Monday, December 15, 2008

.: Quid pro quo :.


Between race and values.

Some time ago, I caught a snippet in the news of an Islamic conference held here. The speaker, an American was saying he admired how Malaysians are living harmoniously with one another notwithstanding the differences. His actual words were: "I have seen people being nice to people they don't know or are different from them. I myself have experienced that here. " Statements like these make you feel good inside, don't they?

Which brings me back to an incident happened earlier this year. There were racial sentiments against the African community, mainly fights involving them and the locals highlighted in the media. In response to this, a former colleague sent an email to all asserting that Africans do not mean harm and tried to shift the focus to the beauty of the continent and its people. It is really sad when one bad apple spoils the bunch, resulting to the general public to stigmatize. As of now, the situation has cooled down. Alhamdulillah.

From my own experience, I accompanied a group of Africans to the hospital. As the only local, the question I got was "They are your friends?". Coming back to office, I submitted my report. "Are you insane?" was what my friends bellowed at me. Apparently, traveling at midnight with them is madness. *even if my duties do not compel me to commit to it, there is no way i am leaving a sick person.*

People have mixed opinions on racial issues. Now and again, the media will bring forth news of dissatisfaction. Whilst the foreigners are saying they are misunderstood, the locals say that they are being stepped on. However, when it comes to being humane as in the plight of foreigners being duped into coming here promised with jobs only to end up without any shelter, or basic necessities; the hearts of locals and foreigners alike go out to them therein bigotry sentiments are non-existent. To witness the living conditions of these very people, is downright disturbing.

In all, we certainly do get stories of Malaysians being hoodwinked the living daylights out of them. As much as I pity them, I can't help but be unsympathetic for the ones that deliberately put themselves in that condition. Absconding to a foreign country, although self knowingly that the way itself is Machiavellian only to beg for clemency to come back home upon realizing that all isn't that fine and dandy there, is inviting sacrilege from me.

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Being subjected to criticisms when in search of a sense of belonging from a community that is supposed to shelter oneself from the harsh conditions only to be denied of one's rights. Makes one wonder, if you can't rely on your own community and they negate your very existence, is there a glimmer of hope that you shall be duly accepted in the community of others? And if yes, does it not tickle you? Should you turn your back to the ones that refuse you, will it be wrong when you are just depicting a mirror image of themselves?

It doesn't necessarily take one, to know one.
9.18am Malaysian Time

2 comments:

Empress Anisa said...

Hajar.... I like ur post! Followed you to check ur site- added you to my list, sis! I like your style of writing

Hajar said...

A visit from the empress herself! LoL. You're also in my list. :)