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My Pusat Bertauliah

GEO Training STUDIO is now recognized by Malaysia’s Human Resource Ministry as a Pusat Bertauliah (Private College with government certification), also recognized by Malaysia’s Ministry of Tourism as a Tourism Institute (ILP – Institusi Latihan Pelancongan).

Geo Training Studio has organized 6 times Tourist Guide course to date, with more than 60 passes already.

Geo Training Studio has organized SKM course through SLDN concept with more than 300 graduates, among which, more tahn 50 Diploma Kemahiran students.

For SLDN or Sistem Dual Latihan Nasional. Geo Training works together with Tg Rhu Resort, The Danna, HIG Hotel, De Baron, HIG Complex GEO Guesthouse etc..

021810-1117

Geo Leisure Holidays is on the move

Since it’s incorporation on 2 Jan 2015, Geo Leisure Holidays finally makes it move after getting the approval from the Ministry of Tourism and Culture. Bearing approval number : KPK/LN/600-3/1/12/8002, this is a license for Geo Leisure Holidays to start its business soon.

Within 2 months, Geo Leisure shall be able to offer handsome holiday packages. Geo Leisure however will be selective in what it actually wants to do. There are only 2 things Geo leisure is after :

  1. Meeting Package Langkawi
  2. Inbound to Langkawi from selective countries

Geo Leisure is not ready to bring people to other parts of Malaysia but will make referral should the needs arises. Geo Leisure has its inhouse Tourist Guides available for Malay, English, French, Arabic languages.

DjRaySTUDIO, being its associates other than DLanguage STUDIO and Geo Training STUDIO will always promote Geo Leisures in the best possible ways.

For more information, please visit : www.geoleisureholidays.com

 

 

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Our Tour Drivers

We may not even realize that a pilot can be our first tour driver before we reach a destination of a country. Captain Aliff Rosmi was kind enough to explain how the pilots take effort to rotate or circulate a city before  a craft touches the ground, which allow the passengers to have a glimpse of the city they are visiting.

VJ, a senior guide was our special guest who explained more on the functions of our tour drivers including the taxi drivers, boat skipper, and van or bus driver. It is important that the tourist feel safe with these individuals as they portray the first impression of a country. They also need to explain preferred destinations if not the best..

We thank Amin, our on the road driver who let a honey-mooners from India to speak to LangkawiFM.. and we wish them a very pleasant stay. Zoher gave us information on ‘Mambu leaves’ believed to have healing abilities, and he will be back with us in the future for more nature talks.

Zoom In VMY 2014 also unveils the TOP 10 attractions from a subjective tourist choice website which saw Langkawi as No 6 in the list

mardi2 MARDI-IMAGE language

My Language Center

My Language Center is called DLanguage STUDIO. In fact, this is the third company I ever registered in my life. The first one called Extreme Effect Sdn Bhd which run a restaurant in Kuala Kubu Selangor. Then I gave it FREE to my partner hehe.. Then I opened up Artees Enterprise which carried out the duties of language activities from 2002 till 2005. The company is still available but it is not active anymore. Then I opened up DLanguage STUDIO in 2005 which seemed to gain popularity over the years. DLanguage STUDIO is now more active in skill courses compared to languages. We offer Malay, French, English, Russian, Mandarin, Arabic and Japanese communication courses. I had always promised myself to conduct 7 languages… and I did.

