Cab drivers are nice too!


Written on 8/21/2004 12:09:00 pm by sikapitan

I wish to extend a big thank-you to the cab driver who managed to somehow recognize the Indon who abducted that little kid. It’s strange how I managed not to remember any names or intricate details of the whole story even though I read it. I suspect most of us just read the news for the sake of reading, and remember the ones that interest us. And this being a casual blog and all that, I didn’t bother to search for the names in the papers. I know it’s pathetic. Now let’s return to the cab driver.

I know we Malaysians do not think much of our cab drivers. Seriously, the general consensus is that they’re ‘bloodsuckers’. Let’s not mention the other names they’ve been called. I used to take the cab back when I was in high-school a lot, and frankly speaking I’ve never had an unpleasant experience. Maybe I’m exaggerating. There have been times when I called the cab company for a taxi, and no taxi appeared. Sometimes they just don’t bother to pick you up if you’re not going far. But just watch how they all rush in when the call comes in from someone who wants to go to KLIA. Another problem is when some don’t use the trip-meter, or there appears to be some discrepancy in the way the machine adds up. But they’re pretty much reliable and dependable, though a bit expensive in my humble opinion. However, if a conversation comes up, I’ll most probably remember the one who drove too fast, or the one that charged me 10 bucks just to get to Pyramid. That’s human nature.

I don’t remember the name of that nice kid who was very clever, but a little bit on the shy side. I definitely remember the one who kicked my friend in the nuts, or the one who shit in his pants. We remember their flaws because it somehow makes us feel better about ourself. And it’s just our tendency to remember tragedies. Isn’t that why most of the popular songs are about tragedy? Oops. It appears I’ve gone off-track, as usual. My point is that I really do believe that some rotten apples have spoiled the image of our cab drivers. I hope that more and more people realize the valuable contribution they’ve made to us. The media should also play a role in improving their image instead of concentrating on the defects. This would help them aspire to be better. I wouldn’t bother to be a good, honest cabbie if I know that whatever I do people will always think of me as unscrupulous. So help them see that we value their effort. Then perhaps that cabbie who picked you up next time would smile instead of scowl.
"Free wake-up call service"
I didn’t realize that there’s been uproar recently over some letter published in the Bar Council’s bulletin that in essence, criticized the right to call to prayer (azan) over a loudspeaker in residential area that’s populated by non-muslims. To me it’s a valid comment that must be taken into context. Individuals are clever, rational beings but when they get into a group they tend to be emotional and irrational. This is especially apparent when it comes to religion. Notice how the ‘Islamists’ in our country quickly condemned that letter as insensitive to our religion. I believe the writer is justified in seeking to highlight a problem that’s plaguing our ‘friends’. I’m sure he’s not the only one who feels that way.

It’s precisely because of the emotional reactions to any comment or even enquiries into our rights and practices that we Muslims are not understood by other races. I am not a devout Muslim (that’s another issue entirely) but I do know that Islam is tolerant of others. For example, it is a requirement for us to read the Koran, and it’s even better to read it loudly, but if in doing so we disturb a sleeping person, it is ‘haram’ (I could be wrong, dead wrong so please correct me if I am). I believe that in essence, Islam does not encourage us to annoy others. To do so would even be detrimental to us as it would alienate us from others. Perhaps it IS unfair to erect a mosque or surau in the middle of a residential area AFTER the buyers had bought the houses without them knowing of plans to erect such structure. How would YOU feel if suddenly there’s a temple in the field beside YOUR house? But hey, I’m no ustaz so don’t take my word on any of this.
Vodafone v. Proton
Another round of EPL this weekend. I look forward to Man Utd against Norwich simply because I need to see them win and no disrespect to the Proton-sponsored club, this is one hell of a chance! However, the pressure’s squarely on their shoulder to win, and I suspect that this might be tougher for Man U than most imagined. One thing I’m going to miss this weekend is Akademi Fantasia. Did you read in the newspaper (a Malay daily I think- I didn’t read it but I overheard someone talking about it) about this girl who has fever because AF is over and she’s like missing it so much? The addiction to this show and other types of reality programs is disturbing. But that’s a story for another day. Until then, Glory Glory Man United!

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