Monday, May 19, 2008

Teacher!His shirt broken.

"Teacher! His shirt broken!"

It was 1969. First quarter of 1969.

A dark skinned,skinny little boy was standing right in front of the classmistress' desk and his right index finger pointing towards another dark skinned but plummed boy.

The dark skinned boy was the assistant class monitor and he thought it was his duty to tell his teacher that a friend's shirt was 'broken'. maybe teacher will able to mend the 'broken' shirt or fixed it or glue it as to 'unbroken' the 'broken' school shirt.

Miss Ng ,the classmistress for Standard 1C was smiling at the dark skinned kid.The assisstant monitor.

Miss Ng: What is it Zulhisham?
Zulhisham: Teacher! Kamarulzaman's shirt is 'broken' at the back. Big 'broken' teacher!
Miss Ng: Its not broken Zulhisham! Its torn.
Zulhisham: But teacher...No thorn,no thorn.Broken teacher!
Miss Ng: Well...let's see the shirt.Kamarul!please come infront of the class.

Kamarul stood up and came forward.All eyes were on him.And on the dark skinned boy who told the teacher about the 'broken' shirt.

Miss Ng: Okay...let me see....Hmmm..Well there is a big gap on Kamarul's shirt.
Okay kids listen here.And remember what I am going to tell you today.
Zulhisham! Boys! Kamarul's shirt is torn.T.O.R.N.
Zulhisham was trying to tell me that kamarul's shirt was torn but he didn't know the correct word for it.I am sure many of you did not know this as well.So Zulhisham uses the word broken.
We use broken if its for cup or chair or something solid. If its for something thin and filmsy and not solid like a shirt here,or a cloth or a sheet of paper or a sheet of plastic,we said torn. Its from the word tear. Don't worry.later in standard 2 or 3 you will be taught about this.

The boys nodded in unision.

Miss Ng: So Zulhisham! Now tell me again.
Zulhisham: Err...teacher! kamarul's shirt is torn.
Miss Ng: Very good.

For the whole of school season in the year of 1969,Zulhisham became the blue-eyed boy to Miss Ng.

About 14 years ago,Zulhisham met Miss Ng at Hospital Taiping. he went there to take some medication for his father. He saw Miss Ng sitting on a bench beside the pathology lab at Hospital Taiping.With her was a teenager.

Zulhisham knew this is his classmistress during Standard 1.King Edward VII-2 Primary School.
"Miss Ng? How are you?"

Miss Ng was suprise that a dark skinned chubby man asked her this question.But she was all smiles. She knew, is someone acknowledge her by her name then it must be one her students.

Miss Ng: I am fine thank you. I am sorry ,but who are you?

Zulhisham: I was your student in Std 1C in 1969.I am Zulhisham.

Miss Ng: Oh my dear...Zulhisham! The boy who said "Teacher ,his shirt broken".
Zulhisham: Yes! Thats me.You remember that?
Miss Ng: Of course I remember. You were always very helpful during those years in KE-2. How are you?What are you doing now?
Zulhisham: So far so good Miss Ng.I'm doing some small bussiness.
Miss Ng: Well thats good. What kind of bussiness?

The dark skinned guy smiled. What will he tell his teacher? Tell he the truth and he is already feeling embarrased about it.Lie to her? She's his teacher.How can he lie to her?

Zulhisham: Errr...actually I am a doctor teacher!

Miss Ng smiled.Her eyes sparkled. There was happiness and proud in her smile. She took his hands into hers and gripped it like she's not gonna let it go.

That brokenshirt kid made her proud of her profession.


Kata Tak Nak said...

Teacher, Mahathir is broken already, very soon Pak Lah will also be broken, then UMNO and last BN will breaked. I inglis correct or not teacher? What? Ask double Muhd?

Anonymous said...

dear tokasid

as i read the first few lines of your story, i immediately thought about a friend who said "sir, i cannot go do p.e. today because my leg is sick." Unfortunately he has ceased to exist. Drugs, the cause.
I like your story very much. How we were before isnt the quite the same as how we are now. But one thing for sure, a humble person always remember his/her humble beginning. Unfortunately, Zulhisham, as well as his Miss Ng, are dying species.

mOEha Aziz said...


how sweet... talented doctor u r... if i were to meet my Cikgu Limah, her eyes shall be gleaming too... with embarassment.. i would turn her profession on such a failure... hehehe

tokasid said...


Teacher:Aiyaa...why the Sarkas always want to broken one? Every 20 years must broken ah??

tokasid said...


