We were at this very, very ulu (rural) place in between the borders of Kelantan/Perak. It is really ulu. Very, very ulu.
As you know, the East-West Highway cuts through the rainforests of Malaysia. Across the Banjaran Titiwangsa. *smack heads of all Malaysians if they do not know what Banjaran Titiwangsa is* It is the back-bone or spine of Malaysia. Look at it this way, Malaysia is like an ubi keledek or long sweet potato. In the middle, there are hills, mountains and thick, thick rainforests.
Unlike the North-South Highway where you have Dunkin’ Donuts, Baskin Robbins and Kentucky Fried Chicken plus nicely maintained toilets, the East-West Highways have absolutely NO facilities like toilets or foodstalls or a place to rest.
So, now you can imagine how ulu I am talking about? Good.
We stopped at this little lavendar coloured warong (small stall) for lunch. I noticed something disturbing.
On the walls of this warong, there are four different brands of coffee advertisements. Two pieces of each posters and they take up the whole wall of the warong.
Kopi Jantan (Male Coffee?), Ali Kuat, Tongkat Ali and another brand. On the posters, there are faces of really old pak ciks. Like 70 years old, wearing kopiah (those red/white cap?) and looking very religious. Sebelah kaki dah masuk kubur kinda old. I dare not take photos of these ads as it may not look very nice if people take it wrongly when I mentioned them.
With names like Kopi Jantan, what do you think they are promoting. Kekuatan untuk ape? Untuk menangkap ikan? Memotong kayu? (Strength for what? Catch fishes/chop wood?)
I find it disturbing because all these reeks of the familiarity of those spams e-mails that we received. Strengthen your manhood, buy Viagra and Cialis at cheap price, last longer, etc etc.
It is sad. That all these bombardments of males gaining strength after a drink of coffee are over at these places. Guess what those who consume the coffee will think? They may want to test out their strength.
Beside this, I also saw a huge, huge billboard of Mawi and Putera Umno. Mawi is like a national hero of sorts. Heck, I have not even bothered to listen to him singing in Akademi Fantasia. I do not know how fantastic he is compared to Vince or Zahid. But he is very revered there, from what I saw on the billboard. Read : billboard that is HUGE.
In conclusion – our country still has an imbalance of rich Malays and the very poor Malays. Our Government should continue helping these poor sector. None of us have the right to question that. None of the rich and affluent Malays ought to boast about not needing any help from the Government because they can stand on their own yadda yadda yadda. Out there, in the deep jungle and by the monsoon hit East coast areas, there are many poor people who needs help.
I pray that God continues to guide those who are in power to help those who are really in need. Let them not stray into making money and sucking the poor folks dry with more kopi jantan. Let them build schools and facilities to upgrade the education level of the children so that they do not just look up to idols and fantasy shows. Spend the money wisely on infrastructure, give them a chance to enjoy the comfortable lives we townfolks have. With each increasing year of Merdeka, may the disparity between the poor and the rich gets narrower.