Friday, May 10, 2013

Kita Kawan Mah!

I used to live in the UK for 6.5 years. And most people who first met me would always have thought that I came from China, when I shake my head, "Korea? Japan? Philippines? ..." was what I usually was asked. I would say I come from Malaysia, though I'm the third generation there, my grandfather is from China. Chinese is my ethnicity, but Malaysia is my nationality.

I may explain further, say if I'm watching Olympics games and the Chinese is playing the Malaysians, I'd definitely support the Malaysians. When there's no Malaysian playing, I MAY support the Chinese. So in other words I see my nationality more importantly than my ethnicity, not forgetting the roots and values of my ancestors.

I went to Chinese kindergarden (2 years), Chinese primary school (Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan, 6 years), Chinese secondary and high school (private, 6 years) in Malaysia. Then I left Malaysia for another 4 years undergraduate and postgraduate studies in the UK. I do grow up not having many non-Chinese friends, not understanding much about the non-Chinese cultures, having lots of stereotypes about the Malays and Indians (as a psychologist I'd say "stereotype" is a way of categorising, until it goes too far and leads to...). I can think of a few Malay friends I met from ELS Subang, and two Indian friends I have during my time in the Uni in UK (they are from Malaysia). Among all these girls and boys, 100% of them are kind and nice, the kind that I'd say can either be my moderate good friend or even good friends.

Until that day our PM calls it the "Chinese Tsunami", until the day Utusan Newspapers asks "Apa lagi Cina mau? (What else does Chinese want?)". I know Chinese Tsunami isn't true statistically and factually myself, but I don't know what I can do about that feelings of upset. You can't really defend especially when you think people have all thought that you are guilty. Till I start reading some status updates on facebook shared by friends. They are written by Malays, by Malaysians to be exact, defending this isn't chinese tsunami, explaining how LGE ended up in prison defending someone of not his race, saying DAP didn't win any seats from UMNO other than the one by LKS (so there isn't such saying that Chinese is taking over the country bla bla blah), praising how far Chinese has learnt that we can no longer rely and believe in BN, saying we are all just one family i.e. a Malaysian family, saying they would boycott some mainstream papers for trying to differential us as different races, showing pictures of people helping others of different races in BERSIH and 508BLACK etc etc etc.

I was wondering "were these Malays of majority?", maybe there were only like 5% of the urban Malays who think so?! I don't have Malay friends whom I can ask... As time passes, our so-called PM and some mainstream medias continue to give unjust racial comments which were upsetting, I started to see more and more non-Chinese raising their voices, including those from BN and some NGOs. I also spent some time reading the comments of those statuses defending for my race written by somebody non-my-race. The majority of the writers' friends agreed with them, though perhaps 5-10% didn't, and even scolded these writers for not defending their own religion, benefits, races and children etc.

So I learnt that they were probably majority, at least the majority of the urban Malays. OK, now stop saying Malays, Chinese, Indians, Ibans and whatsoever... Because of "him", we are more united as Malaysians. I probably wouldn't have realized this for a long long time without him... I remember way before the election day, I have myself said to an Indian tenant of my father's shop that "there are good and bad people in all races". Now I've confirmed myself after the election, that there are good chinese, good malays, good Indians, bad Malays, bad Indians, bad Chinese.. all the good ones should be united to defend the bad ones...

Though, I'm not saying that I've "removed" all my stereotypes about others, but I am going to try to accept that we all live, study, work, and do things differently (so some people work harder, some people lazier, some are more arrogant etc), as long as it's legal, I'm also going to try stopping these prejudice of other races, because for once I now know they would extend hands of help despite our ethnicity, and for once I'm hoping our next generation will grow up with far less prejudice and stereotype. 


Anonymous said...

