On Trengganuspeak and the Spirit of Trengganu

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Mabuk Kepayang

The sad thing about Trengganu is that there are now more wreckers there than builders, and sadder still that these wreckers are actually children and grandchildren of chisellers, carvers, weavers and people who had worked hard to build our past.

They are the ones who are polluting Kuala Terengganu streets with their super-duper gas guzzling cars, travelling to old Europe and the Americas whenever money comes to hand (which is often) and sighing from the shades of their plush hotels, “Oh, what beautiful heritage in this Garden City of wonders!”

They act European for a while, or Spanish, or Dutch and eat from their Smörgåsbord of history and people. Then they come home to their own shore and wreck the first heritage building they see to give vent to their atavistic fervour.

I heard in disbelief recently when the present Menteri Besar of Terengganu say – with some exasperation – to a bemused audience in London's Malaysia Hall that their toughest task is to change the minda of the people. It's kinda cute isn't it that people who seem to be the least possessed of such minda are now ruining and burning our cities in Malaysia with the kitsch of their desires and telling us without the slightest hint of irony that they - they - are the saviours of our soul. And what is minda for them if not money?

The curse of Terengganu is that it has too much money and too little people. No, it is not underpopulated, but the people who govern us are dwarves, little people with big delusions of grandeur.

They have already destroyed most of our heritage; they have razed down Kampung Datuk Amar to build an ersatz Ottoman market, and they have pulled down two old mosques that were parts of our glorious history. All in the name of minda, I dare say.

Now they are planning to pull down a row of shophouses in Kedai Payang, buildings that are more than a hundred years old that are still fit for purpose and need, at most, a tender loving touch and a coat of colour. Thus our history can be saved.

But no, they are going to demolish the whole block, brick, stock and mortar. And on the empty ground will be built Terengganu's latest monuments to the madness of greed and money.

Please go HERE to read about it and cry.

And I also urge you to write, WRITE to just anybody and everybody you know to put a stop this madness now.


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Saturday, August 01, 2009

A Word From the Sponsor

I shall be away from base until the 15th August. Until then I shall blog only when I can, wherever I can. And that means very irregularly.

See you again soon, Insha Allah