Thursday, 9 January 2014

Abdul Rashid bin Mohd Yusope 1931-2009 (1)

 tried to tell his life story towards the end of his life but did not have the time to write his biography. He asked that I write and he gave me a lot of information about his life.

(٠‎ - ١‎ - ٢‎ - ٣‎ - ٤‎ - ٥‎ - ٦‎ - ٧‎ - ٨‎ - ٩‎)


Full name: Haji Abdul Rashid bin Haji Mohd Yusope (HARMY)
Call names: His mother called him A-sid or A-shid. His siblings called him Abang Rashid. His peers called him Rashid. His students called him Cikgu Rashid. I called him Bapak.

(as narrated by Bapak)

Date of birth: 28 November 1931
Place of birth: 1092 Imbi Road, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Federated Malay States (FMS), British Malaya
Blood group: O
Height: 5 feet 8.5 inches (174 cm) ... Bapak was tall!
Weight: ____ he had a large body frame or build - he was a swimmer, footballer and cyclist
Hobbies: Outdoor activities - swimming, diving, scouting, cycling, catching fish, fighting with other kids in the village. He even swam in the masjid ablution pool because he taught it was a small swimming pool! Memang kena marah but he enjoyed the brief dip! He said he had never seen such a pool in the masjid in KL.Only Malacca masjid had kolah. He was made to clean the pool. Bapak said that taught him a lesson.
Occupations: schoolteacher, Parliament interpreter, college lecturer
Job offers and awards which he turned down: Malaysian Ambassador to Germany; Tan Sri, Datuk awards etc. The reason he refused the ambassador job in 1972 was because he had to look after his ailing mother. He refused the Tan Sri-ship award because he didn't need it. He refused the Datuk-ship award because he would naturally become a grandfather after all.
Political party and stance: UMNO .... but only in the early days as his forefathers had formed UMNO in Malacca before UMNO became official in Johor. Even Merdeka was proclaimed in Malacca before it was re-proclaimed in KL. His relatives were heavily involved in politics in Malacca. He was patriotic and not parasitic. He was never a crony and did not stand for any politician or involved in any political power struggle, but he was knowledgeable of the political scene of Malaya and Malaysia as he was in and out of Parliament. It was easy for him as he knew many languages which were spoken in Malaya & Malaysia.He was never involved in any political rally and chose not to be involved in anything politically subversive.
Date of death: 8 March 2009 (Maulidur Rasul)
Place of demise: 462-I Minden Heights, Jalan 7, Penang (rumah arwah Mak)
Age at death: 77 years
Cause of death: He died peacefully in his sleep. I fed him day before he died.

Family heritage:
My paternal grandmother lived with our family from the time I was born till I was in Form 3. When I was in Form 2 and lived in Durian Daun, Malacca, one day she asked me, "Faridah tau tak pasal keturunan Bapak? Bapak tak bagitau Faridah?" To which I replied, "Tak tau." So she explained to me about my father. She told me that my father was from keturunan anak Raja. She didn't specifically say which king, but she mentioned Putri Cina. My grandmother told me not to tell my father because he would be angry if he found out. So I didn't ask anyone, but I went on to research on my own. The family's royal heritage is available online on From my research, this "Putri Cina" can be one of two things - Putri Ong Tien Neo (Cirebon, Java) or Putri Hang Li Poh (Malacca Sultanate).

When I visited Malacca in 2016, I met my second eldest cousin Abang Moin. I asked him if he knew what Nenek Inchek mentioned about this Putri Cina. Abang Moin knew further down the line ... from Datuk Shahbuddin bin Mohd Amin downwards. He told me that Nenek Inchek's people worked for the Kraton at Cirebon, Java. They were loyal to the Kraton.

I remember one day Bapak scolded me because I had received a scholarship to do Form 4 and Form 5 at TKC. The scholarship was only $50 per month. But still my father was unhappy about my receiving scholarship. I found it strange as I badly needed the money. So my father explained. According to him "Kita tak boleh terima sedekah." He never explained what that meant. So I didn't know what it meant but I kept my scholarship money to myself to buy stationery and exercise books. Later in life I learned that keturunan Nabi Muhammad SAW were not supposed to receive sedekah but they can accept gifts (hadiah). But my father never told me whether we are from keturunan Nabi. We also don't carry any Syed or Sharifah names. Bapak told me it was not necessary to have Syed and Sharifah names, and in following tradition, those name prefixes were removed after the 7th generation. I remember asking him what generation he was and whether he was more than 7th. He said probably 9th or 10th. He wasn't certain nor did he want to tell me. So I don't know and it doesn't bother me. So like my father, I don't receive sedekah. I can only receive gifts.

