Our 50th birthday..my country and me..our early years

The earliest memory of my life has to be my first day in pre-school (aged 6). Prior to that, I can’t remember anything. I have seen a family photo of me, possibly 3 years old. There I was, a small dark kid sitting on my mother’s lap.
Back then when I started schooling there wasn’t any preschool yet. However I did one year seconded to my grand aunt’s class. I can still remember how I sat on the floor with the other kids at Sekolah Kebangsaan Kuala Sg. Baru (now renamed Sek. Othman Shawal). The first day was awful. I was dismissed early and was given a bicycle ride home because I got scared of the class teacher; not of mine but of the class next door! He was called Othman Rimau (Othman The Tiger). I however came back the next day. We all walked to school stopping along the way at relatives’ houses to quench our thirst with cool well water stored in earthern wares.

A year later I started proper schooling in an English school (Masjid Tanah English School). Students consisted of children of various races and there I had friends that I can still remember to this day..There was Lee Soon Lock; Lee Kong Kian; Sivalingam as well as Abdur Rahman and Idris .There was no need for a special intergrated school. We all got along fine.

What do I remember of my country? Back then, there was no Malaysia. It was Persekutuan Tanah Melayu or Malaya. We had no electricity in our village. We used the kerosene lamp. There were no proper roads. The roads then were laid using red earth. Water came from the well. I remember once we had a bad drought and had water delivered by lorry. This was done by a Chinese man, not by the government. We had to be issued coupons and had to wait for the lorry to come with water from a tin mine. They would come in the darkness of the night. I helped my father search the nearby villages for wells that still had some water. We carried the water home in plastic containers to be used for cooking and drinking.

What I remember of those earlier years is that I had a happy childhood. I am sure that our society back then was coexisting together happily despite the lack of modern convenience that we today cannot live without.

2 Responses to “Our 50th birthday..my country and me..our early years”

  1. Azmi Mohd Tamil Says:

    I was also in MTES. I was there in 1974 till 1979.

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