View The Nude's Profile

Latest Blog Entries
The Author
About The Girls
Otto's Book Project
Boring Disclaimer
Email Otto

Malaysian Alien


Powered by: Blogger

Monday, August 18, 2008
Who’s Your Daddy? (The Merdeka Post)

Dedicated to every down and trodden Malaysian.

"Just because I'm losing
Doesn't mean I'm lost
Doesn't mean I'll stop
Doesn't mean I would cross."
~ Coldplay, 'Lost'.

‘Do you know who my father is?’ he barked on the mobile. Earlier that day, my brother and I visited his office, a tiny dot on the face of the Earth. Prior to our appointment with Daddy’s Boy, we were at Michael Chong’s for some legal advice.

‘Do you know who my father is?’ he asked. ‘My father knows Mahathir, ok! Do you know who you are getting involved with?’

These were the words of a full grown man businessman, who co-developed a Malaysian franchise. We are not talking about some kampung business selling prawn crackers. No offence to the successful business women in Kelantan, who by the way (I’m assuming), worked hard for their money and relied on nobody but their backbones. We are talking about a legitimate business with ’11 years of technology’ behind the brand name. Those were also the words uttered by Daddy’s Boy (though I personally prefer to call him ‘Purse Carrier’ in my private time).


Without going into details (less they sue me because they evidently spend more energy, time and money on making sure the little they’ve gotten from impressionable and hopeful young entrepreneurs stays within their bank account) it is suffice to say that I am all for building a high standard franchise brand.

There are lots of issues that I have very many questions to ask and they have a lot to answer for. But what irritates me most about the franchise was the willingness to use Mahathir’s name. Poor ex-premier’s name being used by some businessmen for personal gains. (I've no issues if the said business man had used Mahathir's name to promote some kind of charity event).

Can you imagine that my brother and I had to seek for FREE LEGAL ADVICE to ensure that the franchisor cannot suck any more money from my little brother? Contrasting our story is Daddy’s Boy, who not so subtly asked us to be careful because his father is a friend’s of Mahathir.

(I’d like to think that even our ex prime minister has some standard to maintain-lah. It is unlikely that Daddy's Boy or the good Daddy himself share Sunday Roast with Mahathir. This post has nothing to do with our previous Prime Minister. He happens to be a by-stander in this Merdeka post, whose name was borrowed and leeched off till kingdom come.)


We are putting up flags and banners to celebrate Merdeka. Fifty one years on and we (still) have many grown men telling common people who their daddies are. What big crying shame!

Won’t you take a minute to think where our nation is heading to, if legitimate businesses NEED to borrow big shot names to justify their business and survival? What happened to running your business based on just principles and healthy competition? What happened to right and wrong? What happened to defending the poor and needy? What happened to responsibility and accountability? What ever happened to consumer’s rights?

My brother is not pursuing the matter. He just wants to get the whole issue behind his back. His energy is drained and his enthusiasm is crushed momentarily. I however, have much energy to pursue this and to highlight the fact that each and every Malaysian’s consumer rights should and must be protected from the big shots and even bigger names. Businesses must be accountable and responsible for the product that they are peddling.

My brother was one of three franchisees opened at the same time. Out of the three, two of them chose to end their businesses within very short time. From my last two sentences, please form your own judgement on the quality of the franchise brand.

Now the excuse offered was, ‘Businesses have up and down’ and ‘sometimes you win, sometimes you lose’. That is a fact that I will not deny. However do you not agree with me when I say that most people buy a franchise brand for its in depth knowledge and experience in a certain type of business? Basically when you buy a franchise, you are buying a systematic approach towards a particular business. The success rate should be higher than opening a business on your own.

A franchisor has to maintain a certain standard of quality. Blaming many franchisees for lacking tenacity and perseverance is sloppy and unprofessional. At the end of the day, a franchisor is responsible for weeding out grass from corn. A franchisor should have a system of identifying suitable franchisee partners to work with and pursue a relationship with people who will be able to withstand and stay competitive within the game.

