SMS Kelantan as I Remember

This is a collection of stories and old photos of me, friends, teachers and events during my secondary school years (1975-79) at SMS Kelantan, which is now known as Sek Men Sains Tengku Muhammad Faris Putra. The school itself was started in 1973, and moved to the new campus in 1974 (you'll see grassless field in some pix!)

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Extract from SEMASA_78

This is my favourite cartoon strip from the 1978 school magazine, done by Ahmad Hilmy Abdullah. Click on the image to get a bigger size pix!

Amran's Reminiscence (Episodes 5-7)


Before I proceed may I say that since we left school, there has been no more hard feelings amongst those involved in that incident. I was once told by my group that the teacher and some of the students concerned had met up to forgive and forget. For whatever reason, we shouldn't have rioted! However, I will still write about it so that all of us know what filled up those 30years of our school history. Mind you, this is my own account of the incident and sincerely hope that others join in and correct me if I'm wrong..
Here it goes.......
A few important events closely related to our batch (73) had taken place. Cik gu Rashidi, regarded as our first mentor during our testing year in SMIP, was transferred in 1974. We were then taken care by our wardens cikgu Baha and Cikgu Mat Nor (they're friendly and fair to us). However, we turned more to Cik gu Ashaari to fill up that gap left by Cik gu Rashidi. I mean he'd be the one whom most of batch 73 students would confide in, joked with, and listened to. We felt that he was a very caring and understanding person. He had that natural charm written over his face, had he not? Furthermore, he was with us right from the very first day in SMIP too. By now, more batches came into the school and I think we were a bit intimidated by some of you guys about who should be in control cos we always feel special about being the pioneer and had endured a lot of hardships. As such we were very sensitive towards anything that touched anybody from our batch. (biasalah a! t that age, a person tends to look for a comrade in place of one's parents).
Our charismatic principal Mr. Mahadzir also left us. In came Pn. Rahmah Hussein (she had two cute daughters in the school as well) from TKC. This handsome man Mahadzir, such a fierce, no nonsense, difficult to smile, he could nag us for hours ( a couple of students collapsed during assembly), he'd make the teachers and us waited for an hour in the assembly hall while he took the longest route via every dorm before reaching the hall......nobody moved...we sang Negara ku and Selamat Sultan and he didn't say a single word.......assembly finished. Just like that. He was very outspoken.............we were like timid rat with him around. ONLY when he left that we realised how he has managed to change our mind set for excellence. He was actually firm but fair. He put television sets for us to watch Muhamad Ali vs Joe Bugner in KL. He even went to see them before the fight and came back telling us highly about Muhammad Ali's excellence. Suddenly we felt the empt! iness when he left us. I personally feel that he played a big role in psyching us to excel in the school's LCE exam.
After our success in the LCE exam in 1975, we spent a lot of time playing and fooling around cos MCE was still far away and our new warden was a hell of a tough sportsman. Our school excelled in various fields especially in debate, games and sports even at the national level. One boy stood out among us ----ROSLI HUSAIN (we called him Pak Da). He was made the first School Games Captain for his flair in almost every sports he played...and he could play almost everything....He's even good at debate, study, music, comedy....he was really an outstanding boy. He never walked alone. We looked up to him not only for his size but also for his leadership. He was popular with everybody. I was indebted to him because he always put me on the bus to watch away football games.
So, it was not a surprise when one night after the prep hour, we were shocked to learn that a group of batch 73 were rounded up by this new warden for an alleged indiscipline and among them was Rosli Husain.
Some of us started to loiter below the warden's room waiting anxiously, not knowing why they were still detained by the warden for so long... the crowd was getting bigger including some seniors and juniors.
Suddenly, someone heard a commotion and heard someone screaming "PAK Da kena pukul ke cikgu....". All hell broke loose.. some ran upstairs and tried to break into the room while others pelted the windows with bricks. More joined in, screaming and running around, smashing things in anger for the warden refused to come out.....who would dare? I remember the owner of the house just outside our kitchen fence shouted at us and was shut up immediately with rude remarks from some of us.
Everything was in chaos....tension was running very high.....people from the surrounding started coming in. It made us madder........of course in that situation more students became hysterical especially those who learned silat. So almost everybody's running around attacking the warden's room as well as comforting the hysterical students........ISIN was the word! These silat batin group was difficult to control except for one guy who looked very much in trance (ISIN) until his sarong terlondeh and he quickly pulled it up...well too late, we looked at him in disgust and left him alone....tipu punya isin!
Joked aside, by 2am, some parents and more people came and tried to console us ---- no chance. Mr. Mahadzir is no longer there, remember? Then.... the nearby Pasukan Polis Hutan came in with their guns pointed. There was a long queue of police trucks in the school area till the main gate. Some of us were still uncontrollable, chasing the police car which was supposed to ferry out the warden. The shouting and running continued. Eventually at almost 4am, we were all squatting in the area between the two hostel blocks staring at the mouth of the police rifles pointed at us (just like the immigrants you see in the newspaper nowadays). We cooled down and listened to a few comforting words from some of our favorite teachers.........
The next day was a gloomy day as we become the talk of the town. Words spread fast up to Gua Musang even though there wasn't any hanphone then. It became worse day after day when the dust settled down cos it was time to face the music. Some of us was penalised and so on.......... Of course nobody won, we were all losers. We shouldn't have done it but it was on impulse, I would say. Luckily there was no casualty though it could have easily been...
Amran Mohd Nor (batch 73-78)
Lumut Perak
31 January 2003

