Loyal Followers

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

1Malaysia Dalam Kenangan

Saya seorang Melayu. Bapa dan ibu saya orang Melayu. Jua ibubapa mereka.

Saya dilahirkan di awal 60an di sebuah kampung terpencil di Kedah, yang rata-rata penduduknya dibelenggu kemiskinan dan kerumitan. Boleh dikatakan semua penduduk Melayu di kampung tersebut mengusahakan sawah bendang, samada yang memiliki tanah ataupun yang menyewa tanah.

Terdapat beberapa keluarga Cina - dalam ingatan saya di sekitar 10 hingga 15 keluarga - di kampung saya. Umumnya, penduduk Cina tinggal di sekitar pusat kampung, iaitu di kawasan yang dekat dengan jalan utama menuju ke Alor Setar. Dua atau tiga keluarga Cina sememangnya orang berada. Mereka menguasai pasaran padi dan beras. Malah mereka juga mempunyai kilang beras sendiri. Penjualan dan pembelian padi hampir dimonopoli oleh peniaga-peniaga Cina tersebut.

Yang lainnya menjalankan perniagaan runcit, tukang jahit, mekanik dan sebagainya. Pada masa tersebut, padi hanya dapat ditanam sekali setahun kerana kekurangan air dan saluran air. Jadi setiap tahun, sawah bendang hanya akan terbiar selama lebih kurang 6 bulan setiap tahun kerana ketiadaan air. Pada masa itu pesawah-pesawah tidak akan mempunyai sumber pendapatan.

Lalu apa yang terjadi ialah pesawah-pesawah terpaksa mengambil pinjaman dari kaum Cina, samada yang berniaga beras ataupun yang berniaga runcit. Hutang-hutang ini akan dilangsaikan apabila padi dituai dan dijual kepada mereka pada akhir musim menuai kelak. Itu lah yang berlaku saban musim dan saban tahun. Ianya bagai satu litaran hidup dikampung saya.

Namun saya tidak pernah bersemuka dengan apa-apa kemelut perkauman. Ianya bagai satu sistem ekonomi mikro yang diamalkan berabad lama. Yang sudah menjadi lumrah.

13hb May 1969 hanya saya ingat sebagai satu jangkamasa di mana sekolah saya ditutup. Yang saya ingat mengenai tarikh tersebut ialah terdapatnya kekacauan dan terdapat perintah berkurung. Lalu saya tidak dapat ke sekolah. Itulah satu-satunya ingatan saya mengenai peristiwa tersebut.

Pada awal 70an, ketika kerajaan Kedah diterajui oleh Datuk Syed Nahar, saya masih ingat beliau telah memulakan satu projek yang sungguh-sungguh membawa perubahan ekonomi kepada pesawah-pesawah di Kedah amnya dan di kampung saya terutamanya. Beliau sedar yang bekalan air adalah kunci penanaman padi. Beliau tidak mahu lagi sawah bendang terbiar kekontangan selama 6 bulan setiap tahun apabila datangnya musim kemarau.

Lalu kerajaan melancarkan satu usaha untuk mengorek "parit-parit gila" di serata Kedah. Umumnya sungai-sungai kecil digali dari sungai-sungai utama ataupun punca-punca air utama menuju ke sawah bendang. Dari sungai-sungai kecil ini, parit-parit kecil digali menuju ke tanah-tanah sawah untuk membawa bekalan air. Ini membolehkan bekalan air sampai ke tanah-tanah bendang setiap masa. Pada musim hujan, air akan ditakung di dalam sungai utama dan air itu akan dilepaskan ke dalam sungai-sungai kecil dan parit-parit gila tersebut pada musim kemarau.

Saya tidak pernah tahu kenapa parit-parit itu dipanggil "parit gila". Hanya saya dapat agak kenapa. Parit-parit itu tidak mempunyai apa-apa hala yang tertentu. Ianya mempunyai halatuju yang tidak bersistem. Malah kalau dilihat dari udara, parit-parit tersebut bagai jalan-jalan yang tidak berarah, macam sesuatu yang gila. Maka dipanggilah parit-parit tersebut "parit gila". Itulah kefahaman saya.

Pada setiap hari raya, selesai sahaja saya mandi dan berbaju raya, saya akan bermaaf-maafan dengan ibubapa saya serta semua ahli keluarga. Kemudiannya saya akan ke masjid untuk sembahyang raya dan menziarahi kubur. Namun terdapat satu amalan yang mesti saya kerjakan setiap tahun di dalam perjalanan saya ke masjid. Saya akan diberikan bungkusan kuih-muih raya untuk saya berikan kepada kelaurga-keluarga Cina di pusat kampung. Maka saya pun akan berjalan ke pusat kampung dan mengetuk pintu kedai kaum Cina di pusat kampung awal-awal pagi. Satu persatu akan saya berikan bungkusan kuih-muih. Dengan senyum mereka akan ucapkan selamat hari raya dan memberikan duit raya - yang pada masa itu tidak lebih dari 20 sen - kepada saya. Kemudiannya, saya akan terus ke masjid.

Saya masih ingat Ah Gek, seorang budak perempuan Cina yang selalu menjaga kedai runcit abangnya di pusat kampung. Cantik juga rupa beliau. Putih kekuningan dan tidak lepa tersenyum pada bila-bila masa sahaja. Dia sedikit tua dari saya. Namun kami seolah-olah membesar bersama-sama, di suatu waktu dan daerah yang asing dan senang dilupai.

Saya belajar di Alor Setar, 16 batu dari kampung saya. Setiap hari, pada pukul 5.40 pagi, saya akan dibawa di atas basikal oleh Datuk saya ke pusat kampung. Bas akan datang pada pukul 5.50pagi. Begitulah hidup saya hari ke hari. Saya akan pulang ke rumah pada lebih kurang pukul 3.30 petang setiap hari. Saya terpaksa bersusah-susah begitu kerana Datuk dan nenek saya inginkan saya belajar di sekolah "orang putih".

Ketika saya di sekolah berasrama, saya akan pulang sekali sekala ke kampung. Kadang-kalanya saya ke kedai Ah Gek untuk membeli barang-barang rumah. Begitu juga apabila saya di universiti. Apabila saya pulang ke kampung, Ah Gek, yang kini sudah dewasa, masih berada di kedai tersebut. Dia kadang kalanya akan berkata, "whoa...lu sekarang sudah pergi KL ya...manyak jauh ah...bagus la...lu banyak pandai..."

Projek parit gila telah banyak membantu pesawah-pesawah di kampung saya menaikkan taraf hidup. Tidak perlu projek-projek yang berbilion-bilion sebenarnya. Mulanya pesawah-pesawah dapat menanam padi 2 kali setahun. Kemudiannya mereka dapat menanam padi 5 kali di dalam masa 2 tahun. Bayangkan, hanya disebabkan parit gila itu sahaja pendapatan mereka telah naik hampir 3 kali ganda. Pada saya, projek parit gila itu lah projek yang paling berjasa untuk menaiktaraf kehidupan pesawah-pesawah di kampung saya.

