Monday, June 22, 2009


Drove sixty km yesterday evening to HSBC Mentakab to settle an overdued bill. The grace period was until Friday but as fate had it I had to learn a lesson on that day.

I purposely chose to drive in the evening after office hours rush. I got to park right in front of the bank and it took less than 5 minutes to complete transaction via ATM. Though I am still nervous dealing with the 'machines' but the convenience they afforded me is pretty attractive so I put a lid on the jitters.

It was Sunday and I did not have anything since brunch. I drove around and got a parking space very near Pizza Hut. Got into the restaurant and I was seated promptly.

The place was full with weekend dinner crowd. Took me 40 minutes to get my Paella [new on the menu]. The ice had all melted in my drink and I very almost decided to leave without the Paella when it arrived.

I stared at it for some times thinking the waitress had brought me a wrong order. Really! Look at the picture on the menu.The mussels look freshly juicy and the prawns look plump.

Compare that to the actual Paella served to me after almost 40 minutes of waiting.

And honestly ... nasi goreng 'bodo' [plain fried rice] at my brother's stall taste twice as nice as this 'Pa-eh-ya' at less than one third the price and waiting time. [will get a pic of it very soon].

Huh! I paid rm17.15 for a serving of Pa-eh-ya and a glass of coke plus taxes. I will NOT go there again!!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Lesson on 49th birthday

Friday 19th was my birthday and I got involved in a minor accident in the afternoon. I was in the middle of a junction with four cars in front of me waiting to get into the main road. My car was stalled right in the middle of the road just as I made it through the junction when suddenly out of the blue, a black Viva rammed into my right front tyre. Obviously the Viva was trying to 'cilok' [cut que] and rammed into me.

It was the time of the day when the call for the Friday prayer was going off any second. The junction was at the main road to the mosque. Busses and cars started hitting their horns and people on bikes and on foot started swarming over the accident. The driver of the Viva, a middle aged man, came out of the car. I couldn't get out.

The din was getting louder. The Viva driver asked me to pull out my car. I complied and he moved his car to the side. I came out to inspect the damage. The driver asked me why I 'suddenly' moved into the road and hit him. I was puzzled because I was in the middle of the road and he must have come from behind so how could I have banged into him. He 'proved' it saying since I was on the left and his car was on the right, so automatically he had the right of way and I was wrong.

Right of way my foot!

He was cutting que!

He banged into me!

I told him that.

He said he was disappointed because not only I did not apologize but I was 'berlagak' [outspoken]. He said it was clearly my mistake.

I stood my ground and I told him he was cutting que.

He asked me to go with him to the police station to make a police report.

I said fine!

I lead the way to the traffic department but the building was locked. I assumed it was closed for the Friday prayer.

The man suggested we go the the main police station in another part of the town. When we got there, we were told that we have to go the the traffic department and that the office was moved to another building.

As I was getting into my car to go back to the traffic department, I thought the man wanted to make a negotiation.

I listened to him.

Again he put the blame on me. I couldn't accept it and said so to him. He invoked the name of Allah to say that he was innocent, blameless. That it was totally my fault for banging him on his left side.

I too said in the name of Allah, I knew I was not wrong. That I was 'driving' on my right place on the road and that he was the one cutting que and hit my right front tyre.

I said I agree to disagree with him and will not make any police report or claim from his car insurance. After all, there was only a slight scratch on my bumper and his left passenger door.

The man wouldn't accept my truce and insisted I apologize to him.

I declined.

He said he needed to go for the Friday prayer and asked me to meet him at the traffic department about an hour later.

I left without saying anything. I knew I have 24 hours to report an accident.

I went home. I didn't even get his car number.

Called my brother to go to the police station with me after Friday prayer. There were two traffic officers around. I told them what happened to me. They advised me it was a case of 'cutting que'. So I decided to wait for the man to make the report first.

Apparently, he never turn up at the station.

I wasted my whole Friday afternoon.

I should have left the moment I decided not to pursue the matter.

O'well, this is the very first time I got into this kind of situation. Although I was convinced I didn't bang into the car, still I was not familiar with the 'legality' of the situation. I didn't want to 'commit' any unnecessary offence.

Well, I learned a lesson on my 49th birthday!

Thursday, June 18, 2009


It's my birthday! I am 49. Phewwws!! Never imagine I'll be doing this at 49 [read: writing up a blog, sharing my personal experiences and opinions on the world wide web. hehehe! the most hit I got was when I posted some lyrics of English songs or some Erma Bombeck's poems].

I was reading Demi Negara on Satu Sekolah Untuk Semua [one school for all]. Being a teacher for the past twenty seven years I am very interested in the resolution. From my own sporadic postings here, I have penned my observations about the widening segregation among the various ethnics that made up this blessed land 'rakyat' [people].

Before independent, the British who ruled this country applied the rule and divide policy. The local Malays were kept in their traditional villages tending to their traditional lives of planting rice and catching fish. The chinese were brought in from mainland China to work the mines [tin, gold, iron] and the indians were brought in from mainland India to work in the rubber plantations. The mines and the plantations were the British colonialist's economic resources.

Under the colonialists, towns were developed where there were concentration of the British. Thus towns like Kuala Lumpur, Georgetown and Ipoh became bigger and better [with electricity and piped water] and developed faster [office buildings, business, transportation, hospitals, schools and other amenities]. The chinese and the indians were the major people living in towns in 'dwellings' provided by the colonialist 'Tuans' [employers] whereas the Malays stay in their own attap houses in their kampongs [villages] far from the modernisation and development and the infrastructure.

By the time of the independence, there was a wide economic disparity between the Malays in the 'kampongs' and the non Malays in the towns. When the colonialists left, the Chinese established themselves in the main towns and took over the country's economy. Many Indians who served their English masters were able to speak and write English and thus find themselves in a good job market in the towns leaving their illeterate counterparts in the estates. The Malays were left illiterate in their 'pelita' [kerosene lamp] lit, hand-drawn-water-from-the-well kampongs plowing the padi fields with the help of water buffaloes and going to catch fish in small hand made boats.

During the reign of the colonialist, the chinese and the indians were allowed to have vernacular primary schools for the reason that they would eventually RETURN to their mainlands. They wanted to have their children educated in their curriculum and taught by teachers from the mainland.

After independence they still want to keep the vernacular schools.

Vernacular schools institutionalised racism at a very young impressionable age of our children. Racial distinction is further compounded by media programming and commercial adverts through petty racial profiling and prejudices.

On May 13th 1969 the non Malays showed their true colours.

2008 general election uncover this so called 'melting pot of races and religion' which is actually a 'boiling couldron of intolerant racists and zealots'.

After 52 years of independence, a large number of the citizens are functional-illiterates in the language of this country they claim citizenship of and conveniently ignore the efforts of nation building and social integration expected of citizens of any nation in this world with just a phrase of "tak tau cakap Melayu" [can't speak Malay].

It is very sad to note the the whole world is looking up at Obama for making the American Dream when in the same breath "24+7 percent of the populace hold our beloved nation hostage to debilitating social fragmentation in perpetuity" (Demi Negara).

What a sad sad situation and it is getting more and more absurd!