Sunday, 27 April 2008

A gathering like no other

It was a night like any other night...except...last night I got to meet my fellow ex-SSP'ians. Last we met was in 1981...such a long time. It was an unofficial TT (teh tarik) session and it was an impromptu meeting..thus the small group. But it's a start.

Oh ya...what is SSP? It stands for Sekolah Sri Petaling. a primary school located somewhere in Petaling Jaya. An extract I got somewhere (can't remember where)...

Sekolah Sri Petaling was originally known as Sekolah Rendah Universiti, an experimental school administered by the Faculty of Education, Universiti Malaya. The school became operational on the 6th of January, 1969 with 648 pupils and 26 teaching staffs. The main buildings of the school were designed by architect Dato' Baharudin at the cost of RM 300,000. On the 28th of October of the same year, the new school complex was officially opened by the then Ministry of Education, Dato' Abdul Rahman Yaakub. He proposed that the name of the school be changed so as to avoid the misconception that the pupils of this school would be given priority to enrol at the university. As a result, the school changed its name to Sekolah Rendah Kebangsaan Sri Petaling (or Sekolah Sri Petaling (SSP), in short).

We talked and laughed a lot, reminiscing when we were kids running around in school. We were just like a bunch of kids again. After a few rounds of TT, some began to nervously look at their watches. Alas, the reality hits us. We are no longer kids, but grown ups with responsibilities. Most of us are coming full circle...our kids are the same age as when we last remembered each other... in primary school.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Congratulations to Amir & Wanie

Congratulations to Amir & Wanie on the birth of their new baby girl. On 20th april 2008, after more than 7 hours in the labour room, Wanie finally gave birth at 1954hrs. At 3.25kg, she was a very healthy baby indeed.

From what I can see during my visit at the hospital, the baby was always trying to put her hand into her mouth. Maybe mimicking her mother putting in a scuba regulator? A new diver perhaps??? Cute.....

Friday, 18 April 2008

Drowning Case

On 17th April, Thursday, at 1630hrs, I was called by Ops Centre to report duty for a drowning case. The task was for body recovery of a 11 years old boy and the location was at a mining pond in Kampung Malaysia Tambahan, Sungai Besi.

The first team comprising of 15 personnel responded immediately. I went later with the second team which comprises of the scuba team. The search went on until 2230hrs and the ops was to be continued the next day. The next day I couldn't be part of the ops as I flew off to Langkawi. However, the body of Arwah Khairuddin Kassim, age 11, was recovered at 1030hrs.

Semoga dicucuri rahmat atas roh beliau. Al fatihah.

For those of you who can read Malay, here's the link....

Monday, 14 April 2008

A bad day In Gunung Nuang

On Sunday, at 1900hrs, I received a call from Gerakan to report duty. A member of JPAM was struck by lightning on top of Gunung Nuang. I immediately geared up and rushed to Gerakan over in Jalan Semarak.

Upon reaching Gerakan, our heavy rescue vehicle & 4WD had already been deployed. I went to location with the Ops Officer. With sirens blaring and strobe light flashing, we were worried as we do not know the condition of our guy, Mujahid. A direct hit could be fatal. Also on our mind was 27 student from SM Taman Tasek Ampang. The program was organized by MPAJ, and the students were from Kadet Pertahanan Awam, Kadet Bomba, Pengakap etc. Since most of the students were from Kadet Pertahanan Awam, MPAJ had requested that we accompany the group.

A call was made to our friends from the 4WD community. Abg Halim and his PAT team came with 15 4WDs. A big number. We have a long working relationship with them. Some of us, including myself, are also part of that community. Then Abg Aziz & his MARES gang came. Who says the spirit of voluntarism in Malaysia is dead? After all, we from JPAM too were volunteers in our own right.

