Japan and South Korea were always favorites and we had teams from Hong Kong and even Western Australia. The latter played more with our women than on the field and the Hongkies were great fans of the bookies. Eventually these two teams were never invited. Burma and Indonesia and Thailand were fierce contenders too. Zainon was Laiason Officer to one of the teams and I was assigned to the Transport Section. Over a couple of Merdeka Tournaments we forged a friendship. It was easy to like this guy. He was always smiling and you naturally become comfortable in his company, he grows onto you! One Saturday night after a game he asked me to do him a favor. “I cannot come in tomorrow night. Can you take over my duties.” He had to deliver notes to his university mates on Monday and he had to spend Sunday printing those notes. That was income for him and that was how he saw himself through University.
After the tournament I cut a deal with Zainon. My principal, the affable, rotund Bro Bernard agreed that we should help Zainon. Zainon could use our Gestetner printer with ink thrown in but he had to supply his own paper. I am sure this little gesture played a small part in defraying some of Zainon’s expenses. He was riding a cubchai then.
He graduated and went on to be the Editor at Large of NST and is now Political Editor of the Sun.
This morning I scrolled down my sidebar and noticed that Jac Surin of the Nut Graph had a new article. It featured Zainon.
It was refreshing connecting with an old friend. HERE