Uhm, good morning. I know that many of you visitors are expecting to find all sorts of fun, bright or interesting static or even interactive graphics celebrating the New Year in every new post that appears on blogs on the first day of a new year. Well, sorry, I don't have them. Always a graphics noob, I find it a problem trying to design something new and I loathe copying other people's work. Gave it up several years ago when I found it difficult to grapple with graphics programs. Even Microsoft's Paint program can cause me difficulties at times. Duh is the word to describe me! So let me just shout out a simple Happy New Year text message, and may you enjoy great happiness and blessings in 2013.
Of all the roads in my neighbourhood, the cleanliness of my road has been neglected by the road sweepers. Don't get me wrong: I do see the MPSP workers sweep the roads in my housing area but in the eight years that I've been staying in Bukit Mertajam, I have only noticed them sweeping my road once. (Maybe that's my - wait for it: The Malaysian Insider's Word of the Year - "perception". I don't normally wait to look at life crawling by past my windows.) And that came only after my wife had spoken to someone at the Council and somebody popped along to my house almost immediately to ask me whether I had any complaint to make. I said: "Yes, I need your people to sweep this road." And off he went. And you know what? The next morning, I noticed these two fellas sweeping the road. Never noticed them coming back ever since....
Of course, this does not mean that the condition of the road is in a mess. On the contrary, the residents along the road have been doing the upkeep of the areas outside our own houses by ourselves. But this cannot go on forever. We, as ratepayers, want the MPSP to do their job efficiently, what with the Cleaner, Greener Penang tagline the state has adopted. So can we have that from you please, MPSP?
Speaking of the country's biggest municipal council, I went to their headquarters yesterday afternoon in order to pay the assessment bill on my property. Why didn't I do it online, as inquired by some friends on facebook, people like Jeffrey, Mah Jin Khai, Ted Targosz, Ong Chong Eu and Steven Sim. Well, the MPSP had an offer to place ratepayers who pay their Year 2013 assessment in full before the end of 2012 into a lucky draw contest this month or next month. As the prizes seemed to be quite attractive enough, why not give it a shot and go settle my assessment bill in full?
So I settled down into a chair. Having driven through one end of Bukit Mertajam to the other in heavy traffic, I was determined to stay put here in the MPSP hall until my number was called at the payment counters. Yessiree, no way was I giving up my chance of a lucky draw. Luckily I had the presence of mind to arm myself with the ipad in which I could read my online newspapers in peace. In peace, that is, if I can ignore the people looking over my shoulders.
Gradually the crowd started to dwindle as time moved on. Most had disappeared because their bills had been paid; many having paid their bills were lingering to be registered for the lucky draw and claim their free gift from the Council as well; and a few were left still waiting to willingly empty their pockets into the Council's coffers. I glanced at the wall counter. My number was slowing coming up. It was almost like waiting for the year-end countdown at the Esplanade or Gurney Drive or Straits Quay or up Penang Hill, only that this wasn't much exciting at all. By the time my number was called, it was about 5.10p.m. Ten minutes later, I was out of the MPSP building, clutching a booklet of parking coupons (that's all?), a reward for my patience, sufferance, endurance, perseverance, staying power and kiasuism. Don't you think so? Please agree with me, won't you?