Wednesday, July 04, 2007

What the **)(&*(*^#@&%(*%_(@*&#_*):PLK)(U#)(*@&!!!

You probably noticed by now that I have done some irreparable damage to the format of both my blogs TOKKOK and Niamah!!!

I accepted blogspot's invitation to upgrade to a newer version or something like that. Click, click, click...and then half the stuff on my original blog format disappeared.

No more chat box on TOKKOK. No more counter. No more blog archives.
No more counter and archives on Niamah!!!


Half a day at the balai polis

CEPAT? Not really la.

It's true! The staff at balai polis these days do provide service with a smile. I had a first hand experience this morning when I went to lodge a police report against a neighbour whom I believed was posing a great physical danger to my young children. Here is my account of my experience.

12 noon

I arrive at the Balai Polis Taman Melawati thinking that since I live in Ulu Klang that was the balai for me. I was told this by some lawyer who, when I remember his name, I shall go kick him in the nuts. When I walked through the door of the balai I was greeted by smiling officers, one corporal, one lance corporal and 2 constables who invited me to make myself comfortable while they attended to preceding report makers first. The office was air-conditioned although it still looked like a typical Malaysian government department mess.

Prior to my arrival at the balai i I had typed out my report at home and printed it out. I thought this would save some time for myself and some grief for the officer who would most probably be computer/keyboard challenged.

When my turn came I handed my printed account of the incident to the constable who immediately grimaced when he realised that it was in English. He took great pains to read what I had written in plain and very simple English. I know because he was reading my writing aloud one word at a time. After some 3 or 4 lines the corporal advised, "Bagi la Encik Patrick. Dia boleh type sendiri kan?" Okay. Sure. The P.C. (the one in uniform not the one on the desk) turned the monitor to face me and surrendered his keyboard. I proceeded to re-type what I had already done at home. They cannot accept that you see. They have to enter the report into their system. Scanning and all I presumed was a 'tak boleh'. When I was almost through typing the monitor screen blinked once and all my words disappeared from the screen into cyberspace. This caused the corporal to burst into raucous laughter. Though not aimed to make fun of me. He said that this kind of thing sometimes happens and instructed me to type the whole thing all over again. I did and finally managed to finish my report.

The P.C. took back control of his p.c. and proceeded with another attempt to read my report. He gave up halfway through the first paragraph and hit the print button. Printed two copies of the report and handed one to the lance corporal behind him who then went into another room and returned minutes later with a photostated copy and a receipt which she handed to me and politely requested, "Dua Ringgit." I paid and became increasing confused as to where the whole exercise was going to take me.

That was when the corporal, an older, slightly overweight jolly gent informed me that there is a balai that's closer to where I live. Oh really? Thanks. And by the way, that's where you should go next time you have something to report that happened in the area where you live because that's their jurisdiction.

What???!!! You mean I have to....Yes you have to go over there and do it all over again. Why? Because the I.O. (investigating officer is there ma) What the...!!! But okay la at least the flers at Balai Polis Tmn. Melawati were pleasant and parking was a breeze.

12.50 p.m.

I arrive at the balai polis in AU (which stands for Ampang Ulu Klang as I found out after 6 years of living in the area).

Big balai. New. Fresh paint. Air-con. Smiling officers at the reception desk. I was guided to the first floor where I met the I.O. a young inspector who was clearly not having the best of days. He had the flu and to make his day he was nursing a toothache too. Anyway, back to the story...

He invited me into his office. Took one look at the copy of my report and didn't even bother trying to read English and asked me to verbally explain to him what happened. I did and he listened intently. When I had finished. He was quiet for a moment and turned to his p.c. (the one on his desk not the one in uniform), stared at the monitor for a moment and then asked me to repeat what I had told him for the past 5 minutes! Sigh. I did. He typed. What I don't know.
Another 5 minutes of regurgitating the story later he turned to me and began to ask me a series of questions the answers to which were in what I had been telling him for the past 10 minutes! But I focussed on the smiling officers, the air-conditioning and the easy parking and how the current IGP has been trying to make a difference and did as he requested. As I spoke he poked at the keys of the p.c. and proceeded to type my narration into his computer. Unfortunately, the good inspector was one of those slothly one finger typists. 20 minutes later he was done. He asked if I had anything to add. I said no and he hit the print button. He gave me the printed statement and asked me to read it before signing it. That was when I discovered that he had left out a crucial part of my report. Oh.

He asked me what he had left out. I told him and he began typing again. Very slowly. After 10 minutes I impatiently asked him if he was typing the whole thing again or just my addendum. He replied the former. Huh???!!! Why la dei? System is like that. Once saved cannot alter. Must type new one. Okay. Another 20 minutes. All done. Print. Check. Everything there. Thank you.

Now, what happens ah, encik? I will speak to my superior officer and then we will decide what to do about your complaint. What???!!!

As I was leaving his office the young inspector did offer a piece of advice. Move out from my apartment to avert any future dangers to my children and family. Well, thank you very much mister investigating officer inspector with the flu and toothache. You have a nice day too..

2.38 pm

I drove out of the free parking lot of the Balai Polis AU.