Namun kemiskinan dan keperitan hidup masih dirasai oleh semua di kampung saya. Rata-rata kanak-kanak Melayu dan Cina di kampung saya hanya belajar hingga ke Tingkatan 3 sahaja. Terdapat juga keluarga-keluarga Melayu mahupun Cina yang tidak mampu menghantar anak-anak ke sekolah. Saya masih ingat seorang perempuan Cina yang mempunyai lebih dari 10 orang anak yang tinggal berdekatan dengan masjid di kampung saya.

Namun keperitan dan kemiskinan tersebut menjadi lumrah alam yang diterima sebagai satu hakikat. Masyarakat kampung hidup aman. Dan mereka tidak perlu meminta sedekah. Itu yang penting.

Pada kenduri-kenduri perkahwinan, orang-orang Melayu akan menjemput kaum-kaum Cina bersama-sama. Mereka akan datang dan makan di bawah satu bumbung dan bersebelahan tetamu-tetamu Melayu. Pada malamnya, terdapatlah tarian joget atau pertunjukan wayang kulit. Kadang-kadang, sekiranya tuan rumah itu orang yang berada, akan adalah pertunjukan kugiran. Malah kadang-kadang malam itu akan diserikan dengan pertunjukan "hadrah" (pementasan bangsawan tempatan). Hadrah itu sebenarnya dilakonkan oleh pelakon-pelakon lelaki dan pondan. Namun ramai lah orang kampung yang duduk di hadapan pentas hingga lewat malam menikmati cerita yang dilakonkan.

Saya pun selalu menyaksikan persembahan-persembahan tersebut sehingga lewat malam. Maklumlah, itu lah sahaja sumber hiburan kami pada masa itu selain dari radio transistor. Namun, ibubapa saya dan kawan-kawan saya tidak pernah risau tentang keselamatan kami. Pada masa itu, tiada kes-kes penculikan, rogol mahupun pembunuhan kanak-kanak ataupun orang dewasa seperti sekarang ini. Kampung itu aman damai walaupun terdapat hanya seorang konstabel polis bagi seluruh kampung. Kes kecurian pun tidak pernah berlaku. Kalau adapun, hanyalah kecurian ayam-ayam dari reban di belakang rumah. Tetapi yang mencuri itu hanyalah beberapa ekor musang dan bukannya manusia.

Apabila keluarga-keluarga Cina mengadakan upacara perkahwinan. Mereka akan membeli seekor lembu dan menyuruh orang Melayu menyembelih dan memasaknya. Orang-orang Melayu dijemput hadir dan makan masakan tersebut. Ramai yang akan hadir bersama meraikan upacara perkahwinan tersebut. Malah kadang-kadang orang-orang Melayu dijemput untuk bersilat. Semasa makan, tidak terlintas pula dikalangan kaum Melayu bahawa pinggan mangkuk, gelas dan cawan atau sudu dan garpu yang digunakan tidak disamak. Malah kadang-kadang, anjing peliharaan tuan rumah itu akan berkeliaran disekeliling rumah kenduri tersebut. Tiada siapa yang hiraukan.

Pada malamnya, orang-orang Cina akan meraikan upacara itu dengan bermain mahjong dan sebagainya. Malah mereka akan minum arak mengikut kesukaan mereka. Tidak pernah pula ada apa-apa bantahan dari mana-mana pihak mengenai perkara-perkara tersebut.

Perempuan Cina yang mempunyai lebih 10 orang anak itupun tinggal di belakang masjid. Tiada siapa yang menyuruh beliau pindah. Malah berdekatan dengan masjid terdapat pula satu "rumah candu". Ini adalah peninggalan pemerintahan British di mana lesen dikeluarkan untuk "rumah candu" di mana orang ramai boleh "menikmati" candu di dalamnya tanpa diganggu.

Sebagai seorang budak, saya pernah pergi mengendap di belakang rumah candu tersebut. Melalui satu lubang kecil di dinding "zinc" rumah candu tersebut, saya pun nampaklah beberapa orang kampung dibuai candu.

Di pusat kampung pula, terdapat kedai-kedai kopi yang dibelakangnya terdapat arak. Saya masih teringat "Anchor beer" dipanggil bir cap brek kapal. Bersebelahan dengan salah sebuah kedai kopi itu terdapat pula satu pusat menjual empat nombor ekor. Ramailah penduduk, tidak kira yang Cina mahupun Melayu ke situ untuk membeli nombor bertuah dan juga untuk memastikan nombor yang menang. Walaubagaimanapun, tidak pernah saya terdengar riuh-rendah mengenai penjualan bir ataupun empat nombor ekor di kedai-kedai tersebut, walaupun kampung itu diduduki oleh lebih kurang 95% orang Melayu.

Orang-orang Cina pula tidak pernah membuat apa-apa komplen mengenai azan yang terlalu kuat dan sebagainya. Maklum lah, ketika itu tiada bekalan elektrik. Malah, mereka juga memastikan dengan secara sukarela untuk tidak menjual daging babi bersama-sama ataupun berdekatan dengan ikan, daging dan sebagainya di pasar runcit mereka. Penternakan babi memanglah tiada langsung.

Di tepi sungai berdekatan dengan dewan orang ramai, terdapat satu "stesyen polis". Ianya diduduki oleh sebuah keluarga kecil yang ketuanya merupakan seorang konstabel polis yang ditugaskan untuk menjaga keselamatan kampung saya.

Di sebelahnya terdapat sebuah klinik yang diduduki oleh seorang jururawat Melayu yang juga bertindak sebagai seorang bidan. Saya masih ingat jururawat tersebut. Beliau akan berbasikal ke rumah-rumah yang mempunyai bayi di dalam unifom jururawat pada masa itu, iaitu baju dan "skirt" putih. Sepanjang ingatan saya tidak pula ada yang membantah pakaian beliau pada masa itu. Ahli-ahli jawatankuasa masjid kampung pula, sepanjang ingatan saya, tidap pernah menyeranghendap klinik tersebut pada waktu dinihari untuk memastikan si-jururawat itu tidak tidur dengan lelaki bukan muhrim. Kejadian begitu tidak pernah terjadi.

Tiada yang membantah itu dan ini. Semuanya sibuk dengan kehidupan sendiri. Semua penduduk kampung dianggap kawan dan sahabat, tidak kira samada Melayu atau Cina, peminum arak atau penghisap candu, yang memelihara anjing ataupun kucing, yang belajar di sekolah orang puteh mahupun di sekolah Melayu, Ah Gek ataupun Art, yang kuning ataupun sawo matang, yang ber"skirt" ataupun berbaju kurung, semuanya sama sahaja.

Keadaan di kampung saya pada masa tersebut seperti terdapatnya suatu kuasa yang melihat dan mamantau dari jauh perangai penduduk tempatan. Ianya seperti terdapat satu peraturan yang termaktub. Tiap-tiap penduduk tahu tanggungjawap masing-masing dan prihatin terhadap budaya, pantang-larang dan kesukaan masing-masing sehinggakan perkara tersebut tidak perlu digembar-gemburkan. Semuanya bagai satu jentera yang bergerak secara sinkronis tanpa apa-apa masalah.

