15 JANUARY 2023
2nd DEES REUNION
A small function room in Kelab Shah Alam majestically perched on a hillock of Bukit Kayangan was filled with Red Shirted DEES of various batches, from the oldest OP Mahbob of intake year ’59 to the youngster, Tuck Loong of intake year ’87, a Malaysia Airlines pilot, once my copilot on Boeing 747 aircraft, currently flying the latest and most modern jetliner, Airbus A 350.
Even our special guest, Dato’ Seri Azman Ujang former Chairman of National News Agency BERNAMA, also came in a red T Shirt. Very thoughtful of him. He was surprised to meet a few friends among the DEES.
Of course as a well known journalist, he knows many people. In fact one of the DEES who attended yesterday, Karl, was his former staff.
I thought l arrived early, at 11:20 am for the function which was supposed to start at 12 noon, after having fetched Mahbob from his home in Bukit Damansara. But many had arrived earlier; l supposed all were excited to meet old buddies, not having met for so many years….some up to 50 years.
While l was carrying in the parcels of OUR BOOK “Memorable Moments” our unfortunate buddy, Khalid Ramlee arrived.. in a wheelchair. The Club has no lift facility. So we had to carry him up the staircase.
To be certain that l, a 72 year old grandfather still have the strength to carry him, l asked Khalid. ” What’s your weight?”
He expectedly answered, ” l don’t know.”
Anyway 4 of us lifted him up the 2 flight of stair case safely. He was indeed heavy. Luckily Abu Seyrey at 67 years old was still a strong young man, to help lift Khalid while still seated on the wheelchair.
As soon as the books were laid on the table, many started to pick a copy.
Mahbob brought all the copies of “I REMEMBER” he still had. All were quickly snapped up.
I was lucky. I “potong ” the trip. I got my copies earlier when l went to fetch Mahbob at his house.
With the DEES excitedly chatting amongst themselves, catching up the lost time, the group photography session took place with the members standing majestically on the staircase. The members of the Organising Committee were given the honour to stand infront. With no wearing of the cap allowed, 2 of them exposed their Kojak head. It’s OK…sign of aging which all of us will have to go through. But they forgot to tuck their stomach in and have their chest out.
All the paunch of the stomach showed. And Syed Azauddin who could not make it to the gathering, was disappointed to see that clearly in the photos.
The session proper started about 45 minutes late with an introduction by the main MC, Azmi Rahman. After everybody was made to stand up to show their look, how much they have aged or not aged, instead of starting with the programme, the Keynote address, it was suggested that we ” makan” first….not that we were hungry, but because we didn’t want the food to be cold.
Sayang those who didn’t attend. The Chinese food was sumptuous and delicious, sharks fin soup, Siakap goreng pedas, deep fried chicken , fried mixed vegetable, beef with mushroom sauce topped up with my favourite; cili with kichap. I had 3 helpings…not the rice, but the cili padi. I’m used to it, not having to rush to the small room soon after.
Then senior OP HALIM SHAH was invited to deliver his keynote address.
An accomplished Senior Civil servant, his well prepared speech was very relevant. He touched on us as being the FUSED LIGHT BULBS. …almost all of us, not all because some are still working and shining.
Being fused light bulbs, it can be implied that we are already useless. Not really. I see it in different context. We have tons of knowledge and experience among us that all this should be shared while not trying to project ourselves overly. We should remain humble and maintain low profile while continue to contribute to the society in whatever way, we can. Our shining days are over, though.
This is where our next speaker, senior OP Raja Malek picked up.
Speaking off the cuff, he expressed his concern and disappointment with the state of the nation we are in.
Born in 1945, just after the end of Japanese occupation, he saw the changes from the time when we were under the British administration…his grandfather Raja Tun Uda being the advisor to the Colonial masters, the pre independent days, post independent under Tunku Abdul Rahman and his coalition friends Tan Siew Sin and V. T Sambamthan.
Then over the years, the corruption sets in, the deterioration of the education system, the erosion of moral values, amongst his concerns.
He proposed that we, in moving forward, be the agent for change.
I will write separately on this proposal.
Next, the most Senior OP, Mahbob, a prolific writer, was called to say a few words. He expressed his surprise that “Memorable Moments” could be produced within 4 1/ 2 months. He didn’t know what Kamil is capable off. Well with concerted effort, it was possible.
Touching on ” I REMEMBER,” he said it took him about 2 years to compile the stories into a 580 book.
In conjunction with the book launch, Kamil was called next to say a few words. Indeed his speech was very short.
Lucky being the last speaker, he didn’t have to say much. All had been covered by the earlier speakers. Furthermore, he has covered a lot in the book. He just thanked everybody for the support to make the book possible.
Special thanks was given to Mahbob for mooting out the idea last August. He too contributed 7 chapters, all pleasingly written.
( l have to mention here too of the support by several others in buying many copies, namely;
Hashim Hussein 8 copies.
Michael Yam 5 copies
Hashim Hj. Abu 4 copies
Halim Shah 4 copies
Azman Mahmood 4 copies
Khoo Chin Leng 4 copies
and of course everybody who bought.
Next, being the most Senior, Mahbob was called again to deliver some donation we collected, to Khalid, still strapped in his wheelchair.
The amount was not much, but we could clearly see the happiness on his face.
We were caught by surprise when after all the speeches were over, a trolley of 2 chocolate cakes were rolled in for Birthday Boys- Azmi Rahman and Hafiz Ali.
To the chorus of the birthday song, the candles , just 1 each, were blown and the cakes cut.
I was too full to take a piece offered by Hafiz.
I have to put on record the good team work my the members of the Organising committee. Kudos to them.
All played their part well.
Azmi and Hafiz took turns to be the MC.
Khoo was to pass the hat, or rather the box around to collect more donation for 2 of our unfortunate colleagues. RM 2080 were collected in addition to the amount banked in earlier by other DEES.
Abu Seyrey handled the floor arrangement and Masri took on the Mike too, to belt out a song, a Tom Jones top single, everybody’s favourite: GREEN GREEN GRASS OF HOME, to which everybody sang along.
Hashim Hj Abu managed to persuade his batchmate Zulkifli Shaari to play the violin which he used to in the dorm in 1964..that was about 60 years ago.
Sportingly Zul strang a song, albeit a bit out of tune; fair enough, after so many years not playing.
Time flew very fast that we had to part ways, till we meet again.
Without a doubt, everybody had a good time, including our special guest Dato Seri Azman Ujang who belted out a song. Very sporting of him. I didn’t know, he could sing.
Anyway, l whispered to him, if he could write something about this special RMC bunch. I hope, with my fading hearing, l heard him right, he said he would.
16th Jan 2023
Delta Coy Lunch at Kelab Shah Alam