Friday, October 23, 2009


In this page i will write on my 'sad journey' in my my life. Though i had been given the opportunity to ride on the right track, many things were happened and made my life getting tougher to achieve to the esteem level.


I sat my SPM in 1976 and scored Grade 1 with 16 Aggregate. Again, proudly I came up as a Best Student for that year. For your info, since my school (STMI) established in 1969, the the First Grader achiever only appeared in 1973 . And my Year (1976) produced the biggest number of 1st Grader, that was 6. Eurika!. Myself, Kamdani Salleh (my kampongmate and studymate), Yasman Tamsir, Ahmad Noh Jeni, Mohd Adil Shukor and Ngatijah Miskam. Before that, between 1-3 only.

Those who qualified (SPM 1st and 2nd Grader) to go for Lower Six asked to register at Sekolah Dato Bentara Luar (SDBL), Jalan Syed Salim off Jalan Lim Poon, Batu Pahat, about . So, I also reported there for my Lower Six. Temporarily, I went to school from home daily by Vespa (about 24km) belong to my classmate, Jaheni Sidek. Sometimes we used my father's Honda Cup. For convenience, some of our friends rented house at Batu Pahat town.

Personally, I was not so keen to go for Lower Six. I already planned to join Office Cadet School or UTM. However, my parent not in favour for me to join military service, and for the 'Art Stream' student to get place in UTM was a tough competttion. But my stay in SDBL was not long, hardly took about one month. Kamdani, Ahmad Noh and me were selected to go for Lower Six at Sekolah Alam Shah (SAS), Cheras. Since, SAS was one of the most prestige school in Malaysia, so I decided to go. In 1970s, those who selected to go to boarding schoolespecially 'Alam Shah' was really an honour.

Sekolah Alam Shah Cheras Complex

I went to SAS by taxi. The driver was my second cousin, Masduki (Lek Duki), he is the son of Hj Sulaiman, his mother is my father's cousin. Together with me was Kamdani and his father (Lek Salleh). No PLUS highway at that time. The best route from my kampong to KL was using Jalan Batu Pahat- Muar- Melaka- Alor Gajah- Rembau- Seremban- Mantin- Kajang and Cheras. I could not remember how long to reach KL. But more than 5 hours.

In SAS, we met Jainuddin and Kamisan, our former classmate in Form 3P1, STMI. There were doing Matriculation Course after obtaining an excellent SPM result.

We underwent Orientation Week (OW) handled by our senior in Upper Six. The OW was maneged well. Only sometimes, some seniors came silently into the dormitory trying to bully us. Just light bullies, so we didnt report to the warden. Some of my seniors that I could remember the name was; Sidek Moh (Ketua 1), Nasir (Imam), Razali (from Felda Chemplak- my buddy-buddy), Amin, Zainuddin, Mohd Zaraai (now Dato'- Magistrate), Naim Abu Bakar (now Datuk- SFO Malacca, I met him first as Pen Pengarah Belanjawan at Treasury in year 2000), and Zolkples Embong (now Dato'- Pengarah MSN).

in the dorm with some friends in Lower Six, SAS -from left: Kamarudin, Azman, me, Baharudin and Malek
My stay in SAS was also short, only about a month. I received an offer to take up Architecture Course from UTM, Jalan Semarak. So, I met my class teacher (Cikgu Yunus Marullah), requested permission to go back (home) to prepare and settle down my registration to UTM. That day was my last day in SAS.

Among my classmates (Lower 6) those I could remember were Kamarudin (Melaka), Misro Jerut and Malek Azman (Muar), Abd Rahman Kattar and Dzainal (Senggarang), Tuan Hamzah, Baharuddin and Kamaruzzaman (Kelantan), Khairudin (Pekan, Pahang), Kamarudin (Melaka),

Sekolah Alam Shah had moved to its new campus at Putrajaya in 2003.

Just for my own benefit, i copied here the history of SAS;

Sekolah Alam Shah (SAS) was established as a result of the National Education Policy advocated by the 1958 Razak Report. It became the first Malay school to offer Form Six classes. Hence, the school trail blazed the way for Malay stream students to enrol in tertiary education in institutions of higher learning both local and overseas.

