I work hard so my government can afford RM4,000 clocks

– CL Tang
The Malaysian Insider
October 06, 2013

Monday blues again. I dragged myself out of bed, for yet another day of traffic jams, mundane work and greasy lunches. As I arrived at my office barely on time, I noticed it is just the first week of the month. Yet another 3 weeks to go before that next paycheck.

It is an important day today – the company is due to sign a huge contract with the government. The company chairman will get to buy a new Rolls Royce, and I may get a promotion with a big pay rise. I buzzed my assistant to bring in the contract that we have spent the last month putting together.

She walked in, looking rather perplexed, and muttered,” Sorry boss, I lost my briefcase that contains the contract, including my laptop and the back-up disk”. I sank into my chair. “What?! How can you lose such an important document?” I yelled. She blinked her thick eyelashes and whimpered,” Boss, if the police can lose 44 guns and their boss is not even cross with them, why are you so harsh with me?” I did not know how to respond to that as she stormed out, lips pouting.

I proceeded to the dreaded Chairman’s office to inform him of the delay. He was sporting a brand new gold watch that must have weight several kilo’s. “Aren’t we signing the new contract today with the good Minister?” he queried, as he flicked through a car magazine. I made up an excuse about having to delay the signing due to some last minute corrections. “Ah good, good, mark it up by several million. The government just asked for more money and they got it. As good citizens, we must help them spend it”, he remarked. I nodded with relief.

The rest of the morning passed on grudgingly. Just after lunch, my Marketing guy walked in. “Boss, I think we will land a huge contract with Mr. Wong! I wined and dined him yesterday and he promised us a new deal!” he reported. Ah…finally some good news. As he produced his receipt, I can’t help but notice it is a handwritten one, simply with the words, “Entertainment Claims: Very expensive fish and very expensive wine, total RM 5000”. “Where’s the proper receipt?” I asked. The Marketing guy gave a mocked indignation, protesting, “Don’t you trust me, Boss? Even our government accepts all sorts of receipts without question…”

(Months later, after he left to join a government agency, I found out he actually brought Mr. Wong to the local McDonald’s. Both had fish burger. We never got the deal).

I looked at the clock, wishing it could somehow go faster. I know it can’t. It’s a cheap clock, costing less than RM20. Now I wished we could have gotten the expensive ones, the same ones that the government paid close to RM4000 each. Surely those expensive clocks can make the day seemed shorter, or at least give me a massage when I feel stressed. Those lucky folks at the TV station…

In what seemed like an eternity, finally, it’s time to pack and go home. As on cue, my Iphone rang. Its Contractor Lee. “Mr. Tan-ah, your house renovation, sorry, must top up another RM15,000. Material prices all increase-la. You know, government GST and all…” he shouted into the phone. “The GST has not even been implemented yet! And even so, how can it go up so much overnight?!” I objected. “Aiya, trust me-la, Mr. Tan… prices all go up already. Aiyo, even government buildings can have massive cost overrun. Haven’t you read the AG report? The government doesn’t even get any warranties, but I give you guarantee 3 months, ok?” Lee continued.

Too tired to argue, I put down the phone and made a mental note to cancel the holiday to Melbourne. The wife is not going to be happy. – 6 Oktober, 2013.

  1. #1 by rjbeee on Sunday, 6 October 2013 - 9:41 pm

    This is the type of ketuanan we have semua mahu..When are we going to get rid of this running d…gs

  2. #2 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Sunday, 6 October 2013 - 10:42 pm

    We all work hard so that Perkasa Chief Ibrahim Ali can run riot.

    He is already a 1-man riot.
    Probably if the government gives him a blank cheque book, he will stop all his riotous nonsense.

  3. #3 by raven77 on Sunday, 6 October 2013 - 11:08 pm

    This is what finally tipped the average Egyptian to act and get rid of Mubarak…..but in Malaysia,it aint gonna happen…….

  4. #4 by sheriff singh on Sunday, 6 October 2013 - 11:20 pm

    The phone rings, Mr Tan picks up the call.

    Chairman: Tan-boy. Has those gold plated golf sets and golf balls arrived from Japan yet ?

    Tan-boy: Yes, Boss. Just came in by Fedex Special, Urgent, delivery.

    Chairman: Good, good. I need them for that very special, private golf game this evening. Stakes very high you know.

    Tan-boy: Wah, boss, you going to hantam those big-shots from the Ministry-ah?

    Chairman: No, no, you silly Tan-boy. The sets are for those big shots. I told them these are magical golf sets blessed by that Lillian Tool God, no less, sure win big time one every time they use them. They ALWAYS get hole in one and score 18 for a par 72 and they win big bucks from our bets. You know how it is lah. I always kalah RM 10,000 per hole to them you know.

    Tan-boy: They so good ah? Why don’t you practice your game, boss?

    Chairman: I always play my ‘best’ (hahaha) but they are always ‘very good’. They always very happy at the 19th hole. In the end they console me by giving me those contracts to help cheer me up (aside: those suckers!!).

    Tan-boy: No wonder your tray is always full and our lawyers very happy.

