What is your profession or what line are you in,is the most highly asked question among people today? Some may say that they are doctors,engineers,lawyers,teachers and many other highly paid professional jobs that they hold in this secular world. And not to mentioned it they are ever so proud to say what they are doing, unlike the fishermen of the sea!
When I attended a program in Parit Buntar regarding about the issues faced by the fishermen, it was really very sad indeed to know what they are going through day by day. It is never an easy profession for them. By the way, why I used the term as profession is because these fishermen has a profession too. They are professional fishermen at sea! You and I will never be able to stand the storm and waves that hit against their fishing boats. Yet, they have this low esteem thing within them.
These fishermen has the attitude of low esteem within them. They think themselves as uneducated beings and that they are thought lowly by people. When there was an ice breaking session, I felt really heart broken when they introduced themselves saying that they are the community of people who are uneducated! What is true education?Is education everything? It is not what we learn in the classroom is real education but what is learnt in the real world outside there is the real education that we need to educate ourselves on. Education in the real world consists of farming,animal rearing,hunting,social skills,story telling,cooking,music,house building,games,swimming,water management,fishing,boating and many other things. Many of these are not taught in schools!
Every single fishermen is as important as any other people who are professionals in the secular world. They may not be educated or well learned people. But they have talents that we do not have! It is a God given talent to them. With their hands they cast their nets early in the morning living their families and going out to the sea even before the sun rises. They wrestle,fight and stand against the strong waves and current that hits their fishing boats.They have that strong spirit within them. They are the brave ones that conquers the sea.
How much do we know about the life of a fishermen? How do they survive? They do not live in big mansions and bungalows as how many of us are living in. They do not own big and expensive vehicles. All they have is most probably a simple motorbike and their fishing boats. How do they have a quality time with their family? What is their entertainment? They live in a fishing village away from town.There is no entertainment at all! They are not city people but people of the sea. How do their kids go to school? It is noted that in Teluk Senangin there are 80% of kids who are not going to school. It is so far away from town. Have we ever pondered on all these things about the life of a fishermen and his family?
Each day we have good food displayed on our table. We have all kinds of food that we need for our bodies to function. We need protein for our bodies and the best is to consume it from the fishes! We have variety of fishes that are abundant in the sea. If not for the fishermen how are we going to have our fishes on that table? See, how important these fishermen are to each one of us? We can hold highly paid jobs, but we need the hands of the fishermen to cast the fishing net out in the vast sea to bring back the fishes so that we could have them on our table. It is not only the fishes but all the marine life that is in the sea such as the prawns,crabs,squids and many other seafood that is rich in the sea.
Today my friends, besides the farmers, the poorest people are the fishermen. They that go out to the sea to bring back the seafood that we need to consume are living in a very dire situation that none of us ever took the time to think about it. There are govt bodies that are suppose to look into their welfare state,but are they doing it? Middle people only want to make big $$$$$ from these fishermen by buying the marine products from them at a very low price! This is a real saddening situation! It is not only enough giving them subsidy for their petrol and diesel and a monthly amount of RM 250.00. Is that what the fishermen really need? There are more to it that the government is not looking into. Or is it by giving them all these things the govt wants to keep them under their control??
These fishermen too needs a good life for his family. Why can’t the govt upgrade their standard of living? Their income is from the sea and that is where they love to live. Build good houses with electricity and with all the basic needs needed. Let them handle their own business by opening stalls for them to sell their catch from the sea! Build schools for the fishermen’s children nearby their fishing village. Friends, if you have the time, go and see the lifestyle of a fishermen in a fishing village. They live in a drastic situation unlike us. The hands that brings us the catch from the sea needs us and the govt to hear their cry. What is your call and the governments call to the “Cry Of The Fishermen” in our country today? Give a thought on that.
God Bless “The Hands Of Our Fishermen.”