Farewell to the Greatest of All Time (GOAT)

Tiger is the GOAT.

Just like Michael Jordan is for basketball. Just like Maradona is for football (sorry, Pele), just like Usain Bolt is for track and field, just like Federer is for tennis.

And sad as it is, the curtain drops.

I recall when Michael Jordan called it quits (the first time, let’s forget about the disastrous comeback ok) – I was really into basketball and I wasn’t bad at it. I represented my school, so can’t be that bad. I had a really good jumpshot and I played good defense, but I was horrible at decision making. So I kinda made the team but never really played because I never listened to the coach. Anyway – I HATED the Chicago Bulls. I hated them. They were too good. I mean, if you see Jordan scrambling down court, with Pippen at his side – my God, it’s like watching Leonardo Da Vinci paint the Last Supper. It wasn’t basketball. It was art. And for some weird reason, I hated the fact that they were so good that everyone was an underdog to them. Even when Utah Jazz faced them back in the 97 finals – everyone thought John Stockton and Karl Malone had a chance. None. They were like schoolboys. We pitied the Utah Jazz. They weren’t just outplayed, they were put in a Baby Bjorn by Michael Jordan and carried around with shit in their diapers.

So when Jordan said, I was done, I am playing baseball – we were like, great! Finally!

But guess what – we started to miss him horribly. Nobody came close to Jordan. And credit to Kobe and kudos to Duncan – nobody ever has come to replace Jordan. He is the GOAT of basketball.

And now Tiger.

When Tiger started, everyone thought he would open the door to more diversity in Golf. Back then, golf was played by a bunch of fat, out of shape and useless, racist white people like Fuzzy Zoeller. Tiger was the Great Black Hope. I am not racist. I am using the term from boxing “Great White Hope” – which is technically somewhat racist, as it refers to any white boxers that can beat a guy called Jack Johnson (who was African American).

But now, the end of an era is here. And we are still stuck with a bunch of white people except that they are not out of shape and probably no longer racist. Has golf progressed over the years?

Yes, I think golf has reached out to many young generation, and the only reason – I use ONLY, not ‘one of the main’ – is Tiger Woods. Like Jordan, Tiger transcended the game of golf. He became bigger than the game. Unlike Palmer, Player, Nicklaus or anyone before then, Tiger represented golf to the world, not just to the elite. And I picked up the game because of him. Because golf was cool. Now golf is no longer cool. Jogging is cool. Cycling is cool. Golf is a waste of time for many of the upcoming generation.

When Tiger opted out of the next two tournaments, we knew the end is here. Sure, he might play a few more majors here and there, but as painful as it is (and those who follow Gilagolf knows I am a rabid fan of Tiger’s) – I have to admit – enjoy this moment. We will never see another golfer like Tiger ever again, so in this twillight of an amazing career, we bid ode to the Greatest of All Time. We will miss that Sunday Red and those fist pumps. We will miss the amazing shots that seemingly are magnetised to the hole. We will miss those ridiculous chip shots that can only happen in movies. We will miss those domination of other players, that destroyed Ernie, Vijay, Retief, Phil’s legacy by them always playing second fiddle. We will miss the super-humanity of one person playing this game that we are all tragically addicted to.

Goodbye, Mr Woods.

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Analysis on Game 3: Kota Permai

Back at Kota Permai and seemingly with a good strategy to improve from my previous 93. Or so I thought.

We teed off the narrower back 9 first and I navigated well the first two holes teeing off with my five wood with a bogey – par. The par 5 12th – I used my driver and set up for a draw. Unfortunately, I blocked it so far right the ball caught the trees to the right and went into the jungle only around 50 – 60 meters. 2nd shot hit a tree, 3rd shot into the fairway, 4th shot blocked again to the right, fifth shot hit another tree, sixth shot barely crept onto the green and 2 putted for a glorious triple bogey. DAMN!

I meandered on with a few pars after that and came to my nemesis hole – the par 3 17th. I tripled this previous by going right, and now I hooked left. My punch out was too strong, went across the green and down the rough. 3rd shot duffed chip (again, damn it!), 4th shot on, two putted for triple bogey six.