So after almost 3 hours I was nowhere close to resolving my problem. But the parking was easy and the rooms were cool. Thank you.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Enough of tokking kok

Image courtesy of mob's crib

First of all, my sincere apologies to all the visitors to Tokkok who've been faithfully checking in but not finding any new posts since January 2007. Several reasons for this. Time is one. Inclination is another. The chat box seems to be doing well though. Thanks for the chat's, people. It is a good feeling to come here and see your chatbox comments.

Well, I have to announce that there will be no more Tokkok. For a while more anyway.

The time for tokking kok is over. The time has come to say Niamah!!! And DO something. Boycott racist banks. Call, email, write and vote out good-for-nothing members of parliament. Demand answers. Do not tolerate incompetence, mediocrity, bad government. Speak up for what is right. Exercise your vote in the elections. Speak up as Malaysians...

(from the MGM film Network)

"People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people."
(V for Vendetta)

For treament of Tokkok withdrawal symptoms click the links below:-

Rocky's Bru
Marina Mahathir
Jeff Ooi
Zorro Unmasked

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

All done in under 2 hours!!!

(Wah! All done with friendly, efficient service in under 2 hours. Syabas! Jabatan Imigresen, Cawangan Wangsa Maju.)

Photo courtesy of TV Smith

Ladies and germs, I am in shock today. I’d had an experience in a government office, which I never thought was possible. My visit to the Jabatan Imigresen, Cawangan Wangsa Maju to renew my international passport was actually a no-fuss and stress-free and pleasurable experience.

When I set off with my friend, TV Smith this morning I was frankly quite skeptical. I had read in the news papers that since Pak Lah’s “lightning visit” to the Immigration Department last year things have improved by leaps and bounds and the department had actually become efficient and service-oriented. Of course, the past few days the department had also released statements about their new express services. Passports renewed within the hour and so on. Never mind. I was still skeptical.

TV Smith and I decided to go the new immigration office in Wangsa Maju that had been in the news for their fast, efficient service. TV had rung up the Immigration HQ in Putrajaya to ask for directions and was pleasantly surprised when the lady who answered the phone gave clear directions to the office in Wangsa Maju. So we set off for Wangsa Maju. We drove around for about 30 minutes and didn’t find anything resembling an office complex much less a spanking new Immigration Department branch. We stopped by the side of the road and called Putrajaya again. This time nobody picked up the phone. After several failed attempts TV called the office in Pusat Bandar Damansara. We were told that the office we were looking for is NOT in Wangsa Maju but in Setapak Jaya. This time the person gave us a block by block verbal map to Wisma Rampai in Setapak Jaya where the branch office is located. Thank you.

The week old office is situated in a decrepit building and appeared the only new and efficient looking operation there. Well, except for the Chinese aunty who operates the photocopying and photo taking shop next door. Upon entering the office we were assaulted by a blast of cool air which smelt clean and fresh. Being a well trained Malaysian I headed straight to the nombor giliran counter where I was faced with a surly looking man who obviously wasn’t interested in anything other than the approaching tea break. Upon learning the purpose of my visit he informed me that I had to fill in a form which he will give me in exchange for RM1 and get photo copies of my NRIC before he would give me a nombor giliran. I later deduced that he was surly only because he probably didn’t like my face. When approached by TV Smith he was smiling and even addressed TV as “bro”! Maybe I cut him off on Radio 4. Other than Mr. Sourpuss all the other counter staff I dealt with were very pleasant. And they all smiled sincerely and were eager to be of service. I got my nombor giliran, filled borang, paid the RM300 renewal fee and was told to come back in 2 hours. Huh? Wasn’t the claim that it could be done in an hour or less? The officer patiently informed me, smiling, that they will try their best and that most of the time it would be completed well within that time. It was just that they were ‘playing safe’ (their words). Okay. The time was 11.43 a.m.

We went to have something to eat at one of the many restaurants and eateries nearby. When we returned the clock in the Immigration office showed 1.05 p.m. I asked at the counter if my passport was ready for collection. It wasn’t. But they were still within the 2 hour limit. Finally, my number was called at 1.25 p.m. and I collected my renewed passport from a lady who identified herself as a Pegawai Imigresen Tinggi after TV asked what the prefix PIT on her name tag meant.

All done within 2 hours. And the air in the office was cool and fresh and they even have a room set aside for nursing mothers. Now when was the last time you experienced a customer friendly, service-oriented government department?

Up side

Fast and efficient service.
Cool, fresh and clean environment.
Friendly, efficient staff.
Comfortable seating.
Room for nursing mothers.
A conspicuous absence of the infamous A4 paper signs.
Lots of restaurants and eateries in the area catering to all races.

Down side

The office is called Jabatan Immigresen, Cawangan Wangsa Maju. But it is NOT in Wangsa Maju. It is in Setapak Jaya.
The office is located in a decrepit building.
The writing counters have no pens or pencils.
The building has an AutoPay parking system with only one machine which only accepts RM1 notes and 50 sen coins.

Another plus for Malaysians is that this Immigration office is flanked by a JPN office for identity cards and stuff.

As we were leaving I overheard one gentleman, “Lesen. Lesen mana?”
They don’t do driving licences there.

(Niamah!!! Moments from the visit to Jabatan Imigresen, Cawangan Wangsa Maju here.)

(The Jabatan Imigresen, Cawangan Wangsa Maju. Remember, it's not in Wangsa Maju. It's in Setapak Jaya.)

Photo courtesy of TV Smith