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, April 23, 2007

The Prefects

I have decided to put up the formal pictures for 1975-1979. You can see that the quality of the photos got worse from 1978 onwards :-(

Please click on the pix to get a bigger image.


Headboy: Ezani Adam


Headboy: Wan Zawawi

1977 (The only pix without the school principal):
- The year of the Riot too

Headboy: Wan Azman Wan Ahmad
Headgirl: Wan Rosnani

The formal pix:
Headboy: Hishamuddin Harun
Headgirl: Rosilah Said

An informal pix:


Headboy: Zainal Azim Ab Kadir
Headgirl: Nik Rozana

Meeting the Turtles in Rantau Abang (1975)

It was the a long weekend. I can't remember what month, but it must have been in July or August. Why did I say so - because it was the Turtle spotting season!

Most students went back home, but I decided to joined the non-Kelantanese students who went for a trip to Rantau Abang. Whe stopped over in Kuala Terengganu, and some of us had this photo taken (click for bigger image):

Standing 3rd from left is Mazlin, with me squatting in black bluse. The late Sharifah is on my right. K Gee (75) is next to Mazlin.

Rantau Abang was only a small fisherman's village, not like what it is now.

We arrived in Rantau Abang just before dusk, if I am not mistaken. We spent that night roaming around the beach, and looking for a turtle that might come ashore to lay eggs. Every few hours, our teacher would call us for a roll-call. Just before midnight, some seniors and I managed to find one unlucky tutle that came ashore. We waited for hours for it to dig the hole, and finally laid her eggs. While watching, I was thinking of the mid-night roll-call that we were going to miss. We thought, what the heck, we may not be lucky enough to see the turtle later, so we gambled. When we went back to our "camp" (no real camp, just open air space where we assembled), we got a good scolding from the teachers!!! Well, it was worth every scolding, as THAT WAS THE ONLY TIME I saw a turtle laying eggs (live!), even though years later I went back a few times to Rantau Abang but was never lucky :-(

The unpleasant memory of the outing was food! I remember most of the options we had then would have turtle eggs (I don't like turtle eggs - it has nothing to do with my pro-conservation stance). Fried rice with turtle eggs, boiled turtle eggs, "masak lemak telur penyu", turtle eggs in EVERY dish! I had to survived on only biscuits...

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Piala Perdana Menteri(PPM) 1976

The PPM is the debate competition that started in 1974, as a competition among the elite boarding schools. They were later joined by several SMS (Sekolah Menengah Sains). There are two streams of the competition - in English and in Bahasa Malaysia.

During my days in the school wew were never that good in the English debate, but we first made it great in the Bahasa Malaysia section 1976 when we managed to be in the final. Amran, my senior of 2 years wrote about it in his reminiscense, which I published in my blog here.

The final was held in the Auditorium Besar Angkasapuri, during the long school holidays at the end of the year. Our debating team consisted of Wan Azman Wan Ahmad (Dr, now a medical professor in Universiti Malaya), Razali Mat Zin (Dr, now an academic in a university in Riyadh), the late Mr Abdul Hamid and Khalid Ibrahim (Dr, now the head of Sg Buluh Hospital) with the debating teacher, the late Cikgu Yusoff Ali were given the honour to FLY from Kota Bharu to Kuala Lumpur while a full bus load of supporters went by road. I was lucky to be among the supporters!!

Travelling from Kota Bharu in the 1970s was not as straight forward as it now is. WE had to go to Kuala Terengganu first, then Kuantan, before we headed to Luala Lumpur. The journey took more than 14 hours, compared to an average of 6-7 hours now!!

We bunked up in SMS Selangor, while our debators stayed in a hotel (was in Majestic Hotel?- now known as Carcosa Seri Negara).

The following morning (the day of the debate), we were so excited to see articles and pictures of our debators (and their opponents from Kolej Islam Klang) occupied the main page 2-page3!! Our seniors managed to buy all main newspapers - The New Straits Times, Utusan Malaysia and Berita Harian. With pride, we read every article about them!!

While in SMSS, we befriended some Sixth Formers from the school, who agreed to have a pix taken with us (click on the pix for a bigger image):

While waiting for the night, we managed to have a quick visit to the National Museum. Our bus was actually parked right in front of the entrance of the museum!
(click on the pix for a bigger image):

When the night came, we headed for Auditorium Besar Angkasapuri.
WE were among the early ones to enter the auditorium, and took our seats (click on the pix for a bigger image):

There were some MCKK boys behind us.

Soon our debators came out to take their seats and somebody took this pix (which became a top-selling photo later when we got back to school!) (click on the pix for a bigger image):

The pride of our school taking their seats - Razali, Wan Azman, (the late) Hamid

Unfortunately we lost the debate. However, our debator, Razali Mat Zin (who's now an assoc prof in King Fahd's University) was chosen to be the Best Debator!! Well... we didn't really leave the place empty handed.. By the way, Wan Azman is now a professor in University Malaya.

to be continued!

Monday, April 02, 2007

April Fool!!

Somebody in the SEMESTA's forum reminded me that yesterday was April Fool's day!!

Way back in the 70s, April Fool was one of the "looked forward to" days - some of us went to the extent of keeping the half boiled eggs that were rationed to us for breakfast a good month earlier so that by the 1st of April, it's stingky enough to be used to play pranks on fellow friends!

Since we were only school kids, the level of our pranks were also not worth shouting about - can't beat New Strait Times' false news that they used to carry in their papers every 1st April, only to be "corrected" the following day. I think NST has since stopped the practice, maybe because we were immuned by them (the news)..

The only significant April Fool's prank that I still remember was one by our own teachers (or was it by the wardens?). How, you asked? Here how it went:

That morning the prefects were told by them (teachers/wardens) that there would be an urgent assembly, and ALL students needed to be in the school hall when the bell rang. We were told that the principal had something very urgent to address to us.

I can't remember well, but I think we used to have a system whereby if the bell rang twice, then it meant there would be an assembly on that day. So the bell rang, students looked confused, since it was not the normal "assembly day" and prefects went around telling the students that there would be an assembly.

Lo and behold, ALL of us assembled in the hall. It was quite common for the teachers to come in just before the principal so, while we were in the hall, so when the hall was still empty, we didn't suspect anything fishy. One of them (I think it was Cikgu Mat Nor Hassan) came into the hall with a very serious and grave look (or was he accompanied by some of his collegues?). Taking the mike, as if he was going to tell us something important, still maintaining the serious and grave look he said to us : APRIL FOOL. Then he smiled!!

So, how was that as an April Fool day not to be forgotten?