“So that I may serve”

The above phrase was drummed up in our high school days at Dragon School fifty years ago to the young boys and girls coming from all over Sarawak from Tanjong Datu to Limbang representing all races and religion present in Sarawak at the time. At every school assembly in the morning we would be reminded of our obligations and the need for good behavior. We lived together like brothers and sisters. For two, three or five years we lived and learned together. Those were the classes of 1959, whether we were in Transition classes, Form I or Form IV.

Not only were students, but we were also the “gardeners, the sweepers or football field makers”. Yes, we learned and worked together. It was the good of times. It was also the time for opportunities to learn and work together.

When we finished Form III or V, almost everyone got employed as long as they applied for the right jobs, irrespective of whether they failed to get through to Form IV or Form Six. After sitting for Higher School Certificate at Upper Form Six at Tanjong Lobang School, we were offered jobs almost immediately. I was offered three different jobs from three separate Departmental heads and I opted to be a temporary Teacher. I then chose Serian Secondary School for my posting before I went to Canada for Medicine on a Colombo Plan Scholarship.

Yes, those were the good times. Most of us ended up with good careers and made our marks as heads of various Departments as Directors and so on. Nelson Liap Kudu and myself shifted to politics. Others like Julaihi, late Hillary Nyambau, Frankie Jurem, Putit, Sepuan made it to head their respective Departments, just to name a few. Our “Elvis”, Wilfred Amin remained as non recording artist. Sulong, our frankster (watch out), is now a Federal Judge.

Behind it all, it is the school motto which still influences what I had done, is and will be doing. That five little words can mean a lot if taken seriously to heart. It can mean even serving oneself although it may be considered by many “to be selfish”. However the inability to serve oneself render ourselves useless to the others. Once we have helped ourselves, then we can be of service to the others. As long as we don’t serve ourselves by or through deceit and guile but only through dedication and hard work, it should be acceptable. Otherwise nothing good will ever come out in the end.

This year, 2009, will be our Fiftieh Anniversary for the first batch of Form I, IV and two Transition Classes of 1959. There will be a “get-together” dinner in July. We will be able to meet again but for those who have gone “home” – may they rest in peace. How many I am not certain but I know a few only.

To all my friends, let us celebrate our 50th Anniversary and to my fellow Dragonians, “So that I may serve”. Happy Anniversary.

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8 Comments

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8 responses to ““So that I may serve”

  1. Singh is the King

    What are your observations in Batang Ai by-election? Who are the main players and any chance of PKR winning? Thanks.

    • partistar

      From all the readings from all newspapers, it is a do or die situation for both contenders. It has been dubbed as the “mother of all elections” by one report.

      To me, it is just another by-election which will neither benefit the voters of Batang Ai nor the people of Sarawak. It will not help my struggle to ensure a better day for all Malaysians. The rhetoric of the campaign will be forgotten by the end of April, while the divisions created amongst the Ibans there will continue to hamper their progress in getting a better deal for themselves. If they vote for BN, their story will remain the same as before the election. If they vote for PKR, that victory will further divide the Ibans into more camps with each camp sabotaging the work of the others as is being experienced now. The ONLY BENEFITS are the cash and projects given during the campaign period. How long will that last? The compensation for the DAM has not brought much impact as at first intended. Only now they talked about tar sealing the feeder roads which should have been completed years ago if not for the competing interests amongst the Iban leaders in BN.

      The competing interests there are obvious if we judge by the reports in the newspapers. It is interesting to note that Jabu has to deny his problems with James Masing publicly. Too bad, because I would be more surprised if he were to admit it otherwise as it would mean a “new” Jabu, but by doing that he would make Mussen an official PBB candidate. The struggle to become the “IBAN SURPREMO UNO” since our Independence cannot just stop. They pause only to make sure they don’t lose this by-election. Only Masing knows the real story whether the BN candidate is the one he first really proposed. If so, then it makes one wonder why Naga was made the Special Assistant to the Assistant Minister all the while he was in Hospital? Mussen should have been the one. Why again SUPP President announced that Mussen was the “IDEAL” BN candidate only after BN nominated him that Saturday BN meeting. IDEAL for whom??? When did Mussen become a PRS member, I wonder?

      PKR should win if over 50% of the voters are forty and below. How if the older generation still form the majority of the voters and the “disgruntled” youngsters cannot influence the relatives and friends, then “money politics” will over the seat. BN has already announced millions of dollars for the longhouses. The Deputy Minister of Rural and Regional Developpment has already announced RM 2.0 Million at Rumah Jarop Kalang on the 28th March at “Program Mesra Rakyat” in Changkol, Batang Ai. In fact according to reports received MRPS fell like the ripe durians in a durian orchard on a windy afternoon. Every Minister visiting the area are announcing projects approved for the constituency.

