I was tagged by Tuan Kerp to say me two sen's worth on the much trumpeted (but rarely practised) concept of Muhibbah. I have mentioned before despite me frequent postings on race relations, I am not some rabid extremist Macha. I can proudly say I have close friends from various races & we all get together to share a few laughs over a beer or two. Yes, even me Melayu-jahat (most of em anyways) friends drink; alcohol is kinda of a social glue that bonds us all together.
Anyways, I digress. I'd like to share a tale or two with you which me thinks highlights the concept of muhibbah. Although it was a few years ago & me was then a young, long-haired metalhead studying in Liverpool, it still resonates with me till today.
In me final year, I was living in the seriously fooked-up ghetto section of Merseyside known as Toxteth (rent was cheap). Me flatmate & meself were the only two non-Malay residents in an apartment block filled with loads of Bumi students.
So every Friday evening, the Malaysian contingent would gather at the plastic turf pitch (the same one where Robbie Fowler honed his skills!) behind our apartment blocks fer a kick about. I got to know most of the Malay students here & always had a good laugh. In particular, there was this Kelatanese guy who was very amiable and friendly. Then one day I found out he had casually asked the other guys, "Apo namo Bala?"
"Bala la," came the reply. "Tok, namo Melayu dia," he asked again. The other guys chuckled & told him me full name & that me really was a Macha, not Melayu (me mixed blood heritage means I am more chocolate than Guinness)! Guess what, the amiable & friendly Kelantanese fooking stopped speaking to me after that . . .
Me & me mates took turns cooking & since most of the other diners were Moslem, I made sure all food stuff were purchased from the Halal butcher store. One such store was run by this pak cik sailor (there were quite a few in Liverpool) who never returned after the war.
So one fine fooking day, I was there waiting fer him to chop me bird, he makes small talk. Telling me how I need to study hard & do well in me exams . . . so far, so good . . . coz as a Malay I needed to go back & reclaim Tanah Melayu from the dastardly Cina & Keling!!! Fooking hell, I was at boiling point but held me tongue as this was an old man & didn't want to tell him to fook off (in hindsight, I should have).
I recounted me experience with me other Malay friends who saw the funny side of the story but nonetheless, in a show of solidarity, decided to boycott the racist muthafooker. Considering the pak cik's shop was the closest & most convenient Halal butcher to us, I was quite touched that they saw a need fer affirmative action against a fellow (ex-)Malaysian.
Anyways, here's are two sides of the coin that to me show the kind of polarisation we face. On the one hand, there are those narrow-minded fookers who only befriend their own kind. But all is not lost as there some who can still see thru the bullshit.
ps: Sorry fer the long-winded tales. Please feel free to share yer own experiences by posting in the comments box.
pss: JonC & Bernard Chong, you have been tagged. Please do write about this topic in yer respective blogs (on me blog roll).