on either side of the coin: a pre-merdeka essay by a genetically generic malaysian

this is not a historic essay about the founding fathers of this country, nor is this a very futuristic essay about what we envision to be the future of malaysia. this not an essay about our the majesty of our sky scrapers, nor is it about our numerous world record titles.

this is an essay about the people of malaysia. this is an essay about me.

to those who are just got to know me through this blog and never really met me in person, i am your average, and i mean really average malaysian. i went to a national school and studied the national-languaged curriculum. i entered a public university and i’m currently working in the capital city, kuala lumpur.

this article is a call for unity among malaysians. don’t get me wrong. it is not tolerance that i advocate. somehow, i just don’t jive to that sorta beat. tolerance means we simply live with the differences that divides us. tolerance means we don’t remove those lines that divides us, but simply live on our own sides of the border. i’m sorry, but tolerance just does not score very well in my book. i believe that a better word would be understanding and appreciating. understanding means we learn the ideologies behind each other’s customs. appreciating means we accept the intentions behind those customs. understanding is to be enriched by each other’s experience. appreciating is to remove those cultural boundaries, and allow the celebration of being to cross over.

this is not easy. of course it is not easy. our youngsters have been told their whole lives that they are malay or chinese or indians. how many times have we told them to be malaysians? how many times have we taught our children that being malaysian is more important than being malay or chinese or indian? not many, of course not. because we as adults don’t believe in such a thing either. is one malaysian equal to the next malaysian? of course not! as the daylight of reality sees it, we constantly continue to divide ourselves. we constantly continue to say that we are different with all this talk about the superior-first-class-race and sons-of-the-land and second-class-immigrant-race, which is all just plan bullshit. what do i have to say about it? kiasu! people are just plain kiasu!

oh sure, what do i know about it lar? i am supposed to be one of those superior-classed bumiputra malays. i’m supposed to be dancing in my brith-right privlidges and frolicking in all my easily approved loans and riches. i’m sorry, but life is not all that jazz in malaysville, because that is exactly what people see me as: malay i.e. helpless, in need of aid to survive, non-english literate, strip away my privlidges and i will totally dwindle down to nothingness and die.

i constantly live with the stigma that i am a lazy bum, that i have the creativity of a doorknob, that i am incapable of doing anything without handicaps and what is much worse, that i have no dreams or ambitions beyond being a good wife to some guy who might possibly have three other wives somewhere in the country (possibly even the same house).

oh, but my agony does not end here, ladies and gentlemen. that is just half my story. not only am i doomed to be someone’s first, second, third or fourth wife, i am also suppose to be a cheat. an unhygenic cheat, if i might add. one whom is suppose to make way in the world to people who are more deserving than me, even if they don’t work as hard. that’s right, in chineseville, i’m expected to sacrifice my hard earned work to make way for someone else’s promotion. but why? oh, simply because i am already supposed to be rich and well-fed. my family’s supposed to have a chest of gold buried somewhere in my backyard by my merchant ancestors, and loads and loads of stocks generating loads and loads of money for me.

i realize that what i’ve just written is a crude representation of races, but it is a reflection of the harsh reality that i have to live with one way or another, every single day. what most malaysians experience is just one side of the coin, bte side they live on. they criticize the other side, but fail to see what it is like upon themselves to be on the other’s shoes. i am personally sick of working so damn hard, just to see someone else having an easy way out on a racial ticket. likewise, i am also sick and tired of being judged incapable by those who see me through racist eyes. i have had people question the reliability of my degree my race is not supposed to be very proficient in english. i’ve even had people questioning my presence in the public varsities because my race is suppose to be rich enough to study overseas. enough already, please!!!

someone once asked me to just make life easier for myself and live on one side of the coin. choose a side and keep within those lines. why should i? why should i be made to choose between two sides, when both sides have clawed me so many times before? i refuse to draw lines. lines make things appear to be battlefields, where sides struggle to defend their lines. i choose to remove the lines, and be endowed by the best philosphies of all cultures.

yes, yes, blame it on the system. i would. the system is such that it favours the malays rather than other races. we know the system favouratises. we know the system is bias. we know that there is a better way, right? don’t we? of course we do. the problem with the generation of today, is the lack of a revolutionary force. we know the system is wrong, so why follow the system? the system will not chance, unless the people demand a change.

you might think that you are just a tiny voice in a loud chorus. that’s what’s wrong with people. you are afraid of being a minority, that people won’t listen to you. reality-check, there are more minorities now than there are majorities. the problem is when you succumb to that dumbing voice that says, “there is nothing i can do about it.” i’ve seen that. i’ve seriously seen that. faces that look onto the soil where which their parent’s parent’s were born onto and just say that they are just too small a number to do anything about it.

i know this sounds naive and idealistic. but i’ve said this before, and i hold to it still, i know that my thoughts are childish, but if more people thought like me, i belive the world would be a more peaceful place to be in.

i want to be recognized for my talents, not because of my race. i want to be appreciated for my thoughts, not because of my race. i want to be successful for my efforts, not for my race.

this article is about the walk with both sides of the shoes.

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