Natasha Stephen

They are all humans as we are.

This is my story.

I was born in year 1992. I came from a mix marriage family where my dad is half Iban, half Chinese whereas my mom is a Bidayuh from Bau, Sarawak. Talking about multi-racial culture, as a convert to Islam myself, I do not have any issues related to culture. I still stay together under one roof with my grandmother who is a devoted Roman Catholic. We still go out and have fun together, eat on the same table and even cook on the same stove. Apart from that, I have a Chinese best friend. Let's call her Kim. Kim and I went to the same secondary school.

We do argue a lot about everything. But when we're far apart, honestly, we look for each other and say that we miss each other a lot. I celebrated Chinese New Year with her family and she'll celebrate Hari Raya with me. I love her and she's my other half. Ten years of friendship and still counting.

Talking about those with disabilities. During my Form 6 schooling years, I went to SMK Batu Lintang, Kuching. Different from other schools, this school particularly mixed those normal students with disabilities students together. I have a few classmates who we called "orang kurang upaya (OKU)". One, in particular, is Ruth. She's a year older than me. Although she's blind, she's a smart student. She also plays the piano very well. Currently, she's a student in one of the universities in Kuala Lumpur. I learned a lot from her. I respect her because even with those disabilities, she still manages to pursue her dreams and she never gave up on life. Not even once.

As for foreign workers, to my point of view, never had I once thought of them as bad people. I know how hard they had come to Malaysia to earn a living to support their family back in their hometowns. As for my personal experience, I got to know an Indonesian maid who was working at my previous workplace. I've known her for about 3 years. I pitied her the most because she was mistreated by her boss. She could not even go back to her hometown during Hari Raya. Besides that, the boss did not allow her to have any cell phone and because of that, she couldn't talk to her kids or family for a long time. Luckily, her contract ended in January 2017 this year. We advised her not to continue her contract with the boss anymore so that she could go back to her family.

These are among some of my personal experiences which I would like to share with everyone out there. Never be too judgemental towards others. They are all humans as we are. Love and respect one another.

Natasha Stephen