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I PASSED by a Mak Cik the other day in Bangsar, the seemingly affluent district of Kuala Lumpur. She told me she had come all the way from Kedah to sell her Raya kerepek to make ends meet. I took three packets just to compensate for my sense of guilt.

The next thing I knew was a tough fight to get a parking space at a five-star hotel just a stone's throw away. I later learned that many had rushed there for the buka puasa dinner buffet, where the sumptuous feast ironically touted as "in kampong style" - would set one back by RM69. The dinning hall was packed, yet the waiting staff were still busy getting more chairs and tables to fill up the already shrinking space.

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