Wednesday, 30 September 2009


Did you feel it today? I did… for a good 40 seconds or more. It was much worse than the previous one. I actually felt giddy and had to sit down.

The relevant people kept calling building management, asking for instructions. But my gut feelings tell me building management has got absolutely no idea on what to tell us. In the end, we were told to stay put. Most of us left…

Sand storm in Sydney… Typhoon in Taiwan… Typhoon and tsunami in South East Asia --- Vietnam, Cambodia… earthquake and tsunami in Samoa and Tonga… and just a while ago… earthquake in Indonesia which sent tremors to Singapore and here… Perhaps mother nature was screaming at us. But I wonder who will hear her…

Lastly, certain quarters will be collecting donations for the victims. As generous as we should be, let us be mindful on who we donate to. Let us not forget that in the last tsunami, “certain people” collected a huge amount of donation and it went missing.

Be generous and yet wise, we want our generosity to reach the victims. And now, let’s say a prayer for those who lost their lives…

Picture taken from

1 year ago…
Why I prefer it to fail

Monday, 28 September 2009

Sudden traffic and what say you?

When I checked my traffic this morning, I was shocked to see that it has hit thousands! As early as 10am in the morning! A quick check and I realised that there was a huge traffic flowing from this particular site. It appears my last post was featured Malaysia Today. (Noticed that the link is difficult to access, bypass firewall here).

I am letting you know in advice in case I suddenly disappear. And if anything happens, do light a candle for me ok? :)

Alright, gotta keep this short as I need to sleep early today…

If… you are hired into this position where you will be leading a team. You, being the boss, naturally get much higher salary compared to them and you have to lead them. But you found out that they are all possess a MBA, all more quailed than you. Experience is unknown.

Would you feel damn proud?
Would you feel in adequate and feel needy to get a MBA yourself?

What say you? By the way, I am not referring to myself in case you're wondering.

1 year ago…
Singapore snippets

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Our country a disgrace?

Upon my return from HK last week, something screwed up during baggage-claim. I will not go into details but it created a lot of frustration. Amidst the ruckus, an elderly man blurted --- “This so silly, such a disgrace!”. With so many gwai-los (“Caucasians”) around, he was probably feeling a bit embarrassed.

Indeed, the usual ramblings by Malaysians...

“Our toilets are horrible. What a disgrace!”
“People send astronaut to do research in space, our astronaut went all the way up there to make roti canai. What a disgrace!”
“Actually right, NASA only considers him as
a space-tourist. What a disgrace!”
“Look at our highway resting place - dirty and run-down. What a disgrace!”
“Malaysia has been blacklisted by OECD together with Costa Rica, Uruguay and Philippines. What a disgrace!”
“Oh, Malaysia has been removed.
But only to the grey list, what a disgrace!”
“Our country, always in international news for the wrong reason(s). What a disgrace!”
“After 20 years, Proton still can’t get things right. What a disgrace!”
Proton Waja heavily criticised in Top Gear. What a disgrace!”
“Simple thing like post-flight-baggage-claim can’t be done properly. What a disgrace!”

Care to contribute some?

But wait a minute. Before you think of any other real life examples, have you ever asked yourself one question, i.e. do you really expect things in Malaysia to be done properly? I mean, you seriously expect the Malaysian-way-of-doing-things to be of good standard?

Let’s say your answer is a big YES. Then, may I ask… On what basis are you having such expectations? Who and what are you benchmarking those standards against? Singapore? Australia? Europe? Hong Kong?

Let’s do some self reflection… we are a country who moved backward from RON97 to RON95… we are a nation who uses the lowest grade of diesel… we are a nation whose national pride is food, and our country tourism’s job is to
lay claim on some food... we are a country whose income-per-capita is nowhere near a developed nation… and we are a population who majority does not know what income-per-capita is.

We are a country whose reason in appointing a foreign minister was because he-speaks-English. And, we once had a chief minister whose reason (given in court) for bringing huge amount of cash into Australia was I-no-spegging-enlish, thus unable to read the law… and we are a population where a majority does not know who or what I am referring to because we are a population who prefer to read where is the best place to eat rather than proper news.

