Monday, February 28, 2011

Lunch with "Uncle" on February 27, 2011

This was the short video clip we played yesterday over lunch as a sort of background reminder of who is our "Uncle"!

Friday, February 18, 2011

To Sir With Palmini Gunasegaran

Breaking News: Our Cikgu or "Uncle"  and "Auntie" will be in Kuala Lumpur on February 27, 2011 (Sunday) for Lunch at noon at The Orchid, Royal Lake Club, Kuala Lumpur. Be seeing you then! 

WHEN top civil servants, politicians, judges, foreign dignitaries, and others take time off to return together to a small town like Ipoh, you sense it must be for an extraordinary event. Then, in a nice surprise, you discover they had made the trip to give a surprise birthday bash for their teacher who was turning 80.

That really is extraordinary.

The former students include Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, Tan Sri Ahmad Sarji, Tan Sri Nuraizah Abdul Hamid, Tan Sri Sallehuddin, Datuk Augustine Paul, Puan Sri Siew Yong Gnanalingam. And from across the causeway we had the Chief Justice of Singapore, Datuk Seri Chan Sek Keong; former Ambassador to Malaysia, K.Kesavapany and also former minister Peter Chen Min Liang.

Selvamany and Datin Poovayee whom he calls his soul mate. — pix courtesy of Chan Sam Lock photo studio

The teacher, or Cikgu they refer to so fondly, is Datuk N.S. Selvamany, who taught them at Anderson School. The fact that they remember their teacher and hold him in affection 30, 40 and 50 years later is remarkable.

Below are excerpts from interviews with some of the ex-students.

Ng Yook Woon, 67, a senior lawyer in Ipoh, who organised this gathering was moved to tears when he explained why Selvamany is so well loved:

“Cikgu was colour-blind; everyone was his child. He was a teacher, father and friend. He taught us human values by living an exemplary life of one who devoted his entire life to selfless service. We were treated as family rather than mere students.
“Till today, we ex-students are part of the family for any celebrations; happy or sad. Where do you see such values now? There is not enough emotional connection with the students, and all problems begin from that. There is very little ‘human to human’ relationship now in schools as teachers just impart knowledge.
“Here was an ordinary school teacher who shaped some of the nation’s top civil servants and who is still respected by all of them.”

Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, 69, MP of Gua Musang in Kelantan and former Finance Minister, says his love for economics was inculcated by his teacher.
“Datuk Selvamany was my class teacher and also taught me economics. Cikgu taught us practical aspects to economics, and that is the way I have used it even during my tenure as finance minister. How does one ever forget his ‘Law of Diminishing Returns’ which he drummed into us?

Former student Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah was guest of honour at Selvamany’s daughter’s wedding.— pix by N.S. SELVAMANY

“He was a natural teacher, full of devotion and wisdom. There was no force, threats or use of cane whatsoever; he won the students over with his love, sincerity and genuine concern. He made a man out of you. Cikgu instilled values and moulded some of us (the older generation) to be who we are today.”

Professor Dr. Rokiah Talib, 62, The Professor in Anthropology and Sociology with the University of Malaya was so bubbly that you felt she was talking about her own father.

“Cikgu touched our hearts by creating interest at the interpersonal level; the genuine care and concern came directly from his heart.

“Our success is his success. Similarly, his loss is our loss, too, and we all felt the loss and pain when Cikgu lost his only son in a tragic accident. We truly felt we lost our own son when that happened.

“I know we can never find another teacher like him, and, if I could have one wish, I would clone Datuk Selvamany. If we had more teachers like him around, we would have less disciplinary problems in school.”

Datuk Seri Chan Sek Keong, 68, Chief Justice of Singapore said:

“Cikgu was a born teacher. He set high standards in teaching and introduced a new method to teach Economics to the 6th Form class.

“He used the traded tin and rubber prices published in the papers to illustrate his lessons. Economics came to life through this innovation.

“His enthusiasm as a teacher went beyond teaching. He encouraged us to look beyond the classroom.

“In Cikgu’s eyes, we were typical mischievous youths who had to be moulded into well-behaved and responsible adults. He treated us more as friends than as students. Over the years, he has kept in touch with many of us. Today our families are close friends.”

V. Manickam, 56 years old, started off as a lab attendant and retired from Anderson School as a library assistant. He regards Datuk Selvamany as his teacher, father and boss.

“I dropped out of school as I was poor and when I was 17, Datuk employed me as a lab attendant in Anderson School.

