Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Tuesdays With Bapak

Another New Year -- January 1 2008

Bapak was lying in his bed watching TV3's new year's eve concert. Jamal Abdillah was on.
Mak Cik was with him.

As I walked towards the bed, he looked up. He smiled. His cheeks seemed less hollow now.

"Dari mana?", he asked.

"Tak ada dari mana-mana. Dari living room nak nonton TV dengan Bapak," I replied, making myself comfortable at one end of his bed, beside Mak Cik.

Earlier, Terry, my brother-in-law (Azah's husband) emerged from Bapak's room sounding very upbeat, saying that Bapak was sharp and alert.

He had a great conversation with Bapak whose memory of the past was clear and lucid. And Bapak was singing a song, presumably his favourite "Semalam di Malaya". Terry was not sure, though.

We always like it when Bapak is sharp and alert, clear and lucid. Occasions such as this mean a lot to us because we know that age has long caught up with Bapak. ,

There are times, when he is clear and lucid, sharp and alert, I'd just ask him about his past experiences. I'd also ask him about his beliefs and views. I want to see if he still remains firm in his belief with regards to journalism, political (including his ISA detention) and socio-political matters.
I think he has mellowed a bit. Old age,I think has softened him.

Just the other day when Hindraf's Uthayakumar was detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA), I asked him whether he thought the ISA should have been invoked against the man.

"No. They can detain him But not under the ISA," he said.

"They think he is a threat to national security," I said.

"Yah kah?....Even so," he replied.

"Do you consider yourself a threat to national security when you were detained under the ISA back then?", I asked.

"No.oo...", he replied, his cheeks hollowed for some minutes as his "no" remained prolonged.

"You were wrongly detained. For five years you were incarcerated. You think the government owes you an apology?" I asked.

"I don't know. I have never asked for one," he said, a little bit amused by all these questions.

I have never hidden the fact that I believe the ISA has largely been abused by politicians in power against people they deem are a threat to their positions, not to the country. Or misused by the authorities as a convenient piece of legislation to act against people they deem as trouble makers.

Bapak thought so too.

At least old age has not not changed his views on that.

So I asked Bapak if he liked Jamal Abdillah who seems to be still very popular and has that oomph as a singer.

"Boleh-lah...", he said, not exactly impressed.

"Lagi bagus Sharifah Aini." Oh Bapak!

So...here's a happy new year from Bapak. And we are so happy he is still with us.


Anonymous said...

Semoga Pak Samad diberkati dengan kesihatan yang berpanjangan.

Bailey said...

how's ur dad kak ena?

he's one of many people yang saya teringin nak jumpa. =)

zaitgha said...

Happy New Year Nuraina and your family too...

i miss arguing with my dad... i used to just sit in my car with him and talked about everything under the sun ....

Salam to your dad and take care....

Rockybru said...

"Lagi bagus Sharifah Aini"! Your dad is sure C.L.A.S. - Clear and Lucid, Alert and Sharp (sorry, I amended Terry's and your expression a little .. I am not so sharp with remembering too many words to describe a situation). I still remember his duet with Sharifah Aini -- Semalam Di Malaya. That was CLAS as CLAS can be!

Interesting Q&A, too, Ena. Good for you to take advantage of his Clear and Lucid, Alert and Sharp-ness. Yes, I do believe the Government owe Pak Samad and all the other ISA detainees an apology.

National threat, my foot!

The Government should get rid of the ISA before it's too late, and if it believes in the inevitable, which is, it will lose the 2/3 majority and power, sooner or later. Someone else takes over, and that ISA may be used on you guys like tit for tat.

Don't say you weren't warned.

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

Happy new year Kak Nuraina, and to Tan Sri, may 2008 brings him more cheer and in greater health especially, insyaAllah.

mokciknab said...

Happy New Year Kak Aina,
If he were any stronger, I would have insisted that you organize Tuesday group meetings with the venerable Pak Samad, just so worried Malaysians like me can have a little window into that time in history when integrity and honor accounted for something.

Besides, I'm probably not the only one who miss getting shouted at by Pak Samad. (Ask any other TV producer who has worked with him - many still fondly remember your father's endearing quirks). He was The Editor, and it's been a long way down since then.

Here's wishing Awal Muharram brings you berkah, peace and many, many more Tuesdays with Bapak.

A Voice said...

Even a not so great guy like me as a common like with Tan Sri. Not Jaaml, all the way Sharifah Aini. She happen to be my mum's pupil as also Senator Prof Ismail

Was just chatting with someone of one MB when in KL as Deputy Min asyik menggatal dgn S Aini. Yes we were talking of the Chua Soi Lek and the various affairs going on in the corridors of power.

Anonymous said...

hi there..im new to your blog...and was touched by your time spent with bapak..

it reminds me of the book...'tuesdays with morrie' by mitch albom..where one can learn so much from those experienced and rich with life's lessons and blessings...

ive been out of the country for many years and am not familiar of bapak's achievements and life history..which i am interested in and will research into but for the purpose of this comment...not so critical..

what is critical is bapak's magnanimous gesture towards those who have abused his rights as a rakyat..and his wise stance on the matter...

the ISA will always be a powerful tool for the lame authorities as it gives them carte blanche rights to stamp out any so called 'threat' to their positions...

there is absolutely no incentive for them to stop using it...

many more will fall victim to the ISAs widening net of deceit and abuse..until a time when even those incarcerating...(im talking about the minions and not the powers!!) will wake up to a conscience...a realisation that the ISA is blatant abuse and misuse of power...

i was so hoping in Myanmar recently that the 'buddhist' militia would have been 'enlightened' and stop the cruel actions against their own brethren...the monks...

but alas that was not to be...

and will this 'enlightenment' happen in malaysia?

when the fru and the polis...the army and the special branch wake up to their wrong-doings against their own kind...and turn to face...with force...the real criminals...the authorities...

to refuse to use the water canons and shoot the next tear gas cannister...to down weapons and march with the rakyat...for a new malaysia?

that would be wonderful wouldnt it?

but ive always been a dreamer...

and its such a beautiful dream...