Monday, 9 April 2007

Shamelessly Plugging Peggy

When Peggy came into my life, she not only led me by the hand and introduced me to leaders and prominent people of my own country, whose stories I only read in history books and autobiographies, she also filled in the vast number of gaps in my knowledge of the country I left behind some 27 years ago, and one she adopted for nearly 40 years.

Datin Peggy Taylor is now 82 and in recollecting her memories of pre merdeka Malaya days and Malaysia in the throes of independence in preparation for a book that she is writing, she has given me the privilege of walking down memory lane with her.

I had blogged about her here but I can now reveal that the one with the history in the suitcase is Datin Peggy Taylor whose short snippets I have edited for RTM’s Galeri Perdana – a three part series which will be shown starting tonight at 8.30 pm.

Before leaving for Malaysia, my husband and I regularly visited Peggy who lives in a small quaint village in South east England. For days, we looked through her suitcase containing letters from Bapa Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman, a note from Lim Kit Siang who had then just completed his law degree in prison, a letter from Singapore’s Rajaratnam who promised that the separation from Malaysia would just be temporary and many, many more. And I’d sit at her feet, as the fire crackled in the fireplace, while she narrated her life story – an episode of her life in Malaya when she and her husband went there in 1953.

Part of my mission when I went back to Malaysia was to bring to attention to certain interested parties that Peggy is writing her book. And I am certain, Peggy’s book will be of interest not only to students of history but also to the general reading public. Peggy has a lot to tell.

Peggy’s friendship with many of our former leaders like Tunku, Tun Razak, Tun Dr Ismail and her voluntary efforts in Pemadam, the Monfort Boys’ Home, inadvertently led her to the Malaysian political arena. She was by then a Malayan.

“Tunku asked us, why not be citizens of Malaya. After all Malaya will never leave the commonwealth,” and after discussing with her husband Eric, who was by then an architect with the Kuala Lumpur Municipal Council, they became citizens of Malaya.

Eric went on to receive his Dato Seri Paduka di raja from the Agong who was then from Terengganu, and later became the Chief Architect of Kuala Lumpur. Peggy was then invited to join ADMO – Alliance Direct Membership Organisation – an offshoot of the alliance – mainly for those non Malays, non Chinese and non Indian...in short – people like Peggy who wanted to join a political party. And Peggy was very active, helping Tun Razak in campaigns, organising events and many more.

During his time, Tunku commissioned Peggy to decorate mansions for VIPs and organise functions for visiting dignitories. And Peggy never forgot Tunku’s birthdays – 63 roses for his 63rd birthday, for example.

Peggy had many memorable dealings with Tunku. One occassion was when Tunku was deciding on the flower to choose for Malaysia’s national flower.

She asked, “Why the hibiscus?”
Tunku said in true Tunku style,”What’s the probleeeemmmmm?”
She answered,”The problem is, the hibiscus wilts as soon as you pluck it!”

Anyway, all these and many more you can watch on RTM1 tonight and tomorrow night and the night after.


It was rather by coincidence that I was invited for the launch of The Reluctant Politician - Tun Dr Ismail and his Time – a book by Dr Ooi Kee Beng based on private papers of the late Tun. While in Kuala Lumpur, I realised that few people, especially the younger generation have heard of Datin Peggy Taylor, never mind ADMO. So I thought in Johore where the launch was held, some,especially the writer himself can throw some light. NO, Dr Ooi never heard of Peggy nor ADMO. I ventured over to Tun Musa’s table. Of course – Datin Peggy Taylor! I know of her. I then went over to Tawfik Tun Ismail.... "Aaaaah, yes, Aunty Peggy!!! How is she??? " He asked delighted that I am bringing the book on his father back to Datin Peggy Taylor – the lady his late father had invited to join and revive ADMO. Peggy became Chairman of Selangor ADMO.