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My Biodata

About DjRay : (Zodiac : Taurus, Chinese Zodiac : Dragon)

  • Real Name : Hj Raizam Bin Hj Mohd Tamin, completed Haj in 2013
  • Managing Director & Owner : GEO Training STUDIO Sdn Bhd, GEO Leisure Holidays Sdn Bhd,
  • Manager & Owner : DLanguage STUDIO, DjRay STUDIO
  • Co-Radio Announcer and Producer with DjRastom : VMY Langkawi FM 2014, MyFest 2015
    Webmaster : DLanguage STUDIO, GEO Training STUDIO, GEO Leisure Holidays, DjRaySTUDIO
    Language Abilities : Malay, English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Thai
    Qualification : Science Degree Food Technologist (Sydney Australia), Vocational Training Officer (JPK),  Pengajar SLDN (JPK), Industry Coach (JPK), Dual System Expert (JPK), Pakar Industi Negara (JPK).
    JPK = Skills Dept Malaysia

DjRay has previously carried out the following duties in his life :

  • Trainer : GEO Training Studio, DLanguage STUDIO – till present
  • Radio Announcer :
    English and Malay : Langkawi FM 2014-2015, Radio Malaysia Langkawi 1995, 2002-2004.
    Malay : Radio Malaysia Melaka 2001
    Sub-Editor : Qalam Magazine (Foreign Languages) 2005-2008
    Hotel Manager : Panorama Langkawi 1995, Hotel de l’Unite Conakry Rep de Guinea 1996-1999
    Restaurant Manager : Le Petit Palais Restaurant Conakry Rep de Guinee, The Datai Langkawi 1993-1995, Royal Botanic Garden Restaurant Sydney 1987-1993

Chapter 15 : Congo War

Chapter 15 : Congo War

It was a real relief to land again in Kinshasa.. I felt a lot better and safer.. at least I was at my office and in full command again. The horror was over.. It was July 1998.. Just a few days to go before the date falls to 1st August 1998. I had made a promise before to the government.. that we would definitely kick off on a full swing with our project on that date. I knew well that we would never make it coz our engineers were still not around. I regretted so much trying to safe our company name and dignity.. soon I would be in a hot soup!!

I got up in the morning as usual taking my breakfast infront of the television. On 1st Aug 1998.. there it was on CNN.. the news about war in Rep Democratic of Congo broke up at Burundi.. South East of Republic Democratic of Congo… the place where they once had ethnic slaughtering.. in which almost 800 thousand people had been buried alive… The rebels were heading towards Kinshasa.. They wanted to topple Laurent Kabila’s government.. apparently they were not satisfied with the administration.. military were not given salary for the past 6 months.. and they were mad.. really mad.. The thing that scared us most was that the military were teenages.. who were just shooting without thinking. Within a week.. they had spread into 3 areas.. they had even conquered Port Matadi.. where our vehicles were.. Our trucks were stolen and used for their warfares.. Banks in Kinshasa were closed.. there was no more flow of moiney either in or out! Now we were really stuck!! Panic buttons were pressed.. by the government and also by our company.. I had enough money to survive the company for 1 month only..

Curfew was imposed in Kinshasa.. we were not allowed to be out of our premises or houses between 6pm to 6 am.. Some of the military had arrived in Kinshasa within 10 days.. many of them died as the government’s force was still strong there.. During the day.. I had to move around searching for info.. especially about the war.. I only relied on Freddy.. Yes.. I saw dead military bodies around Kinshasa.. But what was shown on TV feared people more than anything else.. they didn’t understand that the heavy war was in Burundi.. not so much in Kinshasa.. because we were winning in Kinshasa.. but not at other areas.. Afterall the government was still in power..

After one month.. there was no more battle in Kinshasa.. we were quite safe.. even Matadi had been recovered by the government’s force.. they were still fighting at Burundi and the neighbouring borders.. However the government had not lifted the curfew yet.. and some of the banks had been re-opened already..

What saddened me the most was that.. our company refused to send any money to us.. fearing that the money will be stolen by the bankers.. They said.. there was no law during a war.. I couldn’t pay our staff for 2 months already.. neither that I had money for myself.. I had basically nothing to eat except rice.. I bought a good stock of rice when I had the chance earlier.. Then I learnt how to eat sweet potatoe leaves.. Our gardener planted a lot of sweet potatoes at the back.. I ate that for almost 2 months.. afternoon and evening..  Still our head office couldn’t care less about our survival.. they were more concern about their lost trucks.. so, I ordered our drivers to search for them.. they managed to find some of the trucks in neighbouring countries.. Even that was still not good enough to tell the headquarters that there was no more war in Kinshasa.. In reality, the war was really heavy at South East of the country..

