Just the other day as I was having dinner with Wifey at a mall near our place, in walked a couple whom I presumed to be lecturers at a nearby college. One is Caucasian man, the other a local woman of Indian descent. The Caucasian man asked about Malaysia and its people, and the Malaysian lady tried her best to explain the “melting pot concept of the people of Malaysia and especially so, its gastronomical delights. The man later remarked how well-blended everything and everyone is here in Malaysia whereas in the United States, for you to see the African-Americans in the Bronx, and Asian-Americans, you’d probably have to go to Queens; the Jews in Manhattan, and the Whites probably on Staten Island.
I smiled to myself, half-proud being a Malaysian to hear such a remark. Half-proud because while what was mentioned is true, we Malaysians still behave as if we all come from different countries. In KL at least, we all eat by the respective ethnic groups, we only mingle in the office but after that I’m a Malay and you’re a Chinese while he is an Indian, and that blur one who keeps getting lost on the roads just came from either Sabah or Sarawak. As I have written before, the nation and its people were so much cohesive just two years after the race riots of 1969 and this continued to hold true until the early 1980s. After that, race relations seem to be under a malediction.
I put the blame on the politicians (from all political parties) who continue to sow seeds of hatred and racism amongst the population, and the religious zealots and bigots who are Puritan in nature and are always unhappy when others are. And believe what you want and support what you may, all right-wing organisations should be abolished and never allowed to exist – and PERKASA has to be the first one to go.
I, who was brought up to consider other Malaysians as brothers, can only continue to wonder if the brother who is not a Malay would consider me as his brother too, or other Malays would consider others as his Malaysian brother, or would those monsters called hatred and racism rear their head somewhere when the time is right?