Hey, Huibee.
How are you doing? Hope that you are well.
Before I continue I would like to apologize in advance if my comment or word might hurt you in a way, I’m sorry. Anyway I've been keeping track with your blog quite sometimes now and I guess this is the right time for me to post up a comment. I really like your blog. It pleasures me every single time I read them. I'm really touched with your word. You are definitely rite about all the things you've said, to be honest I 100% agreed with what you just said. it’s all start from the top. If the government itself are corrupted then, how can we expect the citizen to unite? Isn’t that rite? Frankly speaking, to be born as Malay I was kind of disappointed with my race. Of all the people of different races that I've met, be friend with there were all from different races, Chinese, Indians, Mongolians, Sabah & Sarawak indigenous, Japanese, and etc. etc. and yet I felt really comfortable mingling around with them, hangout or even spending my time with them. Of all the people I didn’t expect Malays to be the most racist race that I've ever encountered I’m sorry, but it is the truth.
You don't need me to tell you this. We as a Malaysian can clearly see what’s happening in Malaysia now. Take our.. like u said, so-called PM for an example. How could he say "Chinese Tsunami" to Chinese plus, "Apa Lagi Cina Mahu" had becoming the front page of Utusan Malaysia. It doesn't even make any logical sense. as a Leader of a nation your job is to unite people not making them fall apart. not to mention about educational system here in Malaysia. we are among the lowest compared to our standard. According to the ministry of education and higher learning, all university must gives priorities to the bumiputras that includes native people from Sabah, Sarawak and Malays. but you see now, almost 70-80% local Public Universities are occupied with the Bumiputras. The sad things was near to all of them who get their degree or master degree ended up jobless. In worst case scenario, some of them didn't even complete their studies, dropout from institution or University because of their own attitude.
Did you know that the person who first invented a pen-drive were actually a Malaysian. He was born in Sekinchan, Selangor, Malaysia. His name was Pua Khein-Seng. You can check out for more details here >>
And yet, he refused to come back to Malaysia. Why? Because he did present his idea back in Malaysia, but they laugh at him, now look at him he is a CEO of Philson Electronics,Corp. based in Taiwan. Look at others big name that had brought Malaysia to the world like Tony Fernandes of Air Asia, Dato Jimmy Choo. Our Badminton Champs, Dato’ Lee Chong Wei, Malaysian Diver Queen, Pandelela Rinong. Not to mention Nicol Ann David, and many more. I dare to say in general that without these people Malaysia is nothing.

In short, I’m not saying that all Malays are narrowed minded, racist or douche bag. All I’m saying was because of this minority- narrowed minded people who bring bad impression to the major one. I still believe that Malaysia can be a peaceful and harmonize nation, despite variety of races living in Malaysia. Together we keep fighting to make the dream of today become a reality of tomorrow. Lastly, sorry if it takes you time to read this comment.
Wishing you every prosperous and luck in whatever you are doing, Peace, out :-D

huibee said...

Hello Anonymous, thank you for your essay-ahem-long comment, glad to have known I actually have such insightful and kind reader. I haven't been visiting my own blog as at the day you commented I've started to work, to wake up at 5+am and get ready with the traffics, be worried about crimes as days pass... eh stop, I shouldn't be grumbling.
Today I watched the news coming to know the very destructive hurricane in the States, which happen quite often in many other places. I think about Malaysia, about how lucky we are then I think about the kind of national news I watched about our country. A few opponent leaders arrested etc etc... I felt like ignoring all these and just carried on with my life, just like how we all (especially the majority of Chinese) used to do, we were cold about politics, we never thought about making changes (Ubah?!!), politics have nothing to do with us...
... Until I read your comment. And you said "Together we keep fighting to make the dream of today become a reality of tomorrow." this is from a Malay to a Chinese where both were strangers to each other. Thank you for writing, I'm glad I checked my blog and I hope I have just made a new friend. As I mentioned in my post I don't have many Malay friend, but I do know that not all Malays are "like that", coz all of these have nothing to do with races, colours, gender, religions... (unfortunately some politicians at the top levels seem to be the only people who can never ever get this). I'm going to carry on to be hopeful, and do whatever I can when any opportunity comes..
Thanks again and wishing you all the best too. (Perhaps I shall say let's hope "the day" would come sooner rather than later and that's "the best" for most of the Malaysians)

yonghan said...

You are the second person who mentioned about a hurricane in the States... When my mom ask me about it I was like... huh? I thought Sandy was the last major hurricane...

Googled and found nothing... +.+

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