Saturday, August 28, 2004

Uptight about home security?

This write up appeared in my earlier blog. But I am visiting it, as new stories appear on the scene.

The economy of this country has made many people becoming petty criminals (and some big ones but never caught). They blame most of it on Indon immigrants, but in reality many of the locals also commit these crimes, crimes such as being snatch thieves, robbing banks, kidnapping and asking for ransom, housebreaking to name a few of semi-serious crimes. And crimes such as making duplications of VCDs and DVDs and distributing them are also common, and this especially applicable to the locals. Then the crime of importaning women for prostitutions and of course the most srtious being drug (‘dadah’ they call it over in Malaysia) peddlers. Crime has become a big ‘business’ now, it used to be not a ‘business’ but it appears so now. And crime has become so rampant that I was told that someone lost his wire mesh fencing and his house gates, carted away while he was on holidays. Why wire mesh fencing and house gate? These are of iron. Iron is so pricy now that every scrap of iron is being carted away, drain covers and even road signs.

I remember that about 6 months ago I have been busy making a homepage for myself: I felt so walled in when I started the project. This is when I started to relate being ‘walled in’ to real ‘walled in’ when one is scared of the increase of crime situation in Malaysia today. And being scared of crime made most of us ‘walled in’ mentally and phically. We go about with being ‘walled in’ feeling, ready to defend ourselves or take to heels when we are approached or see anyone suspicious around us. Even some ATM machines at Banks has this wartning about what to do when one sees suspicious character/s near you when you key in your password while withdrawing your money, or even someone who may try/attemp to rob you after you have withdrawn your money.

And that is why we walled in our houses, high brick walls sometimes. And I saw this happening to one of my neighbours. He has only an in-between terrace house, about 22' by 70'. Now the back is already enclosed by a high wall as the neighbouring house at the back is at a higher ground than that house and there is no back lane. Now the end neighbour renovated his house with very nice extended front car porch, this mid neighbour also wanted to have the same style extended car porch. The end result? The house entrance is now like an entrance going into a cave, all walled up and all enclosed. I wonder how can one live in that sort of a terrace house. You have walled yourself in. I suppose he either wants his privacy or that he has walled himself in to prevent from unwanted people coming into his house.

When I was a young boy I grew up in a kampong where there is a lot of open spaces. And the houses were far apart. We did not even have a fence around the house, you can even hear at night domesticated buffaloes grazing around the house, and the grass is always seemed trim as if machined where these buffaloes grazed the night before. But of course you have to pay a price for that, you will see buffalo dungs quite close to the house. But buffaloes are quite clean creatures in that respect, they do their business away from the house most of the time, and in a group. (Even though in the afternoon they spend their time wallowing in the mud or muddy water to cool themselves). So you do not get to see many buffalo dungs around the house. But if you have cows instead of buffaloes, and cows are very unsophisticated creatures, they do their business anywhere, especially so around the house. So in those days we never kept cows, we always had domesticated buffaloes. And we have many of them, in a herd.

The only fence I knew then were around the padi fields when we planted padi in the fields, or any fencing near the house was always when we planted vegetables in small vegetable garden near the house. The fence was more or less to keep buffaloes out of the padi field or the vegetable patches. We loved our buffaloes. That was one of the sources of wealth for us.
Walls around the house I only saw when I went to study in UK. I thought those Mat Salleh were really unfriendly lot.. I was new there and I could not understand them. In reality they were quite friendly to their neighbours, they had walls around their houses just to maintain privacy. And in the country side they also had walls around the fields to keep their cows and sheep in and other cows and sheep out. A grand arrangement really. And these walls, as far as I can remember were always made of stone, not bricks (or barbed wire or meshed wiring) like what we have in Malaysia today. And in some housing estates in UK then they had even wooden fences between houses, low enough to talk over the fence with your neighbour. That was good. Such arrangement in Malaysia today would be a heaven for our Malaysian criminals.

Then when I returned to Malaysia, and I began to live in towns, the Malaysians then were not wall crazy. They were still friendly to their neighbours. They have mostly wire mesh "walls" or fences between neighbouring houses. But soon there were many rich people who built single house with high walls. To keep thieves out they say. And also to maintain their family privacy, so they say. I suppose all their reasons are valid, but I suppose they also do not want other people to see their wealth, pry on them, and start asking questions on where they get their wealth from. Most of them were Malays and these Malays were mostly born in the kampong. But their luck made them where they were/are and they do not want other people to "share" their wealth with them. Anyway that is another story. So if you go around the City like KL you will find many rich people's houses with high walls.