On 7 February 1963, SAS enrolled its first students. His Majesty of Second Yang DiPertuan Agong; Duli Yang Maha Mulia Seri Paduka Baginda Al-Marhum Sultan Sir Hisamuddin Alam Shah Al-Haj ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Alaeddin Sulaiman Shah consented the use of His Majesty's name (Alam Shah) on the school. On 7 March 1964, the school was officially opened by His Majesty the then Sultan of Selangor, Duli Yang Maha Mulia Al-Marhum SUltan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Al-Haj Ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Hisamuddin Alam Shah.

On 26 April 2003 the school shifted premises to a new 142,000m sq campus in Putrajaya. In officiating the new premises on 24 March 2007 Duli Yang Maha Mulia Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Al-Haj ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz, the Sultan of Selangor, had consented SAS taking on the name of his grandfather Sultan Hisamuddin Alam Shah. The school is henceforth known as Sekolah Sultan Alam Shah (SAS).



History of UTM

Universiti Technologi Malaysia (UTM) is the oldest premier higher learning institution in Malaysia specializing in Engineering and Technology ever since its inception in 1904. UTM’s existence is synonymous with Malaysia’s growth and progress in technological and infrastructure development, proven by its track record as the provider of almost two-thirds of the country’s workforce in engineering and technology-related profession.

In 1925, the Public Works Department opened the Technical School at Jalan Brickfields (Jalan Tun Sambanthan), Kuala Lumpur, to train technical staff of Public Works Department and the Survey and Land Offices. In 1930, the Kuala Lumpur Technical School was further expanded a new site in High Street, i.e. the present Jalan Bandar.

However, with the advent of World War II, the suggestion could only be implemented in 1946, during which the institution became known as Technical College, Kuala Lumpur. The Technical College then offered three-year Diploma courses in Civil, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Architecture, Town and Country Planning, Land Surveying and Quantity Surveying. The construction of the new Technical College at Jalan Gurney (Jalan Semarak), Kuala Lumpur, began in 1951. It became fully operational in March 1955. In 1960, a milestone was reached when engineering courses at degree level were offered. Students pursuing the courses had to sit for professional examinations conducted by the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, United Kingdom. The rate of success was most encouraging.

Another milestone was reached in 1967 when the Planning Committee for the Higher Learning decided to upgrade the Technical College to the level of institution of technology with university status from 1969 onward. However, it was only on the14th of March, 1972, that the decision was implemented with the establishment of Institut Teknologi Kebangsaan (National Institute of Technology) under Section 6(1) of the University and College Act, 1971. On the1st of April 1975, the journey from school to university was completed when the institution finally became "Universiti Teknologi Malaysia".

The university has a number of international academic collaborations and offers 108 postgraduate programs in Engineering and Technology.

UTM has two campuses. The main one in Skudai, Johor was the first university in the state of Johor. It has an area of 1.222 km², touted the second largest public university after Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) . It is about 20 km north from the state capital, Johor Bahru, and is located relatively close to the Sultan Ismail International Airport, Senai. The branch campus, Jalan Semarak, Kuala Lumpur (formerly was the main campus) with an area of 0.18 km².

Now we go onto my life story in UTM between June 1977 till May 1979.

Enough rest at kampong. When the reporting day come, I went to KL by express bus with Amim (my brother). He sent me to the campus for registration. The Orientation Week commenced. All the new students were inhabited in the hostel at Jalan Gurney. The OW went well. The rules and procedures laid out by the U's management made all the programs in the OW successful. The Vice Chancellor then was Tan Sri Ainuddin Wahid.

In the Lecture hall- combined with QS and Town Planning students (during the OWeek- all the female students were wearing 'tudung', cantikkkk jee.....after that.. hehehe)

First Year 1977/78

Architecture is a unique course. Other than the longest degree course in UTM (6 years), the students was also different compare with other students. Mostly rugged and keeping a long hair eventhough it was not permitted in UTM. They find was to runaway or avoiding from get caught by the 'Pak Guard'. The common tactic was wearing cap and keeping the hair tail in the cap or hat. They also 'berkampung' in the studio until late night. They went back in the dark to avoid from being recognised by the Pak Guard. The person who the students fear most was the Deputy VC, Prof Hamid Tahir, who in-charge of Students Affairs.

