I was driving a Mini.
Incensed, I jumped out of my Mini and headed for the driver side of the car and opened the door and asked the driver to get out – intent upon teaching him a lesson for being insolent enough to think that he, not me had right of way- (the fact that I had three other friends in the car with me did help in giving me the courage to do so!).
His Tuan at the back tried to say something and I remembered exactly what I said to him: “This is my country. You shut up” and proceeded to give the driver a tongue lashing - something about just because he was driving a Mat Salleh blah blah blah….and about right of way. And when I finished I turned again to the Tuan still in the back seat and told him “I have right of way. In my country you behave! - got into my car and drove off.
That was me forty years ago – opinionated and too full of myself. And I would never stand for any foreigners whom I thought misbehave in MY country.
And then I went to London and came across discrimination in all its form. When you went looking for a flat to stay, when you were at the local grocery and had to wait for others to be served first and the comments that came your way as you walked around the local suburbs, on the buses and in the trains. Being on the receiving end of discrimination is not a pleasant experience and it does things to your mind – one of which is to resolve not to do to others what you do not like done upon you.
And now that I have stayed in Australia for over 25 years I know that discrimination is what others do to you when they do not understand that we are all of one race – the human race - and respect and decency towards each other are the hallmark of a civilized society.
Fast forward to today. I read what that son of Ali call Ibrahim said:
“If everyone behaves, if nobody touches on (Article) 153, nobody questions this and that, condemns this and that, and at the same time recognises the disparity of wealth between Malays and non-Malays, I don’t think we need any additional Act’.
And it all now comes full circle. Now I know how that Tuan felt when I said “This is my country.” Yes for sure this is my country but should I not be respectful of those that come to my country for whatever reason?
Now we have this Berahim Beruk tell fellow Malaysian to behave!
Is it not you that should behave Berahim?
These are not visitors or pendatangs that you are talking to. These are people that call Malaysia their home. Who are you to tell them to behave?
How should they behave?
Do you want them to behave the way the Japanese demanded us to behave when they were occupying Malaysia during the Japanese Occupation? Slapping our fathers and uncles for no other reasons then because they can do so?
Do you want them to behave the way we Malays once behave in the presence of Royalty? Going down on our knees and talking to them in a manner then we do not even use when we talk to ALLAH!
Do you want us to behave the way these little Napoleons in UMNO want the Malays and non-Malays to behave towards them? Like little pigs that constantly walk with their nose to the ground as if in constant respect of the dirty ground that they walk upon?
People like Berahim Beruk only makes me sad because it is these kind of blinkered human beings of any race that makes the world we live in that less pleasant and that less harmonious.
But there really is nothing much that we can do about them because that is how some people are made. If Hitler can have millions follow him I am sure there will be some people who will follow anything – even Berahim Berok.
So do not be alarm when we come across individuals like Berahim. There are a rarity and will become even more so as our people become more understanding of the times that we live in. I am never upset when my grand daughter in Ontario runs off to watch some cartoons on TV while we are Skyping. To her Elmo is more interesting then me…but she does not know better because she has still much to learn and what I do is smile indulgently and wait for her to come back to talk to us when she is ready.
This very adult Berahim too does not know better but only because he chooses to do so. Maybe his parents was remiss in teaching him the rudiments of being a decent human or maybe he is a slow learner – and his parent are not to be blamed. Either way what he has become will surely shame any decent parents – a bigoted self centered racist unable to understand that there are other ways to earn a living then to play on the most fragile of our sensibilities – race and religion.
Berahim Beruk is more to be pitied then to be condemned. Soon the likes of him will become as rare as the critically endangered Sumatran Rhino. We want to save the endangered Sumatran Rhino but for now it would be good if this Berahim is no longer allowed to breed. We owe at least that much to the future of our children – to rid our species of such mutant as this Berahim Beruk!