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Monday, May 07, 2007

50 Years Ago in Malaya or the Good Old Days

As Malaysia celebrates 50 years of nationhood though our friends from Sarawak and Sabah dispute that, I would like to share just 2 stories of real people to show that those were the good old days.

Story 1.
The State Chief Education officer was a Eurasian but it seems he had a Malay mother. He looked like a real "mat salleh" and was married to another Eurasian and both went to the Catholic Church of St. Michael's in Ipoh. Perhaps in those days, having a child with an expatriate officer could have been one sure way of escaping the poverty cycle.

It was also common for unwanted babies to be left at the Ipoh convent as it had an orphanage and took in many babies from single and unmarried girls. Nowadays unwanted babies are sometimes simply abandoned or even worse killed.

Story 2.
A Chinese rubber estate manager had a son with a Malay partner. I am not sure if he was single at the time. But he had a Chinese wife and two children. The children stayed separately when they married and the son had even migrated to Australia.

The wife passed away after a long illness and the old man had to cope all by himself.
Throughout the years he had been supporting his half-Malay son even through higher education and the boy had become an officer in the Armed Forces.

He passed away a few years after his wife died but before he died, his other son used to visit him often and he became a Muslim before he died.

Now if we study all the current incidents of families having to go to courts to claim dead bodies, it seems that people and not legal officials are the best judges to work out these issues of life and death.

Do you have a similar story to share?

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