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25 random thing about me.....

I was tagged too many times on FACEBOOK from what is seemed as a polite way to know friends. It may be a catastrophe to know more about me but since i've been tagged several times, i will not spare you from knowing the unbeknown.

RULES (with a minor modification from Facebook). Once you've read, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people and emailed the note. You have to also emailed the person who emailed you. If I emailed you, it's because I want to know more about you.

1. I enjoyed singing but never knew how ugly it sounded. One day, I sang my heart out whilst driving alone from Buckingham University to London and I incidentally dialled a friend’s mobile phone. His mobile phone was out of coverage area and my (incidental) call was recorded in his voice-box message. Embarrass and ugly was an understatement when I heard the replay of the voice-box message.. I did not use my mobile phone for a few months thereafter but continue my out-of-tune sing and karoeke’ing even till today but only with closest of friend.

2. I enjoyed making friends. I can enter, greet and talk to everybody in a hall full of people but I can hardly remember faces and names. I take it as birth defect. There was once in my late teens, I parked myself at a table full with people at a restaurant mistakenly thought them for someone else. After eating and an hour of conversation, one of them politely asked if we have actually met? I wanted to bury myself under the table but I politely apologize and disappear. Ever since, I never approached anybody unless first spoken to. Many may thought of me as unfriendly but I have had too many embarrassing moments.

3. Habitually and subconsciously, I picked my nose in public once too often… for the longest of time! i had only realized my bad habit upon meeting an old high school friend Musa Z, that claimed my habit dated back since high school (I never realized). After that, I was more aware of the bad habit and notice myself doing it so often and felt shameful (at myself). I have to admit that its disgusting but really…. It was really pleasurable.

4. I was rejected once by a girl, my classmate during primary school. I was 12 years old but was too shy and had never spoken to her. After many sleepless nights, I decided to express myself to her by choosing a carefully worded card for Hari Raya. I browsed all the varieties of cards and after much deliberations, I chose a card that read “Selamat Hari Raya Kekasihku”. I bought and quietly left it in her postbox. She must have freaked out and avoided me the whole year until we left primary school. We were 12 years old. I felt so kodi and kampong everytime I thought of it… and could not stop feeling stupid even todate. I mastered the skill and was never rejected by anybody since.

5. I love gardening. I was the gardening association (persatuan berkebun) committee member during primary school at SRK kampong Tunky, PJ, Ever since then, I have been planting flowers and plants. At my old house in kelana jaya, I had my own hanging garden of babylon having converted the rooftop into a nursery. All the flowers died barely a month later although I cannot express my love for plants. After various attempts without success with all plants died, I employ a gardener who maintained my beautiful and colourful garden. Despite my love for plants, we don’t have any chemistry.

6. When my luck with plants ran out, I breed fishes. I bought an aquarium with many colourful fishes for my house. After repeated replenishment of fishes in the aquarium which kept dying, I changed the concept and bought just one but an expensive Arowana which is said an easy care. I gave up my aquarium when the arowana died too in less than a month. Nawal once said, this is how I care for people too.. luckily nobody died…

7. I love running. I used to run for 7 hours on the treadmill every weekend. Now I run every alternate day at 530am for 10 km. When I was staying at my old house in kelana jaya, I run daily 10 km to the Fitness First gym @ the Curve where my driver awaited with my working attire. I would shower, change and go to work from the gym. Simon, a Singaporean friend called me stupid having paid so expensive for a car and a driver BUT had to run to the office everyday.

8. I am a workaholic. When I was working at the merchant bank, I was chased out once by my boss. I discharged myself from the hospital and went straight to work after a major operation to remove glass pieces that was buried in my forehead from a 2 years old car accident. My boss Ramlah Abu Bakar freak and chased me out when she saw the fresh blood and stitches on my forehead.

9. I always lost track of day and time. one day, I woke up and screamed frantically at my driver for not turning up for work only to realize it was a Sunday..

