Tuesday, June 4, 2013

FOR UNITY - Do not separate our children, please!

When I was three years old, my father moved his family to a Chinese residential area in Fettes Park, Penang. We were the only Malay family living there. There were children who refused to play with me and there were those who refused to play without me. At a young age, I learned that there are no bad races, just bad people.

At home we were a Malay family. Outside, I grew up like any other Chinese boy. I was an odd sight - a skinny Malay kid chattering in Hokkien. Just five minutes’ walk towards the market was the Malay kampung where I spent time with Malay friends and agama lessons.

Our immediate neighbours were Eurasians. They welcomed me and my siblings into their homes, allowing us to learn about their beliefs and the English language.

Then one day there was a new Indian kid at school. He became my close friend and my immersion into the Indian culture began. On one occasion, my friend’s father reprimanded his mother for serving me chicken that had not been slaughtered according to Islamic tradition. I was a young, insignificant boy, and yet this man respected my faith enough to ensure that I practice it even in his home.

 I grew up believing that no matter the colour of your skin or the language that you speak, there are universal values we all share, values that unite us. This is the direct results of my early socialization.

But today the majority of our children are growing up in housing, in schooling and playtime apart from each other.

And we complain they are not united?

Anas Zubedy
Kuala Lumpur


ninotaziz said...

I grew up believing that no matter the colour of your skin or the language that you speak, there are universal values we all share, values that unite us.

This is the story of our generation, Anas. And how blessed we were. Let us fight for a similar legacy for our children.

Anonymous said...

My own personal experience; Sometimes I cannot run out from feeling suspicious and uncomfortable. Even when I know that my thought is wrong, but somehow I just cannot fit into it. Sometimes, I just want to blame my society which has separate me from mixing well with all the other races. Yes,I am the 'separated' children! But I realized that I should make changes within myself. Yes, Mr Anas go on, tell me more about the interesting story of unity!

can see clearly now said...

Every race want to hv their own vernacular schools, and then they we are the same , we r all Malaysian, n if your Mandarin is half-past-six , u r not a Chinese

Anonymous said...


I like to relate my own experience. As a young boy, I was brought up in a kampung (no longer existed) right in the middle of KL where the present Plaza Hotel, Jln Raja Laut, stands. There are few Malay families, Chinese, Tamil, Ceylonese, Punjabi, Bengallis, Siamese, Eurasians etc all living in one 'kongsi', mixed, and all respected one anothers belief and customs. Even when the May 13 racial riot broke out, right in front of our footstep, all of us look out after each other. Almost all of us went to the same school, Batu Road Boys School, as it was known then. There, apart from learning together, we played, shouted, teased, cried, even cursed each other in their language and nobody would even bat an eyelid. We acknowledged the differences in our races but we knew we are one. This continues up to my alma mater, Victoria Institution. Now, whenever i see groups of youth coming together, and its not just youths, mind you - go and see the lunch crowd in downtown KL - it saddens me, because most often than not, they will be within their own race. Wither Malaysia?

Anonymous said...

How to unite them when there are parties out there insisting on having 3 types of school. You segregate them from young based on their race. We should have one school. All kids go the same school where they can mingle and be friends.

Anonymous said...

Please consider reintroduce English medium school as another choice .

Pak Zawi said...

The solution to racial unity is really very simple, just have an English school and all the vernacular schools will cease to exisit as no one wants to be left out. An English education can be a key to the fuuture world.

Anonymous said...

The person who commented about three type of schools. Don't forget there are malays and indians in chinese schools. It is not the schools that separate them. There are many chinese and indians in National schools too but are they united. Worst, these non-malays are bullied and finally their parents have to take them out of these schools in order for their children not continue to be bullied.

It is the btn that brainwashed the people and also politicians who did not lead by example but instead divide the nation using the race card. Instead of striving towards uniting all races with their speeches, they instead used speeches to inflame the other races.

Anonymous said...

It depends on how you were brought up. My eldest daughter only has Chinese boyfriends when in school. But she married a Malay who looks like a Chinese. My boys both had Indians for bestfriends and my youngest girl had a Chinese for a bestfriend. Both my husband and I have no problems whatsoever with that.

When in Penang, we were the only Malay family in our street. The Chinese hawkers taught me Hokkien and since I did not have a flair in language , it was a futile attempts on her part. If you impart ideas that it is okay to mix with other races then your children will be race blind. Otherwise your children will never mix with other races. It all depends on you, not the school, the government or the political parties.