was political. Someone was trying to settle old scores. I could see the unseen hand of that someone from down south.

Then everything fell in place. How Hamed, who on his way to attend ompong’s burial earlier in the month, was stopped at the airport in Singapore by plainclothes policemen asking him if he was bapak & the visit of the Singapore special branch officers to nenek’s house in Jalan Yahya in anticipation of Bapak’s appearance on the day of the funeral.

And, ohhh those sleepless nights not knowing where bapak was being held.

Concerned relatives and close friends - Pak Cik Tongkat, Dr Syed Hussin Ali, Pak Chik Kamal (Keris Mas) Dr Raja Kumar among others - rushed to the house in section 16 as soon as they heard the news wanting to know the latest.

But what could we tell them? There were no news of him. We were left in the dark for about two weeks. Then we were told his detention would be extended for another two weeks and finally was informed he’d be detained under ISA for an indefinite period.

Well that was a relief; at least we knew the interrogation was over… no more torture. He related to us that his glasses were taken away during the interrogation which went on endlessly so much so he lost all sense of time. At one time his cell was flooded with water full of Sh@t.

Nina, am sorry for assuring you that bapak’d be back soon when you rushed to me sobbing uncontrollably that “Polis tankap papa Nina.”

He did return, Nina. He did, didn’t he? Not the the next day but five and half years later.

Anonymous said...

Must be stupid of those special branch officers to think that your brother, who must have been a young man then, was your dad.

I am sure they had a file on Pak Samad which most certainly would have included his pictures unless, of course, what they had then were old pictures.

shar101 said...

I've developed a morbid attraction for Tuesdays.

Your articles on TWB.

Your vivid recollection of events and the subsequent anguish your family went through plus the inner strength that invariably surfaces in the face of adversity should be compiled into a book.

It will serve as a reminder of the 'dark days' in Malaysian history. Lest we forget and history repeats itself.

Kak Teh said...

ena, keep it coming. and it is time you document these. I have written wartime stories with Pak but not as interesting as yours.

Hapi said...

Hi Kak Aina,

Thanks for writing. Saya suka baca tulisan anda. Especially, Tuesday With Bapak. Dpt saya rasakan, perasaan kakak sekeluarga ketika itu. Walau bagaimana pun, setiap apa yg berlaku mempunyai hikmah disebaliknya dan menerusi pengalaman, ada pelajaran yg boleh mendewasakan kita.

Kak Aina, terima kasih kerana membawa saya pulang ke zaman yg tidak pernah saya lalui.... secara peribadi, mahupun menerusi buku-buku sejarah.

Yg nyata, ada sebuah sejarah yg patut saya ketahui sebelum ianya lenyap bersama masa.

Semoga bahagia selalu...

Anonymous said...

i cried reading this, and your kak ton's account. i have a daughter about your little (nina) sister's age. i wonder how your dad felt at that time. he was betrayed, wasn't he?

5 and a half years in prison.

did anyone help get him out?

damn! the ISA. damn! power-crazy politicians. damn! weak leaders.

Anonymous said...

There's one thing I'm unable to comprehend until to-day. Despite the "orang komunis" propaganda, Ghazali Shafie's continuous tirade in the press and RTM as well as the the ISA stigma; Pak Samad came out of Kemunting as a folk-hero!!

He became more popular after Kemunting, unlike Abdullah Ahmad and Wahab Majib. Even Syed Husein and Kassim Ahmad did not reach that level of acceptence, I think.

Looking forward to reading your blog every Tuesday. Thousand thanks and keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Yes kak ena, our lives were never the same after that. For many years, I had to constantly explain to my teachers that the reason my father could not sign my report cards or attend prize-giving ceremonies was because he was a "political detainee" or a "tahanan politik". But then I had Mak, dearest beloved Mak, who continued to attend my school concerts and prize-giving ceremonies, who still took me to MPH Jaya supermarket to choose my favourite Enid Blyton titles, who lulled Nina and I to sleep with the tapping of her typewriter late into the night. Brave, strong Mak, who had always and would always be there for us. Life was never the same Kak Ena, but some things never changed...

