When I showed the photocopy of the letter pertaining to the flight requirements, my boss simply said "Then you cannot go". But when I showed him our President's instructions for sending me, he told me to try my luck and send my application as required by the Public Service Department in Putrajaya. That I duly did and my application was approved together with six others from all parts of Peninsular Malaysia.
Then came another hurdle. The Federal Government wanted us to go to Japan together on one flight. When I checked the flight, the class which I was entitled to, the economy class was fully booked. Only the business class was available. All my other would be friends, except two, were facing the same situation. These particular two qualified for business class and had their flight confirmed. The other five, including me, had to seek approval from our departments for the flight class upgrade.
The Secretary asked what's my problem and I told him the same. When the Secretary came to the room, what transpired really gave me a pleasant surprise. The President told him "I have chosen En. Maarof to go to Japan. I want him to go there without any hindrance. Whatever the Council has to pay, we pay. Please arrange for his flight arrangements". I had nothing to say except to give my President a big 'Terima kasih Tuan".