Puthandu Valthukal or Happy New Year in Tamil. I was taught these words by my Tamil speaking colleagues while on the way to a Tamil New Year lunch hosted by Datuk T.Mohan a member of the Dewan Negara or the upper house of Parliament.
The truth is, I have never been invited to personally dine with any member of parliament before be it the upper or lower sections of the house, and the lyrics of the song ‘Fortunate Son’ by Creedence Clearwater Revival kept ringing in my head.
Those familiar with the song would know of the part, which goes ‘it ain’t me, it ain’t me, I am no senator’s son’. Therefore, I figured it must really be fortunate to be a senator so says Creedence.
Upon reaching our hosts’ house. I uttered my Tamil greetings like a pro much to the amusement of the senator’s wife.
I figure I had to be at my best behavior and to observe protocol. However, the senator proved me wrong as things went quite differently from what I expected. I must admit I judged the senator to be one that expects protocol.
However, he is indeed a man for all seasons. He treated me and all guests present equally. The senator dined together even with his gardeners and served food to all present by his own hands. I honestly never expected that from a senator.
Some individuals in power and position are somewhat pompous, and I too have been a victim of their arrogance. There are those who cannot even be bothered to even reply a greeting let alone invite me to lunch.
Please do not misunderstand me. I do not carry a flag for any politician. In fact, I remain impartial when it comes to matters of politics, but I must say this one senator exemplified respect and kindness as a fellow human.
So, I find myself asking the question. What do we expect from our senators in the upper house? My answer is simple respect, equality, sincerity, integrity and above all to champion the plight of the man on the street.
I would like to wish a very Happy Tamil New Year to those celebrating. Let us come together as one. Put aside your titles, positions and even riches if any. We are all brothers and sisters. Do not let anyone make u feel otherwise.
Yeap Ming Liong
The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Capital Post.