Saturday, June 07, 2008

What can I say?

Thursday. It was one of those days when the whole country reeled from shock. Petrol prices were going up by 78 sen per litre or 41%(24 cents?) from midnight, Friday. The road I was on was jammed because morons were queing up to get their tanks filled. Engines idling in the time they took to wait didn't seem to bother them much, although that is one of the factors that use up petrol. And they caused such a massive jam all over town!

Kiasuism to the core (and to think that we call our southern neighbours kiasu - which they are, but I don't want to start a verbal war here)

Anyway, I was tuned to my new favourite radio station, and the dj was asking the people to cool down. Waiting for two hours at any petrol station is not going to save your 78 sen per litre. And to think of all the petrol that is wasted. Doesn't anyone care for the environment anymore? What I thought was cool though was that the dj played this song which I remember from the time I was a small girl. (I had totally forgotten about the song until I heard it again! It was one of my favourite local songs back then) It's titled Apo nak Dikato (What can I say? - The title is so appropriate for the situation at hand, I thought) and I thought it would be nice to share this song.

It was released back in 1981 by a group called Blues Gang, and remains famous till today. It's in Malay (with Negri Sembilan dialect thrown in). After checking out the lyrics, I sort of noticed that other than the title, the song has nothing to do with petrol prices. Instead it deals with the daily lives of the people of Negri Sembilan. I lived in Port Dickson, Negri Sembilan until the age of 12, but have never come across the dialect before!

I have translated the Malay lyrics to English

Poi pokan naik basika (Going to town on a bicycle)
Tongah haghi tongah paneh (In the middle of a hot day)
Apo dayo motong gotah (Not sure what this means - but something about cutting rubber?)
Apo nak dikato (What Can I say)
Kalau boleh nak jadi cikgu sekolah (If it's possible I'd like to be a school teacher)
Kek Kolo Pilah (in Kuala Pilah)

Sawah leba kobau banyak (A large field with many bufalloes)
Air pigi sojuk sekali ( Water in the well is cold)
Sunyi sopi takdo oghang (It's silent cause there's nobody around)
Apo nak dikato (What can I say?)
Kalau boleh nak bising-bising ( If it's possible, we's like some noise)
Macam pokan Tampin (Just like the town of Tampin)

Tanak nasik bogheh kampong (Cooking rice ??)
Masak lomak cili (lado) api (Cooking lemak cili padi)
Mesen padi takdo lai (No paddy harvesting machine)
Apo nak dikato (What can I say)
Ramai oghang dah kojo kilang (Most people work in the factories)
Kek pokan Seghomban (In Seremban)

( roll )

Batu Ompek Toluk Komang (4th mile, Teluk Kemang)
Tompek oghang mandi mando (The place where people swim)
Aghi minggu ponoh sosak (Crowded in the weekends)
Apo nak dikato (What can I say)
Air laut bertambah masin (The sea becomes saltier)
Kek pokan Port Dickson (In Port Dickson)


  1. That video wasn't bad! I like the guys voice. He actually has a good blues voice. Fuel prices are going up everywhere unfortunately. It is fabricated shortage. My theory is the oil cartels know something we don't. Fuel prices have doubled in the US in less than two years and expected to climb another dollar within 30 days. Imagine leaving the US (Im in Japan now) when the fuel prices are 3.25 per gallon and coming home to 5USD per gallon!

  2. Thanks for the translation of the lyrics. High gas prices are something we all need to adjust to in one way or another.

  3. Not sure what this means - but something about cutting rubber?

    Found this adorable for some reason.

    Believe it or not I live on a highway. The busiest in the country (makes a normally pricey apartment cheap to rent, go figure) and I also live directly across the road from a service station (if I stand up right now and look out the window I would be able to see it) so I get to see the price rise and fall everyday. When I moved into this place four years ago the price was under a dollar, it has risen 60 - 70% since. Thankfully I'm not a driver, for now.

  4. Our gas prices just went up too. Sigh.

    Its becoming really difficult just to get into work in the mornings and back home in the evenings.

    Im actually feeling the difference on my monthly bank account.

  5. cyberfish: There's something they're not telling us. What was strange here was that just the day before they said that there will be no raise, and then there was a last minute change of plan. That was the reason for the 'shock'

    travis: yeah, I guess that's true.

    orhan: It must be pretty noisy then. That's one thing I noticed as well. The price of petrol/gas seems to have steadily increased in the recent years.

    ss: It's teribble, the way prices of everything has escalated. First rice, now petrol/gas, and over here, electricity as well (Because of the diesel price)


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