I'm going to navigate away from my usual motivational and inspirational doodling to touch on something that have troubled me this whole week.
For the past week, I've been handing out fliers (see my last posting) at Masjid Jamek in an open space between Burger King and the Putra LRT station. What I've observed every morning is a sight to behold. Something so common that we have taken it for granted.
I see Malaysians of all races, religion, colour, economic status and even foreigners working in Malaysia rubbing shoulders, talking and walking TOGETHER heading to where ever they were going. Smack in the middle of this rush hour crowd, are groups of at least 20 hawkers trading in the open spaces or on the side walks selling local Malaysian food ranging from nasi-lemak to curry-puffs to mee, meehoon and even can drinks, soy bean and newspapers. At least twice in the last week, these hawkers were scrambling and grabbing their food, tables etc and fleeing the scene. When I enquired to why this was happening, one of them told me, 'Bandaraya mari la'.
This got me thinking. Its visit Malaysia year. What do we expect foreigners to see when they visit Malaysia. Our Petronas Tower? They probably have buildings taller and architecturally more sophisticated. Our LRT or monorail? I don't think so. Its not our modernity that these visitors come to Malaysia to see. Its the racial integration in these open air bazaars and road-side food stalls mend by all races (Malaysian) that's unique. This is truly Malaysian. Here's where we truly see racial harmony, racial integration. We do not have to spend millions to teach us integration. We have been doing it since we were in school. And Bandaraya have to come and spoil this wonderful scene. Sure these traders have no licences. Can City Hall make an exception. Can we use this scene as a showcase to the world what a wonderful country we have. Its our selling point. Capitalise on it. This is what the foreigners want to see.They want to be a part of this as well. Forget about the licences Bandaraya.
Come on Malaysia! These are things we need to address. Leave the hawkers alone. Do something about the pick-pocket rascals, the mat-rempits, the snatch thieves. They are more damaging to our image than the hawkers and traders at Masjid Jamek.
Another point of observation. Can City Hall provide garbage bins in the vicinity? How about a Tourist Information Centre to assist tourists? Masjid Jamek is one of the busiest part of KL. There must at least be one Tourist Information Centre at the LRT station.