This is a true story. No, nothing Earth shattering or anything to that effect but still very interesting to me. Its about everyday things. I was at a mini-market buying stuffs when , at the counter, I heard a Mak Cik lamenting the price she had to pay for her goodies. Now, this mak cik is an ordinary mak cik. By the conditions of her attire you could safely say that she's from an average income family, maybe in the lower rung of the average group. What got to me was when she suddenly said, "Pak Lah terok! Mahathir dulu pandai ekonomi, Pak Lah terok, tak tau apa".
Now this place, Taman Tun Sardon is one of the last Malay bastion in Penang. The Malays there are fiercely UMNO with a sprinkle of Pas supporters and a few Keadilan. What is interesting though is that the leaders' there are known to be staunch Mahathir supporters. The fact that the mak cik exploded that way could be the brain-washing that she got from her children. Of course her children conveniently hid the fact that everything is going up so prices of essentials would naturally follow. But then isn't that what UMNO is good at? Telling half truth is an UMNO trait. Yes, the children must have told her how Pak Lah had gone against his promises but they also failed to explain about the price of crude and wheat and everything else. Oh, how true they are to the UMNO spirit.
Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that Pak Lah has been wronged? No, far from it, he wronged himself so he deserves all the condemnation.
Well, anyway, being there and witnessing her outburst, I decided to see how she would response to some provocation. I saw that her bill was RM37+ so I interjected and said, " Tahun depan, barang banyak tu nanti kena bayaq RM50". Immediately she answered, "Memang la, depa bukan tau apa orang rasa". Then the shopkeeper quipped "Dengaq kata depa nak naik harga gas RM5". Her answer says it all, "Kalau naik RM1 takpa la, naik RM5 mampoih la".
That answer of hers tells me how hurt the common people are by the increasing cost of living. Maybe the authorities didn't see that for non-government servants, their take home pay has actually declined. Previously they were earning quite a lot in overtime at the factories but those days are gone. Overtimes are rare. Komaq, a well-known factory in Penang which employed only Technicians used to pay their workers well. Now I heard that it is bought over and the new management offered their employees continued employment but with reduced pay. Is this true? Can anyone from Komag confirm this?
I am not saying that the people has lost faith in the government but I am saying that, I don't expect this from an UMNO stronghold.
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