Itulah 1Malaysia yang pernah saya duduki dan yang saya rindui.

88 comments:

mei1 said...

lovely piece, do you think sometimes development also plays a role to drive us apart?

What I wanna say is that without the shameless & racist-minded politicians, Malaysia will be very peaceful & free from all the "traitors", "anti-Islam" etc accusations given that general public do love peace, live in peace & respect each other regardless of race & religion.

Anonymous said...

Ya, dulu kami di Sabah, kalau orang Kristian dan Islam kahwin, tidak payah bertukar agama. Makin lama merdeka, makin kurang rasa kemerdekaan!

Anonymous said...

Ya, dulu kami di Sabah, kalau orang Kristian dan Islam kahwin, tidak payah bertukar agama. Makin lama merdeka, makin kurang rasa kemerdekaan!

Anonymous said...

Art, memang betul u punya story. saya berbangsa cina tinggal di kampong, berkawan, tidor rumah melayu,makan tak jadi hal. bila kawan melayu saya datang, sama juga asal tak makan makanan haram. Bila bulan puasa,kawan melayu hantar kuih,kami balas balik dengan gula.mandi sungai,panjat pokok, curi buah,intai anak dara, semua ok. tak gaduh pun,tak fitnah,.yes Art I ready do miss the good old times where u know everybody and everybody know u ,That is 1MALAYSIA.

44 said...

Setuju sangat ngan entry hang..
aih.. apa boleh buat.. yg gila kuasa menghuru-harakan keadaan supaya kekal kuasa

Anonymous said...

Your beautifully written article sure brings back wonderful memories. Even as I write, tears are streaming down my face.

I recall my best friend (standard 1) Noraminah. She was always especially kind to me. I fondly recall her rigging a game during her birthday just so I would win a prize! hahahaha.... those were wonderful memories

However,as i lived in Petaling Jaya, after the 13th of May, I changed. I somehow didnt feel comfortable around her, thou even as a child I could tell she was clueless why. How I wish I had more maturity then.

Do you know Art, I am ashamed to admit only in the last 5 years I am trying to change. We CAN CHANGE....It starts with a decision and influence from good people.

Thank you Art

Anna Koh

Anonymous said...

i n my family MISS it very much. Betul lah pembangunan telah merosakkan perpaduan berbilang bangsa. 1MALAYSIA DULU adalah semulajadi.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your old memory. This is the 1Malaysia I want (I think most of us also)! No racist and religion issues.

Idham said...

I rarely comment on a blog post but this one just make my eyes wet. I was never born in your generation but my father did. He mentioned all the crazy stuff that he and my uncles did as kids and I can only listen to him in envy.

Anonymous said...

art, i cried reading this. i too remember these times clearly growing up in the 70s. thank you for bringing to remembrance what this country should be about :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you !!! perfect article...
Everyone misses that...
only racists make us apart...

Danny said...

that is what 1Malaysia is all about. when i was young, my bahasa malaysia (now is called bahasa melayu) is very bad. but i still believe that i need to be good at it because this is our main language. though i use cantonese at home and english with my friend, as much as possible, bahasa malaysia during school.

tapi, lama-kelamaan, masyarakat kami, sekolah kami, persekitaran kami mula berubah. kami masih muda. masih di peringkat sekolah menengah. the newspapers start to divide us. politics start to spoil us. this law, that law that distinguish us from being a Malaysian to becoming Malaysian-Muslims, Malaysian-Chinese and Malaysian-Indians. I AM A F**KING malaysian .. not a Malaysian-Chinese. why must i feel in application form and state

1. Bangsa = Cina
2. Agama = Buddhist

Why can't we develop a system that one-size fit all. why must separate us. We are Malaysian. Tak kisah la. We privilege, same hak!! Why let agama dan bangsa destroy us. with things like "anti-islam", why not have "anti-buddhist" and "anti-hindu". it is suppose to be "anti-malaysia" and none of the above.!!!

Makin lama kami merdeka, makin kurang rasa kemerdekaan!! I setuju.

Azrin said...

Art, the situation you described also applies to the city life. I grew up in KL and attended public school, my best friend in school was chinese. I frequent his house...he will make sure his dog is not let loose when I'm there. Even his mom will tell me there's no pork in her cooking....they normally eat mainly fish and vege.

Even in college my closest friends where indians. Had hella good times then especially during raya, deepavali, christmas and chinese new year.

Good article indeed, makes me wanna find those friends again...

CW Ye said...

Dear Art,

Your piece really bring back the memories of good old days. It is like one of those "kampung boy" comic by LAT, really putting a smile on everyone's face.

So fast forward to forty years later, make us wonder if we have really progress.

Can someone tell us what happened in those forty years that make us what we are today?

Makes you wonder...

Golden Man said...

I was raise in Alor Setar too. My parents work and I have a nenek (nanny) who is a malay. BTW ,, I am Chinese. The time, I never felt any racial but as kids, all races will mix together, fishing, football, gasing, peaceful without worries.

Sad that times has changed.

madmoz said...

Hmm... memoirs of better more innocent times. Grew up in Sabah under pretty much the same conditions, but whenever I return, i realise the 'Sabah' i remember is long gone.

Anonymous said...

Tak tahu lah nak cerita sekarang. Dulu kita semua cuma ada sekolah kebangsaan jadi semua kanak2 tak kira melayu, cina, india atau lain2semuanya satu sekolah. Tapi sekarang cuba kita fikir Sekolah Kebangsaan ada Cina atau India ke? Kalau dulu masa saya masuk ke sekolah rendah cuma ada 4 orang cina. 3 orang itu terdiri daripada adik beradik saya.

Anonymous said...

Dear Art,

Your blog piece here is really close to heart. I grew up in a small town in Kedah. My neighbor kids were Malays, Chinese and Indians, and we used to play football together at the nearby field. I even learned to speak Hokkien from my Chinese neighbor. Every festivals, be it Deepavali, Chinese New Year or Hari Raya, we used to hangout together, and there would always be Rasa Sayang festival shows with Jamal Pendek as host. Those were great years, no tensions, everyone lived peacefully.

Recently, my daughter told me something really disturbing. Apparently, her teacher told her not to go to non-Muslim friends' houses for food because they cook non-Halal food. Totally insensitive! Lots have changed since then, now seems that racial segregation is so evident.

Another comparison I have is Singapore, 40 years away from Malaysia, and I see the people have integrated well, even the kids from different ethnicities and faiths mingle so well together. At least lots of efforts were made to bring the groups together.

At this stage, 1Malaysia seems just hype-talk and a myth....

Anonymous said...

Art, this beautifully written piece brings nostalgia into my memory...I was located at different places in Sarawak when my father was transferred at these locations and the landscapes were quite similar though there were added extras in the casts, yet the themes were the same...the chinese with their ways, the malays theirs, the ibans and other races were also with their particular parts...yet were all playing these different ways in harmony, in our own one community of a State, a district and so on.

