Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ideas For A Better Malaysia #215

There's been way too many fatal bus crashes in this country, and everytime it happened the people in power would start condemning this and that, suggesting this and that, investigating this and that. But every single time, it would just quieten down again in a few weeks and all's swell again. Until another crash that is. Repeat ad nauseum.

As someone who used to ride longhaul express buses regularly for close to a decade, I can tell you that rarely the ride was comfortable. If it travels by day, the aircond were never cold enough. By night, it feels like Siberia. The seats would sometime be broken, either you can't lower it, or it won't stay up. The toilets would always be horrendous, leaving you to hold it in until the next stop. And the worse part is, the drivers are always very reckless. I would usually stay up the whole journey since I don't dare sleep with that kind of driving (as if by staying awake I could do much about it).

So as a (former) seasoned bus traveller, I am here to present two solutions:
1. Get the all-talk politicians to actually ride one those buses incognito, and feel the thrill. They'll be shitting their Brioni pants before the bus even reached Bentong or Kuala Kangsar. But of course don't expect swift action. It'll take years for things to actually change around here. Even with shit-stained Brionis.
2. Modify the buses. Don't bother putting in speed limiters, or GPS or what not. Just make the driver sit outside the bus. Mould the bus body to exclude the driver's area, so he'll be exposed. Don't give him a seatbelt either, just a helmet would do. Then we'll see if they'll drive as recklessly anymore.

What say you?

Monday, December 21, 2009


Back in Form 2, Pondar was my bedmate. He's vivacious, loud, cheeky and yet quite sensitive. He was my partner when we started a dorm ritual - watching a cute chinese girl pass by the school gate every afternoon without fail on her bicycle. We would rush back after afternoon prep classes and head straight to the balcony outside our dorm. There we would wait for that familiar red bicycle to come down the road towards us. At first it was just us, watching in silence. Then we got bolder so me and Pondar would often fight to be the one to say hi to her. At first there was no response. Then she started smiling to us as she passed by. Then she started waving to us. Then one day we even asked her name, and she replied! I can't remember what it was anymore, but the afternoon girl-gazing became our secret activity day in day out.

Of course later on the rest of the guys caught on to what we were doing and the crowd soon grew. After a while the girl stopped coming round our way, and the daily sessions ended just like that.

We were also caught head banging to some punk-rock cassettes, and as a punishment was beaten up by the prefects and made to stand in the middle of the hockey field and shout at the top of our lungs that we won't be making anymore ruckus in the dorm until we lost our voices.

After leaving school I rarely met him. Then he went on to work in his hometown in Labuan. Then on Saturday we got word that he was involved in a road accident in Labuan and suffered massive head injuries. He passed away that day.

Innalillah wa-inna ilaihi raji’un
– Truly to Allah we belong, and truly to Him shall we return. Goodbye dear friend and brother, thank you for all the memories and we will miss you.

Allahyarham Azil Afiq bin Thaharudin aka Pondar
A116, Sulaiman House

Thursday, December 17, 2009


A friend and brother, Nizam Ruslan lost his father this morning. Al-Fatihah to Allahyarham Ruslan. Be strong bro.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Picture Of The Day

Mulder, sila pilih team lain untuk anda sokong dengan seberapa segera.

*gamba cilok from Sokernet

Friday, December 4, 2009

Merapu Di Petang Jumaat

Up until a few years ago my dad had to support a family which includes us 5 kids. Then when Pija got a scholarship to do medicine in Ireland, I guessed it must've eased the burden a bit. Me being the antithesis of Pija was not smart enough to warrant a scholarship and so stayed within these shores and enslaved myself to PTPTN instead. Of course it's not enough and always, always late so dad still had to come to my rescue many times over. So when I started working I vowed not to ask for financial help any more, unless when I really really have to (so far it's been 3 years and a month, go me!).

That leaves 3 kids to feed school and generally bring up for my parents. The full benefit however fell to Kimi who quickly swooped in to ask for a car (and subsequent modifications afterwards) as a ransom for going to class. And he's only 19. I on the other hand walked to class for 15 minutes per way for 4 years before my dad granted me the use of my mom's old car. Even then it's because I had to go for my internship in Sony.

Anis showed me her new Crocs (these babies don't come for cheap, especially for something so simple) a few days ago, and she even got her own handphone these days. She is only 8! Iffah's always stuck to the MP3 player, and she's got Nike kicks for getting straight A's in her UPSR. My younger siblings sure got it good when compared to the time when both me and Pija were young.

Back then both of my parents were just teachers newly starting out, and with two kids to boot. I remember the envy I feel when my cousins brought with them expensive toys when they came over to play, but there's a sense of apprehension that it was not prudent for me to ask for something like that. No, we did not go lacking in any sense mind you. I made up for it by spending my time at the kampung - fishing for ikan puyu at the stream behind grandma's house (with a rod made from bamboo, DIY-ed by my late grandad himself), flying the wau at the paddy field during the dry season, looking for rubber tree nuts to turn into a creative helicopter using nothing more than that, a rubber band and an ice cream stick, buying buah gurah (some sort of concrete marble, I guess) to play against the other boys and so on and of course divebombing into the river at the waterlock, where apparently my dad got his scar when he dived onto a submerged tree branch in his own boyhood days. No history did not repeat itself and I did not get a similar scar to show for it =P

In school, I was exposed to other boys who are much more well off. I learnt something new from them - brand names. These kids would wear Billabong or Quiksilver, and the rest of us would dream of the day when we will be able to wear those stuff. Then of course it escalated. Handphones started being a necessity, and I only had my first one in 2001 (Mitsubishi Trium, yo!). I bought my first Levi's (with PTPTN money, hehe) in 2003, and still wears it until recently when I got to fat to fit into it. Bummer.

Anyway, when I started earning my own money and practically no one can stop me from spending it all away, I went a bit crazy at first. My attire to work today is an example (Clarks shoes, Nike socks, Dockers pants, CK boxers, Nautica shirt, Cerruti watch, Boss glasses, Gap messenger bag). It's all about Brands! I'm a good contributor to the country's revenue coffers ;) But with time, it eased off. I have more clothes than I can wear (I counted 30 work shirts alone, that's enough for 6 weeks of work), enough gadgets to make a spaceship out of and not much more I can ask for. But there's one more thing I'm thinking of now. It's one of the legacy of my schooldays, watching those have-kids flaunt it while I can only dream of it. I will make it a reality real soon...

Gua nak beli jam G-Shock ah!