Off to a Funeral


mas

(No matter what, Malaysia remains where my heart and soul lies at the end of the day. And nothing kicks starts the notion than flying on the national carrier whilst having hot delicious nasi lemak for company)

Somehow it was great to fly back on MAS – for a couple of things.

One, it was good to hear safety announcements in Bahasa Malaysia again. Two, they served nasi lemak for lunch which was a sure sign that we are heading back home. And one of the first things that I did once I am back home was to catch up on my sleep. I could not help it – I even doze off whilst I was having conversations. Having a weekend and then thereafter the CNY holidays was just perfect to catch up on a break.

So I thought…

I was made “aware” of a distinct relative who was admitted to hospital in a serious condition. And last weekend, the dreadful news came. The relative had passed away. Being a distinct relative, there was always an option for me to simply opt out from going for the funeral. Further, the funeral was taking place in Johore – a place that was considered “quite far away” to drive (although it was almost the same distance and time to drive up North). The one that nails the urge for not going is that the funeral was taking place on a Sunday (I was working on Monday)

But there was 3 reasons that was prompted me to attend this funeral. First, despite it being a funeral of a distinct relative but he was somehow linked with other relatives who are closer to me. And there will be questions raised in the next family gathering. I had some obligations to them. Second, my father in law who is staying up in Taiping is taking the bus (yes the bus – we did not know, otherwise we would have picked him up half way) all the way to Johore for the same funeral. If he can take the bus and travel for 8-9 hours, then what’s stopping us with cars half way through from attending the same funeral, right? And third, the deceased had the same (well, almost) age as me (and brother in laws). Somehow, that made me to decided to go for the funeral.

It was time for planning for the one day trip to South and it was similar to the trip to the East Coast but with a small difference. We going to use my car as I am going to do most of the driving. It was a good opportunity to test the new tires. And to ensure it is going to be a fast drive down South and back, we decided to leave the ladies & kids at home (we already anticipating massive traffic jam on the way back, so it is best to leave the ladies and the children at home). In the car, would be me and 2 of my brother in laws (one is the substitute driver and another is our navigator – he had been to the house once)

The plan was finalised on Saturday evening (it took some time on the phone with various parties to finalise who was going and who was staying). My brother in law would pick up his wife and his daughter and another of the brother in law in the morning and meet me at my house. He would leave his car and drop his wife & daughter at my house (my wife and my kids will be around to keep them company).

map

(The trip down South – frankly the time and distance was similar to the trip up North but somehow it was less tiring. Perhaps it was because it has been almost 15 years since I made the trip to South)

We suppose to leave from my house (since it is nearer to the South compared to our 2 houses) at 5 am. I woke up at 4 am and by 4.45 am was all ready for the trip. I had even double checked the car and parked it outside the porch so that my brother in law can park his car easily. I also set the GPS coordinates and locked in the destination. At 5 am, he was no where to be seen. He finally showed up at almost 5.30 am – it was still good as my deadline remained 6 am (assuming we have a 4 hours to drive). The three guys finally left at about 5.45 am.

The journey to Johore was rather a pleasant one and surprisingly is not tiring compared to the trip up North. I hardly fell asleep along the way despite waking up earlier than usual. My new tires, Michelin XM2 was holding well and was quiet all the way. I had checked the route before hand (thanks, Google Map) and had decided to only use the GPS once we had reached the exit of the highway. No speeding on the highway and I maintain to the left lanes whenever possible. We made 1 pit stop at Pagoh for breakfast (a sorry looking nasi lemak with un-reasonable price was waiting for us). Quick breakfast and we were back on the highway and there was still more than 100 km to go before we reach the deceased’s house. Traffic was still sparse and it remained a smooth drive. It took us less than 4 hours including pit stop.

Using GPS is a must when venturing into an unfamiliar place and it was the case here too when we reached the house without getting lost. An uncle of mine who was not using GPS, got lost 4 times in the same area before finally finding the house. Fearing that there will be a big crowd later, we parked the car on the main road, some distance from the house but where I can still see the car from the house. We noticed a large tent outside the house which affirmed that we are at the right place. No familiar faces at the tent in front of the house, so we walked into the house. The coffin was in the middle of the house, surrounded by grieving family members. We said our condolences and prayers and headed back to the tent outside the house. The smell of chemicals inside the house was overwhelming and I started to feel dizzy.