Now I still see remnants of this huge stage...though there are people beginning to move away the spirit that was once the cohesive factor bonding this community together. Maybe I am one of the older folks...looking back at the good times that we possessed in the earlier days that we miss so very much.

In Sarawak, generally the situations do not change much as one moves away from the centre(urban) and I believe the same may be happening in S'jung.

However, my observation is whenever we get to be close to issues and problems and we lack in the understandings and interpretations of these issues and problems that affect the harmony of the community, the incidence of cracks in the communal bond grows more and bigger.

Let us patch up the cracks and move towards a harmonious community again like it used to be before the politicians take over...

Anonymous said...

art, beautiful, just like in the good old days. we missed those days when we were 1Malaysia truly.

abRO said...

Hi Art,

A very lovely and accurate piece from you reflecting the truly 1Malaysia concept and practices.

Kisah 1Malaysia anda sama dengan kisah 1Malaysia saya.

Cuma ada tiga perbezaan. Satu ialah tempat. Anda di Kedah, saya pula di Kelantan.

Dua, ialah satu berdosa bersekongkol dengan kawan-kawan Melayu saya memasak untuk mereka di rumah saya ketika bulan Ramadhan tiba.

Dan, tiga ialah apabila Hari Raya korban tiba. Setiap keluarga cina akan mendapat satu bahagian daging lembu yang disembelih untuk Hari Raya Korban dan beberapa biji ketupat.

Agaknya Art, iakah konsep 1Malaysia yang PM laung-laungkan itu?.

Anonymous said...

cakap pasal lembu jangan cerita nanti susah

Yvonne Chan said...

Whatever became of Malaysia now is the doing of all of us regardless of race and gender.

It's not too late.

We only need to learn tolerance and to practice moderation in all that we do, think and say.

Thank you Art, for reminding us what we have been missing out.

rambutan said...

I'm almost 2 decades your junior and even so experienced the same spirit of the "olden days" ... being brought up in a small town in early 80's (also in Kedah), we knew almost everybody in our small taman perumahan, "muhibbah" was still there... everytime Chinese New Year i remember a Chinese neighbour's wife would send us a plate of mandarin orange, sugar & cookies to our home.. or during Hari Raya my mother would ask me to send kuih raya to them and as always, they will give oranges & sugar in return... we bought our groceries from a Chinese guy who came to the neighbourhood every morning.. in the beginning on his bike, then gradually to a mini van and finally he had a shop.. he knew all of us by name.. my parents the easiest.... "cikgu".. it was always cheerful & warm.. every weekend in the morning I followed my father to a small old building where an "aci" sold "apom lenggang", squatting by the longkang... all races queued for the hot apom lenggang without and as usual people will greet my father "cikgu" whenever they saw us... daily activities took place smoothly without second thought of life/right/business being threatened, etc.. those were the muhibbah days i've experienced..

Anonymous said...

Ya, mengingat masa silam sangat memilukan. Kenangan semasa kecil maupun di kampung atau di pekan hanya menjadi ingatan manis. Anak-anak kita mungkin tidak dapat melalui situasi yang sama. Mereka tidak pun dapat menggambarkan senario itu berkemungkinan.

Kalau ianya memberi makna kepada kita, sekurang-kurangnya kita usaha mengwujudkan kembali budaya kampung itu. Kita tolak fahaman perkauman bulat-bulat. Kita berkuasa menentukan budaya hidup kita. Jangan sekali-kali dibiarkan jiwa kita dipesong oleh mereka-mereka yang mempunyai kepentingan.

Ayuh kita kembalikan budaya murni nenek-moyang kita. Let us return to the time zone when we were all colour blind. It had proven life to be much meaningful and sweeter.

Xforget said...

A very well written piece indeed.

I've been through similar events during my growing up years. I do miss those time where we can live in peace and harmony regardless of origin, race, or religion.

I'm a malay from a village in Northern Perak.

It's still clear in my mind though 45 years had past. I remember that a Chinese sundry shop owner who help my father putting my sisters through upper secondary school and university, He gave loan without question when my father was in need. He doesn't charge any interest though it takes years to pay back the loan. He encourage us to study hard and make good life with good education though none of his six children make it beyond form three, that is LCE grade.

Today, when I go back to my hometown, I bring my children to visit the shop own by one of the daughters. I've told my children how's the aunt's father had help us to achieve our higher education level although my father was poor.

That's good deeds of just one Chinese family I'm telling here. There are many more that I live through as a big happy family in a remote village.

So, that's 1Malaysia I've experienced.

Cruzeiro said...

Oh Boy - you definitely know how to evoke nostalgia. Yes - those were indeed good old days when despite the lesser education, development and tecnology, people had heart and wisdom.

That was indeed 1-Malaysia.
Those were the days when we were truly proud to be Malaysians. I remember running around singing "Malaysia Berjaya" ....

But of course that was before the NEP and Umno's extremist polemics.
Today's scenario is none other than the " 1 - 2Faced Malaysia" ....

Anonymous said...

Nice article Art, reminded me of the days I grew up in Alor Setar.

Although kampung was nearer to my School, Sultan Abdul Hamid College, the life you describe was very similar to what I experienced.

My friends used to sleep over. Similarly I used to stay over at their house. None of our parents objected. They were mindful of me being a muslim, making sure that I eat only halal food in their homes.

Till today I still keep in touch with my friends who are of all races, Malay, Chinese, Indian and Thais. They are still the best friends I ever had. Occasionally we meet and share a meal together.Some will indulge in alcohol or eat a pork dish, and that has never been a concern to me.

The difference in their race and religion has never been in my consciousness. What is most important to me is that they are my friends and we have a shared history.

Anonymous said...

Hi Art,

Thanks for the memories. I grew up in Kulim in the sixties. We were all color blind in those days.Religion was never a barrier. Everyone knew the do's and don't of each others culture, religon, beliefs etc. It was fun filled, carefree days. That is the only 1Malaysia that I know!
Mohd.

Anonymous said...

I was born in 80s (in kedah as well)but i do recall when I was in primary school, i'd packed kuih raya to my Chinese neighbours...ur story reminds me of that moments..

umi

Anonymous said...

i born after may 69, my childhood was wonderful even though children of " guru agama " called me pendatang balik india tanam jagung.
my father always remind to be tolerant to all human being.
i was having jolly good time playing "guli" with my friend adnan and the gang.always looking forward to play as soon as came back from school.we were never exploited by the term bumiputra, halal, ketuanan and etc.life is fun then but not now.just forgive & forget to bring back the glory of pure malaysia.change the attitude guys.bravo art harun.

gnambiar said...

Lovely piece Art.I was born and bred in Sg Petani.The 60's & 70's. My story very similar to yours.Those wonderful times. Hmmm...what happen in between.

han396 said...

I do agree with you.itulah 1malaysia yang saya harapkan untuk generasi saya. bukan Malaysia sekarang...dimana tiada konsep perkauman...di sekolah lah tempat perkauman yang serius wujud...setujukah anda?

Anonymous said...

