Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ismail Long - as I know him



Ismail Long passed away in his sleep on a Friday morning two years ago in 2009 at Dato’ Keramat, Kuala Lumpur. He was buried at the AU cemetery after Friday prayer. His death was a shock to many who knew him personally. Although not in good health he has been jovial all the time.

At the time of his passing he was staying with his spouse in the village of Karak Jaya along the old main trunk road between KL and Kuantan. He came to KL to accompany his wife who was due for a medical check-up at the hospital that day.

It was a sad personal loss for me. I have heard of his name when I joined Radio Malaysia in 1963. He has been with the Malay Service in Melaka long before I became a staff at Federal House, KL. Prior to that he was an office hand in Penang. I met him on several occasion on official duty in Penang when he was posted there as a BA3. By that time he was a well known announcer there.

When I was transferred to Penang as the Malay Programme Organiser in 1966, Ismail and Nor Hashimah Ismail were the only staff I had in the service. Our job at that time was to feed local reports and recording to the headquarters at Federal House as well as participating in inter-stations programme. Life was quite easy going then.

When we started the Regional Broadcasts of 3 hours daily following the aftermath of Hartal, 13 May and the Big Flood which drown the national broadcast at Federal House in KL for 3 days, life became more hectic. Penang was instructed to take the lead to make sure the national broadcast was not interrupted. We pass the test with flying colour. It was Ismail who played a major role in its success. He was very good at selecting songs to keep the listeners following the broadcast. He was never short of ideas for interviews and keeping the public inform.

Ismail was willing to try his hand at everything, including live report and running commentary, including sports especially football matches.

He is well known for being jovial and enjoying life to the fullest. We had understanding on that. Whatever he did he must make sure there is no casualty as far as our transmission was concern. I am proud to say we keep our clean slate with flying colour until I got to return to KL in 1972. 

When I arrived in Penang Ismail and family was renting a house in Tanjung Tokong. Later he moved to the government quarters at Lorong Selamat, all along the bus route.

Later he was transferred on promotion to the Perak Station in Ipoh. I visited him there and his wife prepared the best oxtail I have ever tasted. Not long after that he was stationed in Kuala Terengganu. I didn’t follow his activities there but being a dedicated broadcaster he came out top among the pack.

In the 80s he came to Angkasapuri.  We met again in the same division when I became the Head of the newly created Sport Department. He was place in the Radio Section as one of the Supervisor. I knew it was in safe hand.

He retired as Programme Assistant in early 90s after I left the Sports Department. That was quite an achievement from a general staff to rise to such a high post.

After retirement he settled down in Kampong Seronok, Bayan Lepas, Penang, playing active leading roles in social work there especially in promoting local cultures that attracted the local and foreign tourists visiting the place. Being a man who thirsts for peace and quietness, Ismail finally decided to lead a quite life in the remote area of Karak Jaya in central Pahang with his second wife.

He would travel once in a while to KL to meet old friends and relatives. I happened to keep in touch with him via phone which he never forgot to inform me the latest number wherever he was. I made an effort to visit him at his place in Karak Jaya on many occasions when I passed there on my journey. It was convenient when the new highway KL-Kuantan was not around.

I purposely avoid mentioning the happy and hilarious moment and occasions we shared together with friends whether at work or leisure. Perhaps on another occasion.

Semoga rohnya dicucuri rahmat dan ditempatkan dikalangan mokmin yang soleh.

Alfatihah.

Following is the Malay version of this article that was posted in the SUARA PVRTM Newsletter:


Ismail Long Dalam Kenangan

Ismail Long yang dikenali sebagai Che Mey dikalangan yang rapat dengannya menghembus nafas yang terakhir pada pagi satu Jumaat 2009 di Dato’ Keramat Kuala Lumpur. Jenazahnya dikebumikan selapas solat Jumaat di tanah perkuburan AU. Pemergiannya sungguh mengejutkan mereka yang mengenalinya. Sungguhpon kesihatannya terganggu Ismail terus menunjukkan semangat periang yang tidak mengenal penat lelah.