One morning.. when I woke up.. I was shocked when I saw over 100 workers waited for me in front of the office.. wanted to kill me.. they wanted their money.. Anybody would be mad not getting their salary after 3 months of work.. I took a deep breath before I delivered my short speech to them.. trying to explain and convinced them that their salary would be paid within 14 days.. I had no idea where to get the money for them within that 14 days.. I had to say it just to calm them down.. and to be saved from being killed.. I was really exhausted with the whole thing.. Actually, when I signed my contract.. there was a clause in it that said I would be rescued by a private jet should there be a war.. Not only I was ignored.. the worst thing was that, I was left with empty pocket.. Frankly I couldn’t care less about my daily survival.. but I cared for my workers.. Deep inside me I was damn angry..

Then I set what to do.. I called up the headquarters “Sir, I have a great news.. the war is over.. the bank will be opened soon.. however for security purpose.. please send money to Paris.. I’ll go and collect the money myself!!” Actually, I had to lie to survive.. The war was not over.. I asked help from Freddy to allow money to be banked into his account in Paris.. in return.. he would give me some cash in Kinshasa.. The company sent over USD 50 000 just enough to pay off 3 months workers’ salary and other administration expenses.. including part of my salary that I asked for..

Meanwhile I asked Freddy to find out for me if there was any flight going out of the country.. I had enough!! Freddy told me the next flight out was within a week.. I rushed to get the ticket but I was late.. God had saved me though…..  because that flight was shot down by a misile and exploded.. It was suspected of carrying weapons.. But that didn’t stop me.. I waited for the next one scheduled to be out the week after.. The night before I was due to go.. I packed everything quietly.. didn’t tell anyone what I was going to do.. I knew that I didn’t owe my workers anything.. all salaries and dues were paid off already..  The morning after.. I said to my admins manager and my driver “Let’s go for breakfast” Then half way through… I ordered them to take the route to the airport.. I had a few last words with them when we reached the airport “I’m going to South Africa.. and will be back soon…” Then.. Off I went… I actually left behind 2 persons that I really loved in my life.. I had to leave them behind, fearing that the plane would be shot by a misile again.. One day.. I hope I can go and find them.. Please don’t ask me who they are coz it will deeply hurt and disturb my feeling.. coz I have been trying to forget about it for 10 years now..

3 Days later.. on 30th November 1998, I went to our headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.. And with his greatest disbelief.. Dato said to me “What the hell are you doing here? I want you to go back to Kinshasa and look after our machinery now!!” And I replied to him “Nope!! I’m staying in my country until it is safe to go there!” One month later.. I made a decision to leave the company.. In the beginning.. I was still in contact with Kinshasa… until later… perhaps a heavier war broke up there.. perhaps… the telecommunication centre was bombed.. because I could no longer contact the people that I loved…..there was no more ring tone…. not anymore….. perhaps they are alive…… perhaps not…. but certainly… I love them forever… “may their soul be well looked after by God – Amin”

Thank you for sharing 1000 days in africa with me…… really thank you all for waiting….. hope you understand why it was so hard to complete the story…… DjRay