My third triple for the round was the last hole, the par 4 9th. My drive found the bunker on the left, and I had no choice but to sandwedge it out to the rough and was left with a 9 iron shot into the uphill green. Unfortunately I only had my pitching wedge and was too lazy to wait for the caddie to come back with my 9, so I decided to muscle it it. Came down too steep, and shanked the shit out the ball to the right and nearly killing people in the clubhouse. OB – dropped for 5th, on it and two putted for triple bogey. This was so unnecessary – with an easy 9 I would have reached the green in 3, instead, lost the hole and lost the bet.

So in one round, I had more triple bogeys than both my other rounds put together.

The good news is that, I continued my birdie run. It was the par 5 1st hole – and almost exactly the same as the last birdie I had in 2016. Good drive, and then a 5 wood took me to around 20 metres from the green. A not so great chip forced me to putt around a 15 footer uphill. It wasn’t a terribly difficult putt, sort of straight and break a little to the left, so I sunk that in for birdie.

I suppose the other good news is that with the score of 47-45 for a 92, I played a stroke better than my last time out at Kota Permai.

Game 3: 1 Birdie, 3 Triple Bogeys.

Overall 3 games: 3 Birdies, 5 Triple Bogeys

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Gilagolf Analysis 2017

I’ve decided to simplify my analysis of my golf game heading into 2017. Previously I’ve kept track of everything I do – from fairway hits to putts taken to sand saves and all that. At the end, what is the point? The point is to improve right? I’ve been tracking stats for years and still I play like a monkey humping a chicken. So, maybe the point is to clear your head from these numbers and just hit the damn ball. It worked for me for the second half of 2016 when I began to see more birdies on my cards than normal – generally when I started to stop tracking my data and just play golf.

So for 2017, I’ll do it simple: track the good, track the bad. Anything in between, doesn’t matter. The good = Birdie or better. The bad = Triple or worse. I will assume par, bogey and even double will be the normal course of my game.

For the first game in 2017 at Kota Permai, I played 47-46 for a 93. Both good and bad occurred in the first nine (back nine for us). Firstly, the birdie on the par 3 14th. It’s a beautiful hole actually – it plays downhill all the way, the smallish green around 125 – 130 meters but protected by bunkers. On that day, we were playing slightly nearer, around 120 meters, and with downhill and no wind, I hit a gap wedge to around 12 feet from the hole to the left. To be honest, two other guys on my flight hit it nearer. The putt however wasn’t an easy one. Kota Permai was playing very fast that day due to a Taylormade tournament. It was a double break and I hit it just right and it dropped into the cup on the right side – I didn’t even read it correctly so it was dumb luck that I got it in.

Unfortunately, in the next par 3 17th which was a reasonably long one, I hit my seven iron short to the right. It was in rough but it wasn’t bad rough, but slightly buried. I skulled my pitch across the green, the chunked my returning chip. Wasn’t even on the green and hitting my fourth. I rammed my fourth past the hole, and missed the fifth and tapped in for six – my first triple.

Game 1: 1 Birdie, 1 Triple.

For Game 2, I played at Palm Garden, and unlike Kota Permai, their greens were undergoing maintenance so it was absolute horror to putt. I played a lot better and actually had 4 – 5 opportunities to birdie – i.e putts less than 10 feet but always missed. It didn’t help that I was trying out a RM50 putter I bought – an old B61 Ping which looked older than me. It didn’t have good weight (I have since added Lead Tape to it) and I struggled a fair bit on the greens. I played 41-44 for 85, with 8 pars and 1 birdie.

My triple came first on the index 2 Par 5 13th. I know how to play this hole but because I just got a par on the previous hole, I felt pretty grand about my chances. I usually would hit a 5 or 3 wood but decided to go for the driver. Instead of my usual draw, I blasted it straight into the water on the right. I dropped, hit a wood 5 to a greenside bunker. Chunked my fourth out of the bunker to the apron, chunked my fifth chip 20 inches. Hit my six on the green finally but was horrible. Missed my seventh and tapped in my triple. Stupid hole.

I came back at least with 2 pars in my next two holes including a par 5 par on the 15th after hitting into another water. I managed to drop and recovered by hitting a sandwedge into the green on my fourth and tapped in.

