Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Terror of The Bukit

The year was 1970 and BM High School was going to the dogs. Discipline was at its lowest and the education authorities decided to do something about it. One day during the assembly we were introduced to a new Headmaster. He was called Malayapillai. We heard that he was a senior officer specially sent to get BMHS back to its former glory.

He was a 6 footer. We have never seen him smile. His nose was large with deep pimple marks on them. He looked more like a boxer then a headmaster. Despite his unfriendly look nobody gives a damn until the next day. During the second day of his posting to the school 16 boys had their hair cut real short. Before that we have never seen such action taken.

Now let me tell you how he instilled discipline. No student is to be caught walking outside the class during lessons, not even going to the toilet. If caught outside despite protestations that they were asked by a teacher to get something from the staff room or from another teacher, the student would be given 1 cut in the office. After that the students refused to run errants for their teachers.

I remember he once entered my class and woke a student up. When asked, the smart ass answered that he studied until late the night before. Since he couldn't fault the boy for the answer, his only response was " Your hair is long, go to my office". You can be sure he will be coming back with a sore arse.

My brother who had the misfortune of having him teach them English related how he demanded that his students memorize reading passages. They were to recite the passages or else suffer the consequences. The passages were at least 2 page long.

In the evening when we had football or rugby competitions, supporters must be in full school uniform or else suffer. I remember once he confiscated about 50 pairs of slippers. During one rugby game where we played another school (I can't remember which school) our star player, who was indispensable to the team reacted to a very vicious tackle. He was given the yellow card by the referee but that was not the end. The next day he was handed a six month suspension from representing the school in any sport by none other than the ogre himself.

One funny memory was when two boys from the primary school (Stowell School) down the hill took a short cut through our grounds. He caught them and they could be seen kneeling down as if praying to him. They almost shit in their pants.

Yours truly had 2 encounters with him. First when it was early in 1971. I was in form 3. I was assigned as the look out while the rest were having a fun time while no teacher was in class. I could remember clearly popping my head out of the class turning my head to the back and front and giving the OK signal when all of a sudden I felt a sting on the back of my head. When I turned back there he was. It was like all the blood had deserted my face. I am sure if you were to cut my cheek there would be no blood trickling. I was lucky that he decided that the whack was enough.

My second encounter was after our LCE the same year. I took my brother's guitar to school and we were having fun. There was no teacher in class. My monitor, Khor Hang Song, was playing at that time when he suddenly appeared out of thin air. He looked sternly and asked the monitor to take the guitar to his office. I didn't know what to do. I had heard that it would be next to impossible to get the guitar back. I had to get it because my brother would kill me. Anyway I borrowed the guitar without his permission. I knocked on the office door and he asked me to enter. After wishing him good morning, I almost begged him to give the guitar back. He just said, "I am not prepared to give you your guitar back". I was silent. Then he said, " You were not the one playing right?" I only dared to nod. He asked me to get out. While in the hall listening to some announcements, a prefect came looking for me. he said the headmaster wanted to see me. I said I was a gonner. I made my way to his room and he didn't say much, he pointed to the guitar and said "Take it". I am sure he could see how relieved I was. Before leaving the room I asked him if I could bring the guitar to school the next day. He said no, and I had no intention to ask why.

The only time he showed the other side of him was when we had a concert for two nights. The concert was a success. The play was well received and the variety show was first class. On Monday he announced that he was giving all of us a half day. I am sure even the teachers didn't believe what they heard.

Before the 1st term of 1972 ended, he was transferred. I guess it was job done. I next met him when I was in college in Ipoh. He visited our college in his capacity as the Deputy Director of Education.
He is one headmaster I could never ever forget. He came, did his job and did not overstay.


bergen said...

I never liked school. I never like teachers and they never liked me. But it's all water under the bridge now. That's why I am not a smart guy with a degree making good money running a multi million dollar company like Transmile.

Nak Tak Nak said...

Hold your horses there. I don't know much about transmile and teachers and milions of ringgit. Care to enlighten me or at least tell me where do I go to be enlightened. As to you not liking teachers, tell you a secret, I didn't like them either until I became one so there is at least one teacher that I like now. I can't think of one teacher who liked me too.

tokasid said...

Salam che'gu:

La ni ada lagi ka guru besar yg macam Malayapillai ni? Yg bila sebut nama saja students boleh tiba2 senyap?

Monster Mom said...

I can still remember my add maths teacher who was an ex-policeman. I always failed his tests and exams and he made me stay for 15mins doing revision everyday in class. To my surprise I got C5 for my SPM...hihihi..
I love my school days.. but I hate exams....

Nak Tak Nak said...

