Wednesday, March 17, 2010

They crossed the line

Aziz Yamin
“Don’t go to an English School, you will end up as a Christian”, a very common saying by the kampong Malays in those days. Thus children were discouraged from furthering their studies to an English medium school. But there were parents who wanted to make good for their children who did enrolled their children into English medium school after their children finished their Malay School education.

From Kampong Lipat Kajang, to the best of my knowledge the first person who went to an English medium school was Hussein, not sure how he managed that. I saw his photograph in, him wearing Boys Scout uniform, at his in-laws house when I was a very small. Then these was followed by Mohammad Lazim, Ahmad Mokhtar, and Mahusin (and Rashid?). But they were the children of the sub-headman and the kampong headman, the mukim and the penghulu. And they were not educated in the local kampong school, the Sekolah Melayu Kg Lipat Kajang. The the first pupil who went to an English medium school from Sekolah Melayu Lipat Kajang was Aziz Yamin. Then followed by Daud Ali, Teh Seman Salleh, Zakaria Sidek and soon everyone wanted to go to an English Medium school in town, in Mentakab. But Sulaiman Osman enrolled into an English Medium School in Bentong, a town about 60 km away from the kampong.

Those days when road communication was almost nil, transport was only by boats on the Pahang River or by train, which was not that efficient nor frequent. So almost all of them had to live in the hostel at the school. And there they learned to mix with people of other races of Malaya then, where in the kampong they did not mix with the Chinese or the Indians (and Sikh), in those town schools they did. They mixed well then.

They learned to wear proper school uniform and to look after themselves, washing their own clothings and to live as a social beings, and to play games like normal civilised people. They all have to learn things which they had no facilites nor opportunities in the kampong.

And they did not become Christians.

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