07 March 2009

A momentary lapse of time

A scene like this was a norm in rubber estates during those yesteryear. I remember watching films on this piece of canvas, courtesy of Jabatan Penerangan during my childhood time. The whole kampung folks would gather in an open paddy field, usually after the harvesting season for this special viewing. The first row in the front was specially reserved for makciks and neneks since they can't help much with their short sighted.

Last Tuesday after almost 4 months hibernating in my den, I finally went out into the civilized world and dragged my feet to our headquarter in Jalan Ampang for a meeting. To be honest, if I were given the choice I really don't fancy to travel to Kay El. Especially flash flood is more rampant these days. Nevertheless, I have no choice as it was a command coming from the upstairs. As usual, yours truly will make a point to arrive way to early so that I have plenty of time to visit (read "pester") my friends who are stationed over there.

Even though Sg. Buloh and Jln. Ampang in a normal traffic condition will take less than one hour to travel to, we actually seldom meet with each other. Meetings and internal colloquium are the best venue for us to catch up and get to know each other better. Normally gossips spread like wildfire and travel faster than the speed of light at these two special occasions too.

To make the matter worst, I just found out this morning during our morning tea break, Pn. N from another unit, has no idea whatsoever, who Mr. B is (Mr. B is my regular 'mengeteh' buddy). He thought Mr. B was some kind of a salesman trying to sell some fancy equipments to me. Luckily I brought Mr. B along (who has worked in the same organization for the past 9 years) and introduced him to Pn. N. If you happen to read this entry Mr. B or Pn. N, you should thank me and join my 'mengeteh' session in a more frequent manner. You'll never know, tea at Kedai Mak Uda probably tastes better than the tea served at Pak Li Kopitiam :)

Back to my business at our headquarter. While waiting for the meeting, on many occasions I will take the opportunity to visit my colleagues at the graphic unit. I like to spend my time there because they have huge collection of vintage documents and photos relating to our business - rubber. The whole history of Malaysian rubber industry is probably confined in those small rooms. I don't mind spending hours looking through those collections. I feel like traveling in a time capsule, reading those manuscripts and looking at those vintage photos. With some assistance from En. Suhaimi (thank you), our graphic designer, I managed to get some copies for my own collection.

It was in 1877, and thanks to the English Botanist , H.N. Ridley who brought over and introduced rubber trees to Malaya (nine seedling to be precised). One has the privilege to flourish until now in Kuala Kangsar (In my opinion, that historic gathering will have more oomph in our history if they gather under this historical artifact).

Yes, rubber has a very long history in Malaysia. In the US, if somebody especially the one on the street who says rubber (or offer you one), you have to be very careful because that usually means condom. In the UK however, they pronounce it ru be (like we pronounce rusa). In Malaysia you will get into trouble if you raba-raba :) So be careful and don't play-play.


a.b geldofg said...

aku hrgai bnyak2 atas jmputan Dr.....7hb ni aku tk dpt join..sb ada hal sikit...14hb inssaallah boleh ....

Kak Teh said...

Dr Sam, there was a small corner of Britain that was Malaya and once there used to be a spot where rubber trees were grown.

I think this place too ( and you know what I am refering to) do have some old footage and history of Malaysian rubber.

btw, you are too young to remember screenings by jabatan penerangan!

DrSam said...

ab geldofg,
No hal bro and TQ. Ada rezeki kita jumpa. Insyaallah pd 14hb.

DrSam said...

Kak Teh,
Ah yes Kak Teh you are right. My other playing ground.

I was very very young, yes. Too young but managed to get a glimpse of the atmosphere during those special event. Probably still with 'botol susu' in my mouth :)

MariaFaizal said...

Ficus elastica :D
God-sent plant to yield white latex that's absolutely useful to entire human nation.

I'd like to share this with you guys/gals :P

Goodyear Rubber

Q: What is the difference between a tire & 365 used rubbers?
A: One is Goodyear and the other is a great year!


Have a great weekend!

DrSam said...

