Wednesday 29 April 2015

Akim - 29 April 1949 - 21 September 1982

Thirty three years ago  .........

..........  "you left me standing here".

When you were born at Pasir Panjang Road - on this day today -  sixty-six years ago .........

.......  the mak bidan said to Emak in a matter-of-fact way: budak 'ni tak panjang umur.  She had recognised the signs when she delivered you.  Emak told me this a few days after you passed away and never will I reveal the indicators of the prophecy.  Here's our brave mother holding the fourth joy of her life just a few days after you were born.

No wonder she was so protective over you.

Emak was just 59 when she lost you.  But even though she had very little asohan ugama her faith saw her through this ordeal until she passed away in 1997 when she was 74.

On this day I want to record my happy memories of you - so that cucusihamid and cicitsihamid  will get to know and remember you better.

Firstly, there was Akim, the artist.

I think this was where you began to show signs of your artistic streak.

The little house at 691 Pasir Panjang Road aka Akim's Art Gallery.
Whenever we made a (very necessary) visit to this mini abode we were presented with an exhibition of your art work on the inside door. When you ran out of space you tried to expand to the side walls - but we knew you would need some acrobatic skills to do so!

During primary school at Pasir Panjang English School - your talent was recognized.

An Art Prize for Mustakim bin Hamid of Primary IC (1956)

I also found this textbook of yours after you moved on to Pasir Panjang Secondary School.

In it was the usual proprietary marker ....

........ and an additional illustration which I discovered late last year at Setiawangsa when I was browsing through my collection of books.  What a joy it was!  You are a scalawag!

Mustakim wishing his textbook was on TV.

I think this was due to the influence of TV - we were all agog with the introduction of RTS  (Radio Television Singapore) in 1963.

Maznoor and Mustakim at 58, Jalan Mas Kuning,  transfixed :
 watching  Peyton Place on TV in 1967.
I still keep this 1969 psychedelic illustration you made for me on my YISS (Yusof Ishak Secondary School) file.

Here's another masterpiece which (I think) you made for Mus's hitch hike journey back to Hull from London  in 1982.  I'm so happy that you two found each other - as brothers - in a foreign country. This gave so much meaning and comfort to  Mus when you left us forever in  September1982.

Mustakim in his bedsitter at Kilburn.

You may be in the world's most exciting city .....

Akim's photograph of Nelson's Column, 1982.

........ but your heart longed for home in Boon Lay.

"If I could see B. Lay from the top , I'd climb the monument".

Our whole family adored cats - something we picked up from Abah's genes.  Two of our cats - Puss and Dajal - waited for Abah to come home from work before they took their last breath.  I can never forget how you put your head  on the kitchen floor in the Boon Lay kitchen, next to Kookie, and cried as you held him. I had to take Kookie to the Vet, to be put to 'sleep', to save him from more pain because of his renal failure.

Kookie (on the left) and Suzie.

 Cats and cats - that was what we had in common.

Loving cats started early for Akim.

Mustakim's sister  (at16)  and Tina.

Mustakim's sister (at 71) and Stanley in Jack's garden 3 days ago.

And here's your collage (from the late '70s) to illustrate the power of women.  I somehow believe you did this tongue-in-cheek.  You've always had a wry sense of humour!

"The hands that rock the cradles .....  rule the world".

We had a good laugh - when you suggested how you could protect me from burglars at night - when we were sharing a 'flat' at  10, Royal Road.  You would place your shoes outside my door - to scare off possible intruders!!!

But someone else who is now my hero-protector - someone I dearly wish you could have met - your second brother-in-law added this for my self-defense.

What more could I ask?  A pair of men's shoes and a badge of  macho-femalehood!

Dear Akim,  you will always and forever be in my heart and in my prayers. On this day I write this little tribute for a beloved brother,  taken too soon but loved and remembered for always.

Al Fatihah.


A Brother Remembers

Mustapha & Mustakim - two nerdy brothers at 691, Pasir Panjang Road  1956(?)

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid at Singapore Botanical Garden  1954/1955 (?)

Thank you Mus.

                                               Terry Scott - My Brother

Friday 24 April 2015

Alvin - A serenade for Ah Bin

This video I hope will bring a degree of  meaning and explanation to Ah Bin's and his cronies'  (the Ah Kows' ) raison d'etre.   (Who let the dogs out)

Just to add a bit more punch, here's a little comment from Mah Lai Kwai.  (It is written mostly in Singlish - a hybrid language of Sino-Singapore-English.  It is also the 'lingua franca' in Malaysia).

Mah Lai Kwai says:

Aiyaah Ah Bin why you soo..  ah beng one?   Why this video show you topless - you a reel attention seeker.

You want people to see your body becos you tink you can look like Bruce Lee ah ....

  .... or mebbe now you run away to 'Melika you want to show off like the ang mo Aidan Turner - throbbing heart throb from Engerland.

You want to know how Aidan Turner got  that rippling muscles?  He say he use special " baby oil".  He no need go to gym - orso he never eat 'Bak Kut Teh.  You remember how you recommend this to Muslim?

You so terok, lah.  Muslim cannot eat pork, not like you, who can eat anything that got 4 legs ... and moves.

You know or not, when you pose with no shirt on, you don't show respect to your forefathers who come to Malay country from Tongsua, to work and make and save money.

 You know how your forefathers work so hard, and build up a prosperous life for your parents and you - so dat you can afford to escape and live in 'Melika?

Now you make fun of Muslim  Azan.  You forgot ah?  You so 'chickopet', so 'hamsab' you make  sexy video of you and your girlfriend  until Singapore garmen take away your scholarship.

