Of Chicken & Banana

In my course of practice, I encountered a lot of interesting conversations with unique characters created by God. Recently I am a solicitor on record for, let’s name him, Pak Hitam of Kampung Tanjung Sepat, Banting, Selangor. I am defending him in a land acquisition matter where his land has been acquired by the Government pursuant to Land Acquisition Act 1960.

The proviso in the Act accords the ruling government a right to acquire privately-owned piece of land for a price. Disputes often occur on the basis that the government usually acquires the land at nominal price instead of the current market value. The land owners usually appoint a lawyer to represent them in a tussle to get higher price for the land at High Court of Malaya.

Here is our phone conversation – in verbatim – to remind me why certain matter may be trivial to the Government but otherwise to the Rakyat.

Assalamulaikum Cik Elviza,” Pak Hitam greeted me as his call went through my line.

W’salam Pak… apa khabar? Lama saya tak dengar cerita Pak Hitam dan kawan-kawan di Tanjung Sepat,” I replied back

Alhamdullilah. Hari tuh ada Pakcik suruh anak hantar pisang setandan kat ofis cik, ada dapat ker,” Pak Hitam asked me cheerfully.

He is indeed a client from heaven as opposed to those high-profile clients who usually raise hell to yours truly at slightest opportunity.

Ada, terima kaseh banyak Pak Cik. Dah habis pun saya makan!” Yours truly loves banana to bits. Pak Hitam laughed outloud.

Ni, saya tengah baca surat yang anak hantar pada Pakcik nih… Jadi kerajaan dah bagi tawaran kenaikan lah untuk tanah saya tuh ye?” Pak Hitam further asked.

Saya Pak, terpulang lah pada Pak Hitam nak terima atau tidak. Kalau tak nak diterima, kita lawan lah kat Mahkamah.” I painstakingly explained the same issue to him. But since the delivery of the banana, Pak Hitam could ask me anything under the sky.

Cubalah Cik Elviza pikir, ada ker reban ayam saya tuh diaorang nak bayar RM150 aje? Modal saya buat reban tuh pun dah dekat seribu. Belum campur dedak, beli anak ayam, beli lampu, bekas air bagai…” Pak Hitam lamented, his voice was laced with despair.

Yours truly gulped and gasped for air. Sense of pity was palpable in the air. I wish I could do more for him.

Saya paham Pak… tapi itu tawaran rasmi, saya mesti kena bagitau Pak Hitam. Terpulang lah pada budi bicara Pakcik samada nak diterima atau ditolak,” I replied hopelessly.

Pak Hitam heaved an audible long sigh and said,

Dah lah tanah diambil murah, reban Pak Cik tu pun diaorang tak nak bayar. Dulu bila Pak Cik balek dari kebun, Pak Cik suka jaga ayam ayam tuh, sekarang nih dah tak boleh…

Tak pe lah Cik, nanti saya akan kemukakan pada Mahkamah semua ini Pak Cik,” said yours truly.

Buatlah yang terbaik nak, kalau dah tak boleh nak buat macamana, ” said Pak Hitam forlornly.

The question is now, would the Judge understand Pak Hitam’s predicament or his sadness over that mere flock of chicken he used to have? I have faith, I have faith still.


11 thoughts on “Of Chicken & Banana

  1. This story so….touched me Elv. I hope things turn out ok for him. Sometimes the law has nothing to do with justice and fairness.

    but I guess, pak hitam will be railroaded too because to make an exception will be to set a precedent.

    I’ll keep my fingers crossed for him.

  2. Elviza
    I have faith, I have faith that you can make a difference. Give it your best shot, and do it with your heart of gold. What an adrenalin-pumping experience.

  3. Madam,

    I never knew any lawyer in my life but I follow blogs in between my shifts at the hospital.

    I refrain myself from judging you at the first few read of this charming blog of yours.

    Over the months (coming to a year I think now) I must say you are such a real person unlike those typical lawyer I always imagine. Forgive me then.

    I must say this style of writing suits you most even though I can sense your anger and frustration on Malaysiakini web portal last week.

    I believe you will do well in any field of your choice. Good luck Madam.

  4. Cik Elviza,
    Maafin, saya takleh nak hantar setandan pisang…tapi saya boleh hantar reusable bang M&S, boleh?

    As a law student yang tak pass, let focus the strength to argue with Kerajaan Bangang using the right to live and let live for the anak ayam and the Human Rights, i.e. that Pak Hitam will be forever traumatised of being made to live without the anak ayam…

    Make sense ke?

  5. Ma’am,

    Let’s hope that PakHitam got a win-win proposal from the govt. At least we can hope for the best since u’ve done all the necessary hardwork.

    ps: How’s Yati Ayam Percik?

  6. Sis, all of us do have different value kan. If I ask you to put a value on that “setandan pisang” that pak hitam sent you, you wont be able to. But if you ask the judge, he would put it at something like RM30. Love, appreciation and gratitude are not included, of course.

    You must really be a nice lawyer to have to get that “setandan pisang” sent to you all the way from Banting…

  7. Cik Elviza,

    My sister is lawyer and she dreads being one. But I can’t say the same about you. I must tell her to read your blog. I enjoyed this one. Kudos!

  8. Ms writer,

    Go on having faith. I have lost all mine – including the judiciry of this country.

    But we must optimists like you to march on….. Good luck

  9. I have never blogged nor read anyone’s. Simply because I am so “ulu” when it comes to the world of IT. It so happened I bought a copy of Malay Mail today and this picture of a beautiful oriental lady with a sword in hands caught my eyes. That and your photo reminds me of my favourite actress Uma Thurman in KillBill. So i decided to check out your blog and yes…your blog on the above land deal reminds me of Erin Brokovich..no doubt I am a fan already….

    Dear Katie, I am just a normal, a bit crazy kind of person. Welcome to my humble home… 🙂

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