Monday, 21 December 2009

Tabuh oh Tabuh

Last Friday evening, I received a call from Gerakan Dang Wangi, informing me of an injured climber at Bukit Tabuh. A group of Civil Defence rescuers were mobilised and dispatched to the scene. Upon reaching the victim, it was suspected that she may had a broken leg. After immobilizing her legs, she was wrapped up in a Sked Stretcher, flexible enough to be rolled up but yet sturdy enough when assembled.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Me & My Trainees

It has been a long time since I had met some of my trainees. These are the trainees under the Train & Place program. Its a 6 months program by the Ministry of Human Resources to eradicate or minimize unemployment by 're-training' retrenched workers or unemployed graduates for better adaptation to a particular industry, in this case the automotive industry. The company I work for was chosen as a training provider for 100 trainees and I was their 'Guru Besar'..haha.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

SSP Batch 81 High Tea Reunion

Over the past 1 ½ years, my ex-schoolmate from SSP (Sekolah Sri Petaling), had somehow re-connected, much of it thru the power of Face book. Some aged faster, some slower, and some looked as if they were stuck in time as they look as youthful as before. Unfortunately, I fell into the first category. Sigh!!! My good friend, Julian Khan, was the creator of the FB group. Much of the ‘recruitment’ was done by another friend, Derek Ho, about 88% of the total recruited. This feat may not sound extra ordinary if not for a fact he resides in Canada! How this guy managed to do that from there defeats my mind and tells a lot about the guy.

Friday, 16 October 2009

My 'Cucu'

During the recent Hari Raya, relatives came to my mum's house. Nothing unusual right? Suddenly I was 'introduced' to my 'cucu' (by rank). I went "OMG..nooooo...that cant be true".

To cut the story short, my 'cucu' and I hit it off quite well. She followed me everywhere and made numerous attempts to have a conversation with me. She's a big fan of Barney, and her favourite phrase is "Oh no.....".

How time flies....

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

The unfortunate 'Samseng Jalanan'

The result of 'merempit', or street racing....this 'samseng jalanan' and his friend were flung down a slope when his motorcycle skidded. Both 'suffered' serious injuries and required urgent medical assistance.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Fish Tank? Haiyo

I cant sleep tonight...don't know why. Maybe its because I had slept in front of the TV while watching CSI. Maybe also coz they haven't bank in my pay even though its pay day. How to honour the numerous standing instructions for all my bills? Thus a round of juggling act, defeating the purpose of subscribing to the convenience of standing instructions in the first no fault of mine. If this goes on, maybe I need to....well, we'll see.

The topic this time is on environment. Everyone is talking about it, in the papers, on talk shows, on radios (Ean from Hits morning crew diving with sand tiger sharks in Aquaria) etc etc. I came across this poster last week when I was over at this particular shopping mall across the road from my office.

Monday, 21 September 2009

First Love...the myth

Its been weeks since I last blogged. This new corporate life has been a bit taxing on my life schedule and sapping my daily energy level. I don't want to blog about Hari Raya, as almost everyone is doing that. So...maybe my 2centsworth on life sciences?

What is it with first love? Experts seems to agree that no matter how far or how many relationships has passed in one's life, the first love is still lingering at the back of one's mind. Maybe coz of the many first that comes with it...first touch, first 'stolen' kiss, first holding hands etc etc. Ask anyone whom their 3rd or 4th bf/gf, and most probably they have to think real hard to remember the correct sequence, but ask whom is their 1st love and faster than the blink of an eye, comes the answer...haha.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Moral boosting...I hope

Today I made a point to see my eldest son, Ridhwaan, who is sitting for his UPSR starting tomorrow. It was to give my moral support to him and to give some 'fatherly' advice. As I was working today, it was a last minute planning. Luckily, the boys were on holiday since their school is in Selangor.
Ridhwaan (eldest son), Iman, Imraan (youngest son)

Thursday, 3 September 2009

An introduction to my new love

Finally I have received my new car...on the 14th August 2009. As what I had blogged earlier...I quote "To be honest, I have LOST that eagerness for my new car. Its gone...nothing, zero, zilch. No enthusiasm at all. Proton Edar has deprived me of that 'new car' feeling."...that was how I felt when Sam called me up and told me my car was ready for collection. Sam came to pick me up from my house the next morning, drove me to their showroom in Putrajaya and even treated me for breakfast.

