Thursday, 30 September 2010

A disgraceful country, between saying it and feeling it

It was the second day of my Dubai trip.  As I stepped into the office, the regional head came over and said…

“Good morning Zewt… blah blah blah… By the way, there is a newly appointed chief of xxx who will be overseeing the African region.  Since you are overseeing the global business for xxx, perhaps you would like to have a chat with him.”

I agreed. After a brief introduction, the regional head left me with the chief.  I then briefly told the new chief of xxx about the role I am in and the purpose of my Dubai trip.

“So you’re from Singapore?” he asked me.
“I am based in Singapore, but I am Malaysian”
“Oh! Malaysian! I love Malaysia! I used to be based in Singapore too and when I was there, I love to take a drive up to Malaysia!”
“Really!?”… my reaction to Malaysia’s fame.
“Oh yeah… Malaysia is the best place because all the cops are on the take. I always drive my car up to KL and speed all the way. Whenever the cop stops me, I just give him 50 bucks and he will fuck off.  Isn’t that great?”

He then turned to the person at the other cubible…

“Hey James, meet Zewt. He is from Malaysia, all the cops in his country are on the take. You wanna break the rules, you gotta go there.  And their govt is so screwed they bought a sub that can't dive.  Maybe they need to sink the sub to make it dive… ha ha ha”

James and I then shook hands.

“Hi… nice to meet you. Is it true that all the police in your country take bribes? Why is it so?”

James, by the way, is an African…

Ya’ know… Malaysians always say… “This is such a disgrace… I am so embarrass… we are laughing stock of the world… etc.”… but that’s it.  Maybe you will talk about it while stuffing your face with nasi-lemak at the mamak store or something.  But that will be it.

Do you know how it feels to be really “embarrass” because you are a Malaysian?… That it was so bad till you thought of digging a hole to hide your face?

I do.

I experienced a few of such situations while in Singapore, very mild ones.  But this one in Dubai is the ultimate.




47 comments:

Antares said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Antares said...

Don't forget the polis serve the rajas and the kerajaan. Like master, like servant, wot? ;-)

Anonymous said...

Ouch!That's very embarrassing to the max!Apparently both of 'em forgot to pick up their brain on the floor before they speak to u! =_="
I think u're a busybee but how on earth u would have time to blog n reply every of your reader's comment?You amazing!

Foxy-Roxy

day-dreamer said...

OMG. Yeng suei sai.

Philip said...

Your beloved chief was just exaggerating. Have you had such experience? All the time? since he said ALL cops. I'm sure this happens but we are very well aware that it's not like how they described. I'm interested to know how you actually respond to it as a Malaysian.

mh said...

An African laughing at Malaysian cops being on the take? Hahahahahah - that's a little rich!! Have you dealt with the tax authorities across Africa? In certain jurisdictions, the tax demands and penalties (up to 600% to 700% of the alleged tax liability sometimes) are jaw-droppingly "unbelievable" and oft times baseless!!

pavlova said...

But well, then some Malaysians would say them bloody ang mohs ( presuming xxx is one) think so highly of themselves and they don't have the right to belittle Msia.

However, you noticed they don't belittle Singapore. As much flaws as Sg has, but they are hardly the laughing stock around the world. If anything they command some respect, for doing something right for a little country who is constantly under 'threat' from their SE Asian neighbours.

Fi-sha said...

OUCHHHHHHHHHH

Gee..that hurts Zewt..been there and felt that before and perhaps thats why Im like this today.

Dont you worry Zewt, our cops and gomen could be all screwed up but we will show them we are not.

Be well my friend..

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

ouch..to come from an african, no offence to them..but they r just as bad.

Linda said...

That CHIEF has NO feelings!

Anonymous said...

suddenly, the song "we will always be, proud to be malaysians... " that used to play on tv
(rtm i think) sarcastically popped up in my mind...!!!

Huei said...

hahahahahahha true disgraceful..but sorry to be racist..africans..

aren't they famous for cheating women in msia or something? i'm not sure ok..i thought i read on the papers this girl was used to traffic drugs..so yeah..i guess their country isn't any better

Huei said...

oh n btw i kena b4..the cops didn't wana accept any money. rare..but proves that u dont get away with things ALL the time

Pinknpurplelizard said...

Get used to it... A lot of others say that. The country's government and police/armed forces are a disgrace.

