Of Rambutans & Mat Poen, or, A Ballerz Till The End
A Tribute To Abdul Malek bin Abdul Maulud aka Mat Poen
He was more than a friend. And he will make you feel that in his own special way. Just a couple of months back when Nina and I was having our wedding anniversary at Port Dickson, he jokingly warned me that “…if I hear you come to PD and don’t drop by, putus saudara!” Luckily we managed to.
Of course we were not related. Only `saudara sesama Islam’. But our friendship went back a long way, and in a way I regarded him more than a friend. Like a big brother. And I feel glad that I was one of the people he would call quite frequently, especially when he was in KL.
His real name was Abdul Malek bin Abdul Maulud, though to friends and acquaintance he’s more fondly known as ‘Mat Poen’. He was the type of people who kind of ‘outgrow’ their birth names, and sometimes it gets quite awkward hearing people call him Encik Malek.
If I have to summarize him in one word, it has to be `jovial’. It was always so much fun to have him around; listening to his witty one liners and jokes. He has a knack of `spicing’ ordinary conversations, which probably earned him various nicknames such as Mat Poen and The King Of Porn. Hearing him talk might induce you into thinking that he would seduce anything that wears a skirt, but for those who know him, he was actually a very devoted husband and a good father.
When Nina and I was at his house a couple of months back, it really struck us that Mat Poen and Kak Long, his wife, is an item. A very loving couple. When Kak Long heard that we were celebrating our Wedding Anniversary, she proudly told us that she and hubby will be celebrating their 30th come 1st July. Her face glowed as she mentioned it and I noticed her eyes casting a loving look at her lucky hubby. `Lucky Hubby’ just smiled nonchalantly, but I can swear that I saw a sparkle in his eyes. That's Mat Poen for you. The King of Porn, but in reality a happy family man nonetheless.
As a father, he made sure all his offsprings get the best. I personally witnessed how he went that extra length each time any of his kids needed him. I’ve heard his son refer to him affectionately as “the VIP”. Such mutual affection. And even when he was very ill this year, he made the effort to watch his son perform in the Malay College Wind Orchestra (MCWO) ensemble for the preliminaries in Kuantan and later on the finals in Putrajaya. Such commitment as a father that I am hoping to emulate.
He would talk about anything, but you’d easily detect his fondness to all things MCKK (he even managed to send three of his sons there, including that current Form Five student) and of course, the Bargreaves Ballerz. On the occasions that I met him, he never failed to mention and ask about fellow Ballerz and his hopes and dreams for the MCOBA Concert.
Yesterday, hundreds came to pay last respects and pray for him. It was a very sad day, but nevertheless heartening to see so many MCOBs from various batches present. So much so that my wife told our kids; “…you really must go to MCKK…just look at their brotherhood…”
Brotherhood. Yes, that’s exactly the word. I really feel that I’ve lost a brother. I am glad to have been able to spend some time with him, especially during the last few months. He did mention to me that he wish someday, kids of MCOBs will pass by his house and say “…itu rumah Atuk dulu tu…” He repeatedly insisted that I bring the whole family. As if at that time he already knew that his time was short. But one sentence that Nina and I will always remember is the one he repeatedly stressed to us during that last visit to his house: “…Zaim, you and Nina must come again this July to pluck the rambutans…promise!” At that time, we just smiled and did not promise him anything.
Yesterday, 29th July, 2009, my whole family did come again to visit him. Not to pluck rambutans, but to say goodbye. I’m so very sad. Goodbye, my brother. Al-Fatihah.