Sitting under the tent outside the house with my brother in law (my father in law joined us soon after – he was tired after an almost 9 hours of traveling by bus) and with a fresh breeze, my head started to get clearer. Not many people have arrived despite the scheduled time for the deceased body was suppose to be taken to the crematorium. It suppose to be at 10 am but soon 10.30 am and 11 am had passed and soon it was showing 11.30 am. I looked at my brother in law and he looked at me – we suppose to leave at 11.30 am if we are going to make it home early. My brother in law went and talked to one of the relatives on the “status” – apparently there were some delay and we have to wait at least another 2 hours for the final ceremony (it actually took longer than that). I don’t blame them – no one prepares for a funeral upfront.

Wait for another 2 hours?

Well, that was our cue to take a “walk” to our car and head back home. Since there was a funeral, there were no “good-byes” and “see you later”. We quietly walked to my car – good thing it was parked far away and near to the house, otherwise our “early” departure would have been very noticeable.

traffic

(When things slows down on the highway, just make sure the car has enough petrol and the bladder empty. It was good that the traffic was moving despite the heavy traffic)

We had to head back to the highway, so GPS came in handy again. But before we do that, a short pit stop for fuel and use of bathroom was necessary. As I drove out, I misjudged a junction and took the wrong road. Thankfully the GPS was quick to recompute the route and in fact came out with a route with less traffic (so we could “fly” towards the highway). Soon, we found the toll plaza but it was not the NS toll booth (we mistakenly thought it was the NS toll). It was actually the 2nd Link Expressway. There was no lane for cash but instead all need Touch N Go for access. The problem was I left my TNG card at home and my brother in law did not have one either. Cars started to pill up behind us and when I thought we had a big problem at hand, I remember I had the Tesco loyalty card in my wallet and that came with TNG feature. It even had enough credit for the toll. We were saved!!

It was not long before we reached the actual NS highway and initially the traffic flow was good. We managed to clock 110 km/h most of the route. But once reached Negri Sembilan, the traffic started to crawl. R&R was packed full with cars as well. We made our pit stop at Ayer Keroh for fuel and a very late lunch. We could not find a parking spot but at further up front, we managed to find a spot and had an excellent nasi lemak with a good portion of chicken. There was long queue at the petrol station as well. Then it was back to the crawl on the highway. We finally reached home almost at 8 pm and despite being stuck with traffic jam most of the way (no thanks to road works and a couple of broke down express buses).

Despite I drove to and fro such a distance, all in one day, surprisingly I was not feeling that tired or sleepy. And after the late evening shower, I was still feeling fresh to drive to restaurant near the house for dinner.

Snippets – 21 February 2014


dead-chickens

(Upset a group of people in this country, you will end up getting a dead chicken on your doorstep. It used to be a cow head. That is what will happen when you have people thinking on their emotions. Image source: http://www.thenewstribe.com)

Immature Malaysians

Well, this was not something new or something that is not common to find in Malaysia. You can find the dumbest and the most arrogant people on Malaysian roads. Those riding motorcycles (except for handful) don’t even come close to the scrapping the bottom of the pit when it comes to law abiding road users. They have safely rooted themselves on Martian grounds.

So it not a big surprise to read this:-

Malaysians are still immature when it comes to road safety and following traffic regulations. Road Safety Department director-general Datuk Tam Weng Wah said the country has first-world facilities and infrastructure, including good roads, pedestrian walkways, proper traffic lights and signages.

He added that despite the efforts to educate the public about abiding by traffic regulations, using zebra crossings and switching on signal lights while driving, many were still not disciplined in those aspects.

“Such bad habits and road culture have contributed to the death toll due to the negligence of their own safety as well as the safety of others,” he said after meeting pedestrians at Jalan Wong Ah Fook here yesterday to promote road safety.