My modestly short list of criticism includes:
  • You do not hand out a franchise agreement to every Tom, Dick and Harry who hands you the cash for the start-up (which by the way equals approximately a Honda City in cash at minimum). (Failure rate of 2/3 does not look good to prospective franchisees.) You should set up several interviews to discern the best from the lot and work with those who are committed to your vision. For example, Kumon protects its brand name by insisting that all franchisees work within the franchise on a full time basis. This ensures commitment and dedication (which guarantees a certain quality for the brand name).

  • You have to identify profitable areas and look for franchisees in those locations. You should have done your market survey and know which locations work and which don’t. You do not allow a franchisee to open wherever he thinks fits him. After all, you are called "PARENT company" for a reason. You should know better.

    On a micro scale, you do not allow a franchisee to open in an unfavourable spot in the shopping mall because in almost all businesses, it is always about location, location, location!

  • You must have sufficient time to train your future manager and staff. First impression means everything, so you should never allow your franchisee to open his doors before he is fully equipped, trained and staffed. How is it possible for you to allow a franchisee to open your franchise brand when a simple thing called ‘staffing’ is not prepared, trained and resolved?

  • You should listen to the grievances of your franchisees with an open mind and see to their needs through your support system. You must make time for your franchisees and not claim that you are attending one meeting after another and have no time for your clients. You should solve grievances within a target time shorter than your very best of ‘3 to 5 weeks time’. That is almost as miserable as TMnet's current duel with MiniBoyFriend, who is trying to terminate his internet service since February 2008.

    The best part is you have spent your resources defending your little bit of money instead of solving the issue. In your busy schedule of getting more franchisees to sign up, you do not even know what is the issue at hand. We do not want all our money back. We want what is right for Malaysia as a acceptable and standard practice. We want justice and consumer rights for the average Malaysian. We do not want some big company threatening us with legal action this and that. We are just small folks.

    Take a hint from AirAsia who responded positively to Kenny Sia's criticism. They could have sued him for defamation but instead were gracious and generous enough to take a little criticism and show sincere actions to improve their products and services. Well done, AirAsia. I will vote for Tony Fernandes as Prime Minister any time of the day!

  • I do not appreciate being told/advised by the franchisor’s employees that I should use a softer approach ‘because he (the boss) will become hard if you are hard on him’. I have the right to question if a mistake was made. The last time I have heard, it was my brother who paid you a sum of money. In my book, that makes him your customer and not your slave/court jester.

    And unlike some employees who might need to curry flavour some bosses, customers do not need to butter the boss. And don’t you even dare start with the ‘my father knows Mahathir’ miserable line of an immensely pathetic excuse.


This ‘who’s my daddy?’ would have been an urban legend in many countries but it is alive and well in ours. Welcome to Boleh-Land. We send astronauts into space and build the tallest towers. We use the internet and have hifi, wifi, 3G and whatsonots everywhere. We are the land of everything also must can – from the longest dumpling to the fastest worm in Malaysia. We are still working on a Gold in the Olympics but that’s okay. Lee did us proud anyway. We sent some guys up to Everest and to the north pole. And yet, grown men borrow their daddies names and that of every important person they know with the aim of bullying and intimidating the common Malaysian man.

Everyone had their very own come back lines when they heard the 'Who's your daddy?' line. These lines painfully highlights the differences between the well-connected upper class with political connections and the common everyday everywhere people like you and me.

Him: Do you know who my father is?
Me: Who the hell is your father?
Him: My father knows Mahathir.
Me: Eerm… What am I supposed to say? Congratulations? I'm glad that your dad knows Mahathir. My dad knows Mahathir too. We used to have his photos on our walls.

Him: Do you know who my father is? He knows Mahathir.
A very white Mat Salleh: Do YOU know who MY father is? He knows Ah Beng, the pirated DVD seller on Tuesday’s pasar malam. Can get really cheap DVDs one…

Him: Do you know who my father is? He knows Mahathir.
A 64 year old retired English teacher: So what if your father knows Mahathir? Does that make you right?

Him: Do you know who my father is?
My brother: *in rather meek tone* Who is your father?
Him: My father knows Mahathir. So don’t play around with me.
My brother: Sir, I am not playing around, sir. I am quite serious about the business.
(After hanging up, my brother looked to me and said: Die lah, die lah. They (are) preparing C4 now.
To which I replied: You think it's easy to get a hand on the C4 now?)

