Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Inchek Bedah bt Mohd Yusope




Full name: Inchek Bedah bt Mohd Yusope
Call names: Bapak referred to her as Che Bedah. Baharin Tamby addressed her as Kak Bedah. I called her Mak Bedah.
DOB: Khamis, 1 Ramadhan or 25 October 1938 at 1:55 pm (previous DOB was 29 June 1938)
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BIOGRAPHY

Birth

Mak Bedah was born on Thursday, 1 Ramadan or 25 October 1938 at 1:55 pm in the afternoon. On Mak Nya's record written ib Jawi, she was Inchek Beda (lahir Khamis 1:55 petang, 25/10/1938).

Mak Bedah explained that when she was to be born, her mother suffered hemorrhage for 4 days (Nenek Inchek tumpah darah 4 hari).

Mak Bedah said she was born a dark ugly baby (lahir lebam dan hodoh) (I think this could be cyanosis?). Her father had wanted to name her Siti Zabedah, a legendary name in Malay folklore - a heroine, but because she was born dark and ugly, her father found that name unsuitable for her and gave her a better name, Inchek Bedah. Inchek was added to her name as a sign of respect and to avoid abuse (aniaya). In this way, people would not make fun of her or belittle her. So Mak Bedah grew up with that name.

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Her sibs

Mak Bedah is the #12 child of 15 sibs.

Her 7 sisters are Ainon (Mak Ainon), Zaina (Che Nah), Ramlah (Mak Lah), Sara (Mak Sarah), Rahmah (Jame'ah/Mak Nya), Safura (Bik Wa) and Inchek Sekmah (Mak Sekmah). Mak Semah is the only younger sister of Mak Bedah. The other 6 sisters were older than Mak Bedah.

Her 7 brothers are Idris (died), Shamsu'ain (died), Abu Bakar (Pak Bakar), Abdul Rashid (my Bapak), Jaafar (Pak Cik Pau), Baharudin (Pak Din), and Saleh (Pak Saleh). Idris and Shamsu'ain died as infants. Her other 5 brothers survived to adulthood, married, and had families. Pak Bakar, my Bapak, and Pak Cik Pau were the elder brothers of Mak Bedah. Pak Din and Pak Saleh are the younger brothers of Mak Bedah.

After all her other sibs died, Mak Bedah and Pak Saleh are the only 2 surviving sibs left.

Mak Nya's flawless record of her sibs, written in Jawi (obtained from Muzlifah Abdul Aziz):

1. Ainon (lahir Ahad, 10 pagi, 6/2/1921)
2. Idris (meninggal)
3. Zaina (lahir Khamis, 12 malam, 3/4/1924)
4. Ramlah (lahir Sabtu, 5 pagi, 29/9/1925)
5. Shamsu'ain (meninggal)
6. Sara (lahir Khamis, 6 petang, 3/5/1928) ... Mak Sarah (kakak) is before Mak Nya
7. Abu Bakar (lahir Khamis, 7:28 malam, 19/3/1930
8. Abdul Rashid (lahir Sabtu, 3:20 petang, 28/11/1931) .... my Bapak
9. Rahmah (lahir Rabu, 7:30 pagi, 15/11/1933) .... Mak Nya (adik) is after Mak Sarah
10. Safura (lahir Selasa, 8:27 malam, 21/5/1935)
11. Jaafar (lahir Ahad, 11:05 pagi, 28/8/1936)

12. Inchek Beda (lahir Khamis 1:55 petang, 25/10/1938)

13. Baharudin (lahir Jumaat, 6 pagi, 14/6/1940)
14. Inchek Sekmah (lahir Khamis, 12:20 pagi, 13/11/1941)
15. Saleh (lahir Khamis, 6:30 petang, 12/2/45)

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Mak Bedah's oral account of her sibs:
  1. Ainon (Che Non)
  2. Zainah (Che Nah)
  3. Ramlah (Che Lah)
  4. Abu Bakar (Abang; Pak Kau)
  5. infant, deceased before age 1
  6. infant, deceased before age 1
  7. Abdul Rashid (Abang Rashid, Rashid; my Bapak)
  8. Rahmah @ Jame'ah (Nya; Mak Nya)
  9. Safurah (Kak Wa; Bik Wa)
  10. Jaafar (Pak Cik Pau)
  11. Inchek Bedah (Che Bedah; Mak Bedah)
  12. Baharudin (Badin; Pak Din)
  13. Sekma (Sekma, Mak Sekma)
  14. Mohd Salleh (not sure whether there is Mohd in his name)
  15. There should be altogether 15 sibs. Mak Bedah had missed out Mak Sarah's name. 