PEACEFUL EASY FEELINGS! -- (Episode 6 - Bell Bottom Years)
The pioneers came to SMS during the hippies' era -- side burns (belum tumbuh misai tapi cikgu ramai yg. pasang sideburn like Cikgu Abu Bakar, Cikgu Razak, Cikgu Syed Abd. Hamid, Cikgu Tg. Aziz etc.), bell bottoms (wow! imagine groups of boys sweeping the school ground with their bell bottoms.)
Those years were also about being cool in faded jeans. Wranglers, Levis and Lee. anything less were not cool! Unfaded? NOT COOL! The boys used to buy a new Wranglers or Levis and beat them mad on the bathroom floor after soaking with chlorox to fade it ---- COOL! Faded and torn-out jeas (especially at the knees) were in demand. Nobody could beat Azlan Dato' Ariffin for that. Not much for him being COOL but more so because the jean was handed down from his eldest brother via many other brothers in his family. Remember him wearing that torn-out Crocodile T'shirt with the Eric Clapton face on his chest? COOL!!. By the way he's a good Guitarist and his music was considered advanced (at least for me -- cos I only began to love Eric Clapton while at the Univ.).
Talking about music, the dorms were filled up with D Lloyds, Rod Stewarts, Bad Company, Eagles, and many other great songs day and night. 1973 was the year P.Ramlee passed away--- luckily we had Jazuli to sing all the songs by heart ---- day and night!
2 July 2003

Peaceful Easy Feeling (Episode 7: Our Bus Is Here!!!)
Remember my first story about the long march from wakaf mek zainab to Pengkalan Chepa? Poor kids. We wouldn't have to walk if we had our school bus then.

It was in 1974, returning to the dorm after our lunch. The sun was shining outside. The after lunch noise was always a welcome sound. Why not? We had finished the day's boring hours in the classroom, had just filled up our hungry stomach at the dining it was time to relax before the 'horizontal hour'. Remember the usual scenario in the dorm at that time? Some of us would be singing at the top of their voices, laughters filled the air, boys jumping onto one another in their bed (just doing decent hugging, nothing fishy about it!), sound of slippers slapping the corridor floors to the bathroom and the sight of boys wrapped in towel walking or running along the corridors of all floors and blocks. Some were grouping at the corridors shouting at other groups in the other block..... And in the bathroom? More singing, right? Shower room doors are knocked to irritate the occupant. A lot of fun but it was still another routine afternoon in SMSK.......

I was about to go to the toilet when some alien sound caught my attention. It was a continuous sound of car horns and the continuous pip..pip..pip..pip..pip..of motorcycles.Some of us looked out of the window and saw a procession of some of our teachers' cars and vespas ---- Cikgu Razak, Cikgu Syed Abd. Hamid and a few others. They were sounding the horns continuosly and their faces were beaming with wide smiles waving towards us and pointing towards the school gate, as if to show us something. We didn't have to wonder too long because within seconds we saw a shining creamy yellow long bus entering the gate. Then we saw it ---- SEKOLAH MENENGAH SAINS KELANTAN ! By now, the blaring horns was accompanied by our cheering and clappings. OH ! BAS KITA SUDAH SAMPAI or rather OIII ! BAH KITO SAPA DAH! BAH KITA ! BAH KITA! We ran downstairs and crowded the bus. A tall dark man with a hunch came down from the bus and was welcomed by us all. As we know that! man was PAK CIK HAMID, a name synonimous with us. He later became one of us, live his life and shared the bitter sweet memories with us........