10. I am pathetically a loyal person. I do not know how to mix and add varieties without feeling disgusted. I cannot have Dominoes pizza without the feeling of betraying Pizza Hut. Similarly, I am loyal to Mc Donalds and cant bear Burger King, I love coke and wont drink pepsi and will never take any other fast food chicken but KFC. I am also a Nokia loyalist and cursed at the Blackberry Bold and felt betrayed when the Bold didn’t perform (similar to nokia) as how I expected. Maybe I am a victim of ‘branding’.

11. I love cooking. Dont fall off the seat but I enjoyed cooking when I was in Uni. I was forced to cook with a tight budget. I lived on scholarship and it was impossible to survive without cooking own food. Upon arrival, I went to the local grocery store and bought myself some raw meat for dinner. The meat was fresh and still covered in blood. I washed the meat thoroughly with soap. The meat turned pale white and was tasteless when I fried it with turmeric (not knowing i have to add salt). My mum had a good laughed but told, my dad did the same when he tried helping my mum in the kitchen. Unbeknown to me, washing raw meat with soap won’t make it more hygienic. Later, I learn my love is not in cooking but in eating good food. Hence, I began courting ladies at uni for food which is easier than to experiment own cooking, I ended up being a few kilos overweight upon graduation.

12. I enjoy writing though my vocabulary may not be as rich as I wanted it to be. I have a blog ( that I write regularly and is currently in the middle of writing a few books.

13. I love doing the impossible. My first triathlon was the Ironman triathlon, 3.8km open water swim, 180 km cycle and 42km run. I attempted the Ironman triathlon with only 4 weeks of training and I had not swim since pre-school. The ironman was my first swim in open water. I completed the 3.8km swim and abandoned the race at the 136th km cycle. I also attempted the 84km ultra marathon in Singapore without sufficient training. I completed 64km of the 84km ultra marathon. Though I did not complete both events, I love the pain that I had to endure whilst attempting it. The pain may not be as excruciating if I were to have had sufficient training. now i run simple 21km or 42km marathon.

14. I hate travelling. Contrary to my siblings and parents, I just dislike travelling. I hate everything from packing and sit stupidly in the plane (or car) to reach any destination and then get interrogated by the custom officials upon arrival. When I was a student in the UK, whilst other people travelled throughout Europe, I stayed alone at the hostel along very few other students of the same species.

15. I hate queuing. I will avoid any places that I have to queue. When I was in my teens, my friends (very understanding bunch) had to find the manager or the owner of the club to sneak me into a disco or concert without queuing. I stopped going to concert and disco now because I have lost contact with most of club managers, bouncers and owners except Zouk.

16. I love museums much to the bore of my friends. When I was at high school, I skipped (ponteng) classes and spend the whole school time at the museum. My mum never knew this.. ssshh…I rebelled against our education system and discover a more exciting and interesting way to study.

17. I love to read at weird places. At time, I parked myself at a quiet corner either at coffee bean or starbucks and read books or magazine from morning until late evening. When I was a banker more than 10 years ago, I used to drive and parked my car at NKVE Sungai Buloh highway break, read a book and have coffee in my car until after dinner. My friends who saw me in my car parked for hours at highway breaks asked me to seek professional help thinking I was suffering from mid life crisis in my 20s.

18. I never understand gambling. I used to gamble over a game of snooker or pool which I never did understand the concept and I always end-up paying. Though I hate gambling, I will never be the spoil-sport and will bet if asked. I have tried gambling at casino when I was in London but I just don’t understand how anybody could dream of becoming rich at the casino. Casino is a real rip-off but many people get sucked into it.

19. I am a sucker for latest handphones. I used to carry 3 hand phones with different service providers. There was once, I travelled all the way to Singapore when I heard they have launched the latest Nokia Communicator. I bought and paid more than S$2000.00 (RM4,500) and proudly came back to KL to discover the same phone was already launch in Malaysia for only RM2,800.00.

20. I love my privacy. I am very personal person especially with my drawer, hand phone and laptop that I will never allow anybody to even touch it. In the beginning, it created a lot of tense with many believed I have a secret to keep and we argued a lot because of it. But now, most family and friends accepted my peculiarity with my privacy.