Semasa peninggalannya dia menetap di Kampong Karak Jaya, Pahang bersama isteri mudanya yang berasal dari situ. Karak Jaya terletak di tepi jalanraya Persekutuan lama antara Kuala Lumpur dan Kuantan. Dia datang ke KL menemani isterinya untuk pemeriksaan doktor yang dijadual pada hari itu.

Pemergiannya adalah satu kehilangan besar kepada saya yang mendengar nama dan mengenali suaranya sejak mula menyertai Radio Malaysia pada tahun 1963. Dia telah menjadi staf di Melaka jauh sebelum saya melaporkan diri di Rumah Persektuan KL. Sebelum itu Ismail pernah berkhidmat di Pulau Pinang sebagai kakitangan pejabat pentadbiran Radio. Saya sering menemui dan berhubung dengan nya semasa menjalankan tugas resmi di Pulau Pinang ketika dia menjawat jawatan Pembantu Siaran Gred 3 (BA3). Masa itu dia sudah menjadi juruhebah dikenali ramai.

Bila saya ditukar ke Pulau Pinang untuk mengetuai siaran sebagai Pengelola Rancangan Melayu (MPO) Kawasan Utara, hanya Ismail Long dan Norhashimah Ismail sahaja yang berkhidmat disana untuk mengendalikan siaran Melayu. Tugas utama kami pada masa itu ialah menyumbang laporan dan rakaman tempatan meliputi empat negeri terdiri dari Pulau Pinang, Perak, Kedah dan Perlis kepada ibu pejabat di Rumah Persekutuan KL, selain dari menyertai rancangan antara setesen yang sangat popular ketika itu. Keadaan kerja pada masa itu boleh dikata ringan dan relaks.

Bila bermulanya Siaran Daerah atau Tempatan selama 3 jam sehari berikutan peristiwa “Hartal”, “13 Mei” dan “banjir besar di Kuala Lumpur” budaya kerja kami bertambah dan sungguh berbeza dari apa yang kami tempuhi selama ini. Banjir besar telah melumpuhkan siaran Radio kebangsaan dari Rumah Persekutuan selama 3 hari. Pulau Pinang yang mempunyai beberapa pemancar gelombang pendek yang boleh didengar diseluruh negara, telah diarah untuk mengambil alih siaran kebangsaan bagi memastikan ianya tidak terputus. Kami lulus ujian itu dengan cemerlang. Ismail Long memainkan peranan penting dalam kejayaan itu. Dia sungguh bijak memilih lagu-lagu yang memukau pendengar kepada siaran. Dia juga cekap membuat temuramah dan tidak kurang dengan idea untuk memberi maklumat terkini untuk pendegar yang ingin tahu apa yang berlaku.

Saya dapati Ismail adalah seorang yang berani mencuba segala bidang lapangan penyiaran, termasuk membuat laporan langsung dan ulasan-selari apa jua peristiwa dan acara, termasuk sukan khususnya bolasepak yang digemarinya.

Ismail adalah seorang yang periang dan kehadirannya sentiasa membikin sesiapa bersamanya tidak kering gusi. Jarang sekali saya lihat dia muram atau bersedih, apatah lagi “naik angin”. Prinsip hidup adalah kegembiraan. Berdasarkan itu kami berdua mempunyai falsafah yang sama: apa juga yang berlaku dia wajib memastikan siaran dan rancangan tiada tergendala. Saya amat megah falsafah itu berjaya kami pertahankan sehingga saya meninggal Pulau Pinang untuk kembali ke ibu pejabat di KL pada tahun 1972.

Bila saya sampai Pulau Piunang untuk melaporkan diri tahun 1966 Ismail dan keluarganya menyewa rumah di Tanjong Tokong. Kemudian dia menginap di rumah pegawai kerajaan di Lorong Selamat, Pulau Pinang. Kedua-duanya berhampiran laluan perkhidmatan bas yang efisen di P.Pinang masa itu.

