Later in the day, Rosyam Nor, the 2-time Asia Pacific Film Festival Award-winning Malaysian film producer and stage actor will be in Perkampungan Melayu, Geylang, to audition the public for his coming DVD telemovie, 'Cinta Selat Tebrau'.
He is said to be the lead (?) actor.
The local actress, among others, will be Mastura Ahamd, a well known local tv personality.
I surfed the net if 'Cinta Selat Tebrau' will be based on novel which I have yet to read, but I doubt so, being Rosyam will be the hero.
There's only one online short storey found.
Yes, Selat Tebrau has many love stories to unfold.
If the straits can communicate, Selat Tebrau links and breaks many hearts - Many lives and many families too.
I could not remember when was the first time I crossed the Tebrau Straits but it was usually to follow My Late Father visiting His only cousin who travelled with Him together from Central Java, who lived in Kampong Melayu Majidi.
Subsequently when I married and stay across the causeway, it made many hearts worry - The tenants whom My Father rent out houses in Geylang Serai when I was younger, were almost 100% from across the causeway.
Generally they worked in Singapore as construction workers building flats.
Some of them married Singaporeans and having families.
When they were no more working, some uprooted their families to go back to their homeland across the causeway.
Many others left their Singapore wife and children to self defend themselves - These cause more worry for My Parents, Brothers and Sisters as I have no one to turn to in times of need.
The experience of a late ex-neighbour who has had the daughter married off, followed the husband 'balik kampung' and left to tend padi field in Negri Sembilan worried them more.
The lady's husband, as I was informed by her sister, did not bother to renew the wife's travelling documents. That is to say, she lives illegally in Negri Sembilan.
As time passed, it is My turn to worry for those who married across the causeway.
There was once when I was at the checkpoint, I bumped into an old neighbour, whom I knew had moved to KL.
Yes, she was still staying in KL then, but work the 12-hour shift in Seagate Singapore.
The 3 or 4 days she's in Singapore working, she stayed over at her mother's house.
She will travel back to KL on her last working days every week for another 3 or 4 days to spend time with her 7 children.
Her tourist guide husband was in jail for drug offence.
When he was finally hanged, We found a place in JB for the mother to go back to her children every working days.
A girl who used to sleep over at My place before her marriage, suddenly avoided me when we happened to meet in Singapore-Johor Express Bus.
I had to stop lending money to her when she was in great difficulties - She continued to get engaged to her relative, knowingly he suffered from hernia.
Even during their engagement period, her man would be on long sick leave.
It worried me then, as she's an orphan with only her brother to depend on.
Her man's application to get married to her was turned down by the Singapore government, but they married, anyway - Love is blind, she said, which I replied, yes love is blind but sickness sees money - And money is never enough for the couple before, and worst still, after marriage.
But one jovial Singapore-Johor Express Bus driver, who admitted himself having 3 wives, never fail to cheer the passengers in which the bus he drives with topic of the day - From the numbers that he bought to juggling his time with his wives.
"Oh, Hari Raya satu hari saya duduk kat masjid. Bini semua tak boleh kacau."
What a man!
Love for their family led to many Malaysians cross the Singapore-Johor Causeway daily - average motorists going to work in Singapore is no less than 30,000 per day.
There was this lady who work as a cleaner in Raffles Hospital for S$800 per month.
"Cukup ke? Tambang sendiri, makan lagi," I asked her.
"Sendiri negeri kerja cleaner mau 600 pun tak boleh dapat. Segini dapat, boleh saving lagi."
I feel for her.
She's proud of what she's earning.
I had seen the proud face of a degree holder, working as a S$1,800 security personnel in Changi.
He travelled daily from Pasir Gudang.
The factory-hand widowed mother is even prouder of her son - He schooled his 2 siblings and their house was fully paid, by him.
These 2 Indians, and many others, have my full respect.
I always admire their perseverance.
Try lining 'Selat Tebrau' with money those workers earned from across the causeway???
A man, who once served at Woodlands Naval Base, would drive his wife to work across the causeway daily from Tun Aminah.
"Dia kerja ukur kain kat Wodlands." Her parents were made known the nature of her work.
"Ukur kain boleh balik kampung kat utara tiap-tiap bulan ke?" I was curious.
A close neighbour of mine would scrimp and save to go back up north once a year.
RM3,000 had to be put aside for the yearly hari raya trip wih 5 kids in tow.
"Nasib baik Ummie, dua-dua kampung tak jauh. Kalau tak, tak salinlah hari raya jawabnya."
At last, the man who drove and wait his wife at work, opened up.
His wife, a licensed prostitute in Singapore.
She would go for check-up every two weeks, so not to worry about that.
They were used to living in Singapore and there's no other ways for them to earn money he used to have, feed their 3 kids and need to send 'kampung'.
That's the couple's 'Cinta Selat Tebrau' too?