“He was not in charge of the labs but he still took an interest in our welfare. He taught me about taking pride in work.

“His love and guidance was so important for a young boy like me, who had no father and came from a gangster-infested slum area.

“If it was not for Datuk, my life would have been a disaster.”

Saturday April 29, 2006
As Reported in The Star Online.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


We are very sad to inform you that Cikgu Puteri Asma, our teacher of Malay Literature in Form Six passed away at about 3.00 pm today,16th February 2011. Her sister,Puteri Rashidah informed us that Cikgu Puteri Asma died of a heart failure. She was laid to rest tonight itself in Ipoh.

Last year, as we started re-connecting with students and teachers, Cikgu Asma was the first teacher we met (see blog posting dated Sunday June 13, 2010) and we last met her at Ramli Hassan's function in Ipoh on Dec 19th 2010.Despite her eye condition(she suffered from retina detachment),she participated in several of our gatherings and she always enquired about past students who were not there. She told us that she was always so happy whenever she meet up with her old students.

We have lost a very sweet, gentle and caring teacher and friend.We offer our sincere condolence to Puteri Rashidah and family.


Sek Yee and Khadijah

Monday, February 14, 2011

Our National "Tokoh Guru" - Dato' Seri N.S. Selvamany

L to R: "Uncle", Old Boys Kartar Singh & Dr. Sulaiman,  & "Auntie"
(Taken on July 25, 2010)

Excepts from Anderson School Images 1909 - 2009, published by Seladang Ventures in collaboration with Old Andersonians Club, Ipoh
"Cikgu or Master, as Datuk Seri NS Selvamany was affectionately known, was one the many illustrious teachers who has passed through the portal of Anderson School. It is fitting that I introduce him in this publication, to honour our eminent and immensely popular teacher who served the school admirably well with great dedication for two decades since 1952. "...................
............"ln 1956 l joined the school as a Form Six Science student, and instead of taking biology l decided to take geography for the Cambridge Higher  School Certificate (HSC). My request, however, to take this subject for HSC  was rejected by the Principal, Mr. G. E Jackson. Dejected I sought the help of Master, who was an Economics cum Geography teacher  for Form Six Arts, for his support. With his strong recommendation Mr.  Jackson relented and gave his permission that I could take geography, along with other science subjects, for my HSC. That was one defining  moment of how l got where I am today." ............ 

"ln my opinion, Master had exhibited the character and class that made him one of the greatest teachers in the country. He is an educationist, and a teacher par excellence. God bless you."

Written by S. Senathi Rajah
A Retired geologist, Andersonian 1956 - 57
Sixth Former at Anderson School Ipoh

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Joyce & Charles Host "CNY" Dinner....... in Perth on February 11, 2011

As we recently welcome the Year of the Rabbit, a couple of Andersonians hopped over to Perth to attend a great "CNY" dinner hosted by Joyce & Charles on February 11, 2011. Of course, our teacher Paul Chong was there too! The Andersonians were grand winners of "an all expenses paid holidays" to Perth for the occassion. So do join us for our next get together, which is on February 27, 2011, and who knows, you may be the next "lucky winner" for next year's trip to Perth! Cheers
Sitting (L to R): Neeta, Assunta, Joyce , Lilian
Standing (L to R): Merlyn, Charles, Paul

Merlyn & Family, with Joyce at extreme right

Rendezvous in Perth?

Merlyn & Paul

The Teacher & His Students!

Just outside Mela Restaurant in Perth; Where's Neeta?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Our 'Uncle" the Man...........Meet Him for Lunch on February 27, 2011 in Kuala Lumpur!

Our 'Uncle' & "Auntie" will be in Kuala Lumpur on Feb. 27, 2011 (Sunday) to meet and catch up with friends and classmates from Anderson School Ipoh. So do make yourself free on that particular Sunday! And keep a lookout in your emails for further details from our Boss! This time there is no excuse that you cannot travel to Ipoh. etc to meet our 'Uncle"!

At the same time, the lunch gathering will also provide an opportunity to inform past students of ASI about an on-going project to write a biography of 'Uncle" who, many will recall, was the Economics teacher in Form VI from 1952 to 1972. He was also the Hostel Master from 1956 to 1958. Dr. Rokiah Talib (ASI, 1962-63), the lead writer of the biography, will be very happy if past students of ASI attending the lunch could share interesting stories and anecdotes as well as their collection of photographs involving 'Uncle".

Meantime, please renew and upgrade your memory about "Aneh"!