Singaporean in Kuala

Did you really think that
I would really take you back
Let you back in my heart
One more time, oh, no no

Did you think I’d still care
That there’d be more feeling there
Did you think you could walk back
In my life, oh

So you found you missed the love you threw
Baby, but you found it out too late, too late

And so you know the way it feels to cry
The way that I cried when you broke my world
in two
And baby I learned the way to break a heart
I learned from the best, I learned from you
oh baby, now, I learned from you

I remember cold nights
Tears I thought would never dry
How you shattered my world
With your goodbye, your goodbye

Would a sold my soul then
Just to have you back again
Now you are the last thing on my mind

Now you say you’re sorry and you’ve
Changed your ways
Sorry but you changed your ways too late

(Repeat Chorus)
So when all you’ve got are sleepless night
When those tears are clouding up your eyes
Just remember it was you
Who said goodbye, who said goodbye

(Repeat Chorus)

I learned from the best
I learned from you
We are all gathered here today….to celebrate” N stood up holding a glass on her left hand as she
raise it up. The others follow suit.

“Celebrate? What’s the occasion” asked Nurul.

“Our friend here…. Appointment as the Honorary Secretary of the ASEAN ladies circle of Kuala Lumpur”

“Wow” the others in unison.

“You’re an important person…” Noorie  our latest addition to the group injected.

“Whats’ so important about it…. I got snooked. I don’t know how I get myself trap into it.”

They all laugh.."good, now we have a new name for her..lets call her Mdm Secretary" nurul stood up and gave her a salute

“so how did you get appointed, no first how do you end up as the secretary of the Singapore club. I don’t
know there is such a club in KL. How do you get yourself involve with them?. I thought you said to stay
away from the HC”  Blackie who have been silence suddenly join in, with a plate of yellow rice and
chicken masak merah  before her.  

Its’ been 3 months since I communicate with Blackie. She’ve gone missing in action physically that is and not informing us of her where about especially after her quarrels with Taufiq. They has had many quarrels. Often I wondered why bother to go into such relationship if it only end up in quarrels. This time, she just take off and refusing to communicate with anyone. Usually she would contact me, and would pour out all her hearts out to me. But this time there’s silence. It’s not like Blackie to go incommunicado for long period of time. I got worried for awhile. Constant harassment from Taufiq wanting to know her whereabouts.  Often I would be the middle person bringing them back together again, but this time, I refuse to take any action. Perhaps it’s good for them to stay away from each other for some time. The Last message I got from Blackie when she disappear was “I needed some space…. Please do not find me. I will come out once I’m done” And so it’s has been.  I let her be. I could easily track her and I think I know where she is, but I choose not to tell anyone even to Taufiq, no matter how close he is to me. He is a friend too and an asset, but between Blackie and me, there’s much more than that. We’ve known each other since our nursing days. The bond and the trust cannot be compromise. Between Taufiq and her, they have to settle it themselves.

I’m not surprise to see her suddenly resurface for this meeting. At least I know that our communication channel is still intact. She got our message. Blackie always have her own way of finding out things. If you
need to talk to her or an information, any information,  leave the message at her voice mail, she will
always get back to you. If not go to the chat rooms, that’s her playground. You will see her there provided
you know her ids. She has many of them that I’ve lost count. Sometimes I would follow her quietly and
watch as she goes into action. Reading all the exchanges she’s having with the chatters in the room,
often amazed on her ability to talk about anything. Give her a topic, and she will carry on from there.

“me either. All these years in KL, I'm always on my own, just one occasion I agree to help up at the
embassy for their coffee morning, and the next I'm sitting in their meeting and taking down minutes”

“you can’t resist eh!” teased blackie. "you're still with that civil service mentality"

“I am trying, but the pull is too great to ignore. Moreover it’s not appointed….I don’t even know I’m

“how so?”

“The president of the Singapore club contacted me few days before to ask : would you like to be our
secretary should Singapore take over the presidency of the circle? I specifically told her, if there is
nobody who wants to take it, then I don’t mind. The High Commission Wife told us : one of you will be
requested to be the secretary. So I thought there’s more than one who volunteered to the appointment.
Then suddenly on the AGM day, my name called up on the stage. I’m not even aware of it.

“what do these ASEAN ladies do in the first place?”

“beats me…. Mainly the diplomatic community. Meet regularly for coffee mornings …. Maintaining good
relations amongst the ASEAN community etc etc… damn how did I get into this?”

