1130am this morning, again in an Asalkan Bukan UMNO t-shirt, I flagged down a cab to head out to the workshop to pick up the car and then head out to my ‘sembang’ session with, hopefully, a few taxi drivers.
“You Mr Haris, ah?”, the taxi driver asked.
“Depends. That Haris fella owe you money, ah?”, I asked back.
He laughed, and I laughed with him.
Lim, aged 45, with 3 school-going kids, told me that he had heard me speak at the ceramah at SS2, PJ on the eve of polling day in 2008, and had since then, when he could, tried to keep up with my writings on the blog.
“But now you don’t write so much, ah”, he remarked.
“Busy with ABU, lah”, I explained.
I shared with him what the ABU initiative would be launching shortly as part of our phase 2 work to rid this nation of UMNO and BN come the 13th GE.
1/2 hour later, the meter showing RM24/=, we had reached the workshop.
I pulled out RM25 to hand over to him.
“Boss, you keep the money for ABU, please. I go back today and tell my children their father also help to ABU”, Lim said, smiling.
Given that Lim had told me that he earned an average of about RM100 a day, I was touched by this gesture of support.
“God bless you, Lim. Thank you”, I said, and shook his hand.
The car was ready.
More good news.
No repair bill!
Hey, I don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, ok.
N, the cab driver I had met the other day had text me earlier to say he might not be able to make it there on time as he was sending a fare to Klang, but that he had alerted another driver, R, to expect me and to introduce me to the other taxi drivers there.
Got to the cab stand and found N not there.
R was there, along with 3 other drivers.
All had already heard from N about the work I do in ABU.
And there was immediate hostility from one of them.
Yes, he said, he was an UMNO member and he did not take kindly to me wearing the t-shirt I had on.
I told him that if he could give me 3 good reasons that I could not effectively rebut as to why I should support UMNO in the 13th GE, I would not only strip out of the t-shirt there and then, but would also cease my work in ABU.
The other three started to needle him and tell him that they also wanted to hear from him.
He said he did not have 3 reasons to offer me, but that UMNO had done much for the Malays and that we should be grateful to UMNO.
I asked if he had his own taxi licence.
He said he did.
I asked the other three if they, too, had their own licences.
None of them did.
So I turned back to Mr UMNO and asked him if this was fair.
“Suruh mereka masuk UMNO tapi tak mahu, jadi apa boleh buat? Kalau dah masuk UMNO, pasti dah ada lesen”, he shot back, quite irritated.
“Jadi encik setuju UMNO hanya tolong UMNO, bukan tolong Melayu?”, I asked
“Ah, jangan nak jadi loyar buruk, lah”, he replied curtly.
I laughed and told him I did not have to try and be a ‘loyar buruk’ as I was a lawyer and had practised law for 20 years. Told him that I, too, like cab drivers, needed a licence every year to practise law but, guess what, my licence was not issued to a company owned by minister Nazri Aziz who then in turned allowed me to practise on condition I paid him a daily fee, as do a great many cab drivers in the city.
I asked Mr UMNO how many years now he had his own licence and how many years before that he was sharing his daily income with Nazri?
He got up, said he did not want to talk to me anymore, and walked away.
The other 3 asked me not to mind him.
I flipped open the Ipad and shared with them some of the online alternative news.
Thanks, TK, for the Ipad. It came in handy today.
Did I have any material that I could leave with them, they asked.
I gave them each a copy of the DNBN KUBURKAN BN DI PRU13 dvd and asked them to share it with their friends and relatives after they had viewed it, if they thought there was any good in it that should be shared.
I told them that ABU would be coming out with some printed material for mass distribution and asked if they would help.
I got a resounding “Boleh” from all three.
Told them I had N’s phone number and I would be in touch the soonest the material was ready.