Ironically, our army used to be world class until recently. Old Soldiers (local and international) used to tell me lots of stories about the Malay regiment, etc. Msian armed forces should be called the Nasi Khandar squad since that's what they ear most and where they're seen most.

Pinknpurplelizard said...

*eat (typo)

j or ji said...

"yes, that happen sometimes in malaysia but do u know that we also hit people with cricket bat and burn their body and throw thier ashes to the river? they usually do that to the people who talk shit like u guys"

Fucking foreigner!

I love and hate malaysia but i wont let anyone downgrading my country just like that.

:)

Anonymous said...

hey zewt!! so happy to find new posts ;D

i have to concur with them, but dont blame them becos this is a fact, our ministers disgrace themself by thier own words and deeds, what can we say ?

if i were u i might just concur with them and flag msia down down down, coz i dont like to lie. who cares ;]

norick said...

wth.. that is really insulting..

I hope that they did say sorry and does not mean to offend u..else it will be real hard in the days ahead.. keep your EQ high..
oh btw i'm interested too to know how u actually respond to them..

However, no matter how embarassing it is.. I will always intro myself as Malaysian (not because of the food, since u often relate us who are still in m'sia for its food only..is because I'm born here and shall die a Malaysian)

C said...

Hmm..The pot calling the kettle black??!!! Well, they arent much better than we do, do they??!! Like what j/ji says, its a love/hate rel we have with our country, but we can never take such insult from bugger like this..So, did you counterstrike?? :P

Chloe.T

Terra Shield said...

I thought I commented earlier... dunno what happened.

Anyway, yeah, if I were in your shoes, I'd be hoping for the floor to swallow me. Too embarrassing.

Faisal Admar said...

oh that shitty thing to hear :(

klee said...

Hi Zewt, thats odd...im Malaysian working in Singapore too (as a regional account manager) and I have heard wonderful things about Malaysia from Singaporeans (taxi drivers)...they praise our highways, greenery, and creative entrepreneurship e.g. Airasia, Skylounge (verve suite), of course food...etc (the only bad thing they have mentioned was about JB)...and in my work trips to HK, Japan and OZ...I am very proud when I say I am Malaysian - and now I am a proud Malaysian working in Singapore. No matter what its in my blood being Malaysian. Call me a fool/naive but I love the country because I used to diss it in my early 20s, even wanted to migrate..but now in my 30s I am tired but I also wanted to make a change no matter how small..You know the theory about the what you think you attract? I think that is what is happening because you always think negative about MY so you will hear that in return from people that you meet - it is a vibe from you. For me, I know MY has shitty stuff but still I love it deep down...and I get the pleasant feedback and the valid non-pleasant as well. Just my 2cents.

MKL said...

Zewt, nothing to ashamed of, if mata mata get kopi money. They need to drink lots of kopi to be awake and keep everybody safe. Being a cop is a tough job :-P So next time be proud of Malaysian citizens being so generous and donating kopi money to the respectful policemen.

InjusticeSistem said...

Hey Zewt,if i remember correctly,u r pretty good writing in Malay n Chinese...
Not being racist here,just tot ur msg will reach more readers...
Perhaps some of ur readers here is kind enuff to do da translation 4 u to re-post here.....

On a lighter note,all da cop accepted my duit kopi except 1,he was kind enuff to gv me 5 bucks after i told him my motorbike no more gas....yes he was a kind soul... took my 50 bucks n gv me 5 bucks for gas...wat a kind soul god bless him...

JoyGal said...

I don't know if anyone out there share the same feeling.

I am Malaysian who works in Singapore for almost close to 5 yrs now. I must admit that Singapore are in many ways better than Malaysia.

However, whenever I travelled to somewhere for work and someone asked me where am I from, I do struggled abit. For work reasons, of course I should say I am from Singapore, however, I alwaz felt a sense of guilt and wanted to elaborate further I am actually a Malaysian who works in Singapore.

Despite I am utmostly not proud about my own country, I still would want to tell the world I am a Malaysian.

Anonymous said...

i wont tell ppl i am from msia even online, what more offline.

i rather hope for msia to sink than tell ppl im from msia.

joshua wong said...

Zewt,

Damn! Now why does our govt not hide the facts about our sub not being able to dive. Now the darn govt makes us, the people, 'dived' every time some 'sei gweilo' by the name of triple-x mentioned it back to us. Really annoying ya. Tiu...

CiNDi said...

