Sunday 21 November 2010

The cab ride to KLIA

The cab driver who took me to KLIA when I was in KL 2 weeks ago was quite an interesting character.  For a start, he spoke English with me.  As far as I can recall, I have never encountered any Malaysian cabbie who does that.  He may not be very proficient, but deserved 10 points for effort.

From the initial stage of the conversation, I found out that he used to work in a corporate environment.  Unfortunately, he couldn’t make it as he doesn’t have any paper qualification and his boss… “that bastard ahh… makes me work day and night.  But pay me chicken shit”.

He then asked me where I work and why I am going to Singapore, etc.  Naturally, the conversation led to discussion on brain-drain and politics.  That’s when he popped me a very straight forward question…

“Eh sir… you ahh… govt supporter or opposition supporter? Tell me please!”

I must say I was caught off-guard.  He asked me with such gusto, I had to pause and planned my words carefully.  Further, he had a special permit which allows him to pick up passengers from LCCT, a rare case.  I wonder if he was a connected individual or something.

But at the same time, I didn’t want to lie.  Hence… “I believe Malaysia needs a change” was my answer.

“That’s right sir! Actually ah… me and all my friends ah… my generation ah… all wants to change” – I reckon he is in his 30s.

It was then that he said something rather inspiring… I will never forget it…

“We all ahh… not very smart people, but we also know. If change govt, economy sure affected.  Maybe I will lose this permit to drive taxi. But nevermind… must still change.  For the future, we must change”.

He went on to say about life being tough but everyone must be prepared to suffer so that we can be better.  To me, that’s quite amazing. 

Here is someone who is willing to risk what is possibly his entire income for the betterment of the nation.  But many out there are not willing to risk that simply because they are afraid that they might drive a Honda instead of a BMW… they might need to move from a luxury link house to a condo… that they might no longer be able to fine dine.

I guess when one has too much too lose… one will become selfish.

2 years ago… Any difference?

Sunday 14 November 2010

Voting tales

I was back in KL last week for a conference and met up with some interesting people. And as usual, we talked about our work and where we are from in the first lunch and moved on to our hobbies and interests in our second lunch and by the third lunch… the usual topic crept in… politics.

2 particular sharing stood out…

There is this person who said that her father would ask everyone in the family to register as a voter as soon as they hit 21.  What great parenthood eh? 

Not quite…

While everyone is expected to register and vote, everyone is expected to vote in accordance to the father’s business connection’s needs. Her exact words were… “You know which party lah…”

And that’s reality. To the Chinese businessmen, it doesn’t matter if everything is screwed up. As long as the money keeps flowing in, that’s all that matters.

But… there is a silver lining…

“My father retired already… now we are free to vote whoever we want. So now very different already lah…”

I never asked whom she will vote, I respect her privacy.

The second sharing is a pretty straightforward one but certainly worth mentioning…

The sister of this particular person flew back from US to vote in the last election. And, her sister will be flying back again in the next election to vote.  Obviously, this person I spoke too will also be voting.

I told this to a friend and the comment was… “Aiya, rich mah… that’s why can fly back to vote. Not everyone is that rich lah”.

Well, how many of us where the voting station is just a drive away and yet, we don’t vote?