Sunday, 1 September 2013

Bas Sungai Manik – Applied Maths

Tok Mami dan cucu Zahra dan Sofea bersama Hjh Mahanum Itam dipintu masuk rumah anak yatim kelolaan beliau termasuk Sekolah Menengah Islam Tahfiz, al Amin, Pengkalan Ara diParit 5/7R Cendrong Balai, Teluk Intan. Perak
 
Salam Dato, Skot dan Sahabat yang dihormati semoga posting ini menemui kalian didalam sihat walafiat disamping keluarga tersayang. If not you better quick quick go and report sick.
Pada hari Sabtu bersamaan sambutan hari Merdeka yang lepas, saya dan keluarga memenuhi jemputan kenduri kahwin anak, saudara Othman Md Saman yang lebih mesra dipanggil Man Kayu kerana beliau seorang OKU sejak dilahirkan dan mengguna kaki kayu pada sebelah kaki. Satelah tamat kursus selama 4 tahun diSekolah OKU tajaan Kementerian Kebajikan Masyarakat diBatu 11 Cheras, beliau bekerja diPahang dengan penuh tekun hingga menjadi sorang fitter dan mekanik kenderaan yang baik dan kemudian bekerja disebuah syarikat bas kepunyaan MARA iaitu Kenderaan Sungai Manik diTeluk Intan Perak. Almost immediately after I left the service in 1978, I joint that company as Assistant Manager at first and hardly a year plus after that was promoted as the Manager. Semasa didalam perjalanan pulang, singgah dipusat asrama dan sekolah menengah Islam Tahfiz al Amin yang berdekatan dengan rumah saudara Othman. Back tracked here’s something I wrote to Skot Sundian TUDM (ATC) on that bus company some 5 years ago. Sundian who I contacted recently told me that he is now a consultant with the Sime Darby Plantation and routinely conduct visits on their estates in Kalimantan, Indonesia. Here’s an edited of what I wrote :

Dear Sundian serta Skot dan Sahabat yang dihormati sekelian, I thought of paying you a visit when I phoned you that day, only to be told that you are in Ipoh. I was actually on my way home through the west coast road with my wife after attending a kenduri kahwin at Simpang Empat Hutan Melintang. Rodziyatul Adawiyah.. that's her name. She was my Personal Assistant when I was a manager of a bus company in Teluk Anson now Teluk Intan. Her son, Zaki Yamani probably named after the then Menteri Minyak of Saudi Arabia, got married that day. Zaki was just a toddler when I first reported for work with Kenderaan Sungai Manik, a subsidiary of the MARA Transport Group on the 2nd of May in 1978, just eleven days after my 20th April, ROD. I have not seen Zaki since Rozi, the name everybody calls his mother, brought him occasionally to the office some 35 years ago. 'Badan dia pun udah seropa juga gemoknya.. macam Encik Zainal juga..', Rozi told me of him when we have to excuse ourselves for not been able to wait and see Zaki for the bersanding.

Tempat jatuh lagi dikenang.. ini kan pula tempat bermain.. that's the best to describe my early life as a civilian in Teluk Anson. I must say as a soldier that the army with all its glamorous tradition, kemegahan dan kebanggaannya is still the army. It’s the anggota and people that makes what it is. I have neither grudge nor regret and proud of whatever deed that I have contributed or have rendered during my short service. I once stood at the multazam in Masjidil Haram and solemnly prayed: Ya Allah, engkau lebih mengetahui akan kehidupanku semasa didalam tentera dan apa jua khidmat yang telah ku sumbangkan terhadap tanah air ku, maka terimalah ianya sebagai jihad. There's no other better place to transform myself into the reality and at the same time, work in an environment that I am familiar with and having the experience, than working with the Bas Mara.

Teluk Anson offers the best place for me to get away from that miserable army life as some of our retired Skots, out of their frustration have voiced out and infact I don't inclined to concur with your opinion that we all make as you said, big mistake for wasting time with the Angkatan Tentera. Perhaps you were referring to those mark time Skots who should have opted out much earlier and to conduct or work something appropriate and useful to do justice for them. Surely you must agree that the success of whatever we have achieved today, owed to the training and experience endured during our service. You don't find army vehicles or army camp for that matter in Teluk Anson. Bas Sungai Manik operates stage, school and express buses and we have buses, vehicles and establishment that were equivalent to a KP Divisional Transport Coy except here, you are managing a business and the yardstick to gauge your performance as you yourself have projected.

