Atchafalaya Swamp

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Pak Lah apologises to SBY, IGP Musa writes an apology to Donald, and Donald says sorry to ME?

I AM NOT PULLING anybody's leg here. He really did say sorry to me, Mat Salo.

A year ago, Pak Lah, as was widely reported in the Indonesian media, had personally telephoned Indonesia's president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to convey his deepest regrets. Not to be outdone, IGP Musa Hassan too had written a letter of apology that was delivered to Donald at his Jakarta hospital bed via Malaysia's very own ambassador. And Donald, in turn, had actually said "sorry" in an SMS to me yesterday, the 19th of July.

Well, apologizing for not being able to meet for a private interview, that is.

To refresh your memory, a year ago Pak Donald was beaten senseless by Royal Malaysian policemen outside his hotel in Nilai,Donald_1 Negri Sembilan, an incident that provoked outrage and threatened to derail Malaysia's and Indonesia's "fragile" bilateral relations. Pak Donald had been attending a Karate event as a Ketua Wasit (chief referee), and was out minding his own business when he was unceremoniously dragged away to be shown Malaysia's special brand of hospitality that ended with him in a hospital emergency ward. Courtesy of the Royal Malaysian Police of course, currently once again being brought to scrutiny: Altantunya, Anwar, girl-raped-in USJ police station, Gemas. Ge-mas? Isn't that in Negri Sembilan too? Well, the State Police Chief was quoted as saying that in no way was transferring the alleged corrupt cops meant that there were "guilty". Yeah, sure.

Was Donald mistaken for an illegal alien? Who knows? I'm not even certain if the perpetrators were ever brought to book; or were they just given a slap on the wrist? Or a nudge and a wink to for "teaching an Indon a lesson"? A subtle thumbs-up? After all, blowing up tourists with deadly C4 explosives is not beyond them.

A few days ago I had overnighted at East Kalimantan's premier hotel in Balikpapan during the busy PON week. PON is Indo short-speak for Pekan Olahraga Nasional, Indonesia's national sports meet for regencies and provinces that is held once every four years, with the Indonesia's richest kabupaten (province) of Kaltim hosting this year's event. It is a bit like Malaysia's SUKMA.

The staff at the hotel there are my eyes and ears; having stayed there often and enjoying their graciousness, friendliness and uh, okay, the delectable staffs' uniform. One of the very pretty PR managers, a Miss Novi, with her impeccable calves shielded only by lacy black silk stockings, had whispered in my ear that that karate referee who was beaten up the Royal Malaysian Police is staying at the hotel too.

With that juicy piece of information delivered by an even juicier conduit, I repaired to to my suite (yes, suite -- I was upgraded during the busy PON week where all the city's hotels were running at 110 percent occupancy) only to abuse the mini-bar. Suitably quenched and inspired, I took a piece of the expensive hotel stationary paper and proceeded to write Donald a letter. Along with my own regrets delivered in terrible Bahasa Indonesia, I signed off with a request for a meeting. I put in my local Indonesian mobile number together with my room number in case he decided to take up on the offer. After having licked the enveloped and sealing it, I took the elevator to the lobby to meet again with Novi, where I unabashedly told her (after gaining the confidence that only a mini-bar's contents can provide) that she has the most lovely legs and the only reason I hang around in the lobby is to cuci mata. And so on, ad nauseam.

For almost two days I sat stewing until it was time for me to leave. Over breakfast on my final day I finally saw my prey. While nonchalantly heading past his table to fill my bowl with Mee Soto, I noticed that the scar above his right temple was still visible. He was sitting in the No Smoking section with some heavy types, whom I presumed also to be national karate referees. That spoiled my chance of walking over and extending a hand; if he was alone, sure, but with these heavies? Who's to say if they too want to extend me the same level of "hospitality" that Donald was shown in Nilai a year ago?

I needn't have worried; he had read my letter after all. Because a few days later he sent me this SMS, which I quote verbatim:

Selamat malam pak Ahmad. Membaca surat bapak, sy ucapkan terima kasih banyak atas simpatinya terhadap di zoliminya saya saat bertugas sbg wasit di * some text missing * Nilai Seremban. Saya minta maaf selama bertugas sbg Ketua wasit PON di Balikpapan tdk sempat jumpa bapak krn setiap selesai tugas pkl 20, kami hrs meeti *some text missing *ng utk evaluasi kinerja para wasit. Sejak kemarin sampai besok sy sdg rakernas interen perguruan karate sy & tgl 23-27 juli ini saya pimpin refreshing & * some text missing * tanding karate di Kalbar. Sekali lagi mohon maaf tdk dapat jumpa bapak di balikpapan. My Best Regards, Donald PLK

Note that he had extended his "regrets" for not being able to meet me. In his message I felt he showed no animosity to me or to the other 25 million or so Malaysians. Not sure how he still feels about the RMP goons who bashed him though. And why didn't he pursue a claim in the civil courts?