Kemudian dia ditukar kestesen negeri Perak di Ipoh kerana naik pangkat. Saya melawatnya disana dan isterinya menyediakan sup ekor lembu yang paling enak pernah saya rasa. Kemudian dia ditukar ke Kuala Trengganu. Saya tidak berjumpa dia disana kerana saya sendiri berhadapan dengan peningkatan beban kerja. Saya tidak mengikuti kemajuan kerjanya disana, namun sebagai penyiar yang penuh dedikasi dia sentiasa bersaing berada didepan untuk meningkat imej jabatan. Saya mendengar khabar dia bertemu isteri mudanya di sana.

Pada tahun 80an dia berpindah ke Angkasapuri KL. Kami berjumpa semula dalam bahagian yang sama bila saya dilantik Ketua Bahagian Sukan yang baru ditubuh. Beliau ditempatkan disayap Radio dimana Ismail mengetuai sebahagian dari siarannya. Saya tidak perlu bimbang kerana mengetahui ianya dalam penyeliaan yang baik.

Ismail pencen pada jawatan Pegawai Penolong Rancangan (PA) diawal tahun 90an lama selepas saya meninggal Bahagian Sukan. Itu adalah satu kejayaan besar bagi seorang staf yang memulakan kerjanya dari jawatan yang paling rendah dalam hiraki perkhidmatan kerajaan kepada jawatan gred tinggi.

Selepas berasara, Ismail kembali menetap di Kampong Seronok. Dia memain peranan aktif dalam aktibiti sosial membikin kampong itu menjadi destinasi seni dan budaya bagi pelancung yang berkunjung ke Pulau Pinang.

Setelah beberapa tahun kesibukan dunia mula menggugat dia untuk mencarai kedamaian dan ketenangan. Mungkin itulah sebabnya dia mengambil keputusan menetap di tempat terpencil Kampong Karak Jaya yang terletak di tengah Negeri Pahang bersama isteri mudanya.

Sering juga dia berkunjung ke Kuala Lumpur untuk menemui saudara-masa dan kawan-kawan lama. Kami sentiasa berhubung kerana Ismail tidak lupa meninggalkan nombor taliponnya dimana saja dia berada. Saya sentiasa berusaha melawatnya di Karak Jaya bila ada peluang, jika saya melalui tempatnya dalam perjalan ke Kuantan atau Pantai Timur. Ia lebih mudah lagi sebelum wujudnya Lebuhraya Karak – Kuantan yang baru.

Saya sengaja tidak menyebut disini zaman gembira yang sukar dilupa yang kami alami bersama kawan-kawan lain – mungkin di ruang yang lain.

Semoga rohnya dicucuri rahmat dan ditempatkan dikalangan mokmin yang soleh.

Alfatihah.

  

3 comments:

  1. I came to notice him when he was in Penang in early 70s. For him to relocate to Karak in Pahang (I'm quite familiar with the town as I was posted to Pahang in early 70s during my govt days) must have been a big decision on his part.

    You talked about Sport Dept in RTM. My memory goes to the many RTM commentators in the old days such as Rahim Razali, Karim Mohd, Jamaludin Alias, Baharin Tahir, Aziz Ibrahim, Jeyanathan, and many others. Aziz and Jeyanathan were selected to cover the Munich Olympic in 1972 where the Malaysian soccer team made its maiden appearance at the Olympic level. Amongst the players then were M. Chandran, Soh Chin Aun, Bahwandi Hiralal, Shaharudin Abdullah, Namat Abdullah, Wong Kam Fook and Wong Choon Wah.

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  2. Ismail was a true Penangite but fate has it he took a second wife when he was posted to Kuala Trengganu and she happenned to be from Karak. His wife and family in Penang were well taken care and he made the decision to be in Karak to be with his other spouse. Ismail has been my most trusted officer when he served under me.

    Your memory is splendid Idris - yes the names you mentioned were great luminaries in sports commentary while the sportsmen in the list were truly great and dedicated to the national cause. Rahim Razali was my classmate in Anderson Ipoh 53-58 and we still get together often. Aziz Ibrahim has done well in life - he wrote his life experience in the book "A Rolling Stone...". Jamaluddin and Baharin has retired and stays in Kelana Jaya and Klang respectively. I lost touch with Jeyanathan - I was told he went back to Seremban. Karim succumbed to cancer some years back.

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