You may have experienced and enjoyed the same feeling of being a Manager of an estate where your workers and communities around you knew you well and recognises you and I take the opportunity here to congratulate you on your success story in managing a largest coconut plantation in this part of the world as aired by TV3. As a Manager of Bas MARA in a small town of Teluk Anson, I can tell you that not only the kampung folks where your buses plied but the Tok Sidang, the Wakil Rakyat, the OBJ, the DO, the OCPD, the Magistrate and even the Raja Muda of Perak knows you. As ex OC Supply and well versed with ikan and sayur, I was the one who normally does the groceries. Once my wife went to the market after her office hours, buying fresh udang galah which was just about RM6 a kilo then and she bought only just a few ekor to cook for dinner on that day. She told me what the fish monger said to her, 'Pak Encik selalu beli tiga empat kilo', she later laugh and said, 'orang kat pasar pun kenal you'. You can imagine how young we were at that time and were very happy and peacefully I would say, settle down in Teluk Anson.

Pak Mat Nusi, the station master who was also an Ex British army, advice me to write in to seek audience with the regent so not to end up like my predecessor, Capt Desa Akib Signal (Rtd) where he got himself in a dubious situation when he bumped into the Raja Muda and was asked whether he had formally met with the regent. Arranged by Razlan the ADC, I attended the formal introduction and dinner with the DYTM Raja Muda Musa at the istana together with among others a senior Indian estate manager, accompanied by the Magistrate, OCPD and couple of other senior government and officers of the istana. There were quite a few ex-services and prominent retired army officers residing in Teluk Anson at that time including Mej Gen 'Jimmy' Ismail, the former CLS who was a security advisor to the various estates in Teluk Intan and Sabak Bernam and Col Raja Saigon who was the municipal councillor then. Some of those I knew were also planters including Skot Rosli Samsudin RMR whom his father once worked with the bus company. My Admin Sergeant of 20 Angkut, Sjn Hashim who after retired from the army and lived in his kampung in Chikus.

The existing bus station, shared with two other local bus companies were built during my time and it was also then that we introduced aircond coaches to the KL route however it was not well accepted initially as the fare was seringit lima kupang lebih dari tambang bas biasa. ‘Aya.. itu pukul lapan setengah punya bas sudah habis.. cuma tinggal sepuluh setengah saja. Tapi kalau Aya mahu cepat., itu sembilan setengah punya time ada.. tapi aircond.. sejuk.. ada free ayer kotak kasi.. Tambang.. satu ringit setengah lebih'. I heard my ticketing clerk explaining to an Indian estate worker who came to the counter to buy ticket to KL. Tarak apa.. kasi itu sepuluh setengah punya time. Kita.. ini kerja ladang punya orang.. selalu tengah panas kerja.. apa guna itu aircond. That was those days.. nowadays you hardly heard of express buses without aircond and no one is going to buy ticket to commute on a non aircond express buses. Bior pun deme keroje manjat nyor.. tak sior deme nak naik., kalu bas tak ada aircon. Kalu endak juga., kena naik lori askar le..

Pengkalan Tentera Laut DiRaja Malaysia, Lumut was under construction then and passengers have to cross the ferry near Kampung Gajah to go to Lumut. Hjh Mahanum daughter of Tok Sidang Itam of Parit 5, Pengkalan Ara near Cendrong Balai was the ‘KPSU Lumut’ in MINDEF bahagian Pembangunan and was instrumental in coordinating from the beginning to the completion of that Naval Complex. She who has been our family friend has devoted herself and built an orphan home and a Sekolah Menengah Islam tahfiz al Amin on her family land at Parit 5, Pengkalan Ara, Cendrong Balai, Teluk Intan. Perak. Please see the video of that rumah anak yatim and Sekolah Menengah Islam Tahfiz, al Amin dan mohon sumbangan dari para dermawan sebagai fisabillilah agar keperluan asrama anak yatim dan Sekolah Menengah Islam Tahfiz ini boleh berkembang dan sentiasa dapat dimakmurkan. She continuously need to fork out about RM13K monthly to sustain the day to day livelihood of that orphanage centre and any source of contribution will be highly appreciated and semoga Allah SWT sahajalah yang akan membalas dan memberi ganjaran keatas segala kebaikan dan ibadah sumbangan yang diberikan, InsyaAllah.

