Malay? Chinese? Indian? I am Malaysian lah!

What’s with this surge in racism and the obsession with race-based everything?!

Once again reports of racism filled incidents are surfacing where the Chinese and Indians were told to go back to their homeland. China is our homeland.

In my opinion, racism is like an “ajaran” by certain people and it was subsequently developed. It is caused by uneducated people. Why uneducated? And I refer them uneducated not because they do not have academic stripes but because these are people who attended school, have some form of academic qualification an yet keep a shallow mindset. Ignorant.

race racism bigot skin colour racial identity

Why racism now?

Does 1 Malaysia mean to say it belongs to one single race and the others have to go back to their homeland? Why is it only now that these uneducated people are gaining so much momentum and raising this issue repeatedly and asking us Chinese to go back to our homeland?

It is plain stupid to say Chinese brought independence to this country. It is equally stupid to say Malays brought independence to this country. Such sentiment and statements merely highlight how uneducated these individuals are. It was the Malays, Chinese, and Indians who brought independence back to this very country.

Why are we discussing about who brought back the glories after 53years of independence? Ironically, it is after all the heroes have died and are lying beneath the ground. Siapakah saksi-saksinya?

Cosmetics and lip service

People always raise doubts and questions about advertisements made about 1Malaysia where Malays, Chinese, and Indians are getting together happily. Do we have to be so pathetic to act in such advertisements to really feel at home, our beloved Malaysians?

I never have the problem of believing that all races live together harmoniously. To me it is just plain stupid to have such contrived tear-jerker style advertisements. I have Malay and Indian good friends. Am I acting or have I been acting since? Do I need a dramatic episode to prove our friendship?

During my secondary school days, I have Malay and Indian classmates and we are very close knit. I was quick to befriend several Malay dudes who came to me on my first day of school. We have been friends since, up to Form 5, and were in the same class without any problems.

Sometimes during Ramadhan period, students other than the Malays will avoid eating in front of the Malays as a sign of respect. We even got invited for open house during Raya and spent valuable time together catching up even though we are no longer in the same class. We even chat with Malays about their culture and stuff like the way they pray, sunat(ouch!), and et cetera.

We played futsal together with the Malays and buka puasa together at the nearby mamak stall.

Do you see any problem with it? No, because there is no problem at all!

Regardless of whether we are Malays, Chinese or Indians, when it comes to our birthday, everyone in the class will sing the birthday song to us. Do we look at the skin colour and if they are not the same as ours, we refuse to sing the song for them?

Does the colour of our skin matter so much to Malaysians?

My current good friends include Malays and Indians. I have two Indian friends who always eat steamboat with me. – you could say we’ve been sharing saliva in one big pot of soup. Also, I have Indian good friends as my classmates. We sit together in class and we have discussions together.

I do not feel any problem just because of the skin colour. Why should you?

Isn’t it sad to ask Chinese to go back to our homeland when this is where we belong together? And instead of creating fracas about religion and race, why not we be an educated person and accept that we are truly Malaysian?

We also debate whether Ibrahim Ali should be locked up under ISA. Now Namewee has come into picture with a rap. Imagine now they are arguing about race and religion. Can ISA solve the problem? If the perpetrators or racism are uneducated then the ISA is the equally blunt tool that they wield!

I just find it stupid to continuously debate about the issue of race and religion. We are who we are and that is enough to identify us. After 53years of Independence, who are we to argue whether we contributed to the glory of achieving the Independence when all of the great heroes have died.

Enough, Malaysians, enough!

If I can be surrounded by Malays and Indians in my class, you could have the same too. Was it not the fondest memories of your school days when everyone of all races get together? Think back to the times when you were playing football or badminton together with everyone.

Oh, don’t talk about old stories? What about my current working place then?

My department now comprised of Malays, Indians and Chinese inclusive of the lawyers, secretaries and paralegals. Do you want more? Yes, in the dispatch boys room, there are Malays and Indians and when I go there to do my work, I am an addition to them. We once joked that I am the latest dispatch boy and I am a Chinese. Now we have got Malays, Chinese and Indians.

I just attended a gathering with my part time study mates and in the group itself, we have Malay, Chinese and Indians. All of us were not invited to act in any advertisements, and it reflects how amazing our relationship were throughout the past years as we have been together in the same class.

So what do you think?

Today, as we achieved our Independence for 53years, we should be able to show people that we have developed unity amongst ourselves, us Malaysians. Regardless of who is the Government of the day, we still have to live our life, eat our food, and breathe in this world. We share the things in this country because we are a people of different races.

Do you want to be part of the uneducated individual who opines that their own race is superior?

It is so subjective that no one can actually tell you whether Malay is the best or not. Ahmad can say Malay is the best, Ah Tan can say the Chinese are perfect and Prathib can say Indians are the geniuses. Do we have a set calculation for this?

I accept that Malays have the privilege in certain aspect and that has been long established before our forefathers. We should not waste time disputing that and we should not be uneducated people to create new ones just to have a higher standard for ourselves.

I think I am the best, because I can speak good Malay. Can I be the best now since I am a Chinese who speaks fluent Malay? Malaysians, please stand up for ourselves, not for yourselves.

Why 1Malaysia now when it has long existed before us?