Add all that to many other boleh-ness of this country, do you seriously think we should expect things to be better than they way they are now? Let’s not kid ourselves. We should not benchmark our country with a developed nation. In fact, judging by recent events, being considered as a developing nation is questionable.

Let’s go back to the baggage-claim screw up where the elderly man blurted out “… what a disgrace”. The story didn’t end there. A gwai-lo, upon hearing the remark from the elderly man said…

“Hey, don’t be. This is Malaysia, that’s the way it is”

That’s wisdom, from a gwai-lo.

P/S: For the meaning of the post “Delay No More”, check out the first comment of that post.

2 years ago… More tales from conferenceConference dinner tales

Friday, 25 September 2009

Delay No More

I actually didn’t manage to take that many pictures of the food I had in HK. Reason being, the first thought that came to mind was to eat them as soon as they are on the table. They looked so yummy, the instinct to snap a pic only came after the food is half way in my digestive system.

Anyway, I manage to snap this, a very special breed of mooncake. Click to enlarge… check out the DIY… haha!!

Also, there is this new concept in HK, known as “Delay No More”. You can see things like… Do it now, Delay No More… Recycle, Delay No More… Stop smoking, Delay No More… etc.

But, I was informed that “Delay No More” actually means something else. It actually rhyme with a particular Cantonese phrase.

Can you guess what it is? Come… make a guess, Delay No More… hehe…

2 years ago… 3 tales

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Something that happened today

Something happened at the place I work today, and I must blog about it…

It is a high security building. The guards will ask for your staff ID before they let you into the lift lobby. Visitors must register and obtain a visitor pass, not negotiable.

A despatch boy came and wanted to go up the building. The guard on duty stopped him, probably the despatch boy failed to register. No one knows what transpired between them, but the despatch boy left the building.

After a while, the despatch boy then returned with 2 friends. He also brought with him a weapon, alleged to be a dagger. They attacked the guard. An eyewitness said the guard’s head was slashed from the back his head (near the neck), up all the way to the top of his head and the wound ends near his eyes. I didn’t see it, but I was told it was bloody.

The attackers managed to escape, and the guard was rushed to the hospital. The next logical course of action would be to call the police. The building management did that. 2 policemen arrived. My colleague who deals with the building management told me that they (i.e. the police) “refuse” to enter the building.

Now, this is classic… they said that the incident took place “inside a building” and hence, they can't do anything. If the building wants the police to investigate, they have to go and make a report at the police station. Wow, “IF” the building wants the police to investigate. You mean the police themselves are not interested in arresting the attackers? They have been identified by the way.

Oh, I forgot. The police are rather busy arresting more dangerous criminals, such as those who light candles. They are a threat, not those who carry daggers slashing the shit of you.

Lastly, there is a need to think from the attackers’ perspective. There are only 2 reasons why they will act in such a manner. Either they are brainless… or… they know that they can get away with it. Isn’t the latter a worrying point.

But then again, we should not worry because… yes… the nasi-lemak, char-kuey-teow and bak-kut-teh still taste good in this country.

1 year ago…
hypocrites aplenty

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

A first of such

Back from Hong Kong… and we were in Sai Kung, renown for its seafood delicacies. I must say this small town gives you a totally different perspective of Hong Kong. But then again, the people here don’t consider Sai Kung as Hong Kong per se. To them, Sai Kung is part of the New Territory (“San Kai”).

By the way, my bro-in-law was the driver. He has been living here for almost 10 years. Picture below is the convoy to Sai Kung with his mates. Yes, that’s a Porsche and an Aston Martin. Life is good when you are an investment banker in Hong Kong.

Anyway, after lunch and a nice dessert, we went to get the car. I must say, parking here is truly horrendous. Getting into the parking lot and finding a space is huge task. Getting out is equally challenging.

On the way out, there was this pink Honda Jazz ahead of us, looking for car park. The driver tried to squeeze into a few lots but failed. The final attempt was this parallel-park slot. By now, traffic has already built up behind us. And unlike here, there is no way you can drive past the car until it is completely parked inside the slot.

In… out… left… right… left… reverse… forward… tension was building. I think my bro-in-law was getting impatient and suggested… “Eh Zewt, why don’t you go do it”.