Grandfather: Haji Mohd Sharif bin Ismail (keturunan Nakhoda Nan Intan; keturunan Alyamani; Bapak often used the suffix Alyamani in his long name)
Call name: Bapak referred to him as Tok Hj Md Sharif.
Grandmother: Fatmah bt Sheikh Mohamad
Call name: Bapak referred to her as Padma (He described her as "putih macam Cina")

Haji Mohd Yusope is the only son and the eldest of 5 sibs. He married Nenek Inchek and had 15 children. Haji Mohd Yusope (Walid, Tok Walid; eldest child) had 4 younger sisters:
Mahani (Nenek Ani - guru Quran; unmarried)
Amnah (Nenek Amnah - she married and lived in Singapore)
Alijah (Nenek Jah - unmarried)
Asiah (Nenek Yah - guru Quran with Nenek Ani; unmarried). Nenek Yah died on Saturday, 28 April 1984 (Sabtu, 28 Rejab 1404). Bapak noted her demise in his 1984 little maroon diary.

Father: Haji Mohd Yusope bin Haji Mohd Sharif.
Call name: Bapak called his father Walid. I addressed him as Tok Walid.
Mother: Aishah bt Mohd Amin. Her father was the famed Javanese man, Mat Amin Pasar (referring to Pasar Chow Kit) in Kg Baru, KL, who was the founder of Kg Baru, KL. Was he appointed by Henry Syers (the police chief in charge of relocating Malacca Malays to KL)?
Call name: Bapak called his mother Inchek. I called her Nenek Inchek. She was known as Esah or Bik Esah to her Javanese relatives in Kg Baru.

1. Ainon (lahir Ahad, 10 pagi, 6/2/1921 or 6 Feb 1921)
2. Idris (meninggal)
3. Zaina (lahir Khamis, 12 malam, 3/4/1924 or 3 April 1924)
4. Ramlah (lahir Sabtu, 5 pagi, 29/9/1925 or 29 Sept 1925)
5. Shamsu'ain (meninggal)
6. Sara (lahir Khamis, 6 petang, 3/5/1928 or 3 May 1928)
7. Abu Bakar (lahir Khamis, 7:28 malam, 19/3/1930 or 19 March 1930)
8. Abdul Rashid (lahir Sabtu, 3:20 petang, 28/11/1931 or 28 Nov 1931) ... this is Bapak
9. Rahmah (lahir Rabu, 7:30 pagi, 15/11/1933 or 15 Nov 1933) ... this is Jame'ah or Mak Nya
10. Safura (lahir Selasa, 8:27 malam, 21/5/1935 or 21 May 1935)
11. Jaafar (lahir Ahad, 11:05 pagi, 28/8/1936 or 28 Aug 1936)
12. Inchek Beda (lahir Khamis 1:55 petang, 25/10/1938 or 25 Oct 1938) ... this is Mak Bedah
13. Baharudin (lahir Jumaat, 6 pagi, 14/6/1940 or 14 June1940) ... this is Pak Din
14. Inchek Sekmah (lahir Khamis, 12:20 pagi, 13/11/1941 or 13 Nov 1941)
15. Saleh (lahir Khamis, 6:30 petang, 12/2/1945 or 12 Feb 1945)



As a young boy, Bapak was a cake seller. He sold Malay cakes by the seaside in Banda Hilir. He had to sell cakes to earn a living to pay for his family's food and needs.

In Malacca: Bapak would jump off the Tan Koon Ching bridge and dive. He drank coconut water nearby. He caught fish from the paddy fields - belut, pujuh, keli and haruan. He was jaguh kampung, i.e., he loved to fight (suka kelahi). He fought with a Chinese boy and broke the boy's arm and called him, "Cina capik" as the boy became physically handicapped. His father (Walid) had to go and settle the case with the Chinese boy's father. However, they became good friends.


Bapak attended many schools, in Kuala Lumpu, Malacca and Perak.

For primary education, he attended Kuala Lumpur schools in Kg Baru (Malay medium), Imbi (Malay medium), Pasar Road (English medium), and Pudu (Indian medium). 
Note on Pudu Indian School: To go to school, Bapak needed to cross the railway track and pass by the rubber trees. He had to bring a penknife for protection in case of attacks by Chinese thugs.
He attended the Victoria Institution (VI) Special Malay Class (SMC) at Bukit Petaling, KL.
Note on VI: VI had a swimming pool. SMCI (Std 1-3) was for selected Malay students. His SMCI friend was Ibrahim. Then WWII occurred. He continued SMCII after the war (Std 4-9).
For secondary education, he went to Anglo-Chinese School (ACS), Malacca (or MACS) before entering the prestigious Malay College in Kuala Kangsar (MCKK).

