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Sunday, April 8, 2012


Talib Harimau loves freedom to do what he likes to do. A pendekar needs no master, responsible to no one but his own. During his prime marauding age somebody asked him to be a gocoh (silat ring fighter) in Kota Bahru to earn money. He won 4 fights and lost once. The winner received $90 and loser $50.

Pak Itam (back)  is at home with elephants to be a mahout. The scene was at an elephant capture to be brought to Kuala Gandah, Pahang.

He worked once in a sawmill at Kuantan. The Mat Salleh boss seeing Talib a bit playfull told a worker that Talib bodoh and Raja bodoh. Talib was told about it and made him furious with anger especially for the latter remark. His boss need to be taught.

After lunch the next he impatiently waited for the boss to come in. Talib wished him "Good morning" which made the boss angry for the wrong calling. Talib lunged at him with a punch but the well built Mat Salleh didn't fall. After a couple more punches the latter was on the floor. If not for the other workers stopping Talib, the boss would be in dire consequence. When the palace got wind of the incidence Talib was called by the Sultan. Talib knew the power of the Sultan's tight slap which he was fond to punish with, and afraid of the pelempang he seeked refuge in Kelantan for sometime.

The Harimau said that his father was the son Tengku Abdullah, a sibling of Sultan Mulut Merah of Kelantan. He left Kelantan for Pahang and called himself Awang Sulu and became a guru silat at Semantan. Then he went to Nenasi.

It was about a dozen years that I didn't visit him because of being in Sarawak. Around mid-February last I drove up to Kg. Badak, Kuantan and reached there late afternoon. He was not at home but at his floating hut on the river nearby, catching fish with jala. I went to see him on the river and to my surprise he has lost recognition of me! Apparently his memory is fading.

That evening I belanja them at a seafood restaurant for his 66th birthday by coincidence. Talib was in a jubilant mood saying poetry, praising me and joking with the girls serving food. I realised now that he is or was rather quite a woman's man!

His wife urged me to take him as my bodyguard which she has said a couple of times before. I was elated but I'm no millionaire!

Another of Talib's ilmu he passed to me long time ago (L).

Talib Harimau is out of tune with the modern concept of life. Palace intrigues are of different nature now. We don't fight with silat but use bullets.
Yet, he managed to fit in a marginalised world trying to live off the land and be contented but not necessarily happy.

He was keeping many cows at one time but were poisoned. His motor for the fishing got stolen. He got to floor with a quick silat move on one of the kampung folks when they talked bad about him. Till now no one dares to interfere with life though somewhat poor.

I did ask him to do a favour for me before I left!

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