Posted by: Gurindam Jiwa | Sunday, October 21, 2007

SKPD Alumni

On this 9th day of Syawal 1428H, my second stop was at the house of a very old friend, Rahim anak lebai Yunus, in Kg. Datuk Keramat. We were classmates from 1971 until 1975 at Sekolah Kebangsaan Polis Depot (SKPD), Jalan Gurney (now Jalan Semarak), Kuala Lumpur.

I managed to keep in touch with only two people from those days; the other being ’Adzimah, currently the Manager of MATRADE’s Malaysia Export Exhibition Centre (MEEC) at MATRADE Tower Jalan Duta, KL.

In Rahim’s possession were some photographs of the old days. I’m publishing a few here hoping anyone of the old classmates or any relevant party may find their way to this page, and contact me, just for old time sake. All of my old photo albums had been destroyed by KL’s famous flash floods years ago.

2A 1971 SKPD

This is my Class Photo of Standard Two, back in 1971. The Class Teacher was Cikgu Shukor. I couldn’t remember his full name, but he was probably the most colorful teacher of the school back then. I remember he was pretty good at soccer.

One day he wanted to test us on our “congak” (mental arithmetic) skill. He asked all of us to stand up. He walked by each of us while holding a wooden slide rule. As he passed by each student, he would pop a lightning quick question such as, “Tiga kali empat! (three multipled by four!)” That student was supposed to quickly answer, “Dua belas! (twelve!)” Anyone who gave the wrong answer, slow to answer, or no answer at all would be given a light tap on the head with the ruler.

Everything seemed fine and dandy until ’Adzimah, one of the best students, started crying. She took exception to the method. “Saya PANTANG orang pukul kepala, Cikgu! Emak Ayah saya, keluarga saya semua pantang pukul kepala. (I take critical offense to be hit on the head! My Mom, Dad, and my whole family take offense if hit on the head.)” But Cikgu Shukor couldn’t care less.

Rahim by Chekgu Dennis

This photo of Rahim (probably in 1975) was quite special because it was taken by a teacher whom we only referred to as Cikgu Dennis. I never knew his full name. Back then we didn’t even know the concept of surname.

Cikgu Dennis was teaching at our school for only a brief period, presumably on a special international assignment. He spoke Malay quite well. I didn’t even know where he was from. I could only now guess that he was from England. I remember that he would take a lot of photos of us (including of Rahim, above) just before he left the school for his home. He was a wonderful teacher. Obviously he loved children. And all of us were very fond of him.

I wonder if he was still alive. Wherever he was now.

Inang SKPD 74 75

One of the extra-curricular activities SKPD was known for back then was its two traditional dance groups. One was for Tarian Inang, the other was Tarian Joget. The teacher responsible for the dancing fame was Cikgu Fatimah. Rahim was one of those exemplary and beloved students at the school who got to be part of both dance groups.

The photo above was taken by a professional photographer during one of the Inang group’s performances outside the school, somewhere in KL. Rahim is the guy second from left, and his partner is A’dzimah, another one of those exemplary and beloved ones.

The Inang group won several dance competitions, and the photo above appeared on a magazine cover, acknowledging the success.

Even then and now, everybody agreed that it was mostly the work of Cikgu Fatimah alone. We never had a dance group before. She started the whole thing. From scratch. From the idea, the initial recruitment of potential dancers, the training, the choreography, the costume design, to the competitions, the logistics, the itinerary, the liaisons, you name it, she did it. She would devote all of her free time to the dance activity. After school, at night during performances, and even on weekends.

Until this day, I found it hard to find another teacher as devoted, dedicated, hard working, and talented as Cikgu Fatimah. She didn’t do it for the money. There was no money in those days. In fact we knew that she even had to use her own money in order for the program to succeed.

Some teachers today would be more concerned on earning extra income while teaching in class by selling stuffs like colostrum, cookies, and batik sarong. Outside of class tuition was the norm nowadays. Some would even take leave without pay for the whole Ramadhan just to make extra money.

But not for Cikgu Fatimah. I don’t think she ever received the recognition that she really deserved.

So much for nostalgia and my tribute to the good old SKPD.



  1. Lan, CONGRATULATIONS and well done! Tersentuh hati membacanya dan teringat segala kenangan lalu. Cuma ada pembetulan sikit. Rahim’s partner in the above picture is not me. I still remember her name though as we have the same name with different spelling. She is Norazimah, 2 years our seniour. On the extreme left is her sister — Noraisyah, a year older than us. Yang sedihnya bila tengok gambar Cikgu Shukor. Dari apa yang I dengar Cikgu Shukor dah lama meninggal dunia mungkin in the 70’s lagi. Begitu juga bila tengok gambar Rahim ternampak pulak gambar Zamani di tepinya. Zamani pun dengarnya dah meninggal dunia. Sedih lah Lan…..

    Imah, thank you for the comment, and the correction. May be we should get together with our families one of these days … while we are still alive. It’s no fun to gather during the talqin.

    • التعزية
      Message of Condolence

      Zamani, 50, passed away in his sleep early morning on Thursday, 31 January 2013, after suffering from a fourth stage lung cancer, among others, at his sister’s home in Kg. Padang Balang (behind Masjid Taman Mulia), Sentul/Gombak. He was buried at the Taman Ibukota Muslim Cemetery the same afternoon.