For tertiary education, he opted for a two-year teacher training course at the Malayan Teachers' Training College in Kirkby, near Liverpool in England. This college was known to many as Kirkby College. He was in the first batch (1951-1953) and was the student leader of this first batch of Malayan trainee teachers.

Primary education 
  1. Sekolah Kampong Baru - Std 1 (1938), Std 2 (1939)
  2. Imbi Road Malay School - 1940
  3. Pasar Road School (English) - 1941 ... WWII (1941-1945) - no schooling
  4. Pudu Indian School - briefly
  5. Victoria Institution (VI) - Special Malay Class I (SMCI); WWII; SMCII - Std 4-9
Secondary education 
  1. Anglo-Chinese School (ACS), Malacca 1947-1950. 4 years. School Certificate 1950
  2.  Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK) 1951 for 9 months
Tertiary education 
  1. Malayan Teachers' Training College at Kirkby ("Kirkby College"), near Liverpool, England March 1952-August 1953 (he entered late in the first term)
  2. Kirkby College, England. 1962. Refresher course? Kirkby College closed in 1962.
  3. Leeds University. 1974-1976. 2 years. Diploma in Educational Studies


The Malayan Emergency 1948-1960

This was the time the communists attacked villages and killed people. There was curfew and travel was limited to between 6 am to 6 pm on certain roads. People were scared because the communists would ambush and kill. When I was a teenager, Bapak showed me how the communists could possibly ambush a main road  at a T-junction leading to Malacca, with rubber trees on high grounds and the tiny road lonely and isolated. It was scary to even drive on such road especially close to dusk.


What to pursue? Medicine or Teaching?

Bapak joined MCKK briefly for 9 months before going to Kirkby. He said the medical course was too long (6 years) and his family needed him to earn money for them. He was the only one earning money for his family. He decided to take up teaching as the teachers' training course was only for 2 years. He went to Kirkby College for his teaching course. Bapak told me that he regretted he had to make that difficult decision to forget medical studies. He said it was necessary as he did not wish to see his family starve (kebuluran).


The journey abroad

Bapak told me that many relatives assisted him financially. He named a few - Haji Jelani bin Kupah, Nya Klang (Tok Zainal's wife), Ismail Alyamani (Penang jeweller at Masjid Kapitan Kling; Siti Hajar was his 2nd wife) gave him money ($100) for going to Kirkby College. Bapak was ever grateful to them for assisting him. He never stopped mentioning these patrons over and over throughout his lifetime, whenever he had a chance to speak of their good deeds. They meant so much to him.

His trip to England was quite interesting. As they were poor, his mother made him a coat from a woollen army blanket. He sailed for 3 weeks on the steamship Pacific & Oriental PNO Chusan, from Singapore to Penang and beyond via India, Aden, Port Said at the Suez Canal, and onward to England. He arrived at Gillvary Harbour in late February 1952 and took a train to Liverpool. He started the first term late. He was at Kirkby College for 2 years (1952-1953). His father (Walid) communicated with him the whole time he was overseas. They wrote to each other in English and cracked a lot of jokes too. Walid had sent him postcards for exhibits. After completion of his studies, Bapak sailed back to Malaya in August 1953 and returned to Malacca. He reported for duty on 1 September 1953.

Bapak told me, he said he was a 'nobody' before he went to Kirkby College. Only after he returned from overseas did his relatives respected him. 



Bapak spoke and understood many languages - Malay, English, Chinese, Indian, Arabic and Japanese. He sang the Japanese anthem/school song at home when he was in the mood. He was a language teacher and taught me Dutch before I went to Std. 1 in 1965. He spoke Arabic-Malay to his Alyamani relatives in Jelutong Timur, Penang. He quarelled and swore in Chinese with those who made him angry. He communicated in English with my mother, whose mother-tongue was English. He spoke to my maternal grandfather, step-grandmother, and maternal aunts in English as they communicated in English at home. He spoke standard KL Malay to me, my sibs and his Malay relatives. I have never heard him said a word of Javanese even though his mother was Javanese, which I discovered after he died. His mother and siblings spoke standard KL Malay, not Javanese. I have never heard them spoke Javanese. Neither have I have heard him said a word of Minangkabau even though his paternal lineage was partly Minangkabau, which I discovered after he died. To me, he was just "Orang KL, cakap standard Melayu KL". I was definitely wrong. But I was oblivious to it all nor had a hint before he died.



Bapak was very good with electronics and he was years before his time. He was always up to something. I marvelled at the stuff he installed at home and whatever he made for teaching. He was into educational technology.