I stayed in Blok B and my roomate was Sazali (also ex Alam Shah). He came from Kg Rimba Terjun, Pontian. He did Civil Engineering Course. He was okay but the only problem with him was his 'tidor mati'. You know la, Architecture Student! A lot of course work need to be completed in the studio. Always came back to the room very late night. We could not bring back the work because our project required to use drawing board and many types of papers and colors. Water color, poster color, oil color etc.... The hostel room was small.

Everytime I came back from studio, Sazali already slept. He sleep early because he wanted to wake up in early morning and study. And he alwayd forgotten to unlocked the door. So I got to knock the door for long time before he could get up. Sometimes, the whole block members went out from the room because of the knocking noise. Except Sazali. End up, in the middle of the semester, I exchange roomate. I moved to Block C to stay with Ramly Abu Bakar (my coursemate). Settle the problem?? Basic problem yes, but another problem came.

Ramly ni gila-gila sikit perangainya.....He like to sing and scream. Sometimes banging the table. Our neighbouring room was a Final Year student from Engineering Faculty. Long hair and fierce looking face (tapi awek dia chun....). Everytime we make noise, he will come out and scold us. But no serious grief. Budak-budak Architecture, biasa laaaaaa....

Me, Norzam Darmin (coursemate- budak Kota Tinggi) and Hafeez (Science student- budak Pontian)

with Razak Mustofah (I could not remember what course he did)

In the canteen with our English lecture, Mr John Davis from USA (all SPM students got to sit for English Class)

In Year 1 Studio- sitting: Sulaiman Abdullah 6th Yr student. Standing from left; Shaari Omar, Me, Ramly, Sutina Ghazali and Ainon (Mek). Abang Leman liked to visit our studio because Ainon was his gf (loving couple). Sadly, Ainon was died in road accident on the way back to Kelantan for Hari Raya that year (1977).

Today, all the university are using Semester System. If you failed any paper (limited) you can proceed to the next semester and refer the failed paper. During my time, UTM was using a Term System. Only one final exam a year. Mid-term exam would carry only 30% of the total marks. For the Arch Students, the pre-requisite for the final exam was to pass the portfolio presentation.

Among my classmate in First Year 1977/78 (who I coould remember) were: Shukri (Repeater), Abd Latif (R), Sutina Ghazali (R), Norazian (R), Latipah Jan (R), Azharudin (R), Auspan Hassan (R), Azahari (R), Ainon (R) (deceased), Md Khalis Hashim (R), Badrul Hisham Daud (Tok Penghulu), Bernadib Kadri, Amat Amir Sibon, Kamisan Sujak, Ong P.S, Tan Gim Huat, Salmiah Daud, Aishah, Norzam Darmin, Norhayati Shahnon, Zamzam Mohd Said, Hijazi Jasmon, Ali Yusof, Badrul Khir (deceased), Ramly A.Bakar, Muniandy, Selvam, Yusop Ibrahim, Shaari Omar, Rosyatimah, Ibrahim Hamdan, Ismail Akhir, Himawan Gatot Adibowo, Saifuddin Ahmad, Zulkifli Sudin, Roziah, Muhd Yusup Purnawarman, ............... sorry I could not recall everybody's name.

Among the Lecturer/Tutors were; Ghazali Abdullah, Mokhtar, Zamani Abd Ghani, Fauzi Awang Kechik (deceased), Nik Malek (Graphics), Daud (Bldg Materials), Najib Ibrahim (Physic), Fadzillah and Abd Aziz (Math).

