**Note : This is a non-political matter. It is a personal musing.**
I was only 5 years old then. We lived in a kampung in Bayan Lepas, near to the airport. It is a Malay kampung and life was peaceful. We have Indians, Malays and Chinese mixing around happily.
There was no tap water and my sisters would have to take the laundry to the river to wash. We had a well for bathing and general washing. Drinking water was sourced from a main pipe quite a distance away from my kampung. My elder brothers would have to cart the water with their bicycle.
I remember the May 13 incident because every evening, all of us have to be locked in the house. No one can go out. Even during the day, my mom wouldn’t allow us to run all over the kampung.
What I remembered was there were lots of ‘ang thou peng’ (Federal Reserve Unit wear red helmet, hence, red head army) patrolling at night. I peeped through the window and could see they look very stern with their batons.
At that time, the childhood fad was to play 7-stones, guli (marbles) and one more toy that is never seen around anymore. It is sort like a hula hoop, with the hoop put at the ankle. A string is attached to the hoop and a ‘bell’ is at the end. I would put the hoop on the right ankle and then skip with the left leg. Arrgghhh…very hard to explain.
OK, what I want to say is – May 13 shouldn’t never, ever happened again. Each of us as an individual has a part to play. Let’s not just pointing fingers at the gahmen, political parties etc. Let’s teach our children about ACCEPTING** the differences we have as different races and religions.
Oh ya, I also remembered my father has to walk from Bayan Lepas to Methodist’s Boys School, which is very, very far to take my 2nd brother back from school when the curfew was announced. Isn’t that scary? All vehicles were not allowed on the road. The school children were expected to make their way home? Every parent would be worried sick in a situation like that. Now, I can only imagine how my parents felt.
Let us reflect back and thank God that we are now living in a peaceful, harmonious country. Remember our Rukun Negara?
Kepercayaan kepada Tuhan
Kesetiaan kepada Raja dan Negara
Kesopanan dan Kesusilaan
Belief in God;
Loyalty to King and Country;
Upholding the Constitution;
Rule of Law;
Good Behaviour and Morality
**I learnt that ‘ACCEPTANCE’ is a better word than TOLERANCE. A person can only tolerate so much until he/she explodes. But acceptance is more enduring.