Reality bites with Kak Lehot

A LOCAL radio station has unleashed a sharp-tongued, quick-talking phenomenon known as Kak Lehot.

Sarawakians who tune in to this particular station will attest to the hilarity, yet very real everyday issues brought up by Kak Lehot over the airwaves through a daily segment called ‘Zon Inggar bersama Kak Lehot’.

For those who do not really understand Bahasa Sarawak, ‘inggar’ basically means ‘menyampah’ in Bahasa Malaysia, and in English, it refers to things that just drive you nuts or up the wall.

Those who have never listened to Kak Lehot’s segment really should. Be warned though, that the segment is entirely in our local Bahasa Sarawak.

Even those of us who think we speak and understand Bahasa Sarawak may have a little trouble following her, as she uses ‘bahasa lama’ with words that are seldom heard these days.

The oomph factor that gets people listening and wanting more from Kak Lehot is how she ‘ngerepak’ (nags and complains) about little things that get to us everyday and eventually offers some words of wisdom in a very ‘Mak Nenek’ (grandmotherly) manner.

The humorous, but cynical way in which she approaches these issues, her unscripted and scolding words literally makes one roll over with laughter.

And yet, it gets us thinking about the reality of human behaviour and idiosyncrasies that we experience daily.

One may even accuse her of being bitchy, but really, one has to have an open mind towards criticism to appreciate the messages that Kak Lehot is trying to convey to the public.

Among the topics that Kak Lehot has given a piece of her mind on over the airwaves are abuse cases, speed demons on the road, those irritating moviegoers, lepak culture, smokers, minah rempit (yes, the female version of mat rempit), snobbishness (Lehot calls these group of people snobby) and the power hungry.

Even those who indulge in karaoke have not escaped Kak Lehot’s sharp tongue.

The Eye especially enjoyed her segments on office politics (about those who go around trying to butter up their bosses) and pengilan or wedding receptions (where guests, ladies namely, try to out-dress and out-accessorise one another).

As for her segment on the power hungry, she hit the nail on the head when she pointed out that there are those who want to head every committee available – despite not having the brains, dedication and actual leadership skills – just for the sake of ‘glamour’ and the feeling of being in power.

But just who is Kak Lehot, really? At this point, she is a faceless character with a distinct voice over the airwaves who brings us daily doses of hard hitting reality in the mornings.

Over the Internet, she is represented by a somewhat ugly caricature that somehow looks like a bespectacled dude in a red dress with his hair up in a bun. It makes one wonder if Lehot in actual fact is a dude, and not a lady.

But the little mystery adds to the appeal of Kak Lehot and her segments.

Her catchy tag-line ‘kau tek kacak?’ (loosely translated – you think you’re so good?) has become a household phrase among many locals.

But do not attempt to use it if you just can’t speak Bahasa Sarawak.

There is a particular way of saying it – the intonation has to be just right for it to bear its meaning or to get across to the person it’s meant for.

So if you’ve missed her on the airwaves, not to worry, Kak Lehot is everywhere these days and you can catch up with her words of wisdom on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.

Comments can reach the writer via columnists@theborneopost.com.

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