This blogspot is a medium to share my thoughts and adventures apart from promoting my books. Below are the books which have been written or authored and published by myself.

"Berpetualang ke Aceh: Mencari Diri dan Erti".

ISBN 983-42031-0-1, Jun 2006

"Berpetualang ke Aceh: Membela Syiar yang Asal"

ISBN 983-42031-1-x, May 2007

"Berpetualang ke Aceh: Sirih Pulang ke Gagang?"

ISBN 978-983-42031-2-2, November 2007

It is interesting to note that while these books were written in Malay it has gained enough attention to merit being part of the collections of the American Library of Congress and National Library of Australia. Look here and here.

While the first three books were published by my own company, the fourth titled "Rumah Azan" was published in April 2009 by a company called Karnadya with the help of the Malaysian national literary body Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. It features beautiful pictures along with stories behind selected mosques which could be related to the history of Islam and the Malays alongside the formation of the Malaysian nation. Look at the article A collaboration of old collegemates - the book "Rumah Azan".

My fifth book "Ahlul Bait (Family) of Rasulullah SAW and Malay Sultanates", an English translation and adaptation of the Malay book "Ahlul Bait (Keluarga) Rasulullah SAW dan Kesultanan Melayu" authored by Hj Muzaffar Mohamad and Tun Suzana Othman was published early 2010. Look here... My 5th book is out! Ahlul Bait (Family) of Rasulullah SAW and the Malay Sultanates... . For more information check out my Malay blogspot CATATAN SI MERAH SILU.

Like my fourth book "Rumah Azan", the sixth book "Kereta Api Menuju Destinasi" is also a coffee-table book which is published by the company Karnadya with the cooperation of Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (the main Malay literary body in Malaysia). Coming out January 2011 it features pictures and stories on the adventure travelling by train to all of Peninsular Malaysia along with the interesting places which could be reached this way.

My seventh book "Jejak keluarga Yakin : Satu sketsa sejarah" in turn is a coffee-table book which is written, editted, designed and has pictures taken by me. Coming out of the factory October 2011, this book which combines family history with history of places such as Singapura, Johor, Batu Pahat, Muar and in fact the history of the island of Java and England has been reviewed with me interviewed live in the program Selamat Pagi Malaysia at RTM1. Look at the article Siaran langsung ulasan buku "Jejak keluarga Yakin : Satu sketsa sejarah" dan temu ramah di Selamat Pagi Malaysia. Some selected contents have been featured in Sneak peek "Jejak keluarga Yakin : Satu sketsa sejarah".


The "Berpetualang ke Aceh" series of novels could be obtained in e-book form. Enter http://www.e-sentral.com/, click general novel and go to page 4. You can also type the word "Aceh" at the search box. Or click straight Book 1, Book 2 and Book 3.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Remembering the "A" Level college days. A 'get along' session with the BTU juniors...

 Tried to find a suitable picture using Google Search image of the keyword "ragging" but found none. So decided to use this rugby picture instead...

As promised at the end of the article Remembering the "A" Level college days. The 'ghosts' that haunt 51C... , let me try to remember a ragging session conducted in college. For the record, I was a product of old boarding school ragging. So what do you expect?

OK. This must have happened before the juniors me and my mates spooked came as told in the previous instalment of the "Remember the "A" Level College days" series. I said this because now I remember, when the ragging session happened, I still got only my own batch staying in my room 51 C. I can't remember when the BTU (British Top University) juniors came. But unlike the regular juniors who like me and my batch were slated to do the "A" Levels locally before flying off to Britain, the BTU boys were supposed to go through only 3 months of preparation locally before they were sent to study at boarding schools in Britain, followed by universities.

So we regular joes (compared to the more elite BTU guys) have to stay for almost two years in the Klang Valley (and also Shah Alam) while they would be already abroad. Heck, they were supposed to be the cream of the crop from the whole Malaysian secondary education system, scoring the best in the Form Five examinations. While the rest of us under the "A" Levels program could be considered second-tier best with a few including me having been called to the BTU interview but failed to make the grade.

So the BTU students were admittedly smarter than us. Some might argue it was also a case of getting the chance to study better. Well, I can't refute that. I went through a rough and tumble patch of life starting at the age of 15 where I became very anti-establishment and started running away from home a few times especially after fighting with an equally hot-tempered dad. Why, during my SPM itself I ran away from home and nearly forsake the all-important examination... if not for conscience which says don't waste it. Thus I managed to get hold of a pair of school uniform through my brother and took the exams, some 3-5 days of it while bunking at a working friend's place.

Anyway, I was lucky enough to get grades good enough to get me called to the BTU interview, ensuring a place for the "A" Levels programme despite failing the interview. I remembered the interviewer asking: "Most of the people interviewed here have better grades than you. So why should we choose you to be in BTU?". I can't remember my answer but being at the height of my rebel days, it would not be surprising if I gave a very detrimental answer.

