I know the title of my letter is quite misleading but you will comprehend as I reveal my story you.
Decent, civic-minded road users are constantly battling two entities. First, the decent road bullies. These are people who change lanes without indication, park their vehicles in the middle of busy lanes, jump red lights without regard to the law, switch on their headlights on busy roads, race illegally on busy highways regardless of whether their vehicle is a modified turbo-engine BMW or cute matchbox Kancils or Kelisas, throwing caution to the wind, fearless of death. I have noted all these from my two years driving experience in this country.
The second group falls in to the category of indecent road bullies, of which I personally experienced. A week ago, whilst driving down Jalan Cheras near the Taman Bullion roundabout, a taxi on the right lane took an unprecedented swerve into my lane without signalling! Such behaviour is intolerable and I was forced to hoot at him.
Instead of a wave of apology or a nod, the driver showed me the most vulgar sign with his fingers. My brother who just returned from London was utterly flabbergasted at such a display of Malaysian manners. If such scum behaviour was not enough, the driver swerved into my lane again as I took a left turn onto the Kesas Highway. I had to halt abruptly. He continued to show the vulgar signs despite having a passenger with him.
Other examples of indecent road bullies include parking in the middle of lanes and when asked to move, they answer “Saya punya suka, apa awak peduli?” They also include illegal racers who show indecent signs if they are honked at, drivers who install halogen lights to blind oncoming drivers or those in front of them. Anything and everything is possible with these drivers. What shocks me is how they get past the super efficient road blocks.
Two other groups exist. One is a group of Malaysian onlookers who pay scant attention to these wrongdoings, as long as nothing churns the thick layer of ignorance that shrouds them. As long as they get their teh tarik, nasi lemak and latest gossip, they think that they have lived their lives to the fullest and served their best as true Malaysians.
The second group consists of Malaysians who persistently strive for the betterment of themselves, their kit and kin, their society and their nation by exemplifying civic consciousness, obeying simple rudimentary laws, living and let live, enjoying the forces and beauty of nature by not destroying them.
These Malaysians stick out like a sore thumb among the hundreds of “true” Malaysians who feel that peace and integrity can be achieved by their “Relax lah attitude.” They are the first to retreat when it comes to national achievements and nation building. To quote the words of our deputy prime minister, “A nation’s achievement is judged by its literacy rates, public awareness, civic consciousness and national development.”
My fellow Malaysians, the time has come for you to decide which group you choose to be with. If that means waking up from your Alice in Wonderland dream state, please do it now before you are sucked into the black hole forever!