Smoothening The Unexpected Kinks

JPJ rejection letter for appeal to renew expired license
Photo by Wuan.

The letter that I had been waiting for since end-December finally arrived last week. Unfortunately, it herald unsavoury news. My appeal to the Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan to allow me to renew my driving license that expired in 1996 was rejected. I was not even given the exemption from taking Bahagian I which encompasses the Ujian Undang-undang and Sijil Kursus Teori dan Amali.

Safety Driving Centre Driving Course folder
Photo by Wuan.

Last Sunday, Wuan took me to Safety Driving Centre in Petaling Jaya to register for the driving course. The entire course cost RM890 but I was given a 30% discount. Before anything else, I needed to attend five hours of Kurikulum Pendidikan Pemandu. It was fixed for today. I had expected it to be a boring five hours but I was far from wrong. It turned out the lecturer who introduced himself as Cikgu Ali kept us entertained and educated throughout the entire course. His memorable line was “Cikgu bukan marah, cuma beri nasihat.” Most of the time, he kept us in stitches with his jokes.

Cikgu Ali of Safety Driving Centre
Cikgu Ali and I.
Photo by Wuan.

As Wuan will be busy with work and with the Chinese New Year just around the corner, I have registered to take the Ujian Undang-Undang Berkomputer secara online at the end of this month. I am in no hurry to sit for the test too as I have not read the two manuals provided yet – Kurikulum Pendidikan Pemandu and Buku Latihan Undang-undang Jalan Raya. At the same time, I still find it difficult to believe that I have to go through all this again.

Next Change – Freedom of Speed

Wuan and I had a productive day yesterday. Early in the morning, we were at UMMC for my first ultrasound of the kidneys and bladder there. After circling around the hospital compound several times looking for a parking space Wuan dropped me off at the drop off zone to find a place to park as I was already late for the appointment. Nothing new from the radiologist’s initial observation – hydronephrosis of the kidneys, left kidney athropied and a neurogenic bladder. In short, my kidneys are in a bad shape.

Puspakom Wangsa Maju

After the ultrasound, we went to Wangsa Maju to have the car inspected at Puspakom. We needed to get the hand control attachment inspected and then get the vehicle registration card endorsed by the JPJ. The inspection cost RM15. The officer checked the chassis and engine number, briefly glanced into the car cabin, asked Wuan what the attachment under the steering column was and nodded when she explained. Wuan had to remove the tinting film on the front windscreen because it did not allow enough light through.

When we finally got the inspection report, it was already 1230pm. The JPJ Wilayah Persekutuan for was just next to Puspakom. We wanted to get the vehicle registration endorsed on the same day to save us the trouble of having to go all the way there again. After lunch, we went to JPJ. An idiotic motorist parked his motor just beside the car. There was a slight drizzle. We wondered if I should go with Wuan to get the endorsement or wait for her in the car. We finally decided that it would speed things up if the officer saw me in person.

There as just enough space to open the car door on my side. After I transferred to the wheelchair, Wuan retreated a little to allow me to back out my wheelchair. When I heard her shriek, I thought I had rolled over her toes. She had actually burnt herself on the exhaust pipe of the motorcycle. We cursed under our breath as that space beside our car was supposed to be left vacant for wheelchair users’ ease of movement into and out of the car. Fortunately, the burn was not that bad.

We went to the customer relations office to get the officer to assist us with the procedures of getting the endorsement. He filled up some forms and directed Wuan to a counter one floor above. All was completed in thirty minutes. That was another major hurdle conquered. Wuan and I were upbeat and chatted merrily on the way back. I can almost feel the exhilaration of driving legally soon.

We went back to pick up William and Cynthia who had agreed to accompany us to pick up Wuan’s digital camera at Canon Malaysia’s head office office at Shah Alam. The LCD screen of her Canon Powershot A95 could not display images properly during shooting mode but could display the images from the compact flash. The officer who served Wuan a few week earlier believed that it was a connection problem. The problem was rectified at no charge. The memory card cover of the same camera was also broken. It was replaced at RM35 – very expensive for a small piece of flimsy plastic.

That was a full day for us, running all over the Klang Valley. Later today, William, Cynthia, Wuan and I are going out for our usual weekend movie outing. It has been a while since we have watched a movie as we were busy with work respectively. I am looking forward to a relaxing evening. After several busy weeks, I really need this pick-me-up to propel me into another hectic week.

Project Drive For Freedom – Getting A Little Closer To The Goal

To cut a long story short, the hand control kit was installed on October 14 without much fuss. The steering knob that was bought from Brother’s at Kelana Jaya did not fit the steering wheel. William, Cynthia and I went back to the shop to get it changed for one that almost fit a few weeks later. The bolt for the new steering knob was too short. William bought one that fits and installed it. I did not have the opportunity to test drive from the time the kit was installed until last Tuesday.

Outside the JPJ Headquarters at Putrajaya

Wuan and I took opportunity of the holiday season and went to the Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan Headquartersin Putrajaya on December 29, the last working day of 2006, to get the attachment approved. We thought we got all the form properly filled but it was not accepted because of the technicality that the disabled driver must also be the owner of the vehicle. The officer at the counter gave us the number of the person in-charge and asked us to call him on January 3.

At the same time, I submitted an appeal letter to the Bahagian Pelesenan Pemandu located at the same floor of the building to have my driving license that has expired for ten years reinstated. The standard procedure for such cases is that applicants will be exempt from Bahagian I which is taking the Undang-Undang Jalanraya Test. I still need to undergo Bahagian II and Bahagian III which are parking and slope test and driving test respectively. The officer gave me a number to enquire should I not receive a reply in three weeks.

The letter of approval issued by JPJ for car modifications for disabled persons

I called the officer in-charge of vehicle modifications at the given phone number yesterday. Apparently, all the forms were in order. I made arrangements with William and Cynthia to go to Putrajaya with me to get the matter sorted out. Wuan could not make it as she was working. We arrived at the JPJ Headquarters at 3.30 pm and met the officer in-charge of vehicle modification, Tuan Hj. Johar, who told us to go back next week to collect the letter. William told him that it was an inconvenience to have to go back again considering the distance and on working weekdays only. Tuan Hj. Johar was kind enough to take that into consideration and asked us to wait while he went through the documents and wait for the Director to come out from a meeting to endorse the documents. He delivered the documents to us at 4.45 pm. That is one large hurdle behind me. I still need to get the exemption letter in order to apply for a learner’s driving license and get the car inspected at Puspakom.