(Source)

Perhaps I should write another open letter, this time to Datuk Tam Weng Wah. As I have said many times in my blog, end all the sweet talk and come hard on the wrong doers. It is clear that we are having too many immature people on the road and endangering others.

The only way to ensure that the road users abide by the traffic laws is by enforcing the law. AES should be implemented in a greater numbers and this will help to nab speed demons like this (the investigations now revealed that speeding was a factor that caused the 37 deaths back in 2013). And in time, it will become second nature to them and people will just abide by the traffic laws without the need to enforce them.

Beating Up Children in Sweden

Beating our children when they misbehave is nothing new in our Asian society – don’t we all still remember the whacking that we got from our parents and teachers when we were young? Even the Big Boss have gotten one or two from me when he really “misbehaved” (I rather call it being hyperactive with too much knowledge and curiosity) although this is very, very rare (most of the time, I will just raise my voice and whatever “misbehaving” ends immediately)

But it is not the case in other countries as these 2 Malaysians are finding out the hard way in Sweden:-

In a video recorded by the Swedish police last December, and shown to the court on Wednesday, Ammar said his mother Shalwati Nurshal often beat him when he talked back, stomped his feet, or watched YouTube videos instead of joining the family for dinner.

Shalwati, and her husband Azizul Raheem Awalluddin, a Tourism Malaysia director in Stockholm, are facing their second day of trial in the Solna District Court, here, over charges of abusing their children.

This prompted the policewoman to say that regardless of what a child had done, he could not be hit as it was the law in Sweden. Sweden has outlawed corporal punishment since 1979, and those found guilty of breaking the law could face up to six years in prison.

(Source)

Just like how we expect foreigners to abide by the law of this country, the same goes to Malaysians living & working in other countries. It is just unfortunate that Shalwati and Azizul have been booked for something that most Malaysian parents would do without any hestitation. I just hope that the judge in the court hearing will consider the Asian culture in deciding whether the Malaysian couple is indeed guilty of breaking of the law or just too ignorant of the laws of the country that they are in.

Dead Chickens for Terese Kok

Well, err, read this latest news on dead chicken for Teresa Kok:-

A dead chicken and red paint, along with A4 printouts of Seputeh MP Teresa Kok’s image, were found on the staircase leading to the DAP lawmaker’s office in Seputeh on Wednesday. Kok condemned the act and has stated her belief that it was related to her Onederful Malaysia CNY 2014 video. All these “threats”, including an NGO’s reward offer for anyone to slap her, have made the public upset, claimed Kok.

“Many members of the public have expressed concern for my safety,” said Kok, adding that she’s not considering hiring bodyguards as it is “troublesome”.

Though she feels threatened, Kok said she’s working as usual and is relying on her colleagues to ensure her safety at functions. She urged social media and bloggers to stop playing up and distorting the issue, saying that “enough is enough”. “It’s really unthinkable. There’s a group of people who are bent on turning everything into a racial issue, twisting simple things that I do in such a manner that it threatens my security,” she said.

(Source)

Yes, I have watched her Onederful video and franky speaking, I don’t get it. It getting clearer that Teresa Kok should not have done up the video in the first place.

Firstly it was not funny and somehow lacked the creative touch. For those who may not understand the language, the acting seemed overboard too. Issues raised was not new and it was tiring to see the same old horse beaten to death. Even Namewee was funnier and made more sense.

Secondly knowing that there are too many emotional people around when it comes to race and religion in this country, she should have focused on something more related to the occasion – Chinese New Year. With too many dry leaves on ground, all it needs is small spark and you will end up with an uncontrolled forest fire.

After all, we are still plenty of immature people in this country, right?

Have a good weekend ahead!

Indicators & Common Sense!


(Sorry for the strong tone of the post below but seriously some people deserve it left right and centre and more)

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(How hard it is going to be to look into your mirrors, put on your indicators and when it is safe, change lane? We all learned this when we started driving but why the obvious laziness and recklessness now? Is it because you think you are driving on your grandfather’s road? That you all alone on the fucking highway and you can change lane at your whims and fancy without looking?)

Seeing idiots changing lane without indicators in this country is nothing new.