Now all these rich people lives in walled up houses. So the poorer neighbours, may be immediate neghbours or quite a distance neighbours, also want to live in the same style the rich people. So they also walled up their houses, forgetting that their houses are quite small and have an effect of living in cave. Never mind that as long as its like a rich man's mansion, I suppose. What strange idea. But these small terrace houses when walled-in retain heat and have poor ventilation effect. I realise this when I walled in the back of my small terrace house. When there is a hot weather the back of the house is very hot. And when my wife cooks (how many of us men cook?), the smell of the cooking goes out to the front; it never get dissipated at the back as there is very little air flowing there. This is just my theory though but if you do not believe me just try to wall in the back of your house (if you live in a small terrace house like I do).
Back to "walled-in", being brought up in a 'no wall' society I find it most strange as to why should people like to be walled in.. Why can't people live in a no wall society like what I saw in Western Australia when I went there a few years ago. I find that in Western Australia their houses are not walled up (I stand corrected), except in a few cases where they use certain area for their own family privacy. And their surroundings is so open that I feel that it is a real pleasure to live there. And the flowers they grow around their houses, they are beautiful. But of course us here in Malaysia are not so civilise so we tend to pick other people flowers if they grown in other people's garden not walled in (don't tell me that they do not, they do} and also when they can see your beautiful house they tend to sneak in in the day to steal your slippers or shoes if placed outside and probably to peep on you and at night to break in to steal whatever you have in the house. As I said in my earlier blog "Are we civilised?". Well, we are not, we try to pretend to live in a civilse way, but civilise people can see through us.

We can always say that we need to be "walled-in". For what? Security? We ar not that secured? For privacy? How much privacy do you want? Probably a lot as our people are curious lot (or are they just nosey? Or sneaky?) and they tend to peep at the slightest opportunity. Is there something wrong with our society? Our upbringings? Why do we peep anyway? Or are we sex mad, I mean peeping at others for what, other than to peer at sex?

So we walled ourselves in, walled physically and walled mentally. We somehow accept our life style living in a small cave called Rumah Murah or Low Cost Houses (now they call them Affordable Houses!). These are really cheap houses. But if we are called cheap skate we get angry. But are there not many people living in these cheap houses cheap skate. They are not poor I tell you. I have seen even a Volvo car outside a Rumah Murah. We have accepted the fact that we have sometimes to live in multi-storied caves called Low Cost Flats. Aren't these mere boxes that we "walled " ourselves "in"? Malaysia is so full of unused land and we have to live in a "walled-in" society. Do we have to? And we are happy about it or we just tend to say :"There is noting that I can do about it" So we accept? Cheap skate we are.

Anyway, it must be that I have been all "walled-in' these days that I am bursting with this thoughts and ideas. Let off steam.

Are you walled-in?

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Choose. Wife, Mistress or Girlfriend?

This article appeared in my earlier blog. At that time it was written to answer a few questions on some Internet discussion on why Muslims need more than one wife, or rather why Muslims are allowed to have more than one wife.

However I have been reading of late about people living together for years without even getting married (marriage recognised by the State or/and Religion) and having children as well, some as many as 3 or 4 already. And these people are proud of the situation. And the general public in the society they live in seems to be very quiet about it. And they even announce to the press (or rather get reported in the press) sometimes about them now just about to get married. In those years (50s or 60s) it only happened in Hollywood, but now it happens all over in the Western world, the so called civilised West. Is that really what Western Civilisation is all about. And some celebrity change girlfriends/boyfriends like they change their underwear. And when reported in the press they say, "Please separate my career and my private life". And these are public figures (trend setters to general public all over the world, West or East) like Football Managers/Coaches and Senior Politicians. Is that what we really want? Is there nothing more sacred. Anyway, do many people now understand what sacred mean. And do many people living this way believe in any religion at all? Even in Malaysia the state is trying to change religion into something that follows the trend instead of religion setting the trend. They call it Islam Hadhari*. I have better stop here before I be called talking about religion and politic, which are two forbidden subjects to be discussed without getting emotional about it. And living together unmarried, do people not get emotional about it?. Lets proceed to talking about having more than one wife.

