I worked in Weld Quay when I was about 21 years old. I was a legal clerk then and when I got my job as the Confidential Secretary to the Executive Director, it was like my dream come true. I was selected out of 70+ applicants during the recession in (44-21 = 23, 2008-23 = 1987 1985?) Yeah, we had a bad recession in the late eighties and jobs were hard to come by.

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That office was like the most glamorous one on earth. Later on, we shifted to a bigger office in Jalan Larut. When I was working in Weld Quay, I dealt with the gangster’s head from the Chew jetty area. Tai kor normally appears like some timid old man while his kakis are rusty face. Don’t know why. Calling prostitutes for some Gov. department officers before they award tenders to us was part of my job spec too. I have the mummy Helen phone number at the back of my mind. “harlow…mummy Helen ah….wa si Ah Lian, wa ai kiu kay.”

Anyway, back then, I remember my office to be one of the nicest because my ex-company was once the biggest cable manufacturer in Asia. I supplied prostitutes to Papua New Guineans (they normally want two at the same time), Chinese, Indian, SESCO (are they still around) and TNB staffs.

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(the nail is ours, the screw is not. Bryan ah…you sabo my car, issit?)

Sadly, today, the place has turned into a major Ah Beng’s den. Dear hubby’s car hit a nail today. He didn’t notice it earlier and said, “Hmmm..how come the car seems like got ABS wan? This lower category Persona got no ABS mah….” Then, he discovered tayar pamcit when we were at the bank area.

We fast fast drive to the nearest car tyre repair shop we can find and stopped there. I came down and saw the address as 60, Weld Quay and suddenly, it seems so familiar to me.

And OMG, that’s where I used to work. What the hell have they done to the place lah? The surrounding area did not change a single bit and in fact, turned into a dump since my office moved. When my company was there, my ex-boss has a Jaguar, the other bosses have BMWs and Merc. Now, they have only kapcais motorbikes.

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Do you see the little red building there? That’s the latuk kong that I used to pray every morning and especially mornings when we expect our bonuses and salary increases. I even made deal with latuk kong. “Lu kasi gua manyak-manyak bulan mia bonus, gua beli kemayan asap lu.” That building stays clean and nice. My poor office has turned into a total dump.

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See? The opposite area where people built houses on stilt remained dirty and unkept. So, UMNO Penang, siapa kata kaum Cina kaya-kaya belaka? Ramai orang Cina pun hidup susah juga. Kita semua pun sama susah jugak. Yang kaya cuma kroni saja.

Tapi sekarang Weld Quay sudah masuk tangan DAP, harap-harap dapat pembangunan baru. Kalau tidak, at least clear those rubbish from there, yo. It is really an eye-sore and a sad sight to see that Weld Quay did not improve in 20 years but turned into such a slump. “Lee Hack Teik (MCA) ah, lu cho ha mik si kooi?”

Sigh….who would have thought that a single nail will bring back such a huge flood of memories for me?

ADDED : BERITA – DSAI and LKS interviewed by Riz Khan