Jamaliah (anak Mak Nya) said Mak Sarah's name is before her mother's name.
According to Mak Nya's record in Jawi script, Mak Sarah is #6 and Mak Nya is #9. Mak Sarah was born in 1928, and Mak Nya was born in 1933.
Mak Bedah said she is #11. She said Bapak is #5 if we excluded the 2 babies who died as infants. If we include the 2 deceased infants, then Bapak is #7.
According to Mak Nya's record in Jawi script, Mak Bedah is #12 and Bapak is either #6 or #8. Bapak is #8 including the 2 deceased brothers. Bapak is #6 excluding the 2 deceased brothers.
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Walid's demise

Nobody knows for sure when Mak Bedah's father (Walid) died. Bapak too could not recall when his father died.

According to Nenek Inchek, her husband Walid died just before Bapak returned to Malaya from overseas (England).

Bapak was attending the Malayan Teachers Training Program at Kirkby College, near Liverpool in England between 1951-1953. When I was going through Bapak's correspondence letters between his father and him, the correspondence seemed to have ended abruptly. I wondered why? What had happened? So Walid could have died after posting this particular letter with B/W prints.

Mak Bedah said that her father died when she was 10 years old. She sat at his feet when her father died.

Mak Bedah was born in October 1938. She would be 10 years old in October 1948. But Bapak and his Walid were still in Malacca in 1948. There is a group photo of Walid's family and his relatives at Pulau Besar in 1948. So Walid did not die in 1948.

Bapak was in the first batch of trainee teachers at Kirkby College in England. Bapak left the King Edward VII Medical School in Singapore in 1951, to go to England. Bapak sailed to England via the Suez Canal. Bapak was in England from 1951/52 to 1953/54. Bapak probably returned to Malaya in late 1953 or early 1954. So, Walid could have died between late 1953 and early 1954, before Bapak returned from England and reached Malaya. Mak Bedah would have been 15 or 16 years old then when her father died in 1953/54. Bapak was probably just 23 years old at the end of November 1953 and early 1954. Bapak returned to Malaya to enter into teaching at Jasin English School, probably in late 1953/early 1954. He returned home an orphan. Bapak married Mak in December 1955 when they were 24.

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Education

Mak Bedah went to the Malay Girls' College in Kuala Lumpur, which later became Tunku Kurshiah College in Seremban. There were only a few Malay girls who went to school during her time. Most Malay ladies stayed home.

Mak Bedah spoke good English.

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Union

She was married to a man whom we called Pak Hitam. He was in RTM or something. I can only remember his face and that he was a dark big man, a smoker. They lived up on a big hill called Signal Hill in Kuala Lumpur. We visited them one night and had dinner at their big bungalow.

Pak Hitam had 8 big grown-up sons. Then she divorced him. Mak Bedah never re-married after that even though she is pretty.

From Mak I learnt it was about a talisman (tangkal) she was forced to wear against her will.

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Working life

When I knew her she was a student or a trainee teacher and she lived in a small Chinese flat. We visited her at the flat and she served us crispy round salty biscuits, which we enjoyed.

When she was working, she often took us out to dinner for steamboat, up on a hill somewhere quite dark. She helped us with the steamboat as nobody knew what it was and what to do. Steamboat was the in thing. It tasted nice. Tom yam came much later, in the 1980s.

Mak Bedah worked for Johnson and Johnson (J&J) private company in PJ.

She came to Zainab Primary School (2) in Telipot, Kelantan where I was studying in Standard 5A (afternoon session). She gave a talk on how to use female sanitary napkins. We girls all laughed because we didn't have our menses yet and nobody knew what she was trying to teach us.

Mak Bedah travelled to each state to introduce or sell J&J sanitary napkins in vending machines. They were something new to the Malaysians. She drove so fast on the tiny country roads of Terengganu. I remember travelling with her on one of the trips and I can tell you, even our racing drivers today cannot drive like she did many years ago. She drove so fast and it didn't matter whether we were going uphill or coming downhill, she just drove stone dead. My intestines could fly out every time we went flying off the high point of a road! She said I was a coward.

Mak Bedah worked very hard and went up the corporate ladder. She became a J&J executive. But she was unhappy with J&J gratuity when she retired. She felt really cheated after being a faithful worker. I felt sad for her.

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Clothes

Mak Bedah wore stylish clothes as a Malay lady. I thought she looked glamorous in whatever she wore. I borrowed 2 of Mak Bedah's baju kurung when I was overseas. I borrowed a plain dark blue modern baju kurung and wore it to the Hari Raya at UC Davies. Another one was a light green modern baju kurung, which I wore to a Japanese wedding at Stanford University.

