I watch with despair as events unfold in Southern Thailand and the consequences thereafter. It baffles me that such an unfortunate racial and religious differences could lead to a fatal catastrophe. Moreover, it happens just next door from Malaysia. My worries escalate as I read excerpts from the late Tun Dr. Ismail’s autobiography published in NST recently, detailing the 13th May tragedy which occurred on our shores not so long ago. Our Prime Minister too, recently admitted that racial issue is indeed a fragile one.
As such I feel compel to call upon my fellow Malay, Chinese, Indian and other races to treat our differences with a positive attitude and mind as 13th May could easily happen again if we continue to have malice against each other. I attended Maktab Rendah Sains Mara at a tender age to complete my secondary education where admissions are strictly confined to Bumiputras only. I sang “Warisan” song whole heartedly everyday during the school assembly at my alma-mater. I was taught to love my root and race unconditionally. My ears were consistently drilled to make a better person of my self and to serve my country.
Even though I was not taught to despise other races, I was not exposed to them either at the full boarding school system through out my tenure there. However, things have changed since I joined the Malaysian work force seven years ago.
My stint at a renowned mid-size legal firm and my practice of law teach me a unique approach in so far as racial differences are concerned. I learn that the Siew Brothers teached and groomed me to be a lawyer without considering or even glancing at my colour let alone my race. The same treatment they accorded to my other counterparts. I learn that Su Yin, Alice Choong and Nancy would go the extra mile to find “halal” eating outlets so that I could join them. I learn that it is compassion that drives me to be around Ee Ling every day when her dear Daddy passed away few years ago. I also learn that Harjit and Vinodh would accept me and my idiosyncrasies just like my other Malay friends would do.
Therefore, there are a lot of hopes among us to rise beyond our racial differences and to adopt a common but priceless feeling of love, just love, among each other. I have faith in my fellow Malaysians.
[this article was published in the NST on 11-01-07]