These are truly trying times, especially with the economic downturn, coupled with deadly flu infection worldwide. Business is down. People are losing their jobs everywhere. To make matters worse, some are weighted down with further troubles, over and above their existing problems.
Take this man for example – Shahidan Kassim. He used to have a comfy job. He was the Menteri Besar of Perlis, from 1995 till 2008. The job came with a secure position, lots of clout, a decent salary and lots of perks. Shahidan has an official car with a driver, an official house with lots of other “official what-not”. It is a job better that a CEO of a multinational company.
But all good things must come to an end. Or to put it another way – in these trying times, one can fall from grace. This was what Shahidan had to go through. He fell with a loud thud. He lost his job.
Though now in his wilderness, a man would still do what a man has to do to feed his family. That was what Shahidan did. Instead of complaining bitterly about his hard luck, he quickly set out to look for another job. But for Shahidan’s case, he was a tad bit lucky. He was the president of the Perlis Football Association. So, he decided to devote his time and effort to being a good and full-time president of the PFA.
But as luck would have it, the PFA has fallen on hard times as well. No grants were channelled to the PFA. Their football stars were not paid their salary. The players sold their cars and cycled 25 miles to the stadium to play matches on empty stomachs. A benevolent Shahidan would see none of this. Although himself on hard times, he took it upon himself to pay the players salary from his own pockets. He claims to be now pokai because he has to spend up to RM200, 000 a month.
When Shahidan’s cash withered away, he carried on to help his players. He sought funds elsewhere. In the local Kosmo daily, he was reported to have said, “”Sekarang saya terpaksa berhutang untuk tanggung PFA, saya sudah keluarkan wang simpanan dan kini saya betul-betul ‘kering’ dan kena berhutang lagi untuk bayar gaji mereka (pemain dan pegawai). Saya menanggung PFA lebih daripada saya menjaga keluarga saya. Akibat tidak cukup wang untuk sara persatuan ini dengan ah long pun saya dah kena pinjam sekarang.”
Poor Shahidan! He has already lost his job, he has lost his money and now he owes the Ah Long!
We Malaysians do hate the Ah Longs. Why are they messing up the lives of good hardworking Malaysians? What can we do to stop the Ah Long menace? Will they take over the Perlis Football Association and turn it into Ah Long United FC and turn it into a world class club?
I strongly urge Michael Chong and the government to step in to help honest hardworking Malaysians like Shahidan Kassim (who have contributed so much and ask nothing in return) to combat hard times and to eradicate the Ah Long social ill once and for all. Please give Shahidan the chance that he deserves.