    Chairman: One day Tan-boy I will bring you as my caddy and you will learn.

    I have got to go now and practice how to miss my holes by a mile.

    Tan-boy: Good conning, Boss. Oh before you leave, can you sign my claim for another RM 5,000 fishy fish ?

    Chairman: OK. OK. You sure like to eat a lot of fish.

  5. #5 by Jeffrey on Monday, 7 October 2013 - 6:32 am

    To be sure the tendency to be corrupt is quite universal but a society is in deep trouble when it’s systemic as when prices of clocks were marked up to RM4000 each. The problem is not just top level corruption, but as this satirical piece shows, the corrupt & cheating tied up with egoistic/materialistic values permeate from top and broadens down to all levels below amongst people – for examples Chairman wants Rolls Royce/gold watch to impress, has no problem to mark up his own co’s contracts by “several millions” and even justifies govt asking for more money and “as good citizens, we must help them spend it”, the Marketing Guy inflating and cheating on the entertainment bill etc. The Marketing Guy probably wonders why work so hard so that my government can afford RM4,000 clocks, I may as well join in to work smart (inflate entertainment bill) than hard so that I too can afford a RM5,000 clock!

  6. #6 by Jeffrey on Monday, 7 October 2013 - 6:33 am

    What is insidious that the Satire underlines is that no sooner, the ordinary guy, private citizen also joins in the corruption and egoism of top echelons in apparent resignation that as prices/inflation rise, problems of everyday survival become pressing (let alone affording holiday to Melbourne) unless one ameliorates and mitigates the progressive impoverishment by joining in with that (corruption cheating image etc) which one cannot fight against…Thus a self feeding chain reaction and corruption and a cavalier attitude to making money as much as possible without ethical concerns broadens down as part of norm and culture shared by more and more through observation of and interaction with others who benefit from such behaviour. Instead of having more watch dogs against the corrupt, the ranks of the corrupt swell instead.

  7. #7 by Bigjoe on Monday, 7 October 2013 - 7:55 am

    As ridiculously valid the comments are, its really not even the main point. The point is if we continue to pay our taxes and other things to buy RM4000 clocks, OUR CHILDREN/GRANDCHILDREN WILL NOT HAVE JOBS TO PAY EVEN FOR THE RM20 CLOCK much less taxes to pay for anything else.

  8. #8 by lee tai king (previously dagen) on Monday, 7 October 2013 - 9:50 am

    The news are no longer shocking!

    We have been well and truly de-sensitised by those yearly reports of exreme wonton, no mindless, spending. No no no, actually no words could describe the ridiculous and out of this world spending excesses. BTW, I am sure the same de-sensitisation could work if only the umno gobermen was willing to be more open with what they deem to be sensitive issues like religion etc etc. If they had done so, perhaps by now we could call each other names and still laugh about it.

    Anyway, I am lost for words over two related issues: (1) how could those monkeys go on wasting good money like that without repercussions or legal consequences; and (2) how could voters not bother and continue to vote umno election after election.

    I know, as they say the partying can not go on indefinitely. But how long more must we endure such endless and unlimited stupidity?

  9. #9 by boh-liao on Monday, 7 October 2013 - 10:55 am

    Dis is M’sia mah, got world standard 1, no need accountability
    Gomen officers sit inside air-con rooms 2 serve n con rakyat lor
    Make sure all Indian M’sians who supported UmnoB/BN read dis: http://www.semparuthi.com/?p=101099#comments

  10. #10 by boh-liao on Monday, 7 October 2013 - 10:58 am

    Actually all M’sians must read dis http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/243149

  11. #11 by Di Shi Jiu on Monday, 7 October 2013 - 11:40 am

    lee tai king (previously dagen),

    Well, you asked the questions and I could not resist answering :)

    “…. (1) how could those monkeys go on wasting good money like that without repercussions or legal consequences…”

    Eeerr… maybe they have other monkeys watching over them who in turn have more monkeys watching the monkeys who are watching the offending monkeys and so it goes all the way to the top of the tree?

    “… (2) how could voters not bother and continue to vote umno election after election….”

    53% of voters DID NOT vote UMNO in GE13.

    The other 47% were distributed across enough rural seats to make a HUGE difference. These 47% of voters were then cleverly manipulated using cultural mores, money, gifts, empty promises, and maybe even peanuts.

    “…how long more must we endure such endless and unlimited stupidity?…”

    It’s another 4 years or so to go before GE14.

    Be patient.

    Meanwhile, there is much to do.

    Connect with your neighbours and friends, encourage them to reach out to others and wherever possible, develop friendships with those from rural Malaysia.

    Heheheheh!! Here’s another cute trick – if you are from a strong urban seat like Seputeh or Kepong, register yourself and your friends in a rural seat for GE14 :)

    I suspect something similar was done by UMNO/BN for GE13. You see, once they were comfortable with their numbers in Sabah/Sarawak from all those free giveaway ICs, they registered and shipped all excess voters back to rural seats in Peninsular Malaysia.

    It may explain the huge exodus we saw then from Sabah/Sarawak to Peninsular Malaysia.

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