(*From another perspective, one should read Hadhrah Islam vs Islam Hadhari by Ahmad Adnan Bin Fadzil published by As-Siyasah Enterprise, first edition August 2004.)

King Solomon had 1000 wives, so I am told. King David had 100 wives. Prophet Muhammad PBUM had 11 wives (I stand corrected), why is there issues when we Muslims are allowed 4 wives?. Why should other people worry?. So they say, "If you want to marry 4 wives then become a Muslim" Is that good enough reason to become a Muslim?. The Monks in the Vatican called Muslims "People who have multiple wives".

Now that is interesting. What about people who have multiple girl friends, like what have been reported in the press recently? That may not be bad, but what about people who have multiple mistresses? Its OK if you can afford it, financially, emotionally and the wife’s wrath if she finds out. Some wives even allow their husbands to keep Mistresses, its part of the custom. Or people who have women on the side, and no one knows - but God knows. Or people who have no relationship but fornicate with whatever partners they feel like fornicating with, behaving like cows and chicken, ducks, cats and dog, and horses. Even these animals have their limits and have a sort of selective culture. Even studs have controlled sex, even though they have multiple partners. But men (and women of course) are creatures with very unexplained sexual habits and never satisfied.

Women are like cats, they can be very good and friendly or they can be very nasty. When they want something out of you, they may raise their tails and start coming meowing to you, even sit on your lap or just lean their warm furry body (no wonder they call them pussy) against your legs. You give them something to play with or to eat and they look so grateful. And after that they just stroll away, or lying in warmth of the sun or in front of a fire beautifying themselves. And they can be very playful, turning their body around and stretching looking at you so innocent. And you can't help but to love a cat. But they are not really that good, their shedded fur may dirty the sofa and they have smelly shit. But they are very careful when they shit, they will always try to cover it, just like every women. If you have owned cats before, do you observe that if you give a cat something to eat, it will always guard it, and will growl loudly if another cat tries to get at it. Try giving a cat a fish and see how jealously it guards the fish.

Men are like dogs. They are always ready for 'encounters', especially the just coming of age dogs. They pee everywhere, at a tree trunk, at lamp posts and even against the wall, just like men. And during mating season, they will go all out to get the female dogs, just like men. And their mating season is all the year around, so there is no season really as long as the females are ready. But unlike men, they never force their way into a female dog but men do. But female dogs are very sporting. They let the male dogs fight over them but when they mate they let each other choose the mate they like. There will probably be a crowd of female following a male, and the male will try to mate as many as it can, like men. If there are more than one male there will be a fight but it soon ends when a female goes out of the group with the male it chooses. And at food time, the male will always get the best portion.

You may say that cats and dogs are irrelevant subject when introducing a subject about 4 wives. Maybe so, but it looks so similar, behaviour wise, on’t you think?

How do you really behave if say you have 100 wives. You have no time for anything. 1/3 of you waking hours you have to attend to your wives, 100 days in 365 days a year. Even if you do not attend to them, they still want your attention. But I suppose in those days, situations were different. And being Prophets they have special ‘gift’ from the Almighty. Women may not have been so demanding as they are today. Today's women want to be men, in everything. But is that their faults? Not really, its the men's fault, we let them be that way. Even the Malaysian Government are inclined that way, now they want more women as dercision makers. But don’t we enough women as decision makers now? Almost every husband make decision, unofficilly and/or officially, based on their home environment. And who controll the home but the wives. I suppose it all started way back when men were so sexually inclined, say after coming back home having been in a war, that when women refused their advances they went mad, I mean sexually frustrated so they just made sure that they got what they wanted sexually by letting the women ask for anything and do anything as long as the men got their sexual favours. And on top of that there are people who never marry or never allowed to be married so they advised those who are married to give away to women, the weaker creatures they said (they not knowing that women are the stronger creatures). Its just my speculation and may not be true. But women sure got their way, and always will want it that way. I remember when I stayed in this dig (lodging with a family in UK), in my student days, when my landlady asked her husband to do anything he always said. "Yes dear" and never even raised his head. And when they went to the pub together after the evening meals he always helped her to put her coat on and then opened the door and faithfully walked beside her, He was such a gentleman. He is now dead and I am told that the wife remarried and migrated to the USA. I suppose he had to then as my landlady then was his first wife and he her second husband. The first husband used to come and spend the weekend at the house. What they (I mean the first husband spending the weekend at the house) did I never found out. But the first husband was also such a gentleman that he seemed always to help in the house, and even a bit in the small front garden. And the incumbent husband allowed all that. I wonder what else he allowed?