It was then that the driver got out of the car and approached us, who were right behind her (yes, it’s a she)…

“Ho jak ah, ho em ho yi pong hah ngo ah?”
(It’s very tight, could you help me please?)

I got it done within a minute and as I walked back to my bro-in-law’s car, I saw drivers at the back applauding in their respective cars. I wonder if this is common in HK.

A first of such experience for me, what about you?

2 years ago…
When ARK seems impossibleOnce is enoughChoices and regretsToday, I remember

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Away with a greeting

I will be away to the land which has just been struck by typhoon...

So, an early wish to all Muslimin and Musliman sekalian...

Selamat Menyambut Hari Raya Aidilfitri...

Stay safe on the road!!

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Satu lagi peristiwa berkenaan bahasa

Masa berlalu dengan begitu pantas. Tanpa disedari, sudahpun tiba masa untuk makan tengah-hari.

“Let’s go for lunch”, saya mengajak rakan sekerja.
(Jom pergi makan tengah-hari)
“Ok. Where to today?”
(Baik. Pergi mana hari ini?)

Tidak sempat saya menjawab, sebab telefon bimbit berbunyi. Saya memberi isyarat kepada rakan saya bahawa saya kena jawab telefon dahulu.

“Hello! Abang Fais!” saya bersalam seteleh melihat identiti pemanggil.
“Eh Zewt! Apasal Man U kalah?” ejek abang Fais. Ahad lalu, Man Utd kalah Piala FA.
“Eleh… piala remeh-temeh kita tak minat langsung lah”
“Wah… sombong kau Zewt…”

Perbualan dengan abang Fais berlanjutan lebih-kurang 5 minit di mana kita berbincang tentang beberapa hal-hal peribadi.

“Ok ya Zewt. Kalau ada hal, call je abang”
jawab saya.

Berakhirnya perbualan dengan abang Fais, seorang rakan sekerja yang bernama Depp berkata…

“Zewt… why did you speak like that?” (Zewt… kenapa bercakap macam tu?)
“Like what?” (Macam apa?)
“Eiyerr… you speak Malay like a Malay”
(Kamu berbahasa Melayu macam orang Melayu)

Saya hairan. Apabila kita dengar orang lain berbahasa Inggeris macam orang putih, ramai yang kagum. Lebih-lebih lagi, ada di antara kita yang sengaja berbahasa Inggeris macam orang putih walaupun tak pernah menetap di luar negara. Satu kebanggaan kononya.

Tetapi, apabila mengetahui ada orang yang mempunyai kebolehan untuk berbahasa Malaysia macam orang Melayu, diberi pula ulasan berbunyi… “eiyerr”.

Saya berharap anda tidak mempunyai pemikiran seperi Depp.

Peristiwa pertama berkenaan bahasa

Monday, 14 September 2009

Are you racist?

Real life story…

“Are you racist?”
“Of course not!”
“Hmmm… Will you allow your children to be in a relationship with someone from another race?”
“Will you?”
“Err… like that different lah…”

So, are you racist?

Sunday, 13 September 2009

The unforgettable accident experience (Part 3)

The unforgettable accident experience (Part 1)

The unforgettable accident experience (Part 2)

Tan told me that he will settle all the paper work. All I need to do is to authorise his workshop to do the repair. After signing on the dotted lines, I was given some plastic bags and Tan asked to remove all my belongings from my car. It was then that I realised my sun-glasses were gone. Who took it? No prizes for correct guesses.

We exchanged cards and Tan promised me 3 things…that the repair will take no more than 3 weeks, that I will not have to pay a single cent and that he will use original parts. He broke all of them.

After 3 weeks, I went to the workshop only to find my car, totally untouched, still chucked at a corner. And I noticed one thing, the windscreen was completely smashed! I clearly recall that there was no damage to the windscreen during the accident, but it’s was totally smashed when I saw it after 3 weeks. Smashed windscreen equals higher charge, know I mean?

The repairs took more than 5 weeks, and it was a very bad job. The indicator lights were all hay-wired and the exhaust pipe was punctured. The paint job was also badly done. It took another week before the car was within acceptable condition.

Next, you would think that the insurance will cover everything. After all, that’s what insurance is for right? Wrong! I have forgotten the details but I had to pay a few hundred bucks for some charges which the insurance company did not cover. It was not tow-charges, it was something else.

