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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