Still can be thankful

Maybe I ought to get this off my chest before I can do a decent video. This morning, ADun for Pantai Jerjak, YB Sim took us to a Malay squatters village. I bugged him that we need to find a Malay issue to cover in our citizen journalism. (the other ADuns tak nak layan me except YB Sim, kesian nyerrr) YB Sim wanted to meet up with his old friend, JS who is our evaluator from USA so it was perfect opportunity.

BTW, do you all notice that most of my videos are about Indians? It is like the Chinese and Malays have no issues in Penang that I can cover? In fact, someone from KL asked, “What’s with Lilian and Indians?” LOL.

So, we finally get to cover a Malay kampung issue. I think I am going to make a video in Bahasa Malaysia. I tell you, it was the most humbling experience. Since you are all my blog readers, you all get to hear the story before I edit the video clips.

As it had rained for two days continuously, the kampung is water clogged as they have no proper drainage, sewage or road. But Sim walked in his kasut sepatu, slack and long sleeves shirt like very relaxed like that. You can see a man very committed to his constituency and the villagers are all very warm and friendly to him. You can tell he doesn’t only show his face before election and disappeared after that. He is probably a regular visitor. (Not that I am bodek-king him ok?)

We went to this little house made of bare bricks and cement. You can see the blocks of gray bricks, surface all rough and sharp edges with the cement protruding every where. They do not have cement for the flooring. Only earth which they covered with mat. Since it had rained for so many days, the floor or rather ground is wet and muddy as well.

I squeezed into the kitchen and found a sweet, little Malay lady. She was frying tumeric fish and cooking a small pot of rice. That’s their only dish. The fishes are not even kembong but some unrecognisable tiny fishes with scales and bones only.

She showed me the bedroom which her two sons occupied. The bedroom is adjoining to the kitchen but the passage was so tight, my butt and my backpack couldn’t squeeze through. Can you imagine how tiny the space is now?

The ground floor only has enough space for two-three persons to stand. Jimmy went up to the first floor but I didn’t dare to do so because I wonder if the upper floor can stand both our weights. LOL. The other two CJs and JS were standing outside because there really is no more standing room for them.

I don’t know what Jimmy filmed upstairs because I have not downloaded the video clips. However, what I found downstairs is enough to make me angry, sad, frustrated, disillusioned, totally heart broken.

I chatted with the Malay lady. I asked if her sons are working. She said they are doing casual work and not earning enough. Her husband worked as a security guard. As his pay is RM850, they are not entitled to the hard core poverty funds or any welfare help.

Yet, she said so assuring….’Kita bersyukur saja lah….kita masih ada tempat tinggal…setenggah orang tak ada rumah nak tinggal langsung.’

I don’t know lah…I think we seriously have to be thankful for what we have and then, think of others like the family I met today. Today is the first time I am exposed to these poor families and I am glad that our new state government is working hard to eradicate poverty and improve the lives of these people.

I wish all politicians are as hard working and go down to their constituency and see to the needs of the poor people there. Then again, we cannot expect one ADun to run around the whole place because they have work at the top to do as well. Nay….like my ADun who has to run the Penang state? So, maybe what these politicians can do is to make sure that their party members are more in tune to the poor and needy and not just bodek their ADun and show their faces only when there are big events. Otherwise, what for join a political party, right?

4 thoughts on “Still can be thankful

  1. Chinese urban poor in Penang : Perak Road, Perak lane, Air Itam, Farmers in Air Itam Hills, Balik Pulaum Batu Maung and Teluk Kumbar, Noordin Street, Rifle Range…… But then, Chinese are survivors la, besdies, most of these people don’t really know who, and the how… to go to. Whether they vote DAP, or BN, or …., they only see their ADUN come election time, after that, tak dak nampak muka punya, biasa la.

  2. lilian, posts like this make me finish off the last grain of rice on my plate, and not complain about the heat and no aircond when there is a fan right in front. Thankful indeed I am.

    kiki´s last blog post..Tough!

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