Monday, June 20, 2016

Happy Father's Day, Apak.

My father left us 20 years ago. My mom, two of my brothers and I were at his side when he took his last breath. He left us 11 months after a major heart attack. 
I will always remember him as the man who always think. If you see him smoking alone at the dining table or on top of the tangga batu in front of our house, you'll notice him talking to himself. Soon after that he would call one of us to share what he was thinking. It was always weird ideas (at least when I was younger I thought they were weird). 
Once in the early 1990s he told me that if he were Mahathir (then PM) he would move all the government administration offices far away from KL City Center and Pusat Bandar Damansara. He thought that the traffic congestion was too much to bear. Since he was about Mahathir's age, he thought the PM would think of the same thing. OK, we live in Pahang, I had no idea why he was so concerned about traffic in KL.  About 10 years later it really happened. Many of the ministries were moved to Putrajaya. Although it didn't really solve the traffic congestion problem in KL, at least it is now easier for us to go to Putrajaya when we have to renew our passports at the Immigration office. 

My late father with my brother, Ally and one of our Chikaboos in 1995
In 1995 he did something crazy when he purchased 5 ostriches from The Netherlands. I was really surprised when I came back from Uni and found 5 strange looking birds at the back of our house. If anyone asked him why he did it back then, he would say that Malaysian weather seemed to suit ostriches, perhaps it's time to breed them here. He also thought that ostrich meat could be a good option.
Until today I didn't know how much it cost him to buy the 5 Chikaboos but we really had fun watching the big birds danced when there was strong wind, and even after a few years I still couldn't tell the male and female apart.
We had visitors from a few parts of the world who came to interview my late father, even Majalah 3 did a segment on his effort and he became an instant celebrity in Triang, Temerloh, Bera dan kawasan-kawasan yang sewaktu dengannya.
Apart from strange ideas, he always gave us advice that we only appreciate 10 or 15 years later. For instance, after he had the heart attack and recuperating at home he asked me whether I've decided on what to major in my studies. I couldn't make up my mind then. He told me to focus on Computer Software, although he knew that I was doing Electronics and Computer Engineering. The only software I was learning back then was PASCAL programming Microsoft Office. So, I asked him why.
He said that after some time the Computer Hardware industry will become very slow and stagnant and this will hinder technical people and engineers who love doing new things to have fun exploring.
I didn't really get it back then. But when I became part of the industry (and thank god I decided to focus on Operating System, Database and Virtualization technology) his advice started to make sense. For someone who likes new challenges everyday, being in the software industry is more interesting and challenging.
FYI, my late father was computer illiterate but he used to read a lot.
That's my late father, the thinker and he was way ahead of everyone.
Happy father's day, Apak. Wish you were still here.

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