Chapter 14 : Casino Affair

Chapter 14 : Casino Affair

In my desperation to return to Kinshasa, our office members in Point Noire helped me a lot to arrange a ticket for me.. In fact, I was already broke from that bloody robbery in the club and at the military base. The best they could do was to get me a ticket to Cameroon first, a short transit and then only to Kinshasa. I ran a bad luck again in Cameroon.. after 7 hours of transit, the airline authority said “flight to Kinshasa has to be cancelled” I was speechless as I was really furious.. At least they were kind enough to refund cash for the cancelled flight. There.. I was so desperate looking for other options to get back into Kinshasa..  The cash they refunded me was just enough for me to buy a ticket to Gabon.. a country further up north. I was told that it was only from there that I could possibly get AirAfrik airline.. which still goes to Kinshasa.. Other airlines didn’t dare to go in as rumours had it that there would soon be riots in Kinshasa.. I had no choice but to take the route to Gabon. In the flight.. I was so afraid coz I had less than USD 20 left in my pocket.. I was just praying to God to give direction to me..  Once I reached Gabon, I had to find my own way how to buy a ticket.. back to Kinshasa.. I was hoping that the bank in Gabon would allow me to take out some cash from my credit card. That was the only hope that I had.. It was not possible in Cameroon…

As I had not much cash with me.. the only place I could stay was in a hotel.. which usually accept credit card. The first thing I did when I reached Gabon was to look for a bank.. There.. my dissappointment continued.. they didn’t accept MasterCard.. only VISA Card.. I really screwed up this time.. I felt really tired already and off I went to a first hotel.. I got the same news.. “We only accept VISA Sir”.. Then suddenly I remembered!! When I was in Kinshasa, I went to The Inter Continental Hotel for a drink and they accepted my mastercard!! I grabbed a taxi and asked the driver if there was any Inter Continental Hotel there.. and he said “yes”. So, off I went to the hotel.. Yep, they accepted my card.. what a relief.. at least I could stay in a safe place rather than on the street..

Upon checking in, I immediately called up the headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.. explaining my situation.. and asking them to bank in money into my account urgently as I needed to purchase a ticket back to Kinshasa and that, the credit in my card might not be enough.. Unfortunately I received a very “sick” remark : “How could you be in trouble when you are staying in a 5 star hotel..?” followed by laughters..  I hung up the phone!! And I couldn’t stand it anymore ….this time I was really really sad.. alone in my room.. then I counted the cash in my pocket.. I only had 2 Dollars left.. the rest had been spent on airport tax and taxis..  The only person left was my mum.. I was so reluctant to inform her about my situation.. but I had to.. I picked up the phone and started dailing home.. I tried not to reveal so much.. coz I didn’t want her to worry about me.. “Mum, please bank in RM xx,xxx for me.. I don;t have enough money to spend here.. please do it now..” Eventhough she banked in some 5 figures amount, it was little compared to dollars.. the conversion was USD 1 = RM 2.50 at that time.. So, basically I just received USD 2,500 which was enough for me to get by..

I stayed in my room 1 whole day.. I didn’t go out from my room.. didn’t eat anything either.. as I had lost all my appetite and hope.. The next day I called my mum again.. and thank God she had done the favour for me.. I felt like I was alive again.. I rushed down to the reception.. hoping that they would allow me to get some cash out of my card.. I tried to do the same trick like when I was at Point Noire.. This time The room rate was USD200 per night, so I was hoping to raise USD 400 so that I could buy the ticket, which cost USD200. So, I said to the receptionist “Can you swipe my card for 4 days.. and refund me some cash.. coz I will only stay for 2 days..?” And the receptionist answered me “No Sir, we can’t do that!! I’m Sorry”

In life, we all learnt that when we are in trouble, we may not hear what we want to hear.. right?

This time.. I had the money.. but I couldn’t take it out.. not from the bank.. and certainly not from the reception.. I just walked around the lobby area.. wandering around didn’t know what to do.. I wished to go back the next day.. as there was a flight to Kinshasa.. Then, I saw a sign which said “Casino” . In Islam, it is illegal to gamble.. but I was so desperate to survive.. Hmmmm.. At that time I was wondering.. and I remembered last time when I went to a Casino with a friend in Australia.. It was just for a fun visit.. I put a 20 cent coin.. and a lot of cash came out from the machine.. may be I could get the same luck again!! So, I went inside the casino.. yes! I saw the jackpot machine.. I went to the cashier and changed the only 2 dollars that I had to 10 pieces of coins.. I put in the coin one by one… until finished.. within less than 1 minute.. I just lost all the money.. I didn’t have a single cent with me now!!

