Memoirs are not only a personal record of a man’s life but also a rich source of the culture and history of a people and a nation. They contribute retrospective insights into the life and times of the people of a past era that provide connectivity with the present. Dr Mohamed Said’s accounts of his early years in Linggi, Negeri Sembilan, offer us a glimpse into the traditional Malay life in a typical Kampung at the turn of the twentieth century when Malaya was an undeveloped British colony. The myriad customs and traditions he chronicles and the socio-cultural and religious milieu of the times help us understand better the shaping of the psyche of a small community of Malays.
The seeds of Dr Mohamed Said’s character, principles and values were sown early life through exposure to the role models not only in his family but also his school environment. His good fortune in receiving an education in the best of British traditions at The Malay College Kuala Kangsar where the rural boys like him were taught by dedicated schoolmasters, opened his mind to the culture of academic excellence. Dr. Mohamed Said’s dedication to duty, like that of many of his peers who later became outstanding public servants and professionals, was also inspired by the teachers and headmasters who nurtured his talents. This book will appeal to readers interested in a slice of Malaysian history.