Adam Bin Jaafar is a Penangnite, born in 1964. He is a Malaysian born in hardship and with the trauma of losing his younger sister in a horrible fire early in his years. The writer, Syahril A.Kadir, writes it in the first person
This simple book sets out in chronology the events that lead to Malaysia’s horrible shoot-out in its main city of Kuala Lumpur and the aftermath for the man who lost his mind. As a short digression, I can actually remember the events as a small boy of 8 (Primary Two) because of the news coverage
Honestly, this is a depressing look at the reality of life in Malaysia; 30+ years and not much has changed. There are certainly many talking points from this book. The army ragging described is one such controversy. It is a tradition that does not seem to die, even though it has been made illegal within the military system. Just a few months before reading this book, I actually met a soldier-in-training from (***hidden for privacy sake***) who actually faced similar ragging – which was so severe that the case was brought up to the higher-ups. My high school friends who attended a ‘military-type’ school also shared similar experiences. This is a form of ‘bullying’. Many excuse such
The other thing that truly pained me in reading is Adam’s ‘recovery’. One would argue that he did not recover because he ended up a drug-user and homeless. This 50+ year old man looks older than his age, weak and without much hope for the future. He lost everything that he had, and he remains lost. Our healthcare did not help him; in fact, one could argue that it made his condition worse!
I would commend all to read, especially those who are maturing and need a healthy dose of reality in their life. Be mindful that there are ‘adult words and subject matter’ that are discussed. The bullying received is graphically described. Be warned. But we must not just read and enjoy the ‘confession’. There is much to discuss for us in the 21st century Malaysia Baru. I wish Private Adam bin Jaafar well, and hope through this little contribution he has made, his life is slowly steering to the right path.
The book can be obtained from https://dubookpress.com/produk/konfesi-prebet-adam/ at the price of RM30. I think they have gone through a few printing editions since the cover is different from mine.