“ya lah”. They all laugh

“Good for you… take it as a good experience. At least now you have access to wisma putra lah that is
where the secretariat is right? ”

“that is one place I rather not go ….”

okay... let get down to business…blackie you have something for us?”

“yes…. You will love this “ Blackie putting aside her plate of yellow rice and
ayam masak merah and
begin to unload her laptop from the back pack. A new laptop it seems and the fourth. New model and
new features she proudly showed it to us. Blackie is our computer expert. What's her hobby? Ethical
hacking she told me once. I've heard of hacking but ethical hacking? And she got paid for it. "they pay you
well" she said.
"don't you ever get confused with the different id's?" I asked her one
day over the chat lines.

"No. You see all these ids are like mask. Like the cloth we wear daily.
Different cloth for different occasion. You don't wear your pyjamas for
dinner party don't you, unless its pjyamas party. So the same with all
these masks. As long as you don't get confuse, then the mask
becomes a trap"

"interesting concepts. Please continue... I'm listening" I love to listen to
her talk when she is in the mood. She can make more sense
sometimes than most people I meet. Other times, she's off the wall.  

"Even in our daily lives esp our work as a nurse, we use mask often
yes. Sometimes we hated this patient, irritating and we wish we could
give him/her a piece of our mind, but did we? Instead we hide behind
this "good nurse" image. Smiling, ever understanding and forgiving"

"you got the point there...."

"In some dance, when the dancers wears the mask, they become the
mask and what the mask represents. But the dancers are aware that
they are wearing a mask and that the mask are only temporary. In our
daily lives when we wear mask, sometimes we are not aware of it."

"Can you stop before it becomes a trap. Would you know?"

"Good question... Let's take an example of the butterfly. The chrysalis is
the mask, protecting the butterfly during its transformation stage. The
butterfly must be strong enough to be able to break from the chrysalis,
spread out its wings and fly away. The mask we wear must be flexible
and breakable so that we can alter them at will. We should be able to
realise that we are not the mask we're wearing as this mask is only
temporary mask, the mask we wants others to see not the real us"
"How on earth do you get into all these?
Where did you get your training?" i asked
her curiously one day over dinner at my

"Oh! I attended the training. I went to
India remember for a short while. Then
the rest i join the network online. You
chat with the right people, you will get the
information. They even have The
hacker's Lounge"

"Ah!" Now I remember. They both went to
India. I know she didn't get the Indian
Visa in KL. We went  back to Singapore
first then 3 weeks later, she's off to India.
Told me she wanted to check on few
things particularly to make further
arrangement for our trip to Silk Road.
They were there for almost a month it
seems. I never ask  her what they do
there. She came back full of energy and

So why this excitement. You meet some
Indian Prince or what, I asked her one
day. Nope, I found a new toy, she
answered.  I didn't ask very much about
this new toy. She has many, all come
from different parts of the world. As she
travel, she collects them Each serve with
a purpose. I don't collect all these like
you collect your furry toy, she told me one
day. Ive seen her collection, all neatly
arrange in her display cabinet, place in
the remote corner of her library. Not
many got invited into her library. Right on
the top shelve stand The Keris. Her
most treasured collection. The first
object that will attract your attention as
soon as you step into her library. Even
when you move around looking for the
books you wanted to exchange, you
cannot keep your mind off the Keris.
Your eyes will want to continue to glance
at it, because at the back of your mind,
you have this sense that the Keris is
looking at you all the time. As if another
pair of eyes watching your every move.  
"serious!" often I wondered how did we ever get to know each other. As I look at the girls,
particularly blackie, she seems to be the odd one out. I never question much about her
background. Suffice to know that she is a nurse, recommended into our group because like the
others, she specialize in her own field. Surprisingly she could adjusted herself with us easily. Its
nice to work with her. Intelligent, a fast worker and very detail in her observation.  I've known her
since her student days. Caught my attention on the first day at School Of Nursing. The way she talk
and present herself, she is different from the direct intake students. She stick out like a sore thumb
and looks like somebody with an experience. I managed to gather information about her. How
often do you encounter a policewoman becoming a Nurse? Waiting for the right moment to ask her
"Why Nursing?"

“but wait. Let me start first….. Ive got something to show you all” Nurul intercept ,as she took out an
envelope from her bag and remove a card from inside.

N took it from her, read for a while and pass it around.

“two men came to my house to give this to my sister ….. First demanding money. Said I’ve owed
them … then when she told them I’m not staying there, they requested her to pass the message to

“what message”

“To contact them…the phone number in the card… for discussion”

“discussion about what?”

“the so call outstanding amount I owned them”

“you owned them money?” N asked again.

