Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Beggars, a-Begging or Demanding?

Beggars, a-Begging or Demanding?
The torn money
Apparently times have changed and attitudes have changed with times - beggars included.
On April 27, 2009, I went to Alor Setar trying to locate LCpl Ungkok's grave so that the next day I could just drive straight to the location for the ceremony to relocate the grave. My daughter, son and son-in-law accompanied me. We went to the famous "Pasar Rabu" to have a look around and buy things that might catch the eyes. We went to buy the "ikan pekasam". What ssurprised me was the cleanliness. I didn't see a single fly! Usually "pekasam ikan" would attract swarms of flies. I do not know how they keep away the flies here.
After the shopping, we stopped over for a drink. A woman beggar came over to our table and we gave her RM2. Another elderly man came over and shoved a piece of faded photostated piece of paper to us. It was the usual sob story he was diabetic, heart ailment, high blood pressure and so on and so forth. Though no words were uttered, we knew he wanted money. I gave him back the paper, less the money.
I thought he would go to the next table after that. I was wrong. I heard him mumbling something and in the next instance he threw a shredded pieces of two RM1 note onto our table. It caught me by surprise for a fleeting second. I was surprised I didn't react, not even a faster heart-beat! Thirty years ago I might have jumped up looking for a fight. Have I mellowed? Obviously - if this was an indication. I heard the men on the other table uttering "kurang ajar betul!"
All I could think of was: "Wow! this must get a mention in my blog!"


  1. I am sure your feeling toward war, as a military person, is quite different from we the ordinary people. We would want peace and no killings. But you need to carry out your mission. It would be interesting if you may be able to sit face to face with the former communist leaders, such as Boon Kee Chok. I don't know what these people had in mind at that time. With such a group of people, what did they want? to take over the power or what....

  2. Dear Anonymous,

    We as a soldier don't like to kill too. In battle, we are forced to kill the other side because if we don't they will kill us.

    Today, in peace time, I have no problem sitting with our former enemies like Bong Kee Chok (but with a certain amount of suspicion. Like most peace-loving people, we love peace, too.

  3. ,,,in fact, you could have arrested that guy cos. its an offence to damage the ringgit in that manner.
    ,,,they add pepper to the ikan pekasam to discourage flies to it-lah.

  4. Dear Capt's,

    I was not angry enough to arrest him. Maybe I have mellowed so much now.

    Pepper in the pekasam to discourage flies? That's new to me. Thanks for the tip.