HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE OF THE OPTIMIST OF THE MALACCA HIGH SHOOL

The founders having attained the aim to establish the High School Literary Association on the 29th. March, 1921, attempted to publish a magazine.

Enthusiastically they set out to publish the first issue with the ambitious name of “The Educator”. The typewritten articles on four sheets of foolscap paper were on the following

  1. Hainan
  2. The China of Today
  3. Lorando and his lute
  4. General Knowledge
  5. Tasmania

The date was given as 31st. May, 1921.

The “Educator” was never printed owing to the lack of funds.

However, credit must be given to the Editor for his praiseworthy efforts. In November, 1923, an attempt was made to revive the magazine but the past failure discouraged the committee from venturing into the enterprise. After the election of new office bearers on February, 24th. 1924 a resolution was passed at a meeting a few days later to the effect that a magazine should be published and that it should be owned and controlled by the Association.

The magazine sub-committee in March, 1924 comprised of the following:

  • Honourable Editor – Chee Koh Chiang
  • Honourable Censor – Mr. L. D. Whitfield
  • Honourable Secretary (Acting as Manager) – P.N. Bardhan

The names suggested were

  1. Young Malacca
  2. Teacher
  3. Educator
  4. School

Finally, the name Optimist was adopted after a long discussion. There were som criticism about the choice but it aptly described the promoters of the magazine, none of whom had any experience in publishing with a sum of $40 borrowed from the association undertaking the task of getting contributions, the production of the magazine got under way.

The first issue of the magazine – The Optimist – marked Volume 1, No. 1, price 50 cents and dated 7th. April, 1924.

It had this for the editorial, “Birth is doubly a crisis – a crisis for the offspring and a crisis for the parents.”

That profound remark was engendered by the thought that in a few days this, the very first issue of our magazine, will be in the hands of the public. For weeks we have laboured and now our offspring is all but ready for your perusal.

The parent’s time of crisis is almost over, the child is about to begin.

When we lay the fruits of our labour before you, judge it not too harshly. Those of you who are younger sons will readily admit that the first child is nearly always the ugliest one – so too may experience improve our handiwork.

“The difficulties attendant on the publication of a school magazine have to be experienced to be appreciated. First of all, there is the question of finance. We have wondered whence we can obtain the wherewithal to pay the printer’s bill.

We only cease to wonder when we realize that, that is a question which concerns the printer much more intimately than it does us. Then there is the difficulty of extracting contributions from one’s school fellows. You understand, of course, that one cannot very well edit a magazine without contributions. Contributions are funny things, they never come out of their own accord but always have to be extracted…

When the idea of a magazine was first mooted we had no assets but that spirit of cheery optimism which Malacca seems to breed in her sons.

Hence the name, “The Optimist”. It accurately represents our feelings.

However, the sales was an unexpected success. Very soon the magazine were sold out and many subscribers had to be disappointed. The members become enthusiastic and contributions began to pour in. Some gentlemen entirely unconnected with school kindly gave donation and others subscribed liberally.

The second Issue, Volum 1, No. 2, price 50 cents, was published and issued in Julu, 1924. The following are excerpts from the issue:- although we realise that age is no criterion of tradition, we do not hesitate to asset that the High School, during teh ninety-eight years of its existence; has built up a great tradition of its own. But tradition cannot stand still – it must either increase in strength and clearness as it passes from generation to generation, or else it must diminish and fade until it becomes mere glimmering memory to the successors of those who once held it sacred.

One of teh surest ways to preserv and stengthen the virility of our school’s tradition is by means of the school magazine – a nucleus around which the trend of thought in the school it may crystallise and through it, may increase in originality, in spontaneity, in its own natural grace.

Remember, though that is is only with the help of every single boy and master of the school that we can make this magazine the symbol of our temperament and teh emblem of our genius.

1924 saw 3 Issues of The Opitmist in April, July and November – Volume 1, No. 1, 2 and 3.

One year later, Volume 11 No. 1 of April 1925 has this for its Editorial:- “A little babe in its cradle, so sweet and innocent; a year’s interval and no more a babe but a little child, just beginning to understand and to talk. Such is our magazine, and we, having carefully survived teh first year’s toil in editing a magazine, find ourselves confronted with a harder task – improvement and interest.”