Trip to Penang. Towards the end of the semester, we had a course trip to Penang. Besides sight-seeing, the other purpose of this trip was part of 'architectural design' out-door activities. It was also to create closer relationship between the students. We went to Penang by UTM's bus. We stopped at various places along the way and drew the views or the objects. It was part of 'on-site' drawing practices. In Penang, we stayed at USM's hostel.


waiting for the bus- at UTM compound

in the bus

Aquarium Tunku Abd Rahman,Penang

On the way to from Batu Feringghi to Balik Pulau

My first year was not successful. I failed my Architectural Portfolio Presentation. So, I did not qualified to sit for the final examination. So, before the Final Exam I already know that I got to repeat, mean join the First Year next intake. This was my first 'major' failure in my life career.

Repeat Year 1978/79

Ten of us got to repeat our first year. Mself, Badrul Hisham, Badrul Khair (deceased), Yusop Purnawarman, Zamzam, Kamisan, Yusuf, Himawan, Aishah and Ismail. All due to portfolio failure. Among the new students were; Lim Hock Huat, Mohd Fadzillah, Ahmad Kamal, Md Shah Jaffar, Aziz, Nazri, Zainal, Nazmi, Azmi, Zabidi Mohd Bazir, Saleha, Farishah, Zuraina Leily, Rosmawati, Zaleha, Rosila, Yusof Awang (deceased), Abdullah, Mohd Fuad, Ahmad Faisal (deceased), Zairul, Juminan, Noraida Atan, Mohd Aminuddin, Mohd Suhaimi (later quit and joined MAS pilot), Wong Chun Weng, Rahmadiah, Nor Hisham, Khairy Zakaria, Mardiah Lokman, Samini Omar, Ainon Ali, Mohd Haiyee, Mohd Ariff, Roslani @ Roslan, Abd Kahar..... etc
The architectural design lecturers were; En Mokhtar, En Fauzi, En Zamani, En Razak and En Aziz. The others were Prof Madya Ramli and En Aziz (Math), En Najib Ibrahim (Physic), Tuan Syed Farouk Barakhbah (Material), Utz Wahab Hj Kia/Ust Fadzil Mohd Noor (Islamic Study) and uan Akbar Abang/Paimah Atoma (Malaysian Studies). Ust Fadzil (allahyarham) was later quit and became a fulltime politician. He was the President of PAS (since 1989) before his death on 23 June 2002. Akbar Anang was also quit from UTM to attach with Darul Arqam. Then quit from Arqam and become a fulltime preacher and own a religious school.
Studying Architecture was a high investment. Other than the 'drawing board' in the studio, we have to buy the other equipment and tools such as T Square, drafting pen (expenxsive looooo!) materials for models (many kinds of papers/boards), drawing materials (many types of colours), cutter etc. In fact, we also bought our own drawing board for the home work.
My scholarship (JPA) was about RM1600/year,minus the fees left behind less than a thousand a year. House rent, water, electricity, course materials????...Not sufficient. (At that time, those who got scholarship from Bandaraya, DARA or PETRONAS were more lucrative). So, almost every month I have to ask for additional budget from my parent. Sometimes my brother, Khamim (he worked with TNB at Bangsar) also subsidised me. Financial constraints. Lend (hutang?). Nope. Most of the time we ('we' because almost all having a same problem) took 'instant noodle' (MAGGI MEE) as our staple food especially in the end weeks of waiting for scholarship or subsidy from parents.
In this year session, I was staying at Lorong Bukit Keramat 4 with friends. Some of them were Norzam, Ibrahim, Badrul Hisham, Kamisan, Amir, Bernadib, Zamzam etc. Really congested, like a refugees settlements. Sometimes worst when some friends were coming and night stopped. I could not remember the amount of the rental. But, I appreciated the 'high cooperations' among the housemates. Throughout our staying there, no disputes were occured.

