Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Khalid Ibrahim and Khir Toyol: A tale of two Menteris Besar

a humble chap 

Tale 1

One fine summer in the United States or specifically in Washington DC more than 30 years ago,  I was with  my friends from the same university  visiting parts of the White House when suddenly one of us suggested that we go and visit the Washington monument which was not far from the infamous No. 1 house. While walking there came a reasonably tall handsome guy wearing a brown track suit with blue trim  greeting  us "Melayu ke?" He looked as if he had  just finished sweating out at a nearby area. My friends and I  quickly  responded " Melayu la". He introduced himself as Khalid Ibrahim but we  didn't know who he was. We told him that we were students studying in the state of Kentucky, a southern belt state. And  he told us    that he worked with PNB. After a short exchange he  invited us to his hotel. I don't remember exactly which hotel but  it was not far from the White House and quite cozy and the room was quite  big more like a suite. At the hotel room there was some "Serunding"  that his wife had prepared  and he offered  some to us.  The suite  had a  fax machine ( a very modern device then) which was working non stop.Mr Khalid said that he  had to be given updates of the companies that PNB owned. He even mentioned that PNB just performed "dawn raids" on two British owned  plantation companies-Harrison Crossfields and Sime Darby. Later after a short chat ,we went to a Tandoori restaurant not far from the White House. He spent almost 300 us dollars for the best Tandoori lunch we ever had.

Khalid Ibrahim was a very humble guy. He was a teacher and also a lecturer at UM. From my understanding, he decided to join politics because he wasn't satisfied with how some  ruckus politicians treated him when he was the CEO of PNB. To me, he's truly a gentleman and a patriot. I heard he's  not a corrupt person like some UMNO  and Pakatan members. The only problem with Khalid Ibrahim is that he's wearing the  wrong hat. I don't think he has millions like other ex Mentris Besar, Selangor have in their bank accounts.

Tale 2

After completing my studies from the States, I was sent to a school in Bahau, Negeri Sembilan. A few months later  I applied to work in a place not far from Kajang town. Kajang then was a cowboy town serviced by the Foh Hup Transport Co.. The main bus station was located opposite a Mamak restaurant where now you see the Metro Kajang Shopping Center . The bus station was really a run down building with half exposed toilets. The toilets were really in unbearable conditions and  unfit to use. Not far from the dilapidated bus station behind the then Bank Bumiputra there's a children's clinic manned by Dr. Kwan , a pediatrician and I think the only one at that time in Kajang. On top of Dr. Kwan's clinic or on the first floor was a dental clinic. I don't remember exactly the name of the clinic.But I remember the difficult-to -smile dentist . He would always wear a  white uniform that a dentist normally wear.  He was a short stocky guy with round glasses. One thing I remember about him was that he liked to wear a very strong perfume. The smell was so strong that one would smell the perfume first before you see the person.

Dentist turned politician and  now a rich man
It happened that after 10 years of marriage I was bestowed a son and    at the age of 8 he had a toothache. In fact, two of his front  teeth were really in bad conditions and they were also wobbly. I wanted to pull the teeth out as I felt that it was really easy to  do it. But my wife was very discouraging and would not let me pull them out . So I relented and instead took him to the dental clinic in Kajang . At the clinic  the two teeth were pulled out rather easily  by hand by  the dentist at a cost of RM 60 -RM 30 a piece .At the clinic,I  also requested that the dentist  warned my son from continuing sucking his  pacifier by telling him that  he (the dentist) would give a jab at the buttock  if my son continued with his bad habits. Surprisingly, my son stopped sucking it immediately after the dentist's appointment.

24 million bungalow?
Then a few years later I heard that  the dentist that helped me get my son stopped sucking his  pacifier was made the Menteri Besar of  Selangor. I believed his appointment as Menteri Besar  was  Dr. Mahathir's way of trying to fight corruption by appointing  a young idealistic corruption free man. But that was not to be. He really accumulated his wealth to the brim. He built a huge bungalow that allegedly   cost about  24 million ringgit. Think how much money you have in your account if you built your dream house that costs that much. A really sad tale.

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