When your car is badly smashed and you endorse an unknown workshop to do the repair, you can forget about original parts. Of course, they will tell you that they used original parts. But a quick inspection by my mechanic revealed that all parts used were butchered from other cars. My mechanic also said that the workmanship was horrible.

I drove the car for another 6 months before I decided to sell it. The car was shaking when I picked up speed, it just didn’t feel safe. And that was when I discovered another piece of shite.

The designated mechanic of the showroom I went to told me that my car was repaired ala “kereta potong” style (joint car). I was told that it will be a big problem selling the car as it will not pass Puspakom inspection.

But then again, this is Malaysia; and Puspakom is a govt agency. All I have to do is to take a big hit in the value of the car and things can be … “settled”. I traded-in the car at RM7,000 below market value. Regardless, I was just glad the nightmare was finally over.

Oh… I did ask Tan about the oil-on-the-road allegation. His reply was plain and simple… “Just be careful when you drive around past midnight”.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

2 years ago…
A trip of co-incidences“Tax free” dividends?A thought from an over-loaded brainWhack it over the weekend

Saturday, 12 September 2009

To temptation, I succumbed...

I am only human...




























It wasn't an easy decision... :P

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Hits, where art thou?

The hits counter seems to have gone... errr... just gone. A quick check around the blogosphere and I realised that I am not the only one. All those using easyhitscounter seem to be experiencing the same predicament. Hmmm.... I wonder what happened?

Hits, where art though?

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Satu peristiwa berkenaan Bahasa

Lebih-kurang dua tahun lalu, saya menerima sekeping memo dari sebuah syarikat kourier. Ianya menyatakan bahawa penghantaran tidak sampai kepada saya kerana tiada orang berada di rumah semasa penghantran dibuat.

Setelah meneliti memo tersebut, saya rasa saya tidak beberapa kenal syarikat kourier tersebut. Bukan syarikat kourier yang biasa seperti UBS atau Fedex. Namanya agak pelik. Maka, saya pun membuat panggilan telefon ke pejabat syarikat tersebut…

“Selamat pagi, syarikat xxxxxxx. Boleh saya membantu?” Seorang gadis menjawab panggilan telefon saya.

Apabila orang lain memulakan perbualan, adalah amalan saya untuk meneruskan perbualan dalam bahasa yang sama. Oleh itu…

“Selamat pagi. Saya terima nota memberitahu saya bahawa bungkusan yang dihantar tak sampai sebab tiada orang kat rumah”
“Boleh bagi nombor rujukan?”
“Boleh. 1234567”
“Sila tunggu sebentar…”

“Encik, bungkusan boleh dihantar sekali lagi. Encik nak kami hantar kat alamat yang sama?”
“Tak, tolong hantar ke pejabat saya”
“???… errr… pejabat encik? Encik Zewt ni siapa?”
“Apa? Encik Zewt ni kamu? Kamu bukan orang Melayu?”
“Bukan, saya Encik Zewt, orang Cina. Kenapa?”
“Takde lah. Encik cakap macam orang Melayu je…”

Pernahkan anda menemui peristiwa sebegini? Apakah penguasaan bahasa kebangsaan oleh golongan bukan Melayu merupaka satu perkara yang mengejutkan?

Terdapat lagi satu peristiwa yang agak sama, juga berkenaan dengan penguasaan bahasa kebangsaan. Mungkin cerita untuk esok…

1 year ago…
No apology, no worryA glimpse at the budget

2 years ago… Of budget and 2 awards

Sunday, 6 September 2009

The unforgettable accident experience (Part 2)

The unforgettable accident experience (Part 1)

Along the journey to the police station, Tan shared with me his experience in dealing with the police and the cases he has handled. He told me what is in store for me at the station and gave me pointers on how to handle them. He said I have nothing to worry if I am “clean”. He also said mentioned that the most important thing is that I am not hurt. The damage to the car is secondary. Overall, he appeared to be a nice guy.

Upon reaching the station (the one near Petaling Street), the officer who took my I.C. and driving license was already waiting for me. He said my case will be handled by a senior officer because he was adamant that I was high on drugs. Read
Part 1 if you don’t know what I am talking about.

