My trip to Skudai is nothing but horror, and pain in the arse, and many other places on my body. Even the bloody hotel does not agree with me. I’ll tell you why. This is not a pretty blog entry. If you fancy pretty, sweet things that is full of fluff and praise, kindly navigate away. This is a yet another backdated entry. And like Linux Varsity UTM Skudai 2010, the incident that occurred in Rose Cottage, Skudai is not something I can easily forgive or forget.
You see, I like to plan things ahead for my journeys, especially if they are long distance journeys. I prefer to minimize the discomfort and possible unpleasant incident as much as possible, and make the journey as memorable as possible. Despite having a screwed up life, I like to plan things, and have things in order. (Good grief, I started to sound like my father!)
But of course… sometimes things goes bonkers, and most of the time, it is not even my fault. I’ll tell you what happened during my stay in Rose Cottage, Skudai on 8th and 9th October 2010.
Deciding that the service in Rose Cottage, Skudai in 2009 was really pleasant, my husband and I decided to stay there again this year during our trip to UTM- for the Linux Varsity 2010 event, considering that accommodation that’s provided by the organizers is not suitable for speakers with families.
Why do I say this? You see… they practice sexual segregation. Which means, they separate the male and the female. The male in one hostel apartment, and the female in another hostel apartment. And since we’re family, we can’t possibly sleep or share room with strangers.
A young lady who was also attending Linux Varsity asked me why I refuse to stay with the rest of the speakers and the organizer last year. Well, my answer is this: It is definitely not appropriate, and it does not exactly give you privacy either. Call me a recluse, but I don’t appreciate being reduced from an adult into some university student who needs to comply with the university rules and regulation while I am clearly not.
The idea of curfew and whatnot does not sit too well with me. Plus…my husband and I have commitments to our work and our business. UTM doesn’t exactly provide free WIFI or stable Internet connection for it’s guests in their hostel apartment either. Without Internet, we can’t stay connected.
Hence, the decision to stay in Rose Cottage, Skudai again this year, since that’s the nearest to UTM, and the location is really convenient for everything. (Actually, it’s not just because of that. I hate to be subjected to the university rules and regulation and being reduced into some teenagers when I’m already a family woman. My husband agrees with me on this. As family, we need privacy.)
But to our horror, Rose Cottage was not the same like before. It goes from a hotel that I would recommend to people to stay when they need accommodation to a hotel that I blacklist, and never, ever recommend to anyone to stay when they need an accommodation in Skudai. Why? Read below:
1. We made booking for a room one week before our arrival to ensure that we won’t end up on the street when we’re in Skudai. And 24 hours before our arrival, we called up the hotel again to reconfirm our ETA with them. We’re told that the room that we booked was available, and we were assured that it will be available when we arrived.
2. But much to our dismay, when we arrived, we’re told that our room was no longer available as it was given to other guest. We were told to take another room, which was not the one that we booked, or wanted. Okay, fine, I can deal with that though my husband was absolutely boiling with the bloody mix up done by the receptionist on duty (Or was this on purpose? Knowing that we’re from outstation?).My husband was asking me if I wanted to go elsewhere, but I told him that I can deal with this nonsense, and it won’t be so practical to look for other hotel at that time. Plus, everyone was tired and rather cranky, so it made more sense to just stay and get a good rest instead of fussing over other people’s inefficiency. (Which I come to regret later on, for many reasons)
3. Last year, when we were staying in Rose Cottage, everything was working fine and well. But this year, not even their free WIFI is accessible. Why? Don’t ask me why. You got to ask The Rose Cottage people why their free WIFI service is inaccessible. I was informed that it has been that way since God knows when by the receptionist. So, ladies and gentlemen, if you need to access to Internet during your stay in Skudai, kindly go elsewhere, cuz Rose Cottage will irk you to death.
4. Another reason why you should never stay in Rose Cottage is that the security is absolutely…nonexistent, despite of having CCTV and password door installed. Do you want to know why? Well, during my bloody stay in Rose Cottage Skudai… on 9th October 2010 at about 4.15pm GMT+8, my door was banged extremely hard that I could have sworn that it will break down. I was really alarmed, because I was alone with my son in the room at that particular moment. So I peep on the peephole, and to my horror, there was at least 4 big sized men in front of my room. (They’re 6 of them, actually… according to the hotel CCTV recording. )
5. I keep quiet, refusing to open the door, but the knocking gets louder and louder, and the men from outside of the door demanded that I opened them. I yelled then, asking who they are. They said they’re police and they wanted to search my room. But through the peephole, none of them were wearing uniform. So I yelled again, asking them if they have a warrant to search my room, and if they have an authorization card to prove that they’re indeed police. I also asked if they have hotel staff accompanying them. But instead of answering me, they keep banging the door, and threatened to kick it down when I refused to open the door.Their exact words was “Bukak pintu… aku tendang pintu ni kang!” (Open the door… or I’ll kick it down!)