The Educator, the first and last of its kind to be issued, had no cover design as all the articles were typewritten on foolscap paper. The first eight copies of the Optimist – April 1924, to August, 1926 – had plain covers with the “Content” printed on them. From December 1926 to April 1929, the magazine had on its cover the following designs :-

  • The Old School Building and a cock crowing at sunrise.
  • From October, 1929 to September 1931, the cover underwent a change at the suggestion of Mr. E.S. Redfeam and the design was carried our by Mr. Yan Kee Leong. In 1929, the Editorial Board decided to condense the wisdom and wits of The Optimist within the covers of one annual Edition, and this was to start from 1930 Issue.
  • At this time, the cover had the picture of the main building of the school with wall (in black) below it, and on this black portion was the old Fort with the following words below it: The High School Malacca.
  • From 1932 to 1941, the picture of the old Fort with the school motto: Meliora Hic Sequamur was conspicuous on all covers of the magazine.
  • The Optimist ceased to make its appearance from 1942 to 1946. A fresh lease of life was given to it in 1947 when in that one publication were recorded all Notes and News of the School from 1945 to 1947.
  • The cover design remained the same as that of 1941 with very little changes, but this year the design was again changed, the Old Fort being given sleek modern outlines in difference to modern tendency towards streamlining.

The the 1950s and 1960s, the cover underwent some changes and the quality of the paper was improved. But basically, the cover design carried the same message, that is the ‘optimist’ was an annual magazine of the old Alma Mater.

In the early 1970s, the cover designers opted for simplicity and thus we had the words ‘The Optimist’ on the top, with the school crest on the right hand corner, the school colours stripes running horizontally near the bottom. The 1975 Issue carried a different cover, perhaps preparing for the sesquicentennial year of High School the following year.

1976 marked the beginning of a new ere for High School because she celebrated her 150th. anniversary that year. The cover with a photograph of the school was certainly impressive.

So much for the changes in cover designs of the Optimist. What most of us fail to realize is the role that the school magazine plays in our school life.

The Optimist probably started off as one that served to inspire the literary talented pupils to produce articles which will help to instil greater reading habit among students.

The first post-war Issue served to present a truthful and detailed report of the school’s activities and was a representative organ of school’s outlook. It is on these lines that the Optimit has evolved through the years.

In the 1947 Issue, we find the excerpts :- May it serve to be the means of preserving and strengthening the virility of the school tradition, and of bringing together the past and the present pupils and teachers and those interested in the school to a close and stronger bond of unity for the enhancement and education of the younger generation.

Tan Gim Ann

Indeed the Optimist has served all these purposes and the Editorial Board of the 57th. Issue has tried to so so too to the best of its ability.

MALACCA HIGH SCHOOL

The hills, the seas, and waving palm,

They beckon all to peace and calm

The ancient walls and hoary gate

They urge us on to grander fate.

We’ll work and play with nobler aim

And keep up Malacca High School’s name.

Meliora Hic Sequamur

Meliora Hic Sequamur

This is our motto ! Boys ! be true !

In every thing you have to do

Here we strive for better things.

Listen to the hope it brings

Come, Let’s sing with heart and voice,

We’re Malacca High School boys.

J. BARUCH – OPTIMIST 1949

THE STAR ONLINE : Malacca High School gets ready for 185th grand bash.

Page 47 Optimist 1978

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IKLAN DAN PENGARUH

Iklan adalah merupakan satu alat jual-beli yang digunakan oleh badan-badan perusahaan untuk melariskan di samping meluaskan lagi barang-barang keluaran mereka. Ia bukan saja digunakan oleh syarikat-syarikat terkenal tetapi ianya juga digunakan oleh pelabur-pelabur tempetan untuk mempopularkan lagi barang-barang yang lazimnya dianak titikan oleh masyarakat.

Iklan mengandungi berita-berita tentang gaya, fesyen, barang-barang keluaran baru, perkakas-perkakas baru dan kemudahan-kemudahan baru. Ia membawa berita dan mengarahkan kita di mana dan mengapa kita harus membeli sesuatu barang itu. Ia juga merupakan sumber maklumat tentang barang-barang keluaran baru dan membolehkan para pengguna memenuhi segala kehendak mereka tanpa bersusah-payah mencarinya.

