20 Jul 2008

Sarah - attachment in melaka

Can you imagine, its already the end of second week since Sara came home? Time really flies. She has finished her practical and we're back in KL. I think this year she didn't enjoy her attachment as well as she did last year. She was with Zakiah and maybe this made a difference. At least she learnt something since she went to Ward C4. The previous ward - C3 was not very interesting according to her. It seems the houseman in charge, a Chinese guy, didn't try to help them at all and only talked in Chinese the whole time. That's very common here in Malaysia - I hear of teachers teaching Maths in Chinese, especially if there are more Chinese than Malays in a class. Or even giving special tips to a group of Chinese students in the class. The racial discrimination doesn't run one way - it goes both ways.
Things have been even worse in the past decade or so. Instead of becoming more integrated, I think students in Malaysia, and in KL in particular are becoming even more racial in most things. I remember when I was in primary school, we never felt that way. Of course we knew that we were Malay or Chinese or Indian but we never felt that one race is better or worse than the other. Things were never done along racial lines. I had more Chinese than Malay friends and even used to sleep at Ranjeet's house sometimes. I remember sitting in her room for hours talking, and then taking lunch with her and her family. I never even thought that the food is halal or not then. Things then were so straightforward. I remember coming home from school on Eddie or Chong's bicycle if its raining. I was in Standard 4 and in the afternoon session. Whenever it rained, and it rained often in the evenings, my mum would ask Chong our neighbour's son to go to my school to fetch me on his bike. He must have been about 16 or 17 years old but he did it willingly. He'd put my bag in front of him and I'd sit on the carrier at the back and we'd cycle home in the rain. Sometimes it would be Eddie, the Eurasian boy. Once it was Singh - but I didn't really like him somehow. Life was simple then. You never hear of rape cases or kidnappings. Burglaries too was a rare event if any. Actually there was nothing much to steal too back then. I think its a sad thing that we cannot even let our children play outside without worrying that they'd disappear like poor little Sharlinie.

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