Friday, May 26, 2006


anyone who visits this blog would know (or at least assume) that i'm not a very IT savvy guy. i don't have an attention-grabbing template for this blog. there are no photos of gorgeous guys for (most of) the readers to feast on. all there is, is a photo of a guy's mouth (yeah, that would be my mouth). and there are no links to the many great blogs and sites that i drop by regularly. why? partly, because i want to keep it that way. but mostly, because i don't know how to do these things ;P. but as incompetent as i am, i recently found someone who is even more terrible at this than me. this guy brought a new meaning to IT illiteracy among young professionals. and this guy... is none other than my housemate.

he constantly needs help when it comes to computers. and he asks some amazing questions (not in a good way - amazingly dumb). questions that make YOU question about the quality of some of the students that the government chose to use taxpayers' money for these people to further their studies overseas. and i, of course get agitated so easily by his questions. and apparently, he is aware of this. so now seems to have this 'ask aiskrem potong last' policy whenever he needs help with his computer.

last week. his laptop crashed. it refused to swtich off itself. the off button wouldn't work. the task manager refused to appear. he was already breaking sweat. "alamak apsal laptop aku tak leh off ni?" i wanted to ignore him initially, but i was afraid that he'd pass out from hyperventilation. so i told him. "cabut the cable from the plug and take out the battery. cut off the power source. lepas tu switch on balik". he obliged. but a few seconds after that, he commented, "apsal takde beza pun?" at this point i was rolling my eyes already. very reluctantly, i walked over to his place. "ko dah cabut battery?". "dah". but the battery was still intact. "ni ada lagi ni?". "eh bateri bukan yang tu ke?" he asked me while pointing to the floor. it turned out that he disconnected the wire from the ac adapter instead. i was speechless.

he had to send his laptop for repair because it kept on hanging. when he got it back, he claimed that his windows 2003 was removed and replaced by windows xp. a few minutes after using his newly-repaired laptop, he piped out "apsal windows 2003 ni rasa macam lain? macam tak best la". i, as usual. ignored his comment. but he wouldn't shut up. "apa la kedai ni tukar aku punya windows. sekarang screen aku dah gelap. balik ni nak kena pergi kedai komputer tu balik." uih? that's kinda weird. screen gelap? the curious part of me took ovr and i went to his place to check it out. "nampak lain kan? jadi gelap" he was asking for my agreement. at that point i knew what was the problem. i rolled my eyes (penat la asyik roll eyes ni), walk over to the plug point and switched it on (yup, he didn't switch on the power). then i went straight back to my seat (i love making him feel stupid). he was caught in hid stupidity and now he had to admit it. there was a moment of hesitance (that egoistic guy). but he finally gave in and said "apsal la aku bodoh sangat ek?" sheepishly (victory!). i just raised my eyebrow. i've been wondering the same thing for a while now, really

well, at least i won't have to worry about him finding out about this blog eh? ;P

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


i'm in my (master) bedroom on the first floor of a 4-room duplex apartment unit... somewhere in uae. i'm sitting on my bed with my legs stretched, my back against the headboard of my made-in-denmark single size bed. my fingers are dancing, hitting the keypads of my lowest-range-available-in-the-market HP laptop. i look at my laptop. not a single wire is attached to it. but somehow, i am connected. i'm vigorously scanning for cute (presumably) plu guys in friendster (this is as good as it gets here). next to my bed, there is a black coloured device with its LEDs flickering every millisecond.

ladies and gentlemen, i now have (wireless) internet connection at home.

sekian, terima kasih ;P

Thursday, May 18, 2006


meet A. married with one kid, A is a 27 year old malay executive who comes from batu pahat. having obtained good spm results and excellent extracirrucular activities testimonial (he represented the state for at least 3 sports), he managed to secure a scholarship from a bumiputera conglomerate to further his studies and spent a total of 18 months in australia to complete his degree (it was a twinning program). after completing his studies he began working for his sponsor. during the time when he was serving his sponsor, he was sent to qatar for two weeks for some audit work.