First he installed an ice-cream bell at the main gate. I thought it was neat to ring the bell whenever I reached home. Then he installed a sensor at the main entrance door. Every time a person walks through the door, the electronic chime would go off ... like walking into shops today. Neat too. It was well and good at first, but after some time and when my sibs started abusing it (lompat repeatedly depan sensor), we found it quite intrusive and sakit telinga. He had to detach it soon enough because my mother did not like the unnecessary noise.

In the 1970s, before I went overseas, he made a digital clock and hung it up on the wall. Then he asked me whether I liked it. Then he showed me how to make a digital clock - well before they were commercially available. When they became available, I studied them, but none matched the ones my father made.

In the 1980s, Bapak was into microelectronics. He recorded digital music and made crude earphones. He wanted to start an electronics business making earphones. Why he was into earphones was because I am partially deaf (yes, pekak).

In the 1990s, he learned about computers in Chinese from a Chinese computer company based near the Penang airport at Bayan Lepas. All his computer lessons and notes were in Chinese script. He assembled his own computer, buying computer parts from everywhere. I remember him opening and arranging the big white instruction sheets and trying to assemble his computer. Not bad for an ageing father, I thought. It kept him occupied so I didn't say anything. I couldn't help as I didn't read Chinese script.

Bapak's father (Walid) died possibly in late July/early August 1953, a month before Bapak completed his studies at Kirkby College and returned to Malaya. Bapak was devastated when his father died. His best friend was gone forever. Bapa always told me, when his father died he had to be responsible for his mother and siblings. I feel sorry for him. His mother (my Nenek Inchek) also told me the same story when I was a teenager - her husband Walid died while my father was still studying. It was sad hearing it from my grandmother. Walid died a month before my father returned to Malaya. His demise was a big blow to the family he left behind.



(1) Appointments

Lantikan pertama - Guru; w.e.f. 1.9.53  EDM 34/53
Disahkan jawatan & berpencen; w.e.f. 1.6.56  EDM 279/55; RCDM 00129/52 Pt I

Lantikan kedua - Pensyarah; w.e.f. 1.5.64  EDM 01419 (83); KP 9087/2/(39)
Disahkan jawatan pensyarah; w.e.f. 2.5.65  PSC.A/6836/17

Dipinjamkan ke Maktab Gaya, Sabah - 2 tahun; w.e.f. 15.4.67;  KP Sulit 0105/1/Vol.2 (224)

(2) Occupation and place of work
  1. Senior Teacher at Government English School (G.E.S.), Jasin 1 Sept 1953-1957; Merdeka. He was confirmed and was put on the govt pension plan on 1 June 1956 (sah & berpencen).
  2. Pejabat Pelajaran Melaka - as what? 1956
  3. Malacca High School - ~1 month in 1957
  4. Pejabat Pelajaran Melaka - Assistant Organiser Malay Schools - 1 year, 1958 (the year I was born)
  5. Simultaneous Interpreter, Malaysian Parliament in Kuala Lumpur Dec 1958-1959 Malay-English interpreter
  6. Sekolah Menengah Gajah Berang, Melaka 1960
  7. Kirkby College, England March Jan-Dec 1962 Kirkby closed in 1962.
  8. Sekolah Lanjutan, Jasin, Melaka January 1963
  9. Lecturer at Day Training College (DTC), Alor Setar, Kedah (May 1964-May 1967). Pusat Latihan Guru, Alor Setar, Kedah. Dilantik oleh Pengarah pada 1 May 1964. Sah jawatan pada 2 May 1965. 
  10. Lecturer at Maktab Perguruan Gaya (Gaya College), Jesselton, Sabah (May 1967-May 1969). On Secondment for 2 years. Dipinjamkan ke Maktab Perguruan Gaya, Sabah - 2 tahun; w.e.f. 15.4.67  KP Sulit 0105/1/Vol.2 (224)
  11. Lecturer at Maktab Perguruan Kota Bharu (MPKB), Pengkalan Chepa, Kelantan (May 1969-Jan 1972)
  12. Lecturer at Maktab Perguruan Perempuan Melayu (MPPM), Durian Daun, Melaka (Feb 1972-Dec 1975)
  13. Study Leave. Leeds University, England (Diploma in Educational Studies; diploma dated 29 June 1976) Sept 1975-June 1976
  14. Lecturer at Maktab Perguruan Perempuan Melayu (MPPM), Durian Daun, Melaka (July-Dec 1976). Returning lecturer.
  15. Lecturer at Maktab Perguruan Persekutuan, Pulau Pinang (MPPPP) (Jan 1977-Nov 1986) 

Source: Bapak's diary dated Thursday, 28 November 1985 (ie on his 54th birthday, a year before he retired)
Bapak's diary dated Thursday, 28 November 1985

External link

(٠‎ - ١‎ - ٢‎ - ٣‎ - ٤‎ - ٥‎ - ٦‎ - ٧‎ - ٨‎ - ٩‎)


Upon his return from Kirky in 1953, Bapak worked at the Government English School (GES), Jasin in September 1953. It was an English primary school. According to him, location-wise the place was "atas sedikit pada Selandar dan Tangkak". It was noted as a black area. People were scared when passing through this area. Bapak taught at GES Jasin, for 4 years (1953-1957). He met Mak while teaching here.