But in some other parts of the world there is another extreme where women and men are concerned. In one City in SEA there is a restaurant that I have been to called "No Hand Restaurant". Its really a no hand place, you are served by girls (and women I suppose, I could hardly tell) without you even have to lift a finger. They did everything for you, even wipe you mouth. And the food was not bad and the service prompt. You can have almost anything you want even the after dinner dessert if you are willing to pay for more. And at that meal they showed you what you will have if you decide to have the after dinner dessert.
Men, just like dogs are greedy for female. Of course you need not marry them if you do not want to or be able to keep them and maintain them ‘unofficially’. Nowadays they called it "live in" girlfriends or boyfriends. But in Islam its a very sinful situation and if you have sexual relationship with them its a grave sin. And if you produce children then they are bastards, unlike in some society the society accepts bastards, they do not call them bastards anymore in the situation I mentioned above. Some society even praise those who raise bastards, charitable they say. Anyway most Muslim men marry because it is the expected thing to do, to procreate. And Prophet Muhammad PBUM mentioned that since he was married he expects all of his followers to marry if they can afford to. If they cannot afford to then Muslim men are expected to fast. There is a lot of meaning to that word "fast", fast can mean physical fast that is go without food, drinks etc etc similar to a normal Ramadan Muslim fast, that is from sunrise to sunset or when the Koraan said "fast" it may mean fast from sex. I would not know but all my Ustaz (Muslim Religious Teachers) say that fast mean go without whatever from sunrise to sunset. But what then after sunset? Ustaz said the you pray the whole night, the "night prayer" and probably read the Koraan. In that way you forget about women and sex. It s easy to say but when you are young you have certain physical problem, something voluntarily 'stands up'. Its a difficult life if you cannot afford to marry, but if you do not want to get married and be abstaining then you may just live a good life,. I have a few friends who are like that and they seem happy enough.

Now back to wives. A Muslim man, any man for that matter, would legally marry a wife, for better or for worse, in health and in sickness, till death do us part. As far as I know in other societies, non-Muslim, they must stick to having one wife till death. In certain societies they allow divorcee and remarriage to the same woman or marry another women. In some other societies divorce is not allowed (but I know that they still get divorce legally or not). If you decide to separate then you cannot (and should not) marry another women legally, in the eyes of the religion concerned. And in one minor society that I have heard of, you can share a wife, probably among the brothers. What strange arrangement in our eyes but to them its not strange, and I am told that it works. I saw a show about this on TV, National Geographic programme, and the programme said that its widely practiced in some Central Asian society. Anyway in Muslim society you can marry more than one wife legally. And many Muslim man remain with only one wife, or divorce that one wife and marry another. To take another wife or wives simultaneously is a difficult task, the first wife difficulties to accept the situation and the second wife reluctance to become the second wife (women's ego). But you may find the acceptance level may be high among few Muslim couple, who probably are very religious, either voluntarily or through threat by the husband. And some Muslim women believe that if they allow the husband to take more than one wife, with her permission and good faith, she has lready booked a ticket to Heaven.

A woman told me once that having another wife (or other wives) at the same time for a man is like that man sleeping on hard bare coconut shell with a frog under it croaking the whole night. Its both a mental and physical torture. But some men go through that just to satisfy themselves, and probably they do not mind going through all that as long as their ego is being satisfied. I am told that in a Muslim society to have more than one wife you must be fair to all the wives, stroke for stroke, if you know what I mean. But is that possible. Don't you have favourites? Don't the other wife/wives try to make her your favourite? I don't know and I never tried. But I know from what I have seen, sometimes the man would spent more time with the wife/wives who are younger or the ones with many children (or as a result of spending more time, produces many children). And sometimes the older wife agrees, "I like it when he doesn't disturb me that often". Wife being disturbed? I remember seeing one programme on Astro where they have this visit to Perth. This young wife in the programme kept repeating (many times mind you) that her husband was in KL attending to his business and she said something like " I don't enjoy my stay here if my husband is around, he disturbs me all the time". What does that mean to you?
Back to being ideally fair, I don't suppose any man can be really, I mean really, fair to all the wives. I was told that the story about King Solomon who one night decided to try to impregnate all his 1000 wives in one night, he wanted many children to expand his army. The story did not say that he was successful, but from the religious point of view the story ended with King Solomon not saying "Insya Allah" when he said he wanted to impregnate all his 1000 wives in one night. By not saying that he did not succeed. I suppose its too much to do all that impregnation in one night. May God forgive what I am saying.

