Atchafalaya Swamp

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Tagged 5 Benda: Skim versi 'pakmantelo' di era siber

Okay, I admit. I view TAG with the same derision as pakmantelo MLM schemes and ladies 'main kutu'. Okay, not with the same derision as old ladies 'main kutu'. My wife, mother, and mother-in-law would not take kindly to that statement as they are lovers and players of 'kutu'.

Tokasid, the person who tagged me, a fellow Taiping-ite like pakmantelo should've have known better about the dangers of MLM and its various ponzi pyramid schemes (who hasn't at least once in his life become a member of an MLM scheme? Come on --own up! I know I joined Amway just to buy stuff like car wash detergents and lens tissue for my 'specs). And as medical doctor tokasid should also know that this tagging business brings about undue stress to the participants. It might also unwittingly elevate blood pressure like mine did. But okay-lah, like they say, I should be a good sport.

Here goes junk and more junk that you don't need to know about Mat Salo.


Huh? I'd figured this tagging game was for the ladies. But wattahack, in case I turn into one, a bencong, I'm sure I'll be totting a Giamax or Bonia --the Italian inspiration, but made in Puchong. So what's wrong with that?

1. Condom for my customers. Not expensive ones, not du-lek like da apek pimp in Belakang Mati like to say. Just enough to get the job done.
2. K-J Jelly. Why? To "lubricate" matters --better than K-Y any day.
3. Some lozenges (Fisherman's Friend) and some sweets like Hacks. Some customers prefer 'air-con' you see.
4. Cigarrettes --not mine. I usually get my customers to buy them.
5. In The Arms of Melancholic Prostitutes, a Novel. Not by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, but the one by Mat Salo.


Again, I don't have a purse or a bum-bag like pasar malam traders like to wear. But just in case I had one:-

1. Name cards of Namewee. I mean, no offence but how do you pronounce it really?
2. Name cards of all MINDEF Agents and CONtractors in Mayshia. This is one hot meal ticket, folks. Too hot that it can actually get you blown to pieces.
3. Customers name cards who like to impress prostitutes like me. Ho-hum. Funny thing is, they never let you call them lest their wives know.
4. Visa and MC cards. Whom I wish to thank since their constant calls and repetitive reminders is what prompted to me to sell my ass in the first place.
5. Lipstick. Invented by ancient Mesopotamians 5000 years ago to make prostitutes' lips appear fuller and more enticing. Betcha didn't know that, didcha?


1. My King-Sized mattress. Expensive, but not as expensive as a Sealy. Can you imagine spending RM30K on a mattress? Outrageous. But the salesgirl whom we bought if from the shop in SS2 claimed it's comparable to a Sealy. Yeah, right. So we bought the Sealy lookalike and have loved it ever since. It's what we could afford anyway.
2. My 36" CRT Philips Widescreen TV. These were the days before plasma and LCD's. Being an humonguos old-fashioned CRT TV, you know how much the damn thing weigh my friend? 91 kilos. That's heavier than some of you (except for some chegu in Penang that I know). The wooden cabinet on which it stands is sagging. Why, oh why did I buy it? The excellent picture, of course.
3. My daughter's crib. It's a hand me down from her Form 2 brother which was further handed down to her 6-year-old brother. So you can imagine the state it was in. In anticipation of our long awaited Alesha Michelle, I spent two whole days in the sun painting the crib from blue to a girlish pink, risking heartburn and skin cancer (and suffering serious sunburn in the process) restoring it to its former glory.
4. My daughter, who is often in the crib. No explanations necessary. Aha, but she's not a thing, is she?
5. My bedside table. Where my I keep my favorite books, magazines and Nokia charger.

5 THINGS I WOULD LIKE TO DO. (If more, jangan la mare ye)

1. Spend more time with my kids. I don't care about quality, I just want more time!
2. Earn the respect of my father, who wished I was born a doctor. It's ok now, I gotta sis who is.
3. Learn ballroom dancing or perform the salsa with a partner, my wife preferably. Being a klutz, I'm just sooooo envious of people who can dance.
4. See more of this world (as if I haven't seen enough).
5. Learned to play music properly and learned to read notes.
6. Should've gone to either USC or UCLA film school. I fancy myself that I have what it takes to be a world-famous film director.
7. Be able to grow old long enough to give my daughter away...


