Once upon a time in this Malay Archipelago, policemen were responsible to register a baby's name in the Birth Certificate. Dalam erti kata lain pendaftaran anak-anak adalah bersandarkan kepada 'kecerdikan' encik polis yang bertugas ketika itu dan juga darjah kepekaan pendengaranya. Sekiranya nasib tidak menyebelahi, maka anak yang malang itu akan menanggung nama yang gila tak best sepanjang hayat.
I met and happened to know a few people who have been affected by that catastrophic incident.
A friend of my aunt, a teacher. A very good looking, tall , slender lady named BERKEH. Her name was supposed to be BALQIS.
- My mom's neighbour, a petite sweet and pretty lady who has been named RODOH. According to her, her mom all this while had happily thought that she has named her RODHIAH.
- And out of trillions of name there is this whole wide world, a boy on his first day of school where my mom taught, found out that he was TIDAK BERNAMA. According to her grandmother, during the registration the boy's father was in the jungle. No he was not a Tarzan, he was a soldier. So one relative went to register his name. But because that Bendol met another Bongok Policeman, they did a stupid mistake which caused a mess in that boy's life. Later on, the boy's parents divorced and he was taken care by his grandmother who was illiterate.
Nevertheless, there are names which were quite extra ordinary and given happily by the proud parents without the fault of Mr Policeman.
- A good friend to my dad is named MENTERI by his probably visioned and optimistic father. Luckily he retired as an honourable school principal. Maybe something went wrong somewhere that he did not end up in the parliament but I think its a blessing in disguise. If only he became a minister, what would the press referred him to??? Even worst, what if he became a Menteri Besar of some state. So it was good that he remains Cikgu Menteri or Haji Menteri. However, once he went for a Convention in Medan Indonesia and my dad was also one of the participant. He received a first class treatment, why of course, he is Pak Menteri ok.
- My paternal grandparents must have been out of idea when they were to name their 13th daughter, so they named her Che Puan.She became a Cikgu Che Puan sometimes later and when she got married, her students called her Pn Che Puan, on purpose.
- I met a very cute girl in college and her name was KLORIDA, and of course lah it would be satu perbuatan yang tidak bermoral for me to ask whether her mom really wanted to name her like that or that she was given a name which was related to some incident in her mom's life. So I thought her dad must be a chemist or a pharmacist.
- And sometimes, there are person who's name really meant to be for him/her. I knew a boy named WAI SOH LONG and yesss people, he was soooo tall allright. But long? Err what am I referring to here?
- A guy in Kanda's office was named PANDUNATHAN and I am very sure that his parents did not have the slightest idea that he would become a driver when he grew up. But he is now a PEMANDU to the big boss.
- A friend once told me that his Master (during his pupillage period) was PUN KOK PINK but tidaklah aku tahu whether that name suited him ke tidak hu hu hu.
I came across a true story in Readers Digest about an American who was impressed to find out that a chinese man who owned a restaurant where he regularly went has a pure German name (it was Olaf something) and that man speaks very little English and looks nothing like he has a mix parentage. So he asked the man's son. What actually happened was that upon registering for his green card , he was asked his name and he said Sam Ting. Unfortunately for him , the man in front of him was a German named Olaf XXXX.