A Truly Patriotic, Malaysian Family.
......While names are largely identified with races and religious background, some people choose to have their own way in naming their children. For four children of a family in Sipadan here, they got their names from a fervent wish of their late father. Kariadi Parman was a prisoner of war during the Japanese occupation. While in captivity, he made a vow that should he be freed, he would name his children after the historical landmarks of the nation.
"That was how I got my name," said Malaysia Kariadi, 40, adding that his late father also named his brothers, Sabah, 41, Berjaya, 38, and Merdeka, 34. The four were among 14 children from Kariadi's marriage with his third wife, Bainiol Summarani, 64. He did not have any children from his marriage with his first and second wives.
Malaysia who now resides in Kampung Bangau-Bangau here said his father was 19 when he was captured by the Japanese while working in a paddy field in central Java, Indonesia. Kariadi who sailed in a Japanese vessel managed to make a gateaway with a few other prisoners when they were asked to buy rice in Sandakan.
Malaysia, a religious teacher, said his father had worked in logging camps in Sandakan before moving to Kunak and finally settled down in Semporna. Asked whether he and his brothers were happy with their names, Malaysia said when they were young their friends liked to tease them. "At times we felt so depressed, but later on when we realised the significance of our names we were very pleased with them.
"The names invoke patriotism and we are very proud come national day. We share the joy with our children," said Malaysia who has five children including two daughters aged between nine and one-year-old. On the contrary, Malaysia's parents had to change Sabah's name for he was sickly when he was small. However, the villagers continued to call him Sabah who has nine children including four daughters aged between 20 years and 15 months. His house is a stone's throw from Malaysia's.
Malaysia did not know of his relatives in central Java for his father had never visited them after settling down in Sabah.