I was once a naive and ignorant person, and took things for granted in regards to many issues. Even nowadays, I can sometimes still be quite ignorant.
Back when I was younger, I didn’t bother about what was happening in this world. Every morning, my parents would start up their day by reading the newspaper, after which they wouldn’t stop ranting about how bad our country was. I can still remember how they used to say “AIYOH! WHAT IS THIS MAN!” and “WHAT COUNTRY IS THIS?!” (the typical Malaysian). I believe this is an experience most of us have done or observed. Even you. Yes, you (the one reading this)!
Hearing all this has become routine. It actually feels weird not hearing them rant about it. Therefore, I took the initiative to know more about what’s happening in this world. I wanted to be a part of it, instead of being a person living in this world without knowing anything.
One day, a friend approached me and talked to me about our current political issues. At first I wasn’t keen, until I began to read the newspapers. As I was doing so, I was shocked by the many things that was happening in my country and literally stumbled upon it! (I know, this might sound a little dramatic and all but it’s the truth). From that day onwards, I was always looking forward to find out more about our nation’s current issues.
A few months later, a friend of mine introduced and told me about UndiMsia!. She even brought me to the venue of their usual meet-up session – “UndiChats”. During the meet, they talked about current occurrences in our country. I tried to get myself involved. At first, I was afraid and shy to attend Chats on my own and had to drag my friend along. I was nervous because it was my first time going to this kind of meeting, and did not have the courage. Frankly speaking, when I’m asked to talk about myself before a large crowd, my heart would beat really fast! I struggled with that as it’s one of my biggest fears, but my friend was kind enough to tell me to “calm down” or “it’s okay, no biggie!”
As the weeks went by, I tried to attend most of the UndiChats to get myself involed with whatever activities they had. Ever since then, I began to speak out in a crowd and it built my confidence. It was never easy until I tried, and I managed to do it.
Throughout the process, (wait, should I call it a process or…? Well correct me if I’m wrong), I learned a lot. Plus, I got to know more about our country’s goings-on (stuff that my parents may not know).
This made me want to bring more of my friends so that they, too, could be more aware. I wanted them to be part of it as well. I started by explaining what UndiMsia is all about. I remember one of them asking me,
“Why did you even bother joining this? It’s a waste of time. Focus on studies, that would be better.”
I told her that we as citizens in Malaysia should take into account what’s happening in our country, because if we don’t, who will? We can’t expect other people to. If that were the case, then others might expect another, and another, and another person to take the responsibility and eventually, the trend goes on without anything being achieved. Ever heard the story of Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody?
There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it.
Everybody was sure Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.
Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job.
Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it.
It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when actually Nobody asked Anybody.
I write this post not to force anyone to join UndiMsia. My point is to show just how important our existence as involved citizens is to our country. The question in respect to citizenship should be included in the census, for the government needs to know the exact figure in this nation. After all, the people are the primary source of sovereignty in a democratic country. It is the government’s duty to serve us, and not the other way round.
Let’s stand up and be counted in this country. Let us not merely exist; let us live. As John F. Kennedy said,
“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country!”
Let’s make a change in our beloved Malaysia today!