And some of the other times (RARE!) we find ourselves talking about what we read. That's when we either hush up or shut up.
I dunno what we think can happen to us if the table next to us full of more aunties & uncles can hear us
But I think, silently, lurking beneath us is the dread (or threat?) of thinking that, at any time our status of living in this country can be taken away for saying something wrong.
Nay. Not just talking, but even THINKING about something is wrong.
52 years of independence & we are still thinking this way & some are still behaving that way.
Go figure how many more years of independence we will need before we can be open.
So, this morning, after slurping down her noodles, Aunty Lucy suddenly said, "Eh. Why only 10% non-Malays got called up for citizenship interviews ah? I didn't know Malays also needed an interview to get papers? I thought they sure auto get citizenship? "
The silence was deafening, even in our crowded kopi shop.
We know what she's saying.
We know how it is.
Several of us have families or know of Malaysian ladies who are married to well qualified & educated foreigners who are not allowed to live here long term nor earn a living in their specialised field - much as they would love to.
The only way foreign men can get to live here is to get a 1 yr visa (on a spouse dependency pass), set up their own company. Or starting from this year, EVEN get the Malaysia My 2rd Home Visa.
OK. They can also try their luck by being hired by an employer who's willing to jump through hoops to get them a job visa.
Those with foreign wives seems to have an "easier" time (ie they get 5 yrs visa).
I dunno why there's this double standard. Must be in the old days, Malaysian women were indeed naive. That policy then was to "protect"our maidens from unscrupulous foreign men taking advantage of them.
The double tragedy is even NOW, the same Malaysian women are subject to prejudice in their husband's country because THAT country thinks they've probably married their countrymen for their citizenship papers too!
Aiyoh. I should know. I am one such person.
(In reality we see more dungu-fied Malaysian men taken in by foreign women, but that's another story)
Now the problem with telling Aunties "Not to.." is like telling them to do something.
Tell them go East, they go West.
Tell them cook fish, they cook chicken.
"Lucy! Change subject! We have been warned NOT to question this by the Ministry" (I think should be Home Minister)
I don't want Lucy to think this is yet another case of Arrogance from our Government but I KNOW - so long as the Home Minister tells us what to do, we should do so.
After all none of us at the table want to balik ke-India or Cina - the word balik being an oxymoron here as none of us have ever lived in, nor was born in those countries.
Aunty L pipes up 1 last time before we can aiyoh her away.
"But we all know what! Malay foreigners also don't need to go for interview will automatically get papers what!"
Sheesh. What DO we do with Aunty Lucy? Short of gagging her at tomorrow's breakfast.