Thursday, October 06, 2005

Some things just take a long time to change

(Photo of Adam Teoh practising for when he has to be on the lookout for his nombor giliran at a government department)

The MyKad, the government multi purpose card that is set to replace Malaysia's NRIC - National Registration Identity Card, has been in the news again. Prizes for changing over. Road shows to encourage changing over. Deadlines. Yesterday I decided that I would go do it since it is inevitable that it will have to be done. I happened to be chatting with my friend TV Smith ( http://www.mycen.com.my/duasen/) and he told me that the registration department has a website and that I would find useful information there. I went there and lo and behold a working website by a government department! Very informative site indeed. Listed all the locations for MyKad application and collection, phone numbers, documents required to effect the changeover, etc. I was impressed. I called one of the phone numbers listed and after getting no answer on one attempt and a couple of engaged tones I spoke to a polite and helpful person. She told me what I had to bring for the application which was my passport if I had one, my current NRIC. What about photos I asked. No need. You get here and we will take them for you. Huh? Really ah? Errrr.....how much money will it cost and should I bring cash? No need. It's FREE! Ha!!!??? Really one ah? Yes, I was assured by this very helpful lady on the other end of the line. Just come over and we will take care of everything for you. Hey, what do you know man? Pak Lah kicks ass man!

And so armed with a renewed confidence in government efficiency and a swelling pride of being part of the new Bolehland I drove to the nearest location, Maju Junction. Right in the middle of the city. Easy parking. Spanking new building. After getting lost a couple of times I found the JPN. There were quite a lot of people there already. The moment I walked through the door my heart sank. Most of the counters were manned by the dreaded TUTUP sign. The faces of all the MyKad applicant hopefuls had this look that you see at all government department queues. Resignation. I found the counter where I was to get my queue number but didn't see the sign that was sitting on it. I asked the man behind the counter for a number. He pointed at the sign. It read "NOMBOR GILIRAN UNTUK HARI INI SUDAH HABIS". Okay I paraphrase but that was what it meant. The rather disinterested man behind the counter said that I should come back the next day and......try again! Someone standing close by offered an unsolicited piece of advice. "You have to come early in the morning one." So after all the hoohah it does still cost the Malaysian raakyat one full day off school/work/business to do something simple involving a government department. No wonder response to the MyKad changeover has been lukewarm despite enticements of attractive prizes. Including a Proton Savvy I'm told. Maybe I will just forget about it and join the ranks of the millions of apathetic Malaysians and not bother with MyKad. Until they tell us that they will fine us shitloads of money or throw us in jail if we don't change. And then I will wait for them to announce discounts for the fines before I get off my butt and go get a nombor giliran. SIGH.

15 comments:

lecram sinun said...

With all the progress... yet some things don't change. Though I think it's the same with most government agencies world wide.

BTW my new HNT is up... may be the last regular one for a while!

Trashed said...

Ya lah, Patrick.

NR dept processing is much more efficient now .... once you get your nombor giliran called. Otherwise, like you say lah, must ponteng work for one day.

Got mine already but keep info in the Mykad basic i.e. donch link to other areas if not required.

Trashed said...

Eh, Patrick, Adam is too cute lah

Chet said...

PT - I think you qualify for the senior citizens' counter, lah. Should be faster for you.

BTW, I hope Adam won't be watching for his nombor giliran in that outfit! What a cutie.

patrickteoh said...

Chet, thank you for the senior citizen reminder. Why didn't I think of that? Hmmmm.....I didn't see any special counter for us when I went. Well, I wasn't looking too hard lah. Will try that Monday.

Adam is actually at the Immigration office to have his passport renewed with his updated photo. He got his nombor giliran and all and already has his passport in hand. Laura is also there to renew her passport. She put in her application yesterday and she is still waiting there for it. Hope she doesn't have to miss a day of school.

Trashed, thanks for the reminder too. I shall put only the minimum required info into the MyKad. What did you do for yours? Passport? Driver's licence? That's what they want wor. What else ah?

Lecram, we are the world experts at taking one step forward and 3 steps back lah. I was at this same department some years ago when my eldest daughter went there to get a marriage licence. "Cannot. Have to wait 2 weeks." After some grovelling and ass kissing (my Caucasian American son in law joined in and that helped speed things along) we got the licence.

Change? Sure got. But slow lah. Better than no change right?

Sharizal said...

Patrick!!! Welcome to the online club! haha nice to see you here bro... it's been awhile since i last saw you with TV... hope to see you soon once i recover from my accident injuries!

helen said...

Patrick,

Count yourself lucky because u were too lazy..oops... busy to change your IC-lah!! My father kept pestering me to go and I did the 2nd year.

Damn, I could have driven off with a new car if I had not listened to my old man!

