Monday, May 21, 2007


A good friend, ABH is getting married. He's engaged and by June he will be a married man. He called me just now and told me he need to see me. Right away. "Its urgent, Are you up to a teh tarik session?" he said. "Okay, I'll be there". I replied.

This is what he told me. (He's a government servant BTW). His fiance told him that her family had a discussion about the wedding arrangement over dinner. Watching the news, the father passed a remark to her "Eh, Government servant got their pay increase today, maybe you could ask him (ABH) to make the wedding a little bigger?. After all its once in a life time, you know."

Her fiance, according to ABH tried not to say anything, but her mother joined in. "Ya la, ABH can afford this now with the increment. I don't want to say anything before, since you know la, Government servant's salary is so small. I don't have the heart to ask him for bigger wedding, but now, I am sure he can afford it, its a big pay hike. Ask him okay, dear".

ABH, scratched his head, put both his hands under his chin and said. "I am a dead man. You know, actually its not that much. 35% from RM 832 is what? Its just an increase of RM 292.00. Okay, plus COLA RM 150.00 to RM 300.00. All in 392.00 and they expect me to have a bigger wedding? And no arrears this time around. The new salary will be only be paid in July. After 15 years, a raise of RM 292.00. I don't know what to do now."

I could understand his situation. Well, that's the mentality of some Malaysians, sadly. I know that ABH and his fiance save their income like crazy, (both work as clerks in the public service). On top of that, there is the hantaran, which was set at RM 5,000.00. And on top of that they got to think about the kenduri expenses. That doesn't include all the small and unaccounted expenses.

"Call it off then". I said. (Me and my unorthodox solution). "Are you crazy, man? The wedding is just a few weeks away." He looked at me as if I just asked him to kill himself.

"No I am not crazy, in fact its a great idea. Just go and meet the father, and tell him politely that you don't have anymore money for the wedding. Explain to him like you did to me about the salary increase. And blackmail him, if he insist to have a bigger wedding, you just have to call it off" I said. "But all the invitation has been sent out, preparations were made". He argued with me. "Exactly. See, you forget one thing about being a Malay. Do you honestly think the father really want to cancel the wedding after everybody in the kampung knows about it? That is air muka, man. I bet you the father wouldn't want that to happen to his family and his daughter." ABH didn't say anything and I left him alone to think.

I don't know what will he do. But it really makes me think about how materialistic the world we live in, right now.

With that kind of salary? Its not living life. Its surviving it.

*COLA - Cost of living allowance (an allowance given to civil servant to off set high cost of living)
hantaran - dowry (given by man to woman as monetary gift according to Malay custom)
kenduri - feast
kampung - village
air muka - honor/ saving face ?


ringo said...

My friend took loan to get married, quite with a fanfare wedding with the 8.5% interest loan. Present days..... got 2 kids but still hasn't finish paying the loan. That's what we call wedding loan's kids. Sad ya.....

M.I.S.S.Y said...

bang..what such a "brilliant idea" u gave him...bagusla tu. instead of feeling relief maybe he will dissapear on their akad nikah..

anyways, poor him. and i would like to blame this situation as well, for making me anak dara yang tak kawin2 lagi.

govt naik gaji eh? bole la minta blanja latte ka hehhehe...

Desparil said...

biar papa asal bergaya tu..

akula said...

ringot, missy, desparil : Tu le pasal. Abih camno, biarlah tak ado, kalau nak lepas geram, sdn bhd buleh gak. :)