Anyway...on with the story. It was raining heavily, making the track muddy, slippery, treacherous and dangerous. A forward base was set up at Loloq. It takes many hours of walking to their location from there as there is no track..even for 4WDs. Suddenly a breakthrough. we managed to call them (this area is known to be a blind spot for telecommunication). Mujahid was snapping in and out of consciousness, coughing blood and was having bouts of convulsions.

An airlift was ruled out because it was too dark and the weather was bad. I informed them that once stable, they have to hump him out of there on foot to base camp, and bring him down by 4WD from there. Since we invoke the esprit de corp similar to the army...'we never leave a man behind'.

To cut the story short, we managed to bring everyone down the next morning at 0900. Mujahid was transferred to the waiting ambulance and rushed to Hospital Ampang (see picture). Where was I amidst all this? I was the dude coordinating the rescue, upon instruction from the Ops Officer. I was also the dude rendering medical assistance in the ambulance.

Upon reaching the hospital, I made sure he receives the best medical care. He was young, 21, and he was scared but tried to put on a brave face. I guess who wouldn't be. His pulse rate was not stable...70...90...111..78...125, he was coughing blood with a bloody urine. So I told the ambulance to go back and I stayed until his family came at 1600hrs.

The students were also taken for a check up. Alhamdulillah, everyone ok. What I had seen is a group of people, who actually took leave from work on Monday, to rescue those involved. The PAT group even sacrificed their personal 4WDs and went up. My hat's off to them.

If you can read Malay, here's the link to the news article...

Thursday, 10 April 2008

My CAT found..part 2

I shall continue …..

0430hrs – CAT was stolen right in front of my house in Taman Melewar. My mum was reciting Quran at the time had actually gone to the window and saw CAT being driven off. She thought it was me responding to an emergency call.

0730hrs – CAT spotted by the main road Gombak (from Karak) – Sentul near the new exit to Taman Selasih. The guy who spotted it was another 4WD’er whom evidently is an admirer of fine vehicles (we off road people have this strange fetish of big cars with big tyres). He thought that it belongs to the contractor building the road.

0930hrs – After I had gone downstairs, fully dressed for a day’s work, my mum looked at me and said that my staff had came by to take CAT this morning. I tried calling him but he didn’t answer. So I thought maybe it was an emergency that he came and drove off without telling me (he has a spare key).

1000hrs – My staff arrived. Confirmed, CAT was stolen.

1112hrs – After tedious communication to almost everyone we know, I lodged my police report at IPD Sentul.

2239hrs – A guy by the name Yusri called to ask whether CAT was a stolen vehicle. Informed me the location and promised to wait until someone arrives. Call the Investigating Officer (IO) and informed him. I had actually asked his assistance to send over a MPV as I was away in Cheras. He gave me reasons like ‘susah nak jumpa’ etc and finally asked me to get my friends to go. I called Gerakan and seek their help.

2330hrs – I arrived at location. After assessing the condition of CAT, I called up the IO again. I describe the damages to CAT and also the missing items. I also told him that we found a ‘molested’ motorbike near where CAT was which we suspected was stolen. All he told me was to take CAT home and come to the police station tomorrow to lodge a report.

2345hrs – Due to the damages to the door locks, we decided to tow CAT to Gerakan. It is by far the safest place as it’s always full of people.

When CAT was stolen, with the help of some friends, almost everyone was alerted. Police, Highway Patrol, Border Patrol, tow trucks, taxis …even the Police Air Wing. Information was conveyed thru the use of amateur radio network, SMS, emails, phone calls…and within minutes, almost everyone knew. When CAT was found, most of the people turned up to view the car and share their thoughts, JPA3, tow trucks, people from the press (TV3, Harian Metro)…almost all parties represented except….the police.

CAT was certainly covered in fingerprints of the culprits. Not even a photo was taken. No wonder crime is on the increase if this is the way an act of crime is investigated. I am glad that I had ‘anak gajah’ back, sure I got my car back, but I still lost about RM10,000 worth of rescue equipments.

