Finally, the school managed to organize its first major event of the year – the Farewell ceremony for Headmaster, Encik Sulaiman Bin Ahmad who has been serving the school for 2 years and 2 months; succeeded Encik Zakaria bin Ismail (REFER to https://undomiel84.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/the-finale-the-filmography-honouring-farewell-of-ex-headmaster-encik-zakaria-bin-ismail-pulapol-bukit-sentosa-bewitching-hansel-gretel-the-witch-hunters/).
Encik Sulaiman bin Ahmad, our headmaster from 2013-2015.
The BAKSI committees had been cracking their skulls on how to manage the Farewell Ceremony for our Headmaster, Encik Sulaiman bin Ahmad; if it was going to be the usual farewell, it won’t be such a topsy-turvy affair BUT since he has been serving the Malaysian education industry tantamount to 38 years and with various experiences spanning from the highest to the lowest hierarchy of the Malaysian education management strata; the invitees (so-called VIPs of the event) would be comprising representatives from Jabatan Pendidikan Selangor, Pejabat Pendidikan Hulu Selangor and ensemble of headmasters all over Hulu Selangor!
The dais; by the BAKSI committee 2015. Kudos!
Kak Hajah Norleza (middle), Cikgu Zuraini (right) & I at our emceeing booth. Like usual; the corner of the congested and small hall.
I have to say that I was quite nonchalance about the whole thing because I have been doing the emceeing task for quite a few occasion BUT the real nerve-wrecking point came on Monday, 2 days prior to Wednesday the 18th February when Kak Sarah, our Malay Language Guru Cemerlang a.k.a. Floor Manager of the Farewell Ceremony handed me the list of VIPs names needed to be included in the salutation!!! And that was when it dawned to me that this ain’t going to be the typical occasion – HELLO, it is a BIG event and you didn’t prepare the text yet!! Haha! Thus, without hesitation, I opened my laptop and concocted the text and coordinated the tentative with respective teachers who were in charge with the sequence of the tentative, such as :-
- Kak Junaidah Selamat – for the prize-giving section;
- Kak Rozita Kasmin – the maestro of creative performances; the teachers’ sing-with-acoustic guitar by Cikgu Fauzi Ameen & the ‘flash mob’ pupils’ performance of modified version of “Ayat-Ayat Cinta”.
The entourage of headmasters and VIPs taking picture with Encik Sulaiman, the celebrated person of the hour.
The kids are waving according to the ‘flash mob’ performance. Teacher Azlin & Teacher Rasida (now GPK Kokurikulum of SK Kuala Kubu Bharu!)
Deep down, I was feeling butterflies fluttering in stomach but I psycho-ed myself – “What the heck?; It is just emceeing – it is not VIVA or anything that is lethal for your future endeavors, right?” You know, self-denial can be an effective psychology placebo.
At the Udaimatunnur Banquet Hall in Bukit Beruntung.
And then, it was the attire. We were told that the theme should be coordinated either with red or blue hues. Initially, I thought of just wearing the fiery-flame red BAKSI ‘batik’ but my colleagues said to be on the safe side, it is better not to wear ‘batik’ as the event is not to be held on Thursday AND since there will be entourage of education officers thronging the school, definitely all eyes going to be fixated on us; so better opted for casual wear. I remembered that I only have the red color attire that I bought since my banking year in 2007 (8 years, man!) and I admit that I am not a shopaholic for dress, attires or things like that – and let alone my office attires (I am more of music CDs and books).
Encik Zin and I. Coincidentally, we had the same color! Hahah! Encik Zin is deemed as our school’s Hail Amir. Haha!
Suddenly, it occurred to my mind that as the emcee, I would be highly exposed to the crowd and it would a wasted if I didn’t really put effort to groom myself. It is all about psychology and marketing communication strategies. Personality sells – either you want to deny or defy it. In the end, reluctantly, I went to PARKSON Rawang just to get some red coloured attire. I came across this nice Orlando attire which resembled to pinkish essence. People always said that I look OK in pink although it is potential to create uproar especially among SK Serendah crowd.
Cikgu Rosmainy & Cikgu Fauzi.
I was deliberating about it. But in the end, I decided to dare myself to defy the machismo taboo by coordinated the shirt with a pink Giorgio Armani neck tie – a present by my 5 Brilliant 2012 pupil, Syaza Afrina (sorry dear, only now Sir has the guys to wear it. But I appreciated your gift immensely!). I knew it would be such an uproar in the school BUT I guess that colour will emanate striking presence in the crowd, isn’t it? I have to show my ‘unique’ trait to the outsider audience – of course, my emceeing narration should be the icing of the cake BUT a personal trait should be coupled to entice the minds of these people, right? You know, the higher of the position of people; the more guarded they become to repress their inner rebellious side; and the more fragile they become. It may sound sly – but if you know the game, even the oldest thorn and rose can be allured into a young bud. Just cater to their wildest thoughts……
Ustazah Robiah, Cikgu Norhayati Muhammad, Cikgu Rosnormala, Cikgu Rohaya Mamat, Cikgu kartini, Cikgu Zahrah & Cikgu Rosnani (hidden).