1. Commiting khalwat with a 23-year-old lithsome, wholesome Engineer from Padang, West Sumatera who shares the work cabin with me. This is not a joke. BTW, for those in know, posa batal tak?
2. Wondering on how to pay back an extensive mortgage that I had just taken up in back home. This was from reading too many Azizi Ali books!
3. Kicking myself for missing Zohor prayers. I was 'too busy' doing this blog post. Err, also for those in the know, posa batal tak? (I suspect in conjunction with khalwat, sure batal one)
4. Drilling a well. Between items 3 and 4, was just summoned to the drill floor to intervene in a potential "hole" problems. Boy, don't we all have hole problems.
5. Pray that my skills as writer will improve, and be as witty and as funny as my blogger friends whom I envy oh so much.

Now that wasn't so bad was it?

Now the caveat is this: tagging ends here as a mark of respect to our daughter (she's our daughter --yours and mine - the Nation's ) Nurin and other victims of misfortune around the world in this holy month of Ramadhan Al-Mubarrak.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

By the Tongue, By The Sword, By The Dick: A Bugis Philosophy

IT SOUNDS A BIT CRUDE, I know, but this was exactly the theme of DPM Dato Sri Muhammad Najib Tun Razak’s acceptance speech when awarded the doctorate honoris causa (honorary degree) from Indonesia’s Hasanuddin University in Makassar, South Sulawesi Monday.

Najib, awarded the doctorate in Political Economy, was the 6th recipient in a convocation attended by Indonesia’s Vice-President and fellow Bugis Jusuf Kalla. Najib admitted that in preparing for the speech he was “coached” by Indonesian VP Jusuf Kalla on this seminal Bugis philosophy.

To the uninitiated, the Three Tips philosophy - tellu cappa in Bugis-speak (literally tiga ujung) - hence, three tips - is often quoted as a useful philosophy for solving disputes.

George Acciacoli, a noted Bugis scholar, writes that:

The three tips [tellu cappa'] encompass the tongue, the knife blade, and the penis. If a Bugis cannot integrate himself with the local leaders by diplomatic consultation (by the tip of his tongue), he may have to resort to armed battle (by the tip of his knife blade). But, best of all, he will be able truly to integrate himself in the new community by marrying one (or more) of the local women (by the tip of his penis).[1]

Interestingly the Sulawesi press made much of Najib’s genealogy as a descendant of Raja Gowa.

Najib – if the claim holds true - is therefore an Anak Raja Bugis.

The other famous Anak Raja Bugis is of course, Raja Petra Kamaruddin, owner of popular Malaysia’s website Malaysia-Today. Editorials and articles in Malaysia-Today are often critical of Najib.

The embattled Deputy Prime Minister is also implicated in the Altantunya murder by virtue of his association with close political adviser Abdul Razak Baginda. Abdul Razak is jointly charged with murder along with two bodyguards from Najib’s own personal security detail. Critics have questioned how an ordinary civilian like Abdul Razak was able to order “the hit”, thus giving rise to speculation and lending credence to conspiracy theorists.

Najib was also once scandalized by rumors of a romantic link with a popular local songstress. For the record, Datin Sri Rosmah is Najib’s second wife. Najib’s first marriage to Tengku Puteri Zainah Tengku Eskandar ended in divorce but the earlier union produced three children.

In light of Najib’s “Ladies Man” reputation, I wonder if it was appropriate for him to quote the Bugis Three Tips philosophy in his acceptance speech; particularly with regards to the tip-of-the penis, which I’m sure, many will find to be in very poor taste. Hopefully Najib had attended the event in a private capacity, and had not hurt the Malaysian taxpayers one bit by paying his own way to Makassar. If he flew by government private jet (read: rakyat's money), only to deliver a speech paying homage to the tip of the penis . . . well then, the rakyat has every right to be upset.

