During the 78th Army Day Anniversary in Kuala Lumpur on 6 March 2011, I met a fellow retiree. "Would I like to build a new long house for free for my folks back home?" I heard what he said and thought it was one big joke! Nevertheless, I was curious and decided to probe deeper.
"How much would this "good Samaritan" chip in to build the long house?" I inquired.
I couldn't believe it (I still don't) when he said "about RM5 million". That is a lot of money to part with - especially when there are no returns expected or demanded.
Still unbelieving, I inquired further, " What is this "good Samaritan" expecting to get out of this project?" I know, most people don't simply give anything out unless they get something in return.
" Nothing." was the reply.
I was even more unconvinced but decided to play along. I was asked to come up with a plan of my new long house that retains the traditional facets while injecting the modern aspects for better comforts. Below are the plan.
Front View. Notice the balcony and car porch.
A double storey long house. First floor is where the living room, dining and kitchen are. The second floor has 3 bedrooms with bathrooms attached and a balcony for extra comforts.
The "Ruai" - Common Verandah is maintained. This is an important part of a long house. It is here that festivities and other important functions are held.
Let's pray, this "Good Samaritan" keeps his promise. Other than extra works, I have nothing to lose - if this man decided not to keep his words.
An after thought: ANY CHARITABLE DONORS OUT THERE?