Sheih on Sheih: Hell’s Kitchen pt1, Up and Down and Nama Register
Posted on March 10, 2007
I am Udeeng, the fourth generation.
Udeeng was my Nama Register. I inherited it from my senior, Udeeng the third. The responsibility to carry the name was done in a simple ceremony called Approve in the Block B’s toilet on my last day as form four student. The ceremony was attended by ten members of Ahli Majlis Tertinggi Kelab Wayang Gambar. Udeeng the senior completed the ceremony by giving me a kick on my backside. The rest of the Majlis Tertinggi bless me by putting their hand inside my underwear and did some squeezing to make sure I am man enough or rather huge enough to uphold the name.
I was accepted to Sekolah Menengah Teknik Kuala Lumpur or better known as TIKL in January 1986. Being from another boarding school, I thought staying in the hostel was nothing unusual for me. How wrong was I?
Before January 1986, I never before stayed in KL for more than a week. TIKL was a culture shock for me.
Almost all the senior are known by their Nama Register. Even the Principal was given one, his Nama Register was Baux and he is really auxs. On the first week there, we the juniors were told to memorize all the Nama Register, or we will be severely attended to. Those names were the ones like Urthex, Udeeng, Danco, Roche, Carlos, Mr. Denk for the male seniors and Chodux and Queen Denk for the female seniors. The original Nama Register was about thirty to forty names. There were also the fake ones which where created by those who did not inherit any Nama Register. The fake ones were like Penarol and
The hostel in 1986 and 87 were three blocks. One block for the males, one for females and another were shared between the male juniors and female seniors. The school maintenance was very bad. The toilets were worst.
Every time when you come across the senior, you have to give salam to them. If not you will be severely punished. You must make sure your salam was loud and clear enough if not; you will be humiliated in public. The seniors can do just about anything to you.
Every night, by approximately one in the morning, some seniors will go into your dorm and pick those who they considered are lhorat or discourteous to them. Only they can define what lhorat is. Being a Kelantanese, you automatically eligible as one.
We were then escorted to the pantry. The light will be switch off before we entered the pantry. I reckon there always were about five to ten of them. They will take turn to punch you just above your abdomen until you cannot take it anymore. Then you will be asked to rest while they attended to the next person. This ceremony is called UP. You may take up to three rounds of Up before they let you return to your dorm.
Every week, two or three seniors were forced to leave the school because someone reported them to the disciplinary board. Every time this thing happened, the rest of the seniors will force all the juniors to tell them who were the whistleblower. They will gather all the juniors and each and every one of us would be punished. Some were asked to strip naked and masturbate in front of them. Some were asked to lick their shoes while the lucky ones were asked to do helicopter TI until they vomited. Nevertheless all of the usual suspects which somehow always include all the Kelantanese will be brought in front seniors committee with our pillow case covered our face and we will be kicked and kung-fued until we cannot even stand up anymore. Most of the time they will not managed to discover the whistleblower because even we the juniors do not know who they are. The whistleblower could be amongst the seniors themselves.
If you think these sort of thing only scripted for Abu Ghraib prison than you are absolutely wrong.
If that thing happened illicitly during the night, worst will happened in daytime during classes. We, the juniors are constantly being agonized by the Chief Warden named Khalid the Camel Guy. I still remember one incident clearly; when Hazman, Faisal and me, were ordered to go to the Mechy Workshop. Khalid and his partner in crime, Abu Samah were there waiting for us. They suspected we were UP the night before and forced us to tell everything. They forced us to write down all the names. First of all, we only know the seniors by their Nama Register; second, we cannot clearly identify them because it was dark. Third, we will die if we actually told the whole truth. Khalid did not believe us as he claimed that we were protecting the seniors. What Khalid failed to understand was, we were not being protected by the school. The school under the management of Baux sucked like hell. The only protections we will get were to changed school and went back to our home town. If we reported to them, the seniors whom they asked to leave the school will wait for us outside the school compound every Saturday.
Khalid pointed a sharp compass right at the eye of Hazman. It was only millimeters away from his retina and this happened when Hazman tried defending Faisal and me by begging Khalid to stop kicking and slapping us. Khalid treated my face like a tennis ball. Racket-ed it with his bare hand over and over again. Abu Samah meanwhile kept screaming obscene words toward us. Everything inside my mother’s sarong we mention that day.
Exactly after midnight, the seniors entered our dorm. As Hazman and me were dorm mate the senior gathered both of us and this included there rest of our dorm mates too. Without covering their face or our face, they started to punch and kick us all for the next ten minutes. They warned us that, if anything were to happen to them, they would wait for us outside the school with their members from Sekolah Kunci and Sekolah Alam Shah.
They told us, the UP tradition would only cease after 31st August as then they will consider us as Merdeka. Until then, we were told to just bear with the tradition, which suppose to make us strong and tough. The tradition was there to prepare us to be the senior and to be respected by other students from the schools along the Jalan Tenteram in Bandar Tun Razak. If we were not tough, those from Sekolah Kunci and Sekolah Alam Shah would not respect us and will not defend us everytime we had a fight with our arch enemy, Sekolah Menengah Sains Selangor.
Nevertheless, one fateful night in late July, I got an information that my fellow classmate, name Shahrin, which was from different dorm was taken for UP and never return back to his dorm.
I decided to search for Shahrin and instructed few others to ask all the juniors to wake up and to join me to search for Shahrin.
I went to the pantry but Shahrin wasn’t there. I search for him at all the usual location but he still remains unseen. Then I saw three of the seniors running away from the surau down the valley and headed towards the school block. I immediately went to the surau.
Shahrin was there lying unconscious in the surau. I called his name few times but he did not react to me.
Then I heard a loud noise outside the surau. As I was running to get the help, I saw about fifty or more juniors with sticks, pipe and even penyapu roman chasing the seniors. It was on that night, all hells broke loose in TIKL.
On the way to Kuala Lumpur’s Hospital, Khalid warned me not to say anything about what happened to Shahrin. The tragedy that befallen Shahrin was recorded as an accident. Shahrin was said to fall in the toilet. How on earth the doctor did believe the bastard Camel Guy? Shahrin suffered a serious stomach pain, and it not made sense that the pain was cause by a fall in the toilet. I suspected Shahrin was unconscious in the pantry, and they dragged him about two hundred meters down the valley to leave him there.
Due to that incident, five seniors were asked to leave the school. The rest of the seniors agreed to grant us an early Merdeka. As the result, the Merdeka arrived a month earlier for the 1986 batch.
We the juniors have angkat the sumpah TI to stop the tradition.
I have never UP my junior and I knew few of my batch which we among the worst beaten by the senior did not touch any of our juniors. However. it is sad to say, those who were actually never being touched by the seniors continued the tradition.
One of my senior told me the same story. Those who suffered most when they were juniors never the one who continued the tradition. We know how bad it was. We know how it affected our study and our future.
It is catastrophe to have those who never being touched to actually continued the tradition in the name of revenge.
It was a calamity to have some one like Arwah Hishamuddin, who died a year later at the school, met his death due to the complication during the Approve ceremony by his own batch.
Coming soon, meeting Saudara Anwar Ibrahim with Gemullah Pak Nik Loh and the spot check by Minister of Education on TIKL.