The 16th was where I got my birdie. This is a very short par 4 and we usually drive it to around 30 – 40 meters away from the downhill green. I hit a not so great drive – hooked it and it kind of rolled to around 80 meters from the green but at least on fairway. I used my 60 degree lob wedge and hit it to around 2 feet from the hole, similar to the one I hit in the previous hole. From there, a simple tap for birdie #2 for 2017.

Game 2: 1 birdie, 1 Triple.

Overall: 2 games, 2 birdies, 2 Triples.

Time to knock off those stupid mistakes!

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How to Enjoy your golf

I am a great believer that perfection is never achievable. Never in this life. Your job is never perfect. Your home is never perfect. Your kids are never perfect. And God forbid, your spouse is never perfect. You’d be stupid though to say that in front of her.

And in golf, forget about being perfect. The thing is, we are not pros. Neither are we those with a million hours to spend practicing around the greens and driving range . If you are anything like me, juggling between being a driver for my kids, a babysitter, running a business, spending time in my church doing stuff, participating in our home associations, going to my kids’ friends parties and generally being completely overwhelmed with activities in life without involving the game of golf – you will know the only time you are practicing golf is when you are playing it.

Trying to cram in one game a week isn’t easy. Firstly, its the work. Secondly, the family. Weekends are out obviously. Even weekdays, golf tends to eat more into my work hours than family time.

So the expectations of what we get out of golf is a lot less. And when the expectations are less, it makes the game a lot more enjoyable.

Playing golf – one of the easiest way to enjoy it is to play fast. I recently played with someone who took an eternity with his swing. An Eternity. I am a reasonably quick player, or so I think. My ‘pre-shot’ routine if there is such thing is to put the ball to the ground – 2 seconds. I step back, look up and find a spot like a tree, a crane, a bunker, a hill, a building – anything for a reference to aim at, near or far. It’s usually anything off to the right of my line of sight – because my natural shape is a draw. I would mutter to myself “Tree” or “Crane” or “bush” or “billboard” or whatever. That probably takes about 5 seconds. I take my stance, the ball slightly to my left heel, take one practice swing – 5 – 6 seconds. Step back and address the ball again – 5 seconds. I take a practice back swing to set my plane and shift my weight to my right slightly and address the ball again – 5 seconds. Then I rip it. My shot is between 20 – 25 seconds from teeing up to letting it fly. Which isn’t extremely fast but I have seen people go through the 40 second barrier and even one guy who takes a full minute. I am like, damn it, hit the bloody ball! Have you played with someone who just stands there at address on the ball as if he was frozen? Literally, a full 10 seconds go by and he is just there looking at the ball, addressing it. I am like, are you waiting for the ball to say hello?

I get very impatient very quickly; because I am a rhythm player. One of the difference between Kota Permai’s 93 and Palm’s 85 was rhythm. In Kota Permai we played behind very slow players and we were constantly disrupted. In Palm we made sure we teed off in front of a big group that registered and we played with hardly any breakage or waiting. Tee off, walk to the ball and take around 10 – 15 seconds to hit the ball, then go on. I play best when I don’t think so much. In the previous game, I had at least 4 -5 birdie opportunities – birdie putts with 10 feet or less. I missed all except one…that’s more due to the putter than anything else.

So, really, if you want to enjoy this game and have other people enjoy – play a quick pace. With our standard of hacking, it makes no difference if you address the ball for 10 seconds or just hit the ball!

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85 at Palm Garden

The up and down year continues. After posting a 93 in my first game in Kota Permai with 1 par, 1 birdie showing, I switched drivers and putters and promptly shot an 85 at Palm Garden. It had nothing to do with the drivers and putters though because I was still awful with my drives and my new (or rather very old) putter wasn’t do me any favours either with a 3 putt on the 1st, 3 putt on the 10th and 3 putt on the 18th.

However, my irons were just dialed in as I went on a birdie hunt on a few holes – and ended up with 8 pars and 1 Birdie for a somewhat respectable score. if I two putted those, I would have saved 3 strokes. If I played the somewhat easy par 5 smartly instead of smashing my driver into the water for a triple, I could have parred it maybe and shot a 79. I never broke 80 before in my life. A 79 for me would be like the pros shooting 59.