This morning, I spoke to Peggy again. After reading her copy of The Reluctant Politician, Peggy is certain that it must have been Tun who established ADMO. There's many more that she wants to say about the book, but this will have to come later.

Anyway, I shouldn't really be writing more about this. Do watch RTM1 – Galeri Perdana at 8.30 tonight (9th April)– tomorrow night (10th April) and the night after that (11th April). So there – shamelessly I am plugging Peggy.

PS Thank you all for the feedback. and guess what? I managed to watch the second part on the internet. The wonders of technology. Went to www.rtm.net.my and then did the streaming and what not - and actually watched it in realtime.


58 comments:

Honeytar said...

Kak Teh, thank you for the history! You are educating us here back home. I have never heard either of Datin Peggy. Will watch!

Kak Teh said...

ohh goood, I've got one watching already! thanks honneytar.

ruby ahmad said...

Hi Kak Teh,

Just watched you and Datin Peggy Taylor.

Congrats.

What an informative piece that was and I have two more parts to see. Looking forward. Datin spoke brilliant Bahasa. Amazing, after all these years she is still eloquent in Bahasa. Her memory is still tip top. I think you should ask her for tips on how to remain as amazing as she is, and come share with us all.

Love seeing the old photos.

I love your voice. It is sharp and clear and smooth. No wonder you are a broadcaster..he he.

wonda said...

Thanks for unpacking from your suitcase this piece of information about this great lady whom I had no knowledge of. Wish I were there to watch it. You, too, have lots of "goodies" in your suitcase to share with us.

J.T. said...

Kak Teh, thank you for sharing that with us. Oh! the things that Datin Peggy has seen, heard and experienced. So much wealth!

By the way, I am not sure if some of your readers know this but there is a way to watch RTM1 when you are overseas. Go to http://www.wwitv.com/
Click on the WWITV logo to enter the site. Go down the list to select Malaysia. You will find RTM1 and RTM2.

I missed it today. I just read your blog and it is 4:oopm in Germany. I will try to catch Galeri Perdana tomorrow.

Hi&Lo said...

Kak Teh,

Datin Peggy must be overjoyed to be reconnected with Tun Dr Ismail. A man during his lifetime is usually misunderstood and appreciated posthumously.

From your account, Datin Peggy is a friend of both the political divide.

Mak Andeh said...

Kak Teh :

Aisehman - I ter-miss tonight punya installment ! Caught in the heavy rain on the way home - balik lepak tak ingat apa2.(read : tertidor...seperti biasa :P)

Will make a point to catch tomorrow's episode.

Mama Rock said...

oops, I missed it. when i bloghopped just now, this entry wasn't up yet. will watch it tomorrow then.

loveujordan said...

mtvtkEven though I am not able to watch this beautiful piece of history (syok tv jarang boleh dapat tonton dari sini) , I'm very proud of you and Datin Peggy .....

I'm sure Malaysians owe you a lot !!

Kak Elle said...

So you dah balik I tertinggal keta api.OK will make a point to watch you on tv1.

salam and hug.

Fauziah Ismail said...

Salam Kak Teh
Because of work, I missed the segment last night. My schedule does not permit me to watch it tonight and tomorrow. I am hoping RTM will air it again sometime soon.
Yang ni ke script you completed when you were at my office?

Kak Teh said...

ruby,oooh goodo! Yes, her malay is still good though she claims that itis kelam kabut. Peggy is really something - her memory is so good and sharp.

wonda/alice, i have been told that we overseas can watch RTM on www.rtm.net.my and then click the necessary. i will try it and let you know.

thanks JT, i will try that too! the wonders of modern technology. yes, indeed Peggy has a lot to offer.

Kak Teh said...

hi&lo, indeed, Datin Peggy was so pleased that Tawfik Tun Ismail remembers her. and then there's marina mahathir, faridah stephen fuad and many more who know her as aunty peggy!

mak andeh, tak pa, tak pa...

mama rock - bukannya apa - cuma its an interesting human interest story, i thought.