Aku tak tau la samada ada lagi ka tak tapi aku belum jumpa lagi. Lani semua jenih nak elak problem punya. Jenih sweep under the carpet punya sbb takut tak buleh naik jadi Pengetua/Guru Besar Cemerlang, PPD, lepaih tu Ketua Sektor dan mungkin Pengarah. Depa jaga nama. Kalau ada problem di sek ckg yang dipersalahkan untuk please the parents. Yang kami marah ialah headmaster yang blame ckg walaupun ckg tu tak bersalah.
Apa akan menyebabkan satu2 organisasi lemah kalau bukan 'weak leadership'.

You should be thankful to the teacher then. I pun paling benci exams both as a student and as a teacher. In fact as a teacher exams are more stressfull

tokasid said...

Salam che'gu:

Rasanya 'ketua' yg takut step on people's toe( Pengarah or PPD)ni ramai di Malaysia. Boleh juai 5 sekupang kot.Jenih yang bila ada problem orang bawahan yg buat salah. Bila ada pujian dia yg dapat nama(walau orang bawahan yg buat kerja atau jasa). Ni semua jenih jaga periok nasi masing-masing.Memang sesuai dgn zaman la ni.

For disiplin atau GPK atau Pengetua yg macam Malayapillai patut di hargai. Memang masa di sekolah ramai budak( and teachers too) akan bengang atau benci kat dia. Merely mentioning their name will make pupils want to shit in the pants. tapi guru macam ni lah yg akan kita kenang sampai bila-bila bcoz they do make us change indirectly. And I am grateful to have such teachers in primary and secondary school dulu.

Nak Tak Nak said...

That is why saya masih ingat kat Malayapillai sampai lani.
I remembered one teacher saying to our class that if more than 5 students get A in the LCE he would treat all the passers. 25 of us got A and he chickened out. Without Malayapillai's strict handling of the school I don't think we could get that many.

zabs said...

Salam Che'gu,
Masa dulu-dulu, memang ada setiap setiap sekolah sorang yang macam Malayapillai tu. Biasanya Guru disiplin, dan dapat mendisiplinkan semua murid2. Tapi sekarang yang duduk asrama pun, hancus, takdak disiplin. Hisap rokok, regging (sambil mati pun ada), dan macam-macam vice lagi.

buayaputih said...


Reminds me of the good ol days in primary school, sebab masa tu cikgu2 yang zaman2 lepas perang ada lagi..


tak pastila skang ada lagi tak cikgu besar macam tu. Tapi saya kenal sikit2 pengetua MCKK la ni, boleh tahan jugak. Seblum tu dia pengetua SDAR. Tataula kalau Chegu naktaknak kenai ke dak..

monsterball said...

My first headmaster was an American in a missionary school. When he left...the chinese took over.
The headmaster was biased and horrible!!
When his son won the championship in badminton...he had a huge silver cup. Next year I won. My cup was the smallest of all a slim tea cup.
One day I was so happy to receive a letter...asking the company I worked for to demonstrate audio visual aids to the school. All teachers sat down.....then come monsterball...teaching all my teachers how to teach.......hahahahahaha
Headmaster was so proud...but I was not amused.
Then my father became a bank manager....and he is famous for playing shars. Infect....most chinese teachers there play shares. One asked me to but the ST paper for 15sen..and sell the share page to him for 5 sen....hahahahaha
Then I saw my ex HM in my house chatting with my father and he said..' me Uncle lah"
I replied...'you come carry my father's balls and want to be my uncle?" My father was furious ....but was giggling inside
He left...father said I was very rude..but beloved mom always say I am right....and Dad is afraid of Mom.
Dad matter what...they will not feel they need to get loans from him.
That's the hypocritical world for you. Money rules the world!!

Nak Tak Nak said...

Zabs,BuayaPuteh and Monty,
Whe I read the comments given I got to thinking what would the younger generation say? Could any of them be thinking whats the big deal with strict disciplinarian? All I could say is that moral decadence is more rampant now compared to before. Couldn't it be partly due to the education system then and of course the attitude of parents then?

monsterball said...

Yes kata tak nak..PLUS in oldern days...teachers and head-masters were not controlled to do as they like with the students.And thee is no such thing as a political teacher or HM...but perhaps on religion....yes.
Then comes these few bad teachers or HM misusing their powers with the students...especially on molesting female students....came the control....rightly controlled by the government.
Then TDM for 22 years have shown examples to youngsters how to be cunning and no to talk big with no to twist and they all parents during TDM time are perhaps least interested in moral or up-bringing....since they will talk back like TDM.
This is my personal observations.
Above all...TV shows of western cultures greatly influence the weak minds of today's younger generations....because religions have turn to short cut ways to get fish and be rich...not sermons to awaken the lost more lost the better....just as I tell you.....doctrines....quoting the holy books...according to their interpretations.
To sum up....people are less sincere under TDM FOR 22 YEARS.

monsterball said...

