Thursday, June 21, 2007

Singaporean in Exile

Ben, 30 years later. Met a childhood friend, 30 years later, early this week. For three days, he drank and ate lunch, mi rebus at Maria's, and dinner in the company of Malaysian bloggers Nuraina, Zorro, Big Dog, A Voice, Shanghai Fish, Galadriel, Rusdi Mustapha, and many others. In the early 70s, we were still listening hard to Things We Said Today and wondered if we'd meet Aubrey. We walked out of Maths during the GCE "O" Level in Jurong, Singapore, so that we can focus on Science! He answered to the National Service while I decided to cross the Causeway for my greener pasture. Three decades later, Ben is a man scarred by bad times and richer for life's experiences. The boy in him is still there. I suppose we are all like that.

Given the company, he was drawn to blog. Amir Hafizi personally helped him to get started. He has promised to share some stories and conspiracy theories about Singapore as he talks about his new world in Indonesia. He resides at


  1. rocky,

    i was the second to visit him.
    i like the name "Singaporean in Exile". So apt. So poignant.
    So real.
    I enjoyed so much listening to you guys and your exploit, going down the same road, the road I am familiar with.

    I can;t wait for his next posting.
    And I will surely visit him in Medan. That's my late mum's kampung.

  2. Conspiracy tales of Singapore and stories about Indonesia. It just gets interesting day by day.

    At least we'll get to compare and contrast between the tales of the three countries.

    -The Man Who Sold The World-

  3. Anonymous3:16 pm

    I missed meeting him because of family commitments. Though he did call me--it was just a lil late--although we promised to catch up the next time hes back in KL.
    Over the phone , I hear a matured and serious man. 30 years for me as well. It seems so very long ago , but yet its just like yesterday---seeing you and Ben in my place in Boon Lay.

  4. 'Over the phone , I hear a matured and serious man.'

    Hmm...not after a couple of cold ones!!
    Yeah, it was great to hear from you too !! And the rest of the rebels!
    Couldn't get access to the internet earlier as i was writing my conspiracies story,there was a blackout in Medan..(could the Singapore goverment have something to do with it?)

  5. Rocky!

    I am sure he is your friend but the fact that he was a sniper in the Singapore Armed Forces, when he was doing his national service, was what caught my attention!


  6. Old Jurong-ean:

    Good to hear from you, old buddy. I think with Ben "back" and you in the neighbourhood, we'd be able to organise a come-together when M. Hamid is here. I got a mail from her; she had just bumped into Lely a couple of times. I am sure she is in touch with the rest.

    In the meantime, you should consider opening a blog and start sharing your thoughts. Another Singaporean in exile?

  7. Anonymous7:38 am

    Yup.A gathering of exiles ? THAT would be good. And with my three kids around.(But Ben--you won't be able to do what you did to my eldest---yees--i found out, 30 years after..heheh)

    By the way , how accurate were you as a 'sniper' ---after your many coupla of pints,or before ?

    My blog ? thinking. Waiting for 'seruan'.

  8. "By the way , how accurate were you as a 'sniper' ---after your many coupla of pints,or before ?"

    well, there were three occassions where i did not use protection, whilst being intimate with my wife,
    and end result......three kids!

    One baby !!

  9. Anonymous7:00 pm

    To the Good Lad and The Guitar Man:
    Very touching and happy to read of your reunion and the usual mischief you two get up to. 17? 47? 57? 67? - keep that friendship alive and have a happy crazy life. Set the world on fire; like your attempt to do so at JSS.
    It's Just Like Yesterday

  10. Anonymous8:28 am

    Stop complaining Ben !!

    Maybe you want three kids in one shot ?

  11. anon 7:00,
    now who could you be? who would refer to that old place as jss? come now, gimme and ben a nickname we can toy around with.

  12. It's the unsolved mystery of all time..!!
    Who set the fire at JSS ? Back in '77 ?
    All these memories makes me wanna go to the nearest pangkas(barber) and get a bloody 'slope' haircut !!
    Yeah,btw..who's that anon,huh?

  13. Anonymous6:18 pm

    Both of you never change - just as dumb as 30 years ago!! You do not need names to play around with, Din. You're in enough trouble as it is esp now that Big (jendol) Ben is back in your life. It's a lethal combination. I have to go back into hiding, cannot take the flak esp from snipers.
    I wonder if your old hero Two Pisang is still alive?

  14. Anonymous10:32 pm

    Nice meeting ya Ben. I see the bloggeratis have infected u too. Welcome to the mad, bad, zany, but ultimately interesting planet blog.

    It was a surprise when Ruby told me Ben was her cousin....keciknya dunia...

  15. Anonymous2:27 pm

    yeh yeh remember the pop yeh yeh. YISS at jln ahmad ibrahim. what happen now. any body knows where is pulau blakang mati.

  16. beedeen,

    yusof ishak secondary school? the school we didn't want to end up in. hah! our primary school was just across the football field. jubilee primary school. there used to be a jubilee malay primary school but that they demolished in the early 70s. i think YISS must have taken down, like Jubilee, in late 80s or early 90s. for sure, the "kampung" houses around it have long gone. across jln ahmad ibrahim from yiss, there was a malay settlement. the houses there were even smaller than the ones we stayed in. my dad had to work day and night to pay the $30 rent to "Apek Buta", our landlord.

    pulau belakang mati? pulau sentosa, you mean? ada orang ingat ka?