Monday, September 28, 2009

Raya Weekend and Malaysian Drivers (Especially Malaysian Drivers!)

Hello and welcome back to The Accidental Blogger!. First of all this is supposed to be 2 stories but since I am too lazy to split it, I shall just summarize it to one.

The Raya weekend was awesome. I was on leave for four days (including the weekend) and was in Butterworth and Penang for those 2 days. During my stay I managed to meet up with my form 5 batch of ’98 namely Areef and Sofian (who organized the event) and it was a good time reminiscing the past and how we used to be and what has become of some of the guys that I have not met.

It was a good get together as I have not kept in touch with these guys since form 5 and meeting them up was definitely great especially a day before the end of Ramadhan because once Raya has started, it would not be easy to meet up with all the guys as they would be busy entertaining guest since a majority of them are married with kids.

I also managed to hang out with some of my colleagues during the weekend as they came down for another colleague’s wedding and we chilled at Sunset Bistro in Batu Ferringhi. I enjoy that place as it’s by the beach and the music is not loud so we could hear each other speak and catch some football. I was there on the next day too with my sisters since they needed a get-away too.

It was a weekend well spent as my elder sister was back from the UK and it was good to see her as I had missed her and also my eldest sister was back with my niece and nephew so I got to spend time with them too and not forgetting my parents.

And that my friends, was the upside of the weekend. Now, the ugly side; this time around I drove down to Penang due to the onset of the A(H1N1) pandemic and public transport is not recommended. What I noticed was either Malaysian drivers are stupid, ignorant, busy-bodies or all the above. The character of a person can be very best described by the way they drive!

I have categorized the drivers based on these three groups; The Idiots, The Arseholes and The ones whom I cannot find a suitable cuss word for!

Let us take a closer look at these creatures based on their categorizations, shall we?

The Idiots

The idiots are creatures that own cars but do not know how to use it or are just too plain stupid to know what to do with a car. For example, a car is meant to be driven at a reasonable speed, such as 60 km/h not 20 km/h, that too on the fast lane. Also, since it was the Raya weekend, there were many cars parked by the sleeve of the road as some drivers may have been tired and the rest stops were full. That was not the problem; the problem was that other drivers slowed down to just look at these parked cars! Why in the name of god would you slow down to look at parked cars? I thought it was just accidents that caused these creatures to slow down… but NOOOO…they had to slow down to see parked cars! It is already absolutely ridiculous to slow down when there is an accident and not to offer help but to slow down to look at parked cars sounds even more stupid to me. This scenario went on all the way from Slim River to Bukit Merah (practically the whole Perak)

The Arseholes

These are the creatures that do not value life and drive at speeds up to “the speedometer cannot go any further” per hour! If you want to drive fast, fine, you want to pay the fine for speeding, fine, just do not do it by risking me and my family. These creatures drive so fast and they come right behind you and start flashing for us to move; look, I would move if I was not overtaking another car, so you would just have to fucking wait! Flashing would be a mere annoyance but TAILGATING is a no-no. What would happen if I had to slam my breaks, there is absolutely no way in hell that you could avoid crashing into me. If any of you reading this is a tailgater, I wish you would burn in hell (if there was one)!

The ones whom I cannot find a suitable cuss word for

These are the creatures that use the emergency lane so they can get home faster than the other tax-payers who are stuck in a jam. Now let me put this straight, an emergency lane does not mean that just because your balls are aching that you can use it, an emergency lane is to be used when your grandmother is dying and you’re rushing her to the hospital or if an ambulance is rushing your loved one to the hospital or if a fire truck is rushing too put off the fire that is consuming your home. If you use this lane just to get home faster to catch the match or if your meal is getting cold, then you cause a far more severe jam due to a bottle neck and the ambulance that is rushing your loved one would be trapped in the jam too causing your loved one to probably DIE or your house would have been burnt to bits or grandma has decided to go towards the light because her grandchildren are too dim that they used the emergency lane that was supposed to be used for an emergency for a non-emergency!
It gets even worse still is when they use the emergency lane and try to cut in when the guys who have been following the queue are expected to give way….well guess what, no way motherfucker! You wait in fucking line…and do not have the audacity to give me a stare because I did not give you way…you fucking deserve it….to you motherfuckers who cut lanes, I hope you go to hell and Satan waits to butt-fuck you with a pitch fork! YOU FUCKERS ARE A HAZARD TO “REAL” EMERGENCIES!

And there you have it, my piece for a well spent holiday but an undeserving driving experience to and back from Penang.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

An act of carelessness that cost RM2000

Believe it or not, I have been donating to WWF (World Wildlife Fund) for the past 4 years without my knowledge. Yes, I did however consciously donate for the 1st one year since 2005.

