Di Bawoh Rang Ikang Kering
Random Ramblings of A Retired Retainer

Credit Card 555

Friday, March 04, 2005
( I am letting my Guest Blogger, the inimitable DERUMO, loose on the blog today, unedited, unrestrained, unplugged)

The Campong Credit Card (KKK - Kredit Kad Kampong) had been used since a long time ago in Malaysia. That before the coming of Visa Card , Master Card, , Cart Blanc, Ala Carte, American Express , or KL-KT Ekspres, etc. It was the advance method of spending on credit by the rural and town folk in those days... The rural folks who were mainly rubber tappers, small farmers and fishermen are the main users of the Malaysian KKK. It was also used by the town folks especially among the factory workers, lorry drivers etc. Among the rubber smallholders and to her agricultural produce and fishermen, they have to sell their rubber smoke sheet (RSS) to the village shop who acted as the supplier of provisions and all other daily needs.

So, these rural folks always opened their accounts with the KKK centre provision shop owners who will sell their produce to them. Upon the sale of their produce, the account will be contra at the end of the month- leaving some cash which the man will bring the family to eat out rojak or mee goring in the nearby town what is in the shopping list for the provision shop in the nearby town? rice from the jute sack with green lining, or wrapped in thick brown paper, flour by the white khaki gunnies, tin of biscuits, pucuk ( fu chuk) , bilis , dried fish and dried sotong and salted eggs. These were the main provisions that will be brought back in the trishaw together with the passengers.

It also happened at the regular coffee shop, gerai teh tarik, work place canteens etc. They took their breakfast, tea break, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, high tea and tell the canteen owner "Masuk Akaun." No need to produce your card. No need to sign or check up your credit reference. Just mention your name and it is all done and the best of all no need to check whether it is the entry into the right book. Since you don't have to pay in cash - you will order large amount of food i.e. Roti canai, roti telur jantan, roti telur betina, nasi lemak, roti bakar kaya kawin mentiga, empat biji telur separuh masak - a very sumptuous breakfast. However, when full moon comes and their monthly pay comes and the 555 Note Book comes, then they asked themselves how come no money this month? The food order for that day was off the regular menu - only nasi kosong with telur mata kerbau and air suam.

One day I was in a supermarket with a push cart load of provisions. I joined a long queue of patient shoppers with full load of provisions too. When it came to my turn, the cashier said that the counter was for credit card only. It was my mistake not noticing the sign of credit card. However, after waiting for half an hour, I was trying to pay cash at the counter but the tiller refused. So I commented sarcastically and loudly "Jadi kaunter ini untuk orang berhutang sahaja? Bayar cash tak boleh lah." Her answer was "bukan hutang Encik counter ini beli secara kredit sahaja." Obviously, she did not really understand the meaning of credit (I hope with the teaching of English in Maths and Science in the school, many of our younger generations will understand the meaning of the word credit. I said loudly again "kredit tu hutang lah - barisan ini untuk orang yang berhutang lah" and made my way to join another long queue at the next counter The other shoppers queuing on the line get annoyed since I told them that they cannot pay cash and have to berhutang. The connotation was different when you buy on credit as compared berhutang, It was my mistake looking for the cashier thinking that I can pay cash but some of them were creditors counter. I propose that instead of labeling the counter as cashier , credit card, the shopping complex and supermarket should labeled it in Bahasa Melayu Malaysia as "BAYAR TUNAI" and "HUTANG".