May 09, 2017

Heng Kok Kwang's 92 th Birthday Lunch

My Dad at 92

My father had a birthday lunch celebration in our home at Air Keroh, Melaka  on 7 May  2017 recently.

My brother, Jit Cheng feeding my Dad, bird-nest soup
I could not attend because of my teaching chores.

The Clan in Melaka on 7 May 2017

I and the family wished him the best of heath and may God bless one of the kindest soul that ever walk this earth.

With my Eldest Sister - in-  law

Blessings again.
Such gaiety
Praise the Lord/

The Birthday Video.

April 06, 2017

New Years Eve 2017

It was a rare occasion to have the Reunion Dinner with my Mother and James family.

We had a great time at Pantai Seafood Restaurant.

Food could have been better.

In the pic is Mother-seated.

Left to right - Jemsen, James, Iriene, Juliana and yours truly.

August 26, 2016

Leaving:The Mother and Son Relationship

Leaving for the Greater Good
In the Form 4 English Literature component, one of the the most heartfelt issue that comes to mind is the theme of sacrifice. In M.G. Vassanji's short story,Leaving, we read about the value-laden conflict of perspectives between protagonist and antagonist.

Let us delve into the relationship of Aloo, the protagonist and his mother, the antagonist.
Aloo’s doting mother is the antagonist. Widowed at thirty-three, she has 5 children. A strong woman, she did not marry, committing to raise all five children on her own. She was practical and focused. She sold her shop after her elder two daughters married and then moved to quiet Upanga to take care of the youngest two children and their education. As her elder son, Firoz, was a school dropout who worked and lived on his own, her hopes and future were clearly pinned high on the narrator and Aloo.

Her younger son, Aloo is the protagonist. He is intelligent, bright and ambitious. He is obedient and respectful of his mother.

Then came the main event to bring conflict between mother and son.

Inspired by Mr. Datoo, a former teacher returning from America, Aloo made a decision to study in America. Armed with initiative and resourcefulness, he wrote to many universities in America to seek a place to study.  When Aloo was given a place to study medicine at the famed California Institute of Technology with a scholarship thrown in, Aloo was ecstatic! The door to opportunity and many related possibilities opened before his eyes.

While mother-son relationship was on an even keel of respect, responsibility and duty until now, the university offer and scholarship issue started to cause a schism to appear between mother and son. Their relationship was now put to a test. Will it bend or will it break or will the test strengthen their relationship further?

Both had their points of view on this matter. Let’s look at them.

For Aloo, to study in America, represents a vision of his tomorrow, the fruition of a longing hope. America was a brand new world out there for his taking. It will provide him with a golden opportunity to not only study at a renowned university but also in his desired course-medicine. On top of that he was awarded a scholarship! Certainly, not that Agriculture offered by a local university which he looked upon with so much disdain. He had friends studying overseas and these peers became his models to look beyond his native shores for education prospects.

Aloo was certainly disappointed when his mother did not share his excitement, hopes and dreams. When his mother brought up the issue of money that was needed to spend in America that was beyond the remit of the scholarship, he suggested that they could borrow some or that he could also work to help supplement the shortfall of the fees and other overheads. This shows his desperation to take advantage of the opportunity to be something better; to be someone better.  

For his mother, Aloo’s opportunity to study overseas certainly forced her to think long and hard. She realized she had many misgivings. Although she may not have to spend too much money to enable Aloo to go to America, she bore some unspoken fears; utmost being, that she may lose her son forever to a foreign land if he did not return. She also found out that she was conservative as she harbour a fear that Aloo might take a foreign wife. Similarly, she was also concerned that Aloo, being on his own, may fell victim to bad habits such as smoking and drinking.

Though, having mixed feelings as an overprotective mother who may be about to lose one of her son, albeit briefly, she was not blatantly against Aloo and his ambition to study overseas. We can perceive this as she never did raise any objection when Aloo started corresponding with foreign universities to obtain prospectuses and entry forms. We know she was a responsible mother who cares for the future of her children. As such, she was not insensitive to Aloo’s needs. In fact, she was sensible. She was aware of his ambitions and his dreams.