Kak Teh said...

loveujordan, do try the link that JT bagi - it might help. I have yet to try myself. aftirnd in london said she watches RTM and other malaysian tv everyday.

kak elle, thanks...!

fauziah, yes, that's the one. Luckily i had the use of yr computer...many, many thanks!

nadya said...

kak teh!
suka suka suka!! ... i missed part 1 already.part 2 pun mcm tak sempat sbb tgh outstation. takde repeat show ke with RTM?

Chet said...

Kak Teh - didn't read this entry until the 10th, which means I've missed the first installment. Will try to catch this evening's. As for tomorrow, I think Sharon and I are going to see Jit. I wonder if there'll be repeats?

Kak Teh said...

nadya, i dont really know whether there are repeats - but it's worth checking the online version.

Kak Teh said...

chet, today's installment is about her friendship with Tunku abdul rahman. again, i dont know whether there's repeats. have fun with sharon.

Chet said...

I just came from watching the second segment. When I saw the suitcase full of Tunku memorabilia, tears came to my eyes. I'm old enough to remember when he was PM of Malaysia. I was overseas when he passed away, but my mother called to tell me.

loveujordan said...

hi kak teh,
I've just finished watching galeri perdana via wwitv but couldn't get the story all at one piece..kejap-kejap 'lari' suaranya... just wonder whether there's any vcd/dvd available on this topic.....

anyhow I got to see your face and Datin Peggy's all along since the tv 'did not move'.....

wonda said...

Kak Teh,
Thanks J.T for the info. By the time I read your entry, I've already missed the 1st installment. Then I hope to catch the 2nd installment but my son was on the computer just now, so I completely forgotten about it. I've pinned a note on my PC to remind me to watch it tomorrow night. But then, I must remember to look at that note. Wonder how Datin Taylor got such good memories.

J.T. said...

Kak Teh, I just watched Galeri Perdana - RTM1 on the web via wwitv.com. Since I did not watch yesterday's segment, I could not tell if it is a repeat or not. The segment I saw today was about Datin Peggy's memory of Tunku's 63rd birthday, the story about picking the hibiscus as our national flower, and that bit about going to the train station being the highlight of their Sundays. Very interesting.

Good job Kak Teh.

mutalib said...

dear puan zaharah,

i think, as a first step, you should make an article on Datin Peggy on Wikipedia, on her biography and works done by her, as well as her husband- to make it clear on who she is.

As for your meeting with her, congrats. Now i know, basically, AS A STUDENT, who is Datin Peggy Taylor.

simah said...

u have met sooo many interesting people..experience soo many things..n u share them with us here... that is sooo cool...

cuma bila balik malaysia gamaknya akak tak sempat nak bernafas la kot asyik berkejar ke sana sini..but i am sure every moment was worth it...

Manal said...

Alahai, missed lagi...seriously people of RTM if ever u read this blog, could u please, please make a rerun of kak teh's interview???

Bet youtube captured some...lemme go find it out...

mak andeh said...

Ah Kak Teh - I managed to catch the second instalment - with help from my Brood of course, to remind me.

It's wonderful to have a first person narration of history rather than reading it third hand from boring school books, kan ?

Well done, Kak Teh !


Will watch the final instalment tomorrow.

NJ said...

Salam Kak Teh,

It’s so happen that I only managed to go blogging tonite at 8:30pm MY time since yesterday early morning, and as always the first blog I hop to is yours and it’s so happen ur latest entry is on Datin Peggy. I quickly grabbed my handphone, switched to TV1 and there it was the Galeria Perdana slot, with you on telly!!! Told ya, you are everywhere Kak Teh…hehehe. We bloggers/ur loyal readers are so lucky since we had the privilege to enjoy the story behind the making of the slot from ur previous entries.