It sounds so ideal to have more than 1 wife. I remember one Ustaz told me the virtue of having more than I wife. So that we have many homes to go back to and the other wives where the husband do not return to will have more time for herself, to do social work for example, to be with her children, siblings and parents. And if she works, she would sleep peacefully the whole night without the husband asking for her services. I thought that was a weak excuse but I am sure the Ustaz believed in what he said.

Remember P.Ramlee's film "Madu Tiga". Tricky wasn't it. Lies and more lies. But of course it being a story in a film it ended happily ever after.

Its not that easy to have more than one wife if you think seriously about it. Taking care of one wife is bad enough (Agreed?) but to add another and then another and then another, its like adding more burden on your back and one day your back will break. Some may even break on the second burden, and some has already broken on the first load. That is why some may just say "Yes dear", a broken horse.

But men being men, they are nasty creatures. They are hunters, they are explorers and adventurers. The nearest home where they can hunt and explore and be at adventure is with women. Some have good adventures and have a lot of stories to tell but most have bad adventures. And some misadventures and for some a mentally warped creature the adventure is when they turn to sexual abuse and rape. And with the high pressure in society today such as rape and sexual abuse, even in the same family or with own children and grandchildren. It becomes more rampant or was it rampant then but never reported?.

We all live in a dream world. We would like to command the world if we can and the smallest world that we can command is our own family. Some cannot even command their own family. And some try to expand that command into having more than one wife to expand their world. Is that expansion wise?

Can we blame the women for being defensive? And in their defense they become more offensive literally. They become 'men'. Saw the recent Olympic?

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Merdeka! Really?

Its the 47th Celebration of Independence (Merdeka) for Malaysia (Malaya to be exact as Malaysia only came in 1963), the National Day Parade will be held in Kuantan. And Kuantan will be packed jam with visitors as they expect about 200,000 visitors will be in town for the Celebration. I am proud of the fact that I was born during the British Colonial era, saw Independence Day being declared, and went through the thick and thin of nation building for Malaysia though I have never was given a major part in the nation building process but I must say that I have contributed my share. However there are certain aspects of Malaysia norms and daily events which I must comment, especially in the political scenes. And I must confess that in this area I have been only a bystander. But whatever happens in the political scenes still affect my life, my people now and generations to come.

There is no better secenes to describe the real happenings in the political arena but during an Election. Be the Election a General Election or a By-Election, the scenes are almost identical. In the General Election there are more people involved and the activities are wide spread whereas in the By-Election the activities are more concentrated and the air is heavier. During the time of writing this article there is a By-Elction going on the Trengganu State seat of Kuala Berang, called due to the demise of their previous State Representative. In writing this I have used certain harsh words, satire now and then and sometime I have tried to use pun to create a bit of humour. To me politic is all play acting thus the need for some play acting methods of write ups.
Malaysia election or erection? In Malaysia it is NOT the man that people vote for, it is the Party. The man only gets voted by being candidate in that Party. That is why as I said in one of my earlier write up, when a man contests in the Election as a candidsate for a Party, he/she can be a ‘monkey’ and still may win the election. Its a real monkey business in politic.

Malaysia fears the Party. If you are not in the ‘Party’ you may be sidelined, you may not get aid (AIDS is a dirty word but accepted by Malaysian -especially the Malays- like flies to dead carcasses) and without aid the Malays cannot survive. So the Malays mostly vote for the Party that they are familiar with and which have track records of aiding them and in giving them subsidies, moneywise especially. But in some places, it’s the religion that they vote for, as the Malays who are Muslims also fear the after-life. So the Malays have choices between UMNO and PAS. What are these? UMNO is United Malay Nationalist Organisation and PAS is Part Islam Se - Malaysia (in Jawi its spelt as Fa - Alif - Sin but when translated into Romanise alphabet it becomes PAS) - Malaysian Pan Islamic Party.

