Thursday, June 09, 2005

Dirt-born, dirt-grown 土生土長

I love books! Thanks to my dad who introduced me to Enid Blyton and Ladybird books at the tender age of 5, I adopted a strong reading culture ever since and progressed to be an avid fan of the thriller and science fiction genre. At one stage when I was 13, I even read books by 3 Penyiasat and Nancy Drew, both of these are BM versions identical to their English counterparts with the exception of Malaysian-ized names and locations.

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Bookstores used to organize mini exhibitions in my school once every 6 months and I love going through the throve finding a good read. It was in one of these exhibitions that I chanced across this Malay lady and her 6 year old flipping through educational books about body anatomy. The kid was fascinated with the colorful and vivid images and wanted his mum to get one for him. Suddenly her expression turned into a twisted blend of disgust and contempt and she exclaimed. It was the exclaimation that will have such a profound effect on me and my perception towards other races that I still remembered it after 12 long years... 'Man, semua gambar nih tunjuk badan budak Cina, nanti mak carikan buku Melayu dan beli untuk Man ya?'

I was dumbstruck when I heard those words and felt deeply offended. It was but a simple educational book teaching about body parts and yet a mum can teach her young son of 6 to segregate by colors of the skin. It also cruelly reminded me that no matter how much textbooks and local leaders promote unity and harmony, there will always be those who perceive themselves to be superior. To them, we will forever be secondary citizens and can never be viewed in the same light with the so-called Bumiputras

Since then, I have heard endless tales of racism and bias around the country. Some of them generated sighs, some fits of anger and some dejected shakes of the head from my goodself. Reading Kenny and Jeff's blog only reopened a can of worms that that goes back a long way... past, present and sadly the future as well. I do not believe I will breathe my last witnessing sons of Malaysia living in equality and harmony without individual agendas...

nor do I believe in the Malay saying, 'Hujan emas di negara orang, hujan batu di negara sendiri. Lebih baik di negara sendiri'. What difference does it make even if we do migrate to Canada, Australia or the UK? We might still be secondary citizens but we earn more, lead a better lifestyle, enjoy a 'cleaner' environment and receive better education in these countries. Sure, we might walk down King Cross Avenue someday and have a drunk redneck labelling us 'chinks' but we can also jolly well be strolling in Pesiaran KLCC and hear mockeries referring us to babi. Ain't see no bloody you?

2 個吹水的人:

At 1:22 AM, Blogger Lancelot95 said...

But still it doesnt meant we shouldnt at least try to make a change. If monetary and comfort is the only measurement that we accept, then this country would long ceased to be a multicultural one.

At 10:24 AM, Blogger Jimbo said...

Pray tell, in what ways can we change the situation for the better? There is only so much we can do to promote unity on our side but what others do or think we cannot control. The Bumis have been spoon fed for waaaay too long and as Shaolintiger would put it, detrimental to the country at a mature stage like this. So instead KC, maybe you could pull ur parents over to Aus or something when you hit it big there!


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