Saturday 20 August 2011

cakap cakap...I remember....

I remember my mother…….my heart is filled with joy in thinking of her. It has been so long since she left us….so long ago that at times there have been days when I do not think of her at all. I remember on the day that she left us I did ask myself how was my Father and all of us to live without her? Impossible I thought! Impossible!

And yet here I am today …sometimes not thinking of her for days….is this how my children will think of me after I am gone from their life for as long as my mother has been from mine? I think so. Not because they forget or grow to love us less…but that is just how things are.

Memories, even of our greatest love, fade. And yet when you remember your loved ones that have gone away you look around to see if there are nearby…if you can touch them, speak to them. And when you cannot then you know that they are gone from your life but stay in your heart. And there they will stay forever. And because they stay in your heart, the ache will never go away.

I remember my Father….I love him and miss so much that my heart aches. What would I give to have him to go to yesterday when the world got a bit too much for me to handle. When I miss my daughter and her family who are on the other side of the world – so far away from me – I wish my father was there to talk to…for I know he will know how to make my heart not hurt so much. I must talk to my son more of his grandfather for my son has never met my father. My father died before Zack’s time. I must tell my son that his grandfather, my father, is a man who lived his life for his family. His life is my mother and all of us.

I cannot forget what they always tell each other every time we all come back from a trip or a holiday away from home. “It is good to be back home”…even if it is just a trip to town for the groceries! This is now what my wife and I tell each other when we get back home after being away too…not in so many words but just in the rush to get back into our house when we get home. She gets in first though because I always open the door and hold it open for her.  When we do that I now know that for that moment time stood still and all the memories of hearing my father or mother saying the same thing to each other comes flooding back to me…as if it was yesterday. I am sitting in the back seat, always behind my father, and as our house come into view the familiar refrain comes to my ears…and I am back in the Opel Kapitan or Borgward …back to those days when they were my world and my life.
Borgward Isabella
Today those days seems so far away. My father will not approve of what I do on my blog and he will have no problem in telling me exactly that! He was brought up to be loyal to his political masters…actually he would not say “political masters”..he would say Tunku or Tun (as in Razak) – no mention of UMNO, no mention of Barisan Nasional. His loyalties were to the two  -Tunku and Tun. And there was only UMNO.

Even if I were to try and explain why I write what I write today he will dismiss me with a look that would end the discussion there and then. And then for days I will be declared persona non Grata in his presence….and it would have been in his house too if not for the fact that my mother would still insists that I visit because she wants to see my wife and, more important, her grand daughter, Terrina.

Then after a few days of this treatment my mother will tell me to go and sit at my father’s feet and ask for forgiveness for what I have done (it is always for what I have done and never for what my father might have done) …and I will do as my mother asked and then after a few more minutes of keeping his distance from me, he will call me over to talk about some thing or the other…and all will be well by dinnertime….and at dinner I will be attentive of what ever my Father wants or say.  

For those of you that that are of my age – three scores plus 4 – and now not only have children of your own but also grandchildren  - can you remember that first time when you realized that you were behaving the same way towards your own children as your parents did to you? It is uncanny is it not? The world goes round and around…and from one generation to the other life goes round and around. What changes is the intensity and the focus in the things that we do.

My Father was loyal to the Prime Minister he served under because he saw no reason to do other wise. He saw that Tunku and Tun Razak did right by the people of Malaysia. He was also respectful of the Sultan he served under in Pahang –Sultan Sir Abu Bakar - because he saw that Sultan Abu Bakar loved his rakyat. In the presence of Sultan Abu Bakar whom he would addressed reverently as "Tuanku" or refer to as "His Highness" because to my Father this is a Sultan much loved by his subjects and a Sultan always mindful of the welfare of his subjects.

I would have a hard time now explaining to my father about my views of the Sultans we have today. So I will not try. I will also have a hard time trying to explain to my father about the choices between Pakatan Rakayat and Barisan Nasional. So again, I will not try. Suffice to say that things are different today.

Maybe it is good that he did not live to see the Malaysia that we now have today. I know that I myself yearn for those days when UMNO took care not only of the Malays but also of the non-Malays. I yearn for those days when the Yang Berhormats were really “berhormat.” When the Menteri Besar’s were giants amongst the Malays in their states and the Menteris in the cabinet were respectful politicians –respectful to us the voters, respectful of the responsibility they have as representative of the people and respectful not only the Malays but of everybody that  calls Malaysia home.

My father will say that that is the way things should be. No racial divide, no religious divide and certainly no great political divide. I think that it is time that BN and PR start to treat each other civilly. Time that they each show respect and deference to each other. Time that they understand that they can agree to disagree on many issue but still treat each other with grace and respect.

I wish that Najib will act the way he has in the past – capable of being a gentleman in all the things that he does and at the same time always mindful of his duty to be a leader for all Malaysians. That was why my Father had much respect for Tun Razak, Najib’s Father. And I am sure that is how my Father would want Tun Razak’s son to be too. And so would I.        


  1. Pak Hussein, I believe Najib as a person is a gentleman. However he is being caught in a system that is so corrupted and to my mind is irreparable. As he is now up there as the leader, he got no choice but to make sure the system is being corrected. That is the responsibility of a leader. If he cannot, let the position be someone else's.

  2. Gentleman or not, how to respect someone who spends so much of government's money and allows family and cronies to amass wealth. He can be charming no doubt, that's why he was popular in the beginning. But kowtowing to wife, and not being concerned enough about the rakyat, have brought about disllusionment

  3. HH,

    I'm sure if your father had been alive today and see what the likes of Mahathir, Badawi and Najib had done to Malaysia and its people and how the Royalty had been made to serve UMNO blindly, your father would have been a very sad and heartbroken man.

  4. One was happy to hold the "quarter glass" window open to let in fresh air for the benefit of others in the car, if assigned this duty. Today, stationary cars are used as cooling devices.

    Another more common car was the Cowley (model name) from Britain. But the champion before VW came on the scene was the Morris Minor. Today, planned obsolescence rules.