A social critique of the Malays
Awang Janggut (Nordin Ahmad) and Kuntum (Latifah Omar) trying to survive the wave of social transformation brought in by trade. Gone are the days where entitlements are just because you are a special someone.
*cough hak istimewa Melayu *cough
Orang Kaya Hassan (Yem Jaafar) is having none of that. Hard work is the way to go. But M. Amin warns of what the next generation that is the bi-product of the wealth is going to be, in the form of the Orang Kaya Hassan's daughter, Siti Molek (Rose Yatimah) who is bathe in pure opulence and materialism, absence of empathy and manners.
The refusal to adapt to the change has made Awang Janggut and Kuntum being sucked into the whirpool of time and being just an exhibit of what the Malay archetype once were.
Social critique on the state of the Malays already being done in this 1963 classic film. I think it is commenting on the matter after the trials and tribulation past the period of the country's independence and living with the transformation and competition brought in especially by the economic power of the Chinese. This film is treasured as one of the best film made in the Malaysian/Singaporean film history.