Anonymous said...

go to putrajaya. it shld be much faster. 45mins away and u dont hv to sit on ur arse looking at pathetic gomen officers' faces. mine was done in less than an hour. infact mine is ready for collection since sept 16 but no one informed me at all. thot they were supposed to send us a mail? no wonder so many non-collection. who would hv remembered to check online. even some said the online status could be deceiving as u could turn up at putrajaya and be told that it is not ready. so with 1.5mth bonus for inefficient services, no wonder they never buck up. clock in, drink tea, eat lunch, drink tea, clock out.

Bernard said...

Wah, Patrick, luckily Adam look like Min. Have put your blog under Favorite. Readable, enjoyable, you dah man lah. For MyKad, go to PJ office....there got senior citizen lane also....got my card within the stipulated 2 months. Come I take you and then we go bust up Champs. Bernard, as in Bernard Khoo. Luv to Min.

Tigrrr said...

Hey Patrick,

I don't recall ever filling the field for religion. Is there one? I was shocked to discover that I was categorized as Hindu when I gave my card to be scanned during a class field trip to the Bukit Aman IT dept. Best for you to check on that.

Sharlini

Guy in the glass said...

I will relate my experience. I went to Purtrajaya sometime in June to do Mykad. Was there before 9am. No crowd. Was there with my wife, son and Mother-in-law. MIL went to the senior citizen queue.
Got our numbers, got called to the counter, checked through the data, do thumb-prints, then go sit and wait for the photos.
Photos taken via instant camera. By the time I was called, MIL has already finished and sitting waiting for the rest of us to finish. Got the photos taken, check to make sure ok, then left with the form in hand. All in done within 1 hour. Requested to collect from their PJ office.

Received notification to collect Mykad in early September, within 90 days. Checked the website. The cards were actually ready since end July. No worries. went to Bangunan Persekutuan in PJ to collect at end of Sept. Got it done within 30 mins. Collected on my son's behalf as well.

So mine was relatively smooth. None of the long queues hassle. My colleague went yesterday to Putrajaya to do for his family and it took him slightly longer. Perhaps the end of school exams has something to do with the larger crowd.

Kat said...

Yes, definitely go to Putrajaya. Took father-in-law there, done within 1 hour. And don't forget to specify collection office, in case they don't ask. Only thing, though, I wonder if the senior citizen line is any better. When we were there, there were something like 20 counters, 3 special counters (sr citizen, pregnant women, disabled) but only 3/4 out of 20 and 1 out of 3 open. Would it be faster going to normal counters??

Oh, and I got a card reader too. For RM20 or RM25. To check when your driver license/passport expires. Or whatever you have in there. Good to check if your particulars are correct too, in case you get stopped by police and turns out you are on the wanted list...

Same problem at the immigration dept - 1 lousy 'special' counter for women with babies (I was getting passport for my 3 mth old then) and all the other counters were moving much faster. Should've just gone to normal counter.

Eugene said...

Hey Patrick,

If Putrajaya is too far, try the Bandar Tun Razak branch. Very fast and efficient. Collecting my card on Monday.

Cheers dude!

Julian Chan said...

HEYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY Uncle Patrick...

How you doing, man????? LAWWNGG TIMEE NOO SEEE..

Ehehe, talk about MyKad, I also haven't do you yet, man. Jia Lat. But thanks everyone for the tips about doing it in Putrajaya.. hahaha.. near to Kajang only. I really malas to wait in queues in govt office.

That day went to pay fines at police station in Kajang, cos it was the last day for the 50% discount or something like that lah (so sue me, I didn't read the papers.. I was so out of the country in Sept!). Anyway, I waited for FOUR hours straight, and it still wasn't my turn at the counter. So I just said, "screw it, I'm going home!" and I did. The stupid polis only had one bloody counter open.

Yeah, 1 step forward and 3 step backwards.

Welcome to Malaysia.

PS: oi.. when go yum char? aahhahaa..

patrickteoh said...

Only few counters open? Well that's because in government the system is always willing but the implementation is weak. Of course when Pak Lah decides to visit and they know about it tea breaks will be cut short and jackets buttoned, ties straightened, tudungs adjusted and they will be sitting at every counter with the pre-requisite grins.

Helen, Actually, I didn't change my very first IC until I was in my late thirties. Everybody kept telling me sure die one. They will fine you loads of Ringgit etc. But being a good apathetic Malaysian I didn't care. I don't remember what made me do it finally but I did. And.....nothing happened. I made the changeover without any fuss at all. But of course I didn't get the chance to win a car or anything lah. Aiyah Helen, donch worry lah. Proton Savvy's are now piling up in the yard. Soon you will be able to get one with every purchase of a packet of nasi lemak.

Sharizal, Accident??? What happened to you? I hope it was nothing serious. And get well soon ya? You saw me on TV? That's surprising seeing that I don't do much TV. A couple of forgettable guest spots on Kopitiam, a very forgettable series called Show Me The Money which I am really glad not many people saw and now I am told that I am on RTM2 every Monday night at midnight. Does that make it Tuesday morning then? It does, right