The passing of a golden generation

Recently, I was told a story of the past generation… i mean my grandparent’s. My dad and his siblings knew about it since they were in their early adulthood. Well, my grandparents have long gone… not really… in this 3 years. They never told us.. me, my cousin and my bro about their younger days, how they met and fell in love and the family drama about their marriage etc.

After grandad’s gone, grandma did told some history about the family, events, what was grandad job, my great grandmother, my parent’s wedding, how I came to this world etc. Having lived in an era where the japanese dogs shouted “pangsai” in jubilation, the colonial master exploited our people, the misinformed society branded any bad guys as samseng (“three star” in Cantonese) in connection to the Malayan Communist Party and the May 13 saga . Ok. This is just to name a few instances. Grandparent thought that it was inappropriate to tell us about certain things of the past. People of their generation are very careful in what they gonna say because they have lived in all that time where you might get yourself in trouble if you said the wrong thing at the wrong time at the wrong place… so maybe they’re used to it. You get what I mean. However, they didnt bring everything to their grave. Dad, uncle and aunties knew it. The secret is still in this around.

I’m going nowhere in this post. I was told a secret which I’m not supposed to tell anyone.. even my best buddy. This is family matter anyway. I just wanna vent out my frustration for not being allowed to share it with you readers. Thats the purpose of this post. But I’ll adhere to my grandfather’s wish should he still alive. Afterall, he would have told us if its appropriate for us to know compromising the risk that we might tell everyone. I’m not gonna reveal any of that secret. Hahahahha.

Anyway, this post is dedicated to my grandfather and grandmother. If you both are reading this up there… I just want to tell you all, I’m proud of you all especially grandad…. who lived almost 80% of his life with a prosthetic leg and yet together with grandma, they managed to raise my father and his siblings. He was amputated from the thigh down of his right leg.

I made a point to myself that I won’t give any money to buggers or beggars or just anyone even if they are amputated. Come on…. some of this are bogus people… even if they are really in dire need…. i don’t give a shit. Grandad was also an amputee… and yet he managed to work to make ends meet and raised his 4 children… why can’t these buggers go get a job instead of begging??!!

I would call my grandad a jack-of-all-trade for he was the family plumber, carpenter, teacher (he’s good in mandarin and arts), gadget freak, brick layer cum gardener, mechanic, traditional doctor, and I lost track of what he can do. I’ll try to post some pictures in future to illustrate what he had done.

He helped us the grandchildren in our schoolwork, carpentry projects for the Kemahiran Hidup (Living Skills) lessons. There was also once he made that headlamp for me for my Kemahiran Hidup project. The school provided us with a bulb, bulb holder, wires, some aluminium foils and some manila card. I was only 10 years old and how was I to know how the electrical circuit work. So I ask him how to make that headlamp and I lost my bulb holder. I thought bulb holders were aplenty in the school I can ask for another one. Heck, only one provided and where to buy it? Is it expensive? So he used a pencil eraser in replace for the bulb holder. The next day when we submitted the project to the teacher, I was given a good mark. The teacher was amazed. Well, now we’d say thats kiddy stuff but then I was a kid then.. it meant a lot.

Grandad also did the plumbing work in our house, he made his own gadgets like torch lights for use if case of a car breakdown where you can connect it to the car’s battery. He made his own industrial-strength crutch which I think can be use to kill a buffalo. He repair his own prosthetic leg. You see, the foot of his prosthetic leg were made of wood. Over time, it would wear out hence you need a new foot. He’d get a block of wood somewhere and he’ll work on it for a month to carve a nice foot to be fix to the leg. Also he was a mechanic back then in his younger days… and his last car an old automatic transmission Datsun 120Y (the matchbox-like car) was in better condition than mine. Once my cousin drove it to MMU in Melaka in an hour plus. The accelerator pedal was on the left and the brake pedal on the right. Can you drive it? My crazy cousin did. I don’t even dare.

Then, he used to cure some asthma patient. I remembered he used to make herbal medicine and some people unknown to me will come and drink it. Grandma told me grandad will go and collect the herbs somewhere… I was too small to remember all this… I can’t really recall what herb was that although I’ve seen it. It was black’ish and dried.

He also used to work in a rattan (rotan) furniture shop ran by my grand aunt’s husband. Woohh… very complicated eh. The sofa set that still in good shape today in my uncle’s house was made by my grandad. Its more than 30 years already. Man… if you can afford… go and buy a rattan furniture for your living room… it’ll last you a lifetime.

He made these for his own pocket money and at times some will be for the church charity sale. Proceeds will go to the church funds. All these are made of aluminium cans.

A peacock or swan? I don’t know. This one can also be a candle holder.

Desktop christmas tree.

Each ship can fetch up to 70-90 ringgits.

Haahh… ok… I will not talk so much as you may be bored. Anyway, grandad introduced me todi when I was quite young… and I love todi to this day. No mixing with stout please. Just had some good todi last weekend with Szer and her friends at Teluk Gong.

Grandad, we are proud of you. Same goes to grandma. Rest in peace.



  1. the ‘headlamp’. hahha.. i lost mine battery holder. My dad fixed it for me. Btw, was it at age 10 (standard 4)?? I cant remember clearly..

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