Bapak first worked at GES Jasin as a Senior Teacher. Bapak related many interesting happenings while at the school. Bapak had to settle the scandal of his headmaster who had an affair with a Chinese girl. There was a Chinese man who threatened Bapak if the HM got demoted for the scandal. The Chinese man said he had a gang (that could beat up Bapak if he reported the HM). Another case involved rasuahBapak was PIBG Vice-President. A man had supplied goods for $50 but had signed $100 for supplies including other things. There was the case of unpaid scouts uniforms where someone said GES Jasin had not paid for the uniforms. Bapak reported the case to the State Education Minister who in turn reported the case to the Resident Commissioner, Mr Hammot.

Bapak then worked at Malacca High School together with (Tan Sri Dr) Yahya Ibrahim and Abas Rashid.

Bapak then worked as Assistant Organiser of Malay Schools for 1 year in 1958 - the year I was born. He had to settle an adultery case while on the job. He was President of the Malay Student Union. A deputy for orang putih gave him $300 and asked him why he did not belanjaBapak told me that he was saving it to get married to Mak.

Bapak next worked as a Simultaneous Interpreter for the Malaysian Parliament in December 1958 - after I was born; after Mak completed maternal confinement. He was the first to do so. He was an interpreter for the Federal Legislative Council in Parliament. "Mr Speaker" bawah Tun Haji Abdul Malek bin Yusuf (Bapak called him a coward). Tun Malek was from Negeri Sembilan and became the Governor of Malacca before Tun Ghafar Baba (who only studied till Std 6).

The Straits Times 31 August 1963

At the first meeting, Bapak did simultaneous interpretation and was warmly received - they clapped for him. They said Bapak need not go to UK for training as he could already speak, write and interpret English. Tun Malek then invited Bapak but ordered that he had to dress properly and follow protocol. Bapak then told Tun Malek: "Not to invite him again and called him a cheat!" It was about Tun Malek cheating on the rules about who qualified for overseas training. Bapak was very angry with Tun Malek for cheating Bapak. Bapak said when he first entered Parliament, he walked straight into Tun Malek's trap. Bapak said Tun Malek was a cheat (memang dia penipu).

There was a Rubber Study Conference from London; it asked Bapak: "What did you do  in Parliament?" At the time Tun Dr Ismail was Minister of Finance. Bapak told Tun Dr Ismail the problems he faced. Tun Dr Ismail told him to be patient, to do things for our country and asked Bapak to stay on. There was written on his file, "Secondment in view to be made permanent". Parliament had 2 houses.

It was difficult for Bapak to leave his job at the Parliament. Bapak had worked 1 year and was tagged "indispensable" and they refused to let him go. Another guy, Yunus Osman (from Johore) had formerly worked as Assistant Organiser Malay School and worked in the Parliament - he left on Day 3!

Bapak had very much wanted to leave Parliament and live in Malacca as it was cheaper for him to live in Malacca compared to KL. Bapak said if he continued to live in KL, he would be a bankrupt. Bapak gave an example: Rent - Melaka $15 vs. KL $30. Other privileges: $150-$180. He would live comfortably in Malacca. It was very difficult when Parliament refused to let Bapak go to work elsewhere.

Haji Jelani bin Kupah (Ami Jelani) asked Bapak: "Jawapan kepada siapa? Officer Melayu tak tau English; harapkan orang Putih translate/tolong."

One day, the first Mufti Melaka Haji Khalil bin Haji Husin passed away in June 1960. Haji Khalil was a family friend of Bapak's grandfather - Hj Mohd Sharif bin Ismail. They went to Makkah together in 1897 (Hj Mohd Sharif, Hj Nordin and Hj Khalil). Hj Khalil's daughter, Che Mahani bt Hj Khalil, married to HABHAL as his second wife after his first wife passed away. Nenek Amnah bt Hj Mohd Sharif was Bapak's aunt and the first wife of HABHAL. HABHAL is Haji Ahmad bin Haji Abdul Latiff, a soy sauce manufacturer in Singapore in the 1900s.

Bapak returned to Malacca and never returned to Parliament. On his papers, Parliament wrote: "Gross insubordination". "View with action to dismissal from service". It made Bapak very happy indeed, for he never wanted to return to the Parliament anyway. Bapak left Parliament for good.