So, I went out.. feeling so desperate.. then I heard someone singing.. I approached the singing direction.. Oh I see.. There was a Karaoke pub.. I went in.. I just sat there.. listening to people singing.. and hoping for miracle to happen to me.. By the way, Gabon used to be a French colony.. so, all the songs sung by the people were french songs.. Feeling quite bored.. I took the song list and went through it.. I saw Bee Gees songs list.. I selected a song called “words”.. I thought I wanted to cheer up myself by singing.. So, when my turn came.. the bartender gave me the microphone.. and I started to sing :

“Smile.. an everlasting smile.. a smile can bring you near to me.. don’t ever let me found you gone.. coz that would bring the tears.. to me.. this world.. has lost its glory.. let’s start a brand new story now.. my love… right now.. there’ll be no other time.. and i can show you how… my love…

talk.. an everlasting word.. and dedicate them all.. to me.. and i.. will give you all my life.. i’m here if you should call… to me.. you think.. that i don’t even mean.. a single word i say…. it’s only words.. and words are all i have… to take my heart away…

la la la la…. la la la la…

it’s only words… and words are all i have… to take my heart… a…..way………….”

May be because I was so sad.. I didn’t care much who were around me.. as I was really singing it for me.. I was shocked after I finished singing.. there were applause everywhere.. There was a table about 6 to 7 people nearby.. who then called me to join them. They thought I was French, and that I could sing English with good pronunciation… I guess it works the same for English speaking countries.. If we hear someone sings french.. perhaps we could be impressed too.. So, we sat together.. had great chats.. and we ordered more drinks.. They were all businessmen.. Suddenly I realised that this was my chance to get some cash.. coz when the bill arrived later, everyone would have to pay cash.. and I could pay the bill for the table by my credit card.. and instead.. take the cash paid by others!! Yes Yes!! So, I ordered more drinks for everyone.. and I made sure that we talked more.. and ordered more.. All along the way, I was praying that they would be paying cash.. and not by credit card.. Thank God, as the bill arrived, everyone took their cash out.. the bill was split to 8 including me.. each one had to pay about USD 30… After they all had put in their money.. about USD 200 plus.. then I said, “Ok, I’ll take all the cash and I’ll pay the bill using my credit card..”  I had just over USD 200 now.. and that would be sufficient to buy my ticket back to Kinshasa.. The next day, I packed up and left for Kinshasa.. Good bye Gabon.. It was a lovely trip after all..

To be continued.. DjRay

Chapter 13 : Military Assistance?

Chapter 13 : Military Assistance?

I really thought that our victory in getting the contract signed was a new start of a good life for me. Then our headquarters delayed in what they were supposed to do to get the job started. Our engineer still didn’t arrive. I had to make use of our consultant, Mr Valero to start doing the plan. It was already April 1998. Once again I was hassled by the government ministers regarding the delay. At one point, I was called up by the minister to speak on their national television about the road project. They also called up all the companies who had reputation in road construction in Kinshasa to be there. The opening of the press conference was very intimidating  for me. The chair person, who was the advisor of the President, who was also one of the minister posed a question to me, meaning “When will you start the project?”  Bloody Hell!! That was a question that I had no answer. Only Dato had the answer. I was just a worker. If I had said I didn’t know, then I was a fool on TV. Then I gave an answer “Well… For the next 3 months, we will do our ground works and logistic plans. Then we will start the project.” Everybody was shocked as they thought that I wouldn’t be able to answer the minister and they could possibly took over the USD 300 million project. Then the minister asked again, “Exactly when will you officially start the work?” I was silent for a while.. I was quite afraid of taking things at my own hands, and at the same time I didn’t want Dato to be in trouble if I just said I didn’t know. So, I took the risk of giving this answer “Well… we will officially start the project on 1st August 1998!!”