Tiap-tiap penduduk tahu tanggungjawap masing-masing dan prihatin terhadap budaya, pantang-larang dan kesukaan masing-masing sehinggakan perkara tersebut tidak perlu digembar-gemburkan. Semuanya bagai satu jentera yang bergerak secara sinkronis tanpa apa-apa masalah.




bro art...inilah intipatinye...masalahnya zaman sekarang ada 2,3 kerat yang bermulut bacol bercakap tanpa mengira perasaan orang lain..wasalam...

Anonymous said...

Hi Art,
The kampong life is so well depicted in your article. Reading it at this particular moment the world that your described feels almost like a dream. it's like the sort of world in Yasmin Ahmad's films.

Something happens along the way.

Anonymous said...

Sir, I thank you for writing this article. Being a chinese, born in the 70s, growing up and educated in the 80s and 90s, I have never experienced anything like what you wrote despite having Malay friends. Nevertheless, deep down I know what you wrote is true because I have heard of it from my parents and grandparents. May we get to live in such a wonderful society again in our lifetime.

1Malaysia jugak! said...

Sangatlah benar catatan saudara ini. Saya mangakui banyak yang sama dengan zaman saya hanya ceritanya berbeza dari segi majority kampung saya penduduk India dengan beberapa Cina dan Melayu. Setiap tahun, kanak kanak Melayu kami akan jemput untuk Deepavali dan mereka akan makan bersama kami tanpa segan silu. Masakan keluarga saya memang tak pernah ada barang haram (babi etc) tapi tiada pun ibu bapa mereka marah marah. Tapi fast forward tahun 2002 di London. Saya jemput keluarga Melayu datang untuk Deepavali, sisuami ok tapi isteri enggan makan langsung sedangkan ayam dan lamb dibeli dari kedai halal di Bayswater dan dimasak oleh maid Indonesia kami. Masih tak pernah kami masak babi etc sebelum tu (sebab kami pun tak makan daging babi). Terkejut dan sedih. Memang hak masing-masing untuk menjaga "keimanan" tapi saya rasa too much religion is a bad thing for community. Sebab tu saya pun kurang gemar bergaul dengan org India yang nampak alim sangat.

So, bila balik Malaysia dan dengar macam mana ulamak kat Takaful cakap haram untuk meraikan kebudayaan org lain dan cerita-cerita sebegitu, saya hanya boleh geleng kepala.

Saya sebagai orang India yang dimana tok-tok saya terbelenggu dengan pemikiran kasta, baru generasi ini kami hampir "merdeka" (saya kononnya kasta tinggi tapi saya benci such social rules) kini sedih kerana sehingga akhir hidup saya kini akan terbelenggu dengan penjauhan sosial diantara kaum sebab politik dan ugama.

Eyes Wide Open said...

thanks art. I think all older malaysians need to remember the good times, and all younger malaysians taught that it existed. There's too much talk of communal "rights" and not enough talk of MALAYSIAN rights.

Anonymous said...

How nice and good if all of us can live in a small town.So where our children will enjoy what is 1Malaysia about.

Cock Mouthed said...

saya setuju. Bapa saya dibersarkan di alor setar dan dia memang bermember dengan semua orang dari kaum lain dan keadaan pada ketika jauh berbeza dari keadaan sekarang.

Kian Tong said...

Terasa pilu setelah membaca kisah silam saudara. Inilah kehidupan impian saya dalam masyarakat majmuk di negara ini.

Agaknya saya lebih muda daripada saudara...lebih kurang 10 tahun. Dilahirkan dan dibesarkan di Kuala Lumpur. Tiada langsung sebarang syak wasangka antara keturunan semasa zaman kanak-kanak. Saya bersekolah di sekolah kebangsaan...budak-budak pelbagai keturunan boleh belajar dan bermain bersama-sama. Tidak pernah saya dengar sebarang pertuturan guru-guru di sekolah yang bersifat perkauman.

Keadaan sekarang sudah berubah. "Divide-and-rule" menjadi panduan mereka yang bermain politik. Apabila seseorang berasa tergugat, maka perasaan syak wasangka akan bertambah. Perasaan inilah yang menyebabkan orang ramai berasa gelisah. Ditambah dengan sikap sekalangan ahli-ahli politik yang suka mengapi-apikan sentimen perkauman, maka situasi bertambah buruk.

Sekiranya semua rakyat tanpa mengira kaum rajin berfikir dan menganalisa sebarang bentuk hebahan ahli-ahli politik ini, masalah sebegini tidak akan terjadi.

C++ said...

Bhai..

Dulu best... gua ingat lagie... gua sama pandangan dengan lu... 1Malaysia dulu lagi best dari sekarang...

Bakari said...

Those were the days I practically did the same thing as you ART. Muhibbah is missing, some where along the way "peracun fikiran rakyat " had manage to poison our heart and mind to be what we ahve today. Its time we push the reset button, if there is a will the way is right there for us to choose. Salam to all.

Anonymous said...

Thks Art...but I never have such 1Malaysia although I was born in the 60s. When I was a kid I was hit for no reason by a Malay man. In school, I got lower grade given by a Malay teacher although my friends told me my project was much better. As adult I was not given the rightful promotion by a Malay boss. As a teacher, other Malay teachers told the murid2 not to greet me as I am a kafir. I just wish I was born in China even in proverty...at least nobody will call me a pendatang!!! I am so sad. I hope there are more good Malay like you.

Cinapek said...

Beautiful piece, Art.

Actually i tasted that as well though not in a kampung but in a small pekan back then called Ipoh.

Yeah, me and my Malay buddies used to study together, ponteng together, play sports together, even go ngurat awek and amoi together.

During CNY, my Malay friends will together with my other Chinese friends, visit my house and each will get an angpow and some mandarin oranges from my parents. I've always missed eating those roti jala during Aidilfitri and Bubur... Bubur Masjid.. i forgot what it's called already after so long never eaten it.. but those delicious porridge served from the mosque during Ramadhan. These are all great treats from my Malay friends.

I just wanna state, that i used to have many "best-friend" back then. My first was a Malay chap by the name of Kamarul, second was a Singh called Jaspal, then it was a Mamak by the name of Faisal, then weirdly, as i grow up.. it was Chinese all the way... guess the BN fuckheads have been successful huh!? But nevertheless.. i went through life getting to know and making many friends of Malay and Indian origin.

Someone should initiate a campaign to bring back those lost memories. That is my 1Malaysia.

Cinapek said...

Really miss those days. In fact tears is flowing from my eyes now seeing everythings is about race, race, race.

I have told my wife, if majority of Malays want to look at us Chinese as pendatang, that we do not belong to this country, then we will find ways to leave this country. We do not want our children to grow up with hatred. We want them to have a beautiful childhood just like mine and my wife's.

But reading all those articles in Malay newspapers.. it really seem impossible now.

It's sad.

Chris said...

What you mentioned has truly touched a raw nerve. Many of us who were born decades ago remember the friendship regardless of race and beliefs. As we grew up, something happened. We have learned to identify by colour and creed. Respect and unity have gone down the drain. There is no way to turn back the clock, but there is a way to find the the same old spirit and embrace back that same spirit.