Iklan yang mempunyai berbagai definasi adalah merupakan aspek penting bagi kejayaan sesuatu pihak di arena perniagaan baik bagi pihak individu mahupun sesebuah organisasi. Iklan disampaikan dalam berbagai-bagai cara. Pencipta-pencipta iklan biasanya menggunakan cara-cara yang tersendiri supaya isi penyampaian sesuatu iklan itu benar-benar dapat merasuki jiwa dan sanubari masyarakat khasnya masyarakat zaman maaterialis yang mudah terpedaya dengan kata-kata manis. Bagi pihak individu khususnya penjaja-penjaja yang sudah matang dengan kegetiran dan pahit maung hidup biasanya bergantung kepada laungan suara mereka yang lansing dan nyaring untuk mengiklankan barang-barang jualan mereka. Sementara itu setengah penjaja pula menggunakan loceng dan lain-lain alat bunyian untuk menarik perhatian orang ramai. Setengah syarikat dan koperasi mengiklankan barang-barang mereka dengan menggunakan poster-poster dan dengan mempublisitikan nama syarikat dan barang-barang keluaran mereka di ruangan-ruangan akhbar serta majallah-majallah. Setengah syarikat yang lebih berkemampuan mengiklankannya di pawagam-pawagam, telivesyen dan juga radio. Syarikat-syarikat besar yang telah maju sanggup menaja sesuatu rancangan hiburan yang diminati ramai dan juga menaja siaran terus-menerus yang dapat memberi peluang kepada rakyat disegenap pelusuk negara untuk sama-sama menyaksinya. Diradio, telivesyen dan pawagam-pawagam ianya disampaikan dengan cara lakunan, perbualan berbentuk muzikal dan juga nyanyian lunak yang diselangi oleh alunan irama berentak rancak atau sentimental yang sungguh menarik. Tidak ketinggalan juga banyak syarikat-syarikat kerajaan dan swasta yang mengedarkan kelendar dan buku catitan harian dengan percuma dan juga mengadakan tawaran istimewa semata-mata untuk melariskan lagi penjualan barang-barang mereka. Justeru itu, maka secara spontan ujudlah perlumbaan dikalangan peniaga-peniaga dan syarikat-syarikat.

Mencipta iklan bukanlah merupakan satu perkara yang mudah kerana untuk mempengaruhi orang ramai membeli sesuatu barang itu adalah merupakan satu masaalah yang rumit. Soal berjaya atau gagalnya sesuatu iklan itu bergantung kepada pengetahuan-pengetahuan yang terperinci tentang barang yang bakal diiklankan. Pengetahuan saikoloji memainkan peranan yang penting kearah penciptaan sesuatu iklan yang benar-benar berkesan. Disamping itu pengkajian tentang reaksi masyarakat umum terhadap iklan perlu diperhitungkan. Manusia mempunyai anika sifat-sifat tabii yang tidak berasaskan kepada pemikiran rasional dan lojik. Sifat-sifat kelemahan inilah yang dieksploitasikan oleh para peniaga bila mencipta iklan. Faktor “Daya Penarik” juga merupakan satu perkara yang penting. Wanita-wanita yang bertubuh gebu dan montok biasanya ditonjolkan didalam sesuatu iklan. Dengan ini menarik ramai lagi para pengguna khasnya kaum lelaki untuk membeli barang-barang keluaran mereka. Kedua-dua faktor inilah yang bertanggungjawab ke arah penciptaan iklan yang berkesan.

Iklan boleh mendatang banyak kebaikan khasnya kepada para peniaga. Apabila sesuatu iklan itu berjaya mencapai matlamatnya maka sudah pastilah para peniaga mendapat keuntungan yang berlipat ganda. Mereka tentu dapat memperbesarkan lagi syarikat-syarikat mereka disamping menyemarakan lagi barang-barang jualan mereka. Dengan ini mereka akan dapat hidup dalam arus kemewahan material dan masa depan mereka akan bersinar gemerlapan. Pengguna-pengguna pula dapat mengetahui barang-barang yang ada di pasaran. Dengan ini mereka tidak akan dipedayakan oleh para peniaga yang setengahnya merupakan lintah darat bertopeng manusia yang sentiasa ingin menghisap darah para pembeli. Dari ini juga maka akan terjalinlah satu ikatan perpaduan yang erat diantara peniaga dan pengguna.