When I saw it, I knew I love it. It may not be much, but its still mine. I have friends who change cars like the clothes off their backs, but I think for the fact that they change cars every other month shows there's no bonding or passion...its just purely lust. What a pity...

After signing all the papers, I had my very first experience driving a Persona. You see when I bought the car, I didn't even test drove it. My first impression...not bad indeed, a good value for money. I especially like the radio controls on the steering wheel, giving it a certain 'expensive' appeal.

The people who were really looking forward for the car are my kids. For the past few months, every time I pick them up, they would be disappointed coz I came in a different car. I think they may had been bragging in school that 'ayah' was buying an expensive car. easy it is to please kids..for now :)

The next day, I received a call of injured hikers on Gunung Nuang, and on the Monday, the drowning case in Paya Jaras. Both times I had driven this car to respond. For me its a good omen...coz the start of my relationship was blessed with helping other people. Isn't that's what living is all about?

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

A sad day in Paya Jaras

I was at the office around 5.30pm and was packing to go home when Gerakan called me to inform of a drowning case in Paya Jaras. I rushed from my office in Taman Equine to Gerakan in Semarak. The first team was already deployed when I arrived in my office attire. I had no choice but to put on a JPAM vest. After checking the inventory list, we started our journey in 1 Rodeo and 1 Delta lorry. With sirens blaring and strobe lights flashing, we made through the traffic quite easily.

When we arrived, the first team updated us on the Intel. Its a 3+ years old child who was washing his slippers by the river. Suddenly he fell in. An old man nearby shouted for help. The nearby villagers didn't pay any notice as the old man was known to have some 'problems' before. Only after noticing a pair of children slippers did they realised that it was true. By then it was too late.

I was just coordinating the ops, no heavy stuff, as I had a recurring back pain. My team (total strength 20) continued our search, wading through the river from the incident point right up to the 'bigger' river a few kilometres away. We called off the search at 0300hrs. I had returned home at 0200hrs coz its working day.

As I lay myself to sleep, I cant help but think of .... the body of adik x (cant disclose the name), still swirling in the river, or resting at the bottom of the river bed, or stuck among the tree branch...somewhere out there. I had problems sleeping now even though my eyes could barely open. I pray that we can find him soon, to enable his family to give him a final and proper burial.


Thursday, 13 August 2009

Goodbye Old Friend

Our final photo together

Yesterday I parted ways with my old friend. Known her since 1994 and she has been good to me. She has brought me lots of luck and brought me so much joy driving at breakneck speed...once a point a time when she was younger...haha.

It originally belonged to my Tok Guru. He used it for 2 years and during that time, I had the privilege to ride in it on numerous occasions. Secretly, I had a wish that I could one day drive a car like that. Little that I know, by the grace of God, 2 years later, I managed to buy the same car from my Tok Guru.

This is the same car that I had used to visit work sites, that got me my first project, that brought my babies home from the maternity ward, that rushed me to Bilik Gerakan 999, that took my family on holidays, that took me on my dive trips, that accompanied me during the trying times of my divorce etc etc. Its also the same car that caused me to miss appointments, had to hitch a ride with customers, ride my bike in the rain etc etc. So many memories as she was with me a good part of my adult life.

I had resisted the idea of getting a new car for so long. My mom, my friends, my clients..had directly or indirectly 'hinted', but I persevered. I had spent a lot of money on maintenance that finally it just doesn't make sense to keep it anymore. Its not coz of the money, its the 'downtime' and 'reliability' that gets on my nerves. I blame the workshop dude for this, it was not the car's fault. They simply treat cars like guinea pigs in a lab... 'trial & error' is the modus operandi when it comes to trouble shooting. Unknown to us, we are the one financing this 'not very smart analyzing method'.

