Dear Mr Todt,

I am an average Malaysian busybody. And also a petrol head. I am about to shower on you the usual Malaysian hospitality.

On behalf of all average Malaysians, I would like to congratulate you on being accepted by our Government into the Malaysian 2nd Home scheme. I could see that you are well pleased as your application was approved “faster than a Ferrari”, to borrow your words. You see, our Government is very efficient. If they want to, that is. But frankly Mr Todt, that was not fast enough. Because Ferraris are not that fast. You should have said, “faster than a Nissan GTR”. Now, that would be damn fast!May I welcome you to Malaysia, your second home. I am sure you will be pleased to bits to be here. Frankly, you will feel at home here. There are so many Ferraris on the road here. And they all drive within the speed limit, namely, 110. But of course they forget, the 110 shown on the Ferrari’s speedometer is in mph. At the F1 track, there are also many Ferraris, although, quite strangely, some of them could be seen resting in the gravel trap at turn 13. I don’t really know why.

You may want to know what an “average” Malaysian is. Allow me to describe. Average Malaysians are simple men and women. In the good old Great Britain, they might be referred to as “the simpletons”. But you must remember, in Malaysia, there are 2 categories of “simple” people.

First, there are simple people with entitlement to a lot of things. Like flying first class on tax payers’ money. Like making technical trips to Disneyland, Dubai or where ever. Like staying in Presidential suites at 5 star hotels and being driven in a limousine rented for more than RM2000 a day. These are simple people with entitlement and also with simple tastes.

The second category are the simple people without entitlement. These are people like myself. You can meet these people on the streets of Malaysia, in the LRT, LCCT or at the Central Market in KL. Their Disneyland is in Ulu Kelang. Their Presidential suite is in their own terrace houses. And they are driven daily in buses which also, sometimes, double up as mobile caskets!

I was looking at your picture with your pretty girlfriend the other day Mr Todt. Gosh, you look old! But don’t fret. In Malaysia, you can get easy and cheap treatment for your old look and start looking younger by the day. You just have to eat what most simple men eat in Malaysia. We call it “tempe” (pronounced “tempt-pay”). Eat that stuff dude. You will look younger in no time. But it won’t make you any taller though, sadly. Or any longer, for that matter.

If you are feeling a tad tired in bed, fret not Mr Todt. In Malaysia, we do not take viagra. We take a herb called Tongkat Ali. I tell you. We have Tongkat Ali coffee. We also have Tongkat Ali tea. Even Tongkat Ali isotonic drinks we have. The other day, I even saw Tongkat Ali toothpaste. Although I must confess that it escaped me as to the exact functions of Tongkat Ali in a toothpaste. Soon I heard, Petronas might have Tongkat Ali premium fuel for cars like your Ferraris. Perhaps, with that fuel, your Scuderia or Maranello might be nearer to the GTR’s tailpipe on the track. Just perhaps.

There are several things which you cannot do in Malaysia Mr Todt. First of all, you cannot, ever ever, mention the name of a certain dead Mongolian woman. No. You cannot do that. You see, I am not even mentioning it. Not only that. You cannot read about her too. Or hear news about her. No, you cannot. Remember that.

If you did, you might be arrested and put in lock up. Oh no. You wouldn’t want that to happen Mr Todt. In the lock up, you might turn crazy and beat yourself with a certain blunt, hard, but flexible (let me repeat that, “but flexible”) object. This may cause lacerations and deep wounds on your body. But again, do not fret Mr Todt. Because if you do not suffer from an “underlying acute myocarditis”, you will be okay. Meaning, you won’t die. You will only die if you have that condition. Otherwise, you may continue to whack yourself silly with the blunt, hard but very flexible object and nothing will happen to you. You might froth in the mouth, like the first time you saw Ms Yeoh, but you will not die. Don’t worry.

Speaking of being worried, are you worried about your safety in Malaysia? If you do, just call the Home Ministry. It will organise your detention under the Internal Security Act, in order to protect your safety. You can then wine and dine in a dimly lit dungeon. A blunt, hard, but very flexible, object might be given to you for further safety. By the way, while we are talking about safety, you may not want to go anywhere near a place in KL called Chow Kit. That place, mind you, is so unsafe that even a police beat was closed down because the police were feeling unsafe!

Do you like reality TV Mr Todt? If you do, Malaysia is the place for you. You can choose from an array of reality TV shows. We have all the reality TV shows from the US and UK. But if you prefer local ones, there are also a hell of a lot.

The thing is, Malaysia – the whole Malaysia, that is – is a reality show by itself. But the voting takes place only once in 4 or 5 years. The current reality show started on March the 8th last year. The voting will take place within the next 4 years or so. But sometime, just to test the ground, there will be “mini-voting”. Just to allow all Malaysians a chance to show their voting trend in the big one in 4 years’ time. So far, we already had 5 mini-voting.

Ask Ms Yeoh. She might be able to tell you who is leading in this reality show. But then again, this show is so full of twists and turns that you will never know. Just sit back and observe Mr Todt. I am sure there is no other show on earth which is better than this Malaysian reality show. In fact, this blog, and this whole business of you being accepted into this 2nd Home thingy is also a part of the show! Wooo….you are now an actor Bro!

One more thing that you might notice soon Mr Todt is that we are obsessed with the phrase “social contract”. Everyone is talking about it, including me. But nobody has ever seen it. Nope. Nobody. I will leave it to you then to surmise whether we, Malaysians, are a hallucinating and delusional lot.

Then there is the mainstream mass media. These are local TV channels and local newspapers. You can of course watch the news on these channels. Or read them from the local newspapers. May I suggest however that after you had done that, please read the same news on the internet. You will find there are differences between the ones which you read in the newspapers or watch on the local TV and the ones which you read on the net. You are of course at liberty to believe whichever version you like. You would not however be wrong to opine that Malaysian journalists are a schizophrenic lot.

You might not be used to some of our concepts here Mr Todt. In your country, you pay taxes. Your Government will then use your taxes to provide amenities for you and all citizens. However, in Malaysia, despite your taxes, you still have to pay tolls for using the highways and pay money for some people to take care of your sewage, for example. You pay duties on your cars and also road tax to use the same. You pay fees for broadband services but you only get slow internet connection and when you ask the provider what the hell is going on, they would say sorry Sir, the speed is on “best endeavour” basis. Well, sometimes, when you are tired, you might just say best endeavour my fu@#ing foot, you cheats!

You will find, Mr Todt, that in the corporate world, Malaysia is quite unique. For example, we have a monopoly business making a 900 million loss! The CEO of that company then became CEO of the year! Then we have a government fund management company whose investment shrunk by 10 billion and instead of raising questions, their fund portfolio is increased by 10 billion too! Then we have a company which cannot deliver ships which they were supposed to build for whatever billions. In your country, the buyer of the ships would terminate the contract and sue the pants off of the ship builder. But here we give an extension of time to the builder and voluntarily increase the price of the ships by a couple more billions! And until now the ships are nowhere to be seen. Then we have some kind of a port service area built for gazellions but it is not utilised.

Yes Mr Todt, we are a bit different from the others. Perhaps because we take Tongkat Ali.

May you enjoy your stay in Malaysia Mr Todt.

yours sincerely,

H. Art

ps if you must know, Ferraris are lame!

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Posted on 28 April 2009. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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