The first sign of trouble at the Syariah Lower Court last Monday came midway during the 15-min session – when I was giving my statement to questions asked by the judge. And it came about due to my own mistake during the session.
Have to admit and acknowledge this particular trait, which is both good and bad – I can be quite opinionated at times. Plus, I generally don’t have this “Respect of authority” attitude and mentality so common among village folk. It isn’t really “arrogance” – just a simple “I don’t really care who you are… My respect for you is dependent on how I think you respect me.”
Well, until that point – and also after – things had gone very well indeed for me (had killed off or at least severely blunted all the major charges levelled against me during the last session that I had attended).
I was on a roll; and that’s dangerous actually – somehow I had the temerity to unthinkingly complain “only knowing about this session being held today, quite late”. Stupid, stupid!… The judge glanced back at some previous note, noticed `something’ and asked that embarrassing question of: Why I did not attend the session on 31 Dec .
My answer was really lame (I’m not going to provide free laughs for the readers by repeating it here) – it was more of an acknowledgment of wrong-doing instead of a plausible `reason’. My “Lying Skills” have gone down the drain, and I’m blaming Pusat Serenti Gambang and Narcotics Anonymous for this – especially for the stress on “Honesty” .
CAPTION: The judge wasn’t pleased I had emulated the Chuck Norris film of Missing in Action on 31 Dec. And twice too. He mentioned something about “This is an offence” and “have to face action”. Oh, oh…
So, depite the remaining minutes being almost entirely in my favour, I was also nervously waiting for this “action”, whatever it was. After fixing 11 Feb as the next hearing, the judge brought up that matter of an outstanding Warrant of Arrest against me. Apparently, it had been issued after I “became like Chuck Norris” the previous month.
The judge mentioned something about “to be held until the next hearing on 11 Feb” and “jaminan [xx] sebanyak RM1,000 dengan seorang penjamin” …
Three weeks in remand!?… I had stayed out of such troubles when it comes to drugs, but now I was going to prison again regardless! I had the urge to “say something” to the judge – as I had on 31 Oct 2005 when I was ordered to be sent to Pusat Serenti Gambang. And the intended words weren’t very nice on both occasions.
One of the things I was worried about should I be sent to the Pengkalan Chepa Prison was in how I was dressed – I would have attracted attention at the prison’s registration area (black pants, white shirt, belt all spanking new, plus shiny Hush Puppies black shoes. Oh, plus a cheapo RM6 black songkok bought specifically for going to the court. would have bought a RM1 songkok had there been one).
Outside the courtroom, I thought fast: Who do I call? My father in Alor Star? He’d have helped, definitely, for this sole reason – it wasn’t because of drugs. But he’s elderly (although healthy), and I didn’t really want him (and my mother too) to be stressed.
Actually, the very first person who came to my mind was… Yes. And I do worry a bit at times about this one… Anyway, she sounded surprised, but was very quick to recover. My question of “Deq boleh dak jamin kita?” was met with an immediate and committed “Of course!”. But there was a problem – How could she send the money when I was detained? – “Bang Zawi”. Sherry said she’d call him.
A few minutes later at 9.43AM, this SMS came from her: “Dont worry. Pzawi akan datang. Dia br jer called deq… sabar. Deq tak rasa guilty pun asked u to go. Sooner or later kena gak face it.”
What a relief!…Sherry & Nazmi; always there in whatever, always having time, always positive-minded, cheerful and bubbly [BTW it hadn’t even crossed my mind to `blame’ her for recommending that I attend despite the very late notice]
NEWSFLASH Wed 21/1/09 12.30AM: Had just received very happy messages – Nazmi M. Azahar has emerged as Runners-up in a just-ended bowling tournament in Kuantan! From the 12 games, one was 278. The remarkable thing is that Mie had just returned from a day trip to KL! CONGRATULATIONS, MIE! There should be a post at Sherry’s blog about this excellent performance soon.
I then discovered something about this particular jaminan (bond) when the court’s clerk asked about who was coming to bail me out. I mentioned there was someone on his way, but he’ll have to withdraw the cash first. To this, the clerk mentioned that “cash was not required” with this type – the person only needed to give his undertaking to ensure my presence on 11 Feb!
I immediately sent messages to Zawi and Sherry about it – in stressing to “Just come and sign something; no money required”. I had also sent a few messages to a 27-year-old who was my junior at Gambang; telling him about all this. And asking him to stand by, just in case…
But Zawi turned up a few minutes later, and what a relief. Unfortunately, he had forgotten to bring along his Identity Card! He wanted to go back and get it. However, the court’s staff probably decided it was better to just be rid of me soonest; so they accepted his driving licence as proof enough of identity. My signature on that bond, and after receiving my IC, it was “Bye Bye, nice (and pretty) Mahkamah Syariah clerks!”.
Oh, I was also given a slip – a notice and reminder of what I’m expected to do at 8.30AM on Wednesday 11 February 2009. It was still just past 10AM. There was something good about that drama – the state of lethargy I had been in since a few weeks ago (mostly due to work-related stress) was gone! Instead, I was quite pumped up from all the excitement… plus the good feelings of feeling appreciative of the concerns and efforts of friends – people who didn’t abandon me in that time of need.