Tuesday, September 08, 2015

It's All in the Minds

Ghaf walked slowly toward the front door of his small house. He remember his wife telling him to expect visitors today but he has forgotten who they are. At 84, his mind is no longer at its best. 

As soon as he opened the door, a voice greeted him with the Salam. Ghaf sees a man, many years younger than him and replied with a smile. The younger man took Ghaf's right hand and kissed it gently. He then put his arms around Ghaf and Ghaf reciprocate and they hugged each other tightly for a long moment. Ghaf then, held the man's shoulder and looked at his face. The words that came out of Ghaf was shaky but not at all unexpected.

It was sometime last month that I came across an online article about one of Malaysia's Great Names in Hockey. In between browsing I somehow lost the link but recently found a similar report on Poon Fook Loke, that was first published in 2007. Now, with the title of a Datuk, he recalled the heartache he and his team mates faced when they were defeated by India in the semi-finals of the 1975 World Cup Hockey that was held in Stadium Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur. The heartache was bitter as the team had earlier edged the defending champions then, The Netherlands, and everyone was in high spirits. But by the end of the Malaysia-India match, there were tears all around including those Malaysians on the spectators stands. I remember it well as I was one of the spectators there, along with Siva, Low Yuen Weng, Kwee Tat, Izhar, and many more schoolboys from the surrounding area who were given the day off from their respective schools to attend, and give moral support to our National Hockey Team. It was a great match.

Somehow, reading the report, I have a feeling the younger generations might not even know of the event in whole, nor what is perhaps, the greatest day in Malaysian Hockey history. Though the team lost the match that day, they won the hearts of millions of Malaysians for their determined spirit.

It is not only in Hockey for we had a great run in soccer too. With names such as Ghani Minhat, Soh Chin Aun, Arumugam, and the legendary Mokhtar Dahari, we use to rule the roost this corner of the planet, beating Japan and South Korea on our way to glory. The pinnacle of our soccer history was qualifying for the Moscow Olympics, only to be met with a quiet disappointment of Malaysia joining many other nations in boycotting the games for the host's invasion of Afghanistan. Although they said sports and politics should not be mixed, it was. And it was from then, a few believe, began the decline of our shine in sports. No, it was not the matter of the boycott for that was merely a bookmarker and not the reasons which is far too many and has since become complicated with myriads of issues thrown in; chief among them is politics. And no, I will not dwell into it. As I have mentioned, it is now complicated.

What I would like to say is simple: Let's call a spade by its name. For instance, the August29th Walk is - among the 5 demands - a call for a clean and fair elections. There is nothing in the demands made which has the word 'race' or 'racism' in it. That fact that the last walk had many more Malaysians other than Malays should be a shining example what we Malaysians can be, if we put our hearts together. There have been many walks before and there will be many more in the future. In all the previous walks (and not just the colour Yellow) the matter of skin colour never arise. So, let's keep it that way. But if ever a colour we would want to keep away from, oh please, let there be no red-skinned Malaysians. The colour, that colour, is so blind, and blinding.

Let us also remember that even before the formation of Malaysia, and even Malaya, we've had so many people from all walks of life and races, that stood their ground against not only the enemies of this land, but enemies of the people.

The para above is in light of an old man's praise for a young lady who, in her struggle for her organisation (read: not nation), decided on a legal platform and found herself expelled. The old man in his tribute to this young lady, wants all or more Malaysians to be like her. Have we not? Or has the old man simply choose to forget of the lives incarcerated and lost?

Many, have not.

"Who...who are you?" asked Ghaf in an apologetic voice.
There was nothing the younger man could do but smile and said "I'm your son".

Title: Fiza, IR-ish
Edited to Infra-Red

*My sifu asserts that any photograph that has been edited shall become an image only and no longer a photograph.
A spade should always be a spade.

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