Finally yesterday evening, it was a sad day indeed...its going to the scrap yard for its final resting place. Goodbye old friend. RIP

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Scrapping...I wish they are as smart as Scrappy Doo

Yesterday I received a SMS from Sam on how much balance I had to pay to Proton Edar. Nothing was mentioned about when my car would be delivered. So I called him up. He told me "lagi satu minggu". I got really angry coz that's the same exact words he told me on Tuesday when my voucher FINALLY came out. I needed the car badly coz my job requires me to travel quite a distance to the other side of town and back on a daily basis. Travelling using my Vulcan would normally leave me lethargic....sign of age catching up? :p

Months earlier, I had suggested to Sam to let me pay the RM5k upfront and reimburse the voucher when it comes out later. I don't mind waiting for the cash, but I cant wait too long for my car. Sam told me Proton Edar doesn't allow it. Hmmmm.....

I think this is one of the solution that Proton Edar should adopt. Let customers have an option. If you have one dude doing for the whole of Malaysia, definitely there is gonna be a backlog for months. Cost saving? At what cost? The scrapping program is to stimulate the automotive industry, right? People get TURN OFF when salesman say "tapi kalau mau scrap ambik masa sikit 1-1.5 bulan. lepas tu baru boleh start order kereta. persona 1 bulan, exora 3 bulan". Only fools (myself included) would actually believe that its all a myth, that things weren't really that bad and order a Malaysian made car.

The government has given Proton the 'edge' by allowing the scrapping program only for buying Malaysian made cars. But if it takes Proton Edar 2 months (if you are lucky and they don't loose your documentations) to issue out the voucher, that is counter productive and would actually shun away potential buyers. When we offer to pay first and redeem the voucher for cash as a solution, you wont allow it. Hello, that voucher is MINE coz it came from a car that's MINE and the car I am buying is also MINE. Prone to abuse? How you tell me? 1 old car gets scrapped off our road and 1 Malaysian made car bought right? Isn't that's what the government is trying to do? Duhhh

If you cant handle the problem, at least listen to your customers for solutions and always give options. This take it or leave it attitude is bad for you. Basic marketing mahh. Come on Proton Edar...buck up and listen to your customers.

Monday, 3 August 2009

The mistake of a buying Malaysian car

Hmmm...after using my faithful Peugeot 405 SRI since 1996, and after thousands of Ringgits spent on repairs, and countless encounters with friends and acquaintances giving me the cynical "kereta masuk workshop lagi" remarks, I had decided to change my car. A very sad decision indeed as that car had sentimental values.

But what car to get? I had visited a few showrooms...namely Toyota, Honda...and last but not least, Proton Edar. Hmmm...that last one was originally just to pass the time...but wait, what's that? A scrap program for Malaysian made cars? How much? RM5000? Interesting.

I came up with a in my Peugeot and scrap my Datsun C20 which I had used for my previous 'projects'. Sounds good. After meeting up with 3 dealers, with 3 different versions of 'scrap' programs explanations, I told myself that the dealer that comes back to call me would be the one I would sign up with.

At last, the nice gentleman name Sam did just that, and he took the trouble of actually doing most transactions at my house, which was on the opposite side of town from where he was. He told me that the 'scrapping' process would take between 1-1.5 months for the voucher to come out. Only after that would the process of buying a car can start.

At first I was eyeing the new Exora, but I cant wait that long (at that time, Sam told me waiting list was 3 months...and that is not including the 'scrapping' process). So the next best thing was the Persona...430 litres is ample boot space for dive bags, medical bag, rescue kit etc etc. I went for the Persona SE simply because it has everything (the safety aspect) for just an additional RM3k, I get GPS, leather seats, body kit, sporty gauges etc etc.

I had initially told Sam that I wanted the car latest before 24th July, coz it was CaTz's birthday. Since it was end of May, it shouldn't be a problem, says Sam. Officially, its been 2 months (3rd June 2009) since Sam had submitted all the 'scrapping documents' to Proton Edar HQ, and its sad to say that the voucher has yet to materialised. After much hassling the poor guy, I found out that my documents went 'missing' at Proton Edar HQ, plus there is only 1 dude doing the documentation for the whole country. Downsizing? Rightsizing? Duhhh

To be honest, I have LOST that eagerness for my new car. Its gone...nothing, zero, zilch. No enthusiasm at all. Proton Edar has deprived me of that 'new car' feeling. If it wasn't for my french car already in the process of 'scrapping', I would have cancelled my booking and buy a Japanese car instead. I know my contribution is not much, maybe that's why Proton Edar doesn't give a hoots about 'little people' like me. So much for government's call to buy Malaysian products, but only a Malaysian company would treat a Malaysian buyer like this...the 'tak apa' attitude. Look at the export models...better quality, better safety. Why the double standards? Does the life of a Malaysian cost less than a 'Mat Salleh'?

