Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tegas, Adil dan Berhemah?

The motto of the Malaysian police force is Tegas (Strict), Adil (Fair) dan Berhemah (Well-mannered). However, I have a reason to question this motto when I think about what happened over the weekend.

The usual last-minute rush that Malaysians practice, especially when it comes to paying summonses at a discounted rate, persisted over the weekend. I went to the Seremban 2 Police Station at 11am on Saturday and seeing the long lines, I asked a cop standing outside at the guard post if the Traffic Unit was open on Sundays and he said yes, from 8am – 12pm.

I then decided to come back on Sunday morning.

When I got to the police station on Sunday morning at 8.05 am, I went in and the whole place was in chaos. The counters hadn’t opened, there were no signboards directing you to the summons checking counters and the payment counters, and everyone was relying on everyone else for direction.

Sorting myself out, I joined the summons checking line which was already about 30 people long. The station wasn’t that big and the line was already snaking its way like a winding river. Would it be asking for too much for the police to put up proper sign boards or directions to show the crowds what to do?

As people kept coming in, everyone started asking each other where the end of the line was for checking and payment. And still the counters weren’t open.

Then at 8.40am, an audible sigh of relief went through the crowd when the counters started to open. There were only 3 counters that opened – one for checking your summons, and two for making payment. And they opened late!

Ten minutes later, a policeman stands in the middle of the crowd and tells everyone that the line for checking summonses should be outside the station to minimise the crowd inside. In true Malaysian style, everyone rushes out.

Well, you can guess what happened – those who came late suddenly found themselves in the front of the queue, and those who has been lining up for an hour found themselves at the back. I was one of those unfortunate ones who’d been lining up for almost an hour but found myself right at the back.

You think I was going to be a typical Malaysian and take this sitting down? Or rather, standing and lining up? I wasn’t about to give up my Sunday morning just because of we had an inept police force. (You may argue that I would have been used to it by now, but that’s another story altogether!)

I went up the policeman who gave the order and told him that I thought it wasn’t fair that he asked everyone to line up outside in such a haphazard manner as those who came early had lost their places in the queue and that he should have put up proper signs or directions.

You know his reply?
“Ye lah, mana kita nak tahu, ini emergency!”

I was aghast! Every Malaysian knows that Sunday was almost the last day for getting and paying discounted summonses and you’re telling me that this was an emergency? Do you even know the meaning of the word emergency? Let me enlighten you.

According to Merriam-Webster, and emergency is an unforeseen combination of circumstances that calls for immediate action and can also be interpreted as an urgent need for assistance or relief.

Some words that can be highlighted to describe the word emergency are urgent, unforeseen, immediate risk, unexpected, sudden, accidental, unanticipated, surprising. I could go on.

What I cannot understand is how the policeman used the word “emergency” to describe the situation. Every Malaysian wouldn’t have used that word seeing that a crowd at the police station on Sunday to pay summons was expected, especially seeing the Malaysians are generally ‘last-minuters’.

Anyway, when I told him what he did wasn’t fair, his reply was, “Ye la, sekarang you nak saya buat apa? You kene beratur je-lah.”

Which part of Tegas, Adil dan Berhemah is he fulfilling? Certainly not the Adil part. Nor the Berhemah part. And someone higher is definitely not being Tegas about the fact that they can open their counters 40 minutes late.

Yes, dear readers, that is the sad state of the police force in our country. And we can connect it to the issue of knowledge workers in Malaysia, more specifically the brain drain.

Just giving returning Malaysians a tax-exempt house and car (or anything else in the pipelines) is definitely not going to be enough. Revamp the civil service, the education system and the public transport and the rakyat won’t even want to leave the country.

For me, my experience on Sunday was just another reason to migrate.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The iPhone story...

and many reasons why its all about the hype and you shouldnt be carried away..

I hv been using the iPhone for more than a month, so I should be in a pretty good position to present my verdict on this phone. Unfortunately, my personal opinion is that this phone is just overhyped. Wondering why?

1. You have to pay for apps. Free apps are really not worth it - the games stop halfway, or u get 1 language translator instead of 20, etc.