I am sad the way this case was handled. With all the recent pay rise, increase in manpower and logistics…its surprising if they can still blame it on low morale. Just now I tried asking the Senior Investigating Officer (SIO), an ASP, about their investigation procedure and all I got was a short laugh and a dumb look. He told me no need to take photos, fingerprints, case closed and I can go home.

I am sure the culprits will be back. Do I have to wear a cape and run around wearing my underwear on the outside in order to put crooks behind bars? Hmmm…maybe I will go shopping for red underwear just in case….

My CAT found

I have finally found 'cat' or 'anak gajah'. The call came at 2239hrs from a fellow 4WD member by the name of Yusri. He had heard it over the ham radio where we had broad casted. Ironically, the place was very near my house, about just a few kilometres.

I am tired now. So I shall rest and continue later.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

My CAT got stolen

Today is a very, very sad day for me. This morning at 0430hrs, someone stole my 4WD, nicknamed "anak gajah". It was parked right in front of my house, under the streetlight, at the junction to one of the main roads in this housing estate.

Details of the vehicle:

  • Registration No.: CAT 5588
  • Make / Model : Isuzu Trooper
  • Colour : Silver
  • Tyres : KUMHO MT
  • Last location : Taman Melewar, Gombak

Last I used the car was on Saturday, 5th April 2008, at 1630hrs, returning from public safety diving assignment, looking for arwah Mohd Nor Salam Hussein at Lombong Ampat Tin, Kg Batu Muda. As I was still in my wetsuit, covered head to toe in mud, I had taken the necessary items for washing and had left most of the equipment in there. As I was too tired, i had decided to just leave them in there as always. Read on to find out why this is so....

Today at 0430hrs, my mother heard someone starting the engine and drove off in a hurried manner. She thought that it was me, as this is a norm whenever I am called by Gerakan 999 at any time for emergency cases. When I went down this morning, she was surprised. To cut the story short, a report was lodged at IPD Sentul.

Why I had bought 'anak gajah' in the first place? It all started when the department's 4WD overturned somewhere in Gunung Nuang while we were extracting a drowned victim. It was raining heavily and the trail was slippery. Luckily we had packed the body in a sked stretcher, thus protecting the late victim from any 'further' injuries. At that point of time, we were in dire need of a 'hardcore' 4WD vehicle. After that, I bought 'anak gajah' and had it heavily modified for such assignments. That is why this vehicle is always parked in front of my house, seldom used, and always ever ready with equipments to render assistance in times of need.

What have I lost other than a heavily modified 4WD? The list includes medical trauma bag with
BVM, cervical collar, pocket mask, stethoscope, BP set etc; a set of scuba diving equipment, a set of Civil Defence uniform and an Icom radio mobile communication set amounting to more than 10k. All using my own personal cash.

Another item that to me is irreplaceable is my first BCD, US Diver Alcyone, bought in 1997. The problem is there is no more "US Diver' brand, except for specialized equipment. The brand was replaced by "Aqualung' brand. I had used this BCD for so long (refer file photo on the right). On that day, I had used my new Zeagle Search & Rescue BCD, so I took that out to wash. Guess my old faithful BCD 'merajuk' dengan I kot. I missed her....

The saddest part I don't have the equipment to help others I have to save up again to slowly start purchasing back those items that I have lost. I sure hope that at least, the thieves would have the decency to return back my equipments.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

My search of 25 years has ended

Today is a very happy day for me. I finally found my long lost best friend from my primary school years… Shariman Samad. You see, I don’t have that many close friends growing up. Thus when he went away to Penang with his parents, it was a great loss for me. When I spoke to him on the phone today, he sounds the same way. As we talk, visions of our past flashed before me. I began to remember even the minuet details.

We were close…like brothers back then…and I hope things haven’t changed. Thus, my search of 25 years has ended, and I am grateful that it ended in a happy ending.

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