I was quite pissed off this morning of an idiot who decided to change lane just when I was about to pass him. I was sure that the idiot did not check for other vehicles in his rear mirrors before changing lane. Otherwise he would have seen me next to him and would have stopped in his tracks. And it was worse because I saw another car on the fast lane (probably “flying” at 200 km/h) in my rear mirrors and I knew that it was not possible (and dangerous) to move to the fast lane to completely avoid this idiot.

I was stuck in the middle lane with this idiot turning to my lane, no signal whatsoever, probably high on drugs called “idiocy” and me unable to move to the fast lane. There was no time and space to slow down – I horned and I high-beamed but this idiot continued to change lane (despite plenty of space on his lane). I move slightly to the fast lane but keeping enough space for the faster car to pass through. The idiot on my left probably woke up at the very last minute – he slowed down back to his lane and the idiot on my right probably missed me by inches. It was a miracle that it did not turn into a bloody mess in the morning otherwise I swear to God that I would bash up the idiot on my left to a pulp if it has been.

Unbelievable – how some people are when it comes to using their brains and doing the right thing.

Let me ask you bastards out there who rarely (or had never) use the indicator (and rear mirrors) whenever you are changing lane or turning into a junction a question. How much energy or time it takes for you fuckers to switch on the indicators? How much ah? If you think turning on your indicators is going to take a lot deal of your time and energy, you rightfully deserved to have your ass shoved with the sharp point of the indicator stick! It is not like it takes some kind of special skills to push up & down the indicator-stick (unless you are retarded in which case you should not be driving in the first place). It is not like the indicator switch is located at some hidden place that you need to spend hours looking for it. It is not like the operation of “looking into the mirror-put on the indicators-then change lane” is so complex and tedious – for God sake, it will only take a couple of seconds to do that!

And I know what you are thinking, yes I do. I am sorry to break this to you but contrary to what you have been thinking all this while, a majority of us do not have the magic skills to read one’s thought. We wish we could but unfortunately we are not mutants. We don’t have such powers. We won’t know what is your sorry piece of shit in your skull is thinking next. Perhaps it is still sleeping. Perhaps it  wants you to be bashed up for a good reason but is unclear how to go about it – if so just hang out a sign on your windows and we will be more than happy to do that to you.

And in case you are playing ignorant and arrogantly stupid, here are some basic tips when to use the indicators. Read them slooooowly and repeat reading them for a million times (perhaps more for some of you who have shit instead of human brains up there):-

  • Turning left or right
  • Negotiating roundabouts
  • Changing lanes
  • Overtaking parked vehicles
  • Overtaking cyclists
  • Joining motorway
  • Coming off motorway
  • When pulling out or moving off from parked position
  • Pulling over to stop
  • Signalling to emergency service vehicles
  • Remember to use before any braking not after as modern bright brake lights “overpower” indicators so they’re not noticed as easy (some morons uses them AFTER they had changed lane)

(Source)

It is not hard to remember this and to use them when it is appropriate (if it is, write down and paste it on your steering wheel or the windscreen or the forehead of your fellow passenger).

And whilst the Pakatan morons is fighting the implementation of AES in this county for dumbest reasons, quite number of idiots on the road are getting away with other traffic offences like not using their indicators before changing lane, using the emergency lane, not using a helmet, etc. When we are going to get some kind of enforcement system against these morons and for these offences? When we are going to pull them out from our roads and highways and send them to the gallows? Will it be challenged by the Pakatan morons too? The indicator-stick in your vehicle for a good reason.

Anyway have a good weekend and next time, please use your fucking common sense when changing lanes. Have some basic courtesy – indicate where you want to go and go where you have indicated.

Slow Down to be Safe?


(Which is better? Slowing down or enforcement of other rules like no queue jumping using the emergency lane? One of the morons that I caught on camera, abusing the emergency lane and creating more traffic jam upfront)

I am in a dilemma…

There is a family function to attend up North this week but considering the madness expected on the highways and byways in the next few days, I was wondering whether I should take the dip into the dip of madness as well. But if I don’t go the family function, well you know how it will end up when the next family function comes along. Anyway, I probably need to toss up a coin when it comes to decide the final decision.

