Stories of a bygone era

HAVING experienced an era that not many of us have been through, Dr Abdul Rahman Arshad and Margaret Leong hope their stories will now reach a larger audience.

Leong’s story has been captured in a video entitled Mama Leong, directed by Joshua Chay, a mass communication student from UCSI University. The video incidentally won the first prize for the ‘Shoot & Win’ competition by social networking website recently in conjunction with 15Malaysia, an independent film initiative.

Chay was full of was full of praise for the 74-year old Leong saying that she was enthusiastic and passionate about the project.

“She is lively and is able to connect easily with people of my generation,” he said.

The film takes the viewer down Madam Leong’s “memory lane” of downtown Kuala Lumpur, where she lived as a child during the Japanese occupation.

It was also during the same period that Dr Abdul Rahman has fond memories of his early days in the kampung.

Back then, he would play barefooted in the padi fields, catch a fish with his bare hands and even snack on grasshoppers.

In his university years, he developed a love for education, which saw him serve in the Malaysian education sector for more than 30 years. His last designation was that of the director-general at the Education Ministry.

The 73-year-old has managed to capture the idyllic lifestyle of his Kampung days in his book entitled Abdul Rahman Arshad: Kenangan Sepanjang Jalan.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Tun Musa Hitam, who launched the book said that he could not help but feel nostalgic as he turned the pages of the book.

Dr Abdul Rahman is now the chancellor of UCSI University and pro-chancellor of both Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) and Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI).

Copies of the book are available at selected bookstores, while the video can be viewed at

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