A just LOVES to talk. a very highly opinionated person, he feels that there is a great need for him to share with the people around him (or even the whole world if he can have it his way) his experiences. strangely enough, most of the experiences which he shares with his friends revolve around his time in either a) australia, or b) qatar. during conversations, it is most likely that he starts his sentence with either a) "when i was in australia..." or b) "when i was in qatar..." . it is highly unlikely that he has travelled to any other countries except for the above-mentioned countries.

whenever A sees something and find any differences between what he sees and how it is in australia and/or qatar, he feels obligated to share it with everyone. for example, if someone tells him that he or she wants to buy a ticket to watch a movie, he would voluntarily provide unsolicited information about how the cinemas are like in australia, how much does it cost, in which day can a person get cheap tickets and how the seats are not numbered. if his friends talk about the increase in petrol price in malaysia, he would (almost instantly) provide his friends with the information about how much does petrol cost in australia, which brand is the best selling brand and what was his favourite brand.

A is also a perfect example of a mr-know-it-all. he seems to have the answer for evertything. sadly, although what A says is always full of conviction, it often lacks credibility. his facts and statements are almost always arguable (which is weird because A cited as his favourite website). not gifted with a complicated mind, he often uses his experience and converts it to a factual statement. clearly, statistics was not his best subject in school.

for example, while driving on the streets of dubai, A and his friends caught a glimpse of a Hummer (that military vehicle thingy). seizing he oppprtunity, A quickly spilled everything he knows about the car - how the first person who got to first use it as a commercial vehicle was arnold (terminator guy) and how it is now the preferred vehicke for sports stars and hip hop stars in america. he also added that in malaysia there is only one person who owns a hummer. one of his friends, clearly agitated by his constant mr-know-it-all behaviour, challenged him to verify that fact by asking how did he know that. A, caught by his own lack of deduction skills, realised that he had to eat his words. he only managed a lame reply of "aku pernah nampak satu je kat kl dulu..." he realised that he was not in the capacity of making that statement he made earlier. what's worse is that he now realise that even a surveillance camera placed along the federal highway is not in the capacity of making that statement he made earlier.

A's habit of flaunting what he has is not only limited to his knowledge, but is also evident in his finances. utilising the credit card limit granted to him to its near maximum, A is a frivolous spender. that is, of course, none of anyone's business but his own. however, it becomes other people's business when he starts telling people around him of what he buys. and he never seem to fail to quote the price of the things he buy. again, this information is offered without solicitation. reliable sources (that would be A himself) has revealed that A is already debt-ridden with personal loan, car loan and 2 max-ed out credit cards (he does not have a property) but clearly, A is living his life to the fullest.

now meet B. an EXTREMELY soft-spoken person, B is 30-something auditor who is married with 2 kids. B did his degree in the US. however, unlike A, B does not make it a point to tell everyone about his experiences in the US. he would only do so when some asks him about it. B is also a wise-shopper. having learned his lesson from the past, he has learned to be careful when it comes to credit cards.

however, B seems to have a different problem. instead of a mr-know-it-all, B is a mr-i-have-to-ask-everything. although one would admire his thirst for information, it can get very irritating at times. this is because B has a tendency to ask redundant questions (also known as dumb-ass questions in some parts of the world). for example, B's friend was telling him that he (B's friend) had gone to a certain place for dinner last thusrday. B, for some reason only known to him, asked his friend back - "hari khamis malam jumaat ke?" . luckily for him, his friend was not a very sarcastic person and he replied B's query with a short 'yes'.

B also has a strange need to re-confirm what was earlier represented to him on a periodic basis. for example, one of his colleagues had told him that to get internet connection, one has to pay a 200-dollar deposit. within the next 24 hours, he had asked the same colleague about the deposit amount TWICE. not that he doesn't remember. he just needed to reconfirm the fact because apparently to him, ANYTHING can happen in a day. the deposit amount required to install internet is as volatile as the stock market in his opinion. and this constant need to reconfirm facts represented to him has been driving one of his colleagues crazy.

fyi, both A and B are my colleagues here.

Monday, May 15, 2006


as irritating as my housemate could get, there are some things about him that i can't help but admire (well, maybe not ADMIRE, but be amazed at). this guy has BUCKETS of self-confidence. i envy him for that. but i'm guessing that maybe his arrogance and self-centeredness have provided him the practice that he needs to achieve that level of self-confidence.

just to reiterate, he is 29 (30 by the end of this year) and unmarried. and straight. so of course he's horny. but unlike other people (who would usually conceal how they feel in this area), he's practically flaunting the fact that he is 29, unmarried and is in great need for female companionship.

