X50’s 15 mins and Astro’s 15 secs aside, will it be a 15-year fix for our govt?

To my fellow X50 drivers, when having problems just switch off for 15 minutes and then restart. It can work wonders 

I DID the smart thing this year. I took my long annual leave the first week of school holidays, thus avoiding the rush of families and travellers in the second half of December. 

I didn’t go abroad, rather I went home to Perlis and spent quality time with the old folks, family and friends, interspersed with short jaunts across the border, some 45 minutes away from my dad’s house. 

On one of the jaunts, we were on our way to Thailand’s beautiful Satun for a short vacay when my car, the X50, started flashing the low tyre-pressure warning. Now, I had my misgivings about buying “smart” cars as I felt they’re too “techy” for someone like me who uses her iPhone only to text, WhatsApp, call, email, Insta, take photos, play games and read e-books. 

But I figured “Cool, it lets me know when to pump the tyre when needed”. So, my nephew did the honour at a little Caltex station 15 minutes away from the border, but instead of settling the problem, the warning now became a full-scale alert on the dashboard. 

The indicator was blaring “Tyre pressure too high”. We proceeded to de-pressurise the tyre to an acceptable level, it worked, but numerous unrelated alarms popped up. 

Out came the thick manual, yes, quite thick about 400+ pages worth. (No, I haven’t read it cover to cover, are you kidding me?) 

Shutting off and restarting the car didn’t work, pressing buttons etc didn’t work, called the hotline “Oh, this is for towing only” and called the Perlis service centre “Oh you need to tow the car in”. 

The thing was we knew it probably just needed resetting, but how do we do that? 

My brother in the other car turned around to find us and helped troubleshoot. I handed him the manual and after many minutes, at the time I had asked for a tow truck which would only be arriving after an hour minimum, he pointed something out to me. 

In one section of the manual, it said shut off the car completely and wait 15 minutes before restarting. What did we have to lose right? 

So, I did that, took a walk around the tiny petrol station, enjoyed the air conditioner in my brother’s car and played games on my phone. 

Fifteen minutes passed and I got back into the X50. Moment of truth, I pressed the brake pedal and pushed the Start button. Lo and behold, it started. Alhamdulillah, no more alarms or warnings whatnot. 

I cancelled the tow truck and sped to the border. We were starving by then and pulut ayam, Thai fried rice, Thai tea etc were waiting for us on the other side. 

So, my fellow X50 drivers. If you ever find yourself in such a situation, switch off for 15 minutes and then try starting the car again. It can work wonders (no guarantee given by me). 

This just reminds me of our monopolistic Astro cable services. I just terminated the multiroom function in the Perlis home because I was irritated. 

Why? You guessed it, the 15-second solution that they are always spouting. It doesn’t work all the time and sometimes, it’s a different problem with a different solution. 

So, why do you make us try that each and every time? Before calling for help, I would have already done that! 

Which brings me to another thought that crossed my mind that day while enjoying the sea breeze in Satun. Perhaps the problems besetting our political parties and the federal government would take 15 months to solve (15 hours just impossible!). 

But 15 months is not a long period of time, maybe enough for a change in government and prime minister, but not for political stability and sanity to return to the country. Perhaps 15 years would be a better bet? 

By then, the youngsters should take centre stage. All the fuddy-duddies above 60-years-old should take advisory roles instead, let the younger generation take over. Oldies are resistant to restarts, but that is what our Malaysia needs now. 

Restart our political landscape, our economy, our climate, our humanity, our education system, our religious beliefs, our racial tolerance, our strength as a nation and soon. If not I fear we will be obsolete and gobbled up by the nations around us. 

  • Hazatul Syima Haron is the executive editor, production, at The Malaysian Reserve.

  • This article first appeared in The Malaysian Reserve weekly print edition