What is your best come back line? What would you say if someone intimidates you with his father's name? Let's celebrate Merdeka this year with some deliciously wicked come back lines to the bullies. Submit your smartest and cheekiest come back to 'Who's Your Daddy?' in this post's comment section.


If we were more prepared, we would have recorded the whole conversation and posted it on YouTube. It was a huge surprise to hear those words. It was the topic of conversation for days and many jokes were spawned from the "Who's Your Daddy?". We are living in 2008 in the land of the free and here is an overseas educated and good looking man (and likely father to some kids) using his daddy's name and Mahathir's name like a baby using a bib while feeding from the milk bottle. But alas, we did not record it, so he is not going to be a superstar anytime soon. (I really wished that we did though because his reaction would be priceless and worth every single Ringgit paid.)

My family is not pursuing the matter anymore. The issue is resolved and closed as far as the family is concerned. Well we have lost, isn't it? We do not know Mahathir and he claims that his father does. The company has a huge legal eagle machinery to condemn us to financial ruins. So Daddy's Boy wins and we have lost. The franchisor is yet to reimburse some money which they had promised and we are not hopeful. I told my brother that this is a bitter lesson that he must learn. Life is not all wonderful and businessmen can be as cunning as they can be honest.

I am writing this so my young readers will be informed and educated. Read the terms and conditions of your franchise agreement properly. Read the fine print. Hire a lawyer to protect your rights BEFORE you sign the agreement. A franchise brand is like all other businesses. It isn't infallible. Choose your business partners wisely. Protect, yes protect your rights as a consumer and do not be afraid to ask questions. Be brave to seek for what you think is right and is rightfully yours - as a member of civil society, a consumer, a citizen of a free country called Malaysia.

But above all, think of Malaysia. Love our country. Show some pride in your conduct. Shape your future. You can be better than the ordinary. All of us are born equal. This isn't the 1800s. We are no more living in a feudal system where some lord has the right to push us around - where the folks have to bow to those with connections and right family names. In Malaysia, we are each accountable for our actions. We cannot blame our parents and grandparents for our choices. We cannot blame our forefathers or politicians for their choices in the past. We make our choices today and shape our very future.

It is time for our nation to grow up and walk on our own two feet. Fifty one years on, we are more than ready to grow stronger shoulders so we can carry our own weight and walk the long and narrow. We no longer use our father’s name. We have ours.


"You might be a big fish
In a little pond
Doesn't mean you've won
Cause along may come
A bigger one."
~ Coldplay, ‘Lost’.

Related Link:

Labels: ,

Tuesday, August 05, 2008
The Blanket Bandit
You know that time has passed you by when you wake up in the middle of the night with, “What the fuck! September 2008 is just round the corner. Technically I have known YC for two years”.

You may ask, “Why YC as a point of reference?” and I would answer, “Because she is about the only common person that both you and I know”.

Yes, it is two years since I met the little missy somewhere in the desert of nowhere and approximately a year since I last seen her. The last that she called was about two months ago on a Thursday afternoon. “Want to go to Rawa?” she asked. I wished I could. I was down with the flu and was more of a dead dog than babe in bikini.

I have known YC for two years. Twenty four months, if you wish for more “drama”, so to speak. I have written in ANNN for a year extra. That makes it three whole years. Three whole years of stories of me, me and more ME.

It’s funny how time flies when you do not want it to.


Are you one of those people who enjoy quantifying their lives? I happen to be one of them people. I like to think, equate, count, reflect and decide if I had a good life. Or a horrific life, on a bad day.

I am also one of those manic people who need to achieve something – to make meaning of my life. That sort of thing. I need to feel that I have done something to improve myself and on a larger scale, society and world. Therefore it comes as no surprise if a pop quiz in Glamour magazine once said that I would either be:

  • A psychiatrist

  • A teacher.

  • A writer.

I found the above list quite revealing. They were all professions that I have considered in the past and they remain the professions that I am considering after all these years. Strange, huh?


I used to write daily. Those were the times when I think I was trying to figure myself. I wrote long and short and I wrote lots. I wrote the truth and then there were some mistakes. Hint: all those entries about other characters in the blogsphere such as Daphne or XX. (How stupid.)