Fajar Online
also reported that during his short stay in Makassar, Najib officially inaugurated Malaysia’s Honorary Consulate and installed Hashim Kalla, Vice President’s Jusuf Kalla’s younger brother as the Honorary Consul. Makassar has a sizeable Malaysian population comprising mainly medical students from Hasanuddin University.

©Mat Salo 2007.


Source (1) http://wwwsshe.murdoch.edu.au/intersections/issue10/idrus.html#n49#n49 (Original Source: Fajar Online, South Sulawesi)

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Malaysia The Arrogant

© Gatra

On the cusp of turning 50, Malaysia rears its ugly, arrogant head

Sorry for being tardy in updating my blog. Have been a bit busy lately, and I'm sure, so have you. What with celebrating Merdeka and busy pondering over the bujet.

Working in Indonesia I had the unenviable task of fending off criticisms (and still coming in, I assure you) over the "Wasit Donald" incident. Just to refresh you a bit, Wasit (referee) Donald, the Indonesian karate referee who was ignominiously waylaid and beaten up by four plainclothes policemen outside the Allson Klana Resort in Nilai, Negri Sembilan a week before our so-called "50 th"
Merdeka celebrations.

This had created a furore of sorts in Indonesia.

And the cries of Ganyang Malaysia are still heard in some venerable hot spots across this vast archipelago of close to a quarter billion people.

Gatra, the influential weekly newsmagazine, chose to do a front cover piece on the relations between Indonesia and Malaysia in its latest September 6th edition.

Malaysians need to be reminded that Indonesia’s press is truly free, and they can choose to highlight whatever they like – no “4th Floor” pseudo-editors to whip the Malaysian press and shape the Nation’s news. Therefore it is prudent for Malaysia to mind their bigger tetangga.

Although the press in Malaysia chose not to carry news of Pak Lah’s personal telephone call to President SBY apologizing over the incident, that event was fortunately given a lot of prominence here. So was IGP Tan Sri Musa Hassan’s personal letter of apology (in English) read by Malaysia’s Ambassador to Indonesia Dato’ Zainal Abidin to Donald Kolopita at his bedside at Jakarta’s Pertamina hospital.

I say “fortunate” because perhaps the apology helped douse some of the raging fire of discontent of its citizens. However, some quarters here simply think that ‘Sorry, for the incident – we promise to investigate and deal with the culprits in accordance with Malaysian laws’ – simply isn’t enough. They want justice to be seen and done swiftly.

Even seating Indonesia's VP Yusuf Kalla (a Bugisman too, I might add) in the guest of honor position flanking PM Pak Lah and fellow DPM-cum-Bugisman at the recent Merdeka morning parade didn't help to cool things down. In fact, speculation abounds as to why SBY spurned the invitation to attend and sent his deputy instead was to placate his critics. But this could all be "spin", eh?

There were reports of Petronas petrol stations in Jakarta being blockaded although I can’t confirm this.

There were reports of marauding youths attempting to harass visiting Malaysian badminton players at a hotel in Surabaya.

In Bogor last week, three Malaysian Chinese were expelled for allegedly "working" in Indonesia, thus violating express conditions stipulated on their tourist visas. The knee jerk tit-for-tat response, I suppose.

I now carry my Indonesian Residency Permit (KITAS) on my person at all times if I happen to be in town. Even the once free-wheeling Mat Salo is getting paranoid.

(Like the rules arbritarily enforced on Indonesian guest workers at the whims and fancies of RELA personnel, pehaps carrying just the KITAS alone isn't enough. One can get detained for not carrying the passport AND the work permit too, for example.)

I was also alerted by my Indonesian friends and colleagues here on the sudden proliferation of emails telling other instances of abuses by Malaysian authorities (read: PDRM / RELA) meted on their citizens (especially bona fide Indonesian tourist's tales-of-woe) while visiting Malaysia.

In Tempo’s editorial - another popular and influential weekly newsmagazine -it even highlighted our penchant for calling them by the derogatory term Indon.

