Saturday, January 27, 2007

Stupid JPJ

Warning: This extremely long post consists of a string of rants and nothing else. But it is a story about what every Malaysian loves to hate - the inefficient government agencies. So you have it there, reader's discretion is advised.


In my recent encounterS with JPJ, I am forced to reach an unkind conclusion: 做鬼作怪无影无迹

Here's how the story goes. I study in Melbourne, Australia, and sometimes I need to drive when I want to go on road trips. According to what I have heard, in order to drive legally in Australia, I need to have some documentations from JPJ in order to prove that I am a holder of a valid driving license. But I am not sure about the details, so I decided to go to JPJ to ask for more details.


First Visit to JPJ - One Day in December

In a lovely afternoon, a very excited me embarked on the journey to JPJ after asking for directions from my parents. I wanted to renew my license anyway, so it's a journey with two purposes. I was filled with joy in anticipation of my new license and the needed documentation for me to drive in Melbourne.

My sense of direction was proven not so bad as I reached JPJ without much trouble. When I reached there, naturally the first thing I did was to look for somewhere to park. Public vehicles aren't allowed inside the JPJ compound, so I had to look for some where else, preferably on the roadside nearby. Left, right, left right. It was a very remote road, the road was very wide, and there was no traffic except JPJ visitors. Everywhere I laid my eyes on, there was no place for parking on the road. No, you got it wrong if you guessed that it's because the roadside was fully parked - it's almost empty. There was no place because someone put up a sign that says "no parking" along the whole length of the road. Yes, no parking on the broad daylight although it's a damn broad road with no traffic.

All right then. Obviously there must be some where I could park my car, right? Yes of course. A huge empty space was conveniently located opposite JPJ, and of course you guessed it right, a money collecting booth was conveniently located at the entrance of the space. Okay, okay.. no problem. Just pay for it, just this ONE time. Someone politely asked for "seringgit dua", and I politely paid it.

So, maintaining a joyous mood, I went out of the parking lot and proceeded to the JPJ office. I got to the right building after asking for direction, and patiently I waited for my turn. It was not long before I got called. For the part of renewing license, it was swiftly processed, and their speed was pretty fast, which I presumed was because that's their routine work. Now come the tricky part - asking about driving in Australia. The friendly counter abang told me (not in exact wording):
Kalau nak pandu kat Australia ada dua cara.. Yang pertama itu dapatkan IDP (International Driving Permit) la, kalau tidak boleh tulis satu surat rasmi ke JPJ, katakan nak memohon bagi memandu di Australia, dan kemudian masukkan alamat JPJ di Australia, alamat kamu di Australia, dan sebagainya. Bagi jugak fotostat dokumen-dokumen itu lah, dan serah dua puluh ringgit. Kami akan keluarkan satu surat dengan butir-butiran lesen kamu lah, dan bila kat Australia gunakan surat itu sahaja
Wow that was a fair surprise for me. I could actually get it done for twenty ringgit, instead of paying one hundred and fifty ringgit every year for the International Driving Permit. Since I need to prepare the official letter and the photocopies, I went home so that I could apply on another day.


Second Visit to JPJ - 23 January

Alright, I admit that I am a procrastinator. I didn't visit JPJ again until 23 January as I went to KL, was busy online and so on and so forth. But all in all, yeah, I procrastinated until 23 Jan.

Yippie, I thought, I could get the whole thing done on that day! Painstakingly I prepared a formal letter, printed it in a shop, and photocopied all the relevant documents. And I went to JPJ again.

And yes, I paid 1.20 Ringgit for the parking again. I was starting to get annoyed with the daylight robbery, but it's okay, that was the LAST time I was going to pay it. Fine.

I repeated the whole process - going to JPJ office, getting a number, waiting for the call. So the PA system announced the sweet number, and I presented to the counter with the documentations. It was a different guy from the first encounter, and then came the moment of truth:
A Receptionist: *Flip flip flip* *Read read read* *Double check with another receptionist* Eerr... Adik, ini tak boleh buat lah... Kami tak buat macam itu bagi Australia. Bagi Singapura boleh lah buat surat macam ini, tapi... bagi Australia, perlulah beli IDP. Yang Singapura itu kami ada buat perjanjian boleh gunakan surat bagi konvert lesen, tapi Australia itu tak ada perjanjian...
What the ****?!!

After the previous trip, the whole shebang of printing and photocopying process, now they were telling me this whole thing didn't apply for Australia? All right all right. Fine. I would just accept the fate that I couldn't drive in Australia, since 150 ringgit per year is too expensive for me. I have wasted all the parking fee, photocopying and freaking expensive printing all for nothing. FINE.


