Doing the right thing
by Loh Kian Ling
THE events of May 13 left a lasting memory for those who witnessed it. People like me who went through it hope that future generations will never have to face it again.
I was studying in Taylor’s College then and happily mixed around with people of other races without a worry. For most college students
then, race was not something we thought about. Neither was politics.
On that fateful day, we had a Malay tenant in our rented flat in Pudu. He was totally unaware of the chaos that was erupting all over the
city, and was preparing to go out for his dinner.
Luckily, we managed to stop him. Curfew was subsequently enforced but vigilante groups were out in the streets.
Although we were fearful of the consequences of harbouring a Malay in a predominantly Chinese area, we did what we thought was right. We sheltered our Malay tenant during the entire curfew period. And he left us only when curfew was lifted and peace restored.
Due to the passage of time, I have forgotten the name of our Malay tenant. I hope he is well and in good health.
I believe selfish politics played a big part in igniting the fires of May 13. I sincerely hope that today’s politicians think seriously about our children’s future before playing the race card to increase their popularity at the expense of racial harmony.
Malaysia is and always will be my home and also the home of my children and their children. Malaysia is going to be 50 years old and yet we still look at one another differently because of race. Why can’t we live as one? Why do we still need to identify ourselves by our race? Why can’t we just be Malaysians?
Loh Kian Ling, 56, has just retired from the corporate world after 33 years and is now operating his own management consultancy company.