Diversity

“I thank God that at 70+, I have lived to see this change which many feel had felt would not happen”

May 25, 2018

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“I thank God that at 70+, I have lived to see this change which many feel had felt would not happen”

Cerita Undi by Wong Soak Koon.

I am so honoured to have had the chance to help YB Michelle Ng (ADUN Subang Jaya) prior to Election Day on 9 May 2018. What a historic outcome. I thank God that at 70+, I have lived to see this change which many had felt would not happen. This historic drama is still unfolding.

I was one of the aunties helping at the campaign office. “The Aunty Brigade” helping Michelle was made up of ladies in their 50s, 60s and 70s, many of whom friends of Michelle’s mom.  Some of them have seen her grow up so know her dedication, commitment and moral fibre. While she was at Help Institute for her A levels, I was delighted to have had some tuition classes with her on the set Literature texts.

There was a palpable air of hope and optimism in that modest office, once used by YB Hannah Yeoh who so generously left so much of essential furniture etc behind besides a few staff members to help the young newcomer. We had multi-racial helpers and volunteers with strong men putting up banners etc. Some quietly and discreetly acted as bodyguards on Michelle’s walk-abouts in Subang Jaya. These men and women were of all ages too but many were young professionals who had taken time off to assist  (so much for the foreign journalist who focused on the apathy of our youths). Looking at them, I felt very optimistic and concluded, that, whatever the outcome, we are moving beyond from the old racial stereotypes.

Stapling and cutting hundreds, perhaps thousands, of brochures and leaflets, “The Aunty Brigade” also helped with questions on polling stations, polling procedures etc. And some brought such delicious treats (home-baked croissants, banana cakes to name a few goodies that made work so much more tenable). Tea breaks were fun time of sharing on hopes yet to be realised then.

And what an outcome! Michelle won by a huge majority but it is also the NEW Malaysia ushered in by GE 14 that gives us such energy and joy. Amidst the euphoria, we will not forget vigilance, ownership of our rights. Out with the culture of fear and feudal attitudes. No more labels and racial stereotypes (we are simply and proudly “Bangsa Malaysia”). We want to work towards more economic equality, gender sensitivity and greater compassion and politeness towards each other in this beloved land of ours. More actions taken to help OKU (in this context being an OKU myself, I was at first afraid that I may not be able to climb the steps to the campaign office but was delighted to be able to do so with little strain)

It was George Orwell, the cynic-romantic (a vexatious combination) who said that “the innate decency of people is seldom brought into the corridors of power”. I think we should not subscribe to Orwell’s conclusion so quickly. We want to be vigilant and ensure that decency will flow, like a breath of fresh air, not only into the corridors of power but the entire structure. Sejahtera Malaysia!

Cover image: IK’s World Trip, Flickr

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