wherever i go out with him (i'm trying to keep this at a minimum by the way), he'd be 'checking out the lay-dehzz' (a term that is over-abused by him- he thinks he's so cool *rolling eyes*). i, of course, would play along (i cannot NOT show any interest can i?). but this guy has got very high taste in women. he only goes for the EXTREMELY gorgeous ones (which are WAY out of his league if you ask me). and he's not the kind of person who only checks out from afar, he would actually approach some of these girls. even the gorgeous, don't-hate-me-cos-i'm beautiful arab women. last weekend, we went to a shopping mall and he was hitting on a lebanese girl at the cashier counter of a perfume store. he manage to talk with her for a while (being a malaysian sure has its plus points - the arabs are very much fascinated by our country and everyone wants to go to malaysia) but he didn't get around to ask for her number (the line was very long unfortunately, and he didn't want to hog it - how thoughtful). so the day after that he actually called the store (he got the number from the receipt) and asked for the girl (he got her name also from the receipt). after trying for the third time, he managed to speak to her. and he asked for her number. and got turned down. the girl claimed that she was already engaged (a fact that we are unable to validate). but amazingly, he was ok with the rejection. guess he must have had a lot of practice in being rejected eh? heheh...

for the record, i wouldn't say that he's a bad looking chap. but he is certainly not good-looking either. an average joe (a bit short too.. eheh). and i find him to be repulsive (and thank god for that, cos i woudn't want to be smitten by my str8 housemate). because of this, i would not consider him as a hot item. but he is only interested in hot girls. he doesn't seem to apply the laws of logic when he looks for a girlfriend. could it be because a) he lives in a different world in which he looks like ryan seacrest (mm... yummy - american idol is on tv at the moment btw) or b) he's perfectly aware of how he looks but he's just trying his luck.

i am a very logic and rational person. and i have a very low risk appetite when it comes to being rejected. of course, if i can have it my way, i would want my partner to be drop dead gorgeous ..and nice ...and funny ... and sensitive... and smart ... and and and. but what are the chances that i'll find that person? and even if i find him. would he find me as the perfect partner? of course there is a possibility. there is always a possibility. but if the possibility is so miniscule, why should i even bother? (to digress a little - taburan kebarangkalian was my favourite topic in add maths... eheh). that is why, for me the rules of logic and probabilty should be applied, one should find a partner in where an equilibrium can be achieved. and to increase one's probability of finding a 'better' partner, one should try and 'better' oneself. i think even my religion says that one would get someone that one deserves (by the way, my religion also says that plu relationship is an abomination).

however, i seem to find a difficulty 'weighing' (not literally) myself in order for me gauge the type of person who can provide me with the equilibrium. and even if i can gauge where i'm at, i'm not happy. i think there's a lot more things that i can improve on (and yes, my appearance would be one of them). some people can come to a conclusion about how they look like. they'll say 'ok - this is how i look and therefore i know how hot should my potential partner be'. i can't do that just yet. i don't know where i stand. because i'm grossly insecured about my looks (there - i've said it.. phew). and being in the land of the wickedly beautifuls isn't helping.

i try to find solace in the following lyrics. i'm still trying (this, by the way, is the lyrics of a joget song by adibah noor. who says joget songs can't be profound and insightful? ;P)

"dik, janganlah, di makan pujian orang
takut nanti, tersungkur tak sedar diri
biar apa pun kata orang
baju mesti diukur di badan sendiri.

mungkin juga senyumku tidak semanis
potonganku juga mungkin tak secantik
biar apa pun dikata orang
rezeki dah tentu anugerah ilahi"

does anyone need help with the translation? ;P

Thursday, May 11, 2006


after three months of watching national tv (which consists of only 3 english channels- 1 of them is CNN ), i got cable tv last week. being the calculative (bordering cheapskate) person that i am, i took the cheapest package available in the market. it cost me about 80 bucks a month. and being the cheapest package available - there isn't enough channels for a good channel-surfing session. it's not that i didn't want to get a better package, it's just that i don't think i'll be watching that much tv with the my heavy workload and everything. plus, since there is a good possibility that i’ll be leaving after only one year, i should really save as much as i can while i'm here (oh btw - the electricity/water/gas bill just came - rm 320 for last month! madness!)