Pak Cik Hamid and his bus had taken us to various places. I'm sure each and everyone has their own story to tell. My memorable one was the trip to the PPM in STF Johor Bahru in 1976. We came back at night on a high note after securing a place into the debate final. . We were passing by the jungle of Rompin when some guys wanted to stop for a pee. That was the time when Zawawi Husin came up with an eerie ghost story. I remembered the guys had to bear with the erection (pardon me) until we reached a kampong in Terengganu before they went down desperately looking for a toilet in the wee hour of the morning....

.........well, the bus! OUR BUS! In those days, you couldn't see many buses other than the SKMK. So, this bus is special, it's ours! No wonder the teachers who were speeding home for their lunch, turned back to lead the bus to us. They seemed to be as excited as we were. Had it arrived a year earlier, my friends and I wouldn't have to experience the symbolic long walk from wakaf mek zainab. But then, I wouldn't have that story to tell you.


8 August 2003

NB: Pl. forgive me for any inaccuracies. Please recall the event and add on to this story.

Amran's Reminiscence (Episodes 1-4)

This time I am putting here the stories told by a pioneering senior (SMSKel 1973-1977) in our e-group some time ago. The e-group was later deleted (I still don't know how it happened) but Hasmala keeps the original mails, so we can still reproduce them here!.

He had divided it into a few sections!!
[Thank you to Hasmala for keeping all the postins, and forwading them to me again!]

Peaceful Easy Feeling (Episode 1: THE LONG MARCH)
It was a long March from Wakaf Mek Zainab to Pengkalan Chepa. I need to let all of you know what SMSK meant to us ( batch 73).
Life was not so rosy in SMIP with its crowded dorm, stinking leaked septic tank that freed all its content into the drain and beyond everytime there was a heavy downpour. More than half of us contracted typhoid which forced us to set up a temporary ward at the hostel (I was the last to get it -- the day I helped dis-ambled the ward). Our big brothers (SMIP guys) took great care of us by making us their kid brother, help us in a lot of things especially teaching us how to demonstrate to fight for our rights (most of the time when we were served with nasi basi - remember the chants" apa kita mahu?". "Nasi!"
The stories about the real boarding school as been told by Cikgu Rashidi (MCOBA) made us cringed to see our own school in Pengkalan Chepa. Promises to move there were made every other week but to no avail. Out of sheer frustration, we demanded one day to go and see the building though not completed. He said okay but we need to walk there! Actually the teachers were tired of giving excuses.
One fine morning, the boys in white T shirt and short with the girls in their skirt, we walked in line. We passed thro' a few kampong stopping at every perigi along the way to quench our thirst, the 234 of us walked and walked and walked.......the dream school was nowhere to be seen. Soon, a few guys broke the rules and were sent back quashing their big dream of seeing the multi storey complex with big padang.
Under the intense heat, we continued our journey stopping at a couple of kedai kopi to buy some titbits. We emptied their bottles, but I'm not sure how much the owner got (siapa teringat pergilah cari balik kedai tu -- bayar).
Finally, we saw it.....our school.....the almost completed buildings....big padang. Everyone put that childish grin on their faces...........We were looking from outside the fence though. We were not allowed to step into the school compound cos it was still the contractor's site - it was a projek sakit . I remember Rosli Alias took a black and white photo of the school.....
Time to go meant a lot to heal our yearning for 'our school'. I tell you, it was somewhat an emotional moment to leave the school behind...or was it because we have to walk back.
On our way home, most of us were too tired to walk in line. We broke loose and walked as fast as possible, drinking air perigi whenever we found one. We shortcut through the jungles where most of the Taman Perumahan were then built on. We walk and march back to the hostel. I couldn't recall the pain until today because there was no pain......only that peaceful easy feeling after finally seeing our own school with that big padang which we finally step into in January 1974.
Note: Those of you contractors out there, try your best not to let your project sakit especially school projects cos you wouldn't know how many hearts you will break by doing that!
Amran Mohd Nor
Lumut Perak

Peaceful Easy Feeling(Episode 2: THE CHEETAHS AND THE GAZELLES)

