Thursday, June 30, 2005

Behind these sad eyes

I've been putting it off for years so today, I felt that I should finally get it done - my MyKad, that is. It's apparently the "world's first national smart card scheme", which is compulsory for all citizens of Malaysia. All biometric data about yourself is stored in an in-built computer chip, making it easier for the government to track and know more about you. I've resisted getting one on the grounds of civil liberties but when I found out that apparently they charge you RM100 if you don't get it done by this month (and you truly, truly need it to work and travel within the country, etc..), I made post-haste to the MyKad center. Civil liberties, be damned.

I've heard horror stories of people waiting ages to get theirs done so I was very pleasantly surprised that as soon as I got my number, I was immediately called to get my photo taken. Apparently I can't hold my head straight because every single photographer throughout my life has told me to move my head a little on the left, now a little on the right, more to the left once more - ok, PERFECT.

After I had my photo taken, I had to wait to get my fingerprints digitally scanned (no more messy thumbprints) and intrusive data checked. There were several people ahead of me and some of them were waiting in front of empty counters. I've had experience waiting in public departments and thought that it would take a long while - maybe only half an hour, if I was lucky.

Barely five minutes had passed when I was beckoned to a counter next to me. My number wasn't called so I was rather surprised. Turned out that he wanted to process my MyKad right away. He was a very pleasant man and we chit-chatted as he quickly went through the database of Me.

His computer was slightly facing me and I took a peek of my picture - good grief, I had the saddest eyes!! (I knew I'm feeling down for a long while but seeing my sad eyes really spooked me). I remember how the photographer looked at my picture and gave me a very curious look. I looked so ko lian*. No wonder the people in the department were very nice to me, while everyone else had to wait. I don't know how else to explain for the unexpected efficiency. I spent less than 10 minutes in the department. The other people before me were still waiting fruitlessly at their unmanned counters as I left.

I am grateful for that little bit of random kindness, especially in these confusing times of Me (and it's not just about what I've written or unwritten or haven't written *confuses myself*). Yet who woudathunk that it would occur in a government department. I guess people would surprise you.




*pitiful in Hokkien

4 Comments:

At 2:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your future's so bright you gotta wear shades. Love your optimism.

Btw, that MyKad scheme sounds completely scary to me.

char

 
At 6:02 PM, Blogger Cayce said...

thanks char :)

 
At 5:33 PM, Anonymous tonyk said...

cheer up, there's always laksa

 
At 4:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey there :)

Finally you got the MyKad, a pain in the neck, the old gent behind the counter is an old friend. At least, he didn't ask you to cough up $RM 400 to get the MyKad, plus a 3 month wait. This all smacks of Big Brother to me, albeit a little greedy one,

SP

 

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