Tuesday, August 29, 2006This morning a few friends picked me up for breakfast and to meet up with more friends. Azhar, Zulkarnain and Amran came in Azhar's Merc to meet up with Azharuddin and Mat Hassan at the unpretentious Restoran Ros Fatimah next to the Sungai Mulia Mosque in Gombak. All of us were colleagues at one time or another.
Hj. Amran Hamid a.k.a. Ah Chong was in the room next to mine when we were both in the Overseas Service. I used to leave my monitor box on all the time and Amran always arrived in the morning way before me and got irritated by the "tone" signal coming out of the monitor. We got to know each other better when I was in the Sports Unit and Amran was then one of the better known sports commentator on TV. Years later when I was transferred to TV, I got a room next to Amran again. This time, I didn't have any monitors to annoy him.
Haji Azhar Ahmad was one of the better newsreader and commentator that came out of RTM. When I was in Kuantan, Hj.Azhar was the Director of Broadcasting (Easter Region) which made him my immediate boss. I didn't give him much problem and most of the time he left me to my own devices. Hj. Azhar was also the Director of Broadcasting (Southern Region) at one time and he would have gone much higher had his boss spoken up for him when needed to.
Hj.Azharuddin Hussein joined RTM the same day as I did. He retired much earlier than me though. Among the colleagues, Azharuddin was known as "The Bulldozer". He is not the shy type and never minces his words. He likes to dominate the conversation. Today was no exception. Azharuddin is a good tennis player and he still plays at the KL General Hospital. Pak Din is one of the few people in Malaysia who, with Allah's Grace, can cure people with his expertise in Reflexogy and Acupuncture sans needles. He uses a short stick instead of needles and he treats people for free. Today, he kept us to date on his numerous "cases" which includes medical doctors who played tennis with him.
Pak Din is a relative of Hj.Yusuf Rawa and he is a fervent member of PAS. He almost contested in the last election. Maybe he will contest in the next election.
This white-haired gentleman is Mohd Hassan, a true-blue Kelantanese. When I was still teaching in Kuala Brang, Mohd Hassan was already in RTM. He recorded my band's first performance in Kuala Brang.I doubt if it was ever put on air. Years later, after I joined RTM, I was sent to Kuala Terengganu as the Head of Programmes (Eastern Region) and I became Mohd Hassan's boss and fishing kaki. Most of Mohd Hassan's peers in RTM remembered his inability to lose his East Coast slang when he read, over the air "Tembok menembok di Tembok Berlin".
Samad Haroun did not plan to meet us today.He just wanted to have his favourite nasi lemak and lontong with his wife. It was a pleasant surprise for us to run into him for Samad is one of the nicest guys in RTM. Samad was in the Entertainment Section most of the time and I know less of him than of his brother Abdullah Haroun.
Last but not least is Hj. Zulkarnain Hassan. Zul was the first RTM "representative" in Terengganu back in the 60's when Terengganu did not have a studio or a station yet. He squatted at the Information Office in Jalan Air Jerneh and got around on a white Lambretta scooter. In his younger days, Zul reminds me of an Indonesian film star. Zul of course does not need that. He was famous in his own right as an excellent sports commentator on TV and Radio. Zul was also the Honorary Secretary of The RTM Veterans Association. He had to give up this post because of health reasons. He is stil recovering from a bypass.
I am praying that I will have more breakfasts with these fine people. InsyaAllah. Amin!
(Photos taken today with the Olympus E500)