Author: CHUNG Yoon Ngan
Date: 01-07-12 16:18
My Family in the British Colonial Malaya - 1858 to 1960 (5)
098. Third Elder Brother on his way to study in China - 1953
訓教不嚴師之惰,---Xun4 jiao4 bu4 yan2 shi zhi duo4,
學問不成子之罪.---Xue2 wen4 bu4 cheng2 zi3 zhi zui4.
When the training and teaching is not strict the teacher is lazy,
When the son fails to complete his education it is his own fault.
A Chinese saying
One day, in the end of 1953[*1A], Zeng Zixin (曾子新)[*2B], a young friend
of the Chung family told Father that his Third son who was studying in Chung
Ling High School (鐘靈中學) in Penang, was among a group of students who
were on their way to China to study. The students were leaving by train.
Zeng Zixin knew about it because Third Elder Brother wrote to him for financial
help to support him of going to China. Zeng Zixin was against Third Elder
Brother's idea on the ground that Third Elder Brother should stay in Malaya
and finish his education.
First Uncle, the younger brother of Father, immediately, rushed to the Batu
Gajah Railway Station hoping to meet Third Elder Brother. But the train
had already passed through Batu Gajah. Without any alternative, First Uncle
drove to Kampar with the intention of arriving in Kampar before the train
arrived at Kampar Railway Station. At that time, with the money he had made
from the tin mine in Menglembu, Father bought a new car and the model was
Austin Forty - British made - and the registration was AA2489. On the way,
First Uncle prayed that he could meet Third Elder Brother. He must be driving
It was his lucky day. When First Uncle arrived at the Kampar Railway Station
he saw the train was stopping at the Railway Station awaiting for passengers
to get in. He found Third Elder Brother inside the train. He told Third
Elder Brother to return home to say goodbye to all the members of the family
and also the relatives wanted to give him a farewell dinner party before
leaving for China. Third Elder Brother agreed and followed First Uncle back
That evening before the curfew began, Father invited all his relatives for
the farewell dinner in honour of Third Elder Brother's going to China to
study. That night after the dinner, Father congregated all the members of
the family including members of First Uncle's family. Father told members
of the two families the family history and about his parents, our grandparents,
how they struggled to survive when they first arrived in Malaya. Father
also told us that he did not have the opportunity of going to school as
his parents were so poor. That was reason that he was an illiterate businessman.
He and First Uncle worked very hard to support the two families. He also
reminded us that he and First Uncle were still working hard in order to
have better days for the two families. On hearing Father's story every one
cried and some of them cried to sleep that night.
The next morning, Third Elder Brother decided not to go to China and he
promised that he would follow Father to become a businessman and a tin-miner.
Father asked Ah Liao (亞廖), a Chinese scholar living in Gunong Hijau New
Village, to write a long letter to scold First Elder Brother. Father told
him to leave the members of the family alone and he required his siblings
to help him in his business, particularly in tin mining. Father also told
him that he was disappointed with him for showing bad examples to his younger
The year was 1953
For a long time, Pusing had been under curfew from dusk to dawn, that was
from 7.pm to 6 am the next day. In order to give some entertainment to the
residents, occasionally, the Information Department of Perak would give
a movie show in the Padang (children's playground) next to the market. Usually,
at about 5 pm a van from the Information Department would go round the
town and Gunong Hijau New Village 布先喜州新村 informing people by loud
speaker that the curfew would be lifted for that night until 11. pm and
there would be a movie show in the Padang starting at 7.30pm.
All the residents were happy, particularly the children. Suddenly, the atmosphere
in town was erupted into a happy mood. The residents also knew that it would
not rain that night because the Information Department had consulted the
Weather Bureau before they decided to give Pusing a free cinema show. The
housewives were busying cooking and wanted to have early dinner and made
sure that they would not missed the fun as, for a long time, they had never
been out of their houses before after dark. Children were rushing to have
their bathe and running about in town getting excited for the upcoming show.
It was like a festival.
After the van of the Information Department had adjourned to the Padang,
armoured cars and many soldiers in the army trucks passed through the town
to take up positions in the outskirts of the town to prevent the Hill People
coming down from the jungle to disturb the free entertainment provided by
the Information Department.
Before 7.30pm the Government Officers giving the show erected a big white
clothe screen for the movie. The children were already running about in
the Padang playing chasing. The movies they showed were usually either Tarzen
or the Cowboys and the Red Indians. The residents, young and old, of the
whole town turned up to watch the show. Half way through the show it would
be an intermission for about 20 minutes. One or two Surrendered Enemy Personnel
or the ex-Communists would tell the residents how bad it would be under a
Communist Regime and how they suffered while they were in the jungle and
gave the reasons why they came out to surrender to the government. They
were genuine ex-Communists because they were the former residents of Pusing.
Of course they did not reveal their real names but they knew almost all
the names of their ex-comrades who were still inside the jungle. They called
upon them to come out and gave up fighting for the lost course. They also
called upon the residents to support the government. After that the show
would continue until it was over. The police give the residents an hour
to go home and the curfew would resume at 11 pm. After 11 pm, one could
see the armoured cars and the army trucks taking the soldiers back to Batu
Gajah. It seemed that the residents were quite happy after a few hours night
By the end of 1953, the Korean War had ended and First Elder Brother returned
to the ancestors' village as a War Hero. After resting for sometime the
Chinese Government sent him to study as he had interrupted his study to
go to the Korean War. First Elder Brother must have persuaded Third Elder
Brother to join him to study in China.
[*2B] Zeng Zixin (曾子新)
Zeng Zixin was the fourth younger brother of Zeng Gengyou 曾庚友), the leader
of the Hill People (Communists) in Kinta district. Third Elder Brother and
Zeng Zixin grew up together in Kampong Sayap and they were best of friends.
In 1956, Zeng Zixin went to the jungle trying to persuade his eldest brother
to surrender to the police. Zeng Gengyou was not only refused to listen
to his younger brother but later ordered his fighters to have his own younger
brother killed. That was a very sad case. Zeng Zixin was married and had
a little baby boy and they lived in Siputeh. The residents of Siputeh and
Pusing felt sorry for his wife and their baby boy. They all said that the
leader of the Communists was wicked and cruel. They said, "How could you
kill your own younger brother? Is this the policy of the Communists Party?"
Eventually, Zeng Gengyou and all his comrades were killed by the government
soldiers in a gun fight in the jungle in 1958.
Posted to Overseas Chinese Forum at asiawind.com
By CHUNG Yoon-Ngan (鄭永元)
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