Speaking of pros, how is Tiger doing? I did manage to catch a bit of his highlights at the Farmer’s at Torrey Pines. He was -1 after 11! And he had to go screw it all up by shooting +5 over the last 7 holes. I wish I can say that he is back. I don’t think he is.

However, here is some mind boggling stats for you.

Tiger Woods is ranked 663.

Our great Malaysian Players – Danny Chia, Nicholas Fung and Gavin Green are ranked 276, 321 and 346 respectively.

Yet, when he teed up, Tiger Woods, ranked 662 ranks lower than Jason Day, brought in crowds more than 4 deep. It’s like a football game between Germany vs Bhutan and everyone is watching Bhutan. It’s like watching Andy Murray play against Alberto Brizzi and everyone is going like: Alberto! I Love you!

WTF is Alberto Brizzi? I don’t know. He is the 663rd ranked player in the ATP tour.

So yeah – say what you like about Tiger – he is the main reason why I played golf, play golf and will continue to play golf. If he’s back, great. If he’s not, it’s still going to be Tiger being watched more than any golfer on this planet.

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Gilagolf is back with Tiger Woods!

So now, 2017! I managed to get my first game into the year at Kota Permai and went on to score an amazing 93. Yes. There is sarcasm. I shot 47-46 and didn’t do any favours by struggling at my putting and chipping. I ended up with 1 birdie and 1 par amidst a whole lot of bogeys, a triple and sprinkled with some doubles. New year, same game, it seems. At least my birdie run continues for now with consecutive games with birdies. I did manage to dig up a very old Cobra LD 5 wood out from my store room to test. This is a 2007 model, mind you and by God it is terrific. I am punching this baby further than my 3 wood. In one hole, I flat out outdrove the whole flight who were using drivers. And these are not lightweight guys as well. It was the 11th hole in Kota Permai where I ended up around 70 metres away from green. We were teeing up at blue which was registered at 311 metres.  This is a 5 wood for goodness sakes. On the Par 5 hole 18, my drive around 250 still left me around 210 – 220 uphill to the green. With the wood 5, it went long. It’s ridiculous club.

It didn’t do me much good though in terms of scoring. I still suck at the game. I landed, I think in the bunker like 8 times or so throughout the game.

As for Tiger Woods – the good news is that HE IS BACK! Yes, I basically have given up watching golf for good for a year plus now. Even the majors I don’t give a crap anymore. The only guy out there worth watching is Tiger, and he’s going to be playing this weekend, so I will try to stay tuned!

Happy hacking in 2017!

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Happy New Year and We are BACK!

Happy New Year and Gilagolf is back!

I know, haven’t been writing a lot lately – my motivations have sort of slowed down in terms of playing golf. Am I still playing? Oh Yes, but its cycling through the same courses – Mines, Glenmarie, Sungai Long, Tropicana, Kota Permai, Palm Garden and then on and off back to our haunt at Rahman and also KGNS.

2017 rolls in and RHB tells us now that they are still negotiating with the golf clubs on whether they will continue on this year to provide golfing privileges. To be honest, compared to the other cards, I think RHB is a bit crappy in terms of credit card privileges. The only reason why we went with it is that the golfing privileges are reasonable. If these are taken away, a whole bunch of us will just revert back to our normal cards (Maybank, CIMB, Citi). So RHB – you better buck up!

The secondary reason why my golf has taken a sort of back seat is that other things like moving home, putting kids through school etc now takes precedence. The amount of money spent in moving to a new home and renovating it is ridiculous. And now, education as well – thinking of sending kids over to international schools? Good luck. They better be future Mark Zuckerbergs, else I don’t know how on earth will they make back their cost.

So what are we looking at for 2017 in terms of this game of golf. Well – gameplay wise, as always, I will seek to improve – play consistently in the 80s is a starter. 2016 was actually a pretty good year for my game – birdies became almost one per round for me – inclusive of my last game of the year at Glenmarie. Now, to make it more consistent. My struggles with putting needs to work on. My chipping is still shit, but at least my drives now are less wild and I am giving my chance for regulations.

