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Jan 23, 2017

1/1/17 TRIBUTE TO TOK NAN ..... where will Abang Jo heading?

My encounter with Adenan Satem, Tok Nan or my usual reference to him as Pok Nan, was very minimal. In my discourse with him while in the State Planning Unit (SPU) from 1986-1998 was never direct. I just knew him from a distance. Personally I only met him was in 1999-2001 that was when I was the Resident of Bintulu. He used to pay occasional visit to Bintulu as Minister responsible in Agriculture Development. In his visit to Bintulu, he normally will call me to have breakfast with him at the Shell Rest House. In the very first of his visit at those times, my meeting with him was very casual. I knew he loves to joke, thus my jovial attitude matched well with his style. I remember, upon appearing from his bedroom he asked me "Where are you from Lah?" My answer was easy but probably annoying to him. "Pendam Tok". Definitly, I knew he didn't like the word Pendam which means a graveyard in Malay. Personally I don't quite agree to the renaming of Pendam to Sadong Jaya. I love Pendam more than other name. Pendam was strongly associated with our fore grandfathers past lives struggle. In his normal innocence tone he further asked "Siney Pendam ya (Where is that Pendam)?" Again my answer was never straight forward for I knew, he was just wanting to break the ice. "Ala kitak yang nukar nama Pendam ke Sadong Jaya. Sik betul kitak ya! (Mmm you is the one whom changed Pendam to Sadong Jaya. You don't get the History correct)". In one of the article in my blog, I did relayed the verbal history of the term "Pendam" for naming Pendam. It has nothing to do with human grave. Tok Nan as Tok Nan, one can't really know when he is serious or otherwise at his normal day, he just smile and laugh upon listening my argument.

(2) In the same meeting, while waiting for him to come out of his bedroom, I saw an interesting book was on the coffee table, The Singpore Dilemma, the political and educational marginalization of the Malay community. For about 30 minutes or so, I was engrossed browsing and skimming the book. I believe, he may had been watching me for quite sometimes before he made his gesture to me. He then asked me of what were my focuses as the Resident. Indeed upon my arrival to take charge as the Resident in September 1999, my immediate focus had been onto the educational wellbeing of the Bintulu children. Definitely, based on my 1986-1999 experiences in the SPU, my scope of focus then widen to no limit. With regard to education, teachers from all levels, had been coming to see me to complain on all sort of educational facilities gaps in their schools. Schools were over crowded. In the far rural, schools facilities were really in bad shape despite most of the schools were boarding types. Students and teachers lives were indeed in misery. Teachers quarters were also not sufficient and house rental in Bintulu was very high and not easy to get. Bintulu in 2000-2003 was indeed going into its probably third economic boom. Accordingly, workers living standard were also not good. The presence of huge foreign workers in the timber and oil and gas had placed Bintulu in great stress. Worst, government system remained as the reactive system when confronted by all these major social issues. That made Bintulu in the hand of DAP, the opposition political parties even to this day since the 1990s. I only managed to assist to wrestle the Parliamentary into the BN (1999), the governing parties but failed at the DUN level (2001).

(3) Upon my returned to head the State Planning Unit in Kuching in 2002, Tok Nan once caught me taking up the lift to the Office. He simply greeted me by asking "Where are you now?". My answer at that time was straight " Back to SPU Tok". He then made a very thoughtful remark "Hancurlah Plan kita". At that very moment, I couldn't get what he means. We never worked out any plan. So which and what "plan" was he referring to. I was puzzled all through. But then after I left the Government service, upon his swearing as the CM, I then again tried to recall what did he mean by "Hancurlah Plan kita". Indeed the book that I read at the rest house, he did get someone to pass it over to me about a week or so later. After reading the book thoroughly, I had been pushing almost all the Malays' Villages Head in Bintulu to take serious care of all the Kindy within their area. In one of the most extreme, in a visit to one of the Penan Village, I called on the village head to be fully responsible on their kids education interest. I warned the Village head, if in any of my future visit, I could get hold of any kid whom escape schooling, "I will hang the kid onto the nearby tall tree". I thst visit I was sadden to see the Penan boys were enjoying the river rather going to just a walking distance school. I had made lots of effort to build and rebuild those kindy into a much better one. Even the Suraus and Masjids I did forced the JKK to facilitate for the incorporation of the kindy facilities. In most cases, the Masjid JKK wouldn't allowed their premises being used as kindy. I in lots of occasion brushed off this kind of thought. Through my determine efforts and good network with lots of authorities, I would say, I had managed to equip almost all Malay Villages in Bintulu with kindy and Surau-Masjid-Kindy development. Of course other ethnics need were also met with helps by other agencies  I now believe, what Tok Nan means by "Plan Kita" was providing our younger generation with the best education foundation. I knew Tok Nan used to come to Bintulu, and even lots more other State Ministers, but they used not to bother me, for I always told them, I need to be with the people to do what I have to do. With such, I believe Tok Nan must had been checking around on me, and I really appreciate, he left me to my business. Indeed education that had changed Muhammad from a poor orphan to a successful Rasul. Allah gave Muhammad the best education ie the Al Quran for him to succeed as the best humankind. But not many of us comprehend such, and Tok Nan "despite his seem ignorance" he moved toward the life-steps of Muhammad SAW to the end of his life. Bravo Tok Nan. You need not carries that Islamic image to your outerself, but your inner Islamic deed made you very different. Alhamdullillah.