Still fresh at this late hour and 'skodeng' my blog some more :)

In plant taxonomy Ficus elastica is a fig tree(pokok ara) while rubber tree, its scientific name is Hevea brasiliensis. Different taxon (family). Just sharing.

Goodyear...Never heard of that joke before. Good one :) Worth a line in our next in-house newsletter (with a note - courtesy of Mdm. Maria)

Pyanhabib said...

best kalau dapat join mengeteh tapi ada 2-3 hal lain. tengoklah 14hb.

DrSam said...

Terimakasih brader. Jika ada kelapangan jom bersantaian minda.

gman said...

nak jugak join mengeteh tp ada hal dgn famili la...sorry DrSam.

huhu..tima kasih ajak!


CAHAYA said...

"....if somebody especially the one on the street who says rubber (or offer you one), you have to be very careful because that usually means condom."

Haha. That's a good one. lol. :P

DrSam said...

I hope you can join us tomorrow because I am bringing some rubber souvenirs (not that rubber), a special memento for all :)

DrSam said...

Don't worry. Umur dipanjangkan kita jumpa.

caturist said...

Wow... your story really smells like 'getah beku'.

I grew up in the 'land' of rubber trees. Since child dah tolong noreh... selalu kena marah sebab 'luka'kan pokok getah.

Miss my dad so much...

Fly said...

salam maulidurrasul dan hepi weekend dr,

MariaFaizal said...

Ha ha ha...
Sorry Doc, my bad..Skodeng your blog at the above hours did show -'ve result! Wrong scientific name for rubber tree!

Thanks for sharing Doc.

Any chance fig tree yield white latex? Damn! I live in apartment area, no fig tree for me to 'toreh' as an experiment! :D

C u soon...

Sally said...

ya laaa..how come they didint "do it" under d old rubber tree eh?

still under discussion..realy would like 2 b there on d 14th..ade rezki we'll meet..keep some "rubber" for d 2nd mengeteh eh..

amongst students..rubber=eraser..hmm penat dah nak tukar..

patungcendana said...

morning doc...you want to experience another time capsule...go to my all time favourite place...Sg Lembing...you will definately be taken back to the years of mining industy...and get a load of their muzeum perlombongan...worth visiting...:-)

everytime i go there, i always expect to see clint eastwood galloping on his horse along the street...real cowboy town...hehe

GC said...

those were the days when there's no TV or VCD, today everyone can afford to have Astro, internet, some even can view channels from outside Malaysia, bet most people don't really follow local program anymore

x said...

The last para <-- funny :D Ahaha

kuIna said...

teringin nk join...
uhuk, uhuk...

DrSam said...

smallholders and local rubber tappers are becoming an endangered species nowadays. Silicon valley has more attraction for the young generation and managed to seduce some to forget their own root.

kulit luka, pokok menangis.

Cikgu, selamat berhujung minggu bersama keluarga dan selamat menyambut maulidurrasul.

Fig tree got latex, but no rubber.

enjoy the morning show and C u soon.

have rubber will travel?
Hope you can make it next week. Insyaallah.

Yes, Sg. Lembing. I read you adventure at that old mining cave in one of your entries. very enticing. Probably a stopover to/fro Ganu would be a good idea. Mind to be our tour guide?

DrSam said...

I guess in a way we are a bit lucky to have gone through those TVless era.

Si Penconteng,
Have a nice weekend to you cik Zatil.

kulna Jentayutiara,
jemput meramai dan memeriahkan perjumpaan, jika berkelapangan. tidak hari ini, Sabtu hadapan.

ASH said...

Dr Sam,
The time of this WRITING was after midnite..
The topic : A 'RUBBER'?? raba??

what's up doc??

.....remember, I had been to the USA...err err..

smile...nothing much.

DrSam said...

You really send shivers down my spine. You read my mind, through my writing :)

I think that was the after effect of drinking too much milo at night.

Any interesting experience to share with us while you were there?

Gampangnya Waikato said...


The idea now is to get some robots to tap rubber...

Or better, can't we just poke a pipe into the latex vessel and open the pipe when we need latex...