Cinapek said...

Even the police was so friendly those days. Sorry Art, just cant stop thinking..

There was once me and my Malay friend was caught ponteng.. then they brought us to Balai.. threatened to call our parents to the balai.. of course we were scared!!

Since we were already 1 to 15 years old then.. we tried our might to reason with the police that it was after exams (it really was) and that there was no class.. so that's why we decided to go to town. After much advice from the Encik Polis, and i mean really "much" advice from him, he let us go. He even send us back to where he picked us up.. a stationery store!! Hahaha.. and hey, if u r reading this, Hassan bin TAHIR, do you remember!???

And how we used to like to tease our friends by their fathers' names back then! Hahahaha...

Cinapek said...

I'm gonna stop posting.. just this last statement.. back then, i used to teach my Non-Chinese friends the words "tiu", "lanciau" and "cipet".. while they in return teach me "puki" and "konek".. as for Indians.. those indians i know are good good boys.. they only teach me "wanakam" and "nandrik"..heheheheee...

sighhh...

kamsiah said...

Ye Art, saya pun macam tu la. Duduk kat FELDA Ijuk, Selama, Perak. Pergi sekolah pukul 5 pagi, kalau mamai tunggu bas pukul 2 pagi!! Rumah jauh, jadi kalau ada Ko-Ku petang, balik ke rumah kawan kawan Cina. Mak kawan saya yang berugama lain, masak lah nasi, lauk sayur, sambal sikit dan ikan goreng. Tak ada isu hinggalah ke anak anak saya sekarang masih berkawan dengan semua rumpun bangsa. No hal. Ini mainan politik.

din merican said...

Art,

Excellent and inspired piece. I am moved by the issues you talked about. Life was much simpler then when my friends and I were growing in Alor Setar. Race was not a factor in our relations with our fellow citizens.

UMNO made the Malays exclusive and we have been pampered and now hide our inferiority complex behind arrogance of power. Our leaders are corrupt and incompetent because our education system and NEP weakened their our mental resilience and erode our values.

Malays today depend on government handouts meted to them by UMNO politicians in drips and draps, while they plundered most of the loot. Che Det must take most of the blame for the Malay malaise (not dilemma) today.

I have tried hard--and I have not given up--to convince the Malays that they cannot rely on government. They must work hard, and focus on good education for their kids and grand kids like your grandpa and parents. Cheers, Din Merican

ison said...

salam 1 malaysia...

toklalan said...

Art, what you wrote is the same story we share growing up in Malaya then. Recently, my young daughter was so surprised when I met and hug my Chinese class-mate. 1Malaysia is just a slogan but the reality is almost the opposite. The part on "parit gila" is most enlightening.

css said...

it's lovely articles...malysia use to be 1, only thereafter screw up by those politician who always play with racist issues and sentiment.they had make all this gone.people,no matter u are maly,chinese or indian,pls wake up, don't let those politician keep fooling our thought.god bless malaysia...Jay

Anonymous said...

Do not keep on saying chinese, malay or indian that differetial us. We are not chinese, malay neither indian. We are Malaysian!!!

Just start it by change all the application form column :-

Bangsa: ???

Just remove this column!!

Eric Payne said...

Nostalgic Art, really.

My first "girlfriend" was Chinese. Met her when she came to my cousin's for hari raya. From there on we were damn close - literally too (Malacca High School is near Sacred Heart Convent mah).

Walked her home one day, it was a long walk; we talked and talked, about everything and about nothing, all at the same time. Time somehow seemed to fly. One thing I noticed - people were staring at us. A beautiful Chinese girl and a Malay guy walking lovingly, oblivious and "tidak kisah" to the staring eyes.

She came to my house too (she cycled - she lived near Bukit Cina, and I near Jalan Mata Kucing), and we studied together. We really did "study": English, BM, not sure about Biology though.

Life was simple then and I didn't feel any "kekok" or awkwardness having friends from any race and (when you're a "handsome" guy, what is race anyway, right? - just kidding).

Once, I buka puasa, did my Magrib prayer (all within a few minutes!), and off with a few friends - Lim, a few others, and I went for a movie. Don't know what happened to Lim though (he lived in a very old and lovely house at the famous Heren Street (I don't know what they call it now).

Those were the days. I was color blind then (and still is), but somehow things changed.

I still miss my Chinese girlfriend - sometimes. I liked her hair. She had very nice hair - long and straight, touching (and at the same time not really touching) her shoulder.

Gan said...

Art,

Your childhood is truly what I would term as the real 1Malaysia.

1Malaysia can only happen when the racial/religion barriers are demolished !

I can only continue to dream of a true 1Malaysia.

Anonymous said...

i m now studying in overseas,the country i m here the people here are union...i m always asking myself when is my country can b like this? i m sad to read malaysia news paper everyday...people seems to like to c bad news more than good news...where is all the good news goes? where is all the development project status in news paper? ..sigh....when i was young, 31th August is a big day for me...but when times pass by, the whole environment make the feel gone...31th August is now just mean holiday for me.............................................

natives are restless said...

You have rekindled the nostalgia and reminiscence of those were the days in the 60s and 70s in all of us children of the 70's.

I used to have lots of Malay friends of my age at Kg Mesjid back then. Life was alot easier & carefree. Football , playing the guitar and singing along , go camping ,sharing a cigarette amongst 5 of us, teasing girls , keeping long hair and playing "hide & seek" with the school's headmaster and his scissors , etc . We were rascals of the kampong.

We were totally colour blind. I even slept at my Malay friend's house on numerous occasions and his parents treated me as if I'm one of their own. I remembered sleeping wearing the sarong and eating with my hands.

We were somewhat like the flower children of that era. The Hippies Era "Peace" and "Make Love not War " . My best friend is my Best Friend , first and foremost and he happens to be a Malay .

It's really sad to think of the children today. I don't see that kind of interaction these days .

Like the song says :- "Where have all the flowers gone ?........when will we ever learn ? when will we ever learn ?....

ART , thank you.

Anonymous said...

Yes, that's the 1Malaysia I remember and miss, too.
We've lost too much these last 40 years - the politicking has separated us all into different races, religions, haves and have nots, language education, etc - and we've just about lost a nation.

Thanks for speling out this memory.
Cik CT

Orang PD lama said...

Ya, itu lah Malaysia yang saya rindui -
1Malaysia yang tidak perlu di hebah hebohkan
1Malaysia yang sejati!!
Tidak kira bangsa dan agama,
Kita semua orang Malaysia!

Anonymous said...

Better to have 27 million Art Haruns than 1Malaysia just in talk and not walk.

Jeng!!! said...

Hello abang,

Me thinks your story is written beautifully. There's a question on my mind the whole time reading ur article ; that it is your kampung, simpang Empat? :) I know for some reason you didn't want to mention your kampong's name in ur story, so please delete my comment if necessary.
Me was born in the 80s and have stayed in Simpang Empat during a big part my early school years. My mother was born in Simpang Empat and has 8 siblings. Both my grandparents are chinese and they were poor at that time. I remember my mother telling me that all of her siblings including herself had to do odd jobs after school and help out with my grandparents canteen business everyday. My grandmum, uncles and aunties are still living there in Simpang Empat, and they seemed very content with life.