Donations are indeed a good act and have to be lauded but not when you do not know that you are doing it. This article is not to put the blame on WWF but rather a lesson to the rest of you guys out there not to repeat the same mistake.

So the story goes like this. Some time in 2005 I was approached by these people from WWF to contribute some amount of money to the fund and they promised me a tax return and I thought “hey, why not?!” I mean the money is going to good use and it’s for the future of our children (actually the fact that it was tax deductible, weighed more than the future of our children…yes, that’s the bitter truth).

The volunteer told me that I could do this for just one year and I agreed as it was only RM40 a month and did not really feel the pinch. I remember that there was a section to tick only for 1 year but I could be mistaken (WWF has to get back to me on this as the lady I spoke to today mentioned that there is no such clause on their forms but they would check). So 1 year had passed and I received the letter from WWF to use it to do my taxes. So, at that time I thought ah well, 1 year has passed by now I do not have to pay already….I was far from right.

Today, I went to withdraw cash from the ATM and I could have sworn that either the bank was up to something because I remembered the amount I had in the bank when I withdrew the money and RM40 was not there anymore or if I got too drunk and could not remember withdrawing RM40 (the latter is very much possible).

So I checked online and I saw this term “debit advice” so I called the bank and told them that I had not authorized any standing orders nor am I contributing towards any charity. So the customer service dude told me that it was WWF that I was contributing to. So I told the customer service guy that, that was a long time ago and it should not be debited and I have only come to notice it now. The customer service rep said that this is something that I have to take up with WWF as this has been going on for some time and not only this month. I was dumbfounded.

I Googled up WWF and got their phone number and I was connected to this lady with a very firm voice and I did not want to mess with her because she knew her “shit”. She told me that I am a very much active donor and have been contributing since 2005…and I went like…shit, all the money that I could have used to get me stuff that I could not afford. But then again it was for good use but I decided to cancel the donation because I was disappointed of the fact that I was not given proper information in the first place when I decided to donate to the organization.

The mistake that I made was by being careless with my spending in the sense where I did not check how much money has been credited or debited or sticking to a budget. I am a lavish spender and bad at saving. But all this had come to an end when I got married because now I have a personal banker and a banking system built in together with my wife .

The mistake that WWF made was by not educating their volunteers on keeping potential donors informed on the clauses. With the letter that I wrote to WWF, I did also state this very same point so that people will be in the know of how much they will be contributing. Please note that I am not holding WWF responsible for what happened as the fault is mine for not managing my funds, if I had, I would have known about this earlier and also another mistake I made was by not informing WWF that I had moved as if I had done that, I would have been receiving the letter and the magazine from WWF and it would have served as an indicator that I am contributing to the society.

So, dear friends, please check your account balance if you are not doing it already and do not be as careless as I was where it had cost me close to RM2000.

WWF: 1------------Vixstarr: 0

Monday, September 07, 2009

My Racists Encounters

Disclaimer Note: This article was written for the Anak Bangsa Malaysia groups that I am part of. I would like to stress that what ever that has happened in the article below are real and just because the "race"* of a certain group of people is mentioned, it does not mean that all the people who belong to that "race"* are bad; on that note, I would like to remind you that I am not racist but the incidents below are to demonstrate that there are certain quarters of people who are still racists.

I had to mention the ethnicity of the people I was dealing with to stress the point I am getting at.

I personally choose to accept anyone as my friends, housemates and even family so long as they have an open mind as I do. So you may be of Malay, Chinese, Indian, Martian, Klingon ethnicity or dan lain-lain, You are still my "hommie".

The content of the post below is not to offend anyone (of any race) except YOU RACISTS out there!

Please feel free to comment.

*Race - I put it in quotes because if we stress to do away with racial profiling, we should first do away with referring to people on where their ancestors came from. I believe the proper word should be ethnicity. Because here in this beautiful country, there should be only 1 race, that is Malaysian.

Before I start, let me share some information about myself. I am 28
years old and have been working in KL for 6 years as I hail from the
"GREAT" state of Penang (yes, I am proud of it, they did not pay well
in Penang so I had to come here...different story altogether :D).
Anyway, when i moved to KL after I graduated I did not live with
relatives or whatsoever except for the 1st couple of days with my
close friend Hyzer (of whom had "emigrated" to KL too) since I had yet
to find a place to rent.

Okay, now to where I am getting at; During my search for rooms to rent
in the Klang Valley I was always asked the first golden question, "Are
you chinese ah?" and I was at the crossroads at that time as I did not
know whether to answer Indian or Malaysian as the next question would
be..."ya Malaysian I oso Malaysian but what race are you?"

