Ode to Johan & Kat


It was love at first sight

Compared to none in sight.

It is a love that endures

To merit that eternal future!

More than a year has since passed when I had the privilege & honour to enjoy the hospitality of Johan & Kat in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

  • Here’s a love story with a difference . . . and the difference grows .
  • A story depicting peace & harmony happening naturally . . .
  • An outstanding example on being “Truly Malaysian”!

    This is not a commercial advertisement for tourism promotion as shown on TV screen.

Way back in the 1966/67, I was their form master in the HSC class of the then premier Anderson School of Ipoh, Malaysia. He was the Deputy School Captain and my class monitor, with which positions he commanded a lot of respect from fellow students. Tall, dark & handsome, he was quite a catch and I guess that’s the reason why some mystery persons kept “pinching his bottom”! Nobody knows till today . . .  

Perhaps that was how his bottom kept being pinched!

Andersonian Class of 1966/67 (part) at The Lake Club, KL

Though I faced my students day in day out in class, there was a lot of secret“going ons” unknown to my eyes & ears. For instance, I learnt only recently that the girls were all crazy of the handsome history master with spring in his steps and an operatic voice to thrill their hearts. Mind you these young, pretty & bright girls were all selected elite intelligent students from various schools after their good performances at Senior School Leaving Certificate level. However, though not apparently so, Johan & Kat had eyes only for each other.

Kat, a demure pretty sweet thing, could be taken to be a white girl by the colour of her skin & features. I remember her to be quite serious and absolutely no nonsense. Not sure who set the “tender trap” but I remember Johan was sweet on her . . . perhaps that was how his bottom kept being pinched.

Being of Chinese descent, Johan was not his name in school. This is his adopted name when he converted to Muslim faith upon his marriage to Kat. She is of course a Muslim, a modern one with western attire till today. Johan observes every aspect of his new faith . . . no eating of pork & the requirement of praying five times a day!

Johan adores Kat worshipping & honouring her as his “boss”. He always refer to Kat as his “boss” and she takes it in her strides keeping a beautiful comfortable home in a double-story corner house, “a Green Villa Resort” in SS19, Subang Jaya. In the absence of having any offspring of their own, it’s also a home for their cats. This is quite unbelievable as Kat is allergic to cats. Kat has cats here, cats there & everywhere in her home.

Their home once featured in the Straits Times Press is even more attractive to the “Greenies” with lots of flowers & plants and rich green canopy to ward off the tropical heat. Its environment is truly cool through rain or shine.

Now you probably won’t believe me! Kat may be mistaken to be a Chinese who gets at the break of dawn to hasten to a neighbouring open field to lead a group of Chinese residents mainly in “Qigong”, a well-known Chinese art much like :Tai-Chi”.

Kat leading Qigong class

She had a bout of tuberculosis which was healed through TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine” and since then she’s became a true devotee in Chinese herbal medicine. Both are qualified herbal medicine healers, graduates of TCM College. They operate their virtual free consultancy from home and there is always a stream of visitors coming by seeking a cure in alternative medicine when western medicine fails. People following traditional practice offer red packets as fees for their consultancy.

At Collmar Tropicale, Genting April 2011

So here we are . . . you see a couple of mixed marriage with contrasting religions showing fellow Malaysians what’s meant by being “True Malaysian”!

Serene golf course scene in Gentin


with points of correction

Khadijah Shaari        


Dear Sir,

That was very kind of you…though somewhat “pie say” for us. But we know you mean well, so we accept it as graciously as we can.

However Sek Yee and I would like to clarify the following points:-

1) My TB was not cured by TCM alone.  I took the standard TB treatment from the hospital but I remember the lung specialist did comment that my healing response was very quick despite the stage IV when I was diagnosed.  Besides I did not suffer any side effects from the drugs I was prescribed given the condition I was in and of course the age group that I belong to…so it must have been the TCM of which qigong is a very important component.  Yes, I owe it to qigong, and the lots of TLC from my Chinese husband.

2) We counsel cancer patients on a voluntary basis.  We do not accept ang pows from them.  They pay only for the herbs ie if they decide to take the Cacare herbs from us.

3) We use whatever TCM knowledge we acquire from everywhere, and everybody in order to help cancer patients who come to us for help.

We would also like you to know that it was indeed an honour to play host to our form teacher.  I guess it was a challenge which not many would take up. I admit it was not easy for us as we were not equipped to take in such a guest at such a short notice.  However, looking back, we are glad we survived and did not kill you in the process.

Mr Chong, thank you. Please know that we are still learning from you.



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