This early morning when I powered on my PC I came across the following write. These are the musings... not the rantings (Marina Mahathir rants. Mamat Karim muses!) ...of my first cousin from Kuala Pilah. We have shared many a good times while I was in KL and once when my wife and family were in Adelaide and I was alone in Bangsar, I made that long winding trek to Kuala Pilah on Hari Raya day. The first, and I believe the only time in my life, that I would have been to KP. He is older than me...much older physically but mentally as agile and as contented and happy with life as I am. I think!
Mamat is blind as a bat but like the bat who finds its way in the dark, Mamat too drives the same way...he points the car in the direction he thinks it should go and from there relies on intuition and local knowledge of his surroundings. Of course he has a problem when he finds himself somewhere he has never been before. In these situations he relies on his able and ever reliable better half, Yam, without whom he will be as blind as a bat!
He stays in KP but his children are all in KL. Go figure out their trial and tribulations every time they want to go visit their off springs. And just for the record...Mamat got Grade Two in his Form Five exams...I got Grade Three. Enough said!
Mohamad Abdul Karim
I began working after Form 5. That was in 1961.
Those days the results of the Form 5 exams (Senior Cambridge) were published in the newspapers. When we knew when the results were coming out, everybody were on tenterhooks. We scan through the pages of the Straits Times. For me, it was schools in Selangor. There it was.....High Street School. There were eight students who got Grade 1 and I was not one of them. There it was, Mohamad bin Abdul Karim..Grade 2. I felt good. There were a few of us in the same category and the rest Grade 3's.
I still remember the late Pak Yong and Yong (Zain's parents), dropping by our apartment in Language Institute, where my mother was the matron, to congratulate me on the result. Only Grade 1 students were promoted to Lower 6. Or if one had the connections. Otherwise, you had to attend evening Lower 6 at any govt school.
But I applied for a job and was taken in as a temporary clerk with the Federation Establishment Office, located in Federal House, which also housed Radio Malaya on the top floor.
My basic starting salary was RM107.50sen.
I attended evening classes Lower 6 in VI. However, I lost interest and quit after a few months.
After six months working, I sat for the federal clerical exam and passed. I was absorbed as a General Services Clerk with a basic pay of RM137.50.
After 6 months probation, I was confirmed and absorbed under pensionable status. When I was confirmed, Pak Ngah (Ismail Latiff) got me a govt. loan, also signing as guarantor for a 50cc Kapcai Honda. Man...I got wheels.