Attended a dinner party at a super posh KL residence last night.
Excellent cuisine, interesting conversation . . . the usual spectacle of the gouty Old Rich shuffling with latest trophy spouse in hand . . . and glazed-eyed OKBs bedecked with honorifics from glorified potentates arriving in their sleek limos and pimped supercars rolling on custom forged wheels – Forgiato and Savini and Nutek and Lexani – costing more than the average sedan.
The mealtime merriment was true to form . . . the ebullient hosts and exuberant guests indulging in joyous laughter as servants served a smörgåsbord of delectable hors d'oeuvres and apéritifs spread across the huge Burmese teak main table . . . followed by wickedly decadent main dishes and finished off with a giddy selection of sumptuous desserts as guests' palates are tantalized with the seductive flavors of a dozen of the world's best coffees.
The hosts' two teenage kids made a cameo. They nonchalantly waded through the sea of glitzy silk and ravishing songket and glittering jewelry and other ostentatious accoutrements of wealth and headed my way (incorrectly guessing En. KijangMas must be a character of social significance, ha ha . . . ). One lightly kissed my hand while his sis curtsied with the obligatory bashfulness . . . reflective of their Malay upper crust upbringing . . . and after a fleeting moment of pleasantries, jumped into separate million ringgit sports cars and sped off from the family mansion onto the twisty streets as they roared downhill into KL's vibrant nightlife.
After some small talk with an arms dealer and a gentleman of leisure, grabbed a cup of good coffee – it's full bodied caramelly fruitiness reminiscent of my own Lampung special blend – and planted myself in a supercomfy armchair. Began to observe the dynamics of this crowd . . . an eclectic collection of KL's moneyed class and their retinue of fawning sycophants and hangers-on. One guy that I've known since Standard Four inherited a multi-billion ringgit communications solutions group and a major oilfield services company plus a couple dozen other businesses.
We were in many overseas trade missions led by the former PM . . . yes, the elder statesman now heinously maligned by the same discredited mainstream media that in years past scrambled head over heals to outdo one another in praising him. Another character, now in his seventies, gave Ferraris to each of his kids on their 17th birthdays. And another guest, a well-known banking personality, gave his son a Porsche Carrera on the kid's 15th birthday, took over the wheel on the old Seremban Highway, and duly crashed it, breaking his leg . . . and some of his pride.
And yet another now super duper rich tycoon actually met me over two decades ago when he was an ambitious fledgling Kedah cattle farmer.
Eavesdropped on the various conversations. Mostly superficial chatter insulated from the many issues and challenges faced by the ordinary Rakyat out there. No complaints about the maneuverings of the thieving rascals to keep the loot that will ultimately be underwritten by the Rakyat's sweat and no mention of their multitude of lies and trickeries to avoid slammer time; no thoughts on the economic hardships faced by the common folk; no real comprehension of the ever growing economic gap between the Haves and the Have Nots; no concern of the Lost Decade for the Middle Class, where real income has been stagnant or fallen backward, purchasing power shrunk and wealth accumulation including home ownership reduced to a pipe dream.
All I hear are pricey health spa trips, exotic vacations, maid problems, inattentive spouses, insolent kids . . . and supercars, superbikes, superstars, supermodels, superstitions, superstructure, supercharger, supermarket and superstore . . . in all their puke inducing superfluous superficial goriness.
As I struggled to hold in the broiled bison balls stuffed with seared foie gras, diced truffle and poached matsutake and tangerine, along came a profound epiphany . . . a sudden and striking realization:-
These people are entrenched beneficiaries of the present system . . . . not unlike the super rich of late Marcos Era Philippines.
Welcome to the Malay Privileged Class.