For golf in general – look forward to see Tiger Woods back. Honestly since he left, I have never bothered to watch or even catch golf. I am always more of a football fan who doesn’t play football, and a golf guy who doesn’t watch golf. But with Tiger back in the hunt, why not?

So will I be updating this blog? I don’t know how often – it seems to me blogging is a bit of a yesteryear activity – now everyone is into anything else. Still, I still get to see a fair bit of hits and readers everyday on this blog and I just feel that I need to get something in here to be fair. So – like I said, I will probably be writing more of other things aside from just golf per se, and an article a week seems like a good plan, as long as you guys don’t judge me too much.

So, for 2017 first article – I just want to say: Glenmarie still have shitty service. OK, I like the course. It’s nearby, it’s accessible and it’s nice and there are 36 holes. But I always disliked the management and service there. There is just something off with it. From the time that they insisted on charging us extra for using the board for our tournament even when no one was using it; or when my playing partner got robbed by one of the caddies (the caddy admitted to stealing around RM300 from my friend’s wallet), and now recently:

Me and my buddy use stand bags for our game. Stand Bags are those bags with the built in legs so we can stand it at an angle while playing a shot, and then carry. Because we sometimes walk in KGNS or Rahman – like maybe 15 years ago. Nowadays, we can’t even walk to the car park without complaining of leg pain. But the bags still remain. Because these days we just dump everything in the cart, our stand bags are filled with full set of clubs with probably 30 – 50 balls etc making them extremely heavy. I instruct the caddies, or the ones taking the bags from our cars to not use the built in legs because the bags are generally too heavy. Additionally, if you use those legs of tiled floor, they have a tendency to slip, causing the bag to collapse.

I told this to Glenmarie and they just went like yeah, yeah.

The next thing I knew, I saw my bag sitting on the legs and almost breaking before I caught it. My friend – not so lucky. Those Glenmarie idiots put his bag on the legs and the one of the legs snapped and the entire bag crashed onto the floor. Worse, the Glenmarie idiots didn’t even bother to pick it up – they just left it. The leg is now broken and can’t be use. The argument is that, we don’t even use it, right? Well, the point is that we don’t like broken bags, Glenmarie. And to the day I die, I will keep repeating – your service suck.

Welcome – 2017.

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Back to Basics – Bangi

After plying our golf in the upper market golf courses like Mines, Kota Permai, Palm Garden, Glenmarie and Tropicana, sprinkling in KGNS and Sungai Long; we decided to go back to our old haunt, Bangi Golf Resort. I have not played there in more than a year and a half. I don’t recall the last time I played there but it’s probably back in 2014 or so. Nothing much has changed, except I don’t recall it being a cow grass course. I always imagined it to be a bermuda fairway!

We teed up on Bangi 1 and 2, taking care to avoid the 3rd nine – and I promptly sent my first tee shot OB, and ended up with a triple bogey to begin my round. The second hole par 3, I three putted for a bogey and I thought, ah shit, here it goes again – I am having one of those stupid game days.

Then a funny thing happened.

I birdied my next hole, a Par 5 which I drove and my second shot landed just off the fringe of the green. The other hole I wanted to one on the green but failed and plopped into the water, but at least I still bogeyed it. I played pretty well, and at one point, between the last 2 holes of the front and the first 3 holes of the back nine, I parred 5 in a row. The 12th hole was a par 5 which after cutting the corner, I found myself with a 9-iron into the green. For a Par 5. I sent it into the bunker but I used my putter to tap it out of the lipless bunker to around 4 feet of the hole to set up a birdie putt.

At that point, me and my partner were playing against the other two guys and we were setting up fringes for the following:

a) Twin pars or better in a hole – 1 fringe – we were both going for birdie putts and his was 3 feet away

b) Sandy par or better – 2 fringes – both of us were hitting from the bunker our 3rd shot and both ended up 3, 4 feet away from the hole respectively

c) Birdie putts – 2 fringes – both of us were going for birdie putts

d) Escalation – 2 fringes – We were hitting our escalation for 3 or more pars or better in a row.

And we were going for a full house having won the game, up the dormie and playing for the buy (or bye?), so we were on the verge of hitting them for 11 balls for that sixer frame. Because we are not Dato’s or Tan Sri’s, we usually attach RM5 or RM10 to 1 ball so imagine the stake for us cheapskates.