Anonymous said...

"Samad Detained".
waiting for the next chapter :D

Maverick SM said...


You have to keep all of us Malaysians informed of the injustice and the "True Story" of Pak Samad and his journey in life. This surely is an appropriate site to record and disseminate the true life story, the compelling pain and anger, and the injustice of the system that was suppose to protect us, the citizens, the true sovereign who had the power and discretion to elect those who we entrusted to govern the nation with the application of the rule of law and natural justice and to ensure equality and equity prevails.

Please continue writing but can you chapterized it so that we readers can follow each and every one.

Anonymous said...

My dear Ena, Kak Ton and Lalin

What I remembered most was being awakened by the loud rattling of the gate suddenly breaking the still of the night, the rummaging of the drawers and bookshelves by strange men and how numbed I felt - it was like watching everyone acting out a scene from a badly scripted movie.
Maybe that was why I had that vacant look throughout. Everything else and the days that followed had somehow been blurred and hazy. Buried all these years - until I read your story.... and it all came back. I cried for the five and a half years of pain and anguish we had gone through, for our much loved and much missed Mak.
Most of all for the sacrifice that Mak and my siblings made so that I could continue with my studies in the UK. There was never any hesitation, not for one moment was I asked to stay home. No, I had to go back because Bapak insisted and the family would manage.
For the next couple of years, Mak and Kak Ton updated me with lengthy letters, and occasionally letters from Lalin telling me that she had won some school prize yet again.
Mak, our stoic strong pillar of strength never sounded bitter, her letters were always filled with words of encouragement, what she did, what was happening to everyone, and of her visits to Bapak - and I would read her letters again and again, picturing her typing through the night. And from her I drew strength, courage and fortitude.
Yes, those were challenging years, and I am grateful for having gone through them. I am what I am now because of it. Because of Bapak, Mak and my siblings.

Anonymous said...


perhaps, you should also write from the perspective of your mother. from what i have read, your mother kept you guys going, in the absence of pak samad. she is a hero herself, and i think you should also share her side of the story. moga2 jadi teladan for all and sundry...salam..

Anonymous said...

Hats off to your mom! It is not easy to go thro what she & yr family went thro, baru baca pun i
dah nak menangis, apa tah lagi
yr family.

Anonymous said...

Such a sad story. Speechless.

Judy Leese

Anonymous said...


I had been printing out your TWB stories for Kak Eda to read.
While she is struggling with her pains ,she had said she wanted to write on this too.
Will be hearing from her soon...InsyaAllah.

Do'a for Bapak and her always.

Anonymous said...


You've stirred up memories I've long kept hidden, and - I thought - forgotten. On reading what you've written, everything comes back clear as crystal.

The episode at S'pore airport went like this: Bapak was originally supposed to take a flight to S'pore. For some reason, he could not, so I took his seat at the last minute. The S'pore SB guys must have obtained the original manifest from MAS with Bapak's name on it, not the updated one in which my name replaced his. That was why they expected him.

Can you imagine just how naive I was at that time? When the SB first approached Mak and I, I thought "Gee, Bapak must have sent his men from the S'pore office to meet us. How nice."

How nice, indeed.

I remember the night they took bapak.

Like you noted, I was really macho (haha) when I met the SB officers at the gate that night. I demanded to see their identification, and I was not intimidated by the number of officers present. At least, not at that moment. That's what you get from watching too much TV.

I was soon cut down to size, though. They didn't show me their IDs. They just said open up or else. Darn - they didn't follow the script! I didn't either: I let them in instead of putting up my dukes.

But I was not deflated by the loss of machismo. Instead, I was angry. I wanted to get even. You know, I thought up (and concocted) stuff I cannot repeat publicly. But we couldn't get even, could we? To me, that was the most frustrating part - not being able to get even.

