Thursday, April 27, 2006

My that Kad

Read from somewhere that ASTRO now has Interactive Services on it's Channel 800, which can read the information encoded inside the MyKad chip. Tried it, and it works! Wow! Just follow the instructions, slide in the MyKad into Slot 2 of the decoder, and the information will be up on the screen (mine is the newer silver-colour decoder, dunno if it works with the older black-colour ones). Try it.

I was quite disappointed that my "Agama" was stated as "Buddha". I remembered clearly I wrote "Kristian" in the application form.

Am I surprised? Not really. I have read numerous such stories, and concluded that there seems to be a hidden agenda to exaggerate the number of believers of certain religions and down-xaggerate (is there such a word?) the numbers in other religions. Why, you may ask, nothing better to do meh? Well, someone wrote "when it comes to government statistics, the numbers in that particular religion will appear small, so less government allocation will go into development of that religion, and voices from a minority religion will be considered insignificant in MalaysiaBoleh land." True or not, you decide.

So, I went to the Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara branch here. And the brief encounter there revealed even more surprises... (translated into English). Read on.

Me: Excuse me, there is a mistake in my MyKad's information. How can I rectify that?
Staff: What's the mistake?
Me: Religion. Should be Kristian.
Staff: What was in the Kad? Buddha?
Me: Ya (wa you so smart can guess one?!).
Staff: Oh, you need to bring your baptism certificate.
Me: I don't have it with me.
Staff: Ai ya, then we cannot process it.
Me: (getting pissed off) Hello, I read in the minister's press statement last time, baptism certificate is not required. Don't you know that?
Staff: Ya... emm... but we sent some applications without baptism certificate to Putrajaya, but they all had problems and cannot be processed.
Me: Look here, you guys made the mistake of giving me the wrong religion. It is not my fault. Now you are asking me to go through even more hassles? I wrote Kristian in my form. When you guys changed it to Buddha, you never asked me for any certificate or my permission?!
Staff: Emm, actually the office in Putrajaya automatically put any Chinese' religion as Buddha.
Me: (really pissed off now, what a ridiculous answer!) So it's your department's fault. If you can't solve it, I will see your boss. So you're telling me the problem lies with Putrajaya? So, should I complain to Putrajaya directly, or to the minister? Is the minister cheating on his press statement?!
Staff: (not sure how to reply) Emm maybe better you go see our boss. Ai ya but he's away now. Can you come this Thursday instead?
Me: Yes you'll be sure I come to see your boss when I am more free.

So you still think that the MyKad is so great? Maybe, the technology... but the people behind it, the whole bunch of them... what stupid mentality! Read JeffOoi's blog and you'll know that MyKad technology is nothing new, just that the local media gave it exaggerated coverage. Singapore does not allow entry into it's shores using MyKad, coz they don't trust MyKad's security features. And you should see the immigrants here in Sabah proudly flashing their MyKads around (ah, that's another local sensitive issue... some immigrants even have Bumiputera, having more rights on this bumi than me). There was a Bangladeshi doctor I worked with last time, having a MyKad with a birth date showing at least 5 years below his actual age.

So, even if it's for curiosity's sake, stick your Kad into an ASTRO decoder, and see what comes out. You won't want your family members fighting over burial rights of your body in court, if by bad luck you kicked the bucket.

If you get what I mean.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Laptop down

My Dell laptop was attacked by virus. Did a reformat of the hard disk... and found out that my Dell Driver CD was stolen by the thieves, who took along my burned CD collection. So now, no laptop to use liao. Waiting for a friend to help me get a copy of the Dell Driver CD.

Will be going to Laos and North Thailand in early May for backpacking. Schedule is tentatively: KK - KL - Bangkok - Udon Thani - Nong Khai - Vientianne - Vang Vieng - Luang Prabang - Pak Beng - Huoy Xai - Chiang Rai - Chiang Mai - Bangkok - KK. Airasia flights la, budget travel ma.

If you have been to those places, please give us some travel tips and advise. Thank you.

Of treasures and thieves

Am still a bit upset, because sometime late last month my house was broken in by thieves. They came in through the side door into the living room. After breaking off a padlock on the door grille, they managed to stretch their hands through an adjacent window to reach for the door knob, and the rest was easy. The thieves must have attacked in the night, while I was on-call in the hospital and leaving the house totally vulnerable. Lost some things for sure, I won't elaborate here. Idiot thieves, took even things that are useless to them but are useful to me (took cables of my CD burner and battery charger, and left the burner and charger behind, can you believe that?!). Nothing too irreplacable, but gave me quite a hassle to get things back. And to think that one day this poor government doctor might be saving their loved ones' or their own lifes. I was angry. God said pray for your enemies, I wonder if thieves are included.

To my disgust, two days ago my parent's house in Seremban was entered by thieves too! Those criminals were even more daring, entering the house in broad daylight! They must be experienced thieves, since they had tools to cut open the front door grilles.

Maybe to live a decent life nowadays is getting difficult with rising costs of living, making some people opt the easy way out by way of petty crimes.

If you think your house is safe because you have installed padlocks and grilles, I can tell you now that you are very wrong. Those things are easy to get pass, the locksmith told me. If the thieves are determined enough, they will find their way somehow. And if you think that they will spare your house and go for your rich neighbour, fat hope. I wonder when and where have the thieves lost their conscience and morality.

So, what options are we left with? Safe deposit boxes? High tech alarms? Keep a dog? Hoping for the police to do a better job? Hahaha...

How about this solution:

"Do not store up riches for yourselves here on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and robbers break in and steal. Instead, store up riches for yourselves in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and robbers cannot break in and steal. For your heart will always be where your riches are. "
Matt 6:19-21

And while we are talking about thieves, here's something more sobering...

"And you can be sure that if the owner of a house knew the time when the thief would come, he would not let the thief break into his house. And you, too, must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you are not expecting him."
Luke 12:39,40

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Meet my Vee

My Vee is here finally, after a 4.5 months' wait. I booked on the first Hari Ray day in early November, and got it last Wednesday. It's a 1.3 Manual, Premium edition, in Ozzy Orange. And yes, I am eligible for the refund of lower new car pricing.

Here's how the Vee looks like:

Why did I chose my Vee? Firstly, I decided I will never take a Proton. Secondly, have to bow to rising fuel prices. Thirdly, came to realise that car ownership is an expensive affair, and a car is a constantly depreciating asset; so better get one that is low on maintenance and sufficient for my needs. Fourthly, poor government servant like me should not be driving anything more than a Malaysian car, otherwise people will think that you are a corrupt fella. Just joking. Hehehe.

Well meaning people have been telling me that in Sabah, a 4WD is THE way to get around, especially suited for the lousy roads, hilly terrains and occasional off-roading. Very useful for church ministry in more interior areas. However, my previous experience with the Pajero have been an unpleasant one, one that I have yet come to terms with.

Done with the first tank of fuel. Fuel consumption? About 16.7 km/liter, or RM 1.14/10km. Sounds quite OK. The impressive thing about the Vee is that it's so spacious, and everybody sits comfortably. Other than that, it's just a car.

If you want a ride, don't shy shy to ask. If you make some money from the car number, don't shy shy to share.