Chris Tan is reading law at a local college and aspires to be a good lawyer. He will not let the fate of the curious cat get in the way of experiencing the new and embracing opportunities to learn. He thanks his lucky stars that he continues to meet fantastic characters from all walks of life, particularly LoyarBurokkers(!), who contribute in making him a wiser person. Life experiences are guides even to heaven’s door. Be amused by his jottings and tweets @christan_yh.

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Posted on 7 September 2010. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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8 Responses to Malay? Chinese? Indian? I am Malaysian lah!

  1. Nicky Chen

    Chris Tan…

    I just noticed I had the same experience like you…

    We are in 1 Malaysia.

    I also experienced to have some good friends of Malay and Indians when I was studying in National Secondary school. Previously, I came from a traditional Chinese Primary school which I felt strange to the culture of Malay and Indian.

    During the recess time, I even had lunch or breakfast together with my close Malay and Indian friends in the school canteen. We had been really nice to chit chat with each other during the recess time. I don't find there is any problem for that.

    I was sitting next to a Malay friend for the past 5 years in Secondary school while surrounded by other Malay, Indian and Chinese classmates too… I don't find any problem for that.

    Even if I went off to further my study in UK, I managed to get to know my new friends from Malaysia who are eventually Malays and Indians too. I felt really happy to be with them in UK by celebrating Raya, Deepavali and Chinese New Year together.

    I really love this country Malaysia,

    I don't really want to see Malaysia to be sunk simply because the civil war among the different races like May 13 Riots.

    I really enjoy and feel extremely lucky that everyday I could take Nasi Lemak or sometimes Roti Channai, Chappati and Tossei as my breakfast. I feel really happy for that.

  2. Malaysian

    I like your view that 1Malaysia has existed long before us.

    However, there are few questions that I would like to enquire further. Have you thought about the reason for the Malay privilege?

    Have you thought about why racism has been used over and over again?

    I do not quite understand why we are not allowed to question the privilege merely because the privilege has existed long ago.

    What if the purpose has been defeated? Are we to still follow the rotten apples, or are we to make a change according to the development of the society?

    If you may notice, racism is a propaganda used by certain group of people only. It is used to promote their influence, power and for their own benefits. Most of the rakyat have no issue with this. All of us enjoy the food, friends, and fun together. In fact, we criticize, complain, and cry together too.

    Fortunately, the rakyat are starting to be fed-up with this 'game' or 'tool'. Not all of them, but the country is definitely changing for a better future.( I optimistically hope so)

    As much as Malay privilege should exist as a matter of policy, I do not agree that we should be silent even when this privilege is abused by certain group of people.

    It's time for a change. Not solely for Malays, or Chinese, or Indians, but for all of the Malaysian. It's time for the policy to be diverted to the poor, and not to certain race. This may means that more resources will be diverted to the Malays as they remains the poorer race, but at least it's fairer than quota system.

  3. My2cen

    Why are they shouting 'Go back to China/India'? Well, because they are primitive primates still bound on pissing to mark their teritories!!

    For the rest of us modern Homo Spiens (not to be confused with Homosexuals for those who don't read Science), we should not get overly emotional with these few dozens of primitive creatures who love to swagger around and scream nonsensically; just don't respond coz after a while, they will quiten down, stop hissing & pissing, and crawl back into their playpen. All animals are like that.

  4. Malysianrakyat

    I am mostly with lots of foreigners and they have never told me they are French Americans or Grecian Australians or Welsh English. In fact, someone told me that I am Malaysian, why do I keep saying I am Chinese and Malaysian? My reply was we were taught that in school and we always had to sign forms to note the difference.

    Now I am Malaysian. And I wont go back to China; wasn't born there, and never did set foot there nor pay my taxes there. I am Malaysian.

  5. projection

    if this continues, then if the chinese says they are malaysian or malaysaja, then it is also seditious!

    Wonder where is 1Malaysia?

  6. eugene

    Hei morons the issue is about the bloody rascist bastards

  7. Danny LoHH

    eugenio, interesting insights. What you are proposing is actually a step toward establishing an emphatic civilization. This video explains it:

  8. eugenio

    I think it would be more constructive, and factually accurate, if we simply thought of ourselves as homo-sapiens from planet earth speaking XXX language. Language has a tremendous impact on how we interact and see the world (though even within a language culture, there is tremendous variation, as we all know).

    Why spend so much time stressing about these nationality and religion tribes? Both of these constructs (but particularly the nation-state one) are quite weak.

    If you're lucky, you're born with a passport to your name that will let you travel relatively visa and discrimination free – if you're like the unfortunate most, your passport will doom you to a lifetime of extortionate visa fees and humiliating questions. Either way, why actually be proud about this completely fictitious tribe that you never had any say in choosing? If you must join a tribe, there surely are plenty of more meaningful ones that Malaysian, Americano, Nigerian, Chino, etc.

    I think a good liberating first step for you would be to stop thinking of yourself as Chinese Malaysian and your friends as Malay or Indian Malaysians. You're all homo-sapiens. You all probably are primarily an English-speaking variant of homo-sapiens, though you may also be able to somewhat defend yourself in the language of most of the people that happen to have your phenotype. That's it. If you can also let go of your religion tribe you might be able to find more meaningful ways to contribute to our world and find true happiness. Certainly, this is my hope for myself and I hereby humbly extend the invitation to you.