Perhaps, the rain soothed my soul. Maybe, these people I met projected such positive aura I felt I am connected to them. Instantly, it felt like home. Naturally, I wanted to help them and fortunately, this total stranger to them was given chances to assist them in her small ways. Indeed, to be needed rejuvenates your soul.
Inside our “Rumah”, my curious eyes caught the sight of the first “SABM” banner, full with inspiring words by a group of people who kicked start “SABM” initiative last year. “Ancient Mariner was here” – those words penned by Allahyarham Ancient Mariner brought tears to my eyes. May your Soul rest in peace Sir because “SABM” is now LIVE!
Outside our “Rumah”, I saw one lady seated with her teenage son (apparently, Daryl is a member of "Edison Youth Achievement Award", as shared by Mr. Duke in this blogpost) under one of the two tents set up within the compound along with a few other “Anak Bangsa Malaysia” (“ABM”). No door gifts, no early refreshment, no ‘carrots’ offered to entice these Anak Bangsa Malaysia to come early when Malaysians are rather famous with their unpunctuality. One thing for sure – it showed how much they wanted to be part of this momentous launch and that really touched my heart.
As more Anak-Anak Bangsa Malaysia thronged the registration booth, the sales of SABM’s “Racism is so yesterday” Tees and “ABM” buttons were picking up. You’d hear Anak-Anak Bangsa Malaysia uttering this mantra - “Keep the change” - at this sales booth too often because everyone wanted to chip in for “SABM”. Some bought these items, not only for themselves, but also to share with their loved ones, friends and neighbours. I rest assure you that Anak-Anak Bangsa Malaysia are definitely gracious lots. It is also interesting that I was able to capture this spirit of "Pay It Forward" taking place in our Ibu Pertiwi.
The launch started with us singing “Negaraku”. I know I should feel ashamed of myself but I must confess that I was so proud singing it, after a very long time. My voice was choked with emotions and I know there were many more Anak-Anak Bangsa Malaysia who felt the same way and even got teary eyes. Talking to a few Anak-Anak Bangsa Malaysia after the launch, I gathered that they felt so emotional about this event because they have waited for so long to be recognised as Anak-Anak Bangsa Malaysia – not just ‘second’ or ‘third’ class citizens in their own Ibu Pertiwi.
My non-bumi friends shared with me what racism had taught them. They survive to become compassionate and smart people. They learn that success depends on their efforts. They strive not to hurt others because they know how painful it was – physically and emotionally - being ‘punished’ for our differences. I believe our differences are for us to embrace, to cherish and what make us a better person for what we see in others are reflections of ourselves.
Some may claim that SABM is simply an emotional tool used by certain quarters to gain political power and may only appeal to the deprived and desperate non-bumis. I strongly do not think so because I believe that SABM is all about People Power, where racism and corruption stop here while nationalism begins. Can we picture how great our Ibu Pertiwi and its people could be if we had united as Anak-Anak Bangsa Malaysia 52 years ago? This Ibu Pertiwi should be greater than The Little Red Dot.
After the launch, we were served with delicious food for Buka Puasa. They say the food tastes better when you are in a great company. Along with their muslim brothers and sisters, many more joined for Buka Puasa after participating in “Fast For The Nation, Peace For Malaysia” Initiative. I was told that around 60 people gathered at Lotus Restaurant in PJ for sahur that very morning. I met Rev. Sivin Kit and of course, this Google-manic found his blog, where he wrote this: “It’s encouraging to read at different blogs as well as comments, the desire in ordinary people who care why “Fasting together, and committing to do acts of kindness” as a response to “acts of violence and the incitement of hatred” is the way ALL can participate in overcome evil with good”. That is so beautifully put together.
“Life ends when you stop dreaming
I was told, too, that SABM would start its roadshows in all states soon. Let’s lend our ears, if we can’t do with helping hands, to support SABM.
Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia. Awak Bagaimana?
p.s. This reminds me of Brian Adams, Rod Stewart and Sting's rendition of "All for Love" ~
"When there's love inside (I swear I'll always be strong)
"That it's all for one and all for love
p.s.s. Do you know that "Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno" is a Latin phrase that means "One for all, all for one" in English. It is known as being the motto of Alexandre Dumas' Three Musketeers and is also the traditional motto of Switzerland. This Ibu Pertiwi is indeed for all!