2. The battery life is one day max. Use some heavier apps or constantly play games on the phone and find yourself charging it twice a day!

3. The charger's cable is too short. About 1-1.5 meters. You cant lie on your bed and have a conversation while charging your phone.

4. Itunes SUCKS BIG TIME! It is SO easy to transfer songs from your laptop to your phone but the iPhone insists on using Itunes to sync your songs. WHY? The Itunes site is irritating and confusing and even the tutorials are no help. I dont hv ANY songs on my iPhone yet!

5. The phone is not really user friendly (and this is coming from someone who's tried Nokias, LGs and Motorolas.

6. You're stuck on a Maxis contract for 2 yrs. Bloody NOT worth it.

7. Plug and play is only applicable for photos! Even then some of the photo functions in other phones doesnt exist in the iPhone (unless there's an app you have to PAY for)!

8. The alarm function sucks. You cant choose the volume of your alarm - it depends on the volume of your ringtone (which doesnt make sense, cos u only need an alarm when ur asleep so why would u have loud volume, but u DO need a loud alarm). You also cant choose your snooze duration - its defaulted at 10 mins. You cant change it to 5 mins or 15.

9. Sound is not as good as a Sony Ericson.

My advice: You're better off with a high end Nokia which also supports songs, games and other stuff without the hassle. Seriously, dont bother.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My life resembles the Harry Potter series!

Harry Potter has a lot of lessons we can learn. But uncannyly, I am re-reading the series at a good time. A time when I need it the most. The resemblances:

1. Rita Skeeter and her Quick Quill Quotes published untrue stories and blew things waaaay out of proportion with her stories in the Daily Prophet.

2. Voldermort bided his time (more than a decade) to be reborn from slime - but he put in the effort!

3. Ron accused Hermione of trying to jeorpardise Harry's chances of winning the Triwizard Cup when she went out with Krum. In actual fact, it was nothing serious, her loyalty was towards Harry, and Krum was never to do with work! It was purely social.

4. Trust - the way Dumbledore trusted Snape no matter what.

5. Always be nice, no matter who you are dealing with. There is no need for rudeness, nastiness, and verbal abuse. Remember what Kreacher did to Harry/Sirius.

6. We all need friends who've got our backs no matter what. Harry-Ron-Hermione. Sirius-Lupin-James Potter. At the end, despite all arguments/fights/silent bouts, they stood by each other.

7. Family is important. Harry survived because Lily died for him. Dumbledore made Harry go back to the Dursleys because Petunia was blood.

8. Evil will only prevail for a while. Time will always tell.

9. Always be courageous. It counts for more. You dont need to be popular. Think Harry.

I am now starting the 5th book - Order of the Phoenix. If I come across any more resemblances, I will put it up :-)

Friday, May 07, 2010

Reality is Worse

Yesterday was a bad fucked up day. FUCKED UP. It all started with my laptop acting up (well its been acting up ever since someone tampered with it and installed Linux, insisting I try it out while extolling the virtues of this free OS that most people dont even want).

Anyway, I agreed, didnt like it, and this person was in my house yesterday to reinstall windows etc. You know what let me cut the chase and if you dont understand, well, too bad.

I moved through last night in a haze. I now know what people mean when they say they wished it was a dream, and will get up to reality when everything would be better. Oh I got up alright, but na-ah, reality is worse.

I never knew I would be a part of office politics - not just office politics but be royally screwed by it. I never liked politics, I'm more the kinda person who goes in, does work, and leaves. I cant be bothered with 'menjaga tepi kain orang' and stuff.

I now realise that people will say ANYTHING, and I mean anything, to paint a horrific picture of you, even if they have no proof, nary a shred of evidence. Verbal abuse, slander, etc. And I was caught in the middle. Victimised. It's kinda sad cos I loved what I was doing - going for press conferences (well, it's not all rosy of course, some celebs can be a pain in the butt), writing, checking the site for the number of hits each day, getting excited when it topped 300. Thats why I'm sad. Cos I loved being a part of it.