I think he has put this behind him and moved on. I think I shall move on too and delete the poster "Justice for Donald" out of my blog. I don't know if "justice" has been served for Donald or not, nor the perpetrators who had "welcomed" him by beating him to within-an-inch, but inside I feel good. You know, for doing my infinitesimally small part. But raiding the contents of that mini-bar earlier had certainly made me feel better. Not to mention, hornier.

And Miss Novi? Mmm...

I think I'll leave her alone. For now.


Rockybru said...

I'm interested to know what Pak Donald's response to the IGP was. You should leave Novi alone, bro, but please try and pursue Pak Donald for a story if you can.

Bila ke tanah air?

ewoon said...

Don't listen to rocky - completely.

By all means pursue the story about Pak Donald's response to IGP's letter. Never let up on pursuing Novi, too.

You have the perfect excuse what, though many will find it incredulous, the mini bar!


Anonymous said...

I fought the law and the law won...

ZABS said...

Salam MS,
I fully agreed with Rocky that you should leave Novi alone, and in addition the Mini-Bar as well.
Best of luck in your drilling. Hopes you will find more reserves and can contribute to a lower oil prices.

gram.kong said...

Mat Salo,

Smart people don't join the police force, only thugs and goons do.The much less smarter ones join RELA,robotic morons.They are shames to our country and deserve no compliment.

I am no fan of Anwar Ibrahim but even I feel disgusted with the way he was arrested.

Anonymous said...

Salam from Jakarta pak Mat.

I'm from 'Kiasi/kiasu land'. same industry different trade as you. Based in Jkt now. Did a short tour with Total Q3 '90s in BPN. Stayed at Dusit with most nights in Tavern.

Been reading your log and through it others directly connected.
It gave me a very good insight on the current socio-pol situation.
My M'sian uncles cousins, kampong mates in Batu Pahat / JB has been feeding me with different views. More aligned to Berita Harian news.

It's in my interest to be current with the going-ons in M'sia as besides banyak saudara mara, have vested interest and it's where, insyallah, I'll retire.

Big thank you pak Mat.

Banjar Spore.

Anonymous said...

Assalamu'alaikum Mat Salo

Happy to note that you are really a hero or Anak Malaysia. Your effort to meet Pak Donald already great further more if you able to meet him and get Pak Donald's view and comment of the post incident really helps to clear the air.

Tapi Pak, saya jadi gusar kerna cerita tentang Novi terus sepi gak nyambung nih..........

Terima kasih

Pak Zawi said...

Even the raid on the minibar didn't give you the courage to meet up Pak Donald among his men. You should have gone to the Hotel Bar for another booster shot.
As they demonstrated it while arresting DSAI, the men in blue is much more to be feared than the criminals like the late Botak Chin when dealing with civilans of which DSAI is now one.
The incident in Gemas is just the tip of the iceberg. It seems to be the norms rather than an isolated case. PDRM is now beyond repair. Should a new government takes over the current government, PDRM must be disbanded and a new force be set up to take over.
You represented the 25 million Malaysians when you delivered the note of regret to Pak Donald.

jaflam said...

Hai MS,
Good to note that adventure journalism in you is still going strong despite the choice between Pak Donald and Novi.

Poor Novi she must be still wondering why this handsome MS is still chasing after Pak Donald when she have reveled enough. Change course and full steam ahead my fren!!!

cakapaje said...

Salam bro,

Lor...you did it again while I was looking at the other blog. Fening kepala camni. And I agree with Dato' Jeff, why chase Donald?

Mat Salo said...

Bapak Rocky: Yes, that's why I wanted a "one-on-one" - not sure for a non-journo like me if I can summon the wit to ask him these sensitive questions over the phne. Rest assured, I think I'll keep trying.. BTW udah di tanah air, Pak...

Bro' Ewoon: Heh, pursue Novi? I'm a firm believer of the Chinese adage "Don't eat and shit at the same place" laa bro. Unless I start staying at another hotel.. ;)

Telecustom: Are you the proud owner of a '78 Telecaster purchased at Swee Lee North Bridge Rd? Well, sometimes Malaysia, the law loses...

Pak Zabs: Hmm.. without the 'mini-bar' I would never have the courage to write the letter. Ha-ha. Agree, must keep away from the likes of Novi and contents of mini-bar. Diet coke, sprite tak apa, kan?

Hantu Laut aka GK: Sir, agreed. These RELA goons must go. But beg to disagree H-L. There are, by and large, honest elements in the Force but unfortunately they're not sitting a the top. I think clean a few at the top and the rest can do their job properly without fear or favor. As it is, everyone knows there's too much political interference. Not only you, Sir. The rest of the chattering class in the country can't help but feel but Anwar is being put up. Whoever is orchestrating this is a moron and will make both PL and Deputy N fall much harder when the time comes...