Amazingly I missed my birdie putt right. But we still settled for the rest of the fringes. That was the most complete wallop I ever experienced in a hole and I am glad I wasn’t on the receiving end of it.

Overall, I ended up with 86, with that birdie miss my biggest, but also compounded with a two more 3 foot putts I missed, so the score could be a lot better. But hey, that’s golf.

The next round we are trying to book KGPA, as they now have a new nine set up and I am looking forward to playing there.

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Renewing Maid Permit in Malaysia

Due to my limited activity in golf, I’ve decided to start writing about other stuff that I want to complain/bring attention to in this blog. Else, I will probably not be updating it for months.

OK – just to share my experience to renew my maid permit in Malaysia – in 2016. Strangely – it was quite a pleasant one, which is a first.

I think Malaysia has come a long way from the days of absolutely horrendous quality in government services. Those days, simply to renew your IC would be akin to you walking naked in the Sahara desert for 40 days and drinking your own piss. Everyone dreaded going to that place at the old State – where death awaited you in the form of government servants working with the KPI of serving a total of two citizens in a year. I remember one time, I was queuing up for the bloody IC thing for 3 hours from Lunch time. Finally, there were only about 3 people in front of me and I thought I would get through, when they announced they were going off for the day and to come back again tomorrow. W.T.F. Angry also cannot. Shout also cannot. So go back lor. And wake up tomorrow at 6 am and start sitting in front of the bloody office for them to open at 9 am.

We have come a long way since then. Nowadays I go to the Immigration Department in Sri Hartamas. The one opposite Publika. I renewed my IC the other day and really, it was FAST. I mean less than half hour my name was called, I did all the necessary photos etc and in 2 hours time, I can come back to pick up the new IC.

So how about renewing your maid work permit?

a) For maid less than 4 years, it’s mandatory for you to get a health check via Fomema. To be honest, even after that, it would be wise to just go for a yearly healthcheck. We had an incident where previously our friend’s maid had a tumour that was cancerous, which would have been caught if she had gone for regular checkups. Maids are humans too, and they deserve medical rights like everyone else, because they become almost part of the family.

b) So download the Fomema form. Link is as below http://www.fomema.com.my/images/Forms/Foreign_Worker_Medical_Examination_Registration_Form.pdf

c) Fill up the form. If you don’t know your worker’s code, the one starting with W, it’s ok, you don’t need to fill that up. For clinic name, you need to decide where you want to take your maid to.

d) List of clinic found at http://www.fomema.com.my/index.php/doctor-availability?view=doctoravailability

e) I would recommend if you can get a booking at clinic with Allocated X-Ray facility it would help. You can opt not to fill this up and only fill it up later, because you might not get a slot at the clinic you want. So get them to check first. I think those with X-Ray facility is devilish difficult to book. So just fill up what you can.

f) Pay around 200 bucks (for female maid. Never seen a male maid before). How to pay? I think cheque might work, but for the sake of ease, I just went and do an online payment via CIMBClicks. Under Billers -> Fomema Registration.

g) Once paid, get the receipt of payment, and print it out as well as your filled up form. You need to photocopy your maids passport first page as well as work permit page.

h) Now, you need to get your butt to Fomema with all the documents and maid actual passport. We thought everything was online, but no, we still needed to take a day off and go to the Fomema office at Menara Takaful. You can google map it. Parking is expensive there but easy to get. Fomema is on the first floor.

i) Once you are there, pick a number, wait, go to counter and show them all your stuff. You can pick your clinic then and there, show them you already paid and the process is less than half hour. They print out something to you and you just need to take that form to all the clinics you go to. I have no clue what is the value add of Fomema in this instance except that it may just be another scheme to add a middle agency to fleece off our money. I don’t know. Its not very painful though so what the heck.

j) So now you have the Fomema printout and in it you have worker’s code and the clinic you are supposed to go to. You can do it another day once you set a time with the clinic. For me, I went the next day with the actual maid (cannot photocopy maid, mah). I chose a clinic in TTDI called Mahanum and it was FAST. I think looking for parking took longer. Just show the paper, the doctor will see the maid, get all the sample urine etc or whatever and tell you to go to the X-ray. They will recommend one and the one they asked us to go was nearby.