(3) I had been wanting to see Tok Nan in his tenureship as the CM. I don't know why, every time I want to do so, I always having a heavy feeling of hesitation. I have something to present to him, which I believe is dear to his heart for him to pursue. I remember in one of my meeting with him, he did complained Taib hesitation of doing the survey to all the Kampung and Longhouse land lots. To him, he just said "Tanah urang, apa kita gago, sukat, beri geran udah, habis cerita (People land, why we bother too much, just survey them and issue land tittle. Let the landowners decide on their own fate)" My intention of meeting him has something to do with such and as well as to see how Malays assets could be workout well for the good of the community and the State. May be deep in my heart, as I had mentioned to lots of friends, that Tok Nan will not make it long. I was always worried about his health. He can't stand long stress. Even in one short meeting with him, despite he still have a good memory to remember my name, when I shook his hand in around July 2016, I felt so sorry deep in my heart to see him in such bad health stage. Such feeling probably withold me from pressing too much burden upon him. Indeed on Thursday 5 January 2017 while in Johor Baru, I did talked about my wariness of Tok Nan tenureship as CM with some friends. Again on Monday 9, January 2017 while in Kuala Lumpur, also I did talked a lots on his bad health. Upon returning in Kuching on the Wednesday 11, January 2017, in the early hours of that morning, again I talked with some friends on my wariness of Tok Nan health and his long hard struggle ahead. By 1400 hrs on the same day, I went home and took a nap. My hand phone which I placed under my pillow kept receiving messages, which I ignored until I woke up at around 1500 hrs. By then Tok Nan had left this world by about two hours.

(4) Indeed I was so puzzle. How on earth I could have the feeling that Tok Nan will never make it to 2018. My least hope was for him to make it to end of 2017. I have been expecting by 2017, he will still have the strength to walk his vision. At least to me, he should have left a  showcase legacy of being clean and firm as the inspiration to us here in Sarawak and as well as the Nation to move on in the future. My greatest respect to Tok Nan, was that he as I being made known he didn't have any interest in business and never allowed his families to come in between his office and their welfare or worst their wealth-making. The mistake of the previous systems (even to some extend at Tok Nan time) were when self interest mixed with their official responsibilities. Tok Nan had not able to cleanup the system to the overall. He had started it, and now, hopefully will be pursued further and better by Abang Zohari.

(5) Tok Nan was a leader of his own style. As I had written about him quite sometime ago, he indeed was blessed by Allah the Al Mighty with two greatest chances. First, he get his second life, when indeed almost everybody had lost hope for him to recover from his severe heart attacked. Second, his political career indeed was finished upon his returned to the State at time when he stepped down from the Minister position in the Federal Government. He returned without a portfolio awaiting for him. He was then left alone to enjoy fishing which I believe was very sickening. But then, that was sometime, a footstep one should take in life. In most case, and indeed people had seen his move as miscalculating of his last political footsteps. Tok Nan was politically death.  Alhamdullillah, the Al Mighty Allah, His way of governing matters are always a mystery, Tok Nan got the chance to do his very best. His dedication to work clean and forceful within the short span is a real theological honesty. He continues to do his Fardhu Kifayah to the best at the cleanest deed, while not neglecting his Fardhu Ain. In Shaa Allah his soul will be greatly bless by Allah. In Allah words I honor those who fight for hereafter. I will also honor for those who want this world. But, remember, this world is only a test for hereafter..." I believe he got both.

(6) Alfathihah to Tok Nan. Welcome Abang Zohari. Let work for the sustenance honor of the Malays for the good of all. In Shaa Allah He will be with us so long we serve Him the best. Let us be guided by the same Al Fathihah in this world and hereafter.

Kuching, Sarawak
26 January, 2017


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