Perfect Stranger

1. Mat Yong, a-50-year old Chinese convert, single, living alone not very far from the infamous, small, roundabout in Grik town. I came to know him when he offered to help me and my family to a hotel. We became friend almost instantly.

2. Grik, an ex-communist town, is not new to me. In the late 90s, I used to cover psychiatric MO at Grik Hospital. It was a routine for me to visit Grik Hospital every month with a driver, who hails from Grik himself. After finishing the clinic, I would go to his house, picking up some fruits or to the duty-free shop in Pengkalan Hulu.

3. The small roundabout is legendary and still a landmark till these days.

4. Mat Yong is no ordinary friend. He came back the next day to bring me, looking around for spare parts. We had breakfast together, toured around the town in his red old car as he knew everyone in town. He cautioned me on the workshops that used to ‘potong’ customers (his own word for markup prices).

5. As a frail looking, 50 something bloke, Mat Yong was cautious about his health. Medications are very expansive, he told me, knowing me as a doctor.

6. He came to Grik in his 20s, doing all kind of odd jobs. It is from him, a perfect stranger that I rediscovering a new skill on social networking…helping people with unconditional positive regards.