LONDON – As I arrived in the dawn crisp autumnal British capital, I was again feeling immensely proud of my nationality as I was taken out of a very long queue in the Non EU passport control section and joined fellow Canadians, New Zealanders, Australians and Japanese.
It was a privilege indeed like I never felt before.
It gave me a glimmer of hope how things were turning around the world especially in the aftermath of the US election.
As I arrived at my sister’s place in Hammersmith, I asked her about the direct consequences from Brexit.
She said the new visa and hospitalisation fees introduced was burdening but everyone should realise that budget cuts were happening around the world.
It is a worldwide phenomenon affecting everyone that I have come across globally.
Even the grocery prices have gone up considerably since my last visit just a few years ago.
My visit this time coincided with Remembrance weekend which marks the end of the First World War over a century ago.
The event is held to signify and commemorate those who lost their lives during the war and recent conflict too.
On Sunday, the Queen will lay a wreath at the cenotaph in Whitehall which I am intending to attend.
I am interested to meet some people, Malaysians and others about their opinions on the recent Trump presidential success and how its going to affect all of us.
From what I have read from the Asian and British newspapers, there is a sense of disbelief, dismay and quite a worrisome future.
Interestingly though, German chancellor Angela Merkel has reinforced a strong message on anti-racism, anti-misogyny and offered a bit of advice to US President-elect Donald J Trump on the importance of shared human values.
Although Trump has softened his stance on anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric, time will tell if he is willing to build bridges or demolish them.
With our own election coming soon, we should too reflect on the things we have taken for granted like peace, sunny days, our amazing array of food and of course our harmonious multicultural society.
As another Malaysian doing her post-graduate studies here pointed out to me that London has become so multicultural that her young kids were intermixed and it enriched them in many ways than she realised.
As we are human beings in the first place, we ought to get along and help each other as best as we can.
We have seen unsung heroes including our own people which set up kitchens for refugees in France, Greece and many other parts of the world.
We need more of these examples to show our values of kindness and compassion towards each other.
I have another close Malaysian friend who is a doctor who went to Malawi recently with MSF (Medicins San Frontieres) to help the malnourished and poverty stricken children, women and the infirm.
We shall celebrate these people and make a more positive impact to change the world we are living in, as even a little change will help a long way.