Btw, its meant to be 'scrapped'. The initial inspection all done by Puspakom PRIOR to 3rd June. What could possibly be so meticulous 'processing' that it takes them months just to issue out a voucher? RM59k maybe small to Proton Edar, but for a 'normal' dude with a 'normal' income like myself, that car meant less diving, less saving, less partying, less money for my kid's education etc etc. Its high time that big corporations like this have some degree of respect for the normal 'rakyat'. What say you?

Sunday, 26 July 2009

A joint birthday

Yesterday, I attended a joint birthday party for an auntie & her nephews. It was CaTz's xx birthday (she would kill me if mention here) and the identical twins 1st birthday.

Happy birthday honey

The identical twins

The candle blowing ceremony

The twins are a bit shy...but I know a secret on how to persuade a baby to 'cooperate'. Actually its the same secret for men...its through their stomach. So I practise it on one of them. He understood what I said (clever boy), e.g. when I pointed to the cake, he looked at it. After a while he became comfy...too comfy in fact that he soon dozed off.

Was it the cake or the 'extra sponges' on me? Hmmm...must be the least that's how I would like to think of it.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Redang & the OWDs

I arrived home from my Tioman LOB trip on Sunday and the next day I started conducting an Open Water Diver training for a government agency. 2 days in KL for their Knowledge Reviews and Confine Water and 3 days in Redang for the Open Water modules. 5 straight days in 2 different locations. Phew....



As evident by the above comparative photos, it supports my theory that people are more fun to be around with if they are divers. They are more friendly, cheerful, energetic...unless you are born with a non friendly, non-cheerful and non-energetic face...who's expression is always the same under ANY circumstances (try to figure out which one).

Long Beach

Teluk Kalong

Redang island is one of my favourite in Peninsular Malaysia. Its almost 'unspoilt' and pristine conditions...white sandy beaches, nice dive sites, variety of marine life...including the nice friends at Gypsy, makes it a total thumbs up for me. Of course it depends where you are staying. I prefer the laid back location of Teluk Kalong...a secluded spot away from the crowd at Long Beach. Here, the only entertainment are the monkeys, the Geckos...and fairly recently...Astro. My philosophy is...if you want the comfort of home...then just stay at home... haha.

As future rescuers, they were given the max of everything. All the optional skills became compulsory training such as buddy breathing. I also found cursing underwater using a writing slate so unfulfilling as opposed to direct verbal abuse, plus one can only curse so much on a slate before its full...haha. Shucks.

One thing I discovered way early in my career as a scuba instructor matter how tipsy-turfy they are underwater, when it comes to taking photos, suddenly they are ok. Good buoyancy, controlled exhalation (no bubbles)...its an amazing transformation. Take the camera away and its back to chaos. Hmmm

We also had a good time playing beach volleyball...well actually they had a good time. Someone has to be the umpire right?

Oh ya, on the way to Redang, we saw this 'transformed' old junk (not junk as in rubbish, but an old ship). A friend of a friend of a friend (haha) told me that its part of the props for KRU's upcoming film on Langkasuka. I wonder if they need an actor as Penghulu Pulau Bertongkat? ...hmmmm

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Kaleebso LOB & The AOWD Students

I had organized a trip to Tioman group of islands, liveaboard style. What does that mean? Eat, sleep, dive...everything done on the boat.

This boat is famous for its food. Mary, the resident Iron Chef, who's cooking feat is by far 'unchallenged' was on board to make sure everyone's tummy gets a good filling every time. This is by far, the easiest diving to me.

Unfortunately on Saturday morning, the sea got a bit rough, so we had to make do diving off Tulai island. Only after lunch did we managed to proceed to the other dive sites.

We also had another group of OWD students on board. Its always a gamble to bring OWD students on board. You will never know how well they can stomach the lullaby of the sea. If they get seasick, then that is the end of their course. DOR - Drop On Request.