Alvin Tan :  The former Asean Scholar was stripped of his scholarship after he posted sexually explicit photos of himself and his girlfriend in an online blog in October 2012.  The National University of Singapore (NUS) law student who is a Malaysian, also earned himself a semester's suspension for the brazen acts.  Mr Tan did not complete his law studies.

You really one kind - sooo typical - the kind my office people call the shit-stirrer.  Long ago, in Singapore, we have the night soil man who work clearing the 'jamban' .

The Jamban

The Night Soil Man - from Wikipedia

With you, only one difference - the night-soil man do public service and remove the shit.  You only stir and stir the same bucket of sai.  No wonder you cannot finish your law degree!

You tink you want to be 'hero' - like "Je suis Ah Bin" !!

I hope my Muslim friends in Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia 'boh chap' this sicko. 

Now you live in 'Melika you watch your step. You give dem trouble, where you want to run?  (Hey what passport you carry ah?)

 Remember how you so happy to go to 'melika, you publish picture of yourself, naked except for the red nappy  - like a selfie - next to Statue of Liberty?

Well, Alvin, be careful.... even 'melika not always so chin chai man!

A 19th century cartoon of a Chinaman with pigtail taking over the Statue of Liberty 

Kam sia,

L. K. Mah


Back to Ash

Thank you Mah Lai Kwai.

Muslims in Malaysia  can expect many more wannabe  "Je suis Ah Bin" on You Tube and other websites.

Just keep calm, don't get yourself hyperventilated by jibes from this yellow culture.



boh chap  -  can't be bothered

angmo  -  caucasian

malaikwai  -  a pejorative term used by Chinese (in Singapore and Malaysia) for Malays.  There's also                        angmokwai (red face devil) for  Caucasians and kalingkwai for Indians.

ah beng  -  a stereotype of young Chinese men in Singapore and Malaysia.  It's like the term 'Mat' for                   young Malay men and 'chav' for the English.

chickopet and hamsab   -  a flirt and a dirty old/young man whose brain is located in the groin area.

kam sia  -  thank you

sai  -  faeces

cin cai  - relaxed and easy going

yellow culture  -   the late Lee Kuan Yew described any form of culture that is non-Asian as 'yellow'                                during the early days of Singapore's independence.  I remembered when the song                                  "Puff, the magic dragon"  by Peter, Paul, and Mary was banned as a result of Lee's                                 'cleansing'.  However the reference to 'yellow' has many other meanings.  It can                                     mean 'cowardly' or when used with the banana, it refers to a westernized                                              Chinese - yellow on the outside and white on the inside.

bak kut teh  -  pork bone tea soup

And talking of pork and pigs ......

Sunday 19 April 2015

Musings - Melayu tidak memegang janji

 These images below explain the long hiatus in my postings.

My constant friend

My constant ( for the last six weeks) enabler.

From my constant spouse - comestibles like nasi goreng kampung.

But just as constant is the black news about the shenanigans of  Malaysian politics and of Malay politicians at home which only serve to cripple the rakyat, especially the Malays.  Harapkan pagar, pagar makan padi.  

It was my abah who, - when I was growing up in Singapore, often reminded me - "Orang Melayu kuat dengki sesama sendiri.   Rela naikkan lain bangsa untuk menurunkan bangsa sendiri.  I have lived and worked long enough in three Malay countries - Singapore, Brunei and Penang - to experience this foible.    No, 'foible'  is not a strong enough word - it should be 'sickness', a canker that eats at the heart and spirit of a people known to be gentle, easy-going and tolerant.  Our previous imperial masters regarded the Malays as backward and unambitious.  Today, after 58 years of  Merdeka, they have discarded  unambitious for greedy and envious: backward for  "progressive liberalism" ........

..... and  alim-ummah.

Now a septuagenarian, I look back and I reckon the most sincere and steadfast friend I ever had was......

My best friend Sim L.L. and AsH  stepping on Greenwich Meridian, 1975

............ my Chinese girl friend, Sim L. L.  She recognised my frustration and dissatisfaction as a Malay Graduate teacher in Singapore and she advised me to leave for Malaysia where I will have a better future.  She would do the same if she had been a Malay.  ( But I left for Brunei instead.).

Malays today - be they belacan Malays or mayonnaise Malays or tahini Malays must take heed of the sincere and honest voices of people like Helen Ang and Ridhuan Tee who are concerned enough for their country to remind the Malays that they must keep together.

Can our 21st century Malays learn from this simple gesture of unity that the Chinese uphold for their bangsa?

The Chinese in China, like Indians in India, or the Brits in UK will not cut themselves up - despite their political and social differences - in the way that the Malays are doing to themselves in their Tanah-Air.  One country, one culture, one religion and what keeps them apart is the loss of their sense of Malayness - greed, envy, conceit and self-righteousness have taken over asohan budi.

Asohan budi .... once upon a time, that had such meaning for the Malays.      And once upon a time, it seems, Malay parents forgot that meaning .... and forgot to pass it on.


The following aspects of 'Budi' are from my collection of dictionaries that hark back to the 1960s.

1. From

1963 - 5th Edition



What is missing among present-day Malays is " bangsa Melayu yang budiman".


Terang bulan dan bintang pun berchahaya.
Duduk termenung memikirkan kita.
Pikirkan tuan yang jauh di mata.
Sampai hati meninggalkan saya.

Translate kita as negara ku: tuan as tanah air and meninggalkan saya as membelot bangsa!!!