Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Don't let prejudices cloud your action

Do you know what was the most sickening aspect of yesterday's car plunge into the big drain in Bukit Mertajam yesterday?

Just as I arrived at the scene, hoping to see how I could lend a hand if needed, there were already two or three people that had jumped down and trying to prise the car doors open.

Then there was one massive, loud oaf standing on the pavement right above these rescuers, not doing anything but asking loudly, "Orang China atau Melayu?"

What the dickens would you need to know that? Was it really important to know? He was quickly shouted down by the rest of the people at the accident scene. This was an accident, man, people may be hurt real bad inside. Just help if you want to. What has the race of accident victims got to do under such circumstances? If you are not prepared to help a fellow human being in trouble, please walk away. You have no right to be here. You are not needed.

I'm not saying that I'm adopting a "holier than thou" attitude here but I must mention as an aside that I was very surprised and terribly proud of my son's spontaneity several weeks ago. My family was out on the island for dinner. The time was about 7.30p.m.. The lights were failing. We were right behind a car and we were both waiting to turn right into a side road. An elderly Malay man was cycling slowly from the opposite direction.

The driver of the car in front of me might have missed seeing this cyclist because as he turned into the road, he bumped the old man. Luckily he was driving very slow and it was just a soft touch. Nevertheless, the man fell down, bicycle and all. All I heard from my son was a brief "Can I?" and I responded immediately, "Yes." And the next moment, my son had jumped out from our car and ran to help up the cyclist. Luckily, the man wasn't hurt badly. Just some slight bruising. We drove off soon afterwards.

So you see, lending a helping hand to a fellow man should be a universal trait. It must transcend all artificial barriers like making distinctions based on a person's race, colour of skin, religion, belief, sexual orientation or disability.

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