My first reaction to that statement by the foreigner was "How long ago were you in Malaysia?" He doesn't see how things has changed, he doesn't see the fact that he was Speeding, kinda intentionally breaking the law and then chortled to people about how a police lets him go at the mere amount of RM50. That was BEFORE all the changes to the salary system for civil servants. Corruption was rampant but what is he, a foreigner, encouraging that bullshit for?

What I don't like is why and what has that gotta do with you. You're a Malaysian, a head of a region in your company. The least they can do was show a little respect, not for the country, but at least for the guy who's standing there chatting with them in Dubai.

EdiÁ•ě said...

live life cool...

I start losing faith in GOD too

Sex isn't everything but a great way to escape pressure of life.

thanks for sharing... I am depressed now

PKR is having sex with pig

BN has been raping the country for years

goingkookies said...

OMG.. that really takes the cake!

Shucks.. so better prepare your wittier response for future further such embarassing moments.

No offense la but ur chief sounds like a d***head for putting u in the spot with such stupid comments.

It's like insulting a child for it's parents faults and mistakes.

Bee Ean said...

Wow can't believe your coworkers are asking you this kind of question during your first encounter with them.

Anonymous said...

Klee and Cindy....agreed.

Anonymous said...

I experienced it 20 years ago. I'm sorry to know that someone (it's you.) out there is experiencing the same thing 20 years later.

I love my home country Malaysia for its homey Truly Asia, but I love Singapore for my future.

TaiTai.

Anonymous said...

Well, maybe for you guys who are so pro-Malaysia and are so defensive against some gweilo's comments (which are true) then perhaps all i can say is:

YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW. MAYBE THE COUNTRY DESERVES TO BE IN THIS STATE BECAUSE OF PEOPLE LIKE YOU GUYS.

Anonymous said...

Anon : 5/10/2010, 1.21 pm...

Such a thing happened was not because of those people who love this country so much or you call them pro- Malaysia but the bad things like bribery happened due to those people who don't love this country. If they love this country, they wont give bribe or offer bribe even without being asked for. As a citizen of this country, we have to ask ourself, what we can do for the country....one of them...don't support corruption/bribery. Take your stand...Be firm. If you are caught for speeding, pay the fines..it's your fault. Although it is a big difference between RM300 and 'RM50', you will make a huge difference/contribution to your country.

narrowband said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I find myself defending Malaysia at times. My Singaporean friends would say something very stereotypical, rumours they hear from other people, and then ask me "True ah?". If I haven't experienced it myself in all my life as a Malaysian, I'd be more than inclined to defend and say "It's not that bad, you see". But that's just my personal approach, and sadly I don't get to exercise this approach very often due to obvious reasons.

eiling lim said...

Lol.. actually the submarine joke went too far. Apparently, one of my friends used to work for the marine and he said it's quite common that it takes a few years to tune the submarine right. I guess we couldn't blame the govt but we should blame them for the price they paid and the heavy maintenance that they don't forsee. It'll cos hundreds of millions every year to maintain the submarine and obviously I don't think we even need one!

Anonymous said...

Anon October 05, 2010 3:07 PM:

Oh come on, don't be daft. The bribery is just a small spectre of the actual real problem in the country. It's bloody corruption.

Alright, let's not talk about corruption with the traffic police.
Let's talk about police brutality.
Have you heard of cases where when you happen to 'cross' someone ( the definition of cross can be anything, from a simple disagreement to a full-blown argument) and that someone happened to be in connection with the police, they then send their police honchos to beat the shit out of you, and worse still left you paralyse...
Oh, then what takes the cake is, this angmoh who crossed that someone, before all this shit happened, he ACTUALLY even went as far as to adopt the Malaysian My 2nd home scheme.. oh and even created jobs and business and invested in Malaysia..
And now he's left paralysed from the waist down...

Don't believe me? Go search RPK's archive. It's there in one of the articles, he calls himself Dr Gideon.
Okay, then you may say: How do you know this is not fictional? Maybe RPK made this up?
Okay, then ask around a few people in KL. Ask them what do they think of police brutality.

You think just by not giving bribe is going to solve the problem?
The bribery at the traffic police is just a very small symptom of a very large problem--- corruption at every level. Votes are rigged at Sg Siput, MPs jumping ship because of "better" offer...

It's not about bloody semantics about "people who don't love the country" are the only ones who don't give the bribe. If you don't chip in into the corruption, so what, you and your family are going to suffer? Are you willing to be so righteous to sacrifice your rice bowl just because of principles?