Unlike some people, I keep my work and personal life separate. My colleagues dont have to know what I do after hours. They should instead trust me to KNOW that I wouldnt sell anyone out.

Unfortunately everyone listened to the perpetrator, who, instead of finding proof and fighting fair, decided to go on a nasty, mean, name-calling spree, with no regards to facts. But then again, everyone loves a gossip right, and not just women!

It's also sad because some people are immatured not to be able to think, and not to know who to trust, not to know who's got their back; instead to point fingers without evidence (despite having a background in law - I wonder what happened to the phrase "innocent until proven guilty").

There's nothing I can do, as I always say - Talk is Cheap, Time Will Tell.

But until then, the journey will be marred with anger, bitterness, jealousy, rudeness, and assumptions, which we all know is the mother of all fuck-ups.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Amazing Race Asia Season 4

So Chithra texts me and says how she thinks it would be good if we can join the race, since we are both jobless and all. And I have been thinking about this but couldnt come up with a good partner to join the race with. So when she texts me, I totally think its a great opportunity and I tell her we should totally do it :-)

So we agree on a script where we run around the Lake Gardens in a bunch of diff outfits, and we agree on Sunday to do it. Its actually kinda last minute cos they deadline was extended and we took advantage of that. Gopal agreed to be our videographer and told us he could get a friend, Mr Yong to edit our video for us. Chithra borrowed he brother's videocam, and there we were, all up early on a Sunday for the shoot!

So first we used the script a little, shouting out adjectives that we thought might be suitable, then telling the camera why we think we should be on the program and why they should pick us! We ran around, jumped up and down and generally just had a lot of fun, with Gopal laughing all the time at our antics! It was bloody hot and my hanky was a permanent part of the video!

After we were done at Lake Gardens (seremban), we went to A&W for a drink and a change of clothes and shot another portion of our video, this time something a bit more formal, just sitting down and looking at the camera etc. Just so Mr Yong would have a lot of stuff to work with.

Once we were done, Gopal had to leave, so he showed us to Mr Yong's house, and Mr Yong asked us to come back once he had downloaded the video, about an hour later. So we went and had lunch, and went back to his place, where we had finished, and once he edited it (about an hour plus), he saved it, but it just disappeared! Tried in vain to get it back, but nada. So he told us to come back tmrw morning instead.

So next morning, we head back to his place, and he's dpne quite a good job with the video - all in 2 min 49 secs. Only thing missing were the adjectives we shouted out but all in it was quite good! He included music and words in it as well, and we were happy with the results :-) Once that was done, he played for us a few songs (this guy's an awesome guitarist, apparently he plays regularly in the Eurasion Club) and he played Gary Puckett, Nat King Cole and The Eagles. VERY COOL. We asked him when he was gonna play next and he told us he would let us know cos we wanted to go watch him play!

After we left, we were outside talking, and one of his neighbors had a coconut tree and was just at that moment cutting down coconuts. This old Chinese guy then asked us if we would like to have some, and we said ok so he invited us into the garden where he broke the coconut for us and gave us the water and the flesh, it was awesome. Another 2 of his friends were there as well and we ended up having a conversation with all 3 of these old guys. Apparently there were all retired agriculturists and still continue their hobbies in the garden.

One of them even had a miracle fruit, which when eaten, turns any food after it from sour to sweet! Apparently it messes with your taste buds for a couple of hours!

I actually had a great time, and it was nice to see that some of Malaysia is not racist after all!

We then went to Jusco to complete our application form etc and to see if have everything in order and now, all we can do is cross our fingers and hope we get called!

Pray for us and wish us luck :-)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

On Entertaining...

I have had guests over 2 weeks in a row now. Not my guests, of course, I'm anti social. One occasion was when my dad invited 2 Japanese couples over for lunch last week. Well, my dad invited them over, but my mom cleaned the house and I had to give up my Saturday lay-in and help her peel potatoes, onions & garlic, cut and wash vegetables, make a salad (of which I will give you, my dear reader, the recipe later), and generally just spend my Saturday working.

