How should we judge a government?

In Malaysia, if you don't watch television or read newspapers, you are uninformed; but if you do, you are misinformed!

"If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing." - Malcolm X

Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience - Mark Twain

Why we should be against censorship in a court of law: Publicity is the very soul of justice … it keeps the judge himself, while trying, under trial. - Jeremy Bentham

"Our government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no
responsibility at the other. " - Ronald Reagan

Government fed by the people

Government fed by the people

Career options

Career options
I suggest government... because nobody has ever been caught.

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?
Corruption is so prevalent it affects English language?

When there's too much dirt...

When there's too much dirt...
We need better tools... to cover up mega corruptions.

Prevent bullying now!

Prevent bullying now!
If you're not going to speak up, how is the world supposed to know you exist? “Orang boleh pandai setinggi langit, tapi selama ia tidak menulis, ia akan hilang di dalam masyarakat dan dari sejarah.” - Ananta Prameodya Toer (Your intellect may soar to the sky but if you do not write, you will be lost from society and to history.)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Revisiting Methodist Boys Primary School Sentul, after 56 years

I used to be a very sentimental person, but I have learned to be more detached, from family and friends.
Last Sunday, I took a train to KL, to meet up with two ex-classmates who are on a short visit from Australia (one a PR living in Perth and the other a citizen living in Sydney). The former has a standing invitation to us to visit him: board, lodging and car provided. The latter too has extended his invitation since he bought a bigger house, but complained much about his last visit which I could spend only 10 minutes as I had to attend a wedding dinner. So it was with much reluctance when we bid each other farewell, after a day of visiting our alma mater, MBS Sentul, and had lunch at Hutong (Lot 10) and dessert in Pavilion, and Bah Kut Teh dinner in Jalan Ipoh.
While in another ex-classmate's house where we had arranged to meet, Ken played the piano, with repertoire from his years of experience as organist in a professional band and tips from lounge pianists on improvisation, using just melody and chords. He is now a practising accountant in Sydney. I strummed in accompaniment to songs like Crocodile Rock, House of Rising Sun, Words and I Started a Joke. It was one of those moments of unplanned jamming which turned out better than expected.
A suggestion to visit our old school nearby also turned out further than we expected. Normally, we would just stop outside the school and move along to the next destination. But this time, we took the trouble to inform the guards that we were former students wishing to look around. He suggested that we see the headmistress, Mrs Boovanes. We were shown around the premises and it was like a walk down memory lane.

There was the same classroom when Ken and myself were in Standard 1 (56 years ago) and the class teacher was my second brother!
We were shocked when told that the student population is now only 80 students! Just imagine the classes from standard 1 to 6 of 13 students each! The teacher to student ratio was fantastic with 11 teachers or 1:7. That reminded me of a letter to the press commending MBPS for its excellent results in UPSR and the writer's worry over the dwindling student population.
It seems the land is leased from Methodist Church and expiring in 2025. Already, the immensely successful Wesley Methodist School (next to MBSS) is eyeing it for its expansion. It used to be called Methodist High School, known for those who could not get into MBSS. What a transformation indeed. Now it is a well known private school with demand exceeding available places, and requiring prospective students to take an entrance exam before acceptance!
Han Bon (from Perth) taught in MBSS after graduating from University of Malaya. He is still in touch with his former students. When we went over to the secondary school, we were told the principal, Puan Chew Cheah was in a meeting with OBA. Bon immediately wanted to meet them too. Sure enough, VP of OBA, Nadarajan (his ex-student) and a lawyer now, was present. So instead of the principal, Nada took us round. We were surprised at the same old hall with the same old metal-framed doors but with the glass pieces replaced by metal. To get to the OBA building cum canteen, we had to pass the same old toilet but with a strong Dettol smell.
Near the OBA building is another gate which leads to the LRT station. The small piece of land outside the gate also serves Grace Methodist Church and their pastor now lives in Peach Cottage which used to be residence of the principal of MBSS.
Actually, MBS and its neighbours (Chinese School, Tamil School and private school) are like a microcosm of our education system. MBS used to be a missionary school and is now a national school. The Chinese school is now building new blocks of classes (financed privately) and is going to dwarf MBS. The Tamil school remain like before in terms of size. The private Wesley Methodist School is going from strength to strength, eyeing further expansion. Their finishing students with their excellent results can choose to study overseas or join Methodist College in Brickfields which conduct courses provided by overseas universities.

(MBPS and MBSS are now known as SRK Methodist Sentul and SMK Methodist Sentul respectively.)


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When I was in standard 3 at the year 1969, when I was 9 years old studying at Methodist Boys School in Sentul. I don't know why I took MYR 50.00 from my uncle's wallet and went to school. During recess time I went to this school canteen and tried to buy an ice-cream. But I was caught by the canteen indian worker and he brought me to the headmistress office. The headmistress took the MYR 50.00 from me and told me to call my uncle to come to my school because I told her that my uncle gave me that money. I never call my uncle at all. And the headmistress name is Mrs. Roberts.