Thursday, May 28, 2009


A few days ago, Terrina Hussein and her family - Emmet and child Izzy - landed safely somewhere in Canada.

She messaged me through Google Chat while in transit in Hong Kong. And once more when they finally reached home. Their new home.

I worked with her at The Malay Mail. Entertainment desk. For a few years. She was part of the team assembled by Zainal Alam Kadir - our editor, mentor, life coach and friend.

She was frantic, neurotic, easily frazzled and had buttons as big as mountains.

We made fun of her connections with Pak Lah - she's related to the former Prime Minister.

She loves to complain. Whine and bitch.

I came to know her as a friend. More so after The Old Malay Mail collapsed and was replaced with a new one.

She cried when she sent her resignation letter. I had sent mine months earlier. Unable to resist poking fun at her misery, I immediately went, after office hours, to see her bawl her eyes out.

That was fun.

In subsequent months, I became her pusher. Her drug supplier. She was trying to quit smoking, see, and whenever I visited her to catch up and do the barf-inducing 'those were the days' chats, I would bring at least three packs of cigarettes.

I had my own personal joke with her.

"See what your uncle did to the country? You better leave now, before the shit REALLY hits the fan."

"When Najib becomes PM, I'LL be the nephew of the Prime Minister, and you'd be NOTHING! NOTHING! MUAHAHAHAHHAHA!"

She was one of the few friends I helped convince to leave the country.

"This country is fucked up! When the Opposition finally takes over, a 100-megaton nuclear explosion will happen, resulting in failures of all technology in a 1000KM radius!"

Of course, she and her husband Emmet had planned to leave anyway for years, but I like to think I helped them on their way by telling horror future stories of a dystopian Malaysia.

In fact, I had started applications to Australia, Germany, Switzerland, New Zealand, even Saudi Arabia long before I decided to stay and fight for all this country is worth. Because I'm a sucker for lost causes. Going against the odds. Raging against the machine. SUperhero complex. Yadda yadda yadda.

Well, she's gone now.

Not dead yet, I hope. And I hope all the best for them and their child or perhaps children. I do believe that the Canadian education system is in some ways better than the Malaysian Education SystemS (MESS).

I just ran out of one more friend to make fun of.

And YES, Terrina, now I'M the nephew of the Prime Minister and you are NOTHING! NOTHING! MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Goodbye. Good night. Sleep tight.