Note: Ini adalah cerita rekaan semata-mata. Tidak ada kena mengena dengan sesiapa, samada yang masih bernyawa ataupun yang sudah berhenti bernyawa. Warning: contain adult words. So those morally uptight people, please do not read this. The author would like to thank the lawyer who can only count up to one; the shorty fund manager; the guy who lost the bet on the Manchester derby recently and the kotey who used to run 100 meters in 10.3 seconds (hand timed – that’s how old he is) for some of the absolutely brilliant ideas for this short story. Please do not forget to invite me to the raya open house again next year.
The President cum Chief Executive Officer cum owner cum Marketing Chief cum Chief of all Chiefs of Air Malaysia sat on the chair fronting all the journalists and about 2 dozens microphones in the large press room at the Sepang Circuit. The entrepreneur extraordinaire looked rugged in his trademark blue jeans and a double cuffed Thomas Pink complete with a pair of red silk cufflinks.
With a smirk on his face, he adjusted his baseball cap, pulling it up a bit so that his eyes could be more easily seen. He had every right to smirk. Air Malaysia is the only company awarded a 30 year contract to supply Malaysians with clean air, especially during the haze period which in Malaysia, could mean somewhere between 3-6 months every year. That contract has made Air Malaysia, a company with the motto, “now, everyone can breathe”, a household name and now it is already branching out into the supply of hot, as well as, cold air. Already in the pipeline is the production and sale of smoke, for those agencies, governmental or otherwise, which need to create smoke screens from time to time. Practically, he has made his money out of nothing, obviously.
He gestured to the journalists that he wanted to start the press conference. An air of anticipation permeated the press room. What new product is he launching, all of them asked silently.
“Okay, my name is Datuk Seri Dr Ir Honey Fernando, President CEO COO CoC of Air Malaysia. First of all, thank you for coming to this press conference at such short notice,” he politely told the journalists. Cameras were trained to his face. Cameramen were busy clicking away as he spoke. Camera flashes were flashing away like burst of little lightning in the press room.
“We are here today to announce the formation of a GT racing team, a One Malaysia team, which will take part in the Japanese GT, DTM Series as well as the FIA GT Championship from next season. We will also take part in Le Man races and whatever races available. The team will drive the One Car, driven by the One Driver, crewed by the One Crew and will be base at the One Home, namely, the Sepang Circuit. The One Car will be built by Malaysians in Malaysia and will be a totally Malaysian Car,”, announced Datuk Seri Dr Ir Honey Fernando, pride brimming from his face.
The journalists broke into a patriotic applause. “What will the team name be, Sir,” asked one guy.
“It will be named One Malaysia-SIA GTnomic Racing Team,” said the Datuk Seri.
“Ooh…erm…doesn’t that sound a bit self-defeating Sir? I mean it sounds like Malay Sia-sia…and “sia-sia” means wasteful?”, continued the guy.
“Eh, it’s not Malay sia-sia la. It is Malaysia-SIA. SIA is our partner and of course their name must be there la,” answered the Datuk Seri.
“But if Singapore Airlines is in the team, how could you call it a Malaysian team, Datuk Seri?”, a lady journalist asked.
“Who say Singapore Airlines is in the team? It is SIA, a private company owned by my friend, Sonny Indran. It is Sonny Indran Automobile la. His company will supply us the chassis,” answered the Datuk Seri impatiently.
“Oh…I see,” nodded the journalist before continuing, “since when do we have a private company in Malaysia which produces racing car chassis?”
“Eh, when did I say that Sonny Indran manufactures racing car chasis la? He runs a potong kereta business la. He has agreed to allow us to take whatever chasis we want from his yard la…aiyo, please don’t put words into my mouth la people!”, Datuk Seri was obviously getting upset.
“Now, can I continue? I mean, I want this PF to end before the Bagan Pinang by-election okay!”, said the Datuk Seri sarcastically.
“Okay, the technical director cum Chief Operating Officer of the team will be Mr Paul Gas Coin, an old friend of mine who has been involved in racing for ages and ages. I am sorry he is not here now because he is busy looking for sponsors as we speak,” explained the Datuk Seri.
“Is that spelt Gascoyne, Sir?”, asked an old journalist.
“No, it is Gas Coin…”, the Datuk Seri spelt out the name. “Well, I know what you all are thinking. Let me explain. His name was Paul Munusamy. His father is unknown. His mom is Malaysian. After 36 years of applying, he recently was given his Malaysian citizenship. He wanted to change his name to Paul Gascoine after his favorite footballer who played for that team in the BPL…you know, that team which everyone cannot remember the name…haiya…whatchamaycallit…that team which wanted to buy everybody but end up with Peter Crouch…?”, asked Datuk Seri Honey Fernando.
“Never mind, anyway, the NRID officer said he cannot change his name to Gascoine as people might confuse him with the footballer. So he named himself Gas Coin instead. By the way, our race director will be Dato’ Mohjizan, a well known businessman and also my partner,” further explained the good Datuk Seri.
Just then, a man in full race suit entered the room, looking hassled and almost upset. “What la, Honey, the car is useless la… you told me it is ready for shakedown and so I came to drive it just now. It is not ready for a shakedown la Bro…”, complained the man.
“Ah ah…come come Alex, let me introduce you to the press. Ladies and gentleman, this is Alexander Yen Yen Yoong, our driver. I mean, our potential driver. He is a sponsored driver. Yes, Alex, what are your gripes about the car exactly?”, asked Datuk Seri Honey.