Another ferry was at Sabak Bernam, near to your estate. Arrangements were made for another bus to wait on the other side of both rivers. Sometime ago I read in the newspaper that the Pengarah Kor Agama AT quoted: 'susah susah kita cari dia dalam hutan.. jumpa dia di-depan Ka'abah'. He was refering to Rashid Maidin the Communist. His brother, YB Mohamed Yusof Maidin was the Wakil Rakyat of Cenderong Balai or the ADUN of Perak. The YB who is now a Datuk, was himself a Navy personnel, spoke of his brother to me in our joy ride in an aircond coach around Teluk Intan after he officiated its launching. History are told and written by people of influence and in power. How else can they claimed, Francis Light and Raffles founded Penang and Singapore respectively when my ancestors were already there. We heard of the Raja Berok (Brooks) but nothing much was mentioned and known of Sarawak warriors and headsmen before him other than the sensationalised head hunters. You can't change that as the tamadun or civilisation and politic decides. In Perak, the Datuk Maharajalela who plotted and killed the kurang ajar, JWW Birch was considered the 'enemy'.
 
The communist and their ideologies are not accepted and remain a security threat though we know that there are others that are more threatening to the stability of the nation now. I see that the YB inclined to wonder if his brother and others alike were misled to make use of that platform, to go or fight against the suppressing Colonial and imperialism. We cannot term or recognised them as freedom fighters and in whatever course they have perceived or believed in and what more on the atrocities that they have done. In his intelligence briefing to the 3 Div officers, the then Brig Gen Raja Rashid said that to change a communist.. you make him a capitalist. With exceptional of the Chinese as like Chin Peng, Rashid Maidin the YB brother ialah orang Melayu yang mungkin amal ibadatnya pada masa lampau, kita tidak boleh buat andaian namun tentunya beliau berpengetahuan mengenai Islam dan yang ketara ialah seorang yang telah mempamirkan ciri ciri keimanan and now settled down in Southern Thailand, living in a Pondok kind of village and seemingly, whether we like it or not.. we have to praise with alHamdulillah, that he is now a person of pious. Contrary to communist, it’s prime principle is that they don't believe in God. Abu Suffian, Khalid Ibni Walid who fought against Islam in the battle of Uhud were few of those Jahiliah champions who then embraced Islam and did the prophet, Nabi Mohamad S.A.W rejected them? Apa kewajipan orang Islam didalam aspek pengampunan?
 
While passing by the Unitata factory after talking to you, I can't help taking my eyes away from looking at one of the rooms on the second floor of its Admin building. This is because I once have a meeting with their directors in that room. There were about 220 workers of Unitata, given passes for them to commute to work on scheduled times however we have to provide a bus as special service to ferry their workers coming out of the 11 pm night shift. For all this, the former management charged them a mere RM700 a month. I intended to raise the charges to at least RM1,500 a month. I called their company secretary, En Nordin after I wrote him our request and he agreed for me to come and discuss it at his office. When I arrived, Nordin took me to a meeting room and I got a shock of my life when the boss, probably an Indian expatriate smartly dressed in a suit and a Scandinavian’s gentleman were already there, waiting for me. From the way the boss was looking sternly at me, I knew almost immediately that he was not happy with my request. So all three confronted me and I was left to their mercy as I came without much preparation on the figures to justify my demand as I thought I'm supposed to have just an informal and friendly discussion with Nordin alone.

'Your Prime Minister should be proud of us as we open land in your country so your people can get work and as such you should also help them and not to demand something ridiculous like this'. The boss told me in his thick Indian accent. I gave my reason to him in citing the cost of fuel; spare parts, gaji semua sudah naik. 'Yes, I do agree with you., but not like this'. He raised and showed me my letter and said, 'You demanded more than 100 per cent.. at least you should consider raising just 10 or 15 per cent and not at one shot.. up to more than 100 per cent. We don't do business like that'. He whacked me left, centre and right especially there were instances where there were also complaints regarding our service. I was about to back out and to agree with their term when Nordin, probably looking at the hopeless situation that I'm in and to console, added. 'Zainal.. actually we are not paying much also to our workers.. we are giving every worker only RM30 per month for their transport allowance'. They seem like they were all about ready to blow their victory horn when I said, 'OK, in that case I will provide you with two buses instead of one., provided you give me that RM30 allowance'. They were taken surprised by my about turn and it took them a moment to realise that they would actually end up in paying me an amount of RM6,600 a month, based on the 220 workers times the RM30. That simple arithmetic turns the Indian boss from Sivaji Ganeson into Johnny Walker man... When I left their office, Nordin loaded the booth of my staff car with minyak masak and sabun mandi with a picture of an Indian like, movie actress. Their products were exported to India. I look at the picture on the soap and sang happily, Hallo Miss, Hallo Miss.. yengge porengge.. The stuffs were then distributed to my staff and workers at the workshop.