In 1973, Cikgu Rashidi form a group of relay teams which he called Cheetah for the boys and Gazelle for the girls. The Cheetahs were Ab. Rahman Suhaimi, Sazali, Raja Tarmizi and oh god I can't remember the other one...minta maaf banyak-banyak. The gazelles were Roselawati Kadir (QS JKR KL), Chua Seu Hong (where are you now?), Rohana (the last time jumpa kat UK buat A-level) and was it Rozita? I need help to recall them....dah lama kan, tapi adik-adik SMSK and Farisian punya pasal, abng/pakcik kamu ni akan cuba cerita mana yang ingat.
The team made a wave cos we beat a few established team and gave impressive performance against a much older students in KB.
Then, the football team. I remember Cikgu Rashidi went round asking for those who had represnted their state, district or school during their primary school.......He gathered them one day and we got two teams. Our greatest achievement that year was beating MRSM away. was the score 7-5? Anyway, it meant a lot cos our guys came home with swollen feet.......they played bare footed against the sophisticated MRSM who was supplied with boots. It was an emotional occasion yet again......that explains why every match against MRSM after that was very highly charged ---- for the record, SMSK team was never beaten by anybody until 1977. We supplied most of the Kelantan team players the likes of Rosli Hussein(Pak Da), Tarmizi Kassim, Nazrin, Azam and others.
I think we need to pay tribute to Cikgu Rashidi for initiating and instilling the fighting spirit from the very beginning to create a name for our school. He was a friend, going from class to class telling his MCOBA tales during our preps. He taught us how to smoke and lompat pagar without being caught....of course he caught them all......he was fierce but fair. We ran around like a mouse whenever we heard his volvo PF... 's engine coming into the school compound ...but we also waited eagerly for his presence in our class to listen to his tales and wonderful stories about life in a boarding school. We love him......I bumped into him in Pangkor a few years ago with his entire family going for a vacation........had he not been around with in SMIP, I wouldn't know how the SMSK storyline would be......
.....whenever I remember him, I remember the Cheetahs and the Gazelles gunning down the tracks in 1973.
Amran Mohd Nor
Lumut Perak

Peaceful easy Feeling (Episode 3: GIVE ME YOUR RED EYES!!!)

Now that Aminuddin mentioned it, I have to share this story with all of you. I think you juniors around the world should get to know us the 73 batch cos we had loads of tales to share. Nowadays, we just can't imagine how some of us can be what and who we are today....ingat tak jadi orang dah!!!
Yes, it was in 1975, our LCE (dulu SPR now PMR) year. Ramadan as well. Most of us were busy and anxiously studying for our LCE. We were to be the first batch to sit down for the exam and after almost two years with us, the then principal, Mahadzir (his name means "Talk-Big" and he lives to his name -handsome no-nonsense very much like our PM - kalau nampak nak berselisih semua orang lari even the teacher and the gardener) had given up on our batch. He publicly caned so many of us for doing all sorts of nonsense. Our famous Sulong (adik Dato' Dr. Ramli Mohamad of PLUS) bothered him the most, I think. SMSK was pressured to do well in the exam but Mahadzir had only people like us --- so rowdy and very loyal to each other.
The exam tension was mounting whatmore with fasting and the hari raya coming....homesick lah! Especially thinking of your siblings eating sumptuous akok and what not while we had to make do with bubur hangit. Then, one of us contracted this severe red eye syndrome (conjunctivitis). It spread like fire, one after another went to the hospital and didn't return, wow...they got a week's MC. They celebrated like mad cos they're going home.
So, very soon everybody rushed for those guys' pillow and towel, rub them in the you go...home for a week....akok, nonde, lompat hell with the exam. It was madness the way we jumped onto the infected pillows and rub the eyes it..... and passed it around. Fantastic trick, within hours, you got it! red eyes, the painful sensation when you rukuk in your feel like your whole head is coming out through your eyes.........oooo..what a nice feeling...going home for puasa.
The number diminished fast in all classrooms, it was a crisis. Mr. Mahadzir found out about our tricks and he was so furious that he asked for a roll call in the school hall that same night. Only a third of us left.....Exam is right after Raya...He tried to strike fear in us by telling that nobody would go home anymore........
I was so sad cos I had just about to feel that lump in my eyes. " Oh God, I'm not going to complete Ramadan here with my eyes like this". Off to the hospital and with one look at me, the doctor signed a week's MC. My eyes were throbing. Told the warden...and guess what..he asked me to go home.......better still, my MC finished just before Raya....I had a good time. The pain went off on the second day after taking a pill from Thailand (now banned)
The exam came, the first LCE result of SMS Kelantan were out........ 100 %. Mr Mahadzir cried!!! Very proud of us!! And what about Sulong, the boy that bothered Mr. Mahadzir so much? Did he get 7As or 8As. Of course, he did better in his MCE, went to Liverpool Univ and joined Schlumberger, that oil exploration company who pays unbelievable sum to their engineers ----- but now he is the head or something like that of Schlumberger , I am told, based in Paris. I met him almost 20years ago in Bangsar when he told me that he just wanted to get a porsche and quit......
Well, adik-adik, that was how the 100% tradition was made for you to continue. Everytime I read about our school getting 100%, I'll quickly remember that particular moment in life when I joined the rest foolishly. Whenever my kids contracted conjunctivitis, I'd tell them the story, and my wife, a doctor, just cannot understand how stupid I was!
WARNING TO THOSE WHO ARE STILL IN THE SCHOOL: The above dangerous action was performed by mostly professional people (sekarang lah!) and therefore shouldnot be re-enacted by any of you for any reason whatsoever. I should not be held responsible for sharing this episode with you.
However if you suspect that you have contracted conjunctivitis, please go immediately to any doctor but preferably, not from batch 73 ......cos they know how to deal with you...

