"UNTIL THE COLOUR OF A MAN'S SKIN
|Kai Wee & I at 16
IS NO MORE SIGNIFICANT
THAN THE COLOUR OF HIS EYES"
Those are line's from Bob Marley's song "WAR". I used to sing it a lot in my younger days. I sort of grew up on his music. My friends and I lived this policy of equality among all men. We never saw each other as different races or religions. We acknowledged the fact that we come from different ethnic backgrounds and practiced our own religions. That didn't stop us from being friends and being together. We grew up learning from each other.
That is why we welcome the announcement by the DPM that the cabinet is studying the proposal to drop "race" from official forms. Read here.
This has long been a thorn in my flesh. I always insisted on saying I'm a Malaysian when the word "bangsa" comes up but alas only to be told that I'm not. I brought my son up saying all the while that he should always say he is a Malaysian but unfortunately the schooling system does not allow one to say that you are so, at least in the "bangsa " column. Thus the debate goes on to ascertain his ethnicity. Why must he be subjected to such a stigma. Aren't we really Malaysians?
So we are forced to identify ourselves by our ethnic backgrounds. Why does it matter anyway? Other than for purely cultural or religious purposes, I do not see any reason for us to do so. As long as we continue to identify ourselves by our ethnic backgrounds, the dream of creating a truly bangsa Malaysia will never be attained.
We should just be who we are as a people of a nation and just enjoy the diversity it provides without any reservations or prejudices. Let each and everyone be his own and stand up for what he is and not be labeled or curtailed by the chains of his forefathers ethnicity.
|Kai Wee & I at 54
I thank Chong Kai Wee who taught me to play football, take the bus, play the guitar, drive a car, do the "disco" and speak Cantonese. I thank Sharuddin for teaching me the "funk" and Kamarulzaman for talking to me about Islam, Giam was the school Olympian, Kamal was the one who told me that Muslim boys go away during the holidays to get part of their "peckers" chopped off (HORRORS!!!). Wong Sifu the body builder,Rahim and I were the regular class commentators during the 1975 Hockey World Cup. Ahmad Bidin Mr Nice, Uztazah's son Najib, Lian Kee the classical guitarist (he was the only one allowed to have long fingernails) Hanging out with Sugu and the Gang made me feel cool. Amarjeet and his brother's invited me to their father's "jaga" to help out one night. Can't tell you what the girls taught me cause that will drive my wife crazy (very jealous lah, she thinks her husband like sharukh khan), but I can say that people like Eunice, Mythili, Joy, Jenny, Lennie, Habibah, Sarala, Siang Khin, Siew Fong, Adele, Janet, Yati, and all the girls I knew before help shape the sensitive side of me.
My teachers, the list too long.. Pn Arulrajah, my primary school HM, Miss Ruby Oon, Mr Steven Soo, Mr Param, Mr Peter Lee, Pn Susan Loo, Mr Surjit Singh, En Latiff, Pn Sapngaton, Pn Noriah, Mrs Paul, Mr Wong Yew Ker (he demoted me from std Four to Std one for folding my art paper- only one day lah), Mrs Fenandez, Mr Loo, Mr Kandiah, Mr Goh, Mr Cho, Mr A.A Anthonysamy, Mrs Chan and all the others who never saw us as different but just as pupils of ACS and KGV , I salute you. I try and will continue to instill these values among my pupils. I feel sorry for the kids today who do not seem to enjoy the wealth of diversity that I did.
I purposely sent my son to a school far away from home when the school I was teaching in was only 2 km away. I wanted him to mingle and get to know the people from other backgrounds and not see the world from his side only.
today: 10 October 2019
I wrote the above many years ago..but somehow never published it... today Junior is married and has a two month old baby girl.. Wifey told me the doctor at the hospital asked DIL why the baby has "Nair" as her surname..."You India kah..habis you mau pakai nama ini kah?" ... why does it matter to her..just do you job and check the baby as the government is paying you to.. If you want to know more..sure it must be about the baby and mother's health...what has the baby's racial history or name got to do with this.
Coming from a doctor, a supposedly well educated person...as we would naturally assume all doctors to be of a higher level of education and belong to a better crop of thinking minds...her reaction was totally disappointing not to mention disgusting too.
If i was there..surely i would have spray her with verbal venom enough to last her 7 generations.
Actually..come to think it..we can't blame the Doctor when our public universities..our pride ..our so called institutions of higher learning..are indulging in racially based activities. 4 universities, nothing less than some of the top universities in our country..one even specialises in producing teachers..organised and conducted an event that apparently wanted to champion the dignity of the Malays.. What "dignity" is being eroded may i ask..and how? If anything, your decision to hold such an event actually only served to paint a bad picture of the Malays.. Seemingly, you want to champion their welfare..but in actual fact..what sensible people heard ( Malays and non-Malays) was a baby stomping and crying and demanding "entitlement". Come on lah..i can accept if it came from some politicians...but not from our Public universities. Where are your priorities?
An academic...actually stood up and said " Malaysia is For Malays"... Oh my God... was he high on something or what. He can't be stupid cause he is supposed to be an academic. How did he arrive at this conclusion.. And then..there is the waving of the sacred word.."social contract". and next he stoops really low by quoting the Quran, to rationalise threats he made towards the non-Malays. Apparently the non-Malays are "manipulating the Malays, undermining the Malay dignity (whatever that is) , mocking the religion (Islam) and the Malay rulers. Probably he forgot that the Rulers are not only for the Malays but the Rulers are of all Malaysians regardless of their race.
The more i think about it..the more i worry about the future we leave behind for our children, and grandchildren. But then..if you care to look behind all the rhetoric..you will notice that it is nothing more than low grade politics.. The people of Malaysia are not like what these people talk about. Malaysian do not hate each other..We live in peace..trying to understand and accept our neighbours to our best. It is the leaders, politicians or religious leaders, who are forever painting this picture of fear and insecurity. Thus the gullible among the citizenry will be carried away with their endless rantings. This also a good way of diverting attention and avoiding real work that has to be done. No one wants to really admit their faults..it's always easier to point towards others. Easier to frighten the children into obedience..just use the other races as your bogeyman.
|Who Malaysian who Foreigner here..Who Indian?Malay?Chinese?
If you go to restaurants and sports venues, it is not uncommon to see the many Malaysians of various ethnic backgrounds mingling together. It is not difficult to find children of mixed marriages. Heck my son is one of course...and my granddaughter definitely. But does it all matter... can't we just be Malaysians, living peacefully with one another. Happily, working hand in hand for the betterment of our country and community. hey what the heck..just live for yourself even, without bothering or hurting anybody elses' race or religion. Is that so difficult to do. We are okay on the ground, we are okay with our neighbours who are of different religions and ethnicity. Stop telling us that we are killing each other when we are actually dining together. Please STOP spreading the hate.
Let's stand together and tell these selfish leaders that we don't care for their racial rhetoric. Stop pitting the citizens against each other. Please do what you are supposed to do. We put you there for a better Malaysia not for a divided Malaysia that only serves your personal needs, greed and egos. Work to improve the quality of our lives..not destroy it in order to protect yourselves. Stop shouting hate and screaming justice. We are okay together. "Bersatu kita Maju, Bercerai Kita Roboh".
MALAYSIA IS FOR MALAYSIANS!