I Am MalaysianPosted: January 6, 2010
I’ve just read a letter someone sent to Lim Kit Siang, which he posted on his blog. I have to say, the letter is a very strong and emotional one. The writer must have very strong convictions and beliefs, that is what I got from reading that letter he sent to Lim Kit Siang. The letter can be read HERE.
I guess in a way, reading the letter triggered some sort of emotion/reaction in myself. I know I haven’t been blogging about the current state of affairs in Malaysia as I used to, and I admit to feeling quite sick and tired of the endless politicking and what feel like nonsensical arguments.
I can fully appreciate where the writer of that letter was coming from. The points raised about preferential treatment by race, of a country not appreciative of its own talents, I only know too well.
But while I can truly get all that, I simply cannot put into my head (perhaps I’m thick-skulled) that that is all there is to a nation. The politics is absurd, the politicians just disgraceful. But surely there is more to a country than politics and the like.
The writer wrote in to say thanks to Lim Kit Siang, and to announce that the writer is leaving the country. Perhaps there is merit for the writer to decide to do so. Perhaps it is indeed better for the writer to choose what he/she identifies as a brighter future.
I hold no ill-feelings for this writer. To each their own.
As for me, I’m making preparations to go home.
To me, Malaysia is not just about the corruption that seems to have grown roots in our society. It’s not just about the discrimination that works in all directions, at all levels possible. It’s not just about the politics and the politicking and the fighting to see who gets which state.
True. Patriotism is not about singing the national anthem and flying the national flag. And yes, patriotism is about feeling like a part of the nation. Being patriotic is also about wanting to do something for the country.
I’m no Lim Kit Siang. Or Najib Razak. Heck, I’m not even going to make a good Ng Yen Yen PA. What I’m trying to say is, I cannot do very much. What I can do, possibly will not create even the slightest ripple, let alone any political tsunami.
But I want to do something for Malaysia. For its people. For my people.
I want to be nice to my Malaysian neighbours. I want to let them know that they’re welcome to my house at any time, and I don’t care if they don’t speak Cantonese. I want to go out for lunches and dinners with my Malaysian colleagues, have some chill-out time after a long day’s work, and I don’t care if they’re wearing a sari or a baju kurung, or just pants and a shirt.
I want to get to know the artsy people in Kuala Lumpur. I want to visit their galleries, attend their book launches, listen to them read from their books. I want to support Malaysian bands, buy their CDs, follow their growth.
I want to visit orphanages and old folk’s homes to volunteer my time. I want to visit the homes of indigenous people, learn their way of life, and tell it to my city friends. I want to take photos of every place in Malaysia that I visit, and show the beauties to my overseas friends.
I want to do something, anything, so that at least one other fellow Malaysian will feel better about his/her country.
It’s not very much that I want to do. Sure, it’d be great if I could change the government, its policies and everything else I feel is wrong. But if I can’t do all the big things, at least let me do the little things. Because I know the little things count.
I say I am Malaysian. And I am Malaysian because I decide I want to participate in my country.