I made this observation based on my conversations with my Malay friends.
They mostly believe that being muslims made them more respectful of their elders compared to others.
I'm not familiar with other races, but as far as the Chinese are concerned, I believe that my Malay friends were wrong.
I am not saying that the Malays do not respect their elders, just that I believe that the Chinese, as a whole, respect their elders more or better than the Malays.
It's in their culture.
Their traditional religion even requires them to worship their ancestors.
Let me based my argument on my personal experience.
I spend a lot of time during my growing up years at my mother's family home.
Except for my mother who converted to Islam when she married my father, the rest of the family were Taoist.
They are what some Malays call Cina Bukit. Not the banana type, okay.
Yes, they eat a lot of pork, but I love them all the same as they are my family.
My mother's English was not so good and she spoke very little Bahasa when she was young. That was until she met my father.
Members of the family back then lives in the same neighborhood and were very close.
Cousins were considered as brothers and sisters.
Back then, the central figure in the family was my great grandmother.
All matters related to the family were referred to her for advise which was then taken into serious consideration by the rest of the family.
Despite not all of her advices being followed, the family members were careful not to offend her if that happened.
My mother once told me of how she get down on her knees and cried in front of my great grandmother to beg for forgiveness after defying her by marrying my father.
I remember my great grandmother as a loving person. She treated me with the same amount of love as my cousins despite myself not being a real Chinese.
It's a routine for the whole family to gather to celebrate her birthday, with some making it a point to come home all the way from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.
My great grandmother was close to 100 years old when she passed away.
Her image that stuck in my head till now was that of her cheerfully cooking in the kitchen for the rest of the family during Chinese New Year celebrations.
Nowadays, it's a must for my mother and me to drive back to our kampung to celebrate my grandmother's birthday.
My aunts and their families who live in Singapore would join us for the occasion.
As her mother was before her, my grandmother is now the central figure among us.
I call her from time to time for advise.
Even though I may be more knowledgeable than her about certain things, I believe that my grandmother is wiser with the way of life as she has been around much longer than me.
My grandmother's wisdom is something I really appreciate and for that I always adhere to the most important lesson I learned from my Chinese family's upbringing - We must love and respect our elders.
My father, by the way, never even knew when were his grandparents' birthdays, let alone ever celebrated them.
For those who disagree with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad over his criticisms of the current administration, I hope you all could consider not being too harsh when voicing it out.
Tun tu kritik PM DS Najib Razak macam tu sebab dia sayang Najib dan kita semua. Jangan marah sangat kat dia. Dia tu orang tua yang banyak berjasa. Kalau kita biadap dengan dia, saya akan rasa malu pada orang Cina sebab rasanya dia orang lebih menghormati dan menghargai orang tua mereka. Terima kasih.