Then my dad gives the house a once-over and sees the small coffee table laden with past issues of Cleo and HerWorld, and he goes like "Why are all these here? I'm putting them out for the old newspaper man." This despite those mags being there for the last couple of years. Yeah, go figure.

Anyways, I tell my dad to leave those alone, and when the guests come, I serve them soya bean, help out a little, rinse all the icecream bowls, and sit down to watch The Nanny when everyone else is having lunch. Fine. They bring come ice cream and biscuits and everything is cool. Except for the part where I had to wake up early to help!

Then, the following week, I'm at my aunt's place, and she is having guests over too. Well, technically my uncle called them over. Again, I had to wake up early and go to the shop to buy ginger. Then I had to sweep the house (and this house is HUGE), and rinse the plates and glasses. Then I became a kitchen apprentice for a while.

Then the guests arrive. We are expecting 2 ONLY and cooked accordingly, and 3 arrive instead, claiming they are expecting another 3. GREAT. Absolutelyfuckingfabulous.

And there's a 1 yr old kid in tow. So I malas nak layan. My aunt had to cook another pot of rice and make an omelette from 5 eggs! Then I served them all Ribena, and retired to the TV hall to read papers and watch TV.

Then, all the women adjourn to the TV hall with the kid. SHEESH. Why la the women cant sit with the men in the main hall? I dont get it la. So then I read continue reading and the kid crawls over and starts pulling my papers. So geram. Tak boleh jalan pun nak menyibuk. Terajang kang!

Ish.. malaslah. I'm gonna go back to TV now.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"In an Open Relationship" Part 2

These past two weeks, the articles in Sunday's StarMag are all about open relationships. Apparently the argument is that people have a lot of love to give so why confine it to one partner and restrict yourself. The article also points out that sometimes its not all about sex!

Well, my point - if you claim to have so much love to give and its not all about sex, why not give love (emotions not organs) to the countless orphans around, arent they so much more in need of any scraps of love you might have? What about the old folks who have been abandoned? Or the animals in RSPCA who beg only for a pat and a kind word?

Personally I am the kind of person who thinks "do what you want as long as you dont get into my face or the face of my loved ones". So its fine by me. But dont try to justify yourself etc. An affair is an affair.

Yeah yeah in an open relationship, all parties know about each other blah blah blah so it cant be an affair. I dont get it la!

I think at the end of the day, man is selfish. What do I get in return? Sex? Good conversation? Expensive dinners?

Its a bit like the "marrying 4 law". You can marry four wives since the holy book says you have to take care of widows and orphans.

Argument 1: You can take care of widows and orphans without marrying them. (Oooohh, newsflash)

Argument 2: The rule was made during the post war period when there were lots of widows and orphans. We are not at war now.

Argument 3: Celebrities are quite often neither widows nor orphans.

Argument 4: Widows and orphans can be looked after by single men and not those already married and/or with kids.

So please, dont justify yourself. I am no self-righteous freak but I think some things are best left unchanged.

The Car Hierarchy

Whenever I drive on the highway, I realise that we have a hierarchy depending on the type of car we drive.

I drive a Wira 1.5 SE (I know I always pretend its a Ferrari but lets get real for a bit, solely for the purpose of this blog). When I drive on the right lane, I only give way to faster cars that are more expensive than mine (unless they are REALLY fast of course). And I notice that these drivers expect me to, just like how I expect owners of Proton Sagas, other Wiras and the whole Perodus range to make way for me!

I automatically move over to the middle when the car behind me is a Toyota, Accord or Merc. And these big guys give way to bigger guys with a BMW, Audi or Lexus, who in turn respect Jaguars, Hummers, Rolls Royces and Ferraris.

But of course everyone has to make way for the humble ambulance la. Oh and dont forget the 'privileged people' who have (unnecessary) police outriders!

Also, I notice that Malaysians generally dont like it when a Singaporean car tries to overtake, and ignore the flashing headlights (which are by the way, EXTREMELY rude).

Sometimes its the Kancils and Kelisas and Vivas which flash their lights - like as if their engines are more powerful than mua! Quite annoying. So macam bagus! Boleh blah!