These ingenious kampung youths had no formal education in mechanics; yet they showed us we have much potential for innovation in our backyard, writes JD Lovrenciear.
The story of two rural brothers who improvised their motorbikes so they could ride in neck-deep flood waters is one of more than innovation.
As reported in The Sun Daily (11 December 2019), “two young men from Kampung Banggol, Setiu, managed to ride their motorcycles through a deeply flooded road.
Setiu is the least populated district in the state of Terengganu.
“The brave and ingenious efforts of Ikram Shahidi Mat Kail, 24, and his brother, Muhammad Zakaria, 22, awed the public.
“The modified Modenas Kriss 110 and Honda C70 motorcycles they rode not only functioned when fully submerged in water, but could still move at a fast pace even when water-level reached the riders’ necks.”
The facts that emerged from this feat that came to global notice thanks to social media are:
- These youths had no formal mechanical education
- They were not “malas” (lazy) as some would like us to believe [Think also of the fishermen and farmers who work tirelessly at sea or in paddy fields. Or the office peon who holds two jobs just to stay afloat financially.]
- Poverty and kampung life need not be a cradle for failures in society
- So-called ‘development’ and the obsession with making more money need not be the be all and end all
Probably there are many more great life experiences in the unsung kampungs and villages where folks have proven time and time again we have the brains for greater success – if not for the ‘Malay Dilemma’ that continues to haunt us.
Despite the government’s re-invented technical and vocational education and training, we probably do not have a nationwide system in place to spot talent early. We have to provide young people with all the help and incentives – minus the political strings attached – to bring their enterprising, innovative talents to greater fruition.