Sunday, November 15, 2015



There are not many Jews who liked to come to Malaysia; they think Malaysia as an Islamic country does not like them coming over here.

But there are some of them who had been invited to speak in international forums on world peace. But they would come looking not like their usual selves, without their skullcaps and black robes and matching black hats.

Gary Victor Bruat should think that would be strange as well as an unfounded fear that they had which they would all see for themselves the moment they landed at the airport.

Gary met some of them wearing his full orthodox Jewish gear without attracting unnecessary attention by anyone. This also must have shocked the other Jews who feared their unusual mode of dressing would make them stand out from the others around them.

Gary knew that would not happen and if it did, he wouldn’t have cared. He had been living in the country too long to worry about such trivial matters.

But one thing’s for certain is that the Jews who first came to Malaysia must have brought back some better attitudes towards the people in the country especially from the Malaysians, who did not care with the way they prefer to wear their clothes.

Generally, Malaysian Muslims can get along with all Jews; it’s just that the politics of the Zionist leaders and their staunch supporters are what they are against.

Gary liked to describe himself as ‘the big fat Jew who loved Malaysia and its people…’ Of course, he must have made millions from his business here.

And at the sides of his MPV, a Malaysian-made one, he proudly pasted stickers expressing his pride in being a Jew.

One day, I got a SMS from his close association known as Kie, who said he had died. I was shocked. But it was a few days after that happened, so Gary’s remains must have been flown back from the hospital in Beijing to New York City for burial by his close relatives. He was said to have suffered from a heart attack.

I thought it was strange since the last few years of his life he had visited some hospitals in Malaysia and then to one in Beijing to receive the best treatment for his obesity that he was suffering and he had shown tremendous improvement with his body looking slimmer.

How could he suffer from a heart attack while receiving treatment from a hospital?

‘GARY VICTOR BRAUT PASSED AWAY ON JANUARY 12, 2013. GRAVESIDE FUNERAL SERVICES WERE HELD ON JANUARY 21, 2013 AT BETH MOSES CEMETERY.’ – says a notice put out by his relatives in the internet.

He had often told me how he would like to be buried in the Jewish Cemetery in Pulau Pinang and had taken a whole bus of his workers with me there for a day trip.

But since he had not put it in black-and-white his family decided to fly his remains from Beijing, China back to New York City. In fact he had also not left a will.

I did a recorded video interview with him for a documentary I told him I wanted to produce on him but did not ask about his plans for his company.

I will still want to produce the documentary using the videos he had given me, to add to the ones I had recorded.

I met Gary at the first Perdana Peace Conference at PWTC in Kuala Lumpur in 2004 and immediately got along very well with him. He hailed from Crown Heights in Brooklyn, New York City, in the city where I used to study and live at.

He had a son, but he chose to marry him to a Melayu-Muslim woman, trained as a lawyer who a few years later gave him his first grandson. He died not too long afterwards after living in Malaysia fifteen years.

Gary first left America to set up his factory in Hong Kong to recondition spare parts for automobiles that he would later send back to the country to sell.

He then discovered the charms of Malaysia and relocated his factory in Selayang where he employed close to two hundred workers most of whom are Bangladeshis where I would dub him the ‘Sultan of Selayang’.

He had his unique charms and was such a pleasant person to meet and talk to. He broke all artificial boundaries and went on to talk at lengths things which he was passionate about, which is to live in harmony with everybody regardless of their race and religion and creed.

He even managed to contact former Malaysian Prime Minister, Dr. Mahathir Mohammad who visited him at his factory with his wife and who returned with two company tee-shirts Mahathir said he wanted to give to his children.

I still have the one he gave me.

But most of all, he refused to hide his orthodox Jewish identity and often went out of his factory on social trips or to attend international conferences wearing his black Jewish garb with a black hat.

Even his son called David, who he had with his local Chinese woman, had such an appearance before he changed his ways when he started to study in a Chinese school. 

He returned to America every now and then, only when necessary.

His mother, Isabel, paid him a visit few months before he died and we followed him to go to the Prince Court Hospital in Jalan Tun Razak which looked more like a hotel than a hospital.

And since he died, I have not returned to his factory in Selayang. I dread to do it for some reason. Some of his closed staff too had left the company so my contacts there are now gone.

I will endeavor to work on the documentary on him using the materials I have and the long interview I managed to record with him where he said a lot of things that reflect his attitudes and beliefs, etc.

1 comment: said...

I just read this post. He was my best friend growing up in Crown Heights. I have many stories to relate to you if you choose to do a documentary. he was an extremely unique character. Harvey Manes 516-658-5886