Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Sarah bt Mohd Yusope

Sarah bt Mohd Yusope
@ Che Sarah / Mak Sarah


Full name: Sarah bt Mohd Yusope
Call name: Bapak called his sister Che Sarah. I called her Mak Sarah.
Relationship: She was Bapak's 3rd elder sister.
Born: Thursday evening (Khamis petang) on 3 May 1928 at 6 pm.
Deceased: 2012. Passed away aged 84 years.
Occupation: Housewife .... pandai menjahit dan memasak

Husband: Atan (Pak Cik Atan)
Occupation: Labourer at Port Klang wharf
Husband is deceased.

  1. Rumahnya di Klang ... sebelum 1964 ... sebelum Pak Cik Atan meninggal dunia
  2. Rumahnya dalam perkarangan Masjid Banda Hilir ... setelah Pak Cik Atan meninggal dunia
Children: 5
  1. Rahimah (b.23 Sept 1957)
  2. Rafae'ah (b.1958)
  3. Mohd Yusuf (b.1959/62)
  4. Mohd Nordin (b.21 March 1963)
  5. Mohd Mustafa @ Mohd Yatim (b.1964)


Mak Sarah is Bapak's elder sister. When I was growing up at Rumah 262 Banda Hilir, in Malacca, Mak Sarah and her family lived in Klang. One day, I heard the sad news that Mak Sarah's husband had accidentally drowned and died. It was grave news for me even as a child.

Mak Sarah married to Pak Cik Atan but I have never met him as far as I can recall. I only have a photo of him with the others. I was still in diapers at the time.

Pak Cik Atan worked as a labourer at Port Klang. Mak said he helped to carry heavy gunny bags from the ships to the godown at Port Klang. He was carrying a heavy gunny bag when he suddenly slipped on the gangway and fell into the river and drowned.

Bapak and his brothers immediately went to Port Klang to dive to search for Pak Cik Atan's corpse. They were good swimmers but they could not find his body. After two days wait, finally Pak Cik Atan's body was found floating among the stilts at Port Klang wharf. His bloated body was partly eaten by fish. Because his body was in bad shape, his pregnant wife, Mak Sarah was not allowed to see her husband's battered body. They feared that she would experience trauma and endanger her unborn baby. Mak Sarah wept bitterly and never saw her deceased husband. She was so broken for she had lost her husband and breadwinner for good. It was really gloom.

Back in Banda Hilir, there was still sufficient land to build a new house nearby for Mak Sarah and her children. Bapak, Pak Saleh and Pak Din combined expertise and energy to build a house for their widowed sister.

I saw the house being built. It was build rather fast and became a lovely addition to our former playground. It occupied a corner of the garden and faced the main entrance to Masjid Banda Hilir. It was a pretty single-storey wooden bungalow. It did look like a fairy tale house. It was pretty outside but dark inside.

Then Mak Sarah and her kids moved to their new home in Banda Hilir. Mak Sarah was still sad and never became happy. She was always sad. Sometimes I would go near her and tease her, only to see her smile and laugh, but only for a shout bout. She is actually very nice. Because she was sad about her husband's demise, she never opened the windows of her house - so it was pretty dark inside.


Mak Sarah was a quiet woman. Sarah (Mak Sarah). She liked to talk to Mak and Bapak. She called Mak, "Chek Bee".

She was soft spoken and never raised her voice. She never spoke to me in a normal voice but in a hushed voice, always looking around to see if anyone else was around or listening to our conversation.

I can still remember she would start a conversation this way ... "Paridah, apa cerita dengau kata Paridah nak ... ye ke? Mak Sarah dengau je, ye ke? Habis Bapak tak marah? Mak tak kata ape-ape? Habis Paridah nak buat ape?" That's how she spoke to me.

She was strict and hardly smiled except when she cracked jokes.

Mak Sarah was a very clean lady. She kept her house neat and clean. Everything was scrubbed, wiped or dusted clean.