Pak Banjar Singapore: Appreciate you leaving a comment Pak. If you're still in Jkt, drop me a line madsalos [at] gmail. I can forward you my telkomsel for a potential ngopi session. Thanks to YOU, Pak. -Anak Bugis-

Pak Mamadou: Wa'aalikum salaam. Masih di Afrika ka Pak? Insya'allah. As I too am very curious what heis response to Dubes M'sia in JKT and Jenderal Polisi M'sia's Musa... I have his number and will attempt to contact him when he's free. He's busy in Kalbar now... Pak, saya bukan hero tapi cuma manusia biasa and hoping to see justice in this world. Itu saja, Pak, Makasih...

P.S. Jangan gusar gara-gara Mba Novi ya? :)

Pak Zawi: Bang, that was the nicest compliment saying I represented "25 million or so" Malaysians with my letter to him. I really hoped so. Tapi nak 'dismantle' PDRM susah bang. Kita kena 'dismantle' ahli politikus yang tak guna dulu ya Pak?

Bang DJ, Hmm... full steam ahead? I'm afraid cannot laa bang, diesel dah mahal. Hands down laa the fairer one won! BTW, Novi to 'side-show' aje. If not nobody wants to read my stories... haha

Cakapje: Let's put Mba Novi an Pak D aside. Ini tengah dok organiz ngan tokasid camner kita nak pi jengok RG sometime next week? Let's do it bro.

Anonymous said...


Regardless of what anybody said to the contrary, you should forget about Ms Novi altogether. Just leave her be... she'll be fine. You just go ahead, do the noble thing and pursue Donald, OK? Ms Novi be in good hands.

BTW, you got her number?

J.T. said...

LOL ... That was smooth of Bangkai.

You wrote: "And why didn't he pursue a claim in the civil courts?"
Really? With the kind of system we have in Malaysia, do you think he will get a fair hearing? Some people are getting away with a lot when they should be explaining their roles in some well-known crimes. Maybe Pak Donald was thinking ahead or something.

Mat Salo said...

Heh Bangkai, you got me, dude. Yes, ahem -I do. Pretty astute I must say. Gotta credit her for giving me head --oops, I mean heads-up. ;)

Jaq, yeah, that Bangkai's one hell of real smoothie. Sow how goes life in the Swamps of La.? Mozzies out yet? I guess if I were in PD's shoes, I'd not waste my time too. Just move on and forget about setting foot again. And I wouldn't blame him one bit.

Anonymous said...

I've had a rather busy week and hence had not had time to stroll by till today.

Man...this was an interesting post.

Pak Donald sent u an SMS. That means u hav his number don't u? Follow up MS. To get a gud story u have to have the tenacity of a bloodhound.

Get to the root of this.

That rough justice streak in me kinda hopes that some canny Indons would beat the shit out of our cops someday.

That'll teach our boys in blue some respect.

The Indons can start with Bakri Zinin...heheh.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bro, i think Balikpapan is in East Kalimantan...

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

ok, i'm late i know and unlike others i aint gonna touch anything on a certain miss Novi.

Pak Donald's case has certainly tainted Malaysia as a host country and as a country as a whole. i cant really remember how the story went but one thing's for sure, Pak donald deserves a much better treatment than what was transpired.

having said that, you know i'm faking it. not on our ghastly hospitality shown towards our guests but a certain miss novi. oh boyyyyyyy...

Anonymous said...

Hi MS!

While agog abt Pak Donald texting you, I can't help wondering if you concentrated only on Ms Novi's legs because you took her name seriously... :D

zorro said...

Yo my Swampman....a captivating piece with some novi icing. A good attempt to get Don to talk but he will not. In martial arts we are eternally reminded of the paradox: the best offense is a good defense...resist by following the flow of the attacking movement with the 5,5seconds mantis moves....which I might be tempted to impart to you when we next meet on condition you do not pursue Donald...and the black stockinged N...dang I just get turned on with black stockings. Down boy!!!!!Yes, leave Donald alone....do not invade his private space. True martial arts exponents never seek revenge, literally and figuratively. By the way, Kerp presented me with a spanking Honest flame-thrower of a lighter for my pipe. Eat your heart out swampy-raider-of-mini-bars. Would you include the spoils under expense account? You devil!

J.T. said...


The mozzies are out (not forgetting loads of flies) and Jacq stays in. It is way too hot here. These are the times I miss the cooler temperatures of Germany during Spring and Fall. But I should not complain ... I could be in worst-off surroundings.

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Unknown said...

This is a good example of good human. he forgives and forget. And he is happy to forget too, I think.