About Me

I have done a lot of things in my life and have also worked in many different jobs to make a living and to experience life. This blog is just some of my musings, sometimes funny, sometimes inspirational, sometimes sad, sometimes angry, sometimes simple but all the time, it's just me.

Monday, August 31, 2009

A bridge to far?

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak has urged the people to restore the bridge that connects Malaysians and tear down the walls that separate them.

Week before Merdeka:
- Cow head demo to protests the building of Hindu temple in Shah Alam.
- A Muslim women set to be whipped by a cane for 1st offence of drinking beer in a public place.
- MCA expels it's deputy who has been elected by people.
- Kampung Buah Pala set to be demolished.

Simple question, what happened to the bridge and who build the walls?

When growing up, there was always a bridge and there were no walls. Harmoniously we lived among different races and celebrated different religious festivals.

I grew up in Jalan Kelawai in Penang by houses built by a famous Muslim doctor for his daughters.

We lived in a semi detached house next to 2 of his daughters. The doctor has long since passed away.

A few rows down and across the street were some Buddhist friends of my dad. And the backyard of our house faced the famous Thai and Burmese Buddhist temples including the one with the sleeping Buddha - well reclining anyways.

We would always attend each others religious festivals more so just to collect the green or red packets filled with ringgit anywhere from 1-10, that was a lot of money those days.

My Muslim neighbours would go and pour water on the boy Buddha during Wesak Day and sit with us during Dewali prayers.

Although I grew up a vegetarian, I never criticised their ways although the first time seeing a whole roasted pig as well as seeing a cow being bled to death during Quarban seemed a little cruel to me - yet there was never any criticism.

We lived in harmony, we told jokes including racial jokes and laughed with each other and sometimes at each other. People were less sensitive, they could differentiate between a joke or an insult.

It was actually my Malay neighbour that taught me the first Malay bad/vulgar words as well as the infamous "Balik kampung, tanam jagung, buka seluar, tembak burung" line which only much later I was to realise to be a "bad" line that may have started the racial tensions in 1969.

I was 1 month and 7 days old when the racial riots on May 13, 1969 happened. When I was growing up, it was a distant memory.

Like I mentioned, there were bridges and there were no walls, we lived in harmony, we lived a life that was happy, fun and less stressful.

So, Mr. Prime Minister, before you ask us to restore the bridge and tear down the walls, can you please let me know who is it that destroyed the bridges and built the walls? I think we all know the answer to that.

Happy 52nd birthday to Malaysia, I am still proud to be a Malaysian.

Take care and be well.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Najib and the present political echeleon of various races cannot answer that....

Why....

From small, since they were considered "somebody" will not be allowed to mix with other races, hence they did not acquire the "malaysian" values we all hold dear...

Have najib experienced staying over at another race house or even stay in mixed race communities.. like flats etc..go to "gomen" school with malaysian

No they live a life that is devoid of malaysian social interaction...

Nil said...

My sentiments exactly when I said I think we all know the answer to that. Main thing is that the politicians, the so called leaders of these country have put up these walls and destroyed the bridges. Over years, the people are the ones who have built bridges, torn down walls, been friendly and open with their neighbours, but then comes this "gomen" that tells us about Malays rights, and Hindraf comes and tells us about Hindu rights and PAS tells us about syariah laws and DAP and MCA only care about Chinese and money; and they build these walls and try to make us forget, that after all of these, we are all humans, one global race of people.

Yazmi said...

Nilesh...

well spoken article...
sharing with you.. for our discussion later

http://syedsoutsidethebox.blogspot.com/

Ser said...

Well put.

Ser said...

You should send to MK and I am sure Prem & team will publish it...(or whoever in charge). This is well written letter/opinion. Please consider.