for 80 bucks, i got some channels which they have on astro (like star movies, star world and channel v) and a few more english channels (like uk-granada, reality tv, turner classic movies) barely value for money as compared to astro. but apart from these english channels, they throw in like 20 channels from the rest of the arab countries - kuwait tv, qatar tv, yemen tv, syria tv, bahrain tv, saudi tv (you get the idea). uae has its own channels as well. 4 out of the 7 emirates have their own tv stations (each emirate is like a small state - maybe the size of melaka or something). and usually when i do some arabic channel-flipping, chances are, one of these things would be showing:

1. a singing competition - they're just like malaysia! every station has its own talent search thingy going on and of course - you can vote by sms! i've watched a few of these shows, and i notice that when they sing arabic songs, they don't really move. i find this a bit ridiculous. they've got the humongous stage and all, but they barely move an inch when they sing! they'll be back-up dancers at the back dancing and twirling their heads off to the music, but the singer will stay put. the most that they do is raise their head up to their chest. that's it. that's the maximum. if they were in akademi fanntasia, they'd be voted off already for "tidak menggunakan keseluruhan pentas"

2. news - you know how eventful the middle east is.. so i guess that justifies the need for news for like EVERY hour

3. a talk show - the host will be a very pretty lady whose looks are flawless she could very well be mistaken for a mannequin. but she'll be over-accessorised, overdressed (leopard print clothes, apparently, are still IN on this side of the world) and a bit rough. enough said, you won't find your normala shamsudin here...

4. sports - which essentially consists of 3 types of sports only - horse racing, handball (yeah it's weird i know) and football. what a variety huh? .

5. a local drama – also, very similar to your run-off-the-mill rtm drama. except for (again) over-accessorised, overdressed actors and a lot more mascara.

and because of that, i’m just sticking to my good ole star world…

Monday, May 08, 2006


i don't think i want to talk about my life in d*bai this time (do i hear sighs of relief? FINE ;p). instead, i want to talk about some other people's lives in dubai for a change.

i found this article while i was doing some uae blog-hopping on the net. i think it really captures the other side of dubai that the rest of the world is not familiar with:

Migrants and the Middle East: Welcome to the other side of D*bai For the people who visit, it is a world-class centre of finance and tourism. But for the people who are building it - mainly labourers from the Indian subcontinent - the reality is very different. Kim Sengupta reports on a rising tide of protest

Published: 28 March 2006

It is the fastest growing city on earth, a landscape of building sites full of workers feverishly constructing the highest, the largest and the deepest in the world.It's a neverland, rising out of the barren desert and fringed by beaches and a ski resort. There are no taxes. And it is the favoured destination of Britons wishing to work and play abroad. Fifty per cent of the world's supply of cranes are now at work in D*bai on projects worth $100bn - twice the World Bank's estimated cost of reconstructing Iraq and double the total foreign investment in China, the word's third-largest economy.

But there is also a downside to the glistening towers that soar above the shopping malls, the six-lane highways and the world's only seven-star hotel with suites that can cost $50,000 (£28,000) a night. More than 2,500 workers at the site of the world's tallest building, the $800m Burj D*bai, went on strike last week in a country where striking - and unions - are illegal. It is the latest manifestation of the deep discontent felt by the semi-indentured labourers from the Indian subcontinent who are building this glitzy oasis. Complaining of unpaid wages, and demanding better conditions, the labourers marched out of the cramped, stifling dormitories where they are corralled 25 to a room in violent protests which caused $1m worth of damage. They overturned cars and smashed up offices in a very graphic reminder of a problem which normally receives little publicity. Almost everything is for sale in this part of the United Arab Emirates. Those investing in this frantic construction boom are convinced there will be no shortage of moneyed buyers.

Among the developments springing up daily are Flower City, which aims to take over the international flower trade from Amsterdam; Hydropolis, an underwater hotel alongside another with revolving mountains; a Chess City with buildings in the shape of chess pieces; the $5bn Dubailand, which will become the world's biggest theme park - bigger than Manhattan and dwarfing Disneyland. Then there are the 300 manmade islands in the Arabian Gulf in the shape of different countries of the world .. Like some other Arab countries, D*bai's oil reserves are dwindling and the ruling family, the Maktoums, want to reinvent their personal fiefdom as a financial and transport centre using the profits, while stocks last, from oil at $70 a barrel. The state-owned D*bai Ports is voraciously buying up port complexes around the globe. There was a recent setback in the US when the company, being Arab, was deemed to be a security threat. It provoked outraged editorials in Dubai's government-controlled newspapers. But the reality is that the UAE, a bastion of rampant capitalism, cannot afford to alienate Washington. The search for acquisitions continues.

