MCKKI spent the most formative years of my school life in an all-Malay all-boarding school call the Malay College in a small sleepy town call Kuala Kangsar – from Form One to Form Five. I had the time of my life there! All-Malay boarding school but never was race an issue or discussed at length in all my time there. Because we were all Malays we could not form any racial groupings during interval, games or our leisure times. Language or race did not define our friends or our enemies (if there were any!). When we ate we all sat together - no halal or non-halal section. Racial discrimination could not exist in an all-Malay boarding school – so as far as we were concern it did not and should not exists anywhere else…though I must say that I found the guys from up North did talk a bit different!
And if there was anything racial about MCKK it was our teachers. And what a mixture it was. Malay, Chinese, Indians and hell there were Whites too!…and my only memories of this racial mix were good ones. They all taught us the wonders and joy of learning – of being together as a close knit group. Because of these teachers our expectations of other races became good, we enjoyed the time we spent with them and they with us and so was born the acceptance of other races to us young Malay boys. The acceptance that the Chinese, Indians, whites and others was also good people. So what was there not to like about the others?
Is it not ironic – that a Malay, brought up in an all-Malay boarding school learns the wonder of racial and ethnic harmony from that young an age? And that love of others has stayed with me till now.
And another thing that Kolej taught me – how to write, read, think and talk in English. So what I am getting at is this – even with all the inter racial schools and the multi racial housing estates and the rukun tetangga – all this would not promote racial harmony and equality unless the fundamentals are there. We need to have that love for each other implanted in us from young and then allow it to grow as we grow. And if we do it will not leave us for life.