Salam from
Amran Mohd Nor
Lumut Perak
28 January 2003


I was in the hockey squad in the 1976 PPM in STF. We were very small and looked down by other more established schools like MCKK, STAR and SDAR. They were almost a different class above us. They got the eyes of TKC and STF girls then. So, obviously, we had to be more rowdy than them to attract attention. There're instances when we overdid it, and I must admit, we looked more like kampong boys. Things got worst when a SMSAH player walloped Rosli Hussein's shin in a hockey match....with heroes like Sudin, Che Amat etc in our team....all hell broke loose. News spread very fast about the incident and we felt like in a dustbin cos we suddenly became the 'badboy' of the tournament. But our debators changed the fortune...
Well....nothing could beat the night our debators ran down our more established opponents one after another with us cheering like mad, marching throughout the whole STF compound singing thro the night taunting the SDARians and STARians(these two were like brothers). If I'm not mistaken we qualified for the final that year (maybe someone can verify this for me). Suddenly, we were noticed! SMS Kelantan was the name. It put fear into others and we were suddenly on a new high (at least I was!). We behaved more 'kampong' after that. Of course we were beaten by Kolej Islam Klang in four straight years either in the final or semi final...real jinx.
Moments like that were contagious. At home the whole school was soon infected with debate fever. We suddenly had debate teams in every class and even dorm. I remember having debate contest in the dorm that started after the 'lights off'. The best part was that everybody was lying down in their bed dalam kelambu throughout the whole session. It amazed me till today how serious we were then. The eloquent and witty rebukes of Razali Mat Zin was emulated.....the forceful antonation and bombastic lingo of Anwar Ibrahim was the norm.....even within the kelambu.
In those days it was so difficult to get any message across because somebody no matter where and when will rebuke you to provoke a debate!!!
I must say that the debate team managed to speed up our effort in establishing our school as a top flight institution in the country.
For such a new school and at an era when there were only TV1 and TV2, appearing on national TV channel for the debate final was a very great achievement. It gave us a great pleasure to tell our kampong folks that "Sekolah Sain tu sekolah amba!"
Our strong pride in guarding the Kelantanese dialect did not deter us from participating in a debate contest. The classic case was when a contestant in an inter class debate went on emotionally putting across a case about indiscipline in school when he said something like ,"....... akan menyebabkan lebih ramai murid-murid sekolah merungkas pagar!"
Amran Mohd Nor
Lumut Perak
29 January 2003

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The 1977 Riot

It was an event every citizen of the school then wished never happened, but the fact was that it happened and there was no way it could be undone :-(

When did it happen and how did it happen? Nobody except those involved directly could really answer the question.

This is a very sensitive story/event/issue, whatever you want to call it. I will try my best not to be biased towards anybody, and what I am going to write is only based on what I heard, saw and gathered, from my limited resources.