21. I love trying out new activities. I didn’t play sport during youth due to my medical sickness. 5 years ago, I was invited to play football in a competition between Proton dealers, proton vendors and proton factory. So excited was I, though I have never kicked a ball. It took me a month of preparation, I bought a new football shoe, socks, uniform etc except for practice. I played against Proton factory led by Tengku Mahaleel himself as the captain. I chased the ball hilariously at one opportunity and gave my best kick only to see my shoe flying off. I stopped playing football. My football shoe that was only worn once, is still new 5 years later. I have a whole cabinet full of new items (including golf clubs that was only used 3x) from experimenting activities. I am sure this is genetic from my dad (dont tell him!)

22. I am snake-phobic. I could not stand the sight or the sound of any snake. A cobra once entered my proton workshop in Puchong and was kept as a pet by my manager, whom promised to safe guard it in an aquarium in the store room. One day, I heard another staff screamed the aquarium cover fell, I quickly jumped and climbed a built-in book shelve in my room screaming for help. My room was on the first floor and the snake was downstairs. That was not cool but I was not amused.

23. I have a bad sense of direction. I got lost in London many times though I lived there for many years. There was once, I came out of marble arch tube station and took a cab to the old Malaysia hall which was located 5 minutes walking distance away. In KL, many times, I have to call my friend in Alor Star, Kedah for direction to go to Ampang. I would like to believe that I was born to be chauffeured driven but the truth is, I just can’t find my way, even in a car park! Now, I have an Indonesian driver to drive me around Malaysia.

24. I love to bargain and negotiate. I probably inherit this from my mum but I just love to negotiate even for a few Ringgit. Once, my sister almost cried sympathising a trader who was trying to sell keropok (prawn cracker) for RM3. I insisted for RM2.50.

25. When I pee, I will flush the toilet bowl and pee simultaneously to race with the flushed water. I always lost. Before I was caught, Nawal always scold Aaraf, thinking he did not flush the toilet properly after peeing. I kept it a secret and stopped the habit.


Press Release


FEBRUARY 2009, KUALA LUMPUR. “We acknowledged that Proton sales network is over-congested but termination of dealers for lack of sales performance should not be an option.” said Armin Baniaz Pahamin, Acting President Proton Edar Dealers Association Malaysia (PEDA).

1. The over-congestion of dealers in the network was a result of previous Proton management political move in anticipation of terminating EON. In an unprecedented move, Proton appointed more than 100 dealers between the year 2003-2005.

2. Potential dealers went through various stringent screening prior to being appointed. Dealers were also requested for a minimum paid-up capital requirement of at least RM1million as a pre-appointment condition.

3. Dealers are businessmen who invested their life-time savings, pension fund and took borrowings to operate their business. More than half of the minimum paid up capital are invested to comply to Proton Corporate Image renovation for the showroom. Dealers requires RM3million to operate the dealership effectively and the balance working capital are satisfied by bank borrowings.

4. A 3S dealer employs more than 30 staff including the sales & service personnel.

5. When Proton failed to terminate EON, there were more than 400 dealers in the network. The growth of passenger car sales in Malaysia had always been stagnant but Proton dealers had doubled resulting in a drop of total Car sales per dealer but with an increasing cost of operation over the years.

6. At the same time, Proton dealers had to previously compete with the under-declared imported cars which further dampened Proton sales.

7. Proton more than a year inconclusive negotiation for Foreign Partnership had also slowed down proton sales when the public awaited new product line-up which saw dealers accumulating more losses.

8. Currently, with more than 300 dealers in the network, the average sales per dealers are less than 30 cars per month whilst Proton owned branches selling an average of 100 cars.

9. Dealers in klang valley can only break-even with a minimum car sale of 45 cars per month. With more losses accumulated by most dealers, the affected dealer will cease to be a dealer naturally when they no longer able to sustain their business.

10. Even PEDA president, Haji Wan Sepwan, surrendered his dealership in January 2009. Haji Wan Sepwan surrendered his dealership after many years of struggle battling unfair trade practices internally within proton and externally with adverse trade condition.