6. Thank God I am not the kind of person who panicked easily. Therefore, instead of crying and peeing in my pants out of fear, I took my phone, called up my husband and informed him that there’s people knocking the door and told him to come back as soon as possible. And I hung up soon after, and I called the receptionist for assistance, asking for verification if there’s indeed a search, raid and whatnot. I also demanded the MALE receptionist on duty known as Mr. Ejam to come up to my room, and observe the so called police. But much to my annoyance… Mr. Ejam’s answer was ” You bukak aje pintu… diorang polis”. Bloody hell, how the hell do I know they’re real police or not when they are not in uniform and behaving pretty much like a bunch of terrorist? If they’re really police, they would have said “We’re police, open the door’, and they would be accompanied by an Inspector rank police during the raid or search. Plus, why didn’t you come up to observe what they did to ensure the safety of your hotel guests? What’s the matter? Too chicken to do so, Mr. Ejam? Tsk tsk tsk! It is your duty as a Rose Cottage staff to ensure the safety and the comfort of your guests!
7. I refused to open the door when Mr. Ejam told me to open the door through the phone. The loud banging ensues. I informed this cowardly Mr. Ejam that if he didn’t come up to observe those people who claimed to be police, I will just let them kick down the door. (*smirk* Who would be in trouble then? I won’t… cuz you allow them to kick the door… not me… you did not observe those bloody shits. If your superior asked me why the door was damaged, I’d be sure to give a very long winded and extremely detailed explanation.)
8. So, reluctantly, this Mr. Ejam came up after 2-3 minutes…and when I saw him through the peephole only I opened the door.
9. As soon as I opened the the door those brute of men bombarded me with stupid questions. And they demanded me to let them in and search my room and attempt to corner me. I was absolutely boiling and felt violated. I felt as if someone poured oil on me and lit up fire on me. I wasn’t intimidated, despite of the situation. Strange. God must have been with me… beside me, giving me courage, and I have nothing to fear.
10. So instead of answering their questions, I stood in front of the door, and I demanded them to show me their warrant and authorization card. Those people were actually taken aback, especially the ‘Chinese Police’ whom I assume was the head of this ‘Operation’. He said he’s a police. But he did not inform me properly whether he is a CID, Inspector or whatever, and he refused to let me see the ‘card’ that he flashed to me when he barked at me that he wanted to search my room. Do note that none of them are donning uniform, and there’s absolutely no visible card hanging around their neck to prove that they are indeed police doing some sort of raid or operation.
11. I told them off, saying that without a warrant, I will not cooperate with them, because they absolutely have no rights to search my room without warrant or authorization card. They were really surprised with my lack of cooperation. I forced myself to be composed, and put up a brave front like a lioness, thinking that if these people are gangsters who are pretending to be police in order to attempt robbery, I need to stay calm and protect my son and stall them as long as I can until my husband came back. And at the moment, I thought the worst, I thought if I was going to be murdered, I want to die courageously and with honour and dignity intact. I want witness to my murder… and I want to know who murdered me, so that I can come back from the dead and haunt them and their entire 7 generation and beyond!
12. I only gave them my MyKad for identification purposes, and seeing my refusal to let them into my room, a few Malay men behind this Chinese feller attempted to intimidate me again by asking me questions in an extremely rude and loud tone and tried to make me let them search my room. Their questions that actually tickled me, despite of the scary situation. I practically had to stifle my laughter. So you want to know what their questions are? They’re these:
- Where are your parents? (In which I answered: What the hell?I am 26 years old, why the #!@#!$!@# do I need my parents with me when I’m staying in a hotel? (Can’t you bloody see that I am already in my twenties, and I’m already with a child? Good Lord. Am I supposed to be flattered that they thought I was some underage brat? Geez… I am so pretty and young that they mistook me for a teenager who ran away from home… awww… I’m so touched, they say the nicest things!)
- Where are you from? (In which I answered: I’m from KL. Why do you asked?)
- Why are you here? (In response, I said: I’m here for business in UTM)
- What are you working as (In which I glared at them and gave them a very eerie smile that they won’t soon forget: I am a freelance journalist from Kuala Lumpur. I came here to do coverage on events going on in UTM Skudai. Would you like to see my Press Card?)
13. It seems that I kinda hit a jackpot after telling them that I am a journalist. (I wasn’t fibbing. It is true, I am a freelance journalist.) They stopped asking me question and backs off to one corner to discuss God knows what and I tapped my feet impatiently on the floor before slamming the damn door in their face.
