I am in every way an old-fashioned man and hold strongly to my religious beliefs. Kindness will be rewarded with kindness and evil with evil, for it is predestined. After being around for three scores and a half and having seen how modernity affects the way we live and interact, I tend to be a little sceptical of people, no matter how well-meaning they may be. But one event, which happened recently, where I was an unwilling participant, has impacted my feelings for my fellow human beings.
I was about to leave for work from my house in First Garden one morning when the house bell rang. I wasn’t expecting anyone, not early in the morning. I opened the door and saw a Malay couple in front of my gate. The wife was in a white nurse’s uniform. Obviously, she must be a nurse attached to the General Hospital. The husband, in a brownish outfit, introduced himself as Wan, an officer with a state-linked company.
In the man’s palm was a black leather wallet. It looked familiar. After ascertaining the identity of the owner, Wan handed the wallet to me. It belonged to my son, Jake. Wan found the wallet on the pavement along Jalan Sultan Idris Shah in downtown Ipoh. I checked the contents, all his personal documents, credit cards and RM500 in cash were intact.
I was lost for words. Never in my wildest dream would someone return a lost wallet, let alone trace the owner to his house. I thanked Wan profusely, took a RM50 note from my son’s wallet and offered him a reward. Wan refused it flatly insisting that it was his moral duty to return something which was not his. The couple were soon gone.
It took me awhile to regain my composure. How much have I underestimated the magnanimity and generosity of human beings, especially of Malaysians? In moments of angst there are still people who would walk the extra mile for the well being of others. It is totally unexpected.
Encik Wan, whoever you are, you made my day.