Sunday, January 3, 2010

The real 1Malaysia

I came across the following write-up from Hannah Yeoh's blog, which was an article written by Citizen Nades of The Sun. Although the news is one-month old, it still makes good inspirational reading that there are some warm Malaysians living amongst us and life can still be good. Let's see more of this in 2010.

Article below by R. Nadeswaran:
WHEN I walked into the office yesterday, I had already made up my mind on what I would write in this column. While I was contemplating yet another piece on theft of public land, I was alerted by reader Awtar Singh to this great piece of inspiration to all Malaysians. It is a must read for everyone who loves this nation. It would be a travesty of public interest if it is not shared by all like-minded Malaysians.

It is a poignant story which would make everyone’s day. While politicians squabble on race, religion and creed, this story transcends all boundaries. It tells of the little things that make a difference to our cosmopolitan society. It is fervently hoped that this story will send a strong message to our politicians who often use the colour of one’s skin to justify their actions. It should also send a subtle message to those who throw large sums of money on posters, advertisements and TV commercials on “unity”. On the whole, this is yet another message to all citizens of this country that there are individuals who see issues in a different light.

Before accusations are thrown that this story was plagiarised, let it be said that it appeared in the blog of Subang Jaya state assemblywoman Hannah Yeoh. It can be read at your leisure at:, but here’s a gist of what she wrote:

“I have been blessed by an encounter I had in Angsana flats in USJ 1. I was invited to visit a young gentleman there who is wheelchair-bound. His name is Chin Kit. When I arrived at Chin Kit’s house, I was informed by his parents that he was out with his friend. I waited for him to return home. I was curious to find out about his transport arrangement. When Chin Kit returned home, my eyes were fixed to his wheelchair. Behind his wheelchair was another young man, Azizul his name.

“As we chatted, I discovered that Azizul lives in Pantai Dalam, KL. Azizul would travel from KL to USJ 1 just to spend time with Chin Kit. Azizul also suffers from disability on his hand.”

Chin Kit then describes his friendship: “Azizul used to be my schoolmate. We studied in the same school before. Now he is one of my best friends. Whenever I want to go to a public place I will call him and he will surely take a bus to come to my house. Then after that we will take a taxi to travel wherever we want to go. When we get a taxi, he will help carry me in and out of my heavy wheelchair. When we are in public places, we live like normal people, window shopping, buying things, watching movies, and just hanging-out like normal people. So I’m very appreciative and I thank God to have a friend like Azizul. Hopefully our friendship will last forever.”

At times when overzealous politicians and wannabes throw the race card at every possible instance, this story tells of a friendship that was brought about by a common factor – their physical disability. While able-bodied men and women are easily taken in by edicts imposed by religious zealots and racist political rhetoric, this is a true example of how two friends are blind to any connotations which border on ethnicity or religion.

They don’t have medals or hampers for this unique relationship. And the people at the National Unity Department need not rush with a posse of journalists and letters of commendations. There is no necessity to give them a “1Malaysia” award. They don’t expect any. These two young men exemplify what it used to be long before race-based politics changed the scenario to race-based friends, race-based employment, race-based living and the like. There are perhaps hundreds, if not thousands of Chin Kits and Azizuls who care a damn for loud-mouthed politicians who sing different tunes to different audiences. Such bonds are not based on rewards or incentives. They are from their hearts where each is treated as another individual irrespective of the language spoken or to the religion they profess or what they are supposed to eat and not to eat.

Chin Kit and Azizul, you made my day and so will you do to the hundreds of thousands of readers of theSun. You are real heroes. I certainly will not be wrong that all Malaysians hope that your friendship and bond will inspire young Malaysians to discard their blinkers and treat one another as human beings with dignity instead of seeing colours.

R. Nadeswaran is elated he could write a “feel good story” for a change. He is editor (special & investigative reporting) at theSun and can be reached at

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