My name is Loh Ji Yuan and I stopped the bus.
Around 9 o'clock in the morning, a yellow Bas Sekolah with a tiny APIIT/UCTI logo at its windscreen was stopping in front of the yellow box after the traffic light near Gate 1( near 7 Eleven) of Arena Green Apartments. It was a bus coming from Vista Komanwel going towards APIIT/UCTI’s Building in Technology Park Malaysia. It had stopped there for more than 30 seconds because of the traffic congestion.
I decided to cross the road from Arena Green to enter the bus. So I crossed the road and I looked at the traffic in front of the bus and made sure that the traffic in front is static. At that point in time, I knocked on the door of the bus. The bus driver that wore spectacles was on duty for that shift. He refused to open the door for me while the traffic was not moving.
So I walked from the side and stood in front of the bus to ask the bus driver to open the door for me and once again he refused.
I opened my arms wide and demanded, “WHY? WHY? WHY?”. The bus driver moved the bus forward even though he was fully aware that I was standing right in front of the bus. I did not budge, planting both of my feet firmly on the ground. The bus driver stepped on his brakes inches before me. I again continued to ask him “WHY? WHY? WHY?”.
At that moment, he opened the bus door to take my student ID, asked me to take it back from Mr. Anthony who is in charge of student discipline and then he ran back into the bus. I entered the bus before he closed the door. Minutes later, I finally set foot in APIIT.
That was what happened on 9th June 2009.
What went through my mind when I decided to stand in front of the bus?
I felt cheated. I felt I wasn’t being treated fairly. I felt I was being discriminated against. I stopped the bus. The fact that I felt discriminated was because the buses on numerous occasions picked up many other people from many different spots including the exact spot where I tried to catch the bus. I had to ask “WHY?”, what was the reason?
It’s moments like this that pushes people beyond their limits. There I stood, risking my life, irrationally. I have to apologize to all the ones that love me especially my parents but all I wanted, and stood for, was equal treatment.
I queued outside Mr.Anthony’s office waiting for my turn to see him. When my turn came, I walked into his room and told him I was there to take my student ID. He turned his head and spoke to Mr.Selva and said: “This is the boy who stopped the bus.” He told me that the buses are supposed to only stop at designated spots and not anywhere else. Vista Komanwel buses are not supposed to pick up students from Arena Green, only buses coming from the LRT station can pick up students from Arena Green, according to him. I tried not to react, I did not want to say something I would regret because I had anger in me. They told me that they would send a letter to inform my parents about this incident and warned me that if I stopped the bus once more I would have to face the disciplinary board. Mr. Anthony asked why I stood in front of the bus and wondered what could have happened, if the bus driver had been arrogant and if he had decided to not stop and drive over me. I told him I could have been injured or worse lost my life. After the discussion, I got my student ID and left.
I went for lunch and calmed myself down. I went to Mr. Anthony’s office again with my reasoning and thoughts that I couldn’t answer during the first session. I then expressed what went through my mind when I risked my life to stop the bus, which I have explained above. I made suggestions that they have proper signs to tell students about the designated spots.
Mr. Anthony accepted my suggestions but Mr. Selva interrupted and said that the location of the designated spots is a known fact to all the students and questioned me whether they have to have a large signboard showing people that? I admitted my mistake for being irrational and I said that I know I was wrong to stop the bus. I was merely trying to tell them why I did what I did. The first reason is because there was no proper notices on the bus that tells us where they should or should not stop. The second, is how the bus stopped for other people and not me.
Mr. Selva once again told me that I was wrong to do what I did. Again I explained that I knew I was wrong and admitted my mistake. But I was merely trying to tell them why I did what I did. Mr. Anthony suggested we end the conversation because we were going round and round and so we left his room.
I am glad that I stood up for something that I believed in but I feel guilt about the means I chose to stand up for my belief. It shouldn’t have been so reckless. So it doesn’t feel right and in fact quite wrong. So do not let your self do something like this.