The Year was 1998:9 years later

Posted: September 3, 2007 in Personal ramblings

I’ve afraid to write this post….

No….I’m not afraid that it will land me in jail

No…I’m not afraid that it will offend anyone

No…I’m not afraid that it will cause chaos

But I am afraid that it might bring me to tears…

Here I go…

The year was 1998. It was an eventful year for Malaysia as she watched many happenings in her land.The beginning was 1998 say the El Nino phenomena begin followed by the Klang Valley water crisis….Malaysia even launched her first digital terrestrial television in Malaysia. Mid 1998 saw the opening of Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, the main international airport in Malaysia and on a more artsy side the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas at KLCC was officially opened and the Malaysian orchestra was heard for the first time there. Towards the later part of the year, we were fortunate enough to witness the first automated light rail transit system the famous PUTRA LRT and on the economical side of things controls were imposed on money banking. One of the biggest highlights of the year was to be the Commonwealth Games that was held in Asia for the first time but the great Anwar saga in early September stole the limelight in Malaysia hands down.The Anwar saga took center stage in Malaysia prying all the attention towards the arrest of the then Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia that came as a shocking news to the public despite speculations by certain quarters.

As the Anwar saga swept the whole country by storm, I could hardly be bothered. I was looking forward to the games and had been hearing so much about the preparation as my aunt was part of the volunteering team. I was barely 16 years old at that time and I was more bothered about what was on TV, playing with my three doggies, irritating my brothers and being the tom-boy I was….But the very next day after Anwar was arrested, changed my life completely. Things would never ever be the same for me or my family…

It was the 3rd of September…. it was another schooling day, the last day before the school holidays. Me and my brothers were pretty excited as it would soon be the holidays and we had plans to go for some of the games as my aunties had tickets to certain events. I happen to wake up late and as I rushed to get into the bathroom at around 7.15am, Glen comes and asks me “You going to have a bath, ah?”…. I was rather irritated with him, like duh I was late for school what do ya think????? He was preparing for his football game and would cycle his way to Padang Tembak soon. I headed for school and reached as the bell rung. (My house was less than 5 minutes from school 🙂

I kindda felt uneasy for being such a jerk about the bathroom, it was after all my fault I woke up late and I should have just answered him nicely rather than giving him a hard time…I sat in class a little disturbed by what happen in the morning ..deep in thought when Jason nudged me. He told me that my elder brother was looking for me. I was kindda shocked (me and my elder brother aren’t all that buddy-buddy to lepak together or hang he finding for me was really weird even though we went to the same school) I went to see what was up and found him in the headmasters room arguing about taking me out of school. I was wondering what the big commotion was and started getting pretty worried.

I got into my uncle’s jeep and the environment in the car was so….indescribable. It was as though a dark cloud hung over the jeep. My grandparents, uncle, auntie, elder brother and mum was in the jeep. Everyone looked very unhappy and mum was sobbing uncontrollably. I started to tear because I had no idea what was going on and nobody wanted to tell me!! As we left the school and were on Changkat Jong, my grandma started relating to me what had happened. As we passed a certain area I noticed Glen’s shoes on the road, it all made sense. He had met with an accident but my grandma kept on saying that it would all be okay. I wondered why my mum was so worried then.

As we reached the hospital my uncle got a call and instead of stopping at the outpatient area he drove on to the back and then parked. I knew that area because me,mum and Glen used to go jogging around the hospital it was close to the Psycho wad and the morgue. I felt a sense of fear ….why were we stopping at the morgue if he was ok? I comforted myself thinking he wanted to park there so it would be easier to get to the other area. Me, my mum and brother walked out of the jeep and as we walked pass the morgue a man approached us.It finally d welled on me that they suspected that the victim was my brother. But that couldn’t be so, my grandma said it would all be ok! He asked us to identify the body and me being so sure it wasn’t Glen walked in first. But as soon as I saw his little toes jutting out of the white sheet…I knew it was none other than my baby brother. Tears just fell down my cheeks, I could not contain all the hurt and sorrow I felt. My mum did not need to see this, so me and my brother accompanied her outside. The man wanted a post-mortem, mum was so annoyed she had just lost her son the last thing she had on her mind was to see her son being cut up! After all it was an accident!

The worse thing of all was my dad not being around…he had just left for work overseas 3 days back…My brother was only 19 at that time but as my dad was not around he had to bear all the responsibilities and did not shed a tear…He was so strong for us. It was very difficult for my mum to call my dad and tell him that his son was gone but she had to….It must have been even harder for him to travel 3 days and 3 nights on the plane alone…knowing his son was gone without having anyone to comfort him. As it took him 3 days to reach back home, by the time he came back, my dad could only collect his ashes…My uncle picked him up at the airport and he did not said a word..once he reached home he hugged my mum and just could not hold back his tears…….me and my brother….ran as we heard that he was back…we all hugged..somehow no one could understand what was going on besides us……. My parents had lost a son….Me and my brother had lost our younger brother………It was a very hard time for all of us……….The year was 1998

It’s been 9 years since he has been gone. Is it any easier? Does time really heal? I would say no…it doesn’t make it any easier..for the fact is that he isn’t here anymore……Time does help you cope better but it never really heals ….

He would have been 22 today. He would have just finished college or university. He would have been quite the charmer..He probably would have had a girl friend……He would have………………..As I see the likes of his friends like Venkat and Danelan grow up it makes me wonder what he would have been like at this age…His friend Venkat is now running a restaurant in KL while his other friend is doing his engineering degree…. I know he is up there somewhere ..probably charming everyone in sight with his personality…wherever he is I pray that he is happy……I love you Glen…I wish you were here….

(Glen Withaneachi left us on 3 September 1998, he was in (Form )13 years old)

  1. visithra says:

    I Do Believe
    by Jennifer Janiszewski
    There is nothing i can do,
    to make him come back
    There are no words I can say,
    that can replace the words you long to hear
    There are no answer’s I can give,
    that will satisfy your questions
    There is not another soul I can introduce you to that will ever replace his
    And, there is no love I can offer that will ever replace the love you shared
    I can not promise your broken heart will ever be complete
    I will not say it could have been worse
    I will not deny it was a tragedy
    I will not lie and tell you he will come back
    He never really left
    I do promise he hears you when you speak
    I will say he loves you no matter the distance
    I will not deny he is in a better place
    And, I will not lie; he is waiting to greet you someday
    He is in every you step you take
    He is in everything you do
    He is the air you breathe
    He is every beat of your heart
    ” He is like the wind. You can not see him…but you will always feel him”

    Take care darling its never easy and will never be easier

  2. Anne says:

    Dear Cheryl, my heart aches together with yours. Take care, girl! God bless!

  3. nat says:

    a sad story… 😦 thoughts are with you!

  4. bangmalaysia says:

    I hear your sadness and feel your pain, Cheryl. My deepest condolonces to you and your family.Hope that your mum is fine.

  5. Louise says:

    Hi Cheryl, an old post I know, but i felt I had to comment. I was a close friend of your older brother during this awful time and felt your pain across the ocean in Australia. He was so strong for your family but absolutely crushed over the loss of Glenn and reafong this story all these years later has bought it all back for me… I hope you are all well, I have not heard from him in a few years and would love to touch base. Xxxxx Louise

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