      Jawa, on the other hand, is also a veteran fighting BN candidate before. Jointly they beat Mikai, the PBDS candidate against SNAP in a by election, but then defected to PBB but, as a PBB BN candidate, he lost to PDBS candidate none other than the late Assistant Minister, himself. Thus in the past, Dayakism has been able to beat BN in Batang Ai. But for now,we have to wait for 7th April 2009, when the 8006 registered voters for Batang Ai will make the verdict known.

      However to win, PKR must be able to convince the electorate that they can be as local as BN is to the Batang Ai people, if given the opportunity to serve, especially with all the money and attention given to them now just because Taib and Jabu cannot afford to lose this one by election. In fact the people should be thankful to Jawa and PKR for being able to attract so MUCH MEDIA ATTENTION, MONEY, PROJECTS and so on.

      BUT they still have a lot of work to do beat BN machinery…..

  2. Singh is the King

    No doc….I beg to differ. PKR will not win this by-election no matter what. The instant noodle projects and other goodies are too good for the electorates to resist.

  3. partistar

    Well, the hope is NOT whether PKR can win in Batang Ai by election or in Sarawak. 2006 and 2008 elections results had shown that PKR, just like UMNO, will not be so hot amongst Sarawakians who values its culture and traditions. PKR obtained 17.3% of the popular votes compared to BN 47.2% in the constituencies they contested in the State election of 2006. The share of the popular votes went down to 11.7 % compared to BN 42.7% in the last parliamentary election again in the constituencies where they go head to head.

    PKR cannot win if we go by those statistics. However the hope for the anti-BN constituents is for Jawa and Nicholas combined to deliver the victory against all odds.

    Well, the majority of Malaysians are doped by so-called development projects anyway. Only when the majority of the voters realized that any Government can do the same or better when empowered, only then Malaysia will become a truly mature and developed nation. What we bragged about to-day is what the Canadians and many other nations have enjoyed in the Sixties. But then we were living in the jungles, many walked on foot, polled their long boats, etc. I walked to my Primary School with mud up to my knees……

  4. Singh is the King

    I repeat..& I am right….No doc….I beg to differ. PKR will not win this by-election no matter what. The instant noodle projects and other goodies are too good for the electorates to resist.

  5. partistar

    Who said I differ with your opinion. You asked me for my opinion and I told you indirectly so that BN will not use my comment for the campaign. Read my response carefully and maybe you understand it better.

    In fact why should PKR lost by so big a margin? In fact, one of my daughter asked to bet initially by what majority BN would win. Initially I gave her below 500 margin but should I tell you and the world before Batang Ai people decided considering that I am also the President of STAR, an Opposition party, an offshoot of SNAP. Should I cut my nose to spite my face? But on the Day of the voting, I surrendered and refused to bet as a big vote swing was in favor of BN, when SNAP broke into two camps again with the Divisional Chairman campaigning for BN as well. Both the President and Secretary have little or no following there, yet Sating is the brother of a former SNAP State Assemblyman. Sacking him and Ting Ling Kiew was not a popular move. If SNAP supporters stayed and supported with Jawah, he may even win.

    This morning I happened to meet one of our SNAP councilors, he confirmed my hunches and feedback. If you believe that only the goodies and treats gave BN the victory, then you are actually insulting the voters. Actually they want changes but it is always who can do it? We cannot underestimate rural voters.

    They have voted for change in 1987, remember. 15 out of 22 Dayak majority areas voted for PBDS but only 5 seats from the others, one Chinese and one Muslim, the others mixed. Batang Ai was one of those 15. But in the end, their leaders were “hijacked” one by one until even PBDS begged for forgiveness after 1991 general election. Despite these events, BN still has to pick the “PERFECT ” candidate to stop any resurgence of Dayakism. PKR is just unfortunately the wrong vehicle for it. That verdict was delivered by the voters on the 7th April 2009- not my opinion anymore- their verdict and we must respect them and swallow the bitter pill. Shouldn’t we?

    • Salam hormat to you Doctor.
      We are organizing the Golden Jubilee dinner on the 31st October 2009 @ Riverside Majestic Hotel Kuching to commemorate the school’s 50th anniversary. It would be of great pleasure to see you around as you have been an active former president of school’s alumni. For your info we are still offering a table of RM1000.00 for grab. If you are interested, you can contact me Roger 016-8926469 as soon as possible. Thank you.
      Tabi so oku.

      • partistar

        Last one not enough? I think about it, double celebration is it necessary or shall you defer it to next year for the class of 1960? The last one was organised by the 1959 class.

        We can carry on the spirit of “so that I may serve” in 2010 to be organised by 1960 class and so on till the last year of Dragon School or until the name is reverted back.

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