Monday, 16 May 2011

Happy Teacher's Day

We celebrate Teacher's Day yesterday 16 May 2011. Teachers are, along with our parents, undeniably instrumental in shaping us into what we are today. On this happy occasion, I would like to record and acknowledge the roles and contribution of my former teachers.

During my primary school days in early and mid 60s at SK Badak in Bachok, Kelantan, I am proud to mention that its HM Tuan Haji Mohd Zain Abdullah had done much to sort out my overage problem, one associated with my late enrollment at the school. The SITC-trained Cik Gu Zain later resigned from his post to contest the 1964 General Election as a PAS candidate. He won and successfully defended the seat for several terms, including his famous victory in 1986 GE (on BN ticket) by defeating a PAS heavyweight, Datuk Nik Aziz, now Kelantan MB. The fact that he still managed to win despite changing his party affiliation speaks volumes about his rapport with the electorates. Another teacher at the school who later made good in public life is Datuk Noordin Razak a former DG of DBKL. My late father used to be his father's "henchman". One of my classmates at SK Badak (named after Kg Badak where Datuk Mustafa Mohd, the Minister of International Trade and Industry hails from) is Maktar Mohd, the Minister's younger brother who is now a businessman. 

I later went to SM Bachok (then known as Bachok English School) for my secondary education. Again, an HM left an impact on my life. Cik Gu Mokhtar Hassan (the school's HM) forced me to sit for the maximum 9 subjects in the SPM (in 1969) instead of 8 as I had intended. I had wanted to drop my weakest subject, Drawing Art but Cik Gu Mokhtar would have none of it and had even offered to pay for the 9th subject if my reason for skipping Drawing Art was due to financial problem. He suggested I took Add Maths instead, in view of my "strength" in Maths, despite the subject not being taught by the school. I reluctantly agreed and he lent me several relevant textbooks for me to study on my own. I managed to barely pass with grade P8 but I reckoned I would have failed my Drawing Art should I opt for it. In any case, a P8 in Add Maths is much more valuable than a P8 in Drawing Art. What was amusing was that during the exam I was the only candidate at the exam hall sitting for the paper and was overseen by 4 invigilators!!! Amongst my schoolmates: Zainai Mohd (now Prof Dr, the VC of UMK who's one year my senior), Mansor Jusoh (now Prof Dr., a retired economics professor from UKM who's my classmate), Phua Ah Hua (former national badminton player, one year my junior) and Kang Bee Leng (now VP of MTUC and long-time Sec-Gen of AUEGCAS, two years my junior).          

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