The owner of the house (landlord) was 'we called them Pak Aji and Mak Aji' (both died). I forgot their name. They stayed with their daughter Kak Melah (also died) and her husband (abang Kadir). Pak Aji was retired guru agama for the Police Depot (PULAPOL). Kak Melah was also an ustazah in PULAPOL. As a neighbour, selalu la kami dapat makanan percuma dari Mak Aji.
In front of our rented house was a double story house belong to a widow a 'Syed descent' family. Her name is Sharifah Zabedah (Ayong). Ayong (age 40s) has 2 sons Zainal and Zahid. But, the focus of the story is not about the widow but the other person living in that house. Ayong has 4 sisters and 2 brothers staying together. Sharifah Nor Akma (Kak Nor), Sharifah Nor Hijjah (Kak Jah), Sharifah x (forgot), Syed Mohammad (died) and Syed Khalid. Except for Kak Nor, the rest were single. There were two more family members staying in that house; Kak Nah and Kak Merah (Sharifah Molek). The most attracted figure was Kak Merah!.
....will more stories about my stay in Bukit Keramat.
I lost contact with all my landlord and also my neighbours, after I acquitted from UTM. But after many years in the air force, I slowly getting back to old memories. Somewhere in 1993/94 when I was in SISMAT C, I went to Kluang for working visit (after we handed over Kluang Base to the Army, the RMAF maintained our Engineering and Supply element in PUTD as part of handing over process). With the help of PW Salleh Pandi, I managed to track Kak Merah. to So, I went her house at Taman Kluang Barat. In 1998 I went to Kluang for official duty, and one again I manged to visit Kak Merah, this time she already moved to a Married Quarters in the camp. The last time i met her was in 2006 when I attended a course at INTAN Kluang.

one of the design projects (Juminan, me, Lim H.H, Saleha, Zureina and Noraida) trip to Frasers Hill

release tension and thinking for more ideas (Badrul Khair, Kamal, Zamzam, Nazmi and Hisham)

can't remember where (Kamisan, Khairy, Haiyee, Zamzam, Kamal, Fadzilah & Badrul Hisham)

...transfer the views onto the paper, at Botanical Garden, Penang

with Zuraina & Mail

with Fadzilah in our studio

Cold.... on the way to Fraser's Hill

some of our female coursemates: Seha, Farishah, Zaleha, Rahmadiah, Rosila, Nor Rafeah and Noraida

in the bungalow at Fraser's Hill
(with arwah Yusop Awang, Nazri and Arwah Badrul Khair)

reading poem at Pantai Batu Maung

Kamal bergaya at Botanical Garden

Botanical Garden with Shukor Aziz and 'abang driver'

with Zuraina and Mail at Batu Maung beach

nite at Batu Feringghi beach

lupa...kat rumah sapa nii...should be on the way back from Penang trip

in the studio

in the studio

cari ilham

photo with Pak Cik Saidin at Kg Spg Lawin, Kuala Kangsar (the place where Norzam and his group doing their research on 'History of Architecture)

My story UTM ended when I received my final result. I passed my portfolio, unfortunately I failed my Math paper! I referred the paper, also failed. I passed my mid-term exam of Math but in my second part of the semester, I put lighter focus on it because of giving more concentration on my portfolio. I attempted to see my tutor (En Aziz) to appeal. Unfortunately.... he could not help because I missed a lot of my tutorials. What I can do?
My two year journey in UTM ended with a sorrow. I do not blame anybody else, except myself.

Maka, dengan ini, musnahlah cita-citaku untuk menjadi seorang Arkitek. Biarpun begitu, aku amat bersyukur kepada Allah kerana telah memberikan aku satu perjalanan baru untuk terus maju dalam hidupku. Walaupun aku telah tercampak jauh dunia 'senibina' namun sahabat-sahabatku yang sama-sama berjuang di atas 'drawing board' dulu tidak melupakan aku. Bertahun-tahun mereka berjuang meredah halangan dan cabaran untuk mencapai cita-cita. Sebahagian dari mereka telah berjaya mempunyai firma senibina sendiri, atau menjadi pensyarah (malah ada yang bertaraf Profesor), berkhidmat dengan Kerajaan atau menukar kerjaya ke bidang perniagaan yang lain. Tahniah.

