Date: 27 November 2006
I drove out with a colleague of mine to the nearby food stall to pack my lunch. As I was about to get out from the parking lot, I saw a Kenari coming. So, I let it passed before I reversed. Seeing that it has passed, I slowly reversed out while still looking left and right. As I was reversing, the Kenari who had just passed, reversed. Seeing that it is reversing, I stopped. As it didn’t notice that I was behind it and still reversing, I started to honked. But before I could even do anything except still pressing hard on the horn, it came knocking towards my car.
The sound of the bang crushed my heart. My car. I almost said the four letter starting with the alphabet F. But I realised there was someone in the car with me, my colleague so I only managed a silent F. I was very angry so I stepped out of the car and this lady upon seeing me, started shouting at me.
“Kenapa kamu reverse tak tengok kereta?”
“Saya dah berhenti dan horn tapi kamu masih reverse lagi!”
“Lepas saya langgar kamu baru kamu horn!”
She then went back to her car and drove away and parked. Then, she drove again and and signalled to me.
“Kenapa kamu dah lalu tiba-tiba reverse pula?”
“Sebab saya nak park lah!”
Damage: At first I saw a scratch on the right back side of the car. Her car’s bumper was dented and the left back light came off.
Upon checking clearly, my car was dented too but it’s not obvious if you don’t look closely because of the dark colour of my car.
She called her husband and told him what happened, kept repeating statements like, “Saya tengok tiada kereta jadi saya reverse.”
Listening to her phone conversation with her husband infuriated me more because she wasn’t telling the truth. I couldn’t make any bloody phone call because I don’t have a husband!
She then passed the phone to me and wanted me to speak to her husband.
“Hello, siapa ni?”
“Okay, jangan panic. Obviously, kamu yang salah sebab kamu yang langgar isteri saya.”
You don’t know how that one line raised my anger level. I was mad.
So, I shouted back to him on the phone. “KALAU KAMU TIDAK BERADA DI TEMPAT KEJADIAN KEMALANGAN, JANGAN TUDUH SEMBARANGAN YANG SAYA SALAH!!!”
I’ve never shouted on the phone to someone I don’t know. In fact, I hardly ever shout on the phone before. I was shocked at what I was doing too but I seriously couldn’t hold back anymore.
He continued, “Saya kerja di jabatan kerajaan dan saya tahu law. Kalau depan kamu yang kemek dan belakang kereta saya yang kemek, kamu yang salah.”
I had to shout again. “BUKAN DEPAN KERETA SAYA YANG KEMEK, BELAKANG SAYA JUGA YANG KEMEK!”
I absolutely hated the part when he said he works for jabatan kerajaan. SO WHAT?
Then, he mellowed down a little and said, “Kalau begitu, saya tidak tahu macam mana kamu dua memandu.”
Honestly, I didn’t know what I should do. I’ve never been in an accident before.
She then took down my car plate number, asked for my IC number, asked for my phone number and name.
She gave me her details too and insisted that she wants to make a police report, no matter what.
Before that, I did ask her if we don’t report, how would she want to settle it? She still insisted to report to the police.
My colleague called back to the office to inform my manager that I just met with an accident. She later told me that when she was making the call, she could feel her hand shivering. Kesian.
I got back into the car after talking to her under the hot sun, I called my father. It’s nice to know you still have got someone to call to.
Pappy was cool about it and told me not to worry. I told him the woman didn’t want to admit that she came knocking me but he said not to worry because she would never admit it and that she can tell her version of the story. I just have to tell my version.
I went back to the office to have my lunch. I went straight to the toilet as soon as I stepped into the office. I looked at myself in the mirror. I was all red. Face looked like shit. I went into the toilet cubicle and tried to calm down. I felt like crying.
I came out without crying and sat down and eat. I didn’t have any appetite then but tried to eat a little more. A few of them having lunch with me had comments of their own but I didn’t say a word because I wanted to calm down.
After lunch, I called Mummy and told her about what happened. The lady then called again, telling me we would have to report at Salak Tinggi police station instead of Cyberjaya police station. I didn’t know if she was telling the truth because I don’t know how to get to Salak Tinggi. No one in the office knows how to get there either.
