Once, back in Penang, my car had a punctured tyre. I asked a Chinese mechanic where is the nearest car tyre shop. He pointed to a shop, way around the other side of the block. As I went towards that shop, I saw another tyre shop just a few doors away. "How come the mechanic missed this one?" I thought to myself. I went in and saw the mechanic. He was Malay. The tyre shop at the other side of the block? That mechanic was Chinese.
A boy beats up another boy at school. The boys don't go, "Sir, ada orang lawan." Or, "Sir, Ah Chong pukul Ahmad". They go, "Sir, Cina pukul Melayu."
A boy gets beat up at school. He calls his gang from outside the school. A crowd gathers at the gate after school. The crowd is clearly seen to be from two groups of different races. The police came.
Oh, and did I mention that my school just got out from the police black list this year? Yeah. How was the school black listed? For racial fights.
I went to buy some chicken ham at Giant. I bought just 200g of ham. I explained I didn't need much because I lived alone. "Jangan banyak cari duit sampai tak makan," the Malay lady said.
PIBG meeting. They were discussing how to get parents to come for a seminar on parenting. "Yang Cina itu, susah sikit nak panggil mereka datang," said the YDP. "Mereka itu lebih business-minded."
I was talking to my colleague about the socio-economic background of the students. "Budak sekolah sini miskin. Family mereka pun, tak pentingkan pelajaran. Buku pun tak mampu beli," I commented. She replied, "Tapi, orang Cina, tiada yang miskin. Kalau susah macam mana pun, tidak ada Cina yang miskin."
I was telling my colleague that I went cycling to Empangan Batu. "Sana berhati-hati lah. kadang-kadang, ada Mat Rempit nak minta duit," he said. I replied, "Pergi cycling, mana ada bawa duit? Bawa air ada lah." Another colleague interjected, "Yalah. Tapi kamu seorang saja. Sebab mereka nampak Cina... Kalau tidak ada duit, basikal pun nak bawa pergi."
We are reaching our 50th year of independence. But ask yourself, how far have we progressed socially? Do people have genuine friends from other races nowadays? Do people feel safe when they live as a minority in certain areas? What do people tell you if you get into a car accident at a kampung area?
If given a choice, would people of different races make the conscious effort to get together, other than for the purpose of politics?
Here's to Malaysia. A happy independence day.
Sometimes, when it comes to certain things... We just don't wanna say it.