“I don’t know la Honey…many problems. Firstly, the rpm seems to cut out at about 3500rpm. Then I think the bloody 6 cylinder engine ah…only 3 cylinders are firing. You told me the car would have a 6 speed sequential dog box. Bloody hell, there are only 4 speeds! And the window cannot wind down…damn hot la Bro! And my harness, only 2 points ah? Regulations say 4 points la dey…The brakes also, only the fronts ones are working…like cibai la Bro…”, thundered Alex.
“Be patient Alex. All can be explained. I told you from the outset. This team is a budget racing team. You know? Like those budget airlines la. The car can rev up to 9500rpm la I tell you. You want more than 3500rpm your sponsor pay 100k for every 1000 rpm la okay. Same with the engine. For the price you are paying now, you can use 3 spark plugs only. That is why only 3 cylinders are firing. You want more? Pay 80000 per spark plug la. You want 6 speeds? That will cost you 250000 per gear. The harness will cost you 50000 each. And as for the brakes, the mech will activate the rear ones for 400000. You understand? Don’t simply complain la. Malu la like this. You go and read our contract la dude. You got money what. You are sponsored by AAM,” said the Datuk Seri.
“Oh, the Association of Automobile Malaysia is also involved, is it?”, asked one journalist.
“No la. It is the Association of Ah Long Malaysia. This is an association of legalised Ah Longs. They are all registered. They even offer Islamic financing. And Shariah compliant too. For example ah…if they want to splash blood on a Muslim defaulter’s house or cars or whatever, they only use blood of cows which are slaughtered in accordance with the Islamic requirements, you know. Unlike the illegal ones. If they want to break a hand, and they know the defaulter is a right hander, they would only break the left hand. Good ah?,” explained Alex proudly. “Some more ah, they employ 30% Bumi staffs! Not only are they Islamic, they are also NEP compliant,” said Alex further.
Right then, Datuk Seri’s mobile phone rang to the tune of ABBA’s Fernando…”can you hear the drums fernando?”……
“Hello…oh Paul, wassup man….oh, you got them? Wow, Lotus, Armani, Mc….my God, you are good man…these are big sponsors dude….whoa…the umbrella people also you got oredi ah…superb man…I always have faith in you man…thank you, thank you…ah ah…good job la Bro…eh…bring them here now la….I have a press conference now…” the Datuk Seri enthusiastically spoke on the phone.
“Ladies and gentlemen, that was Paul Gas Coin…eh eh…please spell his name correctly ah. He just told me that he has managed to secure some huge sponsors like Lotus, Armani and McDonald. I tell you, this is going to be a really successful team. Looks like the sponsors do have confidence in us Malaysians. He will bring the reps from those companies soon. He is on the way now…let me in the meantime show you the car. Will all of you come to the window please. Look at the car down there,” the Datuk Seri pointed to the pit lane.
“But Sir, that is a Nissan Skyline. You said it is a Malaysian car,” asked a journalist.
“Haiyah, you pedantic or what. That car was built by our mechanic in our Sunway workshop la…so it is Malaysian la. Apa la….no need to be so particular la,” said Datuk Seri Honey Fernando.
About half a hour later, Paul walked in together with 5 guys. “Boss, good afternoon Boss…these are the sponsors reps,” said Paul while pointing to the 5 guys.
“Everyone, this Paul Gas Coin I was telling you about just now,” introduced Datuk Seri Fernando.
The journalists broke into a loud applause.
“Eh, Paul, come and see me in the adjacent room for a while. Ladies and gentlemen, excuse us for a while. I have to speak to Paul for a minute,” Datuk Seri said while standing up and gesturing to Paul to follow him out of the press room.
“Eh, who are those fellas la…where are the Lotus, Armani and McDonald guys la. Don’t tell me they have Indians reps in Malaysia,” enquired Datuk Seri Honey.
“Aiyoh Boss, those are the reps la. Who told you McDonald was sponsoring? I said McCurry. That bald Indian chap is McCurry’s rep la. They will sponsor our banana leave breakfast and lunch,” explained Paul.
“And where is the rep from Lotus Engineering?, enquired Datuk Seri impatiently.
“Uiyo Boss, not Lotus Engineering la. Lotus Curry House and Hotels la. They will sponsor our dinner and accommodatios. We can have lucky draws for our fans and the winners can stay at Lotus hotels for 2 nights,” said Paul, obviously proud of his marketing achievements.
“And the other fellow is Rajamani. He has just graduated from UiTM with a degree in fashion design. Although he is an Indian, he speaks Malay and he is a Muslim and he wears sarong all the time, so he qualifies as a Malay la they say, so he masuk UiTM. He now has a boutique called R.Mani. He agrees to sponsor baju for the crew la. Great ah Boss?,” Paul was seeking his boss’ approval.
“You know Boss. One famous shoemaker is also considering sponsoring us Boss. Jimmy Chee Yew. He will provide all footwear Boss. He is even thinking ah Boss, he can prepare garlands of slippers also if we finish on the podium Boss. Great or what?”, enthuses Paul endlessly.
“Pundek lu la Paul. Tak boleh harap!,” cursed Datuk Seri Honey. “And what the feck are those two chettiars doing here la? I don’t need a loan la. Alex is already sponsored by Ah Longs,” said Datuk Seri Honey.
“Oh, Boss, those two are our umbrella people…” explained Paul while looking down.
“Aiyo yo Paul, jail la like this macha…aku give up la like this. Eh, you go and tell the Lotus guys to take over the team la. I resign after Lotus take over okay…..”