Bapak had no job after he left the Parliament. Bapak returned to Malacca. He was jobless and the family didn't have sufficient money. There was insufficient money to put me through pre-school. So I never attended pre-school because our family didn't have sufficient money. I remember asking Mak why I didn't get to go to school. I asked her twice - once in Malacca and again when we lived in Alor Setar. On both accounts, Mak said we didn't have sufficient money to send me to school.
Since Bapak had lost his job and Mak was the only one working and supporting all of us, Mak said she couldn't send me to kindergarten as she had no money to pay for my schooling. I remained at home throughout my childhood. I never knew the alphabet or how to count before I went to first grade.

Bapak had an Indian friend in Jasin. He was Selvaraju Chenayah. Bapak returned to Jasin. S. Chenayah gave him a form to fill. It was for a job application for a lecturer's post. Only 2 people applied, but only Bapak got the job. Bapak said he felt sad for the other guy who did not get the job (who was also his friend). But Bapak needed a job badly. Bapak said: "Kesian dia." Bapak then became a lecturer at the Teachers' Training College in Alor Setar, Kedah. It was in Alor Setar that Bapak and Mak got to know (Tun) Dr Mahathir and his wife, (Tun) Dr Siti Hasmah. They were doctors in Alor Setar, Kedah. Their clinics are still extant in an old part of town where the Chinese and Malay quarters are adjacent.

(٠‎ - ١‎ - ٢‎ - ٣‎ - ٤‎ - ٥‎ - ٦‎ - ٧‎ - ٨‎ - ٩‎)



Date of marriage: 25 December 1955
Place of marriage: Kuala Lumpur
Type of marriage: Nikah gantung
Bersanding: Held at 262-T, Banda Hilir, Malacca

Father-in-law: Dr Che Lah bin Md Joonos (my grandfather)
Mother-in-law: Mariah @ Chong Nyet Lin (my step-grandmother)
Wife: Jumabee Tulip bt Che Lah
Date of birth: 4 November 1931
Place of birth: Tanglin Hospital, Kuala Lumpur

Bapak described how he married my Mak. He said he was actually orang tengah for the to-be groom. However, his future father-in-law had misunderstood and thought Bapak was the to-be groom. The actual groom was another man, a friend, for whom Bapak was orang tengah. The mix-up was terrible and it was hard to turn things back, so they proceeded with the wrong man marrying the wrong bride! It was disaster from Day 1!

In the end, Bapak had to marry Mak, even though he was just orang tengah. He had no money for his unexpected marriage toMak, as he did not expect to get married to Mak as she was his biggest enemy at Kirkby College. He was only orang tengah for his friend, the actual groom-to-be.

After all the mix-up, Bapak got married to Mak. They were both 24 years old. The akad nikah ceremony was performed at my grandfather's govt rented house at Maxwell Road in KL. The bersanding ceremony was delayed since he had to gather money to pay for his sudden and unexpected wedding. The bersanding ceremony was held later at 262-T Rumah Banda Hilir, which was adjacent to Masjid Banda Hilir (Malay Mosque at Banda Hilir; now Masjid An-Nur Banda Hilir).

Mak said there was a pelesit that visited her on her wedding day (bersanding day) as she prepared herself for the bersanding ceremony.

Bapak said he did not like the fuss, buzz and glam at the bersanding ceremony and tore down the curtains and decorations, which were prepared by his mother, aunts and sisters. He left just a bare curtain in the background. I felt terrible when Bapak narrated this bit.

I still think that their marriage was takdir Allah SWT and nobody could go against it. So that was how they became my parents. My mother died when I was 46 years old. My father died when I was 51 years old.

(٠‎ - ١‎ - ٢‎ - ٣‎ - ٤‎ - ٥‎ - ٦‎ - ٧‎ - ٨‎ - ٩‎)

1. Mohd Sharif (1956-2017) ... eldest
2. Sharifah (1957)
3. Faridah (1958) .... this is me; I'm third
4. Rabi'ah (1959)
5. Muhd Farid (1961-2015)
6. Muhd Amin (1962)
7. Aminah (1970) ... youngest

I asked Mak why she had all her children close together? She said that was the easier way and the children's clothes could just be handed down from one child to the next, which saved her money.

(٠‎ - ١‎ - ٢‎ - ٣‎ - ٤‎ - ٥‎ - ٦‎ - ٧‎ - ٨‎ - ٩‎)


For Bapak, he chose to work in the Government Service. There are several perks in Government Service. There are pros and cons. Government servants were not allowed to have a second job or second income during my parent's time. Things are different today.

Pension plan
The Government Service offers a small pay for teachers, but it has a safety net as it offers a small pension after retirement. This pension is a good source of income for many retired persons, including teachers. It is not much, but having a small income in old age is better than being penniless in old age.