In early May 1998, my friend Freddy came to my office. He rarely came to my office as we used to meet outside somewhere.. Then he told me, “You better come to my house.. There is something I want to tell you” But I told him “You can tell me here..?” And he replied “Nope, I don’t want to be seen here! I’m going off now, You come later!!” That didn’t sound good to me.. I waited recklessly for the office hours to finish then off I went to his house. There.. he explained to me that he was quite attached to the French military, and he got the information that there would soon be a coup-d’etat. He expected it to happen anytime within 2 weeks. He even explained to me who would fight with who, and who sponsored the weapons and why.. blah blah blah.. The name involved is prominent until today.. and I believed that he is a greedy crook  and a crime organiser. It was something to do with the gold mine. To protect myself, I will not uncover this information further here k. Freddy advised me to flee to the neighbour country before it was too late. Well, the  only place I could go was to Point Noire in Congo Brassaville, coz Dato had a logging project there.

There is something about living in Africa and dealing with your workers.. you must never say that you are leaving.. you could possibly be killed. So, I gave them an excuse that I had an assignment in Point Noire and will be back in 2 weeks. Of course I didn’t want to take a chance staying in Kinshasa.. so I fled to Point Noire in Congo Brassaville. 2 days after I arrived.. the war broke up.. but guess what.. it was not in Kinshasa.. but it was in Brassaville.. the place that I was at.. Point Noire and Brassaville are quite apart.. separated by 2-3 hours flight. Logistically, I was safe at Point Noire.. Brassaville is located just accross the Congo River opposite Kinshasa. In order to go back to Kinshasa, I had to go through Brassaville if I wish to take a speed boat, otherwise I had to go through Kinshasa airport. I really felt screwed up going to Point Noire.. and I was quite irritated by the news given by Freddy.. I thought it was a total lie. I requested for the permission from the headquarters to go back to Kinshasa by flight.

I felt really tensed and decided to go out for a drink that night at Point Noire, knowing that there was a war going on at Brassaville. I did something which I shouldn’t have done!! I stupidly went to a night club alone.. There.. someone grabbed my money as I was just about to pay for my drinks. Of course I got mad! I went out of the club and saw a few military guys and a truck. I approached them and explained about my problem.. Great! They came looking for the thief.. They found him and started to speak to each other in their local language.. Then… to my surprise.. The military turned around and grabbed me instead!! They put me up their truck and took me to the millitary base nearby. First time in my life I felt really scared…. At the base, one of them took my chain and my ring. The other one took out all the money in my wallet.. while another one infront of me was writing details about me.. The scariest moment was when I heard gunshot and screams from the back.. which I beleived they were shooting people they had caught there. It occured in my mind that they would kill me too. In desperation, I whispered to the guy who was writing about my details, I asked him, “Do you want some money?” He said “Oui” meaning ‘Yes’.. Then another 2 military guys heard that, one of them was the driver.. he said “me too”.. And I said “Then take me out..follow me”

So, the three of us went out. I asked them to stop at a Hotel, coz I remembered seeing a white guy at the reception whom I hoped would help me out. I asked him to help me out by swiping my credit card as if I was staying at the hotel, but I would take cash instead. He said..”nope!!” and then he said again, “But I can swipe for 2 days stay.. you stay 1 day and I will refund you 1 day” Thank God.. What a relief.. Then I told him, “Good, please swipe for 3 days then, I stay 1 day.. you refund me 2 days” I had to do anything to get cash to pay those freaky bastards!! otherwise I would not be able to get out of trouble. At least they went off after they got 100 French Franc each.. and do you think I would stay at the hotel for that 1 day that I had paid..? Hell No!! I took a taxi.. went back to our base in Point Noire.. A lesson that I learnt.. and I should have known better.. never ask for help from the military guys in Africa.. find other ways to solve your problem..

UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUrrrrrrrrrgggggggghhhhhh I just wanted to get out of that shit place.. I arranged a flight back to Kinshasa.. nothing came easy of course.. I had to go through Cameroon, then only to Kinshasa..

To be continued … DjRay

Chapter 12 : Finally The Contract

Chapter 12 : Finally The Contract

The next day, we continued our journey to Port Matadi.. We arrived there a few hours later. Damn it was far too hot there!! I had arranged a forwarding agent from Kinshasa to assist taking out our machinery before I went to Matadi. It was run by another French guy named Frederique.. who seemed to know so much about the political scenario of Republique Democratique du Congo. I just called him Freddy. From the documents that he gave me, it was stated that we didn’t need to pay a single tax as we were coming there to assist development. He didn’t come along with us as I told him that I could handle things by myself.. knowing that he was quite busy at the time.

Here we go.. My bloody day started again when all our machinery were not allowed to be taken out!! The officer in-charged claimed about USD 80,000 for tax or else they would just block our machines.. Hell! The telephone system at Matadi was screwed up. A few ISD operators charged ‘a bomb’ for their service but I had to deal with it. The only thing that I could manage to do was making a few phone calls to Kinshasa and Malaysia. I had to wait for 1 week for Freddy to come down.. meanwhile I arranged a private property owned by a new friend named Mr Tutu.. about 2 kms away from the port to park the machinery before we started our project. As Freddy arrived.. I felt relieved coz I was so certain that he would be able to handle the case. Nope!! I was wrong. They still wouldn’t release our machinery.. I went to see the man in-charge and started to shout at him in English.. All sorts of swear words came out from my mouth.. He didn’t understand a single word but I didn’t care coz I felt satisfied… Couldn’t stand the pressure anymore.. plus the hot sun.. I mean.. really really bloody hot!! I went back to my hotel room and slept! The next day, someone came knocking on my door.. and straight away opened it.. Shit! I thought I had locked the door! Then came a familiar voice of my immediate boss, just one position below Dato.. Mr Henry.. so surprised he was there.. He used the receptionist to open the door.. perhaps I didn’t answer my door for quite sometimes. I opened up my mouth and mumbled something and I just could not remember what happened next..

Then, a few hours later I opened my eyes again.. there were people around me.. Mr Henry was there.. He asked me “Are you Ok?” .. and I replied.. “Haaa…?” He explained to me that they knocked and knocked and knocked my door but I didn’t answer it. They thought something was wrong. But when he entered my room, I got up and started to scream and abuse him with horrible swearing words.. then I collapsed. They rushed me to a nearby hospital and there I was treated and confirmed ‘Malaria’.. Strange enough I didn’t need to have ‘a drip’ as I had seen treated to others.. and I recovered within 2 days.. that was the first time I had Malaria after staying in Africa for almost 2 and a half years..

Mr Henry, Mr Tutu and Mr Valero took me to the piece of land that I had arranged to park the machinery. I smiled this time.. all the machinery had been taken out of the port and nicely parked as I had wished… I started to snap photos of each one of them.. Then we all went back to Kinshasa.. smiling and so happy as if we had won a battle.. Nope!! wrong again!! 3 months later.. we still didn’t get our contract to reconstruct the road. I had been pushed from one department to another.. but still failed to get anything out of it.. Then Dato came.. he was dissappointed with the Minister that had promised him to give the contract.. he said “Let’s pack up and leave..!!” What??? I didn’t expect to hear that. I sat for a while.. thinking.. actually thinking about how the hell was I going to reach President Laurent Kabila and report all these incidents to him..?