Sure enough, my prediction hit bulls-eye; coincidentally; Cikgu Zuraini (my co-emcee) and I were placed outside the hall just beside the entourage of headmasters and one or two headmasters were teasing us and took pictures of us with some playful words. Zzzzzzz… I know! But Alhamdulillah, on whole; the event was a smooth-flowing albeit a few hiccups but we managed to overcome that.
Cikgu Fridaus & Sir Edwin Roy.
For me, Encik Sulaiman is a headmaster that I admire. Of course, he is not perfect and could sometimes be too adamant with his own decision that he decided to shun out other people’s opinions but what I liked about him is that he was a stoic man with his own principles. He could not be bought by persuasions or sugar-coating. He decided what he wanted. And definitely no compromise in terms of professional affairs. He also believed in the talents of the younger buds. He gave ways to these people to prove themselves albeit criticism lashed at him and gave these young skillful people to grow.
Thanks to Ustazah Fadzidah for this spontaneous-emceeing picture at the Udaimatunnur Banquet Hall at Bukit Beruntung!
I remembered that initially, the date for my Umrah was slated around 20th May; a week before school holidays (due to technical error of referring the obsolete Andalusia brochure dedicated to previous years). So, due to the calculation, I would have to apply 5 days of holidays to be adjoined to the mid-year school holidays for my whole Umrah trip! So, I tried my luck to apply the holidays from him.
Unfortunately, he said he CANNOT approve that holidays as teachers are not allowed to have a direct ‘applied-holidays-to-be-continued-with-the-school-break’. I was panicked as I’ve already paid Andalusia for the date 20th May 2014!! In the end, he told me that I have an option to apply the “Cuti Tanpa Gaji” which unfortunately would affect my pension and retiree gratitude payment later on. I was HORRIFIED!!!!!!!!!!! Arghhhh! I had to confess that I was pretty mad at him for suggesting that! But he also suggested that I revert the case back to Andalusia and asked if I could change the date into the school break itself – if not; I had no choice but to apply “Cuti Tanpa Gaji” as he could not afford to approve my holidays application!
The dais in Udaimatunnur Banquet Hall. I don’t know why Malays like to do dais. Maybe it is a symbol of celebrating one as the ‘king of the day’? (,”) – Courtesy of Ustaz Harris’ picture.
But, Alhamdulillah, Andalusia told me that the slot on 1st of June was still available for two people via Saudi Airlines but I had to pay extra RM2,500 for two for the fluctuation package and airline pricing. I thought that that was God’s-sent and I had nothing to feel except to be grateful. After all the hurdles, I finally would be able to crystallize the dream – and what’s RM2,500 is in comparison to bring your mother as well as yourself to the Holy Land, right? Overall, I spent around RM9,000 for the Umrah as Mak paid half for her fee (RM3,000) as for each us, we were to pay circa RM6,400++ (I chose the two per room pricing). When I thought back, I never thought I had that kind of money but it is what it is – if you wanna do a good thing, ALLAH SWT will show you the way. Subhanallah. And to relate the story with Encik Sulaiman’s stern decision; if he wasn’t that adamant;
- We would be flying in Saudi Airline for 1st of June instead of the Air Asia X on the schedule 25th May ; and to board a plane for a holy journey, it would be advisable to have a comfortable seating and as an Air Asia X loyal user for journeys abroad, I would say, Saudi Arabia’s flight was a smooth one! ;
- We also stopped at Makkah first; on contrary to the scheduled 25th May journey where we supposed to stopped at Madinah first – Mak said it is preferable to stop at Makkah first as we would be using a lot of energy to execute compulsory rituals at Makkah whereas Madinah would be more of ‘Ziyarah’ (visits).
Sissy Selfie pose? Ooops; Unintentional! Haha! The colour created quite an uproar because of the pink hue. And in my Facebook as well (for school community; for outsiders; they are nonchalant about it. Haha!). I always know that pink suits my skin as Mak did buy me a pink Baju Melayu years ago that I initially refuse to wear. But I guess, I am now embracing the pink in me? (,”) I guess as long as you don’t hurt other people and you look good in it; why not, right? Like Angie said, “Be brave, be bold, be free,”
After the protocol-bound ceremony, we then had our own school’s community intimate ceremony at Udaimatunnur Banquet Hall in Bukit Beruntung area. I was once again roped in as the casual emcee; since everyone was so full and including I; the tentative was rather gone haywire. But well, it was casual. Hahaha! Lack of time and scarce of money – but I managed to give our headmaster a book called “Rahsia Islam di China”. I hope he had good reading about it. Well, when it comes to me; it is always books and I.
Cikgu Sulaiman and I. He is a great headmaster although he could be a stoic person but admire his no-nonsense policy and he definitely protects his subordinates from interference of the outsiders (parents). As a teacher who is quite fierce in class (don’t be fooled by my pinkish stature! Haha!); I experienced that when few parents came to him for not being satisfied with my stern approaches towards students; his approach to tackle the complaints was different from his predecessor and I like that. (Note : the pink attire was such a chaotic stir! Haha!)
On whole, I pray that Headmaster Sulaiman has great retiree years ahead. Amin! Wonder who is our next headmaster? Drum roll!