14. A few minutes later after my little slamming antic, the Chinese feller came to knock my door asked me in BM cuz he couldn’t speak English, and I couldn’t speak any Chinese dialect *roll eyes*” You tak mau ambil IC balik ke?” (Don’t you want to take back your IC?) in which I sweetly and sarcastically responded ” Oh…I tak kisah, kalau IC I hilang, I report polis aje. Pas tu I ambik replacement kat Jabatan Pendaftaran ajelah pas bayar denda. Rm150 aje. I malas tunggulah. You all discuss lama sangat.” (Oh, I don’t mind. If my IC is lost, I can always report to the police and get a replacement from the National Registration Department. It’s just Rm150. I’m too lazy to wait. You’re discussing too long.)
15. Strange enough, after telling them that I’m a journalist and I don’t exactly mind loosing my IC cuz I can always report it to the police that I’ve lost them and get replacement, they hussle and left… WITHOUT even knocking on other doors. STRANGE, isn’t it? I know they haven’t knock the rooms beside mine. And those rooms are occupied. I was kicked into my investigative journalist mode, and a few questions came to my mind:
- If they are really police, and they are conducting search or a raid, at least one of them would have to be in uniform, and all of them would be able to provide proper identification, saying that they are indeed police on duty. And they would also have warrant and a card that indicate their power of authorization for the operation they are conducting.
- There should also have hotel staff accompanying them while they’re doing the search and whatnot.
- Is there some sort of police fashion in the season that I don’t know of? Does police these days have the habit to wear only sandals and slippers during their duty. Oh gee, that is so casual! I wanna be police too!
- Does police make a habit of judging people on how they look and demand where their parents are? Uh… darlings, I am in my 20s. I just turned 26, not in my teenage years. You say the nicest and sweetest things… I can’t believe I actually look very young. Thank you very much for the compliments.
- If they are police conducting a search or raid for whatever reasons, why didn’t they knock the entire hotel?
- I wonder why the hotel people allowed police without proper identification into the hotel?
- Why didn’t the male receptionist cum security guard on duty accompany those ‘police’ during the search?
- It occurred to me 4 hours later that the manager for Rose Cottage Skudai, Ms. Junaidah was not informed of these ‘regular’ search by the ‘police’ by the staff in charge. When we directly called up her cell phone to inform her about the horrifying incident, she told us that this was the first time she heard that the hotel under her charge was… searched by police. Such thing never occur when she was on duty. Oh, wow. You didn’t know. That was the first time for you. I wonder… why? I mean… if they’re really police, you would have been informed by the staff on duty during the search, wouldn’t you? Why do you think your staff didn’t inform you? Do you think that they are in cahoot with these ‘police’ to terrorize the guests in the hotel? Why do these police conduct ’search’ and ‘raid’ only when you’re not there? You see, Ms. Junaidah, these days, there’s a lot of syndicate that pretends to be police. They pretended to be police so that they could intimidate people, and so that they could extort money from people and attempt robbery, and so that nobody would report them, thinking that they are real police. Oh, my! Ms. Junaidah, you better investigate this issue. Rose Cottage reputation is at stake. Nobody wants to stay in a place where search by police who are not in uniform is conducted regularly… and the staff in duty never bothered to ensure the guests’ safety by just letting any Tom, Dick and Harry into the hotel!
FYI, readers… if such thing ever happen to you, make sure you did what I did. Demand for warrant if people claim that they are police and wanted to search your hotel room or your home. You have the rights. And remember, nobody have the rights to confiscate your IC. If they did, be sure to report it to the police and get a replacement for it.
I will be making a trip to Bar Council pretty soon to get some information and seek advices on citizen’s rights when being search or being stopped by police. So stay tune. There will be a little bit about law and citizen’s rights soon, cuz I come to realize that people are quite in the dark about their rights when it comes to these sort of issues.
Anyway, I think my title for this entry is justified. Why? If people claiming that they are police but failed to prove that they are police using proper identification, to me, that is not police, but terrorists. And the act of threatening, intimidating, and cornering a helpless woman with a child is called terrorism.
And remember, folks, when you sense something is amiss, like someone or a group of people pretending to be police to threaten you or police misusing their power, kindly head to the police station to lodge a report. Never, ever give in to terrorism.
Cleffairy: Praise the Lord, for He is always with me, shielding me, and giving me courage when I needed it most. And thank you Lord for being with me always, and for giving me talent for words. I shall use it for the greater good of the mankind.
ps: Like Lois Lane, trouble seems to come and look for me even when I’m not looking for them. Is this a sign that I should go back in action in the newsroom again?