Saturday, March 16, 2013

The "Rich" Kampung Boy.

Everyone is happy at the village coffee shop we call "Kedai Hassan". The old men, the old and young single mothers, the young men and women who are employed, the young men and women who are not, and even the students. They are all talking happily, some waving a piece of paper, some a form of coupon. They are beaming and "brimming" with joy. Because of BRIM2. Everyone is having at least RM200 in his or her possession, as promised by the government.

Oh yes, the government is very kind and sensitive to the need of us poor folks, was the general acclamation.Never before had we been given cash supplement just like that. No question asked as long as you can prove that your income is less than RM3000 pm. Which practically includes everyone in the kampung. Even the students are give a cash coupon to buy books and other educational accessories. Which nowadays include a handphone. Next we're going going to ask the government to give each of us a PC. Later on maybe a Kancil or MYV, used ones perhaps....

It's so refreshing to see the happy faces in the kampung.The only complain is why some got their letter of approval and order to get their cash earlier than some others."He has got ties in higher cicle, that's why," was one of the familiar comments heard. There are some ignoramus who just heard about the cash assistance by government and had not applied. Friends crowded around him or her to help. Even a senior looking gentleman who just emerged from a new Proton Wira was asked by some friends in "Kedai Hassan" whether he had applied for the RM500 'Bantuan Rakyat 1 Malaysia' (BRIM). When he said that he was not eligible, his friends roared out in a teasing laughter. "So many others like you got it, Brother. Why waste the money? Let me apply it for you and we can share the dough, okay?"
Incidebntly, Kedai Hassan seems more crowded now than before and a small corner stall has also metamorphosed into a full-fledged coffee-shop to cater for the expanding BRIM-talk (lepak BRIM) sessions.

Lahad Datu for a while had captured the number one topic of discussion in Kedai Hassn. 10 members of the security forces killed agains 60+ terrorists, was no joke. Tempered flared and wild accusations smoldered, with blame being placed on almost everyone including the Malaysian and Filipino governments, the self styled Jamalul Kiram III, the Opposition party, Nur Misuari, the US government which seemingly ditched a battleship full of modern firearms on a barrier reef in the Sulu Sea, and even on the old architects of the Malaysian nation. One can laugh at the silliness of the accusations but there are those who nodded seriously in agreement with the speaker.

Nevertheless the BRIM2 jubilation overtakes all. With the cash in their pockets or the promise of the money to come, Kedai Hassan and other sudry shops experience a boom in their business and that is good.Talk about the forthcoming GE is peppered with the hope that the government will give out more goodies before the election. The salary increase for the police and military is a good example of the sudden magnanimity. As the flags and buntings heralding the forthcoming GE begin to crowd the scene, the village folks expanded their hope on getting more cash assistance from the government, more subsidies, and more free "makan" from the YBs ( peoples' representatives in the Federal and State Legislative Assemblies). The merit and appropriateness of policies currently adopted by government, the promises of the Opposition in its Election Manifesto, and all the national issues now faced by the nation, seem to be drowned by the BRIM2 jubilation.

So when is BRIM3 coming? I guess everyone in the village and also the <3k earners in the towns and cities are waiting for that.It certainly gives a fleeting sense of being "rich" to the village folks,like the new revision of salaries.


abdulhalimshah said...

It is a typical scenario in most villages and kampongs in the country. They will crave for more as you pointed out and thus as they get addicted to it will just make them all want for more. One day we might see the equivalent of the "Opium Wars" in ancient China.

norzah said...

That's exactly my fear, Akhi. Thanks for the very prompt reaction. I wanted to be more critical but you know it can be misunderstood.

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