When I first started working with USM in Penang, I didn't have any baju kurung to wear to work. Mak said to borrow from Mak Bedah while I got mine sewn by Kelly of Jalan Siam, Penang. We went to PJ to get some clothes from her. I borrowed 3 pairs of baju kurung. In 1982, Mak Bedah was 44 and a bit plump and I was very thin. I had to wear pins for Mak Bedah's baju kurung. They fitted me well and I enjoyed wearing her baju kurung to work. They were quite stylish too.

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Retirement

After she left J&J, Mak Bedah worked as a private Malay-English translator or tutor but I don't recall for whom.

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Residence

Mak Bedah bought a corner terrace house at Seksyen 14 in Petaling Jaya, when this part of PJ was first opened and empty in the early 1970s. The terrace houses and house plots were extremely small compared to the big colonial British Government bungalows which we had lived in.

The shops along the road to her house were built much later. They were an eyesore.

Her PJ residence was close to her place of work - J&J in PJ.

Mak Bedah later renovated her house while raising 6 adopted nieces and nephews (2 anak Mak Nya and 4 anak Bik Wa).

She bought an adjacent terrace house across the road for her niece Dora Rafidah bt Abdul Aziz (Dora).

The rest of the 5 children married and moved out.

Mak Bedah's cousin Haji Tamby bin Haji Ahmad (anak HABHAL) and wife came from Singapore to Jamaliah's wedding reception at Mak Bedah's house in PJ. Haji Tamby's younger son Baharin posted 2 photos of Jamaliah's wedding in Messenger to me on 20 March 2016. My parents and I attended the wedding reception, but we did not enter the house as there was a large crowd and the house was small and overcrowded. It was a hot sunny day.

Mak Bedah later sold her house to live at a retirement village.

Dora moved to be closer to her brother Rahim's place.

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Retirement village

She is now settled at a retirement village called Kompleks Yayasan Al Jenderami and joins the other elderly ladies. I don't know the place as I have never been there.

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Visit Kelantan

Mak Bedah and Pak Saleh came to visit me when I was about to deliver my youngest child, Yusrina Faqihah bt Affandi, on 29 May 1999. They visited me after delivery at Hospital USM (HUSM) in Kubang Kerian, Kelantan. They were excited to see my new edition.

I met Mak Bedah at Pelangi Mall in Kota Bharu when she came for Nurul's wedding reception in Tanah Merah, Kelantan. Nurul Akmar is anak bongsu Pak Saleh.

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Visit Pahang

I met Mak Bedah again at kenduri kahwin Azizah bt Ramli (anak Rabi'ah) at Dewan Al-Falah, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Jengka Pusat, Pahang on 26 December 2015. She seems healthy, jovial and talkative as usual. She said I am a replica of my mother. She said I am BIG now.

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Family photos
FOTO1
Siblings in Banda Hilir, Malacca circa 1948. Seated from left are Pak Saleh (3), Mak Bedah (10) and Mak Sekmah (7). Bik Wa (13) is standing.
FOTO2
All of us at home watching B/W TV at the Government quarters for teachers at Jalan Day, Alor Star in Kedah, circa 1964/65. Mak Bedah (27) is at far left, seated at rear. Nenek Inchek (58) is seated at far right. Mak (34) is seated at second right. I'm seated on the settee (7). Beside me is Pah (8), then aunty Khamsiah and who (hidden)? with Farid (4) on her lap. Abang Sharif (10) is playing at rear.
FOTO3
Mak Bedah and her surviving siblings, before March 2009. Standing from left are Che Nah/ Zaina (#3) and Mak Bedah (#12). Men seated from left are Pak Din (#13), Bapak (#8) and Pak Saleh (#15). Bapak died in March 2009.
FOTO4
From left: Mak Bedah (#12), Pak Din (#13) and Mak, before June 2004. Mak died in June 2004.
FOTO5
We were at Nurul's apartment at Pelangi Mall in Kota Bharu, Kelantan.
Nurul Akmar is anak Pak Saleh.
FOTO6
Mak Bedah (73)

FOTO7
Mak Bedah with anak Suhaila.
Suhaila (anak Pak Saleh) gave birth to her first child after Nurul got married.
FOTO8
Mas at Mak Bedah's place at Kompleks Yayasan Al Jenderami.
Photo from Mas's FB.

FOTO9
Mak Bedah (76) at her pondok at Kompleks Yayasan Al Jenderami
FOTO10
Mak Bedah (77) talking to my sister Sharifah (Pah, 58) at Azizah's wedding reception on 26 December 2015 in Jengka. Kak Fatimah Atan anak Mak Sarah is standing behind them.

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