Why I said ‘aid’? Let us look at the profile of a Malay who may be a member of UMNO or PAS. A Malay who is an UMNO member have 90% chance of being awarded Government Contract, get businesses, get taxi licences, get low cost houses (now they call them affordable houses), get everything that they want just by being in the Party and when in trouble bring all their woes to the power that be. And the ‘power’ is usually someone high in the Party heirachy. And by being in the Party and voting for the Party candidate, you are assured of your aid and also assured that your woe not only get listened to but attended to as well. So you become rich and can own big and expensive cars and can live in exclusive areas with big houses and your children assured of getting good education, and later your children also joining the Party (on being adults) and maybe become a ‘power’ or become famous. I am not just speculating, But I know. I have a neighbour who is very rich because he is a Party official, another neighbour who has to join the Party just to get a low cost (affordable) flat, another neighbour who looks to be very active in the Party as he own a second hand car business, and some Professional who have been asked to join the Party if ever they want to be considered to be awarded Governments Contracts. And so they all join the Party. Once you are in the Party you are taken care of, even the annual subscription is paid for you if you forget to pay, the Party doing it just to maintain its large membership number – and so can boast that it has a large following. But in reality, one only will know if the number is that big by counting the votes that the voters vote for that Party during the Election time. There is no such thing as the Party members number being audited by any independent auditor.

The profile for a PAS member may be as follows. (But not necessarily so as UMNO now has taken in a lot of people with Islamic religion background into their fold to fight PAS. Like if you cannot fight them, then you join them – in this case make them join you). A PAS member may look very religious (though not necessarily so) wearing their white skullcap and quoting the Koranic verses and the Hadith when they make speeches (even some UMNO members who has no religious teachings background also quote Koraanic verses and Hadith sometimes when they make speeches – though they may not even understand really what they quoted). A PAS member probably wear Baju Melayu (the Malay dress) but of course not with songkok (black velvet Malay cap) but instead with white skullcap. Or they may even wear the Arabic dress, white (or sometimes green or black) ‘jubah’ Demographically they are quite poor, living in the kampong and mostly non-Government servants. Some PAS officials may drive big cars (not as big as those UMNO officials) and they may own some small retail business or they may be a Headmaster in an Islamic religious school or they may even be petty traders. Not many make it big (other that professional like Doctors) as all their paths to wealth are blocked by UNMO, being the ruling Party in the Government. And if PAS members become too big, then they are cut down to size as maybe their bank loan will have very stringent conditions attached. So their profile is quite different from that of UMNO members.

With such different in profile you can predict how the votes are going to swing in any Election in Malaysia. Of course there are the exceptions. But these exceptions suffer materially when that happens.

Now as go on, when I say UNMO after this, it also covers the other Barisan Nasional (BN) components (National Front, a combination of parties collaborating in managing Malaysia and forming the Government when they win an Election). When I say PAS after this it also includes other small political parties contesting against the BN. These used to have a Alternative collaboration (they used to call it BA) but it broke apart as each small party has different visions.
Malaysia is a funny country in that sense when coming to politic and the Election. The Party who was in power after the previous Election is still called the ‘Government’, even though Parliament might have been dissolved. The others are called Opposition. Funny but its true. And being the ‘Government’ then they still rule. They control the mass media (newspapers and radio stations and TV stations in Malaysia are controlled strictly by the ‘Goverment', some newspapers are owned by the ‘Government'). The result? The so called ‘Opposition’ has very little chance to get to the voters. Not only the chance is restricted in that sense, but also the period of campaigning for the Election is very short. Its only about 8 days after Nomination Day in the last General Election. In the olden days it was two weeks of about that period. So the path is very difficult for PAS (and other ‘Opposition’ parties) to gain ground. Sometimes you get fed up of watching the TV or listening to the radio or even read the local press. What the ’Government’ does is always projected as the ‘good’ and what the ‘Opposition’ does is always projected as the ‘evil’. And the public just listen (as they say in England "You open your legs for old England"). Anyway they will not be able to do anything to counter such ‘Government’ propaganda as they have no mean to, no mass media and if they go overboard they get held under the ISA. What is ISA? You have to find that out yourself. So a member of the public like me just grins and bears.