I was then led to a different floor, with Tan accompanying me. Along the way, I noticed Tan taking something from his pocket and discreetly giving this something to every single officer that he met along the way. That “something” resembled a RM10 note.

I think the time was about 2 a.m.

I was asked to enter a dark room. It was dark because the investigating officer (“I.O.”) turned off the light and was sleeping on the floor when we entered the room. The officer who thought I was high on drugs whispered something to the I.O. while he steadied himself from his slumber. He then asked everyone to leave the room and directed me to sit in front of him. It was then that I realised… I was being interrogated!

The usual name, occupation and how the accident happened were asked. As expected, “interrogation” centred upon what substance I took. He was pressuring me into tell him that I was drunk or high on drugs. Unfortunately for him, I have nothing to tell or admit to. His trump card was that he wanted to take my urine and blood to which I agreed. I think he was puzzled that I showed no fear.

He then turned to his computer and started drafting his report. I wanted to know what he was saying in his report and so I leaned forward and looked at his screen. It was then that I realised he made some grammar mistake in his report and me being me… I corrected him…

He turned and stared at me… I looked at him and said…
“Sorry tuan, tadi tatabahasa tuan kurang tepat. Saya risau syarikat insurans tak terime laporan nanti”
(Sorry sir, your grammar is inaccurate. I am afraid the insurance company will not accept the report)

I think at that moment, the I.O. was fully convinced that I was neither drunk nor high on drugs.

“Kamu kata kamu kerja apa tadi? BM bagus.”
(What did you say you work as again? Your Malay language is good)

I gave him a smile and it was then that the I.O. smiled at me for the very first time.

He then called Tan into the room and told him that he wanted to withhold my car as he suspected that I did not maintain my car properly, causing the accident. The I.O. wanted to send my car for Puspakom inspection which according to him, will take up to 3 months.

Tan pulled me aside and told me that they just want to make things difficult but he can “settle” the issue if I can confirm that I will let his workshop handle the repair. Apparently, the earlier form I signed was just to allow him to tow my car away. Either I let the police hold my car for 3 months (or perhaps more) or let Tan do the repairs. I guess I have no choice.

By the way, I was asked to pay RM300 as summon because hitting the divider is an offence under “merosakkan harta awam” (damaging public property). I was told that if you hit lamp post, it may cost you as much as RM1,000.

I took out RM300 and Tan also took out “something” for the I.O. Finally, a friendly aura radiated from the I.O. He began to smile and joked with me and Tan. Then another officer came in and whispered something to the I.O.

“Ada satu kes baru, sudah confirm makan pill. Dia susah. Bukan macam you”
(There’s a new case, confirm taken pill. He’s in trouble, unlike you)

I bid the I.O. farewell and as I got out of his room, I saw a teenager sitting on the floor with his hair all messed up. He did not look like he was in a position to correct the grammar of the I.O.

Should I blog about my experience with the workshop people as Part 3?

1 year ago…
Selfishness aplentyGuess the 6th

Friday, 4 September 2009

Discount for AZAIG readers

Too much heavy stuff this week and hence, allow me to give you some good news this rainy Friday. An entrepreneur who just set up an online-store has agreed to give a good discount for the first purchase at the online store. This is exclusive for AZAIG readers only.

You may want to drop by at the online-store here…


Part 2 of my accident experience coming up next week.

Have a lovely weekend.

1 year ago… And you think they have no life

2 years ago… Grass thoughtsThe reason evolution

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

The unforgettable accident experience (Part 1)

I can’t accurately recall but it should be middle of the year 2004, past midnight. I was driving back from PJ, heading towards KL via Pusat Bandar Damansara. Those familiar with that route will know that it is an uphill drive as you get on Jalan Semantan (with CIMB on your left) and then, a relatively steep downhill. That’s when it happened.

Just as my car commenced the downhill descend, I heard tyre screeching sound and the next thing I knew, I lost control of my steering and of course, my car. My lack of driving knowledge together with natural instinct led to me pressing the brake which then resulted in the car spinning violently.