After the Second Visit

I was discontented. Boh Siok. I went online to look for more info, and with the help of Chang Jie I managed to find the VicRoad page with the information for a foreign driver. Basically it says that for an international student, if I have a valid overseas license, I can actually drive in Australia as long as that license comes with an English translation. So that means just make an English translation for my Malay license, I could already drive in Victoria (the state Melbourne is in) legally.

It was such a good news for me. No extra charges, no 150 ringgit, no formal letter. I just needed to print out an English translation, get JPJ to certify it, and I was good to go!


The Third Visit to JPJ - 24 January

It was not as easy as I thought to translate a small piece of license, but I managed to do it anyway. I paid for the printing again, and off I went to JPJ, again in a relieved mood. Of course I was fairly positive about the trip despite it being the third trip, as I was going to end the whole ordeal.

At the parking lot, I grudgingly paid for the parking for the third time. I almost wanted to punch that collector lady when she nonchalantly called out "Seringgit dua!" Alright. Three ringgit and sixty cents, that's all you were going to get from me, greedy parking lot!

All right, let's cut the redundant part and get straight to the office. So I went to the counter with that translation, and the receptionist asked me to deal with the more "tua liap" people inside the office.

I presented the translation and asked whether she could translate certify it for me.
Tua Liap Officer: *Read read read* Yang ini, kamu buat sendiri kah?

Sei Liap Me: Ya.

Tua Liap Officer: Aiyorr, tak boleh buat macam itu. Kami tak boleh sign la macam ini. Kamu mesti tulis satu surat, katakan mau memohon JPA keluarkan satu surat rasmi dengan butiran lesen kamu, dan... [blah blah blah, the same things the guy told me in the first visit]
TULAN. (Visit this Kennysia post for more visual effect)

I was sure my face must be as black as a charcoal when I heard that. Yes, it's a bit vulgar, but no other word could describe my feeling better. They went on pressing on how illegal it was to have them sign that and how I did not "follow their ways". Alright, I told the officer about what happened in my previous two trips. She didn't seem very apologetic about it, and went on lecturing me what I should do. At the end I think she must have seen my face colour, because she eventually said "Sorry la kena datang berapa kali".

At least she apologised at the end. Okay. I was magnanimous.


Fourth Visit to JPJ - 25 January

Okay la this was the last time liao. The real last time. I had a weird feeling that it's not going to be a smooth day, but that's impossible, I thought.

This time I was smart, I parked on a roadside a bit further from JPJ, where there was no sign but a faint yellow line on the road. That was a bet, of course, 1.20 Ringgit vs. an offence summon.

I entered the office by myself as the officer told me the previous day, and gave her the letter.
Tua Liap Officer: *Read read read* Adik, perkataan atas surat itu tak begitu tepat ni... Kamu kata "pengesahan untuk memandu di Australia", kami tak boleh mengesahkan, kami hanya boleh mengeluarkan butir-butiran kamu sahaja.
I must consider myself to be very civilised as I didn't burst out in the office. That was just way too much for anyone to bear. What, the wording in an official letter? It's just for the purpose of archiving applications, now you were telling me that my wording was incorrect, on my fourth visit? (Update: Read my p/p/s for this event)
Another Not-So-Tualiap Officer: Eerm kenapa tak apply IDP?

Tulan Me: *Black Face* IDP mahal lah, seratus lima puluh ringgit setiap tahun!

Another Not-So-Tualiap Officer: Kamu belajar kat luar negara, mesti ada duit itu...

Tulan Me: *Black Face*

Another Not-So-Tualiap Officer: Okay la macam itu. Saya bagi satu kertas putih, kamu tulislah satu surat baru mengikut format dia.
I settled for a neatly handwritten letter at the end. After four visits, twenty ringgit and half an hour, they finally got me the precious official document that I asked for. Reading the motto of "Kedah Maju 2010" and "Mesra Cekap Telus" in the document, I had a mixed feeling.


Seriously, what the heck with all the red tapes and the bad attitudes? Why can't they improve the whole process to this work flow:
  1. Visit JPJ one day with my license, passport and its photocopies.
  2. Ask at the counter about driving in Australia.
  3. Fill out a form so that they could archive the application, and pay the money.
  4. Wait for their processing.
  5. Get the document.
Wouldn't the world be a better place? I think Pak Lah needs to pay a visit to JPJ Kedah one day. The last I heard, since he paid a surprise visit to Immigration department a few years ago, the department has become super efficient. He should pay more visits to all the other departments, seriously.