I was angry for a long time. But Mak was the voice of reason. Of all people, she had the most reason to be angry. But her voice was a salve, a balm that comforted us all.

Bapak, too, gave me a reason not to be angry. I remember Bapak asking me many times on the Tuesdays that we visited him: "Are you still writing for Sunday Mail?"

I'd say "Yes", each time, and he'd reply, "Good". It was a statement he wanted to make to the powers that be - that his children were strong and independent, and were able to take care of themselves even if he was detained indefinitely.

Bapak wanted us to do well in whatever we did, and didn't want his detention to affect our lives.

I guess we didn't do too badly. But we blew it on the second count - his detention did affect our lives.


Saya pasti semua orang tahu lagu kegemaran Pak Samad, Semalam Di Malaya. Antara liriknya:

Aku pulang dari rantau
Bertahun-tahun di negeri orang
Oh Malaya

Kekasih hatiku
Telah pula hilang
Hilang Tak berkesan
Aduhai sayang, apakan daya

Aku hanya seorang pengembara
Yang hina.

Selalu juga saya tertanya-tanya. Entah berapa ratus atau ribu kali lagu ini dinyanyi, didendang oleh Pak Samah semasa dalam tahanan.
Adik Nuraina, saya setuju dengan Shar101, Maverick SM dll. Awak wajib menceritakan kisah Pak Samad yang sebenar. Tak usah tunggu sampak King Ghaz dah tak ada. Bikin bukunya cepat. Dan biarkan Dolah Kok Lanas panas buntutnya.

Anonymous said...

Dear Nuraina & family,

This cannot be easy... heartfelt thanks for sharing.

A Voice said...

Sis Nuraina

I was in boarding school and was watching on TV the "forced" confession of being communist that Tan Sri, Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad and Dato Abdullah Majid had to undergo.

For those younger ones, similar to terrorist, communist was the favourite bogey of the day. I do not discount there are genuine cases.

I was never convince of that confession. My dad had much reveration for Journalist & Writers, for he was a former Independent activist from the Teaching profession. He was not convince also.

As I grow up and start to know those insider people of the "Baling student demo", I came to know that it was King Ghaz last ditch attempt to being "King".

Ideally, I hate and do not agree with ISA. But practically I see its needs. How do we protect it from such abuses?

Today people are taken that AAB is more open. So many have forgotten that there is a gentlemen who did business with his son Kamal and will remain imprisoned for ISA till AAB ends his primership.

No one remember BSA Tahir anymore. He was related to the Scomi's nuclear centrifuge scandal that could implicate Kamal. AAB will not stand for anything that affect his family! He imprisoned him so that he can win the 2004 GE with flying colours.

I will write on this story on my blog. Stick around.

If he was wrong, why can't they bring his to court?

Lest give our doa, light a candle or joss stick, prayers, whatever for him.

Anonymous said...

WOW! i'm speechless.

kak ena dan siblings, thanks so much for sharing. At this moment all i could think is how the other families of ISA detainees are holding up.

The continuous harrassment they receives from the SB, the people's prejudice etc.

like you, i am sure the children who suffers most ...

Tabik kat mak kak ena :)

Clark Gable of Pulau Duyong said...

Dear Ms NAS,
The ordeals that you and your family went thru must be told again and again....I guess you get that steely determination from from Your Dad huh.

Regards to Bapak May God Bless Him and Repay his 'Perjuangan Menentang Arus'


anonymous at 12.07pm: My brother, Hamed (under nick Ash Wednesday AKA Abu Rabu) explained it under this post.
He said the Spore SB obtained the original manifest from MAS in which my dad's name was listed. They did not obtain the updated one in which my brother's name was instead listed as my dad decided not to take the flight and came went to Spore with my sisters and I in his car.
That was why my brother was stopped anyway.
I was reminded that the Special branch guys then headed for my (dad's late mom's) grandmother's house in another part of my kampng, thinking that he would surely be there for the funeral. They waited in vain for my dad who had already left for KL. The funeralwas, in the first place not held there.

hope that cleared the air for you.