Retirement age
The compulsory age of retirement in 1986 was 55 years. Bapak started working in 1953 before his 22nd birthday, and retired in 1986 on his 55th birthday. Altogether, he had served 33 years of teaching in the Government Service. The retirement age for me in 2018 is 60.

Early retirement option
Bapak had wanted to retire early at 50, to go into business. He was very good with electronics. He wanted to do the earphone business. His junior (Aziz Merican) was allowed to do Petronas gas, but Bapak was not allowed to retire early. He was upset about it.

Compulsory retirement 1986
Bapak retired on 28 November 1986 at age 55 years. Mak retired 2 weeks earlier on 4 November 1986.

Day of retirement
Bapak received one-time gratuity payout and a small monthly pension upon retirement in 1986. He wrote "Bersara ... Alhamdulillah!" in his 1986 diary on 28 November 1986.

Rahman Talib Plan
Bapak said they were under the Rahman Talib Plan under the Malaysian Education Services, which allowed them one month paid overseas holiday & travel, which they must undertake before retirement.

European Tour 1980
Bapak and Mak spent one month touring Europe in the late 1980 (October 1980) before they retired in 1986. I was 22 years old and had just graduated and waiting to go to graduate school. I had nothing to do. My father invited me to join their European tour. I joined my parents in the UK only. I flew out from San Francisco to Heathrow Airport on a jumbo jet (Pan Am). I joined them in London for 9 days in October 1980 after I graduated in June 1980. Bapak drove a hired car as he knew the roads from before. We stayed at Hyde Park Hotel and travelled to Greenwich, Bath, Lyme Regis and other places. We went to visit Mak's tutor - the Sellmans at Pound-Down Corner in Essex.

(٠‎ - ١‎ - ٢‎ - ٣‎ - ٤‎ - ٥‎ - ٦‎ - ٧‎ - ٨‎ - ٩‎)


Visit Australia 1986/87/88/89
Bapak and Mak came to visit me in Perth, Western Australia after they retired. I was 28 years old and doing my PhD at the University of Western Australia (UWA), Crawley campus in Nedlands, when my parents retired in 1986. They badly wanted to visit me in Australia as both had never visited Australia before. When they retired and received their gratuity and pension, the first thing they did was to come and visit me in Australia. My parents were so happy when they visited my family in Australia. I had 2 kids in 1986. You should see their happy faces and smiles. They really loved being in Australia. My father paid for our trips to the Pinnacles, Rottnest Island and south of Perth. I cannot thank him enough. It felt so good to have happy and smiling parents. It was like a fulfilled dream.

Mak also met her youngest sister (my Aunty Daisy Yvette) in Perth. They had a good time together in Perth. They went shopping and ate together. They have not met since 1968 (18 years).

My eldest sister Sharifah and youngest sister Aminah also visited us in Perth. They enjoyed Perth. We couldn't take them out too far as I had my PhD research to do in the laboratories on campus and at Royal Perth Hospital.

(٠‎ - ١‎ - ٢‎ - ٣‎ - ٤‎ - ٥‎ - ٦‎ - ٧‎ - ٨‎ - ٩‎)


Mak's demise 2004
Though Bapak and Mak were head strong enemies at Kirkby College, they were both intelligent and persevered throughout their lives as a married couple.

Bapak was very quiet after Mak died. He kept to himself and looked at her photos on his computer in the living-room. He could not continue to live in her absence, his best friend who understood his childhood poverty and the politics of his work right from day 1.

I felt bad every time I passed by his computer table and saw him looking at Mak's photos.

I remember asking Mak if she would ever leave my Bapak. Mak said there would be no one in this world who would be able to look after such a cranky man. And I believed her.

Bapak's poor health
Bapak's health began to deteriorate fast. In the fasting month of 2008 (year before he died), Bapak fell ill from very little food intake and the compulsory Ramadan fasting. He wanted to fast even though he was not in good health. His health deteriorated even further and I counselled my brother Amin to take him to hospital. Amin fetched him from Penang, and drove him to Hospital Pusrawi in KL. Bapak was not cooperative at the bedside and the young nurses gave him a hard time trying to locate his collapsed vein to install an IV drip. He created such a scene and wanted to go home. I know Bapak hated hospital (because he didn't get to become a doctor).

Amin brought him home to Penang. At home, without an IV drip and with so little food intake, Bapak's health deteriorated even further. He was bedridden and was looked after by his eldest daughter Sharifah (Pah) - my elder and eldest sister. Occasionally, his granddaughter Adibah came to assist to look after him while Pah went to work at CAP at Jalan Masjid Negeri.

