Sleeping peacefully would be one of my Wishes for this year. With Baby, work and all, its nearly impossible. Anyway, at 6AM in the morning, I was woken up not only by the Alarm Clock, but my Wife and Mom also decided to join in the fun, creating a din enough to cause pernament deafness in an elephant.
You see, today is 1st of February, which is Federal Territory Day (read Kuala Lumpur or KL) and as such, we're not SUPPOSED to work. Which is also a great opportunity for me to apply for MyKAD . You can also read this hilarious and oft plagiarised article about MyKAD here.
I keep thinnking to myself, at 6 in the morning, no ONE and I mean, no one would be inside any building (7-11 does not count) at a time when there is no daylight. But by the time we reached the parkng lot, it was almost full. This is bad.
And by the time, we entered the building, there was already a queue, comprising of more than 60 people. Whoa. They must have heard of the Early Bird story. This is even worse.
Anyway, we waited until 8AM, when the doors were finally opened. We all literally stampeded into the hall, like civilised barbarians. All in all, we waited for more than one and a half hours just to get a small piece of thermal printed paper which informs you your turn to be horribly mangled by a Government employee. We were the lucky ones because a few minutes after we got our slips, there was an announcement stating that the numbers for the day have all been given out, which roughly translates to:
"Ladies and Gentlemen, this is an announcement. Welcome to JPN Petaling Jaya which is now a branch and the HQ is in Putrajaya. The numbers for the day have all been handed out from Counter #1 and there is none left. We have limited counters here and for those who are still waiting, please come back another day. If you wish to make an appointment, you may still queue for Counter #1"
In other words:
"Hello, you sad, sad people. Serves you right for not getting up early in the morning. We have run out of paper and the next place you can go to would be Putrajaya. I like to see anyone of you brave enough to make an appointment because there won't be one until August 8. Ha ha ha ha ha ha. So, get lost and stop whining to that balding gorilla in Counter #1"
All other unfortunate people were still queuing which spilled onto the parking lot.
When I got the ticket, the Baldin.... I mean, the nice person at the counter cryptically told me to come at 2PM. He was right because my turn came 26 minutes after 2 where all the staff came back from their lunch. And I was even luckier as I my number led me to the "Express" counter manned by one of the staff who decided to help their colleagues to speed up the day's process.
The procedure was basically like this:
1) Sit on the chair as ordered.
You would have to, because standing in front of a counter while there is a chair nearby, is a bit silly.
2) Put out your left thumb
You will be politely forced to put your left thumb on those red LED scanners which will be scanned into the database. If you cannot hold your thumbs still enough, the staff would do it for you, and you would be wondering how such a small sweet little girl has the grip of a Gorilla.
3) Put out your right thumb
This is to make sure you have a pair of thumbs and not toes.
4) Sit still for the camera
Make sure you are wearing dark clothes. (Its one of those Rules) If not, you will be forced to wear one of those antique smelly flea infested jackets, which by the time its over, I am sure every hair in your body has enough eggs to infest a city.
5) Give you best pose
Please remember that your picture would be on the card for a very very long time. So, try to look innocent. And to help you, there is a mirror in front so you can adjust your ugly mug (I was tempted to write the words "Gorilla" there). They will then take your picture with the state of the art SAGEM camera designed to make you look like someone else. There would be no flash but just yellow bulbs which I am pretty sure SAGEM did a lot of R&D and this is the best method for getting rid of Red-eyes and half-open eyelids.
Sad to say, she had to take my picture twice because the computer hated my first shot. But because I was friendly (not toooo friendly) with her, I got to see my picture. And what a sight. I looked more like a fattened-up POW as my 2-hour long beards are showing.
So, there you have it. In a nutshell, I have managed to help the Government to encode all my personal details into a piece of Smartcard which I can use for a lot of things except getting credit. For that, I would have to go to Shittybank.
But in reality, there are a lot of people applying for MyKAD now. This is because you do not have to pay for anything before 31st December 2005. Therefore, its not suprising to hear of stories like numbers running out and a lot of people, etc. This is the Final Year and like all Malaysians, we just love to do everything in the last minute.
So, in order to get your MyKAD application faster, here are some tips:
1) Go one day after a long Holiday ends as most people are still on leave.
For example, if the Holiday ends on Thursday, you KNOW a lot of people would take a long weekend, so Friday would be a nice time to go.
2) Go to a non-Busy place.
It helps if you can go oustastion and get it done because all the locals there have done it. Only those working in KL or those "migrated" to KL to work, have not done so. The further the better but do remember this fact when you need to collect the card after 90 days.
3) Disguise as an old fragile person
While we're fighting amongst ourselves to the Death for the ticket (OK, I made that one up) we still have respect for elderly people and they do give special priorities at the counter. After all, they have done so much for the Country and now, its time for them to enjoy.
Remember to throw away the disguise once you get your number because if they find out that you're not who you turned out to be.................