It just so happened that there was a Western African Leaders meeting held at The Grand Continental Hotel that day. I stood up and said to Dato “Wait Dato!! Don’t give up yet! Give me a chance to try one more time!!” He laughed… “Ha..ha.. little hero.. what can you do..?” and I said “If it works out.. then you will know it Dato.. I’m going out for a while.. see you later.” I called my lawyer. He came and we went to The Grand Continental Hotel together.. As we approached the hotel.. there were military everywhere.. they pointed their guns at us.. we were ordered to leave as the security was very very tight. There were 5 African Leaders, expected to meet there.. Bloody Hell.. I failed again.. What I wanted to do was to meet The President of Namibia.. who is a good friend of Dato. He was the one who recommended Dato to do the project. I wanted him to help reporting our problem to President Laurent Kabila. I didn’t trust anybody else in the ministry that would bring us to him. I had been trying to meet President Laurent Kabila for more than six months but I only met crooks that were just after money.

We both sat in the car.. just looking at the guards.. Then I had another idea.. I took out my name card and wrote behind it ..”Sir, I’m in trouble.. Please help me.. Urgent!! Call me please.. From your friend, Dato Wong” and with little tears mixed with anger.. I begged to my lawyer.. “Use your power.. use any excuse whatsoever.. please go in there.. reach out the nearest person who would give this to The President of Namibia.. ” and he looked at me and said.. “Are you crazy..?” and I said to him.. “Yes buddy.. I am fucking crazy!! and fucking mad!!” ..”So, will you do it..?” He grabbed my hands and said.. “I’m with you..” and off he went.. I felt that our effort would go to waste once again.. But at least we had tried our best.. I waited for 45 minutes.. My lawyer came back.. the only thing he said was “You almost got me killed!!” We both went back to our office…   I said to Dato..”If we don’t hear anything for the next 2 hours.. then let’s pack up and leave this horrible place Dato.”

WRONG AGAIN!!! I received a call about one hour later from The President of Namibia. He asked me “What’s wrong??” and I told him that the people in the ministry were not co-orperating with us for the road project.. and I asked his help to bring us to meet President Laurent Kabila… To my astonishment, he invited us to come to The Grand Continental Hotel immediately.

It was kinda great when the same military who pointed the guns at us earlier came and picked us up at the entrance this time.. So, Dato met his good friend The President of Namibia.. We had our words together with him.. but I was careful enough not to say the wrong things.. fearing it might spoil everything.. 10 minutes later..The President of Namibia took us to meet The President of Republique Democratique du Congo, President Laurent Kabila.

Guess what? The first word that came out from President Kabila when he saw Dato was “Hello my Malaysian friend.. what happened..? Why aren’t you building the road for us..? They said you are not doing anything.. Why take so much time..?” Apparently Kabila was able to speak English and French. Then Dato said..”Well… maybe you can ask my manager here..” while pointing at me.. Then the same question was asked to me.. This time I replied in French, meaning “Your Excellence, we want to start the project but we can’t do it without a contract. We had tried to get the contract signed for the past 6 months but until now it has not been signed yet.” And The President asked “But why..??” And I kept my reluctant answer “I don’t know Sir… I really really don’t know Sir.. I don’t know why our contract is not signed ” I kept repeating the words “I don’t know” and “contract not signed” as hints that there is something phishy in the ministry. Actually I was so tempted to say that somebody wanted some under table money!! Uurrrgghh.. Luckily I didn’t say that.. perhaps I could have got killed.. Then something else struck in my mind.. I said, “Your Excellence, we really want to do the project.. In fact we had imported our machinery here. Look at these pictures…” I showed him the pictures which I took before, which just happend to be in my file that I brought along that day. Lucky enough, the pictures had date at the bottom. Then I said..”Look Your Excellence.. Our machinery had been there for the past 3 months already…. and we are ready to do some work..!! We need the contract signed!!” Hmmmm…. I think by that time he got the message already…. Immediately he called the Minister in-charged.. “Where is Mr……..?” (I won’t mention his name here k..) “Call him here!!”….. Probably you could imagine my face expression at that time.. yep, I was giving that smart-arse looking smile..

Two weeks later……. Voila!!……. We got the contract signed!!……. Bravo!!!!!!!!

To be continued… DjRay