Monday, April 5, 2010

K Bala is no more with us

A DEAR old friend and colleague, K Bala, has died. He must be in his 60s. Another colleague, Tony F, sent me an SMS awhile ago to inform me of the sad news. I've known Bala from the time I started my career in Bernama in 1972. Bala was based in JB then. This chain-smoking journalist had also served The Malay Mail and the NST before retiring some years ago. He's one of my fishing kakis. We did many things together. I remember the wedding of his daughter which was held in Tampin. It was a Hindu wedding but the reception was a full-scale Malay wedding with bersanding and all... His wife died a few years ago in Subang Jaya. Tony F said the body will be brought back to KL from Langkawi where he stayed. I've visited him in his Langkawi home and watched football together. Many journalists benefited from Bala's tough tutelage. He was so full of ideas. He would come in early morning and go through all the day's newspapers, with scissors in hand as he planned follow-ups and dish out assignments. Bala was one of the true journalists of my time. He writes crisply, with an economy of words acquired from years of working on the craft in Bernama. May you rest in peace, my dear brother. We will all miss you.

4 comments:

Kama said...

Bala used to be one of my bosses in Malay Mail. Tough, but fair. May you rest in peace, Bala.

Azmi Anshar said...

Tough tutelage indeed. Bala was sometimes a pain to work with as I experienced in 1993 until the day he retired a couple of years later. But it was because of that pain (constant scrutinising of my copy editing and desk management, and growling bearishly at the mistakes I made) that I became a better editor. He was also tough on reporters, especially the "ngada2" ones, but never have I detected a hint of malice because that was the way Bala operated - a martinet of a professional. But he could have used a dash of PR. Had he done that, reporters would have hugged him everyday even as they learned their art the hard way under his taskmastership.
RIP old friend...

Messi Ball Player Extraordinaire said...

If a boss is constantly, incessantly, ingratiatingly praised by everyone, then surely that praise is undeserved. One can be cool to be popular but it takes a B.....D who harbours no wish to win the popularity stakes to actually be a good BOSS! No ball carrying, no ampu bodek - but sadly, it is precisely those that do, get the titles and the posts. (Lesson here for our top leaders; listen to criticism, act on it ok..!)
PS: Not everybody lah..he he..

Anonymous said...

Sad. Good friend to have. Knew him from my Bernama days. My family went fishing with him too. My son used to help him with his home computer. May God bless his soul.