I was born on 29 May 1957 at 5.05 am. at the Kuantan District Hospital. I was given the name Nor Edzan and Nor Edzan binti Nasir is the name I carried with me throughout my primary and secondary school days. It was also the name that was written on my first IC or identity card (all Malaysians carry an ID). However, on reaching 18 years old (I think) I went to Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara in Kuantan to change my IC ( we cannot be carrying an IC with a photo of a 13-year old us when we are 18). The officer was checking my IC against my BC or birth certificate and he/she said something like “your father’s name on your IC is not the same as that on your BC”. Hah? “Your BC has your name as NOR EDZAN, mum’s name as ZABEDAH BINTI ZAINAL and dad’s name as CHE NASIR BIN ISMAIL Your IC has your name as NOR EDZAN BINTI NASIR.” Do you get where he/she is coming from? I had no choice but to put my name as NOR EDZAN BINTI CHE NASIR on my new IC. “But what about all my documents since the day I was born that has BINTI NASIR?”. He/she said “Just go to court and make a declaration.” Or maybe he/she said the Commissioner of Oath not Court. Who remembers after all these years?
On reaching home, I showed my abah aka dad my BC and he said “Oh, everyone referred to me as Che Nasir at the hospital and I guess the MO just wrote it down without giving it much thought.” FYI, my abah was a radiographer at the Kuantan General Hospital and that is an important post then and since he was also educated in India and the UK, he was a big deal at that particular hospital. So I said “What do I do?” He said “It’s ok lah. I know you are my daughter”. Ok … point taken but my siblings could not leave me alone from then on. Every time I misbehave, they would say that I am not eligible for any inheritance when the time comes ‘cos my father’s name is different. So be it.
I went on to tertiary education, got a job and all was well and dandy until I started writing. In my scholarly writings, I use N.N. Edzan as my writing name and when inverted it appears as Edzan, N.N. I did this ‘cos I want other writers to quote me as Edzan and not Nor or Nasir. So far my name is not an issue until I ehem ehem became “famous”. I was interviewed and invited for presentations and appeared in mainstream and social media and lo and behold., CHE NASIR became prominent.
I tried getting rid of the CHE but some one who knows the ins and outs of protocol said NO – that’s your legal name. Ok … point taken.
So, abah, sorry for this but I still carry your name with pride with or without the CHE. Who would have thought your youngest girl who was so restless in school, rebellious in her university days would have her name in print. My only regret is that you and mak did not get to enjoy the fruits of your labour.
I am constantly doa for you, mak, Yee, Yan and Selis. We will meet again one day, in sya Allah. Al-fatihah and may Allah showers His blessings on you all. I truly miss all of you.