I drove to the Cyberjaya police station, together with the colleague that was with me during the time of the accident. I greeted the policeman who was sitting at the counter and was told that I would have to go to Salak Tinggi police station even though the accident happened in Cyberjaya. I told him I didn’t know how to get there and asked if he could provide me with some directions. He was kind enough to draw me a rough map and I thanked him.
It started to rain heavily as I left the Cyberjaya police station. My colleague suggested to drop by her house to pick up her boyfriend. She felt it’s better if there’s a guy accompanying us. That was very thoughtful of her.
It rained even heavier and visibility was poor. Driving in a rain like that is difficult and it was even more difficult driving to a place you’ve never been before in a rain like that. I passed by Dengkil and then we were on our own for we didn’t know which way to go after that. The map wasn’t detailed enough. I drove what seemed like eternity. In fact, there were moments where my mind is elsewhere, still shaken about what had happened.
We missed a junction and I had to go straight on to find another junction in which would lead me back to where I was heading to. Half way through, my petrol tank was empty. The light was on, signalling that it’s empty. I’ve never driven with an empty tank before, what more, one with a blinking petrol tank sign in front of me. Prayed so hard for a petrol station to appear. Found Esso to be 500 metres away but when I was near, so disappointed to find out that the petrol station is closed. I had to pray hard for another petrol station and luckily there was a Petronas less than 2 kilometres away.
The rain stopped then and I still had my wiper on. My colleague had to tell me twice before I finally turned it off. My mind was somewhere else like I said.
We finally found the police station. As I got down from the car and walked towards the police station, the lady was about to leave. Her husband was driving the car and she was sitting next to him.
“Grace, saya baru saja buat laporan.”
I sort of waved to her and her husband who was then looking at me.
There was no queue so I sat down and had the officer took down my statement.
I spoke and he typed.
Then, a police officer came and read the report on the screen and asked me why my name is of 4 syllable instead of 3. He was asking, for example, why my name is Grace Chin Ling Ling ( not my real name) instead of just Chin Ling Ling.
I was like….
I just told him I have a Christian name, that’s why.
Then, after verifying that the report is okay, I was asked to meet the sergeant who was sitting inside the room.
I greeted him with a Selamat Petang and he told me to sit.
“Ah moi, kamu ada cedera?”
This one line soothed me.
“Kali berapa accident?”
Before I could even answer, he said, “Kali pertama, ya?”
Then, he asked at the time I was reversing, kereta tu dah lintas ke belum?”
“Kenapa kamu dapat lihat kereta tu reverse?”
“Sebab saya nak reverse dan sedang lihat sebelah kiri dan kanan.”
As he was writing the report, he asked if I’m from Sandakan. I said yes. He then told me he has been to Sandakan twice. He also pointed to one of the photos on the wall behind him, telling me that it was taken in Sandakan.
After he finished writing, I had to pen down another signature and then I was told by another officer who was sitting in the room to drive my car over so that he could take photos of it.
I did as I was told and I showed him the kemek part and and he told me it’s just a very minor accident.
“Kereta saya ok, kereta dia tu yang serius sikit. Bumper dia kemek,lampu kereta dia terkeluar.”
“Lampu kereta tu boleh pasang balik. Senang saja.”
He then asked me how it happened so this time, I had a clearer example and scenario to illustrate to him.
“Lelaki itu ke atau perempuan yang pandu?”
He then gave me an assuring nod, to tell me he was done and that it’s okay. I thanked him and drove back to the office.
When I went back to the office, I made a few more calls. Had to call Pappy and then Mummy and when I spoke to Mummy, telling her about what happened, tears started to roll down my cheeks. It was after I made the police report that I felt relieved. Before that, I was so tensed.
Then, someone at work asked me what happened and I had to tell my story again.
She asked me who was driving and what race was the driver.
