The birth of Malaysia herald the birth of another thing that's uniquely Malaysian.Malaysian Time.

Countless events start late because there wasn't enough people there at the appointed time. This resulted in smarter organisers who mark up the actual time by half an hour. If it's not your day, the thing starts late anyway.

It's not my day.

Tonight, I went to an event that supposedly starts at 8pm. When I arrived a few minutes before eight, the place was dead quiet and festive ornaments like balloons were still lying around. Undaunted, I found someone in-charge, who escorted me to the press table and made sure I got a drink.

By 8:30pm, I was still the only press member there, although other people have began filtering in and claiming tables. It's not the first time I've been embarassingly early. Not by far. I guess I haven't learned.

The organisers found me and made good use of my free time by filling me in with the latest news. It was the semi-finals in a karaoke competition and I only briefly turned up at two of the qualifying rounds. Thick cigarette smoke and poor ventilation drove me out rather quickly both times.

Let's not forget the Guest of Honour. By protocol, they arrive last. If there's is more than one, they arrive in the order of least important. (Which makes me the 2nd or 3rd least important person in the room.) If one of them run late, everyone that comes after is delayed.

If you asked me, the Guests of Honour are the ones who really need an extra half hour tacked on top of the real arrival time.

So the event only really started sometime past 9pm.

It's the semi so The singers were pretty decent. I actually stayed to hear a few this time.

Another press person turned up just before I left. I guess that makes him smarter than me.

I should have been in bed two hours ago, but I guess I run by Malaysian Time too.