Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A meaningful March 9

Abah and Mak, who pulled no punches when they interviewed me for the job of son in law in 2000

Salam Maulidur Rasul. Based on Michael H Hart's THE 100 - A RANKING OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS IN HISTORY first published in 1989, Prophet Muhammad's (Peace be Upon Him) unparalled combination of secular and religious influence make him the most influential figure in human history. So happened March 9, 2009 was the day my father in law, Cikgu Abdul Jalil, turned 63.

I first came face to face with my would be Abah on June 3, 2000. My trip to the Malaysia Games or Sukma in Penang courtesy of the Malay Mail was pre-ordained. It co-incided with my plan to pay my would be in-laws a visit. It was meant for me to kill two birds with one stone. The Sunway Hotel in mainland Penang was only half-an-hour away from Kulim. I planned it as such that I would go to Intan's place on a Saturday, when Malay Mail closed shop early (those days lah). My room mate then was photographer Roslin Mat Tahir, who gave me tips on how to smooth talk my way into their hearts!

Renting a taxi was not exactly a great way to impress your would-be in-laws. But since I left the car at home, the only option was to ask the hotel to provide me a taxi. The driver was Rocky who claimed to be a singer moonlighting as a driver. When I alighted from the taxi, I knew instantly the man on the swings was Abah. Reading his newspaper, he welcomed me with an awkward smile. Intan was at the door grinning ear to ear (oh yes I can recall vividly).

Intan had forewarned me of a few things and that Abah was a tough customer but she knew I would pass the test with flying colours because: 1. I did not smoke, 2. My interests were not restricted to sports and 3. I could talk, talk and talk!

Later on I discovered my late Ayah and Abah had a few things in common and they would have made a great pair. Exactly two years after that fateful day of which I underwent the two-hour interview in Kulim, Intan and I were blessed with our first-born, Muhammad 'Akif. That same day Brazil beat Turkey 2-1 in their opening match of the 2002 World Cup. My friends advised me to name the kid after Ilhan Mansiz or Hassan Sas or even Zinedine Zidane but I chose to be rational.

To Abah, happy birthday and our humble apologies for not being able to celebrate it with you.


Anonymous said...

Salam Rizal,

Amat menarik bila tuan menggambarkan pertemuan pertama ibarat "temuduga untuk jawatan menantu."

Arwah mentua saya pun orang Penang dan coretan tuan mengingatkan pengalaman saya. Baru hari ini saya sedar yang saya telah ditemuduga mereka dan tidak kurang juga dengan soalan-soalan cepumas mereka.

Agaknya begitu cara mereka. Apa pun saya amat bernasib baik. Sungguh pun "loklak" terlanggar balang air sehingga tumpah di meja mereka masih menerima saya sebagai menantu.

Itulah mentua saya orang Penang ... tegas, telus dan baik hati. (tak lupa juga kaki melawak).

Mambang Merah

teachuhman said...

That reminds me of the time when Mr Big mouth over here spoke to his late father-in-law, to make his intentions clear about Alahyarham Hj Osman's youngest daughter.
After the 'mukadimah' and 'confidently' orchestrated speech, all I got was "suruh orang tua datang"
What 'orang tua"? Why must some old people come? Little did I realize that what he meant was "my parents".
That's Malay culture for you.Fine and subtle.
I think there are many other values that young folks seem to have discarded or are totally ignorant of.
Well as a non-Malay, I learned by trial and error, stepping on a toe or two here and there and getting confused about what all the fuss was about .
Anyway, am wiser now (I think) and now I fume when people overstep their boundaries of simple manners and courtesy.
If only people of all walks of life observe these simple practices, I believe life will be much easier and communication smoother.Decisions too might be readily accepted.As always somethings are best left to the elders, the grown ups,the ladies, and the experts. You want to say something, use the channels or convey your message through the right people.

rizal hashim said...


true but when I first paid a visit to my in-laws, I had to do it all alone to signify my intention as my parents had passed on. Later on when I was given the greenlight, the baton was passed to those who knew better. Hahahahah. Thanks

rizal hashim said...

Mambang merah, keluarga mertua saya Kedah, di Kulim. Pulau Pinang dulu pun sebahagian daripada Kedah. Hehehe. Terlanggar balang air? Saya tak loklak, macho masa tu hehehehe

teachuhman said...

Yalah yalah you satu orang saja terer la.
Memanglah we went alone first, even if we hadn't said anything of course the old folks knew what the 'kumbang' hanging around the place wanted.
Oh yes the "orang tua" would also mean 'elders'
And even if the relationship was glaring like floodlights in the stadium, we still had to 'merisik"

mambang merah, jom bantai orang ni

Anonymous said...


As son of the father-in-law of Rizal,every moment with him is an interviewing session.We as Kedahan with Penang influence,we have tendency to start the ice-breaking session with a twist of tough character.

I remember him as a person that always treat me as a friend rather than a son.But for me to gain trust to be a friend to him,he test me with lifelong experience of tough education.

Maybe for some,he looks very fierce man(which most of my friends think so).You need to be in the same wavelength to get the best out of him.He reads more than I could imagine even though he never get a degree.

Selamat Harijadi Abah dari Anakmu Azam & Risya.Kami sentiasa mendoakan kesjahteraan mu Abah.


KEPADA makcik dan pakcik di Kulim tu, tentu rasa bangga bermenantukan Rizal ni.

Dia antara manusia paling amanah pernah saya jumpa. Selalunya pak dan mak mentua terpaksa bersusah payah nak jagi hati menantu.

Tapi saya percaya Rizal dia lebih sibuk nak jaga hati mentuanya. Mungkin dia tak kaya wang ringgit, tapi dia jutawan budi bahasa.

Sesekali makan budi pun kenyang gak, pakcik dan makcii oii

Mujoq dapat orang Batu Pahat, kalu bermenantukan orang Batu Kikir Rombao, jahanam semua.

Kepada Siti, tahniah kerana dapat suami yang sangat memahami anda.

mams said...

Seronok baca komen-komen anda semua.