11. Dealer’s current overall lack of sales performance was the chain effect of Proton previous management incompetency in appointing too many dealers.

12. Proton Chairman, Dato Nadzmi’s move to rationalize the network is fair with Proton reducing their branches too. However, dealers should be allowed to retire instead of being terminated especially when their lack of sales performance is beyond their control.


Birth defect as an excuse…

January 2009, the first month of the New Year 2009 passed by whilst I was still concluding the past many years resolutions. This year 2009 will be similar to past years and soon, we will be singing out of tune the 1788 traditional folk song Auld Lang Syne which idiomatically means “long long ago” or “days gone by”.

Days, weeks, months and years gone by almost instantly, and next month, I will celebrate yet another birthday. Once upon a time, I was so impatient waiting for the eve of my birthday when my parent and siblings would sneaked into my room with a cake and loads of present at the stroke of midnight! The birthday month was all about party! now, i will hide as early as a month before my birthday, refuse to celebrate the getting older age.

On my 10th working year anniversary, I made a personal declaration that I will not work on my birthday if it falls on weekdays with a sole objective of reminiscing the younger years. It will be my 4th year soon on 1st March since my declaration but this year, my birthday will fall on Sunday and i do not need to take any leave from work. However, the objective was never achieved. The non-working birth day and month was celebrated with endless luncheon, dining and outing. There wasn’t any moment spent mesmerizing the past.

It was not the past that I wanted to re-live but it’s the people in the past. If I have a birth defect, it must be my memory-lapse for faces and names, which i happily claimed a 'birth defect'. I forget people too easily that many may think I am less friendly and at times over-flirty. The ‘birth defect’ was unintentional. I always greete people by mistaken them for someone else. There were once, I could have sworn she was my class mate in college, happily greeted and pecked her on the cheek as a gesture of ‘hi, haven’t seen you for ages…’ and it turned out, she was never from the college although we ended up dating thereafter. It was a lucky coincidence. There were many other occasions when I approached, spoke, laughed and sat with some people that I mistaken them for people I knew and was later asked (by them), ‘have we met?’….! I wanted to scream and hide under the dining table!!

This ‘birth-defect’ may also be quite offensive to some. Once, I had to represent Azhar Sulaiman (my brother in law) to accept the best supporting actor award at some function. I was seated with a bunch of well-known artist and actresses, I think it was Raja Ema or Raja Azura (notice the memory lapse). I wanted to be polite and introduced myself “Hi.. I am Armin….” And she looked at me in a daze and abruptly say.. “Armin.. its me..!! (we have met before)” …and I had to say.. oh sorry, I didn’t recognise you in the dark but really I could not remember who she was.. until I saw her name pasted on the seat as “raja ema/azura (something like that). After accepting the award and gave an embarrassing speech in malay (I mistakenly said Cenderahati instead of cenderamata and was teased all night by the MC), I walked down to the backstage and was greeted by a teenage girl-band group (Elite?) and again.. I stupidly asked (again) for their name (they must be thinking they are losing their popularity).. but I wanted to just bury myself under the stage when they stared at me in disbelief.

There were many other embarrassing moments that arose from the ‘birth defect’ from calling friends with the wrong name to conveying regards to their wife when they are not even married. Eventually, I decided to be the reserve person that I am today and stopped saying hi and converse with people unnecessarily unless spoken to which I will then pretend to lose their business card so I could keep re-collect who they are.

This year, I shall not accept the ‘birth defect’ and will attempt to keep in view all past and present friends. As a start, I dug all past and present photos, scanned and uploaded them on Picasaweb where I can tag their name and background so that I can remember all.

Having found many old photos, I pasted some into my Facebook and was surprised to found many friends (on FB) whom I have lost contact from as long as 28 years!! Soon, I will meet all of them to catch up on the good old younger days. Friends whom recognised and saw me by any roadside, please stopped and say hi.. if I looked puzzled, it is due to the ‘birth defect’ and I promised I will immediately run home and search on my Picasaweb for memory recollection.


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