I don’t know if accident has got anything to do with race but I just felt weird to be asked that question. After answering that question, she then told me that she was sure the lady was panicked also. And that because mine is a Honda and hers is a Kenari, so bla bla bla. HELLO? THE MODEL OF THE CAR HAS GOT NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ACCIDENT. IF YOU’RE WRONG, YOU’RE WRONG. DOES IT MEAN IF I DRIVE A KANCIL AND I KNOCKED INTO A MERCEDES BENZ, THE MERCEDES BENZ SHOULD LET ME GO JUST BECAUSE HE PITIES ME THAT I’M DRIVING A KANCIL? AND IF SO, DOES THAT MEAN I CAN SIMPLY GO KNOCK PEOPLE WITH MY KANCIL SINCE I’M CONSIDERED THE WEAKER CAR AND THAT A SO-CALLED STRONGER CAR LIKE MERCEDES BENZ SHOULD JUST CLOSE ONE EYE? AND DOES THAT MEAN MY CAR IS FREE? NO NEED MONEY TO BUY? CAN SIMPLY LET OTHERS KNOCK INTO MINE? Mine is not even a Honda but I have no energy to even explain to her the model of my car. I was damn pissed.
Before that, I had one more comment too about the lady being a Malay and me being Chinese and even if I went to make a police report, I wouldn’t win because the Malay will help the Malay. I don’t know about you but I’ve had a friend who had encounter a similar case. He wasn’t at fault but was accused guilty because the police officer who dealt with his case was racist. BUT I DIDN’T WANT TO LET THAT GET INTO ME. I DON’T BELIEVE THAT THE WORLD IS SO SAD. EVEN IF IT’S THAT SAD, LET IT BE PROVEN TO ME. BUT TILL THEN, I HAD TO DO WHAT I HAD TO DO. LIFE CAN BE UNFAIR BUT GOD IS FAIR.
Two days later, the lady called and asked what the police said to me. I just told her I was told to wait and they will call if they have or don’t have a decision. She then asked me if I knew I had to pay RM300 for fine. Someone told me that after I met with the accident but I wasn’t aware of that earlier on.
I just told her I didn’t know. She then told me RM300 will be involved and said she would like to tarik balik the report she made at the balai.
Her reason being, “Saya tengok kamu masih muda lagi jadi saya kesian you.”
I DON’T NEED HER TO KESIAN ME AND WHEN SHE SAID THAT, I JUST FELT THAT IT WASN’T A RIGHT THING TO SAY. WHAT WAS SHE TRYING TO IMPLY? WHY NOT YOU KESIAN ME WHEN YOU INSISTED TO MAKE A POLICE REPORT? WHY NOW? AND SINCE HER HUSBAND SAID HE KNOWS THE LAW VERY WELL, DIDN’T THE RM300 EVER CROSSED HIS MIND?
She’s not that old really. Just 3 years elder.
I told her I will call her back because I was doing something important. I consulted Pappy and he said if she wants to tarik balik, she would have to do it first and until then, I mustn’t do anything. I wanted to call her back but Pappy insisted that I shouldn’t. Now I’ve got to play my game, he said.
She called the next morning and asked me if I have thought over it. I asked her if we tarik balik, does it mean everything is settled? She said yes..so I agreed to tarik balik. She told me if the sergeant calls and ask if I agree to tarik balik, tell him so. So I just told her I would only retreat after she has tarik balik.
She thanked me and then apologised. I did the same too.
A friend helped to find out and Pappy also found out from a friend that it’s not so easy to just tarik balik a police report made. So, I don’t know the conclusion to the story.
Since that day, the police didn’t call me. The lady didn’t call me so I don’t know the ending to the story yet.
My car may be dented and that I went through a short emotional period but I must say I felt a little more like being 24 years old during that period. There are things in life that you’ve got to stand up for yourself, because at times, no one is going to help you. Like you’ve got to be brave to tell your story. I felt like I was brave when I was at the police station, I was brave in finding my way to the police station even though I don’t know where the hell it is. I was glad I shouted back on the phone to her husband for if I had kept quiet, it means I agree with what he said and that I’m sending out a message to say that I’m wrong. Given the same situation and me, a few years ago, I wouldn’t even have the courage to even speak to him. Maybe I would have just kept quiet and suffer in silence. But this time, somehow, there was something in me that told me to be brave.
I also feel lucky that no one was injured because it’s really just a minor accident. I’m also very thankful to my colleague who was by my side and had to wait for me while I made my report. Furthermore, she had to replace the working hours during the time we were both out of the office.
Thank you to those who have asked if I’m alright.
I then told Iris about what happened and she said, “Bunny, I’m so proud of you. You actually shouted on the phone!”
She knows her sister doesn’t shout on the phone.