She had made sacrifices before, why not one more? Though careful, she sought assurance. So, she went to see Mr. Velji, a learned education officer whom she respected. They discussed on the matter at hand-Aloo’s scholastic performance, the course in medicine and the scholarship.  When the advice given was supportive that Aloo go to America to study; the mother, despite being conflicted by the sense of potential separation and loneliness, accepted the advice as profitable and was willing to forego her selfish fears such as loneliness, cultural issues and possibly, religious apprehensions.

In ending, we can say the relationship of the two main characters, which underwent a reassessment of their values and priorities through an intense emotional challenge, gained better footing as it matures to a new level of sacrifice, love and understanding. Allowing Aloo to go to America was the mother’s ultimate sacrifice. For both mother and son, it was to be an ideal win-win situation. 

August 16, 2016

Honesty and Honour

This afternoon, I would just like to talk about two aspects-honesty and honour.

While other values are deem possibly in the same realm, I thought focusing on just this two values could unfold untold riches for daily living and for a whole life-time.

Lets look at the four aspects mentioned in this colourful plaque.
  • Respect is earned.
  • Honesty is appreciated
  • Trust is gained
  • Loyalty is returned. 
In my opinion, honesty is a primate value. Trust,respect and loyalty are outcomes of honesty.

Its relationships are pretty obvious. 

'Honesty' denotes respect for the person you are addressing; 'Trust' is gained because of a faultless 
legacy of speaking the truth; and 'loyalty'-the undying faithfulness of others towards you as a leader of truth and wisdom.

All this brings us to the embracing concept of honour. It is a manifestation of your true worth.

In one bold word, 'honour' exemplifies a person that is peerless - a living model of leadership, of stewardship able to guide others in both good times and bad times.

'Honour' is bestowed upon a person of all seasons because of his moral fibre and the core values he espoused.

He is the paragon of the truth and a leader of all things wise and wonderful.

A honorable person is one close to your heart and one that walks with God.

June 03, 2016

BOMBA! Highly Irresponsible!

Yes, these people have no brains!

BOMBA people - these nuts!

Trouble Makers-Numbskulls?
Frightened me out of my wits this morning.

Here, we were happily parked in E-Curve this morning at 9 am.

We had an hour or so to get ready to leave the building as I had to ferry my missus to One Utama to take the Aeroline bus to Penang.

Horrors of horrors!!

All the parking exits where shuttered.

No way out!

Anxiety syndrome sets in.

E-Curve guards were clueless when these nincompoop BOMBA idiots will finish their sudden spot checks!

Irresponsible Bunglers?
Coordination among the guards to let us out was almost an exercise in futility!

We had about 25 minute to make for the bus station.

Will the bus leave us? What can we do do then?

Nothing but to pray to God.

Thank God, our prayers were answered.

From the Curve we hit the Bukit Utama route and short cut through Ferringham.

Traffic was good and we arrived at One Utama with about less than 10 minutes to spare.

A day of suspense turned jubilant.

Praise the Lord!

April 27, 2016

Amy Tan-my Favourite Std 4 teacher

She looks Cantonese. Looks like  a movie star of the '60s.

Charming, petite and dresses well.

Do I have a crush on her back then. Possibly.

Looking back, she was the prettiest teacher ever.

Wonder where she is now?

Death in the Family

Hardly 59.

This morning she was gone even before her son reached the hospital.

Sepsis-the clotting of the blood that restrict blood flows to all limbs and organs and then death.

She was my sister, Shaline and she left us in the wee hours of the morning on 27 April 2016.

She was my flesh and blood.

I lost Donny in 1988.

Some 27 years later, I lost Shaline.

Reflections of Shaline.

Mild-mannered and sometimes very simplistic in thought.

Procedural and generous to a fault.

My sister, Shaline.

Tomorrow will be her wake at Guanyin in Kampung Tunku.

On 29 April, there would be her last rites and thence, cremation.

On balance, though her life was full of challenges, Shaline never buckles.

She is my dear, dear sister. Always, will be; even though she is now with God, the Almighty.

I pray that God will bless her soul and put her on the right hand side, where his favourites sit.