As many of you may already know, I was one of the candidates who stood during the Malaysia 13th General Elections. To many Malaysians, being a candidate also means either he/she has made or have or even will make a lot of money. More so I was with Barisan Nasional. Even more reason to suspect that because I am in MCA.

Many are not to be blamed to think that candidates also drive big cars, have big homes, big beds or are well to do to the extend they should be spending more. Public perception is always that of discrimination.

Little did many people know, my name is still Chew Hoong Ling, who came from humble beginnings and want to remain humble with whatever small things I have now. Each cent I have, I can now be sure that it is all my own blood and sweat. I have spent almost every cent of political fund back at PJ Utara. My office can last only until end of September, most money was donated to temples, Poh Toh functions (which also donates money to charities), needy people and clearing the remains of my office. Many also do not know my very “bed” was a single mattress on the floor at my office room and I slept there for almost one and a half year (talking about big home and big beds?). I now moved back to my Dad’s house which I have the comfort of a Queen size 🙂

I still drive my Proton Iswara and can never even afford to park right outside of the MCA headquarters. The guards only allowed MCA VIPs, staffs and big cars to park there. Many of us cannot run away from people who start judging us by the looks of our cars. A Proton Iswara driver means he/she couldn’t be someone big in MCA. “How can a ‘YB’ (I am now a Yang Bukan) drives an old Proton Iswara?” yes that of a kind.

Well, I too know who I am and never misused the opportunity to park at VIP car parks but I frequent the use of a valet service though. Yes, with my old Proton Iswara… cannot meh?

There was once at Sg Way school when I was to attend a function. I called my friend to say I find no car parks. I was one of the thousand of participants so I thought no one would care if I wasn’t there, I decided to leave. He is a VIP and too often use VIP car park space so his immediate response was, “Just come right up at the VIP parking. Tell them who you are!”

“Who am I? And the RELA won’t let me up because I am driving my Iswara.”

For a while, my friend was stuck. “Who am I?” was the question that hit him.

While many may say I could be judging these guards too soon myself, well it is proven. I drove to the RELA officer manning the VIP car park entrance and surely, he won’t let me go up whatever I said. I was invited by this Datuk, I come to sit at VIP table, I got an invitation card, I will assure you will be fine if you let me park up there… Nothing works, the car has done its job! Only when my friend came down to ask his favour, then he let me in.

Today, I almost forgot an appointment at MCA HQ so I sped there and alas, the parking at the basement was full. The meeting was very important one with a lady friend and I thought perhaps I could plead for a parking space from the security guard, which I really did.

“Tuan, saya ada mesyuarat penting tapi dah lewat sampai. Parking basement dah penuh, boleh minta tolong?”

“U siapa?”

“Saya ahli MCA juga la”

“Tak boleh la… U pakai kereta macam ni mana boleh?”

It then occured to me my candidate pass by the SPR was still in the car, came as a rescue. I flashed it and said, “Saya calon MCA untuk PRU13”

“Ye ke? Siapa suruh bawa kereta macam ni?” and he spontaneously removed the cone for me to park. How la… that’s the only car I have? How to answer his last question! And even while letting me in, he said, “Park hujung sana hah! Jangan park depan depan… kereta besar saja park depan!”

How people see us by the car we have!! It is no wonder young people these days chase new cars, latest gadgets and branded stuffs to impress their peers. It is conditioned in the mind that people who drive small old cars are poor and no reputation while those who drive big cars are trusted?? and rich??

On a contrary, have it been the impression that disabled people must drive small old cars instead of big ones? I got my OKU (Orang Kelainan Upaya – Differently Abled Person) card this year. Yeah, many do not know I am also a partially abled lady – I lost my left hearing since born and the right is deteriorating too. At times of rush, if and only if there are more OKU spaces around, I will at times park at OKU parking lot and display my OKU card at the dashboard. Some OKU space says “For physically challenged only”, I will respect that and find a car park elsewhere.

I was driving a friend’s S-Class Mercedes one day, we parked at an OKU space and displayed my OKU card. We will be at the venue only for a short break so we thought will be fine to occupy that space. When we get back to our car, we got a note at the windscreen. “I don’t think you are OKU and please be considerate to let OKU park here.” If the note says, please be considerate to let the physically challenged park here – I would very much agree. But I am a OKU with an OKU card certified by a doctor and can’t afford to park a S-class at an OKU space?

Let us not judge a person by the car but by their characters and virtues.

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One Response to Don’t judge (a person by the car) or (the car by the person)

  1. karin says:

    Hi YB Chew (or shall I call you Hoong Ling instead?),

    It was nice meeting and chatting with you during the preview in Subang last week. Initially, I was a bit hesitant to approach you but I am certainly glad I did as talking to you, it struck me just how down to earth and straightforward you are. Reading this post now, confirmed all that.

    I must say, society tend to judge and perceive people by the way they dress and the possessions they own. Sad but true. Unknown to them, most people arm with designer handbags, driving fancy cars more often than not took out massive loans and maxed out their credit cards to finance their lifestyle.

    So which would rather be? A normal average Joe with no excesses but a healthy and growing bank account or a man of the moment all decked in designer gear armed with the latest gadget but a depleting bank account? You take a pick….

    PS: I almost LOL when the speaker ask what is “MCA” and wanted to ROFL when you answered it is an NGO. Perhaps spending too much time in SG does make one a little out of touch with their home country. I am just glad he didn’t mistaken “MCA” for “PAP” or something else ;D

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