Septuagenarian reminisces memories of Tunku

 |Aug 30, 2016
Annamary urged youths today to ponder over leaders, who fought for the nation’s independence, and instill Merdeka spirit in their hearts ... pix by Priya Pubalan
Annamary urged youths today to ponder over leaders, who fought for the nation’s independence, and instill Merdeka spirit in their hearts … pix by Priya Pubalan

Every year on National Day or commonly known as Merdeka, a septuagenarian will reminisce her memories visiting the first Malaysian Prime Minister’s house.

For A. Annamary, born on Aug 31 before Malaya independence, had allowed her to collect precious memories with Tunku Abdul Rahman back in the 1950s and 1960s.

Hailing from mainland, the 78-year old recalled how she used to travel to Tunku’s residence in Ayer Rajah Road (now Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman) via public transport with her village mates.

“On Merdeka day, my friends and I use to take the bus which cost us about 10sen and ferry which will cost us 25 sen to cross over to the island just to get to Tunku’s house.

“I could still remember him on his wheelchair surrounded by his grandchildren greeting his visitors,” she told Malaysia Outlook recently.

Annamary in fact recollected some memories of her receiving a pencil from Tunku which she had safeguarded in her cupboard as a precious gift.

She describes Tunku as a very warm welcoming and friendly person.

“Tunku and his wife use to serve us kueh (delicacies) and drinks at their house.

“They were an ideal couple and very people orientated.

“Every year on Merdeka, I will remember Tunku and his wife because they always treated me special since I was born on Aug 31,”she said.

Annamary said the National Day parade in the 1950s held at the Merdeka Stadium use to be so “thrilling and fascinating”.

“We would plan ahead and gather just to watch the parade.

“That will be our main agenda on Aug 31 back then,” she said.

The grandmother of 13 said youngsters nowadays should instill patriotism and love for their country in their hearts.

“Kids nowadays are so obssesed with their tabs and Ipads.

“Try watching the parade in real instead on the television…I tell you, the feeling is just wow.

“Now that I am too old and frail I could not watch it in real but if I am able to, I would not miss it,” she reminded youngsters to watch the Merdeka parade this year.

She urged the generation Y to think about how hard Tunku has fought for Malaysia’s independence.

“I hope children nowadays realise that it was not easy for Tunku to fight for our independence.

“I urge all of them to appreciate what he has done for our nation’s freedom,” she said.

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Priya Pubalan has been a journalist for the past three years and counting. She believes in human equality, law and justice. She thinks capitalism should be abolished and mankind should give importance to education.