Mr Tee, the neighbourhood mechanic
Mr Tee is a 63 year old mechanic who owns a machine shop in Butterworth. I met him while walking around an old village in Jalan Telaga Air. He was passing by on his motorbike and stopped to chat. I think he could sense the interest I had in his story and he soon invited me back to his little machine shop. When I walked in, the smell was of metal and oil but somehow, it was comforting. There were men busy on lathes and drilling machines.
Mr Tee has had a pretty interesting childhood. His father hailed from China and met his mother when he was traveling to Malaysia via Bangkok. His parents moved to Penang where he was born in Batu Feringghi. In 1973, they moved to Butterworth. Since then, he has maintained a good relationship with his Malay and Indian neighbours. He is colour blind and so are the villagers in his ‘kampung’.