Saturday 8 November 2014

The White House in Kota Bharu

White House is the name of the residence of the American President located at Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC. This is one of the many tourist destinations in the American capital and one would not miss the opportunity to see for themselves the historical venue.

However, White House is also the name of a famous Chinese traditional coffee shop in Kota Bharu, the capital of Kelantan. It is located in front of the Muhammadi mosque, the state mosque. Although Kelantan is also known as the cradle of the Malay culture and most of its residents are Malays, Kelantanese are also known for their tolerance towards other Malaysians living in the state. 

Just imagine the Malays having coffee here after their morning prayers, the real 1Malaysia. In fact, having to add the number 1 to the name of this country could also be a signal of what is wrong with the present society. Perhaps, we had lost the essence of our society and are now living based on the reality as shown on TV or newspapers. Very American!

The White House is patronised by people from all walk of life and it is not easy to get a sit. I'm sure you could appreciate that for this sort of eating joint, calling in to reserve a table is unthinkable.

The main menu are half boiled eggs and toast, sounds simple but are the main attractions to this coffee shop. While the owner could be seen at the counter, there are a number of Malay waitresses serving customers their meal.

When I was there last week, I saw something amazing. An old Malay man who had difficulty walking was trying to get to his wheelchair. A group of young Chinese went to his assistance and helped him to be seated. That reminded me of the old Malaysia when we were not the most sensitive country in the world like today.

I suppose at the people to people level, life goes on and we have to learn to live together. However, for those who want to exert their parochial views, seeing people living together peacefully is an eye soar and they will raise all sort of nonsense to stir things so that people will react. While Muslims believe Islam brings blessing to the whole mankind, I wonder whether they forgot about that when some of them feel forcing their view on others is their birth rights.

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