I have to admit that I'm not a very social person and I don't have that many friends. I used to be very talkative and friendly person but over the years I've become more reserved, quiet , and to some extent anti social. It's really difficult to explain here why I've become such a person but I believe by nature I'm always a talkative guy. I was the best Bahasa Malaysia debater in my class. My classmates were not willing to argue or debate with me intelligently in a formalized class debate. I was even nominated and appointed as the emcee for one of the Ibrahim school's song competitions in which there were hundreds of people listening to my emceeing. I was also once a strong student leader in the university. I've a good voice and my friends would tease me that I have a very deep and mature voice. I once used to dream to become a news reader for RTM. I was also the school Quran reciter but it was more of a reserve to replace the main reader ,Zailan Rahman, if he could not make it to the Quran competition. You could also say that I was and still am also very good at reciting Sajak or poems in a way that people would be mesmerized by my recital. Despite being quiet and aloof now, I've a number of friends that I would like to describe and share with you. These are my IOBA friends.
One of my friends that I was very close to was Zaini Hashim He was a good student and always made as the monitor or assistant monitor of the class. In the class from primary school till the secondary school, I would always sit not far from Zaini Hashim.He had leadership skills and looked quite handsome with slightly curly here.His nose was not to pointed but not too flat like me. He's handsomer than me that's for sure. When we went out for camping or for ais kacang sessions at kedai Baharin and Kedai Pak Bahador in Sg Petani, Zaini Hashim would always become the center of attention. On a trip to Pantai Merdeka he would always get a girl to be a friend. On one trip to Pantai Merdeka, I remember he got a quite pretty girl from Sik or Baling and they managed to exchange letters and I got the opportunity to read most the the exchanged letters. You have to remember that we had no internet and email then. We used the not so reliable snail mails to communicate. Academically, Zaini was quite good and smart student but in term of class academic ranking he was always in the second tier. One thing that I always remember about him is that he was so good in Mathematics. He was the source for me to copy all the Math assignments given by the teacher Mrs Pareira, in the secondary school . By now you know that I went to Sekolah Menengah Ibrahim Sungai Petani. I remember, I copied all the work without any feeling of regret. I knew at that time that I was already doomed in my Maths subject.
Because he was the only son of a Merbok member of Parliament , there's an air of slight unintended arrogance in him but nothing that was awful. When the results of MCE was announced I got good grades even though I did not study that much but Zaini did not do well. After I got to pursue my studies I think he lost his confidence and became slightly less motivated in his studies and his outlook of life in general. But because of his good grade in Maths he managed to get a place in Politeknik Ungku Omar. I heard that he got married to a janda (widow) and had a number of children but they were later divorced . I think now he remarried to a TV producer who's very much younger than him. I think now he leads a happy life and has a grandson already. Thank you Zaini for being my good and dependable friend and you were always there for me.
Another close friend that I had was Azhar Ahmad. Azhar was a son of a chief clerk at Pejabat Tanah (Land Office). He was fair , handsome and looks like a cross between a Chinese and a Mat Salleh. He was very stylish and come from a quite well to do family because his father owned lots of lands and mom was a headmistress at Sek Rendah Jalan Sekerat in Sg Petani. They lived in a bungalow in Jalan Pegawai.One particular thing that I remember about him is that he would always try to imitate and talk like a Mat Salleh and in school he's known as some one who came from a rich family .He would always tease his friends when they pronounced certain English words incorrectly. One of his bad habits is he liked to come close to people and then smell their breaths and later would put his hand at his nose and mouth to show how their breath smelled so bad. I was always targeted by him although my breath did not smell that bad at all.
We were together from standard three until form 5. Because Azhar or Boroi as we called him during the secondary school, he was always chosen as a prefect but not the monitor. In standard three ,I was hoping that I would become a prefect but instead Mr Ramasamy, our class teacher, chose Azhar instead probably because he was impeccably dressed. I was as usual not smartly dressed because my parents were too poor they could not afford to buy me new clothes.Another of Boroi's bad habit during secondary school years was to bring porno magazines. I don't know where he got the magazines and he would passed them to me and the others in the class. I remember once he brought a good piece of phonography material called the SCALA. The color and print quality of the materials were really first class. Another of his bad habit was he liked to peep at girls whenever he had the opportunity. Once Boroi with Baskeran, one naughty classmate who later died because of diabetes, were using a sharpener with a mirror to take a peek at Miss Saw's undergarment when we were crowding her. Miss Saw was our pretty and single English teacher, who liked to wear short skirts. That event was was a memorable one because the sharpener that we used to peek had a sticker printed Stayin Alive . Because of that our Ex Ibrahim group 1979 is now called the Stayin Alive group 1979 because of that mischievous thing we did . Boroi did not do well in his MCE examination but he took the exam again at Maktab ADABI and managed to get a place to study Law in UITM. Now he's a practicing lawyer and married to a rich girl who is from a Royal family and works as an international banker. They now live in Bukit Kayangan Shah Alam where the rich and famous live.