Anonymous said...


The name Abu Rabu sounds vaguely familiar. He's your brother? When did he write for Sunday Mail? What's his real name?


anonymous 4.06PM:
His detention under the ISA from 1976 to 1981 by the Malaysian government was his third in his lifetime.
(Here I have to make a rectification: The orders to detain bapak under the ISA was not signed by (then PM) Hussein Onn, by (then Home Minister) Ghazali Shafie.)
Bapak was one of the founders of Gerakan Angkatan Muda (Geram), a founder member of the People's Action Party (PAP- the ruling party in Spore) which he represented at the 1955 Bandung conference, chairman of Singapore Umno (1958-59).
His active association with politics led him to being detained 3 times: The first two in Singapore by the British colonial administration in 1946 and then again in 1951-1953.
His 1976-81 ISA detention, was seen by some observers as a result of the hurly-burly and intrigues of politics within Malaysia and Singapore then.
(Read: "A Samad Ismail: Journalism and Politics" for a start)
Basically, in short I can say (based on my own knowledge of it), it is about an ambitious minister threatened by a circle of political leaders and a journalist close to a recently-departed PM, a weak Prime Minister and a Prime Minister from a neighbouring island republic who wanted to settle old scores (who happened to be close to this ambitious minister).
So, you gotta have a strong case against Samad. Just resurrect his past as he was known to have had leftist leanings during the British colonial period in Singapore.
He and Lee Kuan Yew were pretty close in those days. Lee was his legal counsel after he was detained by the British.
They parted bitterly, I was told.
I would say it was LKYew, in collaboration with King Ghaz,used the commie card on bapak, resurrected his leftist past to make a case against him.
They neednt to actually, ISA is detention without trial.

Bergen said...

Thank you for visiting, ma'am.


Anonymous 4:06PM:

Need to add a bit more :

To put it simply -- Samad was a dangerous man to Ghaz and several Umno leaders at that time. The detention of Syed Husin Ali and the 2 Abduls -- then deputy mininsters Abdullah Ahmad ( NOT AA Badawi,of course!) and Abdullah Majid -- was to make that strong case that Samad was THE Mastermind.
It suited Ghaz'sand LKYew's agenda perfectly.
Remember, Hussein Jahidin and Azmi Mahmud (detained earlier in Singapore) confessed that Samad was their leader and mastermind.

Anonymous said...

Wow Wow Wow, This is blogging at its best. Pushing its frontier and capitalizing on its full potential. Your arresting TWB story and the spontaneous feedbacks it attracted from other key players and those in the know are replete with raw human emotions and intriguing revelations. Please, don’t hold back now and tell us as it was, the way you see it.


To my very dear kak ton, abang med, kak olin and lalin:

I must apologise for revisiting the past,and thus, unwittingly "dragging" you all along with me.
It was not meant to bring you back to those dark and painful days.
I really thought I was the only with vivid memories of that fateful morning and the years that followed.
How wrong I was!
Abang Med: Thank you for correcting me about your "confrontation" with the SB officers at the gate.
I had quite forgotten the details of that -- that they refused to show their police ID and just told you to let them in "or else".
I am rmembering that now.
And also of your little encounter with the Singapore SB officers at the airport.
And to remember arwah Mak for her strength, courage, loyalty, patience and utter calmness.
The late Usman Awang (our arwah Pak Cik Tongkat) wrote about arwah Mak:
"This woman with the courage of a lioness had undergone similar trials in the past. Never once did she utter a word of regret to anyone for the hardships she had to bear as a result of her husband's detention.
When she bowed her head in prayer, submitting herself in all humility to God, she felt the peace and tranquility of mind and heart.
It was to Him that she turned for succour and blessing in her moments of sadness and in her hours of joy".
Arwah Pak Cik Tongkat remembered how arwah Mak "would always plead for the patience and understanding of her children, who unlike her, were quick to anger against those responsible for his incarceration".