Setelah hampir 30 tahun terpisah, kami dapat bertemu kembali apabila salah seorang dari mereka dapat menghubungiku untuk menyertai satu majlis 'reunion' mereka di Kelab darul Ehsan, Ampang pada tahun 2004. Bermula dari situ, kami menjadi rapat semula, dari satu pertemuan ke satu pertemuan.......... antaranya:

1. Reunion 'Hari Raya' di Kelab Darul Ehsan.
2. Khenduri untuk kesejahteraan Auspan di Surau AU3 dan Rumah Fadzilah.
3. Khenduri Tahlil Arwah Untuk Yusop Awang di Surau Al Firdaus.
4. Kena teh tarik di Restoran Hamid, Jln Semarak.
5. Majlis Perkahwinan anak Fadzilah.
6. Majlis Doa Selamat di Rumah Kamal di Taman TDI.

Aku tak dapat hadir perkahwinan anak Samini (dia orang Rengit) kerana kau pindah rumah, kad jemputan dihantar ke alamat lama.

Perkahwinan anak Prof Dr Asiah Abd Rahim (UIAM), aku tak hadir juga sebab tak dapat jemputan. Dia lupa kat aku la agaknya tu.

Makan durian kat dusun durian Pk Lah di Ulu Langat pada 7 Julai juga aku tak dapat datang. Hari kerja. Boss cuti, nak ponteng kejap memang boleh, tapi petang tu, aku ada dua meeting.



Zainal, Samini Omar & Mardiah Lokman

Ariff, me, Juminan, Zainal & Hisham

Samini, Mardiah & Ainon Ali

with Badrul Hisham Daud, our mantan Course Tok Penghulu
(Badrul now is a lecturer in POLISAS Kuantan- double barrels)

(with his own firm- ARKRAB)

with his own firm

now Pengarah Pembangunan Universiti Teknikal Melaka

Executive Director of Pubel Bhd - millionaire now!

with his own firm


with his own firm in Malaysia and Australia- ALSO millionaire now - he is also Timbalan Ketua UMNO Bahagian Jerai... potential MP

with his own firm in KL

now with JKR Pusat and also Registrar LAM




(Professor di UIAM)





Khairy married to Norhayati
Haiyee married to Mardiah


Ainon Mohamed (1978)
Badrul Khair bin Subari (2002)
Mohd Yusop bin Awang (2007)
Ahmad Faisal bin Abd Aziz (2009)


Majlis Doa Selamat Rumah Kamal di TTDI (2009)

maksud ayat Al Qur'an: Surah Ibrahim:7
"dan ingatlah, jika engkau bersyukur kepadaku (ke atas nikmat yang aku berikan), nescaya akan aku tambah nikmatku"


kamal latiff said...

Excellent writing Toha, with good stories to tell... Well done !

Plus the pictures are awesomely hilarious.

Roy Burhan said...

Enjoyed reading yr writing mr toha.Thou I m the batch of 79/80 UTM of Estate Mngt your stories reminds me of my time. Block H asrama putri where i stayed was very closed to arch studio therefore it would be stopover for female arch students. The names i can recalled is kak rafeah k. Asiah whom i always hv a chat.k ainon n k zuraina was also a common faces in block H. Zuraina looks beautiful than before n i think she is better with head scarf liked she wored during her days in UTM. It happened that i met k asiah now dato seri sometimes in 2007 when i joint my daughter for her architecture heritage studies in Syria but she couldnt recall me.
It ok anyway. Interesting stories of yours . I think most students of old UTM Jln Gurney faces the same scenarios .

Roy Burhan said...

Enjoyed reading yr writing mr toha.Thou I m the batch of 79/80 UTM of Estate Mngt your stories reminds me of my time. Block H asrama putri where i stayed was very closed to arch studio therefore it would be stopover for female arch students. The names i can recalled is kak rafeah k. Asiah whom i always hv a chat.k ainon n k zuraina was also a common faces in block H. Zuraina looks beautiful than before n i think she is better with head scarf liked she wored during her days in UTM. It happened that i met k asiah now dato seri sometimes in 2007 when i joint my daughter for her architecture heritage studies in Syria but she couldnt recall me.
It ok anyway. Interesting stories of yours . I think most students of old UTM Jln Gurney faces the same scenarios .