One Malaysia?Posted: March 23, 2008
I find it hard to start a blog, any blog. And although I’m not new to this blogging paradise, it’s not easy finding just the right thing to say to “introduce” myself as a blogger. But what the heck, I’ll just start of by saying, what’s “One Malaysia”?
You see, the Opposition is now, or has been for the past couple of years, arguing for “One Malaysia”. What exactly does that mean?
According to some guy from the opposition (I don’t remember who or when he said it..), he wants the fact that we are still “divided into Malays, Chinese and Indians” to sort of disappear into thin air, and that everyone should just identify themselves as “Malaysians“.
What he’s arguing for, is agreeable to me in some sense. After all, it is partly due to the fact that we’ve always been “separated”, if you wish, into different races, and chances are different for people of different races.
Of course, this is no thanks to the NEP (New Economic Policy), or what they would call the NDP (New Development Plan) now, which gives “bumiputera” certain privileges. Of course, again, this has something to do with the “ketuanan Melayu”, the Malay Supremacy. So there. No such thing as equal rights, as long as NDP is still around. And as long as we still call ourselves Malays, Chinese and Indians.
But to me, it’s really quite a ridiculous idea in a sense. Good, I know, but kind of wishful thinking if you look at it from another perspective.
We are one of the few multi-racial countries in the world, and we should be proud of that. We should be able to say that, yes, although we are Chinese, but we are Malaysians as well. Or at least, that’s how it works out for me. Because when I’m here, overseas, there’s no way in hell that I can tell others that I’m “Chinese”, and expect them to ask, “Oh, so from which country?” They automatically think, if you’re Chinese, then you must be from China.
Which, obviously, is not the case for me, and a lot of others who come from Malaysia. So I just answer, I’m Malaysian. But then again, when I say that, they think, “Oh, so you’re Malay?”
Why do all Malaysians get categorised as “Malays”? Can a Chinese NOT be Malaysian without being referred to as a Malay?
Not that there’s much meaning to it, because these foreigners don’t know much about Malaysia to begin with anyway. But I guess it’s just how we perceive ourselves, and the fact that, as a Malaysian Chinese, I would much prefer it if you didn’t call me a Malay. Because in Malaysia, a “Malay” is someone of a different race.
But I’ve come to get used to it, and I really don’t mind it very much.
And for the people who have slightly better knowledge of my country, Malaysia, they have tons of respect for us, Malaysians, because it seems that we have the privilege of knowing a lot of languages, which is basically a plus for a lot of foreigners.
Can we not be one Malaysia, without having to take away this multi-racial, multi-cultural thing? It is, to me, our pride and joy. It is one part of being Malaysian.
I don’t think that having forms that have boxes where you tick ‘Malaysian‘ or ‘Foreigner’, is going to do much help. I don’t think that just because the forms don’t carry ‘Race’ anymore would get us all to be one Malaysia. Because it won’t.
As long as we know, we KNOW, that Malays are darker than Chinese, and that Indians are the darkest of all. As long as we KNOW, that Thaipusam and Deepavali are festivals of the Indians, and same goes to Hari Raya Haji for Malays. As long as we can still differentiate between our differences in culture for ourselves, automatically, there can be no “one race”.
And to be totally honest, that’s NOT what we should be striving for anyway.
For years now, we’ve always been saying that we are a “multi-racial, multi-cultural country.. our people, although they have different beliefs, live in HARMONY”. The key word here, is HARMONY.
I am Malaysian. I am also Chinese.
But my ties are to Malaysia, and Malaysia only. I do not relate to China in any way. In fact, I can relate to the Indians and Malays of my country, Malaysia, more than any damn person in China.
But, I’m still Chinese. I live my life the way most Chinese do. We have a culture that may not be similar to those of the Indians and the Malays. That does not diminish my “Malaysian-ness”, though. Because after all that, Malaysia is my home. It is the home to everyone who identify themselves as Malaysians.
I’m almost certain that most citizens of Malaysia would agree with me, to some degree. After all, we are not angry with Malaysia. We do not hate Malaysia to the extent that we want to just call ourselves Malays, Chinese and Indians, but not as Malaysians.
Therefore, I support 100%, the campaign for “One Malaysia”. But don’t be so superficial about it. It isn’t about filling in forms or having special rights. It’s about living together as one. It’s about knowing that we belong to ONE country, Malaysia.