And for the benefits of our blogger frens outside Malaysia who might not have access to MY RTM1 TV station, this is Galeria Perdana slot with Kak Teh and Datin Peggy in it. My apology for the not-so-good images I captured using my hp.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_z6lPeXohaA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3vbIihtRkc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTT90BIW_Uo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wk5PUrWZ4rk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUUrm4kMA54
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_ch49xA2LQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeBvvL_b0dc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtlYc9b_2Yg

Theta said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Theta said...

Through her firsthand historical accounts, Datin Peggy Taylor is instrumental in bridging the old generation with the new. Her re-introduction to the Malaysian society, as she celebrates her 50th year in independence, couldn't be more timely.

Thanks for plugging her oh so shamelessly..... :)

Kak Teh said...

chet, you watched!! yes, peggy has been lugging the suitcase every where and in fact she has lost many precious letters and pictures.

loveujordan, am glad you saw something...hope images of me didnt scare you...heheeh!

alice/wonda, yes try and watch the last one. She does have very good memory.

Kak Teh said...

jt, it is not a repeat - its the second installment about her friendship with Tunku. Thanks for watching.

encik mutalib, do you think i should? hmm, good idea.

simah, of course i'd share things like this here. buat apalah nak simpan sendiri kan? and espcially when it can shed some light on certain issues.

Kak Teh said...

manal, kak teh tak tau ada repeat ke tidak. and nj ada buat recording.

mak andeh, aaah, goodo!! i am afraid there were not enough visuals for three parts -but had to make do with what i had.

nj, thank you so much!! so so so efficient lah you ni!

theta, methinks there'll be more that i'll be plugging shamelessly!

Typhoon Sue said...

cutcicaiseymann.... i only read this yesterday so i already missed the 1st part. then last night, despite wanting to go home early to catch the 2nd part, i just had to go watch a movie at 6.30 thinking i can make it home in time. Alas, i didn't and so i missed the 2nd part pulak. Hope i can catch the 3rd one tonite. So, definitely no movies today, and possibly, not even dinner. Just so i can see you kakteh.... :)

Chet said...

Datin Peggy needs to have those precious documents scanned. Cuz the physical documents will eventually disintegrate. I noticed she didn't even have the newspaper clippings in a protective plastic sheet or anything.

Oh yah, besides scanning, laminating them would preserve the physical documents. Maybe you can suggest it.

JoKontan said...

n"What's the probleeeeem?.."

tuuu betui-betui style Tunku cakap..

:-)

Malam nii, 8:15 dah nak rebut remote dengan anak2.

Broadcaster Alwiz said...

well done, kak teh. opening up the past for the present to to see and appreciate.

Once a broadcaster always a broadcaster.

Kak Teh said...

typhoon sue,I hope it is worth yr time. the last part is only 5 minutes. I wish i have more visuals but when I did the filming I didnt expect to do three parts. With hindsight I could have done a much better job.

chet, you are so right. I have photocopied some newspaper cuttings for her and certainly some important letters must be laminated. am seeing her again next week. thankls for the suggestion.

jokontan, no probleemmmmm! when Datin peggy said that, I can almost see and hear Tunku saying it. And how I missed that grand old man.

Kak Teh said...

boradcaster alwiz, thanks for putting it so beautifully! opening the past for the present to see....I never thought of it that way. A million thanks!

Mama Rock said...

ahhhh kak teh, i saw it, isaw it! suara kak teh takde bunyi serak pun, sweeeet aje ..hehehe

Kee Beng said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kee Beng said...

Hi Kak Teh

Hope you are well. Sorry lah. Missed the first two parts already. Shall watch tomight if reception of RTM1 in northern Singapore is good enough. Often not, where I live among the giant trees.

Kak Teh said...

Dr ooi! what a wonderful surprise! yes, yes, do watch it. Wish I can do more but ....

Ms. Blabs said...

This is very, very informative. I only came to know of Datin Peggy after reading the article you wrote in the Utusan (or was it BH?) - someone brought the paper back to Cairo. I am sure she has a very interesting story to tell. History must be told by all sides, and often I have encountered situations where what we learnt in school either doesn't provide us with the whole picture, or is unable to fully convey to us the significance or impact of a particular event.