I remember that it happened during the weekend, because that night (when it happened), we had visitors from SMS T Ahmad Shah, Gambang!! They came for a friendly visit (I am not sure, but I think it was their prefects and/or sixth formers). I think we had some friendly games with them, apart from their mandatory visits to the shopping places in Kelantan (I think they visited Rantau Panjang too). Their guys were given one of the dormitories on the top most floor of Block B. They must be very scared when they heard all the noices of boys screaming, shouting, breaking window panes, etc... What I remember was that, the following morning, the visitors packed their things and went home (or rather "checked out") much earlier than planned!

Now, let's get back to the stories before the riot! At that time, certain quarters of the students had some problems with one of the wardens. These groups of students consisted of mainly sportsmen, who had to practice for their games almost everyday. [in those days we were great teams for almost all the main games - soccer, hockey, netball, athletics. And we were there for both the Under-15 and Under-18 categories]. Being school kids, at that time of the year (early in the year when we concentrated more on the games than on our studies!!) games were paramount. These great players had supporters and admirers too! (hey, this is off the topic! :))
Anyway, their supporters would "cover" them for their minor wrong-doings, such as not being ready for the evening prayers (maghrib), or coming late to dining hall for dinner.

Anyway, there were some of the boys who were caught with some of these minor disciplinary problems. It's so happened that there was this "orang luar" warden (who's a six-footer! To me looked more like a commando than a teacher), who was just doing his duty when he caught these students..However, maybe he used certain words or style that "challenged" the students' patience - only God knows!!

What we know was that, that night this warden (let me name him Warden X) called some of the students to the warden's room (which was on the first floor of Block A, and from my bed, though far, I can see clearly the door to the room!). What happened there I don't know really know, but I was told later that the warden caught the wrong boy, and also for many times had been accusing the wrong boys for the wrong thing... Only God knows the truth...

I think after that the boys had gone back to their dorms soon after (not sure...), but what I know was that suddenly there was a group of boys calling Warden X by names, and wanting to break the door to the Warden's room!!! Cikgu Baha, who was a warden too, came out, blocked the door with his body and pleaded the boys to calm down. Cikgu Baha was very well loved by most students then, so the boys didn't harm him at all. However, the small-sized Cikgu Baha had a hard time trying to stop the boys from breaking the door and getting to Warden X, though he succeeded. Cikgu Baha even said things like, "if you want to harm him, harm me first". There were also boys who climbed to the other side of the block, and tried to get to the warden through the window! Honestly, the image of cikgu bahar pleading to them is still fresh in my head!!

Soon, other boys broke loose. Boys were shouting, screaming, and breaking window panes. Though they didn't attack the warden directly, they were seen harming themselves, in their attempt to control their anger and disappointment. One of them actually cut himself with the broken window pane, I was told. There was a water well between the boys block and the dining hall, and I could see boys around that area crying, screaming and getting hurt! Later I was told that some of the boys went "iseng" (went beserked, due to out of control emotional outburst, but somehow related to their self-defence "silat" practise!?!).

Before we can understand why they behaved that way, we need to know the situation then. At that time we had just lost our first principal, Cikgu Mahadzir, whom many of us hated when he was around, but was greatly missed by most students when he was gone!! Cikgu was transfered back to his homestate, Kedah and he was replaced by a FEMALE principal who's a Kelantanese but was formerly the principal of another boarding school, Tunku Kurshiah College. Obviously, most students found it difficult to adjust to her style, and her contant comparisons to TKC, definitely didn't help. I still remember how she would say in the assembly (or even during the prefect's meeting), "In TKC.... we blah..bla..bla....". After the first two words, most of us just shut our ears!! Her intention was good, but for most of us, we just hated the idea of transforming us to be like another "rival" school!

Back to that night.... I remember Ustaz Alwi (the deputy principal then) came and tried to calm the boys, but failed. Dr Wan Azman Wan Ahmad, the headboy then, who was also very much liked and respected by most students, too failed to calm the marauding boys, and lastly the principal too came, and to no vain.

The "rioting" went on until late at night. The last resort was to call the neighbouring FRU (Federal Reserve Unit, who normally handles riots) , who came in 2 trucks!! They went in to the warden's room, formed a body shield around Warden X and escorted him to the FRU camp!

During the days that follow, the student's morale was at all time low... Even the prefects felt the same way. We (the prefects) were summoned by the principal, and we got a real bashing from both principal and her deputy. We were accused of not being effective in curbing the disciplinary problems. We were very disappointed - at one end the students expected us to fight for their cause and at the other end the school treated us just like their police. We preferred to be "students leaders" but nobody bothered to listen to ou own woes.

