Author Archives: the ol' rascal

About the ol' rascal

Once , a lead student of Kelas Malam.

kampung parit enam..

To keep this little blog alive, I guess i just upload some photos from the place we spend for a getaway by the paddy fields in Sg. Besar last weekend.

This is kids friendly spot. Those kids are my grandchildren and I spent quite a time painstakingly hooking the worms to their fishing rods.


the election..

Its  been more than a month long since my last posting.

Many things has taken its place and the changing of the Malaysian government has been the most significant of event.

I was in a few WhatsApp groupings of old boarding school, friends and even groups among members of families. Ever since the election campaign started in the country, i can’t help noticing  each group that begins posting politics  will then rumble up into a hot political debate and will end up with someone ‘left’ the group though these groups were initially created as apolitical and on a common interest meant to bond members together.

I guess politics really do divide the people instead of getting them united.

And now that the election is over I sincerely hope that each and everyone of us will move on.

Pictures below were taken at the Fishing Jetty of the indigenous people of Pulau Indah about a month ago. I was with my other half, we were roaming around in search for some fresh fish.

sayonara to wira..

End of the road for Proton Wira with ceasing of parts Production.

PETALING JAYA: Proton Wira owners will not be able to find any more replacement components for their vehicles as spare parts for this model had been discontinued.

A source in the automotive industry said Proton and its local third-party manufacturers had stopped manufacturing Wira parts for good.

“It has been 10 years since the last Wira was rolled out and 25 years since the first model was produced,” said the source.

“The original equipment manufacturer (OEM) companies found it no longer economical to make Wira parts and they are concentrating on newer models.”

The source said although Wira shared identical components with the earlier manufactured Mitsubishi Lancer, the spare parts from this Japanese model is also no longer available in the market as it has been more than 30 years since the model – which Proton Wira was based on – was produced.

The source said Wira parts which can be found in the market are the last remaining stocks.

The Star had reported the model, which has little value in the used car market, is a hot item among thieves.

Last year, statistics showed 654 Wira models were stolen.

General Insurance Association of Malaysia said the cars were stolen and cannibalised for its parts.

Many second-hand Wira parts can also be found in “potong kereta” outlets.

A total of 952,216 units were sold in its 16 years of production from 1993 to 2009. It has been estimated that at least 85% of the models are still on the road.


I read the above news yesterday. Then, it touches the sentimental memories to my own version of the Proton Wira in the automotive industry.
The development of Wira was my first very thick involvement upon entering the automotive sector almost 30 years ago.
The wira model also relates my memories to a Japanese, personally, till i stride quietly into retirement recently.
His name is T. Matsunaga. Not a  samurai  though but still a Japanese.

I guess many senior staffs  in the office of the national car industries during its early stages will remember him.
He was then an MMC  expatriate attached to the national car manufacturer, Proton.

I met him for the first time in 1991 while seeking approval for our component drawings.

Seeking his approval, my goodness, was a tedious and a delicate process as he, i reckoned was not convinced with our ability to do a reverse engineering that is expected to meet the rigid standards of  Mitsubshi Motor Corporation specifications adopted by Proton.

But Malaysians are a capable lot. We had so many ways of doing things.  The company then signed  a  TA agreement with a  Japanese supplier and eventually we acquired the original drawings. We made some amendments and it was later adopted and that satisfy most Japanese expatriates in Proton.  With some fees off course.

I guess it is  all about sharing some portion of the cake  for the people back home in Japan. That what’s technology transfer was all about arr..haha.

Eventually, we moved on. Proton has since been rolling out one model after another with localized components fitted to each and every car that has rolled out of  the assembly plant in Shah Alam.

Time passes by…

Then  he was out of sight for some good years,  perhaps he might has been back in Japan.

The automotive industry meanwhile has its fair share of  the booming economy and the company has progress further. It was listed in the stock market in the early 1997  just in time before the beginning of a painful recession towards the end of that year.

That was the year i guess i had the most money in my pocket.


One day i saw him emerged at the front office reception. And weeks later he was already an Advisor in the R&D Department.  He was not the first Japanese Advisor we had though but he was the longest serving expatriate in the department.

And  the following months i found myself  spending a great deal of time with him.  Attending his calls for meetings and tending to his follow-ups. He was very much in his element, a typical Japanese salary man. And it seems to me all Japanese are  a workaholic.

I remember,  an occasion where we came back late from a long and tiring meeting with another national car manufacturer  in Rawang.  While driving  home he told me that he wanted us to  have a meeting once we reach the office to summarize every details that we promised  the customer during the meeting.

But i thought all this summarizing things can wait  because it was  already  late. Time is up that we should call it a day. Another session will just be an anti-climax  and bored and stressed you tahap gaban .

It was  already 10.30 pm by the time we stop over at the R&R  Sg. buluh!  At the RnR and at his favourite cafe he ate two bungkus of  the nasi lemak and i ..mind and soul very much at home spontaneously threw a desperate suggestion at him..

” ..matsunaga san why not we hold the meeting now and right here on this coffee table.. “.

He laughed and grinned, grinning  the typical of Japanese at the idea and thought it was very funny. I was on the other hand was a desperado and the thought of  having to go back in the office is driving me crazy. All i wanted was to go home!

We reached the office  way passed eleven and continued with the meeting striding through the midnight.  He was crazy…yes he was.

And we  turn up at the office at 8am the following day just like any other day.

Time passes by.

His presence in the company has been a typical sight. Matsunaga San has turned himself from being..

the customer  (who was always right) ” he used to be


the vendor – (who was always at the mercy of the customer) what we have been for years..

ehh.. many many years ..weiii.

Then there was  also another occasion where both of us attended a meeting summoned by the customer. Representing the customers were engineers , managers from each and every department all that is there in the corporate building.

Due to some discrepancy of details we were interogated from all corners in the meeting room. It was a tense  and an embarrassing moment for me but Matsunaga San kept his cool (or maybe his nerd). Eventually the meeting adjourned with yet another loads of commitments and promises made by us the vendor.

While walking to the parking lot he sort of cracked a  joke and he said to me…

” ..before meeting i feel fear,  after meeting i become more fear.. “.

Obviously referring to the minutes and datelines  that we have committed during the meeting.  I was even more worried and stressful as  it will surely be my sole burden for i am very sure he will never forget coming back asking..

 ” Oooo ajiz san,  ..the job already do ka? .. finish kaa? ”

A moment later i saw him smile,  his facial expression reflects the smile of a  seasoned and a veteran vendor .. just like most of us the locals .. and our obsession for localization.

Routinely, we will drop by at the Sg. Buluh Jejantas R&R.   He as usual was full of praise  for  the nasi lemak.  And i,  will smoke a cigarette one stick after another and matching it with a cup of  black coffee.  He will then pay the bills and i will routinely says.. thank you matsunaga san.

We shared some  lighter moments together, we went  deep sea fishing with the R&D Engineers.


Enjoying the King of  Fruits..

Over the years  we begun to understand his style of doing things and perhaps he too understood us just as much.

Significantly  i guess he also knew exactly  where the bisecting line of cultures between a Japanese and a Malaysian intersects….


Pangkor Island

And off course, it is always loud and clear ..Maraysia Boleh...!!





I guess this is my rascal way of saying sayonara.. to the company and T. Matsunaga.

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