There's also another very good friend of mine and his name is Zainal Abbidin Ujang or we always called him Ujang. In school, Ujang was always the monitor. He's appointed as the monitor because he dressed neatly and looked very handsome. Girls go crazy about him. He had an excellent PR and had the ability to communicate and charm people especially girls. He was the son an army officer . Ujang would always come to school in a military truck. In the afternoon, he would be cycling in style in his mini bicycle in a clean all white attire., Ujang was also a prefect and I have to admit that I was jealous of him because of how handsome he looked. Ujang had this ability of charming girls in Sekolah Menengah Ibrahim and girls in the next school- Sekolah Menengah Convent. Despite not being physically big size, Ujang was very mature. He was a very out going and a very understanding friend. He's one guy that everyone loved and he never had the habit of badmouthing his friends or his foes. If there 's a competition to choose a guy that everyone loves it would have to be Ujang. In Forms 3, 4 and 5, I would always sit next to Ujang. I think the reason could be that both of us really liked to sit under the class fan. Thus, that was the reason why we were never far apart when it comes to seating arrangements in the classroom.
I remember one day during agama class, our Ustazah called everyone to a recite a verse in the Al Quran and we all managed to recite clearly and beautifully and the Ustazah was impressed by us. When it came to Ujang's turn everyone was keeping quiet because he was the monitor -the standard bearer- and he began reciting Bismillah...nirohim..... It was done with such a melodious and a accurate pronunciation that every one was mesmerized by him . He then continued "wa... wa...wa.." and stopped. We were looking at each other and burst into laughing Then, we all knew that he did not know how to recite the Al Quran. Even the Ustazah laughed at his antics. I would never forget that moment. Ujang was an assistant director for MSD ,Malaysian student Department in Washington DC. After coming back from the US he brought along his sports car, a two seater Mitsubishi Eclipse and used the car to charm lots of girls... Sorry Ujang for sharing this with the public. Ujang is one of the nicest guys that I know and he continues to become my good friend, Occasionally, he would give me a call. His children are all very successful and he's married to a very beautiful lady and they are very happily married. They live in Tampin, Negeri Sembilan in a very big bungalow.Thank You Ujang for having the privilege to be your friend.
My next good friend is Sulaiman Daud. Sulaiman or Leman was a gang mamak from Penang. Even though he is from the Mamak Clan he does not look like a mamak. His fair skin , curly hair and thick glasses make him look intelligent. Well he is very intelligent and smart. He would always get number one in the final examination. He was never my competitor in the rat race. He had no competitor, he was that good. He was really outstanding that people believed that he would be the best student and he delivered that. Leman was a prefect as also a hostelite at asrama Sekolah Menengah Ibrahim. One thing about Leman is that his family was into business and they were involved in promoting and selling kopi Chap Hang Tuah. Leman was fortunate because he came from a rich family. He was also smartly dressed and had all the facilities and ability to overcome the challenges to be successful in life.
In form 5 during the biology class, I remember Leman was called out by Mr Edgar Augustin our Biology teacher. He was asked to show to the class where the diaphragm was. Mr Edgar was known as the fiercest teacher in the school and we all scared like rats. Leman was trembling to show the diaphragm because he was not sure where it was , I could see his hands shaking quite violently and not pointing to anything. Nobody said anything and it was dead silence. He was finally scolded by Mr Edgar for not being able to provide the answer and he was also scolded terribly for saying "Dont know" . "Next time dont say I don't know. Just say Mary had a little lamb ," argued Mr Edgar. Leman in MCE really scored in Biology subject.He was offered a scholarship to study overseas but he rejected the offer and instead decided to become a businessman. Today, he is a millionaire and a very successful businessman and a globe trotter. He travels the world to do his business. One thing about Leman is that he's always willing to help the poor. We are still good friends but recently he was diagnosed with a severe back pain.