Just last week, about 50-stong GOLKAR’s Pemuda Pancasila (PP) - Komite Nasional Pemuda Indonesia (KNPI) - sort of their version of Malaysia’s infamous Pemuda UMNO's Gerak Gempur battalion (who, for some, have likened the group to thugs) descended upon Balikpapan’s Malaysia military attaché office to “demo” and hand over a memorandum. Fortunately, our liason officer here, a Mejar, and a close friend of mine, managed to persuade the protesters to calm down and accepted their memorandum with promises to hand the memo over to our embassy in Jakarta.

The Mejar lamented that I wasn't around to lend him moral support when his compound was besieged. On the drilling barge I was already held in a state of siege myself.

The next day, Balikpapan Post reported on the incident with the headline Arogansi Bukan Budan Melayu (Arrogance is not part of the Malay psyche).

Frankly, being the sole Malaysian in a floating barge surrounded by over 100 seething Indonesians makes me a wee bit jittery.

But really, I have no fear of what can personally befall me. I can deal with that. After all I have dealt with rebel leaders in war-torn Southern Sudan before. Back in ’98 I was chased by Burmese military policemen as I tried to enter the street where Nobel Laureate Daw Aung Sang Syu Kii lives (she was – and still is - under house arrest). I wanted to see what her house looked like. And did I tell you I once had the unfortunate experience of being an overnight guest in a US prison? But all that pales in comparison to the shame I’m feeling now. Shame is something hard for me to take. I’ll take fear over shame any day.

Oh, how can we, as Malaysians, have become so arrogant?

© Antara News Agency

© Antara News Agency

My heartfelt appreciation to fellow Malaysian bloggers Rocky Brew, Elizabeth Wong, Mob 1900, Tokasid and Nathaniel Tan for bringing the issue into the Malaysian conciousness. Please click on the respective links to their blogs for a more comprehensve view.

Finally I will leave you to ponder this Indonesian (written in English) blog that I happened to have chanced upon recently.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Hard to say I am sorry

You know, people say in politics you can spin anything. Not this time, eh Malaysia. It looks bad whichever angle you look at it. Come on.

Background story, read here.

How do you spin a news about policemen beating up a civilian (who is a foreigner) for no obvious reason?

This, of course does not mean we are saying that Indonesian police is better. But you know, with all the news we read about Malaysia, the economic successes (in relative comparison to Indonesia), we thought things would be better there than here. And many things are: Indonesian GNI per capita for example, is USD 1,280, while Malaysia is USD 4,970. Life expectancy at birth, Indonesia 68 years, Malaysia 74 years [1].

But apparently some things remain the same: Read the comments on Malaysia Today [2] regarding the news. We assume it is written mostly by Malaysians, and you'll see that despite the economy, some things just won't change. Like corrupt public officials. Or abusive policemen.

Some of the comments that attracted our attention (just in case it is censored later on by the Malaysian government):

"Bpk harus beri duit kopi dan polisi akan memberi persembahan lagu dan tarian "namawee".Semuanya salah bpk kerane tidak tahu budaya polisi Malaysia"

"The only difference between thugs/muggers and the PDRM is that the former is unlicensed, while the latter is free to hassle the general public. Infact, I truly believe in Malaysia, the PDRM is guilty of more crimes that the criminals. We were taught in school that actually a policeman's role is suppose to be preventive, but somehow that is not the case in Bolehland."

"Don't tell me these policemen thinking that this guy is a foreigner is a good game for robbing (policemen have been known to rob the illegals)"
"In Malaysia we are in constant fear of two groups of people, The Criminals and The Police."

"Years back, the Thomas Cup finals in Jakarta was marred by the unruly crowd. But today, Malaysia has sunk below Indonesia in fairplay & gamesmanship...and the Polis is implicated. IF the Govt. does not stop the rot (at 'the guardians of the law'), the country will be avoided by investors & tourists."

"If Anwar Ibrahim who was then the DPM can be beaten up by the police, who else cannot be beaten?"

We say no more.

Source:[1] World Bank Key Development & Statistics [2] Malaysia-today.net