      Zamani bin Hj Md Yusof (lahir 1 January 1963) telah kembali ke Rahmatullah di dalam tidurnya awal pagi Khamis, 19 Robi‘ulawwal 1434H, di rumah kakaknya, Hjh Zaharah (suaminya Hj Mohd Kassim), di Kg. Padang Balang (belakang Masjid Taman Mulia), Sentul/Gombak. Jenazah beliau telah disemadikan di Tanah Perkuburan Islam Taman Ibukota pada petangnya.

      انّا لله و انّا إلیه راجعون
      Sesungguhnya dari Allah kita datang, dan kepadaNya jua kita akan kembali.
      Indeed from Allah we all came, and unto Him we all shall return.

      أعظم الله أجرك وأحسن عزاءك وغفر لِميتك
      Didoakan semoga Allah s.w.t. melimpahi rahmat ke atas roh allahyarham, dan mudah-mudahan ditempatkan bersama-sama roh para solihin, insyaaAllah. Dan semoga Allah memberikan pahala yang berlipat-ganda kepada keluarga allahyarham kerana bersabar dengan ketentuan Allah s.w.t. ini dengan sebaik-baiknya, serta diampunkan dosa arwah.

      May Allah bless his soul. And forgive his sins. And place him among the pious. And reward his family for their patience in facing this difficult time.


  2. Hello Sir, im glad to have senior who really remember each moment happen during studying in our great primary school…Wah, all picture keeped by u so precious then make me feel that skpd given a lot of sweet history.. From this school we gain knowledge that so useful to us and now all of us have doing the best life out there… and Make me smile while watching word “congak” b’coz all math teacher in SKPD implement the same application to all of the student until now… Glad to share ur happiness and memories… Miss SKPD a lot!!

    Well Mawaddah, whoever you are. Thank you for coming and commenting. I wish more alumni would do the same. Perhaps some of us could even have some sort of a reunion. It will be good, especially for us from different generations.

    As for the “congak” (mental arithmetic) method, I doubt teachers today still hit students on the head. 37 years is a long time, and a lot of things have changed. Teachers in public school today wouldn’t dare to even hold the cane (except for the appointed Teacher in Charge of Discipline), because they feared getting arrested for it. Which I don’t think they deserve.

    But I’m from the old school. 😀

    BTW, did you know that Datuk Yusof Haslam is also an alumnus of SKPD? That was what I was told when I was there. The school was very proud of him then. I wonder if the school now has any idea about that.

  3. Salam,
    I’m a former SKPD from 1969-1972 (Standrd 3-6). I’m very much indebted to the school as it provide me the opportunity and made me of what I am now. I try to locate my favorite teacher Cigku Zaleha Othman, if any of u know her wherebout please contact me 0194772260

    Wa’alaikumussalaam Tuan,

    Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I will give it a try. I think she was from the Setapak Garden area. But that area is waaaay too big now to simply go and search. One of her children, Sulaiman, I think, also went to SKPD.

    I actually saw a few xSKPD on Election Day 1998 when I took my Parents to vote at our friendly neighbor, SKPT. 🙂

  4. Salam, kawan 2 , selamat bertemu kembali selepas 35 th kita tak bertemu , sedeh rasanya bila terdengar ada kawan dan cikgu yg dah meninggal , saya nak ada sapa tau apa khabar Cik gu Mustafa , saya ada jumpa Cikgu Nordin 5 thn lepas , bekas guru besar kita Pn An dah meninggal actualy dia my neighbour a few years past , i’ working with Sme Bank Hq , early next year i ‘ be retire by taking mss , and going to start my trading business, i got 1 wife , 2 boys and 2 girls , mazlan please sat a date to reunion our primary school gathering if you done mine , we hope you to lead our batch because of your insiative and commitment to search our batch , last word hoping we all can see faca to face after 35 years , tq see you all

    Wa’alaikumussalaam Rodi, thank you for commenting. We have a link to Cikgu Mustafa, but too busy to follow up. Same with Cikgu Nordin. ;o) But I’m working on it. Reunion? Aiyya, ‘Adzimah dah dua tahun ajak gi makan kat rumah dia, tak pergi pergi lagi… But I’ll keep that in mind.

  5. salam tuan mazlan.. saya anak saudara Harun bin Sidin yang bersekolah di Sekolah Kebangsaan Polis Depoh pada tahun 1971-1976.. Pak cik Saya mencari kenalan yang masih tak dapat dihubungi iaitu Norrzan bin Abu Yamin.. Norrzan bin Abu Yamin ni ade abang sebaya Tuan Mazlan namanya Fadilah bin Abu Yamin. Jika tuan ade no contact beliau mohon sangat agar dapat hubungi saya di talian 014-3333092..

    • وعليكم السلام ورحمة الله وبركاته

      Nama Fadillah dan Norizan tu memang biasa dengar. Di zaman sekolah dahulu, mereka tinggal di kawasan Kampung Baru, kalau tak silap.

      Nanti saya cuba tanyakan hal ehwal mereka.

      Terima kasih singgah dan komen di sini.

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