Talking about the madness expected on Malaysian roads in the next few days, here is an interesting proposal from the Government on how they expect to lower the fatality statistics on the road:-

The reduction of the speed limit on federal and state roads by 10kph will be reintroduced during the Hari Raya period. The speed limit on federal roads has been reduced to 80kph from 90kph while state roads will now have a 70kph speed limit until Sept 6.

The speed limits on highways are not affected.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha said the reduction, first introduced in 2006, was aimed at reducing the number of road accidents.

(Source)

After the many bus accidents that caused the death of many Malaysians during the holidays and after many “bright ideas and proposals” by politicians who talked alot but who don’t do anything to get it enforced, the Government has now come out with this interesting “measure” to reduce the fatalities during festive season. But is simply slowing down means the roads are much safer now?

It is a fact that slowing alone does not mean you will be safe on the road. Simply because there are many other factors that contribute to fatal accidents. If one runs through this blog, you would have known some of the said incidents that I have encountered in the past few years.

Just this morning, I almost grazed another car on the fast lane when that idiot decided to change lane without putting up any indicators. And couple weeks ago, the same thing happen when a motorcyclist decided to cut in to the fast lane without any putting up any indicators or checking it was safe to cut-in in the first place. Not putting up the indicators when wanting to switch lane has been rather cancerous with Malaysian drivers. They seems to always think that fellow drivers is able to anticipate their every move and will simply give way when they suddenly cut in onto the path of on-coming car. It gets worse during bad weather – some idiots even do not switch on their headlights, making it a guessing game to accurately judge their distance (some idiots on motorcycle even do not have rear lights on a good day).

And what about the idiots that hog the fast lane, denying others who are faster than them to safely overtake them? How many of us who may have urgent matters to attend to, have encountered such idiots who seems to be enjoying a “leisure Sunday drive” on a Monday morning at peak hours on the fast lane? Don’t you feel like giving these idiots one hard slap on their face? Denied of the space to overtake, how many of us been forced to overtake these idiots from the left, sometimes dangerously whilst at the same time feeling angry and impatient – a feeling that lingers long after we have safely overtaken this idiot and arrived at our destination.

Then we have the famed idiots who at the slightest view of a traffic jam, cut over to the emergency lane and selfishly and arrogantly cutting queue. Where do we place these idiots in the aspect of ensuring that our roads are safer for rest of us? Traffic jams, sometimes also attributed to some slow road hoggers, is part and parcel of driving. It gets worse during the holidays for obvious reasons – too many cars on the road. You need to be patient and bid your time before continuing on to the destination. Everyone wants to reach their final destination as safe as and as fast as possible. Why should we give in to some idiots who simply don’t have the patience and is very selfish and arrogant? These idiots who quickly turn the emergency lane into their private lane to bypass other law abiding road users and by cutting in at the front (due to a broken down car or police block) causing traffic jam to be even worse.

There is a reason why an accident is known as “accident”. An accident is a specific, unpredictable, unusual and unintended external action which occurs in a particular time and place, with no apparent and deliberate cause but with marked effects (Source). It is “unpredictable, unusual and unintended” – no doubt about that since if someone causes an accident intentionally (by knowingly breaking the traffic rules) and it causes someone to die, then it is not known as accident, it is known as murder or in some cases, manslaughter.

TheStar reported that for past 1 week, 117 deaths have been recorded – with no surprise, 60% of them being motorcyclists (perhaps it is how God plays his card in reducing morons on the road). I am pretty sure a good number of them did not have their helmets on. The call to reduce speed limit is good but it is only effective when enforcement of other traffic rules and ensuring that the punishment for “those stubborn ones” to be severe enough that they will not break the rules again.

So, you want to be safe? Don’t only slow down (to the correct speed!) but also keep to the correct lane and cut into the fast lane only when want to overtake others and do so when it is safe to do so. Use the indicators as part and parcel of driving and use it all the time. And never abuse the emergency lane – you never know when you will be involved in a serious accident with your loved one pinned down under the wreck and your life-saver, ambulance is stuck behind your fellow emergency lane abusers.

