Friday, January 6, 2017

Staff decorum at S.I.G.C.

Hitting a 1.62-inch hard coated ball with a club at the end of a long, spindly stick is hard enough as it is. Having all sorts of distractions while trying to do it hardly help. The R&A and USPGA Rules Book recognizes that and incorporates rules on them. Golf course workers are employed to make the physical conditions friendly to the game. They are also not supposed  to disturb players playing, or trying to play. 

I used to play at R.S.G.C., at more than 100 years said to be the second oldest golf club in Malaysia, after the old, now closed Taiping Golf Club at the Lake Gardens. Many of R.S.G.C. staff live in Kg. Pandan, and they use the back entry to come to work, and the road goes through the course. However, every time a flight of golfers pass through,  the staff would stop their vehicles and turn off the engine. That's how it should be. The same thing happens at K.G.N.S.

Not at S.I.G.C.

No roads for cars pass through the course, but there are dirt tracks used by the staff to ride their bikes to the club's store, and to go to the half-way house, where they have their morning break. They also ride around the course, along the cart tracks, to go to their work point for the day and so forth. But they do all this noisy riding with scant regard for on-going games. I've muttered to my flight mates countless times, making comparison to R.S.G.C. and K.G.N.S.

This morning, 6/1/2017 I put my foot down. I hope it'll start some behavioural changes among the staff, many of whom I know and like.

We were a two-ball, teeing off at about 8 a.m. from the 10th. tee for our regular 9-hole round, Jane Chee and I. At the 16th. hole, I had teed off first, and Jane was about to do so when "Bob" (as later identified by the Marshall, Zaki) came on his very noisy bike from the right, crossing in front of the lady's tee box to go left, and ignoring Jane and nonchalantly waving at her as he sped past. Jane could very well have walloped the ball right into Bob's stupid grin. Jane didn't seem to be disturbed, and I thought since Bob waved, we could let it go. But no ! Just as I was about to hit my second shot, the infuriating noise came back behind me, this time from my left to right along the same dirt track. It was Bob again. I stood up from my crouch, turned to the idiot, and shouted "stop!" He stopped, without killing his motor. "People are playing golf here!" I shouted some more. Maybe even at that point I would have let it go. But no, again. He loudly answered back " This is stopping, what!" I retorted "I'll make a report !"

Bob is new. Maybe he's not aware of golf rules. My report would put things in perspective for him, I thought.

After putting out on that hole, I saw Zaki, the Marshall behind us, on his buggy going to the half-way house. I waved at him, and he came. I told him what happened, and said if he tells  Bob right away to apologise, I'll let the matter rest.

After we teed off from the last tee-box, Zaki came and said Bob refused to see me, and suggested I make a report.

After we finished the last hole, I went straight to the front counter and asked for a report form. I called Jane, who was obviously reluctant to be involved, to bear witness in the report, so I told her it's my report, you just mark your presence. I'd written half-way, when Bob came on his tractor, and called out to me "YB !" (that's what the staff call me here, and some of the fellow golfers,too) I gestured to him to come forward, and he came, and I said "I'm writing a report right now, but if you apologise, I'll cancel it."

"I apologise" "Say it nicely" "I apologise" he repeated, in a lowered tone, and extended his hand. "OK, I cancel this report. Don't disturb golfers playing next time!" I tore up the partly witten report.

"I just want to make a point to our staff. We're paying their salary. If we don't play golf, this club won't exist, and these people wont be working here." I know Jane doesn't want to get involved. This has happened before in another case ( another story ) when another Chinese member didn't want to get involved in the reporting, although he was very involved in the actual incident.

Maybe Bob changed his mind, or his colleagues made him, after initially telling Zaki he won't apologise. He's new and surely values his job more than an ill-advised pride. For me it removes the possibility that my report comes to naught, while the apology drives home the point to the perpetrator, which is the important thing.


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

No more free parking.

This afternoon, Wednesday 4/1/17, it finally happened. My free parking in the centre of Seremban town has been revoked. All it took was for the boy who looks after the Wisma UMNO Negeri Sembilan to approach me as I was going to the basement car park, and saying, "sorry bro, I've been instructed to tell you that you can no longer park your car here."
"UMNO's instruction ?"

So the news spread by "Sinar Harian" Negeri edition and facebook have finally reached the powers-that-be in Negeri UMNO. My participation in the two talks organized by Bersatu at Ampangan and Senawang earlier last year had been given attention to by the said channels. Several people had in fact contacted me about it. Others that I met have mentioned it. My answer was, I wanted to hear for myself what Bersatu had to say here in Seremban. I also wanted to see what kind of reception Bersatu could muster. I already know the issues and the facts relating to 1MDB. The two gatherings impressed me with the simplicity of the message, and the enthusiasm of those attending.

A few days ago, while taking the halfway break in our morning golf foursome, Dato' Sulaiman inquired about Dato' Ismail Yassin's UMNO activities. I interceded about my decision to leave the party that I have been a member of since 1987. There the matter rested.

I just called Dato' Maulud about the parking ban, and we both had a laugh. They can keep the parking. I have other priorities in my short life.