When the owner heard that I was coming with a group of 12 pax, they assumed it was my normal clients, the always hungry Malaysians. So on the trip to Pulau Aur a few days earlier, they decided to surprise us and bought .... Durians... 30 of them. So when we came on board, you should have seen the faces of KLee & Mary, coz majority of them are 'Mat Salleh'. That was a Kodak moment indeed.... :)

Friday, 10 July 2009

Pictures from the past

I was cleaning my cupboard yesterday when I came across my old baby photo album. Looking at the pictures, it brought back memories....

Me & my younger brother Din

Me & elder sister Azee

Us & my dad

Think this was taken during kindergarten

Always joking from small

Trendy pants sewn from curtain left over material

Singing was one of my passion back then

Being the only cucu in the house has its perks, but always monitored real close

Monday, 6 July 2009

Tuurbo PBN 2315

Recently I made a trip to Penang. Its been donkey years since I have been there. The last time I practically 'lived' there was in 1988-1989 during my studying days. The most recent was years back with my dive buddy Amin...a day trip just to view a Land Rover TD5 for sale. So the trip I made was also a trip down memory lane for me. CaTz also tagged along and I was determined to show her that I know Penang inside out. How wrong I was...embarrassingly so.

I tried to find the Nasi Ayam place behind the Penang General Hospital....didn't find it. Then tried to find the Mee Udang, Balik Pulau....didn't find it. Then tried to find the Char Kway Teow stall in Gurney Drive....dint find it. Then my favourite Kari Kepala Ikan restaurant near Komtar area...didn't find it. In fact I didn't recognize most of the roads anymore...couldn't even find the road to Gurney Drive from the bridge without the help of my trustee GPS. How things have changed so much.

I tried taking CaTz back in time by explaining the different spots (the one that I recognized that is) and the things I did for example how me & my friends used to ride our bikes at midnight making a complete round of the whole of Penang through the winding roads of Balik Pulau, how Udini Highway was partially completed and was a favourite place to 'test' our bikes, how we use to race through the crowded Gurney Drive.

Back then, people knew me as Turbo, or spoken with the northern slang..Tuur bo. I was a 'rempit' fella back then (hard to believe ain't it). In those days, the 'rempit's were not violent people. We don't abuse other road users or conduct acts of gangsterism. We just enjoyed street racing. I was the only dude in a university there with a newly released RXZ 6 speed. Oh ya...the locals also know me by my number plate..PBN 2315. I used to 'pegang' Gelugor area coz I defeated Shim Race, the part time bike mechanic, who was the local hero. How I did this? Read on....

Me with my TZR, 1990, Swansea, UK

One fine day, as me & my friends were eating, suddenly this dude came and made a few spins. Suddenly he stopped across the road and 'challenged' us by ramming his bike. It was all my friends fault coz they are the ones who like to 'show off' in that area. I passed my keys to Man Tandok..he declined coz the day before he crashed a Suzuki Panther smack into the back of a car. Then I passed the keys to Syeh...he declined. S**t.

By then the locals were taunting us...saying things like "haa apa lagi, dia dah pangge tu"..or "kalau nak taw, tu la Shim Race yang pegang area Gelugoq ni". OMG I was so embarrassed. All eyes were looking at us. The pressure was mounting. At last I couldn't stand the humiliation. I took the keys, looked to the warung owner and said "ni biaq sini noo", and mounted my bike. I heard if ridiculing me. Anyway, we did 3 laps...on every occasion I overtook that dude sitting upright while he was prone in a racing position. He tried to cheat each time we made a u-turn for the next lap, he didn't wait for me to start fair and square, but just bolted away. He wanted those people at the stalls to see that he's a winner...but I showed him.

I then rode back to the stall, sat down and continued eating my food. The locals who were jovial before just kept quiet. You can even hear a pin quiet. Ever since that day, when I came to that stall, they would 'prepare' my table and treat me with respect. This time, they tell their friends "Tu la Turbo...". Haaa baru depa ada mata cek oi....

Friday, 3 July 2009


Last weekend, I was in Pulau Redang conducting a PADI Open Water Diver course. 4 brave souls dared themselves to overcome their fears to step over into the world of the privileged... the underwater world. Congratulations and welcome to our world....

Knowledge Review inc Theory Exam

Open Water

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