To manage a country..especially a PM....he must be 100% love the people with no things done or said to fool the divide to rule.
People are getting together again....but the damaged is done for 22c years.
Mahathir is the worst Prime minister we had......period!!

Nak Tak Nak said...

I agree with you on the influence of TDM. Physical development must go hand in hand with spiritual development but under him he left spiritual development behind. When this happens, human being become animals.

monsterball said...

Well said.....very well said...kata tak nak...yet he still do not repent.

Raden Galoh said...

Dulu masa sekolah rendah saya purposely baik dgn cikgu disiplin...setiap cuti ajak dtg rumah, mak masak lagi tu...jemput cikgu yg saya suka je...tu yg payah tu, tambah saya pengawas...rapat 'baikkk' punya dgn cikgu. nak apa sure dapat...tapi bkn psl markah periksa lah, bro...if teruk, kena gak, lagi payah sebab sebelum bagitau saya cikgu terus jumpa bapak saya...balik rumah sure kena...

Nak Tak Nak said...

Masa saya jadi guru disiplin tak dak pun student saya nak ajak p rumah depa. Mungkin sbb saya cenge kot? Speaking as a teacher I think we need strict teachers in school. I am very strict in class but I also do sit with my students and joke with them. Tengok jenih student dan masa jugak. Through small talk dengan student banyak info yang kita buleh dpt.

Rodrigo said...

Oi, achei teu blog pelo google tá bem interessante gostei desse post. Quando der dá uma passada pelo meu blog, é sobre camisetas personalizadas, mostra passo a passo como criar uma camiseta personalizada bem maneira. Até mais.

monsterball said...

kata tak you understand what rodrigo is saying?

Nak Tak Nak said...

I don't understand a word. I went to his website and found it equally confusing.

monsterball said...

Maybe the write can come back and put out an English translation to his Potuguese message?

Nak Tak Nak said...

I think he is just spamming la.

acciaccatura said...

hmmm....rasanya rodrigo tu kata, dia jumpa your interesting blog masa tengah google. blog dia pasal personalised t-shirt. boleh create one di situ. dan ada banyak corak lagi.


monsterball said...

No lah..he is testing your skill and learning more about you.
Now he do not read spanish......and if he is truly spamming...why my got an enemy...hahahahahaha

monsterball said...

There you got a translator.
Seems a blogger saying all good about you.
So glad no one is spamming at your blog.
Look at your kind and loving. It's a sin to hate you.....HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Nak Tak Nak said...

I guess then I owe that fellow an apology la.

monsterball said...

No lah...I guess he is laughing too.
This shows your blog is getting cute commentators that is good for you and the country.
Quality have it!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Che'Gu,

I was actually hopping from blog to blog when suddenly this "Terror of The Bukit" caught my eyes.
Then lights start flashing.
I was there but by the time I got to form 4 he has already left.
Guess you are my senior.
Anyway that place brings me alot of
wonderful memories.


Nak Tak Nak said...

I was in form 5 in 1973. Hope you could furnish more infos.

Anonymous said...

Che' Gu,
I took my MCE in '74 and off to Singapore in '75. I was in 5Sc2. Two of the well-known friends that I had the privilege of studying with were the late En. Farid Jamalludin(journalist) and Dato' Abd. Jalil, the current ADUN for Penanti.
By the way Che' Gu are you still teaching?? And at which school??

Nak Tak Nak said...

Farid (late) and Jalil were both my classmates in 73. Infact Farid was my best friend. He used to sleep over in my house until he went to ITM. Jalil was the bassist in our band. Recently I met him at my nephew's wedding. Yes I still teach but on the island.

Journeyman said...

Farid (late) and Jalil were both my classmates in 71.Malayapillai was one of the tiny reason for me to cabut from BMHS after LCE. The Industrial Art teacher, is he not a terror as well?? Those were the days of "sometime got little sometime plenty" as quoted by Mr.OBH in one of the assembly.

Anonymous said...

Che' Gu,
You're referring me as "ANON". Who is "ANON" anyway? And journeyman, regarding the IA teacher, I couldn't have agreed more with you. They were a pair and we called them "BADMAN & Robin". BADMAN (Mr. Ang) was the big, burly guy whose passion was to whacked us at the slightest chance. I really hate that bastard. By the way it's good to see a couple of BMHS boys on the blogs.


Nak Tak Nak said...

I reffered to you as Anon which is short for anonymous. Sorry, I'll call you Kimasapi.
Which 70s BMHS boy can forget Badman and Robin. I was lucky in that I was never in his bad books.


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