Friday 20 February 2015

A sad farewell to Tunku Kurshiah College

I took a walk in the neighbourhood with my mother this morning.

We happened to pass by her old school which was just nearby.

My mother can't resist taking a look around the school for a while.

I just followed her around.

She showed me a classroom at the old section of the school and told me that it was her first classroom when she was in standard one.

The high school section of the sprawling complex is dominated by an imposing new classroom building.

It's an independent Chinese school.

My mother told me that it was founded in the early half of the 20th century by the Kluang Chinese community.

The community funded the school till today.

I can sense the pride in my mother's voice as she told me the story of her school.

She told me that once, she had hoped that I would be studying there too.

But it was not to be.

I believe that if she had married a Chinese, she would have had her wish.

It's a long story, which I don't want to tell here.

Whatever it is, I know that my mother loves her school very much.

It's among the most important elements which shape herself as a Chinese.

The Malays call it "jati diri".

My mother's school story reminds me of an old posting in the BIGCAT blog,

TKC: Erasing History, Traditions and Values

It tells the sad story of the decision to move the prestigious Tunku Kurshiah College elsewhere from where it used to be.

And then there is this latest post in the same blog,

Alma Mater

It was written by Tinsel, the second administrator of the blog.

She is a TKCian.

I believe that it is her farewell to her school as she knew it.

I was touched by the last few paragraphs of her post:

But now those school buildings are now occupied by another school and it is rather strange and sad seeing some of those buildings being called by a different name ... okay I confess, I looked up that school's facebook.

I bet the dorms have different names too.

I stopped going further because somehow it is just uncomfortable to realise how affected I am to know that the school where I grew up in looks the same but is no longer the same and that the connection is now truly dead.

Those were really sad words.

What a contrast from the sense of belonging felt by my mother towards her Chinese school.


  1. Come to think of it, we spent 5 long years growing up here.

    But us Alamandians Blue remain as closely bonded fm as young as 11yrs old till today...


    1. Do any of you hold fond memories of dear teachers ?

  2. TKC yang baru siap dekat Nilai lagi besar dan cantik la Annie. Bangunan lama yang dekat Seremban tu dah terlalu uzur. Banyak yang dah usang dan rosak yang memerlukan banyak penyelenggaraan. Kos untuk maintain old building sangat tinggi so kerajaan decided to move TKC to new place. In fact TKC sepatutnya rasa bertuah dapat berpindah ke twmpat baru yang serba baru dan lengkap. Barulah semangat skit student nak belajar. Dah banyak dah SBP-SBP yang berpindah ke tapak baru. Sekolah Alam Shah yang asal kat Cheras berpindah ke sprawling modern buildings di Putrajaya. Seri Putri asal KL pindah ke Cyberjaya. Benda ni have been going on for a while now. It is not unique to TKC. It happened to other boarding school as well. Please don't get too melancholic about it.

    1. No matter how new or grand the new tkc is, it doesnt replace the place where one sent their 5 years of sisterhood and growing up. Whats left are memories. No harm to be melancholy about it.
      Most of us from the old TKC, still do, will do, forever.

  3. KGV where I used to study is still there minus the wooden hostel. Never been to TKC though that close but then the 'kodoks' like to party with MCKKs, that's what I used to hear then! The half Chinese part of me says that the Malays tend to be finicky lot 'seperti tikus membaiki labu'. Probably that's what happen to TKC transplanted elsewhere?

  4. Understanding Confucianism with Huston Smith & Bill Moyers

    “Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.”
    “Learning without right thinking is labor lost; thought without proper learning is hazardous.”

  5. I understand the sentiments expressed by the alumni of TKC.

    Those of us who had the privilege of studying in the English College in Johor Bahru in the 50s & 60s, when it was one of the premier schools in the country, will understand these sentiments.

    Of course that was when the medium of instruction was English, and the school had "old school" teachers who brooked no nonsense and who taught their students with enthusiasm.

    English Collegians from the 60s will remember fondly expat British headmasters Mr Swales and Mr Alan Baker and teachers like Mr G V Pillai, Mr Michael Parry, Mr Lim Nai Tian, Mr A K Pillai, Mr P C Joseph, Mr Oswin Pereira, Mr Selvaraj, Mr Bakshi etc.

    All that changed (not for the better) when the medium of instruction was switched to Malay and the school had it's name changed.

    Why mess around with a tried and tested formula?

  6. HRH The Duke of Cambridge's Happy Chinese New Year message

  7. I adore TKC girls

  8. i was there from 82 to 86. Zawiyahian. You live up to be a tkcian alright.. bright, fierce, independent and sharp. Keep it up Annie.

  9. SlTKC kan sekolah DSRM tu. Mestilah dia nak buat paling canggih. Apa peduli rasa sedih alumninya yang beribu2 tu. Sedang Permata pun dibajetkan ratusan juta, TKC mesti sama tahap.atau lebih tinggi. MRSM pun ada yang ditukar bermula dengan Seremban diikuti Kulim. Kuantan juga diura-urakan mahu ditukar tapi dibantah. Nasib dua MRSM berkenaan lebih tragis, langsung hilang tak berganti. Yang tinggal hanya sejarah dan generasi alumni yang semakin berkurang bilangannya. TKC tak perlu sedih sangat kerana dipindahkan sedang.MRSM Seremban dan Kulim dilenyapkan.

  10. Apa jadi dengan MMRSM Bentong?

  11. Yes.That feeling of staying at Bukit Merbah exactly not the same like what we feel at the new campus rn.Though the new and well-equipped campus is obviously global-standard.I was happen to be able to study at both campus and the vibe of Bkt Merbah really makes us miss to live there.Though all the teachers and staff also moved to the new campus,the memories and all the rejoicement made are still there.But,everything got pros and cons.The students get new comfortable environment which makes us and the future TKCian able to study well and achieve more trophys for the upcoming comps. All we have to do is just bring the glory back to Kurshiah support the collegians in all field and TKC's niche area!!Have faith 💗