I think at present, there are some charlatans out there wanting imaginary sense of fame, whom would propose these ideas to goverment soon.

But I say, an investment of RM180k for a piece of junk that will drain ur Li battery in a minute, merely to obtain material which cost ya RM0.90/kg at farm gate, is ludicrous.

I, would rather train well behaved Malaysian monkeys to tap the rubber trees.

What do ya think doc?

Anyway, the ramblings here are my personal thoughts and has no whatever, in any such way, related to the people I work for.

Hahaha...as always, I am playing safe, ya doc.

Fadhil said...

Salam Doc,

Reached this blog of yours by way of Kak Teh's.

You're with RRI in Sg Buloh? Been there once a few years back for some materal testing. I was pleasantly surprised at the whole area. All the history of Malaysian rubber is there. It was like traveling back in time.

If I was still KL-based, I would've love to join you for mengeteh. Maybe some other time, insyaAllah.

Hope it's okay with you if I link. Thanks.

Unknown said...

I have always wondered where rubber trees were from. I wonder still why rubber trees have the fall-like colour of their leaves at certain time of the year...

Anonymous said...

heheheh rubber.... rugi sebab tak de pengalaman dibesarkan dlm suasana itu.... selamat mengeteh Dr.Sam kirim salam kt kawan2 yer... :)

patungcendana said...

my pleasure...:-)

Memorable trails... said...

Doc,you really bring back the memories of yesteryears..I used to watch those movies by JPM on the white canvas at the school feild in my granny's village.We would cycle to her village before nighttime.Then before making ourselves comfortable on the grass, we would buy all sorts of kacang puteh..and ice cream Malaysia too..
Couldnt make to the mengeteh session.You guys have a great time.

Encik Ariff said...

i can feel the classical atmosphere at that time. im wondering if i were there..hmm~

MariaFaizal said...

I'd like to 'import' pics of the just now bloggers' meeting?

Waiting for u to upload first.


Cheers to you & sis Zayda.
To Farah, Nadia, Eddie, Cahaya, Emma, Teja & Kama too!

DrSam said...

Gampangnya Waikato,
Salam sabahat dirantauan. What else can I say. The Old Boy has spoken!

Salam. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment on this blog. Yes, it is RRI in Sg. Buloh. Give me a ring whenever you are in the vicinity and I will give you a guided tour around our living museum.

Rubber tree has this wintering behaviour, similar to the wintering of plants during Autumn in the temperate region when leaves senescent. In rubber it occurs twice a year (feb/April & Sept/Oct). This happens prior to the flowering season. Very peculiar behavior in this genus.

Fahmi latiff,
Insyaallah kita jumpa jika ada rezeki.

DrSam said...

no problemo.

madam gold,
with sky as the roof and paddy straws as our comfy seat, it was purely a leisure time. Yes Kacang kuda/putih and 'aiskrim Malaysia' (or aiskrim pocong' in Ganu).

encif ariff,
A priceless moment, money could not buy.

I've sent the photos through your email. Will share those hilarious moment with the others in just a minute.

Errr....Maria, Emma = TuN Teja and you missed to mention Juita.

PerantauSepi1306 said...

Nostalgialah gambar Dr nie.. teringat gak saya kat zaman sekolah dulu.. wekeend je ada tayangan filem free ala hampaq tikar session cam dalam gambar tu.. kalo citer hantu seksa ooo nak tutup telinga kat bilik ;p

Hehehe.. btw jgn raba-raba haaaa.. nanti ada org marah susah ooo ;p

DrSam said...

Saya pun ingat-ingat lupa sebab masa tu pun hingus masih meleleh agaknya. Cerita pun saya tak ingat cerita apa. lagipun bukan faham sangat cerita hitam putih tu. cuma yang ingat ialah suasana dan persekitaran (kejar-kejar, baring atas jerami, makan aiskrim Malaya)

Anonymous said...

for five years, i wathced that 1st ever rubber tree in Kuala..it is indeed a tree that everyone should remember

DrSam said...

Al-Muallim Shah @ Dino,
Really? I assume that you are one of the Old Boys?

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