Friday, 26 June 2015

WATTOPERS Turn 50s: Celebrating 38 Years of Brotherhood - Part 5 (The Urban Legend)

The college is located in Pengkalan Chepa, near the Sultan Ismail airport. There are a number of school around this area including Sekolah Menengah Sains, Sekolah Menengah Vokasional and Sekolah Menengah Pengkalan Chepa. Maktab Perguruan Kota Bharu, a teachers training college, was also located adjacent to the college. Eventually, MRSM Kota Bharu was renamed MRSM Pengkalan Chepa, to reflect the town in which it is located. This was to cater for many more MRSMs which were established by MARA. When MRSM Pasir Tumbuh came into being MRSM Kota Bharu had to give way and assumed the PC initials. MRSM Kuala Berang eventually assumed the name of MRSM KB.

During the Second World War, Malaya was invaded by the Japanese army in 1941. They first landed in Pantai Sabak (also known as Pantai Dasar) Pengkalan Chepa. The British had built their defence line near the shore and we could fine cement bunkers around Pantai Sabak, then. Therefore, it would not be difficult to imagine that the British and the Japanese fought each other in Pengkalan Chepa areas at the early stages of the war.

A World War 2 bunker at the Kelantan War Museum
When the college was opened in 1973, most of the buildings, including students dormitories were constructed out of wood. Only later, more permanent structures were constructed. During our first few years at the college, these old blocks were still there in their original state and were used as classes. Later they were refurbished into more modern buildings and some were later replaced with concrete classrooms and laboratories.

Amongst the stories passed down by our seniors were about some scary episodes that they experienced in the early days of the college. We were told that the dorms, which were located at the old blocks, were open and long with beds on both sides. Sometimes, at the middle of the night, some of the students saw headless Japanese troops marching in the middle. Some of them also saw Japanese troops around the college field, which they claimed where prisoners of war were executed.

The other legend at the college was about Nenek Roslin. Many of the seniors claimed that an old lady could be seen to wonder around the college, especially at the old blocks. There were many versions of how she came into existence. One was about a lady who lost her child and she went wondering to find the child. I wonder how could this nenek have a very modern name if she came from the older generation.

Honestly, I never meet any of these urban legends of MRSM Kota Bharu myself. One of the explanations given was that they were around before the Surau was constructed. With the construction of the surau, all these beings seemed to have disappeared, perhaps they could not stand the azan or the call for prayers. However, it did not stop us from talking about them especially when there were blackouts or when we had to attend the preparatory classes in the evenings, especially for those whose classes were located at the old blocks.

Pok Ju could recall a night when one of the boys saw a white figure in the middle of the dark field. They felt scared but then they became curious and wanted to know what it was. A few of them went to investigate and were ready to pick a fight with whatever it was. As they were approaching the figure suddenly the heard a loud voice. The white figure spoke to them. It was Cikgu Mahmud, our warden. Realising that, all of them ran back to their dorm and pretended to sleep. The warden turned up and pointed his flash light. Everybody  shut their eyes although the warden could see they were sweating.

There were cases of hysteria especially amongst the girls. Like any other similar cases in other schools, such incidences could not be properly explained. Not sure whether the Japanese troops or Nenek Roslin did make some special appearance from time to time and whether they knew the girls were their avid fans!

Until today the legend is passed from one batch to another. Whenever I met alumni from the later batches, I would asked them about Nenek Roslin and most of them would know some stories about her.
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