He might want to visit the parking lots and the "no parking" sign too.

p/s: After the whole incident, I am suspicious that they purposely made it hard to apply for that particular document. It's obviously a valid procedure, as they did show me many other similar applications when they showed me "the right way" to write that official letter. I suspect that they might make it hard for people to apply for it, you know, so that people apply for the more expensive IDP instead. But of course it's not for sure lah, it's just a guess. So don't sue me for defamation.

p/p/s: I just realized that I remembered wrongly. I actually wrote "memohon kebenaran daripada JPJ untuk memandu di Australia" instead of "pengesahan". But that doesn't detract from the "ketulanan" of the other events.


day-dreamer said...

"I am suspicious that they purposely made it hard to apply for that particular document."
>>> Actually, I think so too.

And IMHO, tulan is the least offensive word you can use on these government department. ;)

Congrats on finally getting the necessary documentations you need.

Ren Jie said...

Oh man, I think tulan is not enough. Should have use more powerful profanities!!!

I am never pleased with the service provided by those government agencies. And I can totally imagine how inefficient they are in dealing with stuff. Sometimes they try to complicate stuff instead of simplify the procedures to be more efficient. And sometimes their nonchalant attitudes really ignite my anger.

Anyway, good thing that you've got what you need.

kyh said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Winson Kang said...

"Kamu belajar kat luar negara, mesti ada duit itu..."

Hah, i would be pissed if i hear this f phrase coming out from the officer's damn mouth. It's not praise, rather sarcastic. And just imagine what one is already feeling at that time through all those lengthy processes..

Wee Loon ONG said...

Well, I truly agree with you as I myself have also been to alor star JPJ a couple of time when I first get my probation license as well as renewing my license and really seriously damn tulan with the way they do things. all those red tape thingy... and those real sei liap officer also want to act like lansi to you, which makes me so damn fire! simply things need to pass to tua liap and more tua liap and more more tua liap ppl to approve, which is like so troublesome!
And the RM1.20 parking lot is just opposite the office and everyone who need to go to JPJ MUST park and pay there which makes it look like so 'legal' to collect the money (as if it's part of JPJ. and it's not really a proper well-built parking lot anyway. and i really get pissed off with the way the parking lot is run (in fact the same thing for many other government offices around alor star). well, luckily my mum office is just next to JPJ so I always get to park at my mum office for FREE.
damn, malaysia lousy system...

king ung said...

haha tulan jpj.

too much red tape. luckily at Germany, i can't use Malaysia license. for australia, u can just use malaysia driving license, so good.

hopefully u succeed in applying the driving license which can be used in australia.

at germany, 1 is 1, no is no. only 1 format and their action is swift. no similar procedure, it is same procedure from the start till the end. the staffs are well trained in their service area. but disadvantage is they dunno anything outside their service area. they will direct u to their co-worker if u need extra information. but it is good also, as they are specialized.

Casper said...

[rant]i had been waiting for my new IC for more than one year and then suddenly they say i need to go to kl to make it... damn[/rant]

anyway, something must be really wrong about the ISO ratings given to the government offices...

kyh said...

LOLed at the way u described ur encounters! Those gamen departments, workers etc memanglah terkenal dgn kelembikan (does such word exist?) mereka! Last time when we made a police report for a handbag robbery, the policewoman there slowly wrote the report, then slowly asked for q, then slowly everything! damn we were so TULAN with her inefficiency! so PEK CHEK!

Anonymous said...

kesian kesian~

but wud to do neh!! our government is WELL KNOWN for it's EFFICIENCY!!!

you should listen to the "wong gung can lan"(canto) -->> i tink means exciting stuff in the palace >.< <-- wic comes out once in a while on MYfm !! kind of funny. mocks the gov.


o-mii-gaa said...

What is more TULAN is I GOT THE BLARDY RM150 IDP without the blardy ppl at JPJ telling me about this!!!!!


Now tell me step by step how to do it.

sophisticatedsoul said...

Wah..pity you leh..your house is so far away from JPJ and you had to go there for so many rounds.

I made do with just IDP. It was quite fast to be honest. Just that I was shocked at the charge of RM 150 and kinda regretted applying for it since I won't really be driving in Australia anyway. :P

day-dreamer said...

Ya... 皇宫灿烂 from MY FM is kinda true but funny at the same time...

Can be downloaded at MY FM's website. If you wanna catch it on air, (unless they've changed the time, haven't been tuning in for quite some time) it is somewhere around 8-8.20am and repeat 6.00-6.30am the following day.

crushedguava said...

all done!

needed 2 trips though.

first to the JPJ Cawangan Kecil PJ, where they told me they don't do it there. thankfully i did not have to line up as it was at a different counter.

then to shah alam, jalan padang jawa, where i got it done for RM 10 (not 20).

not too bad for a day's work.

they even had a form for me to fill in and did not want my formal letter.

but the letter did help me, all i needed to do was to show it to people at the counters and they immediately directed me to the relevant areas.