Monday, January 2, 2017

Ushering 2017

It's 2017, and I'm exactly two years past seven decades with memories I wish I could record and cherish, even if I can't share them.

Let's see. There's golf that I enjoy, and needing it to keep the sweat glands working, because everyone's saying you have to exercise daily. To enjoy the game you have to have some degree of skill with it. To acquire skill you have play the game often, always with the intent of improving. There's the long and the short game. There's the physical and mental game. Above all, there's the attitude. Carrying an official 14 handicap isn't too shabby at my age. This morning I had my first game for 2017. Off the blue tee on a wet, rainy day, with water-logging on some fairways, and water pools in many bunkers ( and I got into a couple ), I shot 43 on the first nine, and 42 on the second for nett 1 under 71. Not too bad. And I won 3 balls on the wager to boot, and recovered my buggy fee !

Then there was the year-end mess with my car. Not only did I contend with 1,360 for the insurance, and 1,626 for road tax due right on the nose on 30/12, I also had to send it to Min Soon for nine days because the right front air-suspension went kaput, along with the compressor pump and valves, and I was 14k poorer ! That's right, 14,000 ringgit! My children couldn't believe it ! Fortunately for me, I have one daughter. The three boys didn't lift a finger, but the girl gave me 6k. So I scrounged around for the other 8.

On fb, I see some old friends suddenly becoming chatty and trigger-happy. I joined in a few times, but can't keep up with them. But I did manage to get Ramlee to personally send me a petai seedling which I ended up planting in my brother-in-law's yard. I still follow the postings, but find some very personal, and others too fiery to share, but, hey !, it's a free country.

Next was the imbroglio of the Undangs of Johol and Jelebu. The dust seemed to have settled in Johol, but Jelebu is still in the "jerebu"! These are recent examples of the palace intrigues of old, and say everything about greed, double-crossing and plain dirty tricks. The different "peruts" are sacking each other until you can't stomach (sorry for the pun) the muck anymore. And then the State government went headlong into the pile of backbiting wannabes, along with a Kelantanese SS, an imam with a doctorate and a retired judge.

Over everything else, Malaysian politics and state of economy hang damp and putrid. Najib & family are holidaying in Australia, while Malaysians are faced with a dismal economic outlook, and a disruptive political scenario. 1MDB's thievery continues making bad news, and Felda is fast catching up in the financial scandal market, while the top figures in both remain smug. Only a General Election will settle all this.

In my own small corner, our housing estate Islamic welfare association just held its belated AGM. We managed to convene the AGM in spite of the non-effort of the previous secretary. We scraped the qurom and meeting went reasonably well. The new committee has its work cut out. The RoS has to be tackled for the delays in submitting returns in the last two years, almost entirely caused by the secretary's failure to compile them. But the association has to be saved because of the "khairat" it contains, which is in trust of the housing estate inhabitants. The moneys appear intact, although apparently some previous activities have not been clearly recorded. The old secretary had been running the association like a personal account. A fresh start is in order. 

That is not exactly new year cheer. Just some passing thoughts, and definitely looking forward to a good year ahead.


Saturday, December 3, 2016

Datuk Nasir Yusuf 1933-2016.

Hj. Nasir ( as I knew him) was my boss from 1978 to 1990. On Tuesday 29th.November I was in Kelang when Conen's sms came at about 4.30 p.m. reporting about his demise. Fortunantely he included the house address, so with the help of my no. 2 son I arrived at the bereaved's house just after Magrib, but found it dimly lit and empty. I assumed, rightly, they were at the nearby mosque, but arrived only to find the remains already in the mortuary van, being taken for burial.

Most of the mourners had already left the mosque, but I saw Aziz Zakaria, Muhammad Jamil and Husin Menggong. Aziz invited me to dinner at KDE, which was close by. Through dinner we went through those years - 1978 to 1990 - we shared with Hj. Nasir. I said I felt guilty about not visiting him in these recent months when I heard that he was not well, because of the fights ( about work ) I had with him. But he came to all four of my children's weddings. That's why I was surprised to hear of his bad condition, because Dekna's wedding was only 3 years ago. When Aziz showed me the photos on his smartphone, I could see that Hj. Nasir was in bad shape. Aziz said when his wife died last year, things went bad for Hj. Nasir in his health and care. They have four children, but I never knew them, and couldn't say if they were at the mosque.

Hj. Nasir was about the same age as Raja Alias, and they were at Singapore U. with Musa Hitam. I didn't see either of them at the mosque. Maybe Musa is younger, but certainly Raja Alias looks in good shape. Raja's father lived to be more than 100 !

Hj. Nasir wasn't a difficult boss, but he had his peculiar ways. I suppose having known each other long, he and Raja Alias, his boss at Felda, got on well. They couldn't be more different in style and temperment.

In his defence, I wasn't an easy surbordinate, I guess. Sometimes I went against his way just to be " ornery ", I think. But I never disliked  him personally. In fact we, his officers, used to joke about him, and even pulled his legs.