When I mentioned Indian, I always got turned down saying "sorry, for
Chinese only". These situations had deeply bothered me. But, the first
room I rented in PJ was from a Chinese national who has been living
here for some time. I will never forget her as she looked after me
like a mother! Can you believe a landlady who would offer to do your
laundry because she was subletting another unit that had a washing
machine and she saw me one day washing my clothes and offered to wash
it for me and mind you, she would fold the clothes too!

It saddened me that I had to move out of the place as I could not
afford the rent because I had other commitments and being a fresh grad
at that time, my pay was not that great especially when you're working
in the Klang Valley. My landlady was saddened too but she could not do
anything to reduce the rent because the rent for the apartment had
gone up too.

Once again I had to go out and search for rooms and again I was faced
with the same questions so much so that I had to swallow my pride and
put on a thick face and answer the questions because I was desperate
to get the room and just in a hope that even when I admit that I am
"Indian" they would still give me a place to stay; but talk about
wishful thinking...

Finally I got a place to stay and it was not with my fellow people of
Chinese ethnicity. Why did I not look for Malay house mates you may
ask, well there weren't any adds from my fellow Malay people (this is
just for those who might think I am racist for only looking for non-
Malay housemates) It was purely happenstance that I did not find any
Malay house mates to live with.

Then, I had to move from the current place I was living in at that
time too as I got a job in Cyberjaya. I was moving to Puchong this
time. Again, same questions over and over again. But, I finally found
a place and it was this very nice woman who was of Chinese ethnicity
who gave me a place. She did not ask for my race, religion or
whatsoever. All she wanted was to have someone look after the place as
she was leaving to work in Singapore. This is where I invited my best
friend and rap group member, Ishaq (Agip) to come and live with me
since I rented the whole place. Those were fun days as we used to have
LAN video games and such (again different story for a different day).

I went on to live there for a year until my contract ended. Then I
moved on closer to Cyberjaya. Once again, same questions but this time
I just mustered my courage and asked if it was a problem and the real
estate agent just told me that the owner is looking for "Chinese"
tenants. Okay, so anyway once again my friends and I managed to find a
place and once again it was this pleasant couple (of Chinese
ethnicity) who gave us place. They looked at us and just said..."ah
you young graduates, very good to see you people". See the situation
here is not that he looked at us as people of a different ethnicity
but just as young, decent and working men. I do not understand why do
other people not get that fact? Why does "race" always have to come
into the picture.

Wait, I am not done yet. This time, we were looking for housemates to
rent some of the extra rooms we had. So, we put up an add and I signed
the add with my name that I am most commonly addressed by; "Vick". I
had students call up and ask "are you Chinese ah?" I would be like
"what the %^&^* ?" firstly because I believe I have a distinct Indian
Malaysian accent and secondly "why the hell does it matter?" I am
renting the place out and I don't bloody mind of which creed, breed or
planet you're from. All I want is someone who is clean and tidy and
not noisy, that's it. I even had people call in and come to the place
to see the room and when they saw me they were like "eh, you not
Chinese ah?" on my face, yes!

So, those were the days of my bachelorhood. Then, I got married (in
February this year) and moved out and I am still living in a rented
unit but with a wonderful landlord who has taught me a lot in how to
look for a house and teaching me how to do basic repair work in the
house as he sees me as a young married man and prepping me for a house
that I would buy in the future and be ready for the little stuff that
can be done which would save us money instead of calling a plumber,
electrician, etc. Again, he is of Chinese ethnicity and again, he is
someone who saw us as a married couple and he was not concerned about
our "race" but shared his wisdom with us. Not many people are generous
with their knowledge regardless of "race"

Recently, I called a real estate agent who had placed an add in the
paper about a house for sale, and guess what? He asks me if I am
Chinese? "WHAT THE .......?" I am buying the unit not renting it...why
the hell does it matter. I am not buying it directly from them and
even if i default on payments if you think that's what other "races"
do, then it is the bank whom should be concerned! not the real estate

These are just some of the examples of racism that I have faced out of
many. BUT with the examples of people that I have mentioned above,
THERE IS STILL HOPE as most of the people who gave me a place to live were people of Chinese descent and I cannot stress more on how they saw me as a fellow Malaysian and not as someone of a different "race"! My request would be for everyone in this group to
please educate your friends, children, family members to see beyond
the colour of skin. I am not perfect, I grew up in a neighbourhood of
serious stereotyping and most of the time, I am the victim. I am
changing my mindset, I want my children to grow up in a non race
biased system, in a colour blind society and to keep it short and

With Regards,
Vicknesharajan "Vick" Amarthalingam