It means the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful, or experiencing appreciation.
The adjectival form is 'grateful' which the dictionary defines as warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received, as in “I am grateful to you for your help.”
But in Malaysia, while Malay and Indonesian dictionaries provide basically the same meaning as for the English word, apparently 'gratitude' has a totally different meaning when uttered by people like Ibrahim Ali.
I mulled over this strangeness for a while before I decided to look under ‘feudalism’ which came up with:
A system of obligations that bound lords and their subjects in Europe during much of the Middle Ages. In theory, the king owned all or most of the land and gave it to his leading nobles in return for their loyalty and military service. The nobles in turn held land that peasants, including serfs, were allowed to farm in return for the peasants' labor and a portion of their produce. Under feudalism, people were born with a permanent position in society.
I believe Ibrahim Ali could have these two [yellow highlighted] sentences in mind when he spoke of the lack of ‘gratitude’ of the Chinese, that is, modifying the former a wee bit to read "In theory, the PM owned all or most of the land and gave it to his supporters in return for their loyalty ..." and “Under feudalism, people were born with a permanent position in society”.
While we pitifully bash poor Ibrahim Ali, in reality he is nobody other than a front. I told my matey well-known blogger Walski of the incredible blog myAsylum that the bloke is just a survivor.
Look, if Pakatan becomes the ruling party one day, Ibrahim Ali will be there beside the new Pakatan PM singing a new song titled ‘Reformasi is for me’; if PAS assumes power, Ibrahim Ali will replace the Kulim Wonder as the No 1 Islamic warrior of Malaysia, and in the unlikely event of DAP becoming the ruling party, Ibrahim Ali of course will be in astronaut costume, helmet and all, to show he’s an ardent rocket jock wakakaka.
Yes, there is still a prevalent belief in some quarters of the medieval concept of "... the PM owned all or most of the land and gave it to his supporters in return for their loyalty ..." and “Under feudalism, people were born with a permanent position in society”, where its symptom is sometimes laughingly referred to as The disease of 'sehelai kain pelekat & RM100'.
I had then written of it as: … Malaysians in general, especially those of the earlier generations, don’t give a sh*t about corruption or corrupt pollies, or such stuff as accountability and transparency so long as they get some benefits, namely the sehelai kain pelekat and RM100 (allowing for inflation).
This has been why BN and in particular UMNO have been getting away with blatant corrupt practices for the past 52 years (and expect more years of such to come) as manifested in the overtly obscene ostentatious Bali Palace and the Satay Palace in Klang, ...
... and how 600 Janome sewing machines and even the arrogant boast of how 10 years of public works was compressed into one month won the day in the Ijok by-election in 2007.
But after 52 years of waving the same sehelai kain pelekat, even RM3 million in Hulu Selangor and RM5 million in Sibu were no longer acceptable.
Naturally the 'unbelievable' repetitive act by both the Chinese of Hulu Selangor and Sibu in disdainfully rejecting the feudal Lord's 'magnificent' offer has shocked some people whose front man has been Ibrahim Ali.
They asked in complete puzzlement: WTF has been going on with those Chinese? What’s wrong with them?
Indeed, why aren’t they 'grateful', more so when “… people [like them] were born with a permanent position in society”?
Of course these people don't see that the lollies they had brazenly offered as inducements to gain the support of voters don't belong to them in the first place but in fact to the voters!
The answer to the angry puzzlement of Ibrahim Ali and his likes has been out there all along, but when they don't want to see it, then they see naught.