I'd like to put on record here that Raja Alias had a completely honest and dedicated officer in Hj. Nasir. He was diligent and took care of the details to a fault. Money was totally safe with him. In fact he was so stingy with office expenses, his own staff car often broke down because he refused to carry out the regular maintainence on it to cut costs! Looking back at that, and the hanky-panky going on in Felda right now, I'm sure these are the types they badly need there in a hurry.

I wish his surviving children well, and am sure his friends will miss him.


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

President Trump.

Wednesday 9/11/2016.

A lot can be learned from the outcome of the U.S. Presidential elections.

Firstly, speaking in tune with the electorate is absolutely essential.

Trump's message was simple and to the point. Whether he was right or wrong was secondary. His message was very clear. This government has failed, and therefore must be replaced. The workforce is struggling for disappearing jobs. The "system" is corrupt. Immigrants and Muslims cause trouble. He's willing to act in the people's interest.

Secondly, Trump offers a fresh approach to government.

He's a political novice, bucking the system and the Republican party. Nobody in the existing party hierarchy gave him much support, so clearly he's "fresh".

Thirdly, the Democrats has ruled in the White House for eight straight years, with a black President. Obama beat Clinton for the nomination precisely because he was "fresh". But white America has not forgiven itself for allowing Obama in. It's time to make amends.

Clinton is better qualified to be President. But Trump has the right resonance with the electorate.

Then there's tv.

If you don't impress on tv, you lose in USA. Trump is made for tv. Clinton plods and digs in the House and while serving all these long years, which is great for job-qualification, but that's not tv.

Here in Malaysia, many could take note from  this US "upset". UMNO should realise that their longevity may work against them in the next GE. A worn party, beset with scandals, seems ripe for a beating by a new voice.


Sunday, October 23, 2016

Idris's betrothal in Rompin.

Sunday 23rd. October 2016.

Taking the highway to the Alor Gajah-Tampin exit from Seremban  took all of one and a -half-hours to the Rompin mosque. Rompin Bahau, that is, not  Pahang.  This was for Idris's engagement at Kampong Baru Rompin this afternoon.

In fact this is the second one I've done for him. Hopefully this time he'll consummate the union. The first one at Rembang Panas several years ago didn't last because the future f.i.l. demanded the early dowry payment. That torpedoed the engagement and, what else, sunk the planned marriage.

Everyone from the big family came, except Calit. He excused himself because of car trouble, he said. He could have joined me if he'd bothered to call.

After the brief ceremony I returned to Seremban by the same route, planning to stop at the new mall in Alor Gajah. But the car dashboard lights suddenly went kaput, and being a Sunday, I didn't want to have anymore problems with the car, and drove straight home. I'd have stopped and checked if I was alone, but li'l Wafa was sound asleep at the back, after climbing all over the place in Rompin, and I didn't want to disturb her nap, because she'd  go into one of her tantrums. Once home I switched the car off and on again, and it was fine. Only the dashboard lights were still out. I'll call Sam tomorrow.

I didn't catch the future f.i.l's name, but he seems ok. He was with Felcra all his life, all spent in Johor. He knows Kamarulzaman Majid, who was with me for a brief period in Felda. I know he left because he was unhappy with a promotion excersise when he was left out. I think he took a pay-cut because Felcra paid less than Felda then, but went on to become the Deputy GM or something, so that was ok, I suppose. He's a Muar boy.

Fadzil also met Ibrahim at the Rompin function, only Ibrahim remembered him first. He was with Felda but took optional retirement and joined a private estate or something. Ibrahim is a "muallaf" - a convert. He has two wives, just like Fadzil. Except he has kept them both, concurrently. Fadzil's case was consecutive. But both past and present wives came just now. 

It's a small world.


Saturday, October 22, 2016

Feedback on possible campaigning for Bersatu.

Tok Molod said this morning that he had met "Jeffri" a few days ago. He said "Hamdan" has joined Bersatu. "Tell Jeffri we can go around and meet some people and campaign for Bersatu" I said.

These would be my points:

(i) UMNO is no longer the party that respects, or even wants to hear what the ordinary members have to say. The silencing of delegates at party conferences and meetings, and the sacking and suspension of duly elected Supreme Council members who dared to question Najib is proof that UMNO is undemocratic, and betrays its own original noble goals of serving for the Malay race, Islamic religion and the nation.

(ii) The 1MDB fiasco insults the "rakyat's" intelligence in the way explanations and excuses have been given, never by Najib himself, in and out of Parliament. The action by the DoJ of USA backs the allegations.

(iii) The life styles of Najib & wife, who's not an elected official, are an affront to the poor rakyats' own ordinary lives and demand explanation, not flippant dismissal.

(iv) The vile insults hurled at  Tun Mahathir by Najib and his cohorts are callous and uncalled for, and are not part of the Malay culture of respectful "budi  bahasa."

(v) The dismantling of the principle of separation-of-powers in government is clearly unconstitutional, malicious and utterly repugnant.

These five points should provide a strong basis for discussion, which should force the case against Najib in particular, and the present UMNO in general.