Thank you for the beautiful story, me now miss my kampung and wants to visit soon…

:)

Kris said...

Beautiful piece Art. And like you I lament the Malaysia I was born in is almost no more. Flushed down the toilet by obscene greed and lust. For money and power...

John Baptist said...

Oh yes bro,I remember those beautiful days. And I miss them desperately too. :(

-thethinker- said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
-thethinker- said...

suasana kat kampung saya pun macam tuu jugak..
takda dok kecoh , cina babi , hak bumiputra , keling pariah.

time raya , kuih yg diberi oleh jiran melayu ( pelanggan melayu ) berlambak lambak , mengalahkan raya cina. Rendang daging tak pernah depa hantar pasai depa tau kami tak makan daging lembu. Depa hantar rendang ayam ataupun rendang kerang. Lepas raya pertama , raya kedua selalu la perut memulas terpaksa pekena pil chi kit teck aun , pasai terlalu byk makan pulut ngan rendang.

Time raya haji dan kenduri kahwin jiran belakang rumah , depa sembelih lembu betul betul kat belakang rumah. Bau hanyir memang tak tahan , tapi tak pernah kami pii komplain . Pasal , bukan selalu. Depan kedai , orang jual daging gantung , bau hanyir ,pun tak kena komplain , biarlah .. bukan selalu..

Time raya cina , emak bungkus kuih muih ( kuih kering , buatan kilang ) ngan limau , hantar merata .. hantar kuih ngan limau kat jiran jiran melayu , sblm pii melawat datuk nenek sanak saudara kat pekan.

Time kenduri kahwin , bapak ajak kawan kawan melayu , segan nak pii sorang sorang , duduk bawah khemah , makan setalam , pakai tangan , takda pun orang kg komplain , tangan nii pernah pegang daging babi;berak tak basuh punggung ... kadang-kadang , pak saudara saya tolong angkat talam , layan pengunjung , cuci pinggan.

Balik sekolah cina , lepas makan , pii cari kawan melayu . Jah namanya..
Jah selalu pinjamkan buku cerita yg dia pinjam kat sekolah kebangsaan. Sama sama kami baca buku cerita. Takda pulak bapa dia kata haram kawan ngan tokpek cina , haram bukan muhrim duduk sekali main masak masak , main aci-ligan. Dengan kawan lagi satu , Uddin , kami main combat-combat. Tak pernah gaduh , tapi pernah main sampai berdarah , saya berkungfu , dia bersilat , tetiba , kena penumbuk , gusi berdarah. Tak pulak bapa dia mengamuk ,cina pukul anak melayu , ancam hak melayu ,kurang ajar....
dekat parit di belakang rumah , kami mandi dan berkubang. Buat air parit keruh sampai makcik kat hulu mengamuk pasai air keruh , tak leh nak cuci kain.

Kami tetap bercakap bahasa cina , makan babi , ikut agama kami , tak pulak orang kg suruh cina cina semua tak leh makan babi , tak leh sembah tuhan kami , bakar colok dan kertas sembahyang, tak leh cakap dlm bahasa cina ,kena satu bahasa ... Pagi pagi azan subuh laa yg mengejutkan emak dan nenek utk bangun pagi. Masa sembahyang jumaat laa , kami bole rehat sekejap pasal semua orang ke masjid.

Itulah 1Malaysia... tak yah slogan , kata-kata..

LAT said...

"Those were the days" where all Malaysians lived under One same blue sky, shared One genuine love as One human being created by One Creator, One set of eye that was color blind, strengthen by One heart, One mind and One spirit ! No Slogan but ONE UNDERSTANDING "Kami Semua Anak-Anak Malaysia."

Anonymous said...

I tend to think the Islamization of our national schools and public service were the real cause of polarization which indirectly led to the popularity of vernacular schools, not the other way round.

And I don't mean this statement to insult Islam, not at all. I'm sure Art can understand why there is much cynicism amongst the non-Malays/Muslims in this country.

donplaypuks® said...

For your liberal and laissez faire views you will be branded as 'Ultra Vires Bangsa' by the Ketuanan Melayu proponents like Buntutsan and bloggers like Unspinner, Parpukari etc.

They don't want 1 Malaysia or 1 Anything. They want 'What Only I Want and if you don't agree with me you are a filthy Communist and anti-Islamicist'.

And if we don't agree or fit in, they will willingly sponsor a boat to foreign shores, but not Gaza, for you and me!

dpp
We are all of 1 race, the Human Race.

Anonymous said...

Art,

I missed the day I used to see nice Malay ladies in kebaya, or baju kurung with the sheer scarves (not the opaque like you see today). Malay ladies used to be even more out going to celebrate their feminine quality.

Long gone , were the days, you see a nice clean shaven Malay gentleman in Songkok, stand tall with his head held high.

I am a chinese by the way. I see the strength of Malay in one particular area, their artistic sense and their patience in creating nice work of art. (P Ramli, M Nasir and many more). Also they are great craftsman too(like Swiss), Batik, nice handcrafted Kris, Wau Kelantan.., the beautiful wooden carving of rumah kampung, Those are our real "pusaka", now long gone.

Since last 2 decades ago, import of Arab culture under the assumed banner of Islam, many want to keep long beard trying hard to look like Osma.. even the tudung these days seems to rob away their woman dignity, Malay ladies hardly held their head high, perhaps due to the hot & humid weather and wrapped under the clothes .

That really intrigued me.

art harun said...

Thank you all for reading this story and for taking the trouble to comment on it. When I first wrote this I did not expect that it would attract so much attention and many comments.

I am touched by the fact that almost of us have good memories of days gone by, where we lived as one, regardless of race, religion or social status. Somehow or other, things have changed. Something has happened in between those days and now. And all of us are grappling to find answers.

We grapple not because we are hopeless romantics. We do because we fear for our children. For the future of this once great nation. We do not want those racial calamities which had befallen so many countries to befall ours. Touch wood.

Jeng, I noticed you have deleted your comment. I am from Sanglang, 2 miles away from Simpang Empat Kerpan, where I believe, you are from.

Don, saya tidak mengultra-vireskan sesiapa. :)

Peace all.

KROMOK said...

Pengalaman yg saudara Art lalui itu juga dilalui olah sy,betapa keluarga sy hidup harmoni berjirankan orang2 cina yg kami anggap seperti saudara kami sendiri,sy masih ingat semasa sy berumur 12 tahun sy telah dipatuk ular,emak sy terus berlari kerumah jiran kami yg bernama Nyonya Toi,terus anak Toi yg bernama Ah Bin menghantar sy ke Hospital Kangar ditengah2 mlm buta dgn motosikalnya,bnyak lagi memori2 indah hidup kami berjirankan org2 Cina di Kg. SangLang,Kedah yg terus menjadi kenangan terindah dlm hidup sy.

art harun said...