If I don't have broadband (yet), then how can I get hold of your docu series?

Ms. Blabs said...

Ah, just read NJ's comment. Will try and get it from youtube.

Thanks NJ!

~ahni~ said...

Kalau baca blog kakteh ni kan, tak pernah yang rugi, terutamanya orang muda (?) macam saya ni yang tak berapa ambil berat@ tak tahu menahu pasal sejarah, terutamanya bab merdeka. Thanks Kak Teh.

Kak Teh said...

ms blabs,yes i wrote it in my column in Berita Minggu. You must have read it there. Blabs,its not quite a documentary - just three small parts. i wish I can do a documentary.

ahni, terima kasih. Kak teh pun masih lagi belajar.

ruby ahmad said...

Hi Kak Teh,

Didn't manage to watch the whole segment yesterday..had an urgent distraction. But I must say it again, having seen two and half segments, Datin Peggy looks incredible at 82. She is still so vibrant, articulate and full of life. That is admirable and encouraging.

You did a wonderful job presenting her thoughts and memories in such an attractive and friendly way. Thank you.

Vern said...

Wow! Great write up! Really enjoyed this post. Too bad I couldn't catch the one on telly - it's really hard to watch any live television in campus - everyone prefers MTV.

AuntyN said...

Kak Teh, sejak jadi full time housewife ni, sentiasa miss saja semua benda ni. Lagi pun banyak benda yang tak dan nak tengok pun. Will try to catch it on youtube (thanks to NJ!)

Really feel bad was ot able to meet up with you. Another time I hope.

FireHorse said...

kak teh you never fail to amaze me with your "bag of goodies". First you pull out one of the Jacksons now Datin Peggy. You are one lady I wish I could be like if ever I could be someone else.

Tunku Halim said...

Kak Teh,

How I'd love to get my hands on those old letters. Especially about the one about Singapore's split from Malaysia being only temporary! They should all be out in a book.

Kak Teh said...

ruby, thanks - if you are ever here - i will take you to see her.

vern, aaah yes, MTV is but for the young, eh? never mind! You can read about Peggy's experience when she publishes her book.

N- tak apalah. orang nak jadi usahawan mana ada masa lain, kan? all the best.

firehorse, thank you for yr kind words. sometimes i am just at the right place at the right time, with the right people.

tunku, yes, am sure, these will all be in her book! Will inform you of the progress.

Flower said...

Lama tak jengok ke blog Kak Teh. Tetiba tgk ada cerita pasal Aunty Peggy. Arwah mak dedulu memang kekawan ngan dia. Siap tukar2 present lagi. I ni kiranya untunglah kenal Aunty Peggy ni, tapi tak tau how significant dia ni. Kenal dia sbb kawan mak dulu.

Kak Teh said...

flower, so you kenal Peggy! and please do send me an email.She'd love to know that you remember her. You tengok programme tu tak?

Flower said...

Kak Teh
I dont think dia kenal I dan I pun ingat2 lupa mcm tu. But I think kalau mention nama my mom maybe dia kenal lah. I really kecik2 dulu. Kalau tak silap dedulu selalu jumpa dia kat Istana Sultan Selangor or kat rumah T.A. Rahman, mcm tu lah. I masih ingat lagi dia ada bagi my mom present, an oriental jewelery box sbb my mom bagi that box to me. That's how I ingat kat dia. Pelik kan.

I tak tgk programme tu. I skrg ni tinggal kat Perth, Aus.

Kak Teh said...

flower, please email me and let me know yr mother's name. I am meeting peggy again and she will be so happy to hear that someone remembers her. and i am sure she also remembers your mother - her memory is very good.

Flower said...

Kak teh, apa email address you?

Kak Teh said...

flower, it is zwan_uk@yahoo.co.uk