The one thing money cannot buy in D*bai, however, is UAE nationality. Around 80 per cent of the population are foreigners from no less than 160 different countries and the Maktoums appear to be prepared to let the foreigner-to-local ratio grow even wider. But however long the expatriates stay, they will not be allowed citizenship. Visas are tied to jobs, and there is always the risk of being thrown out when the contract ends. The people most vulnerable to this are the very workers putting up D*bai's glossy edifices. Thirty-nine of them died in building-site accidents last year - with at least some of the casualties resulting from inadequate safety provisions. Another 84 committed suicide last year, up from 70 in 2004. The average pay for an unskilled labourer is around $4 a day, and that is enough of a lure for the impoverished of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to flock to the UAE. The jobs are arranged through contractors and those who get them have to take out loans, often at exorbitant rates of interest, to pay for their passage. On arrival in D*bai, their passports are confiscated to prevent absconding while they are on contract. Details of how companies repeatedly abused the system have recently begun to emerge. Workers were often not paid for months as their contracts drew to an end and then promptly kicked out when they demanded their wages. (Their visas expired at the end of the job.) But now, in an attempt to become a serious commercial player, Dubai is negotiating with the World Trade Organisation and, as a result, is having to clean up its act.

A big sign at the arrivals lounge of D*bai International airport professes " D*bai Cares". The police and the labour ministry has set up a hotline for foreign workers with complaints; civil servants turn up at factories and labour camps to listen to grievances and have, on occasions, ordered restitution from the firms involved. But the problems have continued with a series of demonstrations and withdrawals of labour by workers who have become more aware of their legal rights and their market value in a society bent on expansion. The government was embarrassed a few months ago when the Indian consulate announced it would feed 87 of its citizens who had taken industrial action in response to not getting paid for several months. The same workers were living 25 to a room without any electricity throughout the summer months when the temperature reached 40C.

Two weeks ago, another group of Asian workers at Jebel Ali, adjacent to D*bai city, who had not been paid for a year complained to a labour court and won their case. Their employers' response was to stop providing them with food. "Thirty of us went to the Labour Court to get our wages and we got the verdict in our favour. The company has not yet implemented it," said Laxman, one of the workers. "We were getting food from the mess hall. All of a sudden the management said that the 30 workers who had filed the case will not be allowed any food." Last week's action by employees of Al Naboodah Laing O'Rourke, at adjacent towers to the Burj D*bai, was the most high-profile so far. They are accused of assaulting security personnel, smashing computers, sabotaging construction machinery and destroying around two dozen cars. The interior ministry began negotiations with the labourers but were left somewhat bewildered by this very un-D*bai mood of militancy. "They have no right to continue this strike. I don't know why they don't realise that," said Lieutenant-Colonel Rashid Bakhit Al Jumairi, a ministry investigator. "They came back to the site, but they still refuse to work. The workers are demanding overtime pay, better medical care and humane treatment from their foremen. The companies have agreed to some of the demands. But the workers agreed to their employment conditions when they signed." A carpenter from Andhra Pradesh in India, Mangal Prasad, said the action was taken as a last resort. "We just want to be treated like human beings. The way some of foremen behave towards us is very bad. If we complain they say we will get sent back. This is wrong," he said. "We have also got to work much longer hours than we were contracted to because they want everything finished quickly. So why shouldn't we get overtime pay? That's what happens everywhere else. Most of us aren't saving money at all. We are still paying back the loan we took to get here."

It is not just construction workers who claim to be used and discarded in D*bai. Nannies and maids brought over from south-east Asia, mainly the Philippines, also complain of mistreatment. In extreme cases they are badly beaten. Many end up without jobs after disagreements with their employers. Some drift into prostitution. Silvia, a 27-year-old from Quezon City in the Philippines, has been working as a call girl at the York Hotel in Dubai. She came to the emirate as a nanny and maid for a local couple and left, she said, after being verbally and physically abused by the wife. The York is very much at the low end of the market with the women mainly from the Philippines, China and East Africa. "This is not a nice life. The men I meet are not nice," said Silvia. "I have not got a visa at the moment but I hope I can pay to get one. I just want to make some money and then go home. I do not like being in Dubai any longer." Silvia says she has been offered work at a more upmarket club, Cyclone, where the women - Russians, eastern Europeans, Thais and Iranians - can make several thousand dollars a night. Of course, not all expatriates feel they are exploited or downtrodden. Peter Watts , a 36-year-old financial analyst, from south-west London, points out that Dubai offers a lifestyle which people like him would find hard to match in Britain. "I can go sailing and skiing in one day and I have bought a brand-new Audi for a fraction of the price I'd pay back in England. I pay no income tax, and I live in a safe, clean city where the cost of living is pretty low," he said.

