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I’ve been working in this multinational company for one and a half years now. Since I’m an anti-social, I have not so many friends in my work place. But it doesn’t mean that I’m not good at the work I do. Anyway, for the past one and a half years, I have been doing lots and lots of observation. In other words, people watching. And the most obvious thing that caught my eyes was the amount of Indian nationals in my work place. I can safely say that every department at every floor in this working compound has Indian nationals in it. My first question is, are they cheap labour? I don’t think so. Most of them are “professional” expatriates; which means they have special salary packages with housing and car allowances (among others). Are they better at doing their jobs? Again, I don’t think so. Many times I saw Malaysian fresh graduates do better jobs than these “so-called” experienced Indian nationals. Are they better managers? This one is a confident no!

My manager was an Indian national. I’ve never seen anybody licked asses of their bosses to the anal canal of the rectum like my manager. During Town Hall sessions or Coffee Talks, this particular Indian manager of mine would sit at the most visible seat available, straight, without his back touching the back-rest of his chair and showed-off his attention seeking, puppy dog face. When it’s time for Q&As, he’d raise his hand and echoed every single point the speaker has presented without uttering a single question. In a smaller scale, apart from two person, all of his subordinates wanted to mutilate him with a strangling cord each and every single day. Well, I guess all of the above are normal scenarios that happen every day, in every workplace in these present times.

Since I’m an anti-social, I don’t go to lunch during lunch hours. I hate crowded places. I hate crowds of people flooding the cafeteria during lunch hours. It’s like packs of hyenas scavenging a single carcass of a zebra in an African grassland. So, during lunch break, I’d sit at the smoking area, pretending to do things on my phone, while watching the people at the cafeteria.

I noticed most of these Indian nationals will bring their own food in Tupperware containers to the cafeteria. The most that they’d buy from the cafeteria are plain rice and beverages. I guess their own curry is better than the curry in the cafeteria. Or the vegetarian section of the cafeteria is not kosher enough for the consumption of these Indian nationals.

I would sit for a long time at the smoking area. Sometimes for the whole period of lunch break, pretending to do things on my phone, while watching people. After these Indian nationals finished eating, they’d pack up their Tupperware containers, put it back inside plastic bags and trotted merrily towards the smoking area. With their long sleeved, buttoned to the wrist, pin-striped shirt, tucked into brownish slacks, with their 90s Shahrukh Khan hairstyle and one day old beard, with a plastic bag in one hand and a cigarette in the other, they’d ask us for a lighter. Every single fucking day! What? Are they prohibited from owning a lighter? Are they too poor to afford a RM1.20 lighter?

They would chat among themselves while smoking. Speaking in Tamil or Telugu or Kannada or whatever while those who are not speaking would just nod their heads side-ways. One time, a few months back, one of them asked me for a lighter. I stood up and told him to buy his own lighter at the grocery shop in the cafeteria before I left him standing there like an idiot. Until now, no smoking Indian nationals ever asked me for a lighter anymore.

What’s so special about these people that they have to come to my country and do work that my own countrymen can do the same (or better)? This is not a racial question. This is also not a right-wing influenced propaganda query. It’s just me, wondering deep in my mind as an individual.

*I’m no longer reporting to one of them. No wonder I can write again!

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When I was little, there was this rich aunt of mine who always gave me and my siblings RM100 for Hari Raya. For other people, maybe this rich aunt can also be a rich uncle, a rich grandmother or a rich grandfather. If you don’t have this kind of aunt in your family, your childhood must have been sucks. Anyway, the anticipation to celebrate Hari Raya with this particular aunt was because of the prospect of receiving money from her. My parents were not poor. But they don’t give away RM100 for no reasons to their children. They provide me with a roof for shelter, clothes to wear, food on the table, education, healthcare, entertainment et cetera, et cetera like all parents do. If I did well in school, maybe I’ll receive a sum of money from my parents (rarely). Usually it’ll be just a nice dinner or a vacation trip somewhere (in reality, it’s just following my dad on an outstation working trip). But I love my parents more than I love my rich aunt.

Now back to the story of my aunt. Regardless if I’m a good boy or an asshole, I would receive RM100 as long as it was Hari Raya and as long as I was still a kid. So, what do children do when they get RM100? Do they save it in ASB? SSPN? Fixed deposit? Unit trusts investments? Hell no! They would spend it on shitty stuff. Usually on toys that are often forgotten after two or three months. Even those toys can be bought by my parents if I keep on pestering them religiously. My point is, relatively it doesn’t make any difference in receiving RM100 once a year from my rich aunt. No, it has nothing to do with ungratefulness. I said thank you every time I receive the money. And I mean it.

Then came the issue of eligibility. When puberty strikes, where hair started to grow frantically all over my body and dried acne craters sit on my face, the funding stops. I was no longer a kid. I was no longer adorable. Even other family members who are not rich would not give me even RM2 for Hari Raya. It stopped just like that. And the thing was, nothing really changed. Relatively, it doesn’t affect anything in my life. My place in the societal hierarchy didn’t change at all. Not when I receive, nor when I didn’t.

 

*****

 

Now, have you ever heard of BR1M?

It’s pretty much the same story right?

It’s been more than a year now that I realized I was stuck beneath a hard shell that totally suppressed the functions of my right brain. No, not literally. That was supposed to be an excuse for me for not writing in this blog for more than a year. But to be honest, this shell has a strong South Indian odor to it. Seriously, how can a person be creative under the putrid armpits of a midget Chennaite? Fuck it. It’s my justification and I felt justified.

 

*****

 

It’s close to 3:00 am. Two burglars were lying on their chests, waiting patiently in a sturdy rectangular ventilation duct of an office building. Beneath them was a small office area, supposedly the office of the CEO of an SME (shmucks read; Small / Medium Enterprise) company. Allegedly, the company was linked closely with several government personnel and was allegedly implicated in several shady businesses involving alleged public funds.

On one side of the office wall, there was an imitation of Marc Chagall’s “I and the Village”, hanging perfectly at the centre. The painting was supposed to remind the CEO of his origins before he was a successful commissions entrepreneur. Since he had no tertiary education whatsoever, the key to his success was initiated by obsequiously flattering one of the ruling party’s division’s chief of a state in the northern peninsular. That was 15 years ago. Imagine how many obsequious flattering needed to be done to be at his current place now! Still, nobody knows if the CEO still felt reminded of his origins or not.

(an SME company with Marc Chagall in its office? Imitation or not, get real!!!)

Anyway, like in many heist movies, the painting was actually a trapdoor to a combination safe built inside the office wall. It was a cheap combination safe; therefore, anybody who is determined enough can crack it with the intensive help from the Internet. Since the two burglars were also active employees of the company, they knew that the CEO had deposited RM50,000.00 in the safe before he left the office that previous day. They also knew that at exactly 3:00 am, there will be a security roll-call at the ground floor. That will give the burglars approximately 15 minutes to crack the safe and steal RM50,000.00 before escaping using the same route they came in. As simple as that.

Their synchronized Casio F91W watches signaled 3:00 am sharp. The first burglar carefully removed the railing cover and softly put it aside. He then positioned himself leg first through the hole in the office ceiling. Before he could get down, the second burglar tapped the first burglar’s shoulder and whispered, “What will you do with your RM25,000?”

Like that was the most suitable time for such question! The first burglar frowned but answered honestly in a returned whisper, “I’m gonna finish off my PTPTN debt!”