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If You Are Not A Mat Salleh

By Forest Ang

....are we more inferior?......

On a crowded ferry from Penang to Langkawi, I was seated near the stairway to the upper deck. A no entry sign was clearly posted on the door to the stairs.

A crew was at the bar attending to a Mat Salleh lady. As there wasn't enough seats, the Mat Salleh lady stood near the bar chatting with the crew. The lady asked, "Can I go up to the deck?" "Yes, you just open the door and go up the stairs" said the crew.

The lady went up. A few minutes later, she came down to get her family of father, mother and a brother. They all went up.

Later, an officer, perhaps a captain, came down from the deck to the bar. A local tried to open the no entry door to the stairs but the captain said, "Tak boleh naik atas!"
The Mat Sallehs were still up at the deck and here a local was disallowed....


"See, I told you, you are not Mat Sallehs...."

Note : Mat Salleh is local slang for European or Farang (Thai's version of Mat Salleh).


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