I also came to feed him once when I came to USM Penang for an IT meeting. I received an SMS from Pah that Bapak was nazak and I immediately left the meeting at USM to come to meet him at home in Minden Heights. He was still alive and I fed him very slowly. His eyes were shut tight and he couldn't open them as they were painful. I guessed he didn't have enough fluid in his body that his eyes ran dry (xerophthalmia) and his eyelids stuck to his eyeballs, so he couldn't open his eyes to see me. I don't think he even knew I fed him but I did.

Bapak's demise 2009
Then I went home to Kelantan as I had work the next day. But as soon as I was home and just getting into bed, Pah SMS-ed again and said Bapak had passed away. I was shocked! I was totally devastated! We immediately packed our bags and returned to Penang, in the cold of the night, in very thick fog on the East-West Highway. It was 2 am. We risked our lives driving in zero visibility (Muhammad drove), trying to make it home to Penang, to see Bapak, in time before they washed, kafan, and buried him.

When we arrived about 6 am, Bapak was draped and laid on several mattresses in a quiet part of the dark and gloomy living-room. It was very sad looking at Bapak in that manner. I dared myself to go near Bapak and lifted the muslin cloth to see his face for the last time. It was really heartbreaking to see Bapak lying still and not breathing or talking to me anymore. It was the last time I met Bapak live face-to-dead face before they took him away to wash and kafan him and finally took him to his grave. This was the first mayat (corpse) I ever observed close up in my life. My Bapak was gone for good. He was really gone and never returning.

I did not follow the van jenazahBapak died in his sleep at about 6 am on 8 March 2009 and is buried on 9 March 2009 at Masjid Jamek Sungai Glugor, some distance from our house in Minden Heights Jalan 7. It was Maulidur Rasul and I could hear Selawat everywhere. I remember Bapak loved to talk about the Prophet's age at death (63). Bapak told me that he really wanted to die at age 63, but he died later at age 77.

It was very sad for I had lost both my parents. So now I am yatim piatu like many others and yet I have to continue to live 'happily'. Good-bye, Bapak! I love you! I will always love you, Bapak! I will join you when I am dead too. Wait for me. Thank you for all that you have done for me!

Bapak died a poor man. He had some savings and the month's pension and nothing else. He had no house to his name nor did he own any worldly property, except his broken down old car - a 1965 grey Opel Rekod, which nobody wanted. Bapak did not regret being poor because he earned an honest living and tried to help his siblings and their children, all on his small single monthly salary as a pensyarah maktab (college lecturer). He never regretted not being rich. He regretted not being a doctor. Bapak retired as a lecturer from Maktab Perguruan Persekutuan, Pulau Pinang (MPPP), near RECSAM.

(٠‎ - ١‎ - ٢‎ - ٣‎ - ٤‎ - ٥‎ - ٦‎ - ٧‎ - ٨‎ - ٩‎)




This information is from Bapak's birth certificate which he gave me a long time ago at Pak Din's house in Damansar (where there were monkeys), maybe in 1988 or earlier.

(Health 16)      FEDERATED MALAY STATES       No. 63676

Extract from Register of Births in the State of SELANGOR.

Register No. and page: 55959 - 518827

Name as shown in the register: Abdul Rashid

Sex: Male

Father's Name: Mohamed Yusop

Father's Occupation: Malay Agricultural Assistant

Father's Nationality: Malay

Mother's Maiden name: Aisha

Mother's Nationality: Malay

When born: 28th November, 1931

Where born: 1092, Imbi Road, Kuala Lumpur

Name, address and description of informant: Mohamed Yusop

Date of registration: 30th November, 1931

Certified to be a true Extract from the Register of births in the State of SELANGOR.

Fee S1.
(writing is invisible)                                                  (Signed?) EB Wolfe
7 Aug 1940                                                        Registrar of Births and Deaths.

(٠‎ - ١‎ - ٢‎ - ٣‎ - ٤‎ - ٥‎ - ٦‎ - ٧‎ - ٨‎ - ٩‎)



Bapak had scanned some (most) of his many photos before he died. He had also described some of them to me. So I am able to put caption for some of his photos. These photos are from his pendrive which I borrowed/obtained from my elder sister Sharifah in 2009.

What did Bapak look like when he was young? He looked Indian most of his childhood in KL and Malacca. He looked Chinese in early mid-life when we lived in Sabah. He looked like James Bond in later mid-life when he lived alone in England. He looked Arab when we lived in Penang till he died. He looked Arab when he died.

Bapak aged 17 in 1948

Bapak aged 47 in 1978.
Abdul Rashid @ Bapak (1931-2009)
(٠‎ - ١‎ - ٢‎ - ٣‎ - ٤‎ - ٥‎ - ٦‎ - ٧‎ - ٨‎ - ٩‎)

No comments:

Post a Comment