That day, I was already late for a hangout with my friends. Around 2 pm, my mother sent me to the nearest KTM Komuter station and just in time I reached the station, the train arrived. I frantically tapped my Touch ‘n’ Go card onto the e-gate and dashed across the platform into the train. Thank God the KTM Komuter is snail slow, if it were as fast as the ERL, I would have missed the train already.
Usually, I would sit in the female coach but since I barely made it into the train that day, I was only able to walk into the nearest coach. I saw several seats in a row taken by ladies, next to them is an empty seat, then a man. Most seats opposite to them are taken by guys. So, I decided to sit with the ladies.“Hah, duduklah dik. (Hah, come and sit here, dik.)” The man said to me.
“Hah, duduklah dik. (Hah, come and sit here, dik.)” The man said to me.
Honestly, at that moment, my credulous mind thought he was dating with the lady beside me, and I was bothering them. So, in my head, I was like, “Am I disturbing someone’s personal life here?” Unfortunately, I was dead wrong. After the first next station, which is Kajang, the guy spoke to me again. “Dik, nak pergi mana ni? (Where are you going, dik?)”
I obliviously and confidently replied, “KL Sentral.”
“Oh…” He said.
Then he started asking me numerous questions- where did I live, how many siblings did I have (like, why did he even want to know that?), was I a student, had I already gotten my license yet – and guess what, I unsuspectingly answered ALL OF THEM.
Seriously, even my second thought was “he was just trying to be friendly, I should try to be friendly too next time” because he didn’t sound like he was trying to flirt. But then, guess what, if it were in any Western countries, people talking to strangers is a very nice, polite, and normal thing to do; in Malaysia, these kind of people are actually….STALKERS! And maybe even MENTALLY ILL TOO!
Oh my God, when the lady right next to me nudged me a few times and when the creepy man began to take out a police report letter, I was utterly panicked. He started to ask me my age and this time, I looked away and nonchalantly answered with “hmm?” and another “hmm?”. I totally avoided any eye contact with him.
He was starting to get mad at me. I was perfectly ready if he suddenly took out a knife and shoved it at me. I would do those defense steps I learned from a movie – subside, insteps, nose, and groin. However, if in worst case scenario, he took out a gun, I would be rendered helpless.
I asked the woman right beside me which station was she heading to. Thankfully, she was going to KL Sentral too so I was quite relieved. She asked me to change place and sit at the empty seat right in front of me. But I hesitated because the seat was sandwiched by two men. I would rather be with at least one lady by my side, under this circumstances.
Luckily, a young lady at the end of the row got off the train at the Mid Valley station. (I found out that she had been disturbed by the man too. He followed her from one coach to another! There was even a small fit between the lady next to me and the creepy man before I boarded the train.) So I quickly sat on the now-empty seat. That act of mine made him furious.
“Lari pulak… (Are you trying to run away…)” He said angrily.
Then he started to say something rather loudly. The lady beside me tried to defend me and had a little argument with him. She managed to silent him.
I thought it was already alright. “Memang selalu ada orang macam tu ke? (Are there always people like that?)” As a then-seldom train user, I asked the woman beside “Kadang-kadanglah. (Sometimes.)” She replied.
Suddenly, as we almost reached the KL Sentral station, the creepy guy got up and stood right in front of ME. I was practically screaming internally “What do you want, stalker? A slap!?”
Then, he boarded off at the KL Sentral station too, but I wasn’t really worried anymore due to the massive swarm of people there. At the escalator, I thanked the ladies who helped me. And by the time I stepped off the escalator, I had lost sight of the man. I thoroughly scanned the station and I was pretty sure he was not around anymore.
Thank God, nothing bad happened to me. However, it made me wonder, how on Earth will Malaysia become a friendly nation if the only people in Malaysia who talk to strangers are creepy like that guy? That’s a hard stigma to scrub off.
Firah Hana is an SPM graduate who is looking forward to pursuing her studies in the tertiary education later this July. She enjoys reading, writing diaries and staring at the screen (namely laptops, phones, and televisions). She believes that pens are mightier than swords and she hopes that one day, she can prove that right.
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