I left MARA in 1980 to join a consortium of express bus companies in KL and later ventured into my own business in aviation. A conglomerate with a public listed company majoring in haulage bought it over and made me its Managing Director with the exChief of Air Force, Lt Gen Udara Tan Sri Mohamad Ngah (Rtd) as one of its directors. Sadly, Bas Sungai Manik is already history. This was because; the privatised Trans National took all its express routes leaving just the stage buses for the local to operate and even abandon the workshop. Rozi and the rest of about 100 other workers were given compensation. While driving on and looking down from the bridge across the Sungai Bernam where the ferry used to be, my wife said what Rozi told her during the kenduri, 'Encik Zainal je le yang bagus.. Pengurus yang lain lain lepas tu.. semuanya entah apa apa'. My wife then said to her, 'Hai.. kan dia selalu marah kat mengkeme', Rozi replied, 'Dia marah pun ada bertempat..' Another staff of mine who was also present during the wedding was Roslina or Ina. Her father, Encik Osman Kamarudin or Pak Tua, sebagai gelaran hormat kapada beliau semasa didalam perkhidmatan kerana berkebolehan, termasuk mengajar berzanji dan marhaban juga menjadi imam disurau. A retired Warrant Officer and he was also a good footballer with the 4 RMR in the sixties when they were in Mentakap camp. Just few months earlier, I visited him when his dear wife and Ina's mother passed away. After the burial, I went back again to their house from the cemetery and after performing the zohor prayer and Ina informed me that two former Sungai Manik workers were also there but they have just left. One of them, who everybody called him Dolah Benggali, told Encik Osman, 'Kami masa En. Zainal dulu., kerja seronok.. bonus pun dapat'. En. Osman then told me, 'saya tanya dia orang.. apa pasal pulak macam itu'. 'Sebab dia pandai keroje..

Buat bangsal diPulau Daik
Menahan taut sambil mengilau
Kalau asal benih yang baik
Jatuh ke laut menjadi pulau


                     Halia ini tanam tanaman
                     Ke barat juga akan condongnya
                     Dunia ini pinjam pinjaman
                        Akhirat juga akan sungguhnya


                                                  Kuala Daik ayernya tenang
                                                  Disana biduk menambatkan tali
                                                  Mana yang baik bawalah pulang
                                                  Bila buruk tinggalkan kami

PS. Hardly two weeks after the above was posted, 4853 PW2 En Osman Kamarudin @ Pak Tua telah kembali keRahmatullah dirumah beliau: Lorong 7, Kg. Bahagia, Teluk Intan dan selamat dikebumikan selepas solat Jumaat pada 13 Sept 2013. Dua hari sebelum itu iaitu pada hari Rabu 11 Sept 2013, Datuk Yusof Maidin juga telah kembali keRahmatullah. Begitulah kehendak Allah SWT dan semoga roh mereka dicuduri Rahmat. al Fatihah



Launching of first aircond bus service


YB Datuk Mohamed Yusof Maidin officiating the launching of aircon buses. Extreme left is Tok Abas who is related to Tan Sri Ramli Ngah Talib, former MB of Perak


The Ex YB, Datuk Yusof Maidin when I last visited him on the day the Prime Minister announced to dissolve the Parliament, paving the way for Malaysia 13th General Election


 

Workshop Staff of Bas Sungai Manik, Teluk Intan, Perak

Once a bustling workshop and a bus depot, now a run down bengkel of the former Kenderaan Sungai Manik

Aviation business: Inspecting MAS, Airbus A330 Thrust Reverser
From left WO2 Ghani, 3021 S/Sgt Hussain Ahmad (my father in law), 4853 Cpl Osman Kamaruddin @ Pak Tua and a Cpl semasa berkhidmat di Congo in 1961

  
Jalan melalui batas bendang menuju kerumah kenduri kahwin saudara Othman.

  
Saudara Othman Md Saman dan Isteri dihari kenduri kahwin anak mereka. Kerbau disembelih pada sebelah pagi dan orang kampung bergotong royong bersama bantu memasak. Ayam digoring dan dihidang panas panas bersama kerabu dan jelatah. Susah nak jumpa dizaman sekarang. Makan sedap dan suasana meriah.

Lagi sekawah gulai kerobo

Di pejabat rumah anak yatim dan Sekolah menengah Islam tahfiz, al Amin kelolaan Kak Long, Hjh Mahanum Itam
 
The leaning tower of Teluk Intan
 
Pekena mee campur rojak sebelum balik KL at one of Mastan Ghani's kedai rojak dan mee in Teluk Intan. The best mee campur rojak in the world.
 
The original kedai mee dan rojak Mastan Ghani just beside the old bus station.

370342 - Skot Capt N.Sundian (Rtd) TUDM.
 

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