Being captivated in an open museum type-of-style and spending my entire adulthood in an almost prehistoric place like that, which dated as early as 1920s giving me ample opportunities to stumble upon many ancient relics from the past. While I am not stationed at Jalan Jelatek, but its main experimental station (set up earlier than the one in Jalan Jelatek) which is situated 35 km away near Sg. Buloh, the chance to step onto hidden treasures is of equal likelihood.
From time to time, during my leisure time in between mixing volatile chemicals in the test tubes and peeking into the intimate world of plant cells, I will scour the abandoned storerooms, old cupboards and cabinets scavenging for the past secrets. Depending entirely on luck and my gut feeling, I may find some interesting items that day. Some have been left unnoticed, collecting dust for many years. And some have been write-offed but left in its original place to be disposed away.
The above photo was a good example of such items in my ever growing archive. The brown and cubical shape box is not my lunch box. No…no…no… but actually a tape recorder. The item is still in a considerably good working condition (if I can find the manual and know how to operate it) but time has rendered the item not so fashionable anymore (and not practical either because it is quite heavy to move it around) and becoming an obsolete electronic marvel. The silver colored and smaller item at the bottom of that big box is its not-so-up-to date successor. Notice the size difference. Everything has become smaller these days (except men‘s greed). Some of the artifacts are still not being ‘cataloged’ yet especially the written documents, old manuals etc. (though most has been sent to our National Archive).
So it is quite natural for me to almost puke and empty my stomach in a nearby dustbin when I read not in disbelief, but in sheer disgust by some nickampoo out there (alamak… some could be my distant relatives) with their destructive and inconsiderable behavior. As many might already known, a nickampoo may behave like a monkey, and monkeys never appreciate anything even ‘bunga tahi ayam‘ (as in jangan memberi bunga kepada monyet).
I don’t want to write in lengthy on the subject matter as others (Abang Awang Goneng, Adik Ahmad Ali Karim, Adik Aiman Amani, here and probably many others.) have really done one good job in conveying the important message to the whole world and pleading everybody to help not only the keropok lekor-eating nation but our country as a whole in preserving the remaining heritage from their premature extinction. Insyaallah, I will do my small part (sending appeal letters – already compiling the list of recipients, campaigning, soft-talk to some old-buddy-now-ADUN friends and of course the doa).
It is very easy to build new buildings and big monuments, but almost impossible to create our past. The best is to preserve it!
note : photos of murals are courtesy of En. Salim Hamid (our in-house photographer)