October 20, 2008

#43 Assessing Accidents

One thing Malaysian you must have noticed by now are the abominable traffic jams that plague the roads, highways and streets of Malaysia. Morning, noon or night, you can rest assured that you will encounter some form of congestion that will delay you from reaching your destination in time.

Now that you think about it, traffic jams are vital to the Malaysian cultural fabric because it gives credence to their chronic tardiness and penchant for complaining. But I digress.

Sometimes, you may be engaged in an hour long, bumper-to-bumper queue that will test your patience and sanity. More often than not, you will repress this rage and let it erupt somewhere down the road. Maybe at a Badminton game or political rally. If you are truly unfortunate, there may be no cause for the bottleneck or congestion at all and you will be left in a confused state of frustration and wonder.

More often than not though, the cause of this stagnancy is an accident; an unfortunate vehicular mishap that requires its drivers to stop in the middle of the road to converse and exchange pleasantries. An inexplicable state of voyeurism will possess other commuters as they slow down their vehicles to peruse and evaluate the damage that has been done to the vehicles involved. Everyone will have an opinion on it. Some will take pictures for the benefit of those of you who enjoy such vicarious experiences.

There will also be many concerned citizens who will commiserate, by stopping to assist and provide advice. Some of them may be car garage touts eager to haul said vehicles into their establishments but still, their intentions are sincere. Or so they insist. Almost instantaneously, you will see tow trucks appearing at the behest of imposing walkie-talkies and the vehicle owners will be spoilt for choice given the gallantry of such noble and entrepreneurial samaritans.

Should the situation be appearing to reach a resolution, you must act promptly and do what all other Malaysian witnesses have already done as soon as the accident happened: take the vehicle registration numbers down. No, it's not so you can provide the authorities with details as well as your first hand account of the incident. Taking down the numbers is a fiduciary responsibility you have to yourself.

These numbers, although procured at the expense of others' misfortune, are potentially prosperous as you can use them at the local Magnum or 4D shop. In case you are still groping in the dark, calamitous events such as accidents are crucial in sustaining the local gambling industry. While there has been no empirical evidence to suggest such an incident could lead to an inverse turn of fortune, it is still a time honored tradition that Malaysian people adhere to fastidiously.

So next time you see an accident on the road, remember that one person's misfortune could be your ticket to retirement.

Thanks to Aidan Oh for the topic suggestion.


Poppy said...

Great. You've blacked out the registration number on the Kembara. Give me back my ticket, son.

Add 8 + 4 said...

do not take accidents for granted. accidents are so vital in malaysian lifestyle which actually we use accidents as a good reason for being late in our daily conversation.

eg 1.
Boss: Why're you late today?

Staff: Sorry boss, accident in federal highway.

Alvin: Dude, where you? We're waiting for u damn long. you forgot our appointment?

Nigel: Sorry bro, on the way. got accident and im stuck in jam for 20min! *the truth: Nigel was blogging at home for an hour plus*.

note: those were just examplesof how helpful the word accident is in malaysians lifestyle.

Aidan said...

What. The. Hell. When did I suggest that! Or is there really another Aidan Oh around?

Amrit said...

It's a norm that accidents happen and ever since we had proper roads, streets and highway; the developers forgot how many people would have cars like today - Heaps!

Gallivanter said...

I like your sarcastic take to it (unless I read it wrong). We all want the easy way out, to strike that jackpot. Unfortunately, it is taking too far when we "look forward" to accidents to get some "divine" insight of tomorrow's winning number. Lame, but such is life.

B.H. said...


No refunds.


Much like your juvenile sense of humour is an accident. A car wreck, to be specific.


Have you been forsaking your gingko supplements as of late?


Common sense at the expense of commerce. Truly Malaysian, what can I say.


There is a Chinese proverb that says "behind every crisis lies an opportunity". We would be remiss if we did not adhere to such venerable advice.


Aidan said...

Told you no more tranquilizers. Need to get some soon.

HoneyBee said...

Accident... the source of traffic jam in Malaysia. Those who pass by usually can't do anything but stare but of course you have to stare, it'll be the talk of the day over the 10 am coffee break.

Wonder when are they going to break this stupid habit, or it's just plain Malaysianism that will never change.

Anonymous said...