The animal kingdom of Bolehland continues to thrive according to the laws of the jungle but Sang Kancil has still not appeared on the scene. When will s/he come to sort out the chaos and bring peace and justice to Bolehland, wonders Oldwives’ Tales.
In Malaysia we have a rich tradition of animal folk tales. The mouse-deer that children fondly know as Sang Kancil symbolises intelligence, wit and wisdom. Sang Buaya the Crocodile is a slow but crafty and brutish animal who uses vicious force to get what he wants. Sang Kera or Sang Monyet the Monkey is also a cunning and wily character who is in jovial competition with others in grabbing as much as possible for himself via ruse and trick. Sang Kera is often portrayed as being slightly dim based on the ancient belief that holds Sang Kancil as the personification of virtue.
In the adult world, the characteristics attributed to and symbolised by these childhood folk tale animals are brought into sharp relief, reflected in the antics and behaviour of some politicians and leaders in society. A true Sang Kancil has yet to be found! So whilst Malaysians search for Sang Kancil, we still have to contend with the Sang Keras and Sang Buayas who run rampant within our society and apparently have grabbed the reins of power for themselves in certain sectors.
The Sang Kera troop often look for good things and when they find them, usually fail to appreciate or learn how to use them to best advantage. Like bananas, these are simply consumed and the peel discarded everywhere, littering the environment with never-ending piles of garbage. Some of this garbage may be recycled or re-used, but Sang Kera doesn’t know or isn’t bothered to consider the possibility. To him, supplies of good things are unlimited, and he must always be provided the best but disposes of it the moment some new novelty catches his attention.
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In a garden of beautiful flowers, Sang Kera picks as much as he can hold, squats on the ground looking, smelling, tasting each one. He then pulls out the petals, scattering them everywhere and goes off leaving the mess in his wake when he is bored of this activity. Next, he looks around for another interesting project to start with no commitment to completing it. He lives only for today and is totally oblivious to wastage. Hence, we can understand what bagai kera mendapat bunga (like a monkey getting a flower) means.
Sang Buaya, is a malicious, vicious but slothful creature. He loves lying low on muddy river banks, waiting for his meals to come by. Working hard is merely an option for him – for he usually prefers to sit in the sun and doze till hunger pangs force him to hunt for prey if none are in sight.
Sang Buaya likes to get things the easy way and habitually uses others to do his dirty work for him whiles he reaps the benefits and the credit for what he did not do himself. Still, his craftiness and use of deception to fulfil his desires knows no bounds. He is a slave of acquisition and avarice. If any creature is impertinent enough to refuse his demands, it is in danger of total annihilation!
Beware of Sang Buaya! His sharp teeth and steel jaws will make mincemeat of you!
To preserve their domination in the animal kingdom, Sang Kera and Sang Buaya partly rely on Sang Katak to maintain a supply of supporters for their cause by creating weak links in the defences of any opposition parties on the ground challenging their rule.
Sang Katak the Frog, is a ‘wait-and-see’ creature that jumps into the pond he finds currently most favourable; he is always on the look out for a better offer from anyone willing to give it. Sang Katak also lives for his own survival, which depends on that of Sang Buaya and Sang Kera. He is willing to serve them regardless of the cost as long as they continue to meet his requirements. His inclination is to kick them off should Sang Harimau’s (the Tiger) influence prove stronger and more lucrative. So, Sang Katak will always be safe in the slimy, murky waters of his wet nether world where mercenary frogs thrive. Rebet, rebet, rebet…
The animal kingdom of Bolehland continues to thrive according to the laws of the jungle but Sang Kancil has still not appeared on the scene. When will s/he come to sort out the chaos and bring peace and justice to Bolehland?
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