Thursday, November 06, 2008

We are Malaysians!

Some extreme populists and young leader-wannabes would think that I am going to write about abolishing Malay Rights, the Sistem Raja-raja Melayu or communist-like equality to all people.

I am sorry but you would be wrong to think that my perception has changed. (Simply because I was buoyed by Obama's triumph to be President Elect of the USA).

"Change we need. Yes, we can." And yes Malaysians can use this spirit to change Malaysia our beloved country.

We are Malaysians. So why do we have to settle for Chinese signboards in Penang? Our formal language is Bahasa Malaysia not Tamil or Mandarin or Hokkien. They argued it is a way to promote Tourism Malaysia but is it not cooler for the tourists to learn a language new to them? i.e. Bahasa Malaysia?

I love travelling. I have travelled a lot. And I did learn some foreign languages like Spanish, Arabic, French, Dutch and even some Welsh when travelling, the basic communication languages I supposed. And I found it quite interesting if the tourists can speak some Bahasa Malaysia and I would be proud of it when I met one. (Note: I know Salida is not a name of a tree :P)

So yeah, change we need. We need to change some mentality that we are Malaysians. Not just Chinese, not just Malays, Indians, Kadazans or Ibans. We can still cherish our traditional customs and are meant to be shared among other Malaysians.

I found out that Konrad Ng married Obama's half-sister Maya Soetero-Ng and to my disgust, he was written as Chinese Canadian. Yes, he is of Chinese descent and I don't know if we are supposed to be proud of this but he is born to Malaysian parents! I am a freak in this way where I am obsessed with the truth and justice, every single bit of it. So Konrad Ng is Malaysian-Canadian, not Chinese-Canadian! (p/s: I tried editing the section and changed it about a couple of times but it was reverted back to Chinese Canadian. Bodoh sombong!)

As of today, I went to check on my flight back to KL on the 15th November to check if the flight is in the morning or evening. I would hope to secure the morning flight in time for Syira's reception in Subang and/or Wani's reception in Ampang. I was amazed the travel agent could speak fluent Bahasa Malaysia without hesitance although I started with English. He is of Chinese descent with the slang but still he could speak fluent Bahasa, something that I respect about. Since in Selangor the number of vernacular Chinese schools is mushrooming, me being a Kelana Jaya resident, it was quite a struggle to meet Chinese people who could speak Bahasa very well. I even had a weird encounter with a young Chinese fella proudly asking the kakak at the post office counter to speak English.

"English please!" My word... and you call yourself Malaysian?

The point I am making is, be proud Malaysians! We are Malaysians. We must have our own identity. That makes us unique. We do not need Mandarin/Hokkien signboards in Penang. We should be proud of our official language. I know Gerakan initiated the new signboards planning. DAP can just scrap the idea to promote racial harmony. That's more important than the tourists. In fact, the tourists can even learn our language! You know tourists like to learn new things that's why they come to foreign countries.

So please do not turn Penang into Little China, Hong Kong wannabe. I love Penang. I plan to go there when I get back. The food is extraordinaire!

There is another thing we can learn from Obama's triumph as President. They've been in independence since hundreds of years ago but still more Blacks and Hispanics voted for Obama. It shows how race-based perceptions and mind-set still exist in America. What about youthful Malaysia? Are we ready to 'transcend race-based ideology'? No, not yet. Evidently, look at how we start to question each other now in Malaysia. Social contracts, Islamic Laws, vernacular schools, scholarship proportions, more and more Malay-based associations being formed...

How about "Death to Israel"?? This is a quote taken from a young leader-wannabe in his blog who's got it all wrong from becoming a good idealist, but lacks practical awareness. He is the same person who suggested Malaysia to forget about race-based politics. Death to Israel? Shame. I am against Israel as a country because as informed by a Rabi friend, Israel shouldn't exist as it is against Torah (Muslims might refer it to Taurat). But now that Israel is already there thanks to World War II and the UK Government at that time, death (more war) is not the answer obviously!

"Death to Israel". My God! Call yourself a good future leader? Khairy is Oxbridge too but is he a good leader? How easily people can lose respect for them.

Anyway, I hope I can still remind fellow countrymen to be proud of being Malaysians. And love your country. Just like the travel agent, just like our Kelantanese-born landlord. Just like many of my friends.

To Abby. All the best in your exams. You can do it!

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