At one point, Wan Azman (head boy) called all the prefects. He said that he was not effective in doing his duty, and being in form 6 Upper, he also had to concentrate on his studies (for his HSC - STPM now). Obviously, he was very disappointed with the school management who failed to listen to the students' woes that he relayed to them. On top of that, he personally was scolded too, I think... All the prefects "pujuk" him not do to do so (tried to talk him out of the idea) . That was the time I saw many boy prefects broke down and cry, out of desperation!! Eventually, all of us decided that if we can't voice out our feelings and opinions, then we will all go to the principal office and resign from our posts!! Let the school management choose whom they like to be THEIR prefects!!

A group of the senior prefects went to see the pricipal and tendered our resignation EN MASS!!!
Now, has any one of you heard of the prefect board resigning en mass?? It only happened in 1977!! If the school management thought we were just too emotional and not serious about it, they were very wrong!!

The next day, the school management had a shock!! None of the prefects wore his/her prefect attire (light blue) - we had to borrow ordinary school uniforms from friends!! The whole school and hostel went quite haywire. No morning inspection, no bell ringing to alert the students to go to school, nobody to ensure order in the dining hall, nobody to recite the doa before meals, nobody to collect the students' mail from the office, nobody to run the normal errands given by the school to the prefects, nothing at all!! In a way, we had "a good time" being just students ;-)

Realising that they could not function with our help, the school agreed to consider our requests and proposals, and the resignation was turned down. To me, it was ONE GREAT VICTORY to us and the students!!

Now back to Warden X. He never came back into the school compound. He stayed in the FRU camp for a week before he was transferred to Kedah (i heard he was sent to Langkawi- then, it was considered very remote/ulu!!).

To some of the prefects (girl prefects too), he was a nice warden (ignore what he did/said to the boys that sparked the riot). So, before he was sent back to Kedah, some of us managed to visit him. It was a very emotional meet. He looked shocked - maybe he never expected what he did could cause such uproar!! Lesson of the day? Never under-estimate the Kelantanese!

You may want to read another account of this event by Amran (one of the pioneer students) here.

Monday, March 05, 2007

My Class Teachers

Every year we had a different class teacher. In the same year, we may have more than one class teachers. My memory is fading, but I will try my best to remember some of them.

Form 1(1975)
Ku Abdul Lim- was our class teacher until he got a place to further his studies in USM. He was very nice and treated us like his own kids. We were sad when he had to leave but we were happy to know that he was going to increase his knowledge and qualification. We took a class picture just before he left.

I couldn't remember who replaced Cikgu Ku, but a friend thinks that it was Cikgu Mat Shaari, who was the Industrial Art teacher and if I am not mistaken, a warden too.

Form 2 (1976)
Mr Lye Kim Yong was our class teacher in 1976. He was into photography and it was him who shot the few photos that i put up here and here. There are a few others, but I have yet to locate them and scan them for this blog.

My Lye was the headmaster of a primary school in Melaka when he retired last year.

Form 3 (1977)
The same friend who remembers Cikgu Ashaari was our Form 1 class teacher thinks it was Cikgu Anuar, and I think she's right. Just imagine... He was our class teacher, and he was also our Mathematics teacher from Form 1 until Form 3!

Form 4 (1978)
Our class teacher then was the young and energetic Cikgu Hamdi. At that time he was still a single but engaged bachelor. When we were in form 5 (i think, or was it in form 4), my class, together with the PBSM organised a camping trip to Pantai Bisikan Bayu, in Semerak, Pasir Putih. Cikgu Hamdi was our accompanying teacher (the regulation then was that a male and a female teacher were required to accompany students in any trip or outing). I can't remember the female teacher/teachers who came with us. Maybe she or they were not so close to us :-(

We had campfire at night, and also played a lot of games (beach volleyball too!!). Cikgu was so sporting, and joined in most of the activities.

On Teacher's Day, the class played a prank on cikgu. That year, for the first time, the school gave a slot during the special assembly for each class to send a rep each up the stage to present their gifts to their class teachers and club's/society's teachers. While most classes sent their monitors to present the gifts, our class actually sent a convoy of THREE students up the stage!! one carried a small gift of pen (I think it was a Sheaffer or Papermate ball pen - the real gift), another carried a plaque with "Selamat Hari Guru" wish and the third carried a very big box -the biggest among the three!. So most students and teachers thought that Cikgu Hamdi was so lucky to receive SO MANY gifts from his class. What cikgu found out later was that the big box was filled with pieces of papers scribbled with personal messages from each of the students in the class, and nothing else!!!

