By Paul Chong Thursday, 9 September 2010
From a senior civil servant in Malaysia to the status of “Mother Teresa”.
|Mahanum on her recent trip to Perth dropped by to visit Paul (holding the class photo of 43 years' ago)|
She has seen the world & through dealings internationally, has acquired relevant knowledge, skills, experiences and aspiration that assist in her executing challenging tasks while in service.
For one who has aspired & retired as a top civil servant in Malaysia, one would be expected to lead a life of ease & pleasure for the rest of one’s natural life.
Not in a million years for this unassuming dedicated character Mahanum, who happened to be a former student of mine from the prestigious Anderson School, Ipoh, Malaysia. She was here in Perth visiting some relatives of hers from September 2 -12, 2010.
It was a rare occasion for teacher & students to be meeting up again especially after a lapse of two score & three years. I feel both proud & honoured to have this privilege to have been her Form Master in the Class of 1966/67 Sixth Form Arts.
As a teacher, you often wonder whatever happened to this or that student – often you never know. Straight after their graduation, each person went his or her own way in their life pursuits, never really ever to meet again.
It’s always gratifying to hear of your students’ successes, and to know that they still remember you.
Before her retirement, she wondered why she was wearing expensive clothings & having an expensive lifestyle when there are so many poor kids around. Prompted by this realisation, she sold off all her collection of expensive stuff And landed assets and built in 2000 an orphanage on her parents’ land somewhere off Teluk Intan in Perak.
She’s like Malaysia’s own “Mother Teresa” – even more so, if I may say so, to be running it all by herself only supported by her cousin Janariah bt. Md. Shah who takes care of the tremendous amount of washing. Mahanum’s day begins at 5 am and the comfort of the repose comes round only by 10.00 pm. at night. She has at the moment 50 kids – all mostly from problem families.
She is single, never got married, still quiet & reserved – and fully dedicated to her ideal of helping poor kids. Friends may find her sometimes to be aloof . . . but she has a heart of purest gold. I dare say few men can match with her high ideals nor dare to venture like she does. She’s a real quiet selfless achiever.
Malaysia could do with more people like her calibre with a true dedication to serve the community. She step out of her comfort zone to personally and sacrificially pursue her worthy ideal. She does personify the alma mater‘s motto: “To Strive, to Seek, to Find & not to Yield”. She does what she does best in her own quiet unspoken way.
(For full blog posting of this article and many many interesting posts, do visit Paul's blog.)