Thursday, 12 November 2009
Beautiful Baby Driving a Car
Marwa Sherbini 31, a pharmacist and a pregnant mother of a little boy was stabbed 16 times in a courtroom in Dresden in July this year by Alexander Weins, a Russian-born German when she was giving evidence against him. As usual,his religious affiliation is not mentioned, a privilege denied to a Muslim. "He had called her a 'terrorist' and 'Islamist' in a children's playground because she covered her hair."
Today her family had to be satisfied with Wiens life sentence, with no chance of an early release.
This news leads me on to something that happened to us today.
Driving from our house to Tung Shin Hospital, twice a week, via Ampang and Pudu Road is always fraught with stress. But today was especially traumatic. A MYVI, a taxi, a Mercedes, a small lorry and another taxi (in chronological order) blithely cut in front of our car to change to another lane without giving any signal. One of them had the gall to cross two lanes! There's more to come.
Since 1964, I have driven in Singapore, Malaysia, especially Penang,Brunei, England, Scotland and Wales. And now in KL for the past 2 years,
From my limited experience, I reckon KL takes the prize for having the worst drivers and the most lamentable standard of driving. It's not like there are too few good roads for too many cars as in many developing countries. Also the standard of education and the standard of living in this capital does not lag far behind any western city. It simply boils down to a contemptible attitude to others - defined by selfishness, arrogance and a me-first-and-to--hell-with-the-rest-of-you mentality. In my recent experience of driving in KL, I find it hard to believe that about 40% (or maybe more, not less) of these egotistic drivers are females and about 80% of them are Muslim women in their hijabs driving their bread-and-butter or rather 'nasi lemak'cars, their male-macho saloons, SUVs, 4WDs and huge People Carriers. And when you see them step out of their metal bijou, these scarfed SYTs (sweet young things) look quite beatific, like butter-won't-melt-in-their-mouths. I find this Jekyll and Hyde characteristic very difficult to come to terms with.
Years ago we met a UM academic, a member of the aristocracy - who- when we commented about the size of his vehicle, said, " I drive this Pajero so no one can overtake me." You may not be able to stomach his words but at least he was honest about his arrogance. That's a man speaking! Do not however give me the excuse that our demure female Muslim drivers are forced to drive like egotistic males so as to survive KL roads !! It just doesn't tally with their Muslim women virtues that are symbolized by their hijab.
Today, about 500 metres from Tung Shin Hospital a hijabed taxi driver shoved her vehicle in between our car and the road divider so she could get ahead of us. It was a miracle that despite her savage jostling we avoided what could have been a nasty accident on a very busy road.
I was shattered - and so would any one half my age.
Indeed a Muslim woman like Marwa Sherbini was murdered for wearing a scarf, for making a statement about her religious affiliation.
However, after today's trauma I feel that the religious statement made by our hijabed Malaysian women leaves me with a nasty taste in the mouth.
And by the way, we drive a 'sambal blacan' car, a Proton Saga. We may have to think about selling our house to buy a GMC Terrain or a Toyota Sequoia, a Lexus LX, or Land Rover LR2 or the Nissan Rogue to keep body and soul together on KL's roads.