Mak Sarah was a good seamstress. She was good at sewing and sewed all her children's clothes. She made me my first telekung (prayer clothes). It was well-sewn and I can still recall that first telekungIt was well-sewn around the neck. She made it free for me. It made me very happy.


Mak Sarah was also a good cook. She always cooked lunch for Affandi and me when we visited her. Once she prepared to cook ikan masak asam pedas (fish with tomatoes and carrots), which was my favourite and hers too. But she took a rather long time to prepare as she was 84 years old. But her kuah masak asam pedas came out fine in the end. She also made good quality sambal belacan, Melaka style.


One day, I heard news that Mak Sarah was unwell. She was in Nilai at her daughter's place. She later died. I don't know where they buried her. She died at age 84 at her daughter's house in Nilai.


Mak Sarah's house is still extant (still there). I think maybe her youngest son Mustafa (he is called Apa) still lives there. Her house is the one by the fence or drain.

Nenek Yah's house is in the middle.

Bapak's house is the small one in front of Nenek Yah's house but it is now used to store paperwork and stuff from Masjid Banda Hilir. Masjid Banda Hilir should have the key to Bapak's house.

Family photos

Mak Sarah (23) in front of Banda Hilir house, 1951
Pak Cik Atan (deceased 1964) is standing at right. Mak Sarah (29) is seated at far right with a child (Rafe'ah - less than 1 year old) on her lap. Petaling Jaya, early 1959
I am standing (second right) with my sibs and cousins in front of Mak Sarah's new house in Banda Hilir. Our jamban can be seen at rear right. 1963.
4 June 2016

Previously it was a light green house. Now it is a bright blue house. The house looks the same. The porch is still there. The plants are still there. The front garden is cut off. I slept in the front room at left, along with anak2 Mak Sarah yang perempuan - Rafe'ah and Kak Rahimah.
The rear portion of rumah Mak Sarah. As kids we were not allowed to come this far ..... can't walk about to see the rear part of the house and the neighbours.

Lorong to go to the beach straight ahead ... about 5 minutes walk for a 5-year-old. Then lari balik rumah sebab takut kena marah ... pergi adventure alone! I only walked down to the beach once ... to see the Chinese houses behind. It was forbidden for us kids to go beyond rumah Mak Sarah. The beach was 5 minutes walk from our house. Now after much land reclamation, the beach is nowhere near and can't be seen, can't smell the sea breeze anymore.
Keluarga Mak Sarah

Pak Cik Atan, Mak Sarah and Rafe'ah, PJ 1958

Anak-anak Mak Sarah

1. Rahimah Atan/Fatimah Atan m. Mohd Anuar

2. Rafe'ah Atan m. Sulaiman
3. Mohd Yusof Atan

4. Mohd Nordin Atan
5. Mohd Mustafa Atan / Mohd Yatim Atan

Cucu & cicit Mak Sarah

Cucu Mak Sarah: ___ berapa orang?
Cicit Mak Sarah: ___ berapa orang?

(i) Rahimah + Mohd Anuar --- seorang anak perempuan

From Fatimah Atan in Facebook (22 July 2014): Ini anak Mak Sarah (nama Rahimah). Nama suami Mohd Anuar bin Abd. Majid. Anak satu orang nama Siti Nadiah Mohd Anuar dah umur 27 tahun. [b.24 October 1987]

Siti Nadiah bt Mohd Anuar
Yaya in FB


(ii) Rafe'ah Atan + Sulaiman ---- berapa anak?

  1. Khairul Nizam m. Shazwani (6 June 2014)
  2. __
  3. __
  4. __
  5. __

(iii) Mohd Yusof Atan + _____ --- 4 orang anak lelaki
  1. __
  2. __
  3. __
  4. __

(iv) Mohd Nordin + ______ --- berapa anak?
  1. Siti Nor Aisyah
  2. Nor Hanah
  3. __
  4. __
  5. __

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