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Sakmongkol ak 47

Monday 7 July 2014

The Other Raub

Images of the Other Raub

In the late 1970’s I read a book written by a Michael Harrington- The Other America. Many of you may have read the book too. It’s a book about poverty in America which is rarely seen. I don’t think the book is in print anymore.
It was a book exposing the existence of another America- one which is represented by the poor, the homeless and the forgotten. The existence of the book was alerted to me by a socialist politician of the old school- the late Hasnul Hadi. I had met Hasnul Hadi when as a student; I was an ardent follower of PSRM then. At that time it was led by comrade Kassim, who nowadays prefers to be a constant irritant to the mentally lazy Muslim clerics.
I reproduce here some passages in the book.
In the 1950s this America worried about itself, yet even its anxieties were products of abundance. The title of a brilliant book was widely misinterpreted, and the familiar America began to call itself the affluent society. There was introspection about Madison Avenue and tail fins; there was discussion of the emotional suffering taking place in the suburbs. In all this, there was an implicit assumption that the basic grinding economic problems had been solved in the United States.
In this theory the nation’s problems were no longer a matter of basic human needs, of food, shelter, and clothing. Now they were seen as qualitative, a question of learning to live decently amid luxury.
While this discussion was carried on, there existed another America. In it dwelt somewhere between 40,000,000 and 50,000,000 citizens of this land. They were poor. They still are.
To be sure, the other America is not impoverished in the same sense as those poor nations where millions cling to hunger as a defense against starvation. This country has escaped such extremes. That does not change the fact that tens of millions of Americans are, at this very moment, maimed in body and spirit, existing at levels beneath those necessary for human decency. If these people are not starving, they are hungry, and sometimes fat with hunger, for that is what cheap foods do. They are without adequate housing and education and medical care.
The Government has documented what this means to the bodies of the poor . . . . But even more basic, this poverty twists and deforms the spirit. The American poor are pessimistic and defeated, and they are victimized by mental suffering to a degree unknown in Suburbia . . . .
The millions who are poor in the United States tend to become increasingly invisible. Here is a great mass of people, yet it takes an effort of the intellect and will even to see them.

Adenan Manzur and his supporters are doing what America did as narrated by Harrington. The government is trying to make the other Malaysia invisible. Sure, we are told by Adenan Manzur, that he has given out bags of rice to the needy. I am sure that he has retained some empathy with the poor and the needy- after all in his past, he carried gas canisters for a living, sold carpets and all that. But the difference between what the kitchen soup operators do now and what Adenan Manzur did, is the former live out poverty as an experience. Adenan Manzur delegates his empathy for the poor through intermediaries.
This is the problem with the government. The poor, needy, the homeless vagabonds, the urban destitute all exist in the form of statistics. Recipients of foodstuffs, hampers, even money are bussed into halls and dewan serbaguna to meet up with BN leaders. Those are the able bodied chosen and selected by a network of village heads. The other Malaysia however remains invisible and continues remaining as footnotes to statistics. How they live, strived for sustenance, maimed in body and spirit,  exist outside the experience of detached leaders.

So today, I thought I wanted to write a bit on the other RAub. It is a world made up of the very poor, the people that UMNO choose to forget and maybe wants to hide from pesky prying eyes of the soup kitchen operators.
These are the people who lived on welfare of RM 300-400 a month. They are made up of the infirmed, the ones left behind, and the ones who do not interest publicity seeking UMNO politicians. These are probably the people whom Adenan Manzur does not wish to be seen around, lest they trouble the sensitivities of the denizens of the citadels of luxury and fine living in the Golden Triangle of Kuala Lumpur.


bumi-non-malay 7 July 2014 at 12:18  

orang miskin harus belajar BERONTAK Secara beramai-ramai....100,000 keluar DEMO....bangkit bantah berotak UMNO- ISIS- Boko haram Barang Naik ...

Anonymous,  7 July 2014 at 12:56  

The sooner UMNO/BN get kick out, the better place our Malaysia can be. The sight of these hypocrites UMNO politicians makes me sick.

Anonymous,  7 July 2014 at 15:42  

Dear Datuk Sak

Michael Harrington not only mentioned the "out of sight, out of mind" poor in Appalachia and the Mississippi delta in the USA.

He also mentioned the near poor, who may not be poor at the moment, but can easily fall into poverty because of economic recession (job loss). And, I would add, the near poor who become poor because of damage to their physical health -- such as losing an arm or a leg because of holding a demanding job in an unsafe working environment
3D jobs -- dirty, dangerous, degrading.

