I will be seventy in a few months time...three score and a decade of living...10 years of that in Malaya, 30 years in Malaysia, 4 years in London, 3 months in Bombay and the rest of that life lived in Australia....Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and now Melbourne. In this year past I have succumb to Gout, Hernia and a host of ills that are common to those of my vintage.
There have been other changes. For the life of me I cannot remember names. I know who this is. I remember her face but I cannot remember her name.
but I know that she was in "A Man and a Women" ...so I google that film and her name is there "Ainouk Aimee"....and anytime I want to remember this guy's name :
......I google Indiana Jones. I remember faces and what the people with those faces do and where I have to go to find the name (a time consuming process!).... but for the life of me, I cannot remember their name. This is how, sometimes, I feel my age.
When you talk with me...I understand what it is that you are telling me....but sometimes, I have what I call, "instant memory loss". As soon as the conversation ends I forget what has been said to me....and I know this....so if I want to remember anything that I should remember......I write them down.
Any movement I have to make that involves what we old folks call a "strenuous" physical act, (like bending down to pick up something you drop on the floor) is accompanied by involuntary grunts and groans that does not include any physical pain...but the grunts and groans is just my brain reminding my body that I am to minimise those movements to the absolute minimum or bear the consequence later on when I will have to seat down to "catch my breath" before I go on to do anything else!
But I digress.....I began this write about a Malaysia that is changing....and changing without my permission!
How dare this happens...... but like it or not it has happened and I am less a Malay for it happening....and by default, much less a Malaysian. The last time I felt good about being a Malaysian was many decades ago when I first laid eyes on the Petronas Twin Towers after being away from K Hell for a few years. My first thought was simply that there was nothing like that in Australia! Nothing like that at all.....and my heart swell with pride at the majesty of it all. But thinking of when I last felt good about being a Malay required more thought.
Maybe there was no one moment in time when I felt good as a Malay. Maybe it was in the manner other Malaysian treated me when I am with them or in their house. Maybe it was in the manner I see them behave in the presence of my father who was then retired from the Police....in the way they respectfully stand while they talk to him....in the manner they look up to him as he gave them his opinion about something they were discussing.....and that respect was not because he was a Dato (he never was one!) or an important person in the government....it was because he was an elder Malay man who carried the grace and wisdom of the many many Malay Elders that came before him...and he was mindful of that burden...and thus carried himself in the manner expected of him by his elders and those around him. Yes...those were the times when it was good to be a Malay.
My father is long departed and also with him went a generation of Malays whose likes we would have difficulty in finding today.
I now call Australia home and I miss those days, but I do not miss Malaysia.... well not much anyway. I have taken my family - especially my children and their children, from the uncouth, unkind, ungracious, arrogant nation that Malaysia has now become. And most disturbing of all....a Malaysia where greed permeates every level of the Malay society first and then, all levels of Malaysian society too.
Why the Malays first? Because in everything Malaysian, it is always the Malays who can take for themselves anything they want....and what they want to day for themselves has already condemn the Malay race to be a slave to greed and corruption.
As I have said earlier...I will be 70 this year and I want to live what is left of my life away from the Malaysia that now exists. I want to think of those years when being a Malay instills in me a sense of reverence for my elders and those older than me, a respect for any other human being who are respectful of me and my way of life and most missed of all, a graciousness in the way I live my life .......a graciousness that was reciprocated by all Malaysians as we went about with our lives the best way we can.