Kromok,

Kita sekampung lah namapak gayanya. Nyonya Toi tu...aku ingat lagi Bro. Hahah...

Anonymous said...

I am a Chinese and my neghbours are Malays. During Chinese New Year, my wife makes it a point to deliver Mandarin oranges and angpows for the neighbours kids. During Hari Raya Aidilfitri, my neghbours would give us kuih raya and duit raya in green packet. Apparently, it is the politicians who are dividing us Malaysians and not our feloow Malaysians.

Highlander1208 said...

Art

Jika saudara kerinduan akan suasana seperti ini. Datanglah ke Sabah, Suasana semulajadi 1Malaysia masih lagi dipraktikkan. Orang-orang di sini tidak kira bangsa atau agama masih duduk semeja minum dan makan bersama sama sama ada di kedai Cina atau melayu. Datanglah ke Kedai Mamak Restoran Salim di Kota kinabalu saudara akan merasa terkejut melihat pengunjung restoran tersebut 60% adalah orang cina. Malah gerai gerai makanan di Pusat membeli belah tidak ada masalah makanan halal atau haram kerana setiap masyarakat menghormati sesama sendiri.Malah sekiranya orang Sabah yang pertama kali melawat ke Semenanjung Malaysia akan mengalami kejutan budaya melihat suasana yang "Segregated" di mana mana sahaja. Saya percaya masih ada harapan lagi untuk kita merasai suasana ini ada jika ramai bloggers seperti saudara dapat merapatkan jurang ini melalui penulisan di blog saudara.

Anonymous said...

Art,

Saya tak pernah rasa pengalaman seperti saudara..

Tapi cerita ini amat dekat dihati saya, sebab kadang kala mak saya akan cerita kisah dia kecik - kecik dulu...mak saya tinggal kat estet di Taiping, majoriti india, ada 2 keluarga melayu dan beberapa keluarga cina...

Dulu mak saya sangat miskin...bila tiba hari raya, ada nyonya akan jahit baju raya dan bagi free kat mak saya...petang2 lepas main-main, ada apek bagi kuih kat mak dan kawan2 dia..

Mak saya kawan dengan anak2 india sampai fasih cakap tamil...anak 2 cina kat estet tu pun fasih cakap tamil..keluarga mak saya juga bela anjing, mak saya selalu cakap masa kecik dia main anjing, siapa pun tak kisah..

Makanan mak saya dah jadi fusion, campur india, cina dan melayu...

Lepas kawen dengan bapa saya...mak saya tinggal kat kg melayu, tak ada india atau cina...kami tak rasa pengalaman bercampur dengan bangsa lain dalam kehidupan seharian...cuma bila bersekolah menengah, saya sekolah convent, ..baru lah bercampur...tapi tak mesra seperti cerita mak saya...

Kadang2 mak saya teringin nak makan kueh2 cina yang dia makan masa kecik kecik dulu, dia minta saya pergi beli...dulu saya malu nak pergi beli kat kedai cina..saya takut orang tengok pelik

Kebanyakkan kawan2 saya sangat jijik dengan makanan India dan Cina...dulu bila nak pergi sekolah , kami kena lalu depan satu kedai kopi cina, dia jual mee...punya la wangi dia masak...tapi kawan2 bila lalu saja ludah...kata pening, ada kawan tak lalu depan gerai tu..depa guna jalan lain...

Mak bagi tahu saya bukan semua makanan india dan cina haram..ada benda yang boleh dimakan...

Saya dan adik beradik saya biasa makan makanan cina dan india, tapi kami tak pernah cerita dengan kawan2....malas...nanti banyak sangat soal haram halal...bukan lah maksud saya , kami tak kisah haram halal...cuma kadang kala beli air di kedai kopi cina pun dah jadi isu besar...

Dulu dengar cerita mak, saya rasa pelik...Saya rasa hanya mereka yg bercampur dengan Cina dan India dari kecik saja dapat merasa kemesraan hubungan kaum seperti cerita anda...

cL said...

only those who were born in the 60's can have those fond memories. Politicians who fought for their own interest are to blame for whatever had happened to our motherland. Those are the people who had ruled our motherland all the while. We should pass on what we have experience in our real life to the future generation so that history won't be distorted.

Paranoid Android said...

I wept when I read this almost Yasmin Ahmad-ish (God bless her soul), nostalgic post. I wept for the future generation of Malaysians who might never be able to experience the simple and uncomplicated race relations or rather, a relationship among citizens irregardless of race, but based on mutual respect and trust.Thank you for this gentle reminder, for this beautiful post.

ESSENTIELS said...

caya sama hang tu art. baguih citer hang tu!!!!

sekian lama betoi yang aku ni dah tadak dengaq citer lagu ni!!!!!!

keep up the good work art.

Anonymous said...

ART you seem to write some wonderful stuff . REALLY like your style of writing , the subtle way you make your points and the simple words you use to make your points . THEY say Confucious said " a picture paints a thousand words " but ART you sure " paint " a wonderful picture with a thousand words . HOPE you don't stop writing.

Robert said...

I also remember a time like this in my kampong in Menglembu...arrhhh...the good old days. Where did it all go...???

Anonymous said...

Dear Art,

Great and fond memories revived through your beautiful writing. Our greedy, corrupt, racist and "holier than thou" politicians committed the greatest crime and sin against all Malaysians over the last 40+ years by taking away our multi racial and multi cultural wonderful way of life in our once beautiful country.

I've lost all hope of us ever regaining back our wonderous way of life where race and religion never mattered. Sad, so sad.......

Ka Ea Lim said...

Art, thanks for writing this beautiful and yet poignant piece. I must confess that I was so close to tears.

Saya rasa kalau orang sekarang kena buat kerja berat seperti menuai padi atau bangun awal untuk mengayuh basikal, mungkin mereka akan rasa terlalu letih untuk membantah ini dan itu.

Jadi, cadangan saya ialah untuk menghantar mereka yang berperangai NATO (No action, talk only)dan hanya pandai bergoyang kaki di rumah mereka yang bernilai berjuta-jutaan ke sawah padi di kampung Art.

Who says hard labour is a violation of human rights?

Jordan Yeoh said...

Art,

A wonderful piece. Moved the deepest part of my soul reading it. I was born in the 70s in KL. I still remembered the primary school days where I mixed with everyone freely until I am in Std5 where something which I don't understand what at that time. Something just changed I don't know what. The issue of races just suddenly come into picture.

1Malaysia bull me not now. It existed long ago from the stories that my mum and dad told me before of their childhood and I did experience it a little in my childhood and I am glad and missing it dearly.

1Malaysia? Existed but removed. Its more like 1Man or 1Party now. Sucks.

K.Siiva said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deux Anges said...

Kembaliku kepada suatu daerah memori yang sudah terlalu lama tidak dilewat. Oh... Nostalgia.

Thank you, Art.

Anonymous said...

Kroninya, 1 Malaysia hanya satu Slogan Kekosongan daripada Najid.