I grabbed my spec, rushed to find my race number and in a flash, I was sipping my first coffee in my study room all geared up ready to run. It felt awkward going for a race without my two sparing partners Nawal and Abu. Both had other prior engagement and cancelled their participation at the race day eve.
Klang was a stranger to me but I was fortunate to have the GPS built-in my car and arrived at the race event by 6am. I parked my car and walked to the stadium to warm up and submit my registration number at counter A to start the race. I took note of other participants and notice a good mixture of all races. There were equally as many Malays and Indians as the Chinese. I have run various quarter, half and full marathons in Malaysia and this is the first race with the best mixture of races. It was a truly Malaysian event.
Being a regular at the most popular jogging track in klang valley such as the Kiara hill and the park, Lake Gardens, Kelana Jaya and KLCC, I cant help but to notice the Chinese are the dominant occupant of the jogging tracks. In fact, in all other running event (save as the MBK Klang event), we can find very few Malays and Indians. Similarly at boutique gyms such as the Truefitness which I am currently a member and previously at the fitness First gym, majority of the club members are also Chinese dominated. Sadly, running or exercising has not become a Malaysian culture.
What has not become a Malaysian culture too is the mindset of some ‘races’ in Malaysia. Race is a very sensitive and much debated hot topic with Tun Dr Mahathir being accused of playing the racist card in Johor recently as the last straw to gain the public support. The opposition PKR wanted to abolish the NEP for equal rights in all races. Not to forget the HINDRAF went all the way to the Queen of England to appeal for their race rights. What really are the rights that the Malay is protecting and the opposition wanted to abolish? And what was so important that the Hindraf went all the way to the British Queen bypassing our government, our king and our constitution?
At random, whenever I met my Malay colleagues and friends, I always ask that one simple question. Do you know your rights as a Bumiputra? The Malay were furious and another word by any other races questioning the special privileges for bumiputra as provided by the federal constitution, would have triggered another 13 May with Dato Seri Hishamuddin probably fronting with his Keris. The truth is, a random sampling of 10 out of 10 malay (my fellow colleagues and friends) does not know what are their Bumiputra rights but will not hesitate to draw their Keris if the privileges are threatened. Similarly, I asked my Chinese and Indian friends if they are being suppressed being a Malaysian (but non-bumiputra) and on a similar sampling of 10 different friends and colleagues (non-bumiputra), none of them understood what the big fuss was about but both the Chinese and Indian in their own right will protect whatever they deemed theirs. In other words, every malay, Chinese and Indian will bleed blindly to protect their rights… even without knowing what they are protecting!!!! So here we are, Abdullah Badawi, Anwar Ibrahim and Hindraf provoking the innocent Malaysia politicising issues that none of their supporters truly really understand.
The best pleasure of participating in running races is the real harmony of being Malaysian. It is the best display of unity and solidarity irrespective of race and religion. Everybody run with one objective… to complete the race! Imagine all Malaysian irrespective of race and religion, work together bearing one similar objective (whatever that objective may be), I believe that will be the real spirit of Malaysia Boleh!