(Adam showing that he's got the pre-requisite look for work in a government office)
How many of you have done the change over to MyKad? If you're a typical Malaysian I would say not many:-) Actually, those flers who went to queue up to beat the December 31 deadline must have really kicked themselves hard afterwards. Waffor ah? Especially since the fee chargeable after the deadline was only RM10 which in itself is something that we should ask somebody about. Why is something mandatory chargeable? We didn't ask for the change. And we all need to do the change over eventually or face some sort of action from the kerajaan. So why should we have to pay for it? I mean a passport is optional so having to pay makes sense. But pay for a mandatory ID card? Will they eventually charge someone for death certificates? Hey man, I didn't ask to die. Also have to pay ah?
Anyway, the conclusion to my MyKad experience. I went to collect my new card on December 19 although the receipt I was given when I made the application in November clearly stated that it would be 3 months before the new card would be ready. But one day out of boredom I visited the JPN website to do a check. Lo and behold my number was there! Meaning that I could collect my card. If I had adhered to the instructions on the receipt I would have waited and by the time I went to collect I would have missed the collection deadline and had to pay a fine! Ah...Malaysian efficiency again! And so I went to Maju Junction and the first thing that confronted me at the front door was this.....
This sign told me 2 things. 1) that I was indeed at a Malaysian government office. Why? A4 size paper notice stuck up with Cello tape, slightly dog-eared. 2) Niamah! What the hell is a MAYKAD??? 3) HABIS!!!!! Habis, tutup, tea break they all mean the same thing at a Malaysian government office. "We're not interested in serving you so F*** off."
If you still have geographical problems identifying Malaysian government offices here are more clues to look out for next time....
The perpetual state of the "reception counter"- un-manned, unwelcoming. Selamat Datang to Bolehland.
The state of most government office reception counters.
"Jangan menulis Di Sini!!! Buang sampah boleh."
And what visit to a Malaysian government office would be complete without admiring the high level of maintenance practised at these facilities....
Anyway, I digress. Collection of my MyKad was a fairly painless process. Got my nombor giliran from the counter for collecting nombors for collection of MyKad's. There is a different counter for nombors for applications for MyKad. Dunno know why. This time there is no distinction between the warga emas/kurang upaya folks and the ordinary people. Same stand up queue. Thankfully the wait was short and in no more than 20 minutes I was the proud owner of the new hi-tech MyKad. That it was already slightly warped I overlooked. Because after all this is Malaysia. What? Want perfection issit? Emigrate la. MY cynicism got the better of me and I just had to find the card reading machine and see for myself what this hi-tech piece of plastic with the 'smart' chip really contained. Found the machine, in a sorry state of disrepair hung on a corner of the Pemohonan section. Stuck the card in and got a replica image on the monitor. 3 clicks of the mouse showed me that the smart chip contained all the information that was on my old NRIC. Name, address, date of birth etc. In addition it had images of the info page of my passport and an image of my driving licence. That was it! I stood wondering what the purpose of the change over was since there was nothing much new that wasn't in the old NRIC. Never mind la. It was free what.
And then ah...those government flers sure place a high priority on courtesy in their work. High priority that is if you're no taller than an ant la...at the Maju Junction JPN when they wish you Selamat Jalan it is a warning.
On the way out, I noticed a great example of ingenius Malaysian entrepreneurial innovation. There was a 'stall' set up in the car park to sell......CONDOMINIUMS!!!
Got your new MyKad already. Want to buy a condo?
Do Malaysians shop for real estate in car parks and in supermarket lobbies? There must be Malaysians with RMmillions to burn because these instant sales offices are sprouting all over the place.
Oh, the couple manning the condo sales stand didn't give me a second glance. I guess experience has taught how them to identify the baargers with no money. Niamah!
Here's another story. I recently travelled to Singapore with my family. While there we enjoyed most of all the efficiency and admired the pride that those island flers have in themselves, their work and their tiny little city state. But as soon as we got back across the 2nd Link to Bolehland...Bang! It just hits one straight in the face. Pride? What is that?
Patriotism? Treason? What would you call using the National Flag as a notice board? I'd just call it "Aiyah! Never mind lah"-ism.
And it doesn't stop there either. Right next to the Jalur Gemilang notice board are the mandatory bad photos of the Agung and Permaisuri Agung. And just to give it a touch of 'class' someone in his bushjacketed wisdom has approved a RM2.00 polystyrene cut-out sign attached to the wall with double sided tape. To tell the world how proud we are of our country. Look at the picture and weep. Yes, we are still very much a 3rd World country.
Okay lah. Just to end this blog on a lighter note. While in Singapore I did discover something really gross that no Malaysian would ever allow.
Pre-packed, clinically clean TV dinners of Hainanese Chicken Rice. With soup some more. You just tear off the plastic cover, stick it in the microwave for 3 minutes and it's ready to eat! It tasted like ...... well really bad lah. I guess some things are better in a 3rd World country.
"I love Malaysia because the food here is the best"...Malaysian teenager in Sungai Wang Plaza.
GONG XI FA CAI to all my friends and visitors to Tokkok. Have a safe, healthy, productive and prosperous year ahead.