k) There is an X-ray facility clinic Mediviron at TTDI itself, near the VADs building. It has is own parking for customer in front, so we just went there, did the X-Ray and that was it. No need to shuttle back and forth the other clinic. Overall, spent less than 1 hour to get everything done. Take leave for the morning is enough. Got time to play golf some more. And also no payment, just show the Fomema printout.

l) So now, just wait for the results – it should be out within 7 days. You can check online at http://www.fomema.com.my/index.php/online-results?view=onlineresult either the worker code or passport number. If you see “Suitable please proceed to immigration” you are almost there.

m) So here is the weird thing. It tells us to ‘proceed to immigration’ but immigration no longer handles this. They stopped processing maid renewal 2 years back. So if you are an idiot like me who believes everything this stupid Fomema says, you would take another morning off and go to your favourite Immigration centre (mine at Hartamas), park and go to the counter and ask: Where to renew maid work permit, ah?

n) And you will be told you have wasted your life there because now, everything needs to go through the richest middle agency of all time: My EG. Yes. The one that will make billions because everything is forced to go through them.

o) So technically Fomema = Stupid. Tell us wrong thing. They deserve their own bullet point for stupidity. Like it would kill them to just say: “Please contact MyEG now because we are living in the electronic era”

p) OK – now MyEG is like Fomema. Middle guys that sleeps with our government so everyone makes money together. No matter, what to do? You can opt to go to MyEG at Bandar Utama (KPMG building, first floor) and go through the maid renewal there or you can login their portal and do everything there.

q) Depending on whether you are comfortable to transact via their portal (It looks like it was designed by a bunch of Iguanas), you can opt to pay via Visa/Mastercard or via online banking. I selected online banking as I didn’t really trust their system (again – it looks hilariously horrible, which just shows all the billions have been pocketed to God knows where and they paid an online agency RM600 to build the website).  Again – what to do? Complain also useless.

r) So we put our entire personal information and financial information at risk by using their payment facility and pay RM631 for the renewal. That is a lot of money, but I suppose with so many middle men, everyone needs to be fed. The process charge is around 125RM. So if say, 200,000 maids present in Malaysia needs to be renewed, My Eg has made RM25,000,000 just like that. If you put in the other non-maid foreigners, My Eg will make A LOT OF MONEY. Now, why can’t they get a proper portal? Like, even after we pay, for me to go back and see the history of what I did on the portal is impossible. It’s like literally the most hogshit service website in the entire planet.

s) Now, once you have paid you will be given option to either deliver to your house or you can opt to collect onsite (at their HQ in Bandar Utama). I suggest you do the latter because you will not have a clue when these jokers will come to your house. If you need to have someone else be at home (like your angry mother in law), you need to write a proxy letter and make sure she is also holding the maid passport.

t) After 2 – 3 days, I suggest you call MyEg 03-7801 8888 to check if its ready. Good luck getting through. They are a bit like Telekom, Tenaga whereby their call centers are generally manned by simians. It took me around 40 minutes to get through, and you pray dear God don’t let my call drop. Once through you can give the passport number, they will tell its ready and you can come. I did note that if you call early morning around 9 – 9.30 am you can get through easier. Now, hilariously, while waiting on the call, they request you to email them at their support email address and they add: For faster response, please email us at blah blah. They actually said that. So I emailed them for fun. It’s going into 15 days now and the only thing I hear are crickets. Faster response my foot.

u) So finally – you go to KPMG building level 1. First, print out the payment receipts and the MyEg document after you made your payment. Of course, bring your maid original passport and your own IC. MyEg seems to be renovating their office because I was directed to some makeshift waiting area that smells suspiciously funny. Walk in and tell them you want to renew maid permit, you will be sent to a room, and asked for documents, your IC etc. Then you wait a bit and they will call you to another room where the nice gentleman will stick the new work permit on the passport and tell you to go on your merry way.

There. The full steps. Total money will be RM631 for MyEG + RM201 for Fomema medical. Total time taken – around 1 hour for the Fomema form, 1 hour for checkup and x-ray, and 1 hour for the actual getting permit pasted onsite.Online process includes Fomema forms and payment, MyEg forms and payments. I’m writing this down also in part because I am very forgetful and I have to go through this cursed process next year again.