Then I figured that perhaps I should give my readers a break and begun writing on alternate days. I wrote only what I felt comfortable writing and I wrote only the truth. I could have written a tall tale - that I had a magnificent lifestyle. Or that I was physically taller. But I thought I should not lie about such trivial matters. If I should write a creative blog and told a lie, I much prefer telling a huge, fat ass lie.

Yup. I am a greedy bugger.


I realised that caffeine do not agree with me from dinnertime onwards. I should never ever have coffee with VSOP if I want to sleep by 11 p.m. It is never a good idea, I have discovered. Because here I am at 1 a.m. writing this to you. Not that I do not want to write to you. I always felt the urge to write to you but I always found some other things to do and errands to run. Errands such as to determine the design for my kitchen.

I am smart enough to hire a designer to design my kitchen layout plus produce the cabinets. Then I am manic enough to override his decisions by electing myself as the chief designer. Mind you, he is the second firm I have approached. I am much happier with this chap because he arrives for appointments on time, is pleasant and answers my questions with confidence.


There are hardly anything that I can do. Much less errands to run at one in the morning. So here I am, contemplating my life. Thinking and trying to establish if indeed I have a good life. No, let me rephrase that.

To determine if indeed I am HAVING a good life.

I can’t decide. I know that I am having a good life. I mean, I have enough work clothes to rotate two months without washing a single item. My parents love me and I still get extra lovin’ from people around me - known and unknown. I have a good set of friends around me (MBF R, LL and of course, my ever faithful breakfast buddy, PY). Even E and BestGuyFriend made their presence known in recent weeks, which is really nice.

I have lots to be thankful and even more to celebrate. I am satisfied with the progress on my professional life. It has given me many opportunities that many do not receive. Personally I am doing well. Life is hectic but I feel satisfied internally. I even enjoy the after work crawl home! Taking my place in the traffic jam makes me feel alive and important.

That I have a place in society.

That I am doing something important.

That I am making changes and who I am matter to the world.


Oh yes, it is 1:18 a.m. and all I can think of is how to contribute to society and if my life is significant. I am sure that you think of such important matters too, when you can’t sleep at night.

Why is it that as great as my life is, I do not dare to call it ‘great’? Is it because I am afraid that it will fade away the moment I do? Is it because I am humble? (Definitely am not a humble person, which you can gather from my writing). Why can’t I just say, “Yes, Otto. Well done. You have a GREAT life!”? Could it be because I constantly search for something greater? And bigger? And more meaningful?

Why the search anyway? If life is great, why look for more? Now that is an interesting question to ask yourself the next time you can’t sleep because you were smart enough to have coffee nearing your sleeping time.


‘You are a blanket bandit,’ he said.

I was driving home after dinner this evening when he related how I have stolen the blanket last night and the few nights before last. Like usual I start building a nest every night before I sleep. I am making a habit of pulling the blanket right up to my neck, to keep myself warm. All those nights sleeping naked had left me with the undesirable trip to the doctor’s - TWICE this year alone! Since then I always wore something to sleep in an attempt to keep myself warm at night.

Miraculously I always wound up sleeping on top of the blanket in the course of the night. He slept naked too but never received a trip to the doctor’s. But he soon will, at the rate that I am pulling off the blanket, which leaves both me and his bare butt in the cold.

‘The next time this happens, I will pull the blanket back, Blanket Bandit,’ he said, gently tapping my nose.

Me, a blanket bandit. Now that makes a catchy title, don’t you think?


It’s 1:35 a.m. and I am still pondering on the quality of my life. All my friends remarked that I think too much for my own good. But I think that thinking about life makes life eventful and special. I savour each minute of my waking hours and I celebrate life itself. Everything seems clear and real to me. Even dreams are sweeter.

I am the first to admit that I can be a little strict with myself. Harsh, if you wish. But you see, that is the only way to succeed. Show me a disciplined person and I will show you a successful person. If you are happy, it did not happen by chance. You made it happen. You chose it. Every step and every decision you took, take and will take takes you a step closer towards happiness. Or away.


It is 1:42 a.m. on the 5th of August 2008. The Blanket Bandit mightily declares that her life is great. Maybe that’s because she is going to steal the blanket again tonight.