I think it spun for a good 3 – 4 seconds before it smashed the divider. The car did not stop. It continued to spin and it took a while more before it came to a complete halt. Now, this is an interesting part…

When I got out of my car, I realised that my car is now located on the other side of the road, i.e. the road heading towards PJ with CIMB now on my right. In fact, the badly damaged bonnet of my car was actually facing towards PJ. Till today, I do not recall my car being flung into the air to get over the divider and land on the other side. Neither did it smashed through the divider. It remains a mystery.

No, I was not drunk or under the influence of any substance. And no, I was not speeding.

Naturally, I was in shock and just as I was about to inspect the damages, a guy was already at the side of my vehicle. I think he appeared within 30 seconds and the very first thing he asked me was…

“Lei meh insurance keh?”
(Which insurance are you with?)

I told him the name of the insurance company and he said his workshop is the panel workshop of that insurance company and will be able to settle the repairs smoothly. He then took out a form and recorded the damages to my car and asked me to sign. I hesitated, as I was still trying to recollect myself.

The next thing I know, a crowd has gathered around the area and our very own police arrived. The police officer grabbed my upper arm and took me aside, as though I am a criminal. He demanded for my driving I.C. and driving licence and asked the following questions:-

Tinggal mana? (Stay where?)
Kerja apa? (Work where?)
Datang dari mana? (Came from where?)
Pergi mana? (Heading where?)

When I told him I was heading to KL from PJ, he looked at my car, which was mysteriously facing PJ on a road heading to PJ, he said this to me in an extremely rude tone, I can recall it clearly…

“Awak ni, pasti dah makan pill”
(You have surely taken some drugs)
“Beritahu saya betul-betul, ada makan pill? Kalau awak beritahu saya sekarang, saya boleh tolong”
(Tell me honestly, did you take drugs? If you tell me know, I can help you)

I told him I took nothing. In fact, I was getting a bit offended with his treatment and tone. And then, he said this…

“Saya nak test kencing kat balai. Kalau positif, terus masuk lokap”
(I want to test your urine. I’ll put you in lock-up if it’s positive) – sounded like a threat, don’t you think?

He drove off with my I.C. and driving license and asked me to meet him at the police station.

Meanwhile, the workshop dude already got my car fastened to a tow truck. He asked me to sign some forms to formalise the engagement. After assessing my options, I realised I was left with no choice and gave him my signature.

He introduced himself as “Tan” and said he will send me to the police station to lodge my report.

The experience at the station was also an eye-opening one. But since this post has gotten a bit too long, guess you will have to wait for Part 2…

P/S: In relation to my previous post on road accidents, I would highly recommend that you read this particular comment from BobSam.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Do they really pour oil on it?

My colleague was involved in an accident last Sunday. If you are heading to the highway from Kota Damansara with The Curve on your left, you will be passing through a tunnel just before you hit the highway. That long stretch of tyre mark just after the tunnel belongs to the vehicle which hit my colleague’s car.

My colleague said he heard a very long tyre screeching sound before the impact happened. His car spun, hit a signboard and stopped after hitting another car. He should be counting his lucky stars.

The driver of the speeding car was apparently drunk, the police were there and tested him on the spot. Was the driver arrested and properly dealt with? Let’s not go there…

The most intriguing element of the saga was the almost instant appearance of tow trucks. My colleague said that these parasites appeared within a minute. Yes, within 60 seconds. I have been in an accident before and looking back, I am also quite perplexed at how these tow trucks can just show up almost immediately. It’s like they know an accident has happened.

The quick arrival of tow trucks and the inability of the perpetrator (an ABS equipped car) to brake despite such a long tyre mark (indicating that he hit the brake quite a while back) prompted another colleague to suggest that “they” could have poured oil on the road. The time of the incident was around midnight.

Following the accident I had a few years ago (which I will blog about), I did hear some quarters suggesting that there are people who pour oil on the roads to “stimulate” accidents, generating revenue for workshops. And after my colleague’s frightening experience last Sunday, this notion was mentioned again.

An old friend of mine, who has close connection with car workshops and all told me that it is true. Either they pour oil, or they pour sand, causing cars to lose control leading to an accident and ultimately, business for workshops. That is why tow trucks will just appear immediately. They have been waiting at the wings. And such incidents always happen past midnight.

Knowing that this country, I will not doubt it. My instinct is telling me that it is true. But I am also interested to know your view. Have you heard of such stories?

1 year ago…
I am thankful