To be honest I am pretty OK with the whole process, except that it cost quite a lot. Because I am flexible in my time as I run my own business (I say take leave doesn’t actually mean I take leave lah), it’s no issue for me, but I suppose it can be frustrating if you have to actually take leave and then find out you are being given the runaround like that Fomema telling us to go to immigration crap. However, I must say this really beats queuing up for the whole day and then being told I didn’t make the cut. Damn you, old IC department in State!

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Birdies Galore

I have recently gone on a purple patch in my golf game of late.

Playing three games previous at Tropicana, Palm and Kota Permai, yielded me birdies in each round. Anyone knowing a 16 handicaper struggles will know that getting a birdie is as rare as spotting a pink hyena doing a riverdance.

The Palm garden birdies were probably the most memorable – two in a row to end the front nine, and for Kota Permai, the very first hole Par 5. Strangely even with these birdies, I still ended up shooting 87,88 and 89 on these courses, showing that gross score improvement is still difficult to come by.

This year, with much less golfing, is turning out overall, better golf. My drives are less wild eversince I decided to shorten my grip to the point of my right hand almost gripping the shaft itself. Another change I did was instead of tackling the green, I am almost always going short of the green. The reason is because I can then approach with a shorter club, and I am not too worried about controlling and can just muscle the whole thing in. I am dropping to a 9-iron now for my 150 meter shots, and a 6-iron for 170 meters. I am not saying I am reaching these distances with these irons, but they are close – even if I drop at 140 meter with my 9-iron, the ball can still roll onto the green without taking those bunkers into consideration.

Where my game need utmost upgrade is in chipping. I am still yipping it like a monkey on opium and I lose amazing amount of strokes due to bad chips, bad punch outs from the woods and overall just horrendous management of these supposedly easy shots.

Also this year I’ve stopped taking in all the statistics on my game and just take in the score. It seems with less calculations on the course and analysis, I am playing better. I don’t care about my 3 putts anymore and I putt better. I don’t care about missing the fairway anymore and I am hitting those fairways. I don’t care about how far I drive anymore and I am booming it. It seems like the less I scrutinise myself, my immense natural talents are now shining and I am achieving my God-given destiny of playing a consistent 16 handicap. Yes. I am being sarcastic.

Also – I have had some emails (thank you) wondering if this blog is ever going to be updated. To be honest, I don’t really have a lot to update on golf. Ever since that Pussycat Woods decided to call it quits and then do a comeback and then decide to quit again, I’ve been more than disillusioned that the game of golf is actually going backwards – which it is. If you look at how Taylormade is struggling and part of it is being farmed out by Adidas, and how Nike has stopped producing golf clubs and how overall, nobody really gives a crap anymore about golf and everyone is into cycling or jogging or swimming or lawn bowling – the trajectory of golf as a popular sport is somewhat declining – even with the yawn fest of Olympic golf not doing it any favours. Of course, this is my opinion based on extensive research of looking at Google for the past 2 minutes.

I can actually see the disinterest in it. In early 2000s, a lot of my colleagues were eager to try out golf. We even set a pool fund and get people together to play golf together, and organised outings to golf clubs like that stinkhole Bandar Utama golf course. We went to the driving range. Of course, the fact that we were all single and there were girls we wanted to tackle also picking up golf had a major impact to our motivations. Especially if you are already familiar with the sport, we can do the “OK, here is how you grip it” and then taking the advantage of holding her hand without getting a slap in the face or a call for harassment. Yup, it was a great maneuver.

But nowadays, when we talk about golf to my younger employees, they just go “meh”. The fact is, we are regressing back to the point where golf is now an old man sport. Because we are, naturally becoming “old men” as we hit our 40s or so. The younger generation doesn’t pick it up. Instead they pick up this strange activity called ‘jogging’. Which is significantly cheaper. All you need are shoes and a road.

So – I suppose, I will consolidate other articles into this blog. I run a blog called Giladad where I write about my travails as a father, but that readership has around 1 person- my wife so she knows what I am complaining about (her).

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