I am convinced that those sentiments, so refreshingly expressed by The Angler, resides in most of our youths. It is an inherent trait (instinct?) amongst children to mix and play with their peers. (I will offer the Angler's piece at the end of this "hard talk".
It was during my time in the 50s. I did not know that Zainal was a Malay until his first introduction into Ramadan. We got angry when he could not come out to make the numbers for our “rounders”. When he did not respond to our yells we rushed into his house and found him sleeping on the floor. We woke him up. “Cannot play lah, very hungry,” Zai said. Uncle Ahmad and Aunty Shan were at work and we were brave enough to raid the meat-safe. We gave him a piece of goring fish. He refused. He came out though but sat and sulked until the fun we were having got the better of his hunger. It was later on that Uncle Ahmad explained to us that evening when we “buka puasa” with them.
I knew Chandra and Kicik (his nick because of his size) were Indians because my brother and I were given “Oil Bath” once every month by their aunt.
I had no Malay classmates then. My neighborhood Malay kids went to KEVII (King Edward VII). Their parents were all government servants and we all spoke English, which is the genuine excuse I give for my deficiency in Bahasa.
Zai often ate in our house. My grandma dished out everything for him on his plate. My grandma only said that Zai cannot eat pork and you do not question my grandma. Period.
When I left home to continue my studies in Penang, it was Uncle Rahman Yusof (who became Singapore Minister of State for Education when I taught in Singapore) who consoled me when I went next door to say goodbye to him.
In Penang for three years Akashah sat beside me. By then I knew he was a Malay, but so what?
THAT WAS HOW IT WAS THEN.
When Patrina was in Assunta and Kevin in La Salle PJ and later SMK Damansara Jaya, their closest friends were Malays and Indians….this until today.
BUT WHY IS IT SO DIFFERENT AS TOLD BY “THE ANGLER”?
My immediate neighbors in our condo is Shah and Sophie and Danny and his new bride Moley. I am also close to Jeff and Norlie. Then there is Tommy and Rosie and Gee. I miss Bidi and Nanie who are now in Doha. These are my close condo-mates, all Malays of course.
SO WHY IS IT DIFFERENT AS NARRATED BY “THE ANGLER”?
As I write this my closest buddies are Boom and Rodi, Tengku Vic and Ms More, Kamal and Serena. They say they are Malays, by the way.
Why this RACISM we are being inflicted with? Looks like Racism amongst us Chinese, Malays and Indians are planted in the home, watered in our schools and manured into full-blown RACISM by our politicians. Am I being harsh here?
and checkout Alison Murugesu Ghani's comment.
A BLESSED CHRISTMAS TO
ALL MALAYSIANS OF