Letting Off Steam


Written on 4/09/2006 01:37:00 am by sikapitan

As some of you might know, I was in Hong Kong last month for a week on a University-sponsored trip. I didn’t have the time to really “visit” Hong Kong, thus it would be wrong for me to conclude that it is uninteresting. But I noticed a few things: First, it appears that the people there don’t really bother dressing up as much as we Malaysians do. Perhaps I am wrong, but this observation was made from those countless trip on the very-efficient MTR service. The chilly weather probably didn’t help, as people don’t usually have that many fashionable winter clothes, but I personally think it’s more of the style-over-substance approach they adopt to most things. I mean, there’s more beautiful scenery in Putrajaya then what I saw over the entire week, but everything works, which is more than what I could say about some of our public service.

There is something else peculiar about Hong Kong, and it is the fact that there appears to be more cab on the road than private cars, especially in Hong Kong island itself. As I look down from the 10th Floor of the Hong Kong High Court, all I saw was a sea of red as the famous cabs darts its way around Hong Kong’s tight roads. It’s either the red-cabs or buses. Only two cars came to mind if asked to recall the memorable automobiles on show (as we car-freaks do talk about the variety of cars in places where we have visited), a Lamborghini Gallardo and the all-new S-class sporting a Johor-like registration plate.

This brings me nicely to my next point – the all-new National Automotive Policy announced two weeks ago. I thought it would never come. Time extensions and delays held up the implementation of our automotive policy that would bring Malaysia in line with the rest of ASEAN (which we should have done years ago anyway, but international covenants are as binding as the cheap duct-tape you get from pasar malam). As the announcement was made, Malaysians rejoice as their dream of buying luxury cars cheap may just come true. But it isn’t what it’s all it’s crack up to be.

The dust has still not still settled on the actual practical effect of the NAP, though Proton and Perodua was quick on the gun by announcing across-the-range price cuts. Volvo also quietly lowered the prices of its cars, and I heard that BMW, Mercs and the rest are following suit. The problem is that the savings from these discounts may not turn out to be that much; especially for non-cash buyers that constitutes the majority of car purchasers. A few days after NAP was proclaimed, the financial institutions quietly announce an increase in hire-purchase interest. This means, in effect, that for some vehicles, you might be paying more after taking a 10-year loan.

So perhaps you have to think things through before rushing off to get that new car you’ve been dreaming of. On that note, the brand new Honda Civic looks like a damn good bargain for its class – BUT therein lies the problem, It will be snapped up by every Sharifah, Shu Lan, and Shanti who adores Honda for the fact that it is damn reliable and that the trunk can fit the whole wet market. I don’t have anything against female drivers, but when I see a brand new SLK being driven by a Makcik at 40km/h, I get a wee bit jealous and pissed-off. They probably appreciate the fact that it is expensive, but that’s not the whole point of driving a good car. It’s about appreciating how it handles, how it moves, how it smells, how it sounds. A car is just a car if you treat it as a mechanism to take you from A to B. However, a car is more than just that, and it should be treated as something with soul. That is why for some, an Alfasud is way hotter than that souped-up Honda City with PCV Modulo bodykit. And that group deserves respect for understanding what driving a car is all about.

Interesting day in Parliament, where Dr. Rais Yatim created a stir by wearing a non-conventional attire which actually consisted of a Chinese collar shirt and suit. It’s the same thing with University requirements. Sometimes, in pursuing the letter of the law/rules, the enforcers forget the purpose behind it all – which is to look good and proper. Sometimes, a person wearing a nice fitting t-shirt can look better than the one who wears a badly fit bright yellow shirt. Sometimes a person who wears an open-collar shirt can and do look better than one wearing a tie. Just like in football, where the rule against taking off your shirt while celebrating a goal sometimes leads to some absurd decisions. But I guess without the rules, chaos would be the order of the day. You can’t guarantee that everyone will get that nice-fitting t-shirt now, could you?

Arghhhhh...help me. My area's officially declared as a dengue epidemic area!!! Stock up on the Ridsects, and sleep with those mosquito repelling coils. It doesn't matter now that it's a fire hazard, as long as those pesky blood-suckers get off my back. Cheers!

If you enjoyed this post Subscribe to our feed

No Comment

Post a Comment