I lived in a Malay majority kampung in Kampong Baroh, Bayan Lepas, Penang.
I was only five years old.
When the emergency was declared, as far as I can remember it, my two older brothers were in school – Chung Ling and Methodist Boys’ School. My eldest brother is 13 yrs older than me and my 2nd brother 12 years older than me, so they were 18 years and 17 years old. No, wait, probably my eldest brother already completed Form Five, so only my second brother was in school.
I do not recall much except that my mother was worried as my father had to rush to find my second brother. The only mode of transport we had back then was a Raleigh bicycle or the Penang Yellow Bus. Bayan Lepas is very, very far away from Methodist. Buses service probably stopped. And my father had to go on foot to fetch my second brother to safety.
During that time, all of us must be in the house, locked by the evening. From peepholes, I can see FRU personnels roaming around with their huge baton and rattan shield.
The hottest game then was this ring attached with string and a bell like thing. Kids would put the ring part at their ankle and we skip and make the ‘bell’ part go in circles. Very much like hula-hoop on an ankle. Who can remember playing this game?
Was there any racial tensions? Not that I know off. We have always lived peacefully, as far as a five years old girl is concerned. In fact, I went to an almost all-Malays school and never face racial problems at all.
So, yeah, nothing dramatic on my part.
However….I do feel pissed with the way UMNO protested at Komtar the other day. If that has been a day when my son was on his way home by bus, I would be worried sick because all the buses go to Komtar. Lucky, it was school holiday. That’s why I am very disappointed that the people who were part of the protest, i.e. the UMNO Penang leaders seems to get away with doing stunts like these on the streets and do not get into trouble. It was an irresponsible action.
How many of my readers were born before 1969?