I use ‘erection’ for a purpose. The Election is mean of being elected into power and a mean of making wealth. And there is plenty of wealth to be made if you are in the right Party, and that wealth and power may go to your next generation, thus an erection of your dynasty. I must say that there is talk of controll now but we have a long way to go in Malaysia.
So politically Malaysia is still not that matured. Malaysia fears its own shadow, it cannot trust itself neither its citizen. In this part of the world, Singapore, Thailand and Indoenesia to my mind are far ahead in their political maturity. After 47 times celebrating our independence from the British rules we are still tottering about politically.

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Hospital Again

2/8/04 was a historic day in my life in a sense that I drove along the Karak/Kuantan Highway for the first time, after it was opened yesterday. I have already described that in, my other blog. What I am writing here is what happened when I arrived in Kuantan.

On arriving in Kuantan just after noon after a 2 1/2 hours drive from KL, I was as fit as a fiddle (so I thought). So I went straight into my work activities, and also went to pay my bills in town. But that night at about 11.00 pm after I felt asleep for about 1 hour I felt nauseated, pain in my chest that moved up to my neck. At first I thought nothing of it but after remembering that many had taken their last breath this way, I dressed up and told my wife to drive me to the nearest hospital. I did not want to tell then about my condition and my fear as she might panic. Of course not knowing what was happening to me she took her time to dress up. I was already in great pain and so I went downstairs and into the car, sat in the passenger’s seat waiting and hoping that she might hurry up. At last she was ready and she drove me to the nearest hospital, the Kuantan Medical Centre (KMC) which is one of the private hospitals in Kuantan. (The nearest hospital is really the Kuantan General Hospital but she had a bad experience at that Hospital earlier recently). I was immediately set to be admitted, but the admittance process was very slow, so I thought - in my condition. There was only a Staff Nurse and a very young female Doctor to attend and to take care of me on admission. And they nearly panicked, so I thought when they saw the condition I was in. I suppose I must have looked like someone who was about to get a heart attack. They took my temperature, blood pressure, ECG and whatever else they could do. They tried to consult their Senior Doctor by phone but could not contact him (he had just come back from leave so I was told). But they admitted me into a Ward.

I said that they were slow, as compared to what had happened at a Hospital I was admitted to last week where the admittance process was very methodical and very fast. Everyone at that KL Hospital seemed to know exactly what each was supposed to do, to examine and to admit a patient. But when I was admitted in the KL Hospital last week was during the day time, so I suppose I cannot really compare apple to apple to what could have happened had I been admitted during the late hour of the night.

Anyway at KMC I was wheeled into a single room with my own private TV and a private toilet (luxury?). I did not care really as I was too ill then. My wife contacted her sister, who lives in Kuantan town, and her husband about my condition and they came. And the Hospital night ward staff came to attend to me, poked needles in my hand where they put a drip. And I was too ill to care. They made me swallow a few pills, I thought they did that but I could not remember that well as I was already delirious, I think. I only ralised where I was by early next morning, I was still dressed up in my jeans and t-shirt, and I was like this for the next day as I did not want to change into proper bed clothes. I thought I was to ill for that. And for a day or two Nurses came like clockwork to give me medicine, change my drip and inject me with God knows what. And the Nurses, they were really medical robots, just say "Hullo", jab you or put medicine on your table, or take your blood or blood samples and just moved on. No real smile, no sympathetic remarks, just did their work and that was it. Except of course the Sisters and sometimes the Matron comes over to enquire about your condition.

But I must admit that the Doctor that took charge of me was good. Old, experienced and very good bed manners. Talked to me, asked me how I was and what else that I could tell him about me and my past illness history. Unlike my experience in the Hospital in KL where the Doctor knew (I thought they knew) exactly what you suffer from and how to treat you. Without wishing to compare, the Doctor at KMC gave me almost different medicine from what was given in KL. With jabs, blood sampling, blood tests, pills and drips, after about 3 days I felt a bit better and I was almost ready to be discharged. But what got me was I could not eat, my mouth was always bitter. But I suppose that helped to reduce my glucose level, without food my glucose level felt drastically, it went down to below 10 most of the time. It never went that low for a long time, since a couple of years if I remember properly (except during the fasting month of Ramadan). And the Doctor at KMC also had managed to almost cure my cough which I have been suffering for over 1 month then. The Doctor in KL thought that I suffered for asthma and he treated me so. The Doctor at KMC stopped my asthma treatment and treated me for cough. And I was cured. I do not wish to be critical on Doctors but I suppose even Doctor makes mistakes.