Soon after the assembly, cikgu (who was the Koop teacher) took us to Koop and he gave us a treat of the "Zoo Cup" ice-creams!!! Well... I think it cost him 40sen each then (for 27 of us!!), but the fact that remains is that all of us still remember that special ice-cream!!! Very valuable ice-creams indeed!!

Cikgu Hamdi is now the principal of SMSultan Abdul Samad, Pulai Condong. If you are interested to get in touch with me, e-mail me for his telephone number.

Form 5 (1979)
Cikgu Ahmad Ibrahim was our final class teacher. A cool guy who teachers Bahasa Malaysia, he was also a father figure to us.

Cikgu has now retired. His daughter Mieza lives in Section 13 Shah Alam. At the end of 2005 (or was it 2004?), I met him at her place with another friend. I think the telephone number that I hold still belongs to him.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Cikgu Faridah

Cikgu Faridah was the only teacher in the school who has spent ALL her career life in the school (from 1974 all the way to 2004 when she finally retired!). Any student who studied at any time during this period would remember this petit dame. She declined any promotion that requires her to be transfered to a different school. She has even taught some students whose parents she taught in the 70s!

I was lucky to have been taught by her in 1978 (while I was in form 4). What I remember most about her was that she handled the Biasiswa Kecil Petronas (4 of us from the class of 79 received it). When I was in Form 5 (1079) she no longer taught us. So, whenever she called us, I would know that it was time to get some pocket money from Petronas :-)

In 1979, Cikgu was given the task to look for students to represent the school in the Kuiz Geografi, organised by the Geography Club, Universiti Malaysia. In those days most of us were not competitive, so nobody was interested to offer himsel/herself to compete.

I think Cikgu must have been quite desperate, that she called Mazlin (Prof, UKM), Hassamudin (Senior Researcher MPOB) and me to represent the school. ALL three of us declined, citing our inferiority, saying that we were not that good (actually we were not sure if we could do well, since the quiz was opened to studnets up to Form 6, where as wewere only in Form 5). Our Sixth formers then were all science students and they did not do any Geography anymore, so the school had to get competitors among the fifth formers (i.e us).

Cikgu, with the sweet smile and soft voice said to us "kalau awak tak mau masuk, saya tak bagi duit biasiswa......" (if you do not agree to enter, i will not give you your scholarship), while holding the money!! Well, even in those days, money rules!! So, desperately wanting to get hold of the money, we reluctantly agreed.

It turned out that for the state level competition, we came out champion, beating the sixth formers from other well known schools in Kota Bharu!! Hence, wewere chosen to respresent the state for the national level!! We couldn't believe it ourselves.

In that year, the school policy was that if any of the students wins some competition at the state or district level, the school itself would gift its reward. The reward for winning the quiz was RM10 (to be used to buy useful items). I used my 'reward money' to but the novel that was hot that year, "saga", which had won the annual literature award.

When we went to collect the reward money, cikgu managed to say to us "kan.... boleh pun....." (see... you could do it!).

The national level quiz was done during the 2nd term holidays, in Univ Malaya. It's so happened that it was on the same day as the Final round of Malay Debate for the Prime Minister's Trophy. We didn't win the quiz (there were teams from other boarding schools; if my memory is right, there were RMC, SMSPP, MCKK, I think..).

For the debate final, though we have already lost to STF in the semi-final in SDAR, we attended the final never the less. Mazlin went up the stage to receive the (supposedly) certificates of participation but until TODAY I have yet to receive it!! I think it never reached our school! :-(

Back to Cikgu, when she was about to retire in 2004, the alumni association, SEMESTA, managed to collect enough money to present to her some parting gifts in the form of gold chain and bracelet. It was really nothing compared to what she has given/taught. Unfortunately, when the alumni had the "Kembali ke Sekolah" (Back to School) event I was not able to attend - I was in Tokyo for a 7-week training on e-learning! It was during that event that the toke nwas presented to her. Her x-students recited poems dedicated to her!

Anywa,y cikgu, thank you very much for your lessons and guidance!