Phua Kai Lit

Anonymous,  7 July 2014 at 16:49  

By right, the tax payers' money should go to the poor and destitute people. Unfortunately, a lot of the funds continue to go into the thieves' pockets who now live in big mansions. Soon, blessed will be the poor and eternal wrath will be on the rich and powerful thieves. These are the idiotic fools who stole money for their children to enjoy while they will suffer in the Hereafter.

Anonymous,  7 July 2014 at 18:41  

Is adenan manzur the actual name of tengku adnan mansor? How can that happens?

Curious,  7 July 2014 at 20:01  

Hussein, is it true that this Adnan or Adenan is of common blood? I read an article where blue blood (royal blood?) was mentioned when writing about him. From where you got the information that he is not of royal descent?

Peter 7 July 2014 at 20:10  

Oops wrong blog. Was referring to Hussein's post ADNAN MANSOR IS A BLOODY IDIOT!:
"This Adnan Mansor who claims to be a Tengku (NOT!)"

I remembered him also saying something like "royal descent can be manufactured" when writing about Adnan Mansur.

bruno,  7 July 2014 at 21:12  

Dato,if Malaysia can have two sets of laws,it is no surprise that there existed such a thing as two Malaysias.

If Malaysia can have such a moron as Muhyiddin as DPM and education minister,screaming things like May 13,it is just a matter of time before all hell and chaos broke loose.Then we will have homeless and vagrants flooding Muhyiddin's mansion.And he will end up as a newly crowned member of the vagrant community.

Maybe rumors of Muhyiddin being push to the exits do hold some truth.Or else why is he as DPM practicing fear mongering and racial politics.To create trouble so that he can hang on his position by a thread.

The opposition must not entertain these bigots by going tit for tat and thus falling into their trap.Cooler heads must prevail.Today,I read an article by Nat Tan in the star about MB Khalid.It does make sense what he said about Khalid not making thunder over no rain.Maybe Khalid is much smarter as a politician then most of the big mouthed screaming empty barrel politicians of his own party or Umno.

the mean machine,  7 July 2014 at 21:29  

There can only be vagrants,homeless and the very poor who are living below the poverty levels in a country which is so rich in natural resources,when the leaders and powerful politicians are entrenched in mass corruption.

Anonymous,  7 July 2014 at 23:19  

Most of us who are paid wages on a monthly basis are just one pay-cheque away from bankruptcy. Hence, we do not have the luxury to care about the end and focus on the means.

Anonymous,  8 July 2014 at 09:30  

orang miskin harus belajar BERONTAK Secara beramai-ramai....100,000 keluar DEMO....bangkit bantah berotak UMNO- ISIS- Boko haram Barang Naik ...................

saya setuju dengan pendapat diatas.

Kita perlu demo untuk barang naik dan tukar kerajaan

Tetapi, demo yang ada di Selangor dan Pulau Pinang hanlya untuk melemahkan PAKATAN dan si demo itu tidak diambil tindakan.

Saya heran kanapa si demo itu cuma atau asyik cakap pasal islam terggugga dan bukan demo untuk barang naik yang menyusahkan orang miskin? (kebanyakan org melayu)

Inilah Umno yang membelah cronies dan bukan golongan yang miskin.

Anonymous,  8 July 2014 at 09:46  

These are the people who do not know there is such a thing as BR1M. Even if they are entitled to it the money may have been taken by some "other people".
I would say we can "Another ......." for any town in the country.
Poverty is rampant if only one goes out to find them.

Anonymous,  8 July 2014 at 10:16  

Dear Datuk Sak

There's also the working poor (actually, the HARD-WORKING poor).

We need a reasonable minimum wage to enhance the welfare of the
working poor. This has been called the "living wage".

Furthermore, we need heavily subsidised, efficient public services too i.e. education, health, public transport services etc funded by tax payer money.
All aspects of the Welfare State that have been under attack by right-wing intellectuals (in Western countries) or undermind by wasteful, rent-seeking privatisation contracts here in Malaysia.

Phua Kai Lit

Anonymous,  8 July 2014 at 10:59  

This blog ought to have a FB link YB. It's not for self adulation but to ensure that many gems written here are widely disseminated to others, owing the multiplier wide reach of the social media.
Like vital air drop supplies, it loses its purpose if it doesnt land on its intended target or only little that does so.
Selamat Berpuasa YB,  8 July 2014 at 15:51  

I wonder, how much attention did PR give any damn to this group of people (the other RAUB)so far?

Answer : NONE!

Anonymous,  8 July 2014 at 17:24  

Dato, you should also weigh in on the Other Johore. If there is no proper separation of powers, the real danger as higlighted by Dr M is surely on the horizon:
* royal stake in Petronas Johore projects
* royal stake in land development projects with foreign nationals
where do loyalties lie, in business or national?
What is the JB Menteri Besar doing?

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