Mind you, I'm not saying it's the right thing to do. It's definitely not something that we should do at all. All I am saying is the culture is ingrained as such that, if you don't do it, somebody else will. Are you willing to let your family lose out on all the "could- haves" just because you want to be righteous? If you want to walk the straight and narrow, are you willing to go down the hard road? The sometimes tortuous and winding road to get there? So let's not be daft to generalise it and say-- if you love your country, then don't give the bribe.

So let's call a spade a spade.
Until we all do so, I still stand corrected -- Malaysia deserves the state that she is in because her people don't care.

Anak Merdeka said...

I've been through such cringe-worthy moments enough times to make me accept that it takes nothing less than a change of govt to give us a better shot at reversing the perception.

j_yenn said...

Haven't visited your blog in a while. Haven't even seen my blog in ages.
So Zewt is now in Singapore. I wonder how people over there react when you tell them which country you're from :P

zewt said...

Antares - absolutely.

Anon aka Foxy Roxy - well, while i did sense a bit of sarcasm from the chief... we cannot deny that he was telling the truth.

day-dreamer - to the max.

Philip - as a matter of fact, yes... i experienced that all the time. i have NEVER stopped by any cop who sincerely wanted to summon me. they all wanted instant discounted payment scheme. my response was... "every country has a tale eh?"

mh - have not... but i may... hopefully not in that manner.

pavlova - absolutely... the ang mohs love singapore, because it's the closest to home in terms of infrastructure.

Fi-sha - well, things are not getting better... and it's getting harder to prove them wrong...

zewt said...

constantly craving joe - you see... they are "just as bad"... so we are african standard already.

Linda - yet, he speaks the truth.

anon @ 30/9 11am - hahahaha...

Huei - he must have seen you and ... knew you had no money :P

pinknpurplelizard - and stomach filled with them right?

j or ji - it was a difficult situation to be in.

anon @ 30/9 1.30pm - hahaha... well, i must maintain my professional status there... very difficult.

zewt said...

norick - my response was... every country has a story... his aint that great either. but then again, we shouldnt be proud to be in the same league.

Chloe T - hi there... i cant counterstrike... have to maintain my status and, he is still the chief after all. i see no point is risking my career for my country.

Terra Shield - and yet, i cant... though it was in the middle of the desert... technically speaking.

Faisal Admar - indeed.

klee - if you wanted to migrate then and now realised you wanted a change and .... mate... malaysia is just a resignation letter and 40 minutes flight away. wait no more... it's a love country really...

MKL - hahahah.... you have a point.

InjusticeSistem - hmmm... you wanted me to write this in BM?

zewt said...

JoyGal - I think most of us want to say that we are from Malaysians.... but we cant deny that it's not exactly the proudest moment to admit it.

Anon @ 1/10 11.54am - hahaha... that secretive eh?

joshua wong - tiu indeed... hahaha...

CiNDi - sorry... i dont recall things have change. oh, allow me to rephrase.... things have indeed changed... for the worse.

Edi - and it's hard to get out of the orgy eh?

goingkookies - well, it's because the country gives him an opportunity to be in such a manner right?

Bee Ean - malaysia is quite famous after all eh?

zewt said...

anon @ 4/10 8.20pm - remember to vote.

anon @ TaiTai - technically speaking... singapore may not be that good long term. but short to medium term, definitely better than malaysia.

anon @ 5/10 1.21pm - like i once said... those who chose not to be part of the mess, is part of the mess.

anon @ 5/10 3.07pm - i think i cant agree with you on ppl loving the country wont bribe... i think that is not very true. and realisitically speaking, a lot of ppl dont love this country then... since most bribe.

narrowband - why delete your comment? :)

anon @ 6/10 12.57am - exactly... the country is not helping us at all... isnt it? how is flying class? :P

eiling lim - i dont think subs in the states or UK will fail to dive in their maiden voyage, cant imagine seeing that.

anon @ 6/10 5.41pm - i supposed you're the same anon as above eh? :) battle on... i like it.

Anak Merdeka - agreed... to every word.

j_yenn - no reaction... cause there are too many of us here... :)

house-tai said...

Personally, I think SG is just a great country to earn $ but not to raise a family. I think it's very unhealthy to have kids growing up in concrete jungle (the artificially planted trees along the roads don't count) and most importantly, such a materialistic society.

But of course, KL is even worse. Not good to earn $, even worse to raise a family.