21 May 2009

SO LONG APAI : REST IN PEACE!


  1. I have an obituary to write. Today at about 10am, a friend, a good friend not only to me but to many fellow media fraternity in Malaysia - Rapa'ee Kawi also known as ``Apai'' and to his dear family as Mansor - passed away due to low blood pressure. He is survived by his wife and 4 children aged between 11-23.

  2. The sad news is that he was doing his medical check-up at a government clinic in Kuching, Sarawak when he suddenly collapsed and eventually, declared dead by the attending doctor. The news made it circle from Kuching via Sibu, then Bintulu before it reached me in Shah Alam. It is sad indeed. Mansor was also a relatives. He was a Christian but that doesn't change anything between him, his family and mine because we're hailed from the same clan. If I'm not mistaken, our grandfathers were brothers and were brought up in Dalat, Mukah.

  3. He was one of the few rare breed of photographers in Malaysia. Trained as a military personnel, he joined the United Nation's Peace Mission in Namibia in 1989 before joining Berita Harian til 1995 where he was offered the same post in The Star til now.

  4. One of the unknown achievement by Apai is that, he was one of those who covered our Malaysian climbers to the Base Camp of Everest. I spoke to our photographer, Mohd Nor Amin just now and he cherished the sweet memories with Apai. Fortunately, he's feat was recognised by Sarawak State Government. I always joke to Apai about him being the first Melanau to be at the steps of Everest. Well, it's not that my ethnic group has never been to overseas. Hahaha... It's just that we never consider ourselves to be THAT eager to travel to such... tough places as the Everest.

  5. I last met him when I returned for Aidilfitri celebration last year. When he knows that I'm back, he'll never failed to visit me. Well, he addressed my parents as ``Wa'' (Pak Tua or Pak Long as you called it in Semenanjung) since my father is the eldest in the clan. I enjoyed the status of `Uncle' to Apai, though I regard that as `nonsense' since he is evidently older than me! He was very close to my siblings. My eldest sister talk to me in the evening. She and my parents were at the hospital and assisted in arranging the transportation to bring the remains of Apai from Kuching to Dalat. ETA is early tomorrow morning. I'm not sure if my brother in Bintulu would be there too.

  6. My personal memory with Apai was when both us happen to be assigned together in covering the Abu Sayyaf abduction fiasco in Jolo, Mindanao in 2000. He had a more challenging route because he had to travel from Kuching to Kota Kinabalu, then Sandakan before taking a long journey via boat across our sea borders. Me and Azalizah, flew from KL to Manila then caught a connecting flight to Zamboanga before proceeding our trip to Jolo via a ferry.

  7. I can't remember the date but the tension in Jolo was coming to a peak. The skirmishes between the rebels and the government soldiers were like 7 miles away from the small town where we stayed. Apai had a breakfast with us and because of I ``was so professional'', I didn't bother to tag him along when I'm off to a certain location. So we dropped Apai behind his hotel... or lodging house which was made of wood to join the other Malaysian media team. There were The Star reporter, NTV7 and Bernama. The NSTP and Berita Harian were smart and prefer to stay put in Zamboanga - reporting and quoting the military spokesman, while enjoying the night life (In Jolo then, there was a curfew between 9pm to 6am).

  8. So coming back to Apai. After dropping him off, we resume our trip and only returned well nearly 6pm. In front of our hotels, the whole Malaysian media contingent were there! Apparently, Apai was surrounded by 6 men and thought to be trying to convey some sort of a message to him. Well, the best part was that Apai (may be because of his military background), didn't hesitate to make a run out of it! hahaha... He ran to the group who were enjoying their lunch (of course there were hotel's bodyguards brandishing M-16 rifle) and were followed before the guard intervened.

  9. So that night, all of them squattered in my room. The room was hardly comfortable for my team that were comprised of myself, Azalizah and Boon, our minder (bodyguard laaa..). But that night there were 6 or 7 of them! I was quite agitated because the lack of privacy! hahaha but I still remember Apai's facial reaction. He was genuinely depressed because of that incident. Well, when we got together some times later in Kuching, I teased him for being `pale' - knowing his military training! hahaha Those were the memories.

  10. For this Rapa'ee aka Apai aka Mansor - rest in peace. Your charm, warmth and joy that you bring unto us will never be forgotten.

2 comments:

HeLL69 said...

hello kawan, ada aku dengar berita tok tek... sori ok.. takziah untuk family ya.. aku tauk cerita tok coz kazan nya kwn aku sama kerja ngan aku..

Johardy Hj Ibrahim said...

your friends kazan could be my kazan also...

p/s SATU HARI NO POSTING TANDA HORMAT.

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