SMS from Pak Nik of Wisma Putra made me chuckled.
" U have 2 entertain us too. we have been working long hours coz of tsunami"
"I can come to your office to clown around. just let me know when". I shoot the reply immediately.
Despite the common perception of how government works, I know that good people like him are working hard to ensure assistance from Malaysia to be delivered to the tsunami-affected areas in the region.
When I first reached Tehran with Mercy mission for Bam earthquake, he was already waiting for us at 3 am in the morning and entertained us until 6 am at the Mehrabad Airport before excusing himself to go to work as usual at 8 am.
In fact few months before that, Mejar Arshad Khan of the famous oldest Malaysian couple who travelled around the world told me, " If you ever reach Tehran, do contact Pak Nik. He would be most helpful".
True to his words Pak Nik has become a good friend of mine. When I reach Tehran after completing the mission, he took the trouble to greet us at the airport and to look for us a very good and safe accommodation in the embassy enclave in Tehran (it was during the 2004 Iranian national election. Situation was unsafe for foreigners and rumours had that the army were planning to instigate trouble in the capital) and after that invited us for a very good malay dinner at his residence. In fact the next day he even climbed the Tolchar with us (me, Dr Alzamani and Dr Nasir).
I can't thank him enough for his hospitality when we were there.
Despite his kelantanese-sound name, Nik, he is actually 'senegeri' with me. He is from Rompin, Pahang. And you can sense his friendliness as you hear him talking in rompin dialect.
Not long after I left Tehran, I found out that he is back to Malaysia for good. no more hardship posting. He is now at the South Asian Desk, Wisma Putra. Spoken to him few weeks ago and he shared his good news. He just adopted a newborn baby despite 3 boys he got. I am just happy for him and his family.
I am going to visit him soon to see the new member of Nik's clan. I pray that she will be a good person like her father.