Nevermind, that is the attitude I took as I entered the PPP/ITM "A" Levels college. I was arrogant, cocky, supremely-confident of my natural intelligence without having to study and was very sure of my ability to attract women while handling the other guys. Then came the BTU juniors who generally rubbed us "regular joes" the wrong way.

OK. Some might say we were jealous of the BTU boys because they were considered the creme de la creme of the Malaysian education system and would go to the UK much sooner. Perhaps we were jealous but when I think about our own batch of BTU, I'd say I don't think so. I think in general, we (if not just a number of us) got on famously with our own batch of BTU. Maybe a few were good friends from boarding school days while others got along during their 3 months preparation time alongside us and soon proved to be good friends when we met up again in the UK, albeit 2 years later than them.

Yep. That was really the case. It was not so much jealousy but being snubbed by the BTU juniors. This was very evident when we bumped in the hallways. They hardly acknowledged our existence and soon many of my mates started to complain to me. And being a product of the old boarding school ragging system I soon spontaneously came up with something...

I can't remember how it actually started but one day I simply and single-handedly called a number of the BTU boys giving them a message or rather a warning: " Do ask all your mates to come up to my dorm 51C all of you at ... (what time, I couldn't remember but it was in the afternoon) or I will come up and teach you guys a nasty lesson in your own dorms". By then I already had a notorious reputation among my batch and seniors as someone capable of getting what I want.

Perhaps I made the warning a few times, perhaps only once. But soon I just went on with other things. Then I realised most of them, some 50 or so actually came to my dorm!

OK, I can't remember if I've invited my batch to join in the coming ragging session. What I do remember is I was having an afternoon nap when my mates, just about 10 of them woke me up as the BTU juniors started streaming up into my room. The funny thing is I was non-chalant at all as I told everyone to wait for me to take a shower. By the time I was done, the room was full with juniors.

After putting on some decent clothing, the session started. I think it was with a preaching from me about how the juniors did not know how to respect the seniors. No sir, we don't want you to put us up on a pedestal, we just want you to acknowledge our existence as should be the case in any school or college. And being the younger ones, they should be the first to greet us not the other way around. This is just simple tradition and good manners. It's not like we expect you to do our laundry and massage our bodies at night as is normal in boarding schools of those time.

OK. Maybe I didn't put the message in a very nice way. I remember challenging the lot to a fist fight. I said some of you must be martial artists. Come, let's see what you've got but none dared. Hmm... there may be one who answered back but not to take up my physical challenge. Instead he was being a smart aleck questioning the legitimacy of this session of ragging, saying it was not sanctioned by the college authorities and he would complain. I shoved him to the wooden locker before punching straight just next to his eyes right into the locker. I started demonstrating how to make holes using the fist and elbows, just barely missing his body parts by an inch or even less. I think that was about as violent as I did actually got.

There's one guy who looked like he was being defiant through his funny-looking stare. I asked: "You're looking at me?" He just shaked his head. Then he looked back at me again with those eyes. I asked: "You want a fight?" He shaked his head again. I went right to him ready for a brawl. Then I realised it was just the way his eyes looked like. I started laughing and said sorry and this was followed by the laughter of others.

A lighter mood ensued. With a gentler tone I started pouring out why we the seniors felt that we must have this ragging session or rather an informal orientation session. I then asked every senior to voice out what's on their minds and gave room for the juniors to give feedback. Next, I asked the juniors to one by one shake the hands of each and every senior while introducing their names. Once that is done, I explained now we have known each other don't forget to greet us and other seniors when we next meet anywhere especially in the hallways. And don't hesitate to share any problems with us as being like elder brothers we would try to help whenever we can.

With that the session ended. I think that's enough of remembering the matter. For the record, a number of the BTU juniors are now bigshots in the Malaysian politics and business scene. My next instalment on the "A" Level days would be how I was finally kicked out of college. Good night! :]



salam bang...perasan tak gambar yang abang masukkan tu bukan setakat gambar rubgy players biasa... ???

Radzi Sapiee said...

Wassalam. Hmm. Tak perasan la plak sebab Abang main letak je. Apa yang Alya nampak? Sebab Abang dah lama tak follow the game dah...

Radzi Sapiee said...

Lailahaillah! Baru perasan tadi, its actually a gay picture! Masyaallah! Mintak simpang malaikat empat puluh empat as I wasn't watching closely when I put it there.

Tapi mungkin juga ada sebab. Bila memikirkan some of the boarding schools guys are from all-guys school yang memang ada case macam ni. You know, MCKK and such. Jadi tak pe le... biar aje gambo tu kat situ as a reminder...

p/s: Ingat Alya tegur pasar remember nama prominent players ke hapa. Isshhh.... :]

Radzi Sapiee said...

Tu dia. After such a long time baru tergerak nak tukar gambo to a more proper one... :]