clark gable Pulau Duyong:
steely determination? -- dont know whether from just my dad. if that also means patience and fortitude, then must also be from my mom.


anonymous at 3:30PM:
My brother's name is Hamed Samad. He is a bio-chemist by training. But he happens also to be a musician (guitarist/playsn the piano too). He isnt that active as a musician now.. But back in the late 60s (in PJ),he used to be in a band (not so well-known). He used to jam with some of Malaysia's well-known musicians back then. Our house to have these jam sessions...Pretty cool,i think! He wasactive in the music scene in the 70s and 80s.
He used to have a music review column in the Sunday Mail i think in the 70s/80s.

jasgill said...

HI there. Recently I have started reading your blog and find your revelation very interesting. I feel sad about your family’s plight. I was away from 1973 to 1982 pursuing my studies abroad and thus am now only getting acquainted with the events that you are relating. My dad was a police officer and retired in 1969. I am glad that he was not a party to the abuse of these (ISA & OSA) draconian laws. He once told me that when the Japanese invaded Malaya, some of the officers approached the late PM Tunku Abdul Rahman who was a DO in Kedah.and asked what to do about the detainees in the police lock-up. He immediately authorized their release, fearing abuse at the hands of the Japs. This law (ISA) has been abused by our politicians and it is a shame that while we strive to achieve a developed nation’s status in 2020, we are still keeping detainees locked-up and abused under this law. Keep writing and let us hope that in our lifetime we will see this law being repealed in Malaysia.


Just for the record, folks,

my dad was not in jail for those 5 years. neither was he in Kamunting.
He was in solitary confinement at first somewhere in KL, and then incarcerated in different houses in a different locations during that period. We never knew where.
I believe "they" did not want him to meet other political detainees.

Unknown said...


(Does it means "cahaya mata kami/kita?")

i have reserved my opinion untill this 7.15 pm..

You said:

"...it is about an ambitious minister threatened by a circle of political leaders and a journalist close to a recently-departed PM, a weak Prime Minister and a Prime Minister from a neighbouring island republic who wanted to settle old scores (who happened to be close to this ambitious minister)."

That really makes two of us!

ambitious minister

Ohh! God knows how i hate him when i was a staff in Kementerian Dalam Negeri from 1980 - and when i resigned in 1983, i still believe Musa Hitam was a better minister. Much better!

weak Prime Minister

This is what i really reserved before this. Dia dah meninggal. And, i still reserve...

By the way, do we have one ambitious evil genius today and a weaker prime minister?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing TWB with us. Your narration of that unfortunate and sad chapter of your life and that of your family vividly captures the emotions you must have felt then. They say what doesn't kill you makes you strong and you know what Nuraina, you are the living proof of that. I was a student in Malaysia back in the 1970's (LCE and MCE, hmmmm... I am ancient, ain't I?) but I left Malaysia before 1976 and was not aware of this incident until now. Thanks for sharing and keep writing.

Anonymous said...


I would like to correct the para which I posted yesterday.

It should read:

“Concerned relatives and close friends - Pak Cik Tongkat, Pak Cik Kamal (Keris Mas) & Dr Raja Kumar, among others - rushed to the house in section 16 as soon as they heard the news wanting to know the latest.

In the original posting I mentioned that Syed Hussin was among those who came to the house the day after Bapak was arrested.

That was factually incorrect.

Fauziah Ismail said...

You've capture my attention to your blog through Tuesdays with Bapak.
You're siblings' contributions make it an interesting read.
Thank you for sharing your family story with us bloggers and readers.

Anonymous said...


Am so sad that "they" had robbed your two youngest sisters, lan & Nina, of their precious childhood by taking away your dear dad for more than five years.

I wept reading the account of your sisters lan, kak ton, kak olin & your brother abu rabu aka Hamed.

I can feel your pain & that of your siblings. Who wouldnt?

And, I have nothing but admiration for your late mom for her strength in keeping yr family together during those trying times.

I thank you Nuraina and all your siblings for sharing that "pengalaman pahit" with us, your readers.

jasgill said...

