Saturday, August 7, 2010


My father, Datuk Jamil Sulong, was born 84 years ago today. Happy birthday Abah. We all love you.
Last night, at PWTC, Persatuan Seniman organised a Malam Legenda Perdana in honor of my father and also to launch his autobiography entitled Warisan and Wawasan.
The book is published by Dewan Bahasa & Pustaka and is also available on Dawama's website.
Firstly, I personally would like to thank SENIMAN, especially its President Harun Salim Bachik, for organising the event. I believe the members worked hard to ensure the evening's success. Iwould also like to thank FINAS for their contribution and support.
I would also like to thank Datuk Johan Jaafar, who officiated the launch, for his contribution in realising the publishing of the book. When the book was first compiled, Datuk Johan who was then the Chairman of DBP, ensured that the book was published. Now, eventhough he is no more DBP Chairman, and instead the Chairman for Media Prima, he still consented to officiate the launching of the book. Thank you Datuk.
I would also like to thank all the artistes that contributed to the successful presentation of the event - even by just attending the dinner meant a lot to Pak Jamil and his family.
However, such a wonderful night it would have been if not for some either misunderstanding or complete indifference.
The evening belonged to Pak Jamil. No one can argue that.
It was a night to celebrate his creative genius - as a filmmaker, writer and lyricist and to also to celebrate his friendship to many in that hall. A few would be brave enough to call him their peer, many would consider him their mentor. Some consider his their teacher and even as a father figure. Some would even go as far to say they owe their livelihood and their career in this industry to him.
No, no one can argue that that night belonged to Pak Jamil.
Now if only someone in the organisation had valued how much it would have been for Pak Jamil to have his family close to him, the night would have been perfect.
Instead, his sons' families were seated in a table on the last row of the hall. Six table rows back. Not in the middle, not by the side. Back right at the back. These it the table Pak Jamil's two daughter-in-laws and six of his grandchildren who attended were asked to sit.
Because the tables up front were sold and were meant for the sponsors?
If SENIMAN needed us to pay we would have. One - for the family to be close to Pak Jamil and see him enjoy the tributes being paid to him. Two - so that the family isn't made to feel as if they are second class citizens.
His grandchildren were there to be with him, but were completely shunted away to that last row.
My wife was particular annoyed, no more that that, she felt insulted that her family was treated in that manner. I too was annoyed by that and also by another personal slight, not by SENIMAN, but by another incident.In fact, the family actually wanted to walk out and leave the hall as their presence seem to be totally insignificant for the evening's proceedings.
Personally, I have one gripe.
I know my mother will hate me for saying this, but when Pak Jamil was taken to the stage for the launch of the book, only Pak Jamil, my mother and his children, along with the privileged dignitaries, should be on stage AND NO ONE ELSE! But someone else was!!! I wanted to walk off the stage at that moment, but I told myself I didn't want to ruin my father's day. If my day was ruined, it doesn't really matter, but it's not my day. But I just can't understand, why does that someone is so thick skinned that she thinks she is part of the family or worse, my father's child? I don't consider her my sibling. I don't think my brother considers her a sibling. And I don't think my real sister feels that that person is our sibling, too. She has never been and never will be.
What would have been a nice photo of me and my siblings with my parents, has now and forever more be a photo of lesser significance.
But what can I do, it was my mom that insisted that person come on to stage with her real children. To my mom, that person was family. Her daughter. My sister. NOT!!!
And furthermore, what I thought wasn't also right, was that in all the speeches and comments made during the evening by anyone, was that my name was mentioned, my elder brother's name Captian Arjunaidi was mentioned, my sister Murni's name was mentioned, that other person's name was mentioned many times, but my younger brother's name Asnadi, who is in New Jersey, did not deserve a single mention. I guess the scriptwriters for the event weren't told of the names of Pak Jamil's three sons.
It did not end there.
When my father was to going cut his birthday cake, his grandchildren weren't even allowed nor invited to be around him. In fact, I had to tell Ogy Ahmad Daud, who was the MC for the night, to announce over the PA system and call for the family members, especially Pak Jamil's grandchildren, to be around him for that special moment but I guess other people were more important. My son especially was so pissed that he just walked off in disgust.
Me? After I had done my official duties for the event, and kissed my father and wished him happy birthday, I decided to support my family's decision to leave the hall before a so-called family photo is organised.
But at the end of it all, what I think or feel really doesn't matter. What my wife thinks or what my children feel doesn't matter. It was Pak Jamil's night. No one else's.
I hope truly hope my father enjoyed the tribute and his birthday celebrations.
Eventhough it was without his family.
Maaan, I am in so much doodoo with this posting.


Anonymous said...

tahniah dan selamat ulang tahun buat abah uncle.

mana satu muka pompuan puaka tu?

biar i ganyang muka dia puas-puas.

- anak buah

Anonymous said...

goodness gracious!SOMEHOW we know who that @#$%^& is. wat a sad day for you and your family. WE FEEL FOR YOU. We've been through the same situation as you were. Some people just doesn't know where they stand and that's just pathetic! Be patient...we are always here for you to have a shoulder to cry on.
From your 5 angels......(u know who we are)

Anonymous said...

very very sad.
biasalah anwardi.
bersabar ajelah.
anyhow, happy birthday pak jamil.

- loqman musa.