Yar Rachman (left) and Rusli Mahmood (right) posing at Bandar Bentan Telani Ferry Terminal Bintan Island
Looking for a modern with international outlook yet still typically friendly Malay man to befriend with? Meet Zuhrial Rachman, fondly called as Yar Rachman. Yar is a native of Tanjungpinang, husband of Theresia Rachman, a Javanese woman, and father of two sons Randy and Reggy. They now live in Jakarta.
I spent more than 6 years working with him, at a period during which Bintan Resort just started it's infrastructure development. At that time we had to drive for almost 2 hours to Tanjungpinang if we want to have ice cream or good food to eat.
He started as Admin Manager while I was the Accountant. Owing to his open minded personality, tactful, excellent verbal and written communication skill, bilingual and ability to balance his position as member of management team and as a reliable workers rep., Yar steadily managed to climb the career ladder in Bintan Resort up to Assistant General Manager position in Admin Services Dept. Yar was successful in creating a harmonious multy cultural working environment between the ethnically diversed Indonesian staff with foreign staff from Europe, Australia and other Asian Countries.
Yar left Bintan Resort at the end of 2001 due to his health which need him to be closed to his family. I remembered giving him an Ulos Batak as a token of my sincere and everlasting friendship, the most genuine token from a Bataknese, during his farewell dinner with all management members of Bintan Resort Cakrawala in 2001.
Now, Yar is holding one of the top management posts in The Save the Children, an international NGO with extensive operations in many parts of Indonesia.
One thing that I would never forget about Yar was during my job interview in Jakarta sometime in August 1995. Yar was one of the interview team members accompanying Ms Eleine Cheang, and the then Bintan Resort Management Finance Director Edwin Low, who led the team. Both Eleine and Edwin are Singaporean. The interview was conducted in English from beginning to the end. During the interview I was very sure that Yar is a Singaporean Malay because of his English fluency and serious look . I only realized that I was totally wrong about his nationality and personality when I arrived at Bintan Resort Cakrawala office for the firts time. He was wearing Batik when welcoming us warmly at the Resort Management Office. With his famous smile he greeted me, "Hallo. Selamat datang di Bintan" (Welcome to Bintan).
Perhaps it is that friendly smile and warm greeting from my first Malay colleague and friend which partly held me stay in Bintan this long and never return to my hometown in Jakarta until today....
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