Double Standard : Remembering Kafe Do Re Mi

A short visit to Penang recently has really openned up my eyes to a few things. It has been a while for me to be in Penang. The last time was when my wife and I went to the newly launched Queensbay Mall few years back (wow that was like lama sangat dah tu). Penang has tremendously changed since.

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The brand new Hard Rock Hotel in Penang is a must visit point for me. FYI I’m a Hard Rock Cafe (HRC) fan. Everywhere I go in the world if there’s a HRC, definitely I’ll drop by. HRC shot glass collector myself is. I got tonnes of those glasses, in fact I’ve to put them in boxes since no more place for me to display them. The best part of HRC is its live-performance-cafe. A true rock n roll music. It’s not a pub but a small RnR hall of fame where people can bang their heads while enjoying good food (seems a tough job though).

Another thing is, everything in Penang now is more in English than bahasa kebangsaan. In fact, at the back of Rapid Penang buses there is a sign saying “Please give way to buses“. DUH! I wonder if none of Penangnites who are the majority of road users can understand bahasa Melayu. Thought bahasa jiwa bangsa? No wonder every single place, residential in Penang now is using mat saleh name instead of Melayu. The state government seems really enjoying doing this. I once read in the bahasa act (I don’t really remember the code and the actual name of the act, google it) it’s the responsibility of the local government (answerable to state government) to enforce the use and misuse of bahasa kebangsaan in its area. Well, bravo to both state and local governments for the job well done!

Rapid PenangAlthough there are a lot more to list down of Penang achivements, I just wanna highlight an unjust and double standard approach of state government to its people. Remember Kafe Do Re Mi, a famous kafe in Tanjung Bungah that had served thousands of locals and visitors. It was torn down by the state government last Mei to give way to new projects. But their reasons for tearing down that sentimental kafe were it was unsafe and obstructing traffic. I just can’t see why it was unsafe since it had been standing more than eight years already. Obstructing traffic? Just take a left turn from the ferry jetty if you arrive in Penang thru its famous ferry service. You can see more than 10 old shop houses which have been obstructing traffic for more than 20 years. Even lamp posts and electricity cable posts are literally in side their shops. So one can always (or should ) ask, where is the street reserve? Nobody care and nobody say anything. Why? Is it because one can find bakuteh there?

The only thing that has never changed is the road users attitude.  It’s easier to say that I prefer driving in KL thru massive traffic jams then driving in Penang during lunch time. Man, their recklessness, attitude and impatience really get on my nerves (no heart feeling Penangnites 🙂 ). Nevertheless, I’d my time at HRC Penang. Long Live Rock n Roll!

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