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?”
“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 experienced a few of such situations while in Singapore, very mild ones. But this one in Dubai is the ultimate.
2 years ago… Why I prefer it to fail