I read with interest whenever “it” gets mention.
Sometimes I wonder what does it mean by saying “they should be grateful” to us, for “letting” them in, “by willing to share what is ours”. As if this is a exclusive God-given entitlement that one should remind the others whenever the others seems to be getting more. Don’t they know, Allah helps the ones that helps themselves?
I am a Malay, by blood, by the constitution (which til now dazzles me) for I speak Malay and a born Muslim. My mother is quarter Chinese (her paternal grandmother) and the rest 75% is Melayu Bugis, the strong Bugis lineage in both of her parent is said to be directly linked to Bugis family in Sulawesi. My father on the other hand, is 100% pure Malay from Kelantan. I did ask him of our lineage, but he said as far as he could remember, that was it, but maybe to spice things up, he said maybe a touch of Pattani blood is there. We’ll never know. But this could only mean I’m a Malay, regardless if my genealogy geographically hailed outside of Malaya 100 years ago. I will call myself Bangsa Malaysia, and a proud Muslim.
The only strong “we are one” sentiment I have for this country is for my fellow countrymen, regardless of race and religion. You’ll never hear me say “alah memang janji Melayu”, “cakap macam k—“, “chinese drivers like that”, except in those afrorementioned illustrations. I never knew racial difference made a hard line in life, well, not in mine I think. I went to a good mixture of race in school, I can never tell the difference. My parents and my teachers had brought us up well.
But I soon had the experience when I was 12, when our school teacher Cikgu Zul, brought us out for lunch as a treat after we had painted murals on the wall of our school, to Subang Parade. There was a scuffle involving a Malay guy and a Chinese guy. I didn’t know why they argued, but the commotion drew our attention as they were shouting and exchanging insults. As young as I was, it was an everyday drama and I took no further notice of them (it was my first time out with friends in a shopping mall) but a friend of mine said this to me, which made me wonder til this day. She said “Tak baik la mamat Melayu tu. He said ‘balik la China’ to that Chinese guy”.
We were just 12 but we felt racial difference is an odd card to play with. I felt uneasy with the “balik la China” statement, it was harsh if not too surprising for me. And later as I reminisce my childhood did I realise that I was actually pleased with my friend who had shared the same feeling, only because I thought the uneaseness was caused by my own “sort of” betrayal to my own race, as I felt upset with the statement (when I should feel the same way with the Malay guy), but it was none of it.
I had been confronted with a friend who demanded my loyalty as we were showered with education aids, and again with their role obtaining independence. For one thing, wherever I am now it is on my own merit, I had not use my father’s connections if that’s what he meant nor had I any scholarships awarded simply because I prefer being independent. Now tell me, in what way didn’t I show my loyalty to this beloved country just because I remain non-partisant and critical to the ruling government? Even the revered Dato’ Onn Jaafar didn’t (later). I commended their good jobs done to the people, but if I sound selective, that is because certain issues aren’t settled. Hence the voice I have is a part of the People’s voice, a process of democracy, and thus supporting the due process of the country right? That is why, one of my aspiration is to give something back to the wonderful society that helped to shape the person that I am now. Regardless of what, I think I love my country more than one can imagine. And I love its people. They are all beautiful. There’s no place like home, and its not mine alone, I’m sure this feeling is shared by the beautiful people.
But like our lawyer Puspa said, the older generation is helpless (on the racial issue). The only hope is with the younger generation. Where the hope lies in truly colour blind so our nation can come forward. Come one, I’m sure you and I are already tired with this odd card being pulled out, just to let you know, “it” just won’t ace anymore.