Despite of my complaints I am still glad to be a government servant. Why? Because while on duty I could travel around to many countries that unless you are loaded you just can't afford to go to.
Before this I always told myself and my friends (bosses included) that I would like it very much to go to Africa. To see the big four - Lion, Elephant, Rhinocerous and Hippopotamus!
So one fine day, Dato' Radzi, the then Perak's Agriculture Exco asked me to follow him to Africa together with Tan Sri Muhyiddin, the then Agriculture Minister.
Just like a sleepy guy offered a cosy pillow, I, without hesitant, accepted the offer and so off we went to South Africa.
The first city was Johannesburg or in short just Joburg. True to its notoriety, our van, with the Minister inside, was nearlr robbed. Two guys suddenly boarded our van and started asking for our passports.
An officer from Malaysian High Commission realised what was going on and warned everybody not to give out our passports. Realizing that their attemp was failing, they quickly went down the van and ran away.
The second incident occurred right in front of the hotel we were staying. An RTM cameraman was busy shooting beautiful scenes of Joburg. Suddenly a man (he told us later) came and asked him for his wallet.
As if hypnotised, he willingly gave his wallet to the man. The man went through the content of his wallet and sai: 'Wow, you have American diollars! Ok, take back your wallet.'
The cameraman took back his wallet and placed it into his back pocket. Half an hour later, he woke up from his sleep, and only then he realized that he had been conned - five hundreds of his six hundred American dollars were missing!
And that guy left him one hundred dollars. what a gentleman highwayman!
We decided not to go around much of Joburg. We just went around a big shopping mall near the hotel.
After Joburg, we went around visiting Elizabethtown and Capetown.
Capetown was just amazing. We stayed in a RM4,000 a night Table bay hotel. The room was just fascinating, with the view of the famous table mountain. The mountain was covered with a slowly dispersing cloud, just like a table cloth covering a dining table! So beautiful.
WE all went up the cable car up to the top of the mountain. The gondola could carry about sixty people.
WE met many Cape Malays in Capetown. In an abattoir I was surrounded by many Cape Malays asking me all sorts of questions. One even asked me whether I could supply him a few containers of deep fried shallot!
Capetown harbour was something else at night. There were lots of halal food joints within walking distance from the hotel.
All in all I saw there was still a big gap between the Blacks and the Whites in South Africa.