“Ali Majod is a careful writer and quite meticulous with his language and style” (Muhammad Haji Salleh, An Anthology of COntemporary Malaysian Literature, 1988). He was born in 1940, Tampin, Negeri Sembilan. Ali graduated from the University of Malaya in 1978 and worked as a teacher. He also served as a senior editor at the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka.
Ali Majod has published three volumes of short stories: Dalam Diri, Lampu-lampu di Pelabuhan and Sayang Si Tina, which were awarded first prize in the ESSO-GAPENA Stories for Young Reader’s Contest. He was also awarded Literary Prizes in 1971 and 1972.
After recess, Mr. Jamal returned to his classroom.
“Children are really good at heart, if they are only given a chance,” he thought, his eyes moist with tears.
Most laughable line:
Mr. Jamal was proud of himself because he had solved the problem with such wisdom. It was exactly like a story from Tales of a Thousand and One Nights.
The layman’s plot: Boy brings The Pencil to school. The Pencil gets stolen by Sneaky Boy who manages to convince Teacher that it is his and not Boy’s. Boy instead gets punished for “lying”. Boy’s innocence is shattered and he transforms into Naughty Boy. How will Teacher solve this?
Verdict: A simple, feel-good story.