“Nope I don’t think so. Its referring to the company I shared with my elder sister, remember. We
close it down recently. “

“Ah! Yes..the deli. “

“you have an outstanding with any of the suppliers” asked Blackie

“nope, I contacted my sister and she said none. She's surprised why they contact me instead of
her as she is the one who deals with them. I'm never in the picture. I'm just a sleeping director”

“Maybe they couldn’t get your sister, so they come after you” Noorie who have been silence
interrupts the conversation.

“Not possible. They definitely know her address and where’s her other shop”

“how much is the so called outstanding?” asked Blackie

“$500/- you don’t go for discussion for $500 right? I told my sister, look if its $500/- outstanding, its
okay for me to pay , money not the issue, but she said No… we have no outstanding. No need to
pay anything. She's puzzled as to why they come for me”

“you contact them?” I asked her.

“nope, even the phone number they give is different from the one my sister have”

“give me the number. I will get it check. We will know where the number come from” instruct N as
she took back the card and insert it in her backpack.

“another, remember our friend in UN?” Nurul continued.


“she called me few days ago….after a long time.”

“where is she now?”


“whats it all about”

“said somebody been looking for her, called her house several time enquiring about her where


“her brother answered one of the calls, and he told them accordingly she’s outstation. They wanted
to know where she is”

“They told them anything?”



“whats’ so strange about the calls…

Nobody ever call her… and suddenly this person appear out of nowhere not wanting to reveal his
name or leave any contact no. Why are they enquiring about her in the first place”

“yeap…strange. Who answered the other calls?”

“Her younger sister”

“okay we will pay her mother and sister a visit. Have not seen them for sometime… make it as a
casual visit….her mother just discharge from hospital right?”

“yes! For hypertension”

“Be discreet about it… ask about the time and date the call were made.. the rest easy to find out.
Who make the calls and why”

“looks like somebody is trying to make contact”

“Not sure… we need to be careful”

“my turn now?” asked blackie

“Oh! Sorry, what you’ve got for us?” N apologised.

Blackie, turn around her laptop and showed the word documents….

“what’s are those” asked Noorie.

“conversations…..read them” and they all do….

“how did you get into this conversation… and who are these guys?”

“guess where….?”


“the chat rooms….” Ah! Blackie and her chat rooms. She calls the Chat room her play ground. We
all know her hang out area. Sometimes we would all join in just for the fun of it if we're all online.
Once she lured me into the Pakistan Chat room and we all got "Nuked" for our "peace keeping
Mission". It was hilarious. Not to mention the encounter with the "Indian Soldier 1", "Indian Soldier
2" and so on in the chat room creating havoc. Its a whole troop in the China chat. I PM one of the
soldier and ask him "what's the issue?". Several guys calling themselves "China Soldier" came to
the Indian chat rooms disrupting the conversation there, he said. So we're here to avenge". "Ah!
The Cyber drama again" I said. All these started when India offered asylum to the run away young
Dalai Lama from Tibet. Amazing how the Cyber world has transform people lives across the

“wow…how did you get them in the first place”

“as usual I go about surfing…. From one chat room to another… suddenly end up in the Islamic
chat rooms. Just wondering what they chat about….”


“This particular guy got my attention”

“why so?”

“things that he say… he keep on mentioning about certain date… repeating it several time”

“yeah I saw that…… the date… and another one responded to him. Then what did you do? They
know you're a female?”

“I came into the chat room as male and show off a little bit lah my so call knowledge on Islam….”

“ah! And then…”

“I got their attention too..they’re impressed”


“they invited me to their special chat room… only selected chatters are invited….private room. Even
though private room, they’re still very cautious about it. I keep on seeing them mentioning about
this particular date….”

“yeah I saw that too…. The date and the time…. They mention a place too…”

“yeap… I check. It’s a hotel….. some where in town, guess where?”



“so what is going to happen on that particular date and day in that hotel?”

“we need to find out… but how?”

“you’re still in communication with this guy?”

“yeap…..Regularly over the chat lines”

“he is not suspicious of you?”

“he think he is talking to a Malaysian student studying at one of the local university. A bumiputra
and son of a very rich man who will soon make his way to Al Azhar University to pursue his Islamic

“must congratulate you …. How did you ever get to pull into such stunt”

Nurul sood up….held up her hand pretending as if holding on a mic and began to sing a Whitney
Huston number we all are familiar with. Its her signature song. Its the song of "I learn it from the
best" Its' strange to see Nurul sing, but when she does, you would want to listen to her.