You wrote in TWB (1):
This is for real. Tuesday was the day our family was allowed to visit my dad, after he was detained in 1976, under the Internal Security Act at the orders of (then Prime Minister) Hussein Onn.
And it would be every Tuesday off from work for me from then on, until his release in 1981.
You commented:
my dad was not in jail for those 5 years. neither was he in Kamunting.
He was in solitary confinement at first somewhere in KL, and then incarcerated in different houses in a different locations during that period. We never knew where.
I believe "they" did not want him to meet other political detainees.

So I suppose when they allowed you to visit they took you under escort, sort of blind folded or in a very dark tinted vehicle or such? Pls enlighten us on this.

tokasid said...

Salam to NAS and all.

What a tragic psychological trauma you and siblings had to face. And the common rakyats perception back then when someone being hauled up by Police( apa lagi SB): this guy is a criminal and dangerous. The rakyat who read dailies(esp Malay dailies) doesn't read these detentions as a political action by the power that be, but assumed the OKT(orang kena tahan) as criminals at the level of robbers,murderers,rapists and drug dealers.I remember I heard 'permanent residents' of warong kopi saying Pak Samad 'orang komunis'.They say "kerajaan tangkap Pak Samad pasai dia jahat.." As children we don't give a sh*t and cannot understand what the big fuss is all about.We were really naive in the Malayheartland and can be easily conned by the govt controlled media(sampai sekarang).

And what happened to Pak Samad is still happening to other fathers.Their children and wives are suffering in silence.Ignored by relatives and neighbours.At least there are few NGOs which showed concern to them.During your father's time, your family had to endure alone with few exceptional friends of your dad,Alhamdulillah.

We keep on hearing this is a free country and the people can voive their opinion. But how? Where can the people do that?You send letters to the press and they go to the wastebin.Alhamdulillah now we can blog but for how long before someone call on you and knock your door just before Subuh?Or before giant press takes you to court?(My best wishes to Rocky and Jeff).

NAS, do continue the story about Pak samad.The one that we didn't know about.
Thank you for sharing with us.

PS- is Hamid A.Samad who wrote music reviews in NSTP in the 80's your brother?

Faze said...

Lumps in my throat, smoke in my eyes.

Thank you for sharing.

zewt said...

Hey there,
Sorry to hear about your ordeal. Ya, life was never the same anymore, but I am sure it made you stronger... the whole family for that matter.

tokasid said...

Salam to NAS.
I gave my earlier comment wiyhuot reading other comments.
Yes it was your bro Hamed who wrote music reviews in Mail.I remember waiting for his weekly column. My interest in Jazz started after reading his reviews and encouragement from friends from Klang Valley and by listening to RMIK.
I remember a friend from Jln Gasing telling me hamed is Pak Samad's son and he was an engineer.
Few years later hamed stop doing the reviews and I felt lost( until RS Murthi took over).



when we first were allowed to meet our dad,it was in a room at the jln bandar police station in KL. For the next few years, that was to be our meeting place. They would give us a time... usually bapak would be there first with about special branch officers, escorting and guarding him.
Later on, prior to his release, our rendesvous was at the PJ police station.
I believe during the early part of his detention, he was moved around in a black maria.
more of this in later episodes of TWB.

Bala Pillai said...

Dear Nuraina,

Riveting reading. Amongst the only reading that gives me goosebumps.

Tell me, given this and given you being Samad's daughter, did you find it uncomfortable working for NST?

Also, if it is okay with you, how do I talk to you privately -- what's your email address?


dear mr pillai,

thank you for visiting my site.
i can be contacted at nursamad@yahoo.com.
to your question whether I found it uncomfortable working with the NST -- I did not.
I joined the NST after graduation. My dad was still in detention. However, I did my practical training with the NST twice, as required by our school, before applying for the job. When I joined, I found that everyone -- editors and reporters -- treated me just like any other rookie.
If there was any misgiving on the NST's management then, I was not aware of it.