The condition at KMC, a bit different from that what I experienced in KL. I suppose its not fair for me to compare as I was in a single room in KMC but was in a 4 - 8 bedded room at the KL Hospital. But I must say that the Nurses at the KL Hospital was more caring socially but in KMC they were very mechanical but very efficient in taking samples and giving you medicine. Of course in KL they are also efficient in that area.

But being admitted into a private hospital is not really a place to rest. In the KL Hospital it ‘party time’ all the time and in KMC it was ‘family time’ all the time. I have never thought that whole families would come to visit the sick, but they do come really. So the place was noisy, I felt that it was quieter in my own homes than in hospitals, in KL or in Kuantan for that matter. And I suppose I was more ill due to the noise that what I was really was.

Anyway after about 3 days I was ready to go home. On the morning I was about to be given a discharge by the Doctor, I had many visitors. But after the visitors left, I was suddenly seized with a severe headache. I thought I had migraine, but the Doctor privately told my wife that I nearly had a stroke. So then again I was measured, sampled, dripped and whatever else, jabbed and all that. I was really ill again then (more serious I thought). I could not eat. I was like this for the next 4 days. But by then I have already told everyone (by SMS) that I was about to be discharged, so because of that I was more at peace in the hospital with no more visitors. But the noise from the other people visitors still bothered me and there was nothing I could do about that. And I was only discharged from KMC 4 days later.

I ought to say something about the food served at the hospital that I have been admitted to lately. In KL they tried to please you by giving you the chance to select from a menu. A choice of either Malaysian or Western (so they claim). I chose Western as I find that Malaysian food are either too hot or too smelly (at least to me then when I was ill). I almost puke every time I smell the food (even when served to others near me). It must have been that I was ill that caused me to react that way. As for the Western food, they tasted bland to me, either it was my taste buds not in an agreeable mode (mood?) or that the way it was cooked did not agree with what I think Western food should taste like. I wasted the food. In Kuantan they confessed that they buy food from the nearby restaurant. They gave me the menu to choose the food from. It looked good, so in the first day I ordered some Malaysian food, those not hot and those I imagine not smelly. The food came and it was too plentiful for a sick men like me then. I took some of the food, not too tasty but I was able to eat. But it was too much so I wasted much of the food. After that I had food brought by my wife, either she buys them somewhere else or she had her sister to cook for me. But again I was too ill to eat much. I ate a lot of fruits though, apples and pears, which again I had to be very careful not to eat in excess in case my glucose level shot up. Until I was discharged, I did not eat very much except for some biscuit (and imported fruits) and plain water to wash them down with. But when I was discharged I felt the pang of hunger so I bought a BigMac. That was good. But even then I was still being very careful with my food as my taste buds had still to come back to normal and I was also trying to preserve my glucometer reading as low as possible, at least to a reading of less than 10. My favourite food until today is still tinned Chinese dace in black bean (in vege oil) with some boiled rice (earlier it was rice porridge). But I did go to some nice Western food restaurants in Kuantan to satisfy my crave for good Western food.

I must say that being hospitalised is not a pleasant experience. It was to satisfy your health need and nothing more. I do not know how people can tell me that they go into a hospital (or a Medical Centre) for a rest. I need a proper holiday now.

Before I close I must confess that people do care when you are ill. My wife was with me all the time when I was in the Kuantan Hospital, and most of the time when I was hospitalised in KL. And in KL I had many visitors. And my children (who are in KL) were there many time to see how I fared and when I was in Kuantan Hospital one of my daughters drove from KL to see me. And a friend also drove from KL with his wife to attend to some business and also to see me. But by the time they came I was already discharged from the hospital. But we went for dinner together. And in Kuantan also friends and relative who are in Kuantan came, even some I have not met before or had not met for a long time. And when I told some old Classmate about my conditions, many called to express their concerned (especially when a Classmate had just died in KL during my stay at the Hospital in Kuantan). A husband and wife team from Alor Star ( whom I used to work with when I was working in Alor Star) was about to take a trip to Kuantan to see me at the Hospital. Lucky they called when they were about to come, and I managed to tell them that I was already dischaerged. So they did not come. To all those who are concerned, I wish to express my gratitude.

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