Thursday, June 12, 2008


I put this photo here just like I put a photo into an album for safe keeping, so that I can look at it from time to time. And remember the good old days.

It has remained one of my favourite places in Sibu.

This building contains several important memories.

The first is the Sibu Public Library which was housed in the building on its western wing on the ground floor. I remember one of the librarians, Cik Halala who was very gentle and helpful to all the students who borrowed books. She always had a very charming smile.

The second memory was our student visit to the chambers of the Council where I had my first encounter with official meetings. I cannot remember all that was spoken that afternoon. But I felt that the gentlemen in council meeting were very careful in whatever they said and got things done, like what the books said. So we were not disillusioned.

And finally, I remember with fondness how many of the old ladies would talk very loudly about their expenditure and their daily necessities when they went to pay rates. Their exchanges were very friendly and every body seemed to know every body. There was such a congenial air about. The clerks were very helpful and cheerful. And I thought it was nice then to be around even though I was just paying a small bill. Later in my life in 2000's, I suddenly learned that many employees even need to have a procedure to help them expedite their work. They call this ISO. Many also use the ISO as an excuse not to do extra work or walk the second mile.

I miss the days when statutory bodies and government offices executed their duties with hearts of gold. Many were second mile people.

All the adults knew each other by name, without those fancy name tags. And elderly men did not have to call out , with a bit of annoyance and impatience because he was not recognised and help was very slow, when a young lady would be chewing her gum and laughing with a colleague, "Hey, ah moi there....."

It was, " Ah Fong, lai, tolong gua...." And Ah Fong would smile that "I know you, Haji from the Kampong, LOOK." No offence meant.

It is just a reminiscence of by gone days. Pardon me.

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