But what about the citizens of D*bai? How do they see this influx of foreigners - many of whom, especially from the West, bring with them an alien culture which jars with Muslim customs. Jamal, who sells real estate, said he has done well out of the commercial boom. But, in the back of his mind, he said, there is a feeling of uneasiness. "Our leaders want to turn us into a modern, first-world country, and that is good. But the place has become all about money. Do you know, there wasn't any real protest here about the Danish cartoons of the prophet - D*bai was the only place in the Muslim world where there was no outcry. What does that say about us?" Meanwhile, Jamal pointed out, the D*bai stock exchange, along with the rest of the Gulf, experienced a spectacular fall in share prices earlier this month. "Maybe that was a sign. Maybe we need to slow down and think about things," said Jamal. "Everything is going too fast. Is it getting out of control? That is a big worry. END"

the news of ill-treatment of migrant workers have surfaced in the local newspapers a couple of times. and having stayed here for the last three months, the news does not come to me as a shock. it is really possible that these things are happening. they have been tricked and seduced to come here by the promise of a better life. who can blame them? dubai sounds like a place where non-tax-paying people work and play (at least that's how it was marketed to me before i came here). i feel like a victim too (eheh... drama sikit). but as much as feel victimised here, it measures up to nothing compared to what these people have to go through. and for that, i am grateful.

i am always awed by the development that is taking place when i pass through downtown dubai. but being the cynic that i am, i can't help but ask this question - 'what will happen when the bubble burst?'. seriously, the magnitude of the development that's taking place here is terrifying. from what i can see, downtown dubai (where most of the development is taking place) is at least 5 times bigger than putrajaya. but unlike putrajaya where development takes place in phases, everything is being developed at the same time. and everything is supersized (tallest hotel, tallest apartment, tallest god knows what). you know how nst would have property times supplement once a week? well the newspapers here have that supplement EVERY DAY of the week. everything is for sale. and some of the projects can be a little bit out-of-this-world (read: just downright bizarre and weird) as narrated in the article above. i, for one, am still trying to imagine the amount of influx of people required to fill these soon-to-be-completed development projects.

i have read somewhere that the government here is anticipating a signifant percentage (can't remember exactly) of population increase in the next few years. i guess the current development is carried out to cater for the anticipated increase in population. i really hope for the sake of this country that they get the estimation correct. because if it is not - things will get ugly. and i don't want to be here when that happens.

Thursday, May 04, 2006


there is a serious lack of public holidays in this country.

last monday, when the rest of malaysia (and the world) celebrated labour day, i find myself in the office. working, with the rest of the uae population.

i got my first sense of the scarcity of public holidays here on the day i arrived from malaysia. it was a public holiday back in malaysia. it was awal muharram (the 1st day of the islamic calendar). and i was pretty confident that it should be a public holiday too here in the emirates. but when i met my boss, he was in his suit and tie. 'whoa..', i thought for a split-second, 'he dressed up to welcome me at the airport la... not bad '. but later i found out that it was not the case. it WAS a working day here on that day.

even when it is a public holiday, you need to wait for the announcement in the newspaper for confirmation. the thing is, over here there are some public holidays that are only applicable to the public sector (government agencies). therefore, people working in commercial companies (like me) will really have to wait for the announcement in the newspaper to know whether the public holiday is applicable to us or not. it's really up to the government. the power of a non-democratic government...

in the 3 months that i'm here (feels like a lot more than that though) i've only had 1 measly public holiday. and looking at the local calendar, the next POSSIBILITY of another public holiday that i am entitled for would be in august. no hari wesak, no agong's birthday for me i guess.. sigh. oh, but if someone (like the ruler) dies, all businesses/ establishments would be closed for 3 days. i'm crossing my fingers that someone gets a coronory heart attack or something sometime this year (not a very good thing to be wishing for actually... ok ok i take that bad. but that's how desperately i need a break!)