Selamat Hari Raya and happy holidays…

Raining Idiots


Let’s start the week with a vengeance…

It was raining cats and dogs on the North South Highway yesterday – the traffic was not that heavy but it was still dangerous to drive. Visibility was all time low and there were huge puddles of water on the road in some areas. Still, it was a good opportunity for me to test out the new car’s ride and handling in worst road conditions. I dare say it passed with flying colors.

Then we had this added to our worries:-

(The scary part is you are not being sure whether the sight of a dark item in the middle of the highway is a car still moving or a car has hit the barrier and is lying on the middle of the road)

(Those who put their emergency indicators whilst still flying on the highway at 110 km/h still fared better than those morons who drive expensive cars but do not switch on the lights so that others can see them. Seriously)

(The weather improves slightly but still, should I count my blessing that the drivers who did not make themselves more visible with switching on the lights was driving large, darker colored vehicles instead of one with white or silver paint?)

To tell you the truth, I am lost for words. What these people expect to save by not switching on the lights when it was raining heavily and visibility was low? A couple of headlight bulbs?

We have low visibility and yet, we have some drivers who do not want to switch on the lights to make themselves visible to others. If you are at the front, it is not so bad but you may need to take care when slamming on the brakes. With such a huge vehicle on the fast lane, the outcome would be tragic. But if you are the back, it simply gets worse – it may be too late before you realize that there is a vehicle at the front. With huge puddles of water on the road, try braking and see if you could stop in time.

But then again, who would expect idiots who would refuse to switch on the lights when visibility is low to know about aquaplaning and concern for fellow road users, right?

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The Morning Prayers


(They say that we remember better if we put things down in writing and repeat it on a daily basis in form of a mantra)

(One in the morning before leaving the house. Image source: http://www.britannica.com)

Bung Mokhtar may be stirred up a hornet’s nest with this but frankly speaking, there is some truth with what he has said. But let’s not muddle the matter even more – we can find idiots on both sides of the gender groups.

In the meantime, I have started a new routine – silent prayers in the morning (it applies to the crazy evenings as well) before I drive out.

Dear Al-Mighty, I know I may not keep my part of the bargain but who knows – perhaps this time, it will be different.

As I drive out from my house in the morning, I will take deep breathe to calm myself and tell myself that I have plenty of time in my hands. I will keep it to the speed limit whenever possible and will not be the usual speed demon, harassing the slower vehicles who hog the fast lane and who refused to move away despite plenty of warnings given. I will recognize that there are people in this world who think they have the right to drive on the fast lane, not by the speed but by the size of their vehicle (and ego).

I will also recognize those pesky motorcyclists who speeding away on the highway wearing dark clothes and without any lights or indicators whatsoever that they are too road users like the rest of us. They too have family waiting for them at home and despite being too stupid and reckless to be taking such high risks; perhaps a gory death is too extreme of a punishment for them. Besides I have better things to do than be entangled with a case of fatal accident so early in the morning – I rather spend my time having a hot roti canai and a nice cup of tea than roaming around in a police station explaining on how this idiot on the bike suddenly veered into my lane.

And when I pass by foreign factory workers who don’t bother to look left and right before crossing roads, I recognize that if they were to use their brain when they are on the road, they would not be working in a factory far away from their home with low pay and almost robotic like work tasks. I am pretty sure that if they have done that, they would be working in a high tech laboratory with a hefty salary that might be enough for them to buy a car instead of walking precariously in heavy traffic.

I also recognize that we are yet to reach the level of developed country and condition of the road has been nothing to shout about – there are some parts of the road that I use on a regular basis seemed to be built by people who probably have not driven anything in their life. Potholes and lame quality of road is nothing new in the Bolehland.

I will remember to continue to take in deep breath so as at not to elevate my heart beat and do things that I will regret later. I know I don’t think rationally when I am angry – it does not worth it to be angry on something I don’t have control on. It is more useful if I can focus all that energy on focusing on my own driving and reaching the destination in one piece.

Amen

With that, I am one step away from being an “uncle driver” – damn!

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