Miss Ng was special.She was in her late 30's at that time but single.She was like a mother to us.She'll tell us what we did wrong and why we must repeat it again. I remember few kids pissed and opened bowels in class. She'll take the kid outside to the row or taps near our classroom and help the kid wash themselves.Then she'll take some extra dark blue shorts from the cupboard( she had a few standby) and change it. She'll washed the soiled shirts and hang it to dry for the kids.

When I last saw her, she looked old but her gestures and eyes and smile were still the same Miss Ng that I knew.

I believe there are still many more out there who remembered their teacher like I did.

tokasid said...


As long as we don't bcome the scum of society our teachers will be proud of us.Our vocations are our rezeki. There are many cleverer boys in my schools(primary and secondary)didn't take up medicine or dentistry or engineering or law.But they are okay with their lives and most teachers are happy with the outcome.
But many teachers will shake their head with tsk..tsk..tsk..throuhg their lips if their students become criminals or got involve with white collar crimes.

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

bila baju dah patah, kita salotape atau paku kan ia...hehehehehe...

i think for a teacher to see his/her student making it big, that would be the ultimate accomplishment. a proof that the career path they chose was the korek one. kudos to miss Ng.

Mek Na said...

so sweet...thx for sharing it here bro doc. :)

zackzara said...

I am your silent reader, for as long as I can remember..and I can safely say that, I enjoyed my time in here, as well as in Bergen's site.

We became what we are today because of Teachers. They who taught us that shirt is torn, not broken. It is just that our English are broken.

Nice story, Doc.

tokasid said...


those were the days.The good old days.Most of us spke broken English and some no English at all.
The Malay studemts were made up of 'anak askar' from the surrounding camps and kampongs.And some from the kampongs. A small number are teachers' sons.they speak good English( one of them is Cikgu Najmi,the English tutor for Akademi Fantasia 2007). The Chinese boys were mainly hawkers' sons and their English was like ours.

Kerp,your spenda broken or not?LOL!

tokasid said...

Mek na:

Thank you,for liking it.

cakapaje said...

Salam Doc,

Cikgu darjah 1 tak ingat nama sebab selalu bertumbuk ngan anak saudara dia. Tapi Cikgu darjah 2 ingat - Miss Leila Vijayaratnam - one of the most kind and prettiest teacher that I will always remember. Off course, there is another by the name of Cikgu Hawa :)

tokasid said...


Thank you for visiting.
You space is nice and interesting too, with nice photos.

Yes,some teacher can really make you into a different person.

tokasid said...


Bertumbuk? Bior betul nih...
I think I know which Che'gu Hawa....

mokk said...

Salam Mamat...nice stoly..vely good one..

U didnt stoly u p.o and p.u in the class..he he

tokasid said...


Shhhhh.......jgn kuat2.

drzeze said...

Salam to TA,
nice story..tak tau kenapa tiba tiba mata ini berkaca kaca bila habih membaca this true story...hope lebih ramai cikgu seperti Miss Ng dan anak murid yang mengenang budi seperti Zulhisham...seperti dapat merasakan kegembiraan Miss Ng ...soooo proud of you! said...


Your story remembered me to Cikgu Dollah, amongs my first Cikgu in Long Jaafar, Kamunting. In my earlier posting ( he checked with me on my future occupation. Susprised to him when I said; "saya nak jadi Budak Jual Buku (di kedai buku)" or "saya nak jadi penyuluh nombor tempat duduk dalam panggung wayang", where others said; doctor, lawyer, engineer or at least cikgu dan askar.

But that time no one says; politician or Wakil Rakyat or Artis (AF!)


tokasid said...

Mama Zeze:

Ramai jugak pupil yg ingat che'gu depa.....tapi memang tak dapat nafikan zaman la ni dah tak sama dgn waktu kita dulu.Zaman berubah manusia berubah.

Dulu-dulu guru amat di hormati.Saya ingat lagi dulu kami tunggu bila che'gu sampai sekolah budak2 berebut2 pi nak tolong angkat beg cikgu,buku rengkasan cikgu.Masa nak balik pun lagu tu....

Dulu kalau kita nakal dan cikgu hukum kalau kita mengacom(mengadu pada bukan org utara)kat mak ayah...siaplah.Akan di tambah hukuman.

La ni kalau anak kena hukum mak ayah serang sekolah dan serang cikgu.

tokasid said...


nak jadi tukang suluh panggung? Panggung Lido ka Cathay?

memang ada guru yg secara langsung atau tak langsung mempengaruhi kita sehingga hari ini.