Two nights in the life of a columnist

Mariam Mokhtar


COMMENT | A non-Malay approached me the other day and said, "You're lucky. Being Malay means you rarely get racist taunts, apart from the usual "Melayu balik kampung" or "Melayu bodoh".

He scurried away before I could respond. I don't know who he is, but hopefully, he will read this article about a day in the life of a columnist.

People who write newspaper columns are rarely invited out. Or, perhaps I am rarely invited out.

A few months ago, at a wedding reception in Kuala Lumpur, my host introduced me to the people seated on one table. They were strangers but one said loudly, "Ah you! I've heard of you. So how much is DAP paying you to write the articles?"

She looked around the table, expecting the others to applaud her insolence. They were clearly embarrassed, but not as embarrassed as my host, who turned beetroot red.

My host tried to steer me away, but I simply smiled at the questioner and told her that I was not affiliated to any party or person. I said that I act independently and based my articles on personal experiences and my observations of Malaysian society.

She was not satisfied. "How can you survive?" she demanded...

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