February 10, 2012

Sang Kancil and the crocodiles

There was this Sang Kancil who liked to wander around the forest. Although a bit cunning, he always abided by the laws of the forest set upon all animals since time immemorial. He kept to himself as what he wanted was to be able to eat and drink in order for him to survive.

One day, as he was wandering around the forest, feeling hungry, he came across a river full of crocodiles. On the other side of the river was an orchard full with ripe fruits, ready to be eaten. He knew that the river was full of crocodiles which would just eat him if he was to fall into it.

After doing some thinking and understanding the nature of crocodiles, he called upon one of them. Being the leader of the crocodiles in the river, Buaya came over and talked to Sang Kancil. Sang Kancil told him that he was asked by the great Lord of the Jungle to count the population of crocodiles in the river.

Buaya went to get all his brethren and they lined up across the river. They let Sang Kancil climb on top of them one by one in order for Sang Kancil to do his counting. While he did that, he sang “Satu dua tiga lekuk, jantan betina aku ketuk”. He did this until he crossed to the other side.

As smart as Sang Kancil was, as he came down on the other side of the river, he immediately told all the crocodiles in the river that he had just pulled a prank on them as there was never such instruction from the Lord of the Jungle.

Now, change the scenario. The river is the country that we are living in and lovingly call Malaysia. Change Sang Kancil into the rakyat who are only trying to make a living from the bounty of the land. Then imagine the leaders of this land as the crocodiles who control the river. Everyone must go through them to get to the fruits of their labour.

Imagine how we have to think every minute of the day to get some benefits from the river. We have to outsmart the guys who are supposed to be the guardians of what are rightfully ours. These leaders do let us have a taste of these benefits in so many forms but never the whole of the benefits so that you will understand who actually rules over you.

These benefits come in so many forms. Affordable housing, scholarships and sometimes when we are lucky, cash, such as was offered under BR1M. When it is given, we take it and we spend it. Then we come to the river again and bow our heads before we can drink from it or outsmart the crocodiles again to be able to eat the fruits....

I wonder how we have come to this....

Originally published in Malaysian Insider at this link : Sang Kancil and the crocodiles
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