Sunday, April 01, 2007

A Historic Meet

All the familiar faces were there: Raja Petra, Dato' Ibrahim Ali, Malasyiakini team, TVPAS team, and Harakah.

It was a historic meet, between 2 political legends in Malaysia and the public. Ironically, and unfortunately, since it involved these 2 legendary figures, the mainstream media did not come. Or were told not to. A shame indeed as the 2 figures were:

1) YBM Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah was invited as the speaker for 'Ceramah Agung Tahunan 2007' at the Universiti Malaysia, last Friday, 30th March. His speech was entitled "Pemikiran Dan Visi Tun Abdul Razak Dalam Pembinaan Negara-Negara Bangsa Malaysia Merentas Sempadan Etnik". Guess the English version would be: "The thoughts of Vision of Tun Abdul Razak: Crossing Ethnic Boundaries for the Development of the Nation".

2) Tun Dr Mahatir, as the Guest of Honour.

Now, if you think I'm going to write about these 2 people, you're dead wrong.

As I mentioned earlier, the familiar faces were there. But much to my pleasant surprise, there were more!

I was with Wak Kathiran, my usual webtv8 partner cameraman-partner for this occasion. It was just before the event time and we were, as usual, talking nothing and having small laughs, when I noticed a face in the small audience. He was alone and sat noticeably far from the small groupings of people. Curiousity got the better of me, and I purposedly walk along the aisle where he sat next to. And sure enough, it was him, and he had recognised me ealier too!

Abdul Razak Abdullah, the former TV3 newscaster and reporter, was also one of my insurance client way back when I was with Arab-Malaysian Eagle Assurance (then). He had purchased 3 Child Education policy, and we were almost buddy-like, dispensing the agent-client formalities. In fact, I owe it him for assisting me getting several more clients within TV3. As it is, he was the emcee for the occasion and therefore we could not talk much but I did manage to get his number. InsyAllah, we will meet for old times sake.

By the way, he told me he had encashed all 3 policies at their appropriate due time.

It was soon after that another figure caught my attention: Datuk Kadir Jasin.

Some 2 weeks earlier, wtv8 held a public forum and had invited Datuk Kadir as one of the 4 panelists. Unfortunately, though he initially agreed, he was not able to make the forum, citing his ailing mother. Thus, when I saw him that day, I wasted no time.

As I introduced myself, Datuk seemed rather apologetic. But that was not the real reason I wanted to meet him; I actually wanted to thank him personally about an episode that happened almost a decade ago when he was heading NST.

I was with a very small agency then, and we had landed a big hotel client who had newly opened 2 resorts - one in Kuantan, and the other in Damai Laut, Lumut. It was the Kuantan resort that became the subject matter.

The agency had proposed a beautiful proposal which utilised pantone colour-mix and
the client had agreed to splash several full-page Ad in NST. Though I like the colour-mix, I hate the procedure involved for it. But, since the client's own logo was in pantone, we had no choice. The date for the campaign was set, and bookings were made with NST. Then, came the crunch!

Somehow, due to a reason which to this date I know not what, the client canceled the campaign! Horrors! It was a Saturday and NST's had a prodecure where cancelation of full-page pantone Ad must be notified 7 working days prior...that particular Saturday was 8 working days prior!

My boss tried to act cool and call and spoke to one NST officer. The officer assured my boss and asked him to fax the cancelation order. Then, another horror! The fax machine broke down at the particular moment! The time...11.55am. By the time we found out that the machine was like totally dead, the office hours had come to end. Still, my boss was coolheaded, for the period between then and the Monday preceding it. Then, he blew his top! The office he spoke to, well, he went for a 1-month course in Singapore! It seem, he left for Singapore soon after he spoke to me boss! Horrors! Horrors!

After some nasty words passed between my boss and the NST people, the latter decided that the agency would still have to put in the Ad, or pay the hefty RM50,000 where NST will run a blank page! RM50,000?!!!

Ok. I was not trying to be a hero. But I tried to put years of telephone conversation training as an insurance agent to test. I called the NST operator and managed to get Datuk's direct office and fax number. Then, told the boss to write details of this event and fax it to Datuk, while I visited another client. Well, actually, I did not. I just wanted to get away from the foul words being yelled by the boss and his wife.

I went somewhere and waited several hours. The I called the boss to confirm of the fax sent. He grumbled and affirmed the matter. I then called Datuk's office and spoke to Datuk's secretary, Puan Noreha, I believe.

cakapaje: blah blah blah blah (in the most polite manner I could).
Pn Noreha: And you faxed it to Datuk's personal fax? Oh dear! When he gets back (apparently he was away for the day), there'll be hell raised!

cakapaje: Alamak! I'm sorry ma'am. I didn't know, otherwise I would not have faxed it there!
Pn Noreha: Never mind, not exactly your fault. I'll try to get things fixed before Datuk gets back.

And true enough, she did just that and the agency was relieved of the matter. With it, off course, the matter of RM50,000. I continued my PR thingy and visited those involved to personally thank them, especially Puan Noreha. Even told my boss to send over several pizzas. Afterall, another NST officer even offered to farm out several jobs to the agency. But, my boss being my boss, he could not care much. It was not him who met the NST people personally, not his face they was mine. Needless to say, I left the agency soon after. Alhamdulillah! Above all, guess what? My boss lied to me - he did not bother to fax to Datuk!

None the less, when I met Datuk last Friday, I thank him; it was his aura that put matter to rest. It was Puan Noreha who assisted in it. At least, my conscience is clear on matters relating to this.

I have thanked Datuk on the matter. Now, for Puan Noreha: May Allah bless you for your assistance on the matter. If He permits it, I would dearly love to thank you personally, and not on the boss behalf. Thank you, ma'am.

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