The road was winding and dark although it was a little pass mid day. Tree branches formed a canopy like ceiling above the narrow and uphill road. It was a relaxing drive on a Wednesday afternoon. Lucky the old state government was not anymore in power. Other wise, Khir would probably have approved another chopping down activity on this section of the Ulu Klang valley, in the name of development. Didn’t Highland Towers teach us a painful lesson?

I then found myself at a clearing of old houses situated at the mid point of the hill. They all looked uniquely the same. Last time I went there, it was probably about 15 years ago. At that time I was with my mother and a few of her school friends in a small get together. The host was Ms Chew. Ah, now I remembered which house.

I parked my car carefully at the side of the road, just slightly in front of a brown coloured house. The outside walls were covered with thick green moss, freshly nurtured under the shades of the compassionate trees. I pressed the buzzer next to the rusty iron gate.

Moments later, the gate slowly opened and I saw a middle aged Chinese lady standing in front of the main door. The smile on her face broadened as I took steps closer to the main door. “My, my. Look how you’ve grown. How’s your mother?”, she started the conversation gleefully. “Mom’s ok. I’m sorry Ms Chew, but I can’t stay long actually”. “Hmm, well come on in and make yourself comfortable while I prepare the stuff your mother requested”, she replied.

I sat myself on an antique fabric chaise longue at one side of the living room. Even the scent of the whole living room was old. I can smell the old wood. The room was nicely decorated, old-fashioned yet simple. But then, the photo frames and portraits on the opposite wall immediately caught my attention. I stood up and gave a closer look.

I paused for a moment to digest the photos in front of me. Someone very, very familiar was in each and every photograph. I’m seeing old photographs of a Chinese family in their typical family pose, at the lawn, at the staircase, in the car and of course in the living room, the room I’m standing in. The thing is, the father figure in the photos was Tunku Abdul Rahman! Yes, the first prime minister of the Federation of Malaya. I’m very sure of it. How can anybody who call themselves Malaysian, could mistakenly identify the Tunku for another person? I was witnessing captured moments that were never published in official biographies, books or newspapers.

As I was wandering deep in my thoughts, Ms Chew came back with a nicely wrapped package in her hands. She gave the package to me and suddenly I became half clumsy. I nearly dropped the package to the floor. Ms Chew smiled. “Send my best regards to your mother!”, she escorted me back to the main door. “I will Ms Chew, thank you”.

My mind was still wandering on my drive home, again, through the shady canopies of branches and leaves along the winding downhill road.

My first question to mother upon reaching home, “Who is the Tunku to Ms Chew?”, blunt and direct. Mother was surprised. She carefully took the package from my hands and put it aside on a tea chest near the front door. “Ms Chew was the Tunku’s granddaughter”, she calmly answered. “How come we didn’t know? I never came across anything about it in anything I’ve ever read”, I asked again. Mother gave a heavy sigh before answering my question. “It’s a bloodline that the authorities chose not to speak about”.

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