Dengan adanya iklan barang-barang tempatan dapat diperkenalkan di kacamata masyarakat dan negara asing. Kerajaan boleh melancarkan expo yang dapat memperkenalkan barang-barang tempatan ini dan dapat menghilangkan prasangka manusia terhadapnya. Apabila tercapainya matlamat ini maka akan bertambah kukuhlah ekonomi negara dan masaalah inflasi dan stagflasi yang membelenggu pembangunan negara tentu sekali bisa di atasi. Tukaran wang asing juga dapat dijimatkan.

Iklan juga tidak suci dari membawa berbagai implikasi buruk berbentuk sosialojikan mahupun berbentuk fenonima alam. Iklan dengan mudah sekali dapat meresap dan meracuni daya pemikiran manusia. Peniaga-peniaga seringkali memperalatkan kelemahan manusia dan mempergunakan taktik buruk dan kotor yang bisa memerangkap para pengguna yang laki. Gambar-gambar wanita yang ‘sexy’ dipamirkan diiklan-iklan lambat laun akan membawa kapada keruntukan ahlak khasnya kaum belia dan beliawanis yang masih mentah dalam mengharungi panorama hidup yang serba mencabar. Iklan rokok dan minuman keras dapat mempengaruhi daya pemikiran kaum pelajar dan ini jelas terbukti kerana ramai di antara kaum pelajar kita yang merokok dan tak kurang juga-ramai masyarakat kita yang terdiri dari penganut-penganut pelbagai ugama yang menghalalkan minuman keras yang boleh mengakibatkan kepada kerosakan kesihatan dan jiwa rohani yang baik. Mereka ini tidak lagi berpegang teguh kepada lunas-lunas ugama kerana meminum keras ditegah sekeras-kerasnya oleh ugama. Perkara di atas yang menjadi barah masyarakat kita dewasa ini boleh membawa kepada keruntukan ahlak juga dan lam kelamaan apabila keruntuhan ini berluasan akan menimbulkan bibit-bibit kehancuran dan seterusnya segala rancangan kerarah pembangunan sosial dan ekonomi akan punah tak berhaluan. Akhirnya, masyarakat kita akan tempang dan seterusnya bertukar menjadi masyarkat pincang. Ini sudah pasti akan menghitamkan identiti negara.

Gambar-gambar lucah yang dijadikan “daya penarik” akan membawa kepada perjuangan nafsu kebinatangan bagi setengah kaum lelaki dan akibatnya akan berluasanlah zina dan pencabulan kehormatan. Suri-suri rumahtangga yang mabuk dengan kebendaan akan mendesak suaminya membeli perabut-perabut dan kemudahan baru yang hangat diiklankan. Suri-suri rumahtangga ini akan membelanjakan wang dengan boros dan ekonomi sesebuah keluarga akan menjadi tidak stabil dan akibatnya akan membawa kepada keretakan sesebuah rumahtangga.

Dari hujah-hujah yang telah dikemukakan di atas dapatlah dirumuskan yang ikaln membawa seribu sinar kebaikan dan juga keburukan yang dapat mengubah cara hidup manusia. Jadi orang ramai hendaklah mengawal keinginan mereka supaya tidak mudah tergoda dengan kata-kata dan janji-janji manis yang kerap digunakan didalam sesuatu ikalan kerana ikalan adalah diibaratkan sebagai umpan yang senantiasa mengambil kesempatan untuk menjerat mangsanya yang terpedaya. Disamping itu adalah wajar bagi pengiklan-pengiklan untuk mereka satu bentuk iklan yang sesuai dan tidak melanggar nilai-nilai ugama dan kebudayaan. Iklan-iklan yang bersesuaian patutlah diperkembangkan penggunaannya. Kerana ia boleh memastikan ekonomi negara dan seterusnya boleh menambahkan keutuhan sesebuah negara khasnya negara-negara yang sedang giat dalam pembangunan.

AA 4 Science 2
Page 69 Optimist 1977

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