The country and the people did not Fail us. LEAVING MALAYSIA IS NOT THE SOLUTION.

1 Malaysia should not be merely a Marketing campaign. We should see ourselves as Malaysian FIRST, before our race… and by doing so, the government needs to embrace equal policies for all racial groups before they can convince us that 1 Malaysia is possible.

Not long ago, there was a video spreading around in Facebook and Youtube. UMNO Titiwangsa Division Chief: We do not need votes from Chinese and Indians:

The speech goes something like this…

“Gentlemen. If you secure 70 percent of the 32,000 Malay votes, then we
won’t need Chinese and Indian votes,” Johari said in the video clip,
triggering applause from his audience.

“If we want to win in Titiwangsa, we want Malays (to vote for us). We want
Malays. Don’t bow down to the Chinese and Indians just because we want to
win. Don’t do it,” he said.

I was really disheartened after watching the video. My first reaction-

I am really not recognized in my country….should I leave?

Then, I started to reprimand myself for having such thoughts. It is not the country that rejected my rights as a citizen… it is the government. We can all migrate to another country and set up a new life where the grass is supposedly ‘greener on the other side’ (we do not actually KNOW if its greener… thats what we heard)…but whatever it is…. in the end, it is still not ‘your grass’ and whenever people ask you, you still have to say that u are ‘originally from Malaysia’. Why do you want to leave your country and take a share of other’s ‘grass’ when you have a chance to make a difference, be the ‘gardener’ of your own country and transform your home to the ‘greenness’ that you aspire it to be?

Whenever my friends and I discussed about the living standards, politics, education system and economy in Malaysia, the discussions will somehow leads back to racial problems and how ‘we really cant do anything about it…It’s the government responsibility’. BUT… we forget one really important idea… the country is not shaped only by the government; we are as much responsible for what happen as the leaders of the country. There are too much stereotypes surrounding the different racial groups in Malaysia. I feel that we should not judge and generalize each racial group. Chances are… when we talk and interact with other racial groups in Malaysia, we will be surprise how similar we are. Our race does not fully shape and determine who we are; it is our upbringings, values and beliefs that shape us. In the end… we are simply Malaysians. Regardless of which race we are, we hold similar fundamental family values, heritage, lifestyles and cultures. We talk the same way, eat the same way and practice similiar lifestyles.

We keep the traditions and values of our ethnicity…but lets be honest, we are far more ‘Malaysian’ than we are a Chinese citizen or an Indian citizen.

I love Malaysia’s culture, our landscape and most importantly, our diversity… but if most of us decide to leave the country and the injustice behind to ‘rot’… what will happen to our country in the future?

What will happen to all your friends and families who remain in the country while you leave everything behind to begin a ‘new life’ in a foreign place?

I personally feel that migrating to another country (and in the process, breaking all ties with your home-country) because one feels that the country is ‘getting hopeless’ is not the most outrighteous act.

If we are not even willing to play a small part in ‘recovering’ our country and makes it better for our families, friends and their future generations, how can we claim that we are ‘better than’ the corruptions, unjust and discriminations that are facing our nation today?

The Country has not treated us badly, we all have our share of happiness in the country… happy memories that we hold on to… memories that we treasure…. memories and experiences that makes up who we are. We hang out in familiar places and drive through familiar roads. These are all part of our identity…. leaving it behind because the government has treated us unfairly is to deny the valuable experiences that you have lived through in Malaysia.

Leaving the country behind because the government has treated you unfairly is as good as turning your back on your childhood friends and families who played with you and allowed you to come to their house for snacks when you happened to be locked out of house without a key. You have left them to face the music at the time when they need you the most to fight for a better future for their future and the future of their younger generations.

Leaving the country behind because the government has treated you unfairly is as good as admitting that you are okay to see your nieces and nephews going through the same injustice that you have gone through. We want a chance for all children in Malaysia to be able to enjoy a truly harmonious and equal society. We don’t want history to repeat itself.

If we are not willing to stay and help the group of people that are closest to us in the world, how can we claim ourselves as socially responsible citizens of the world?

To fight for equal racial rights in Malaysia, we should start to see ourselves as MALAYSIANS rather than ‘Malaysian Malays’, ‘Malaysian Chinese’ or ‘Malaysian Indian’.

Instead of primarily only looking after the people of our own race, we should start to look after the social wellbeing of Malaysians as a whole.

I believe that if we can truly embrace one another as fellow members of Malaysia, we, as a group, will make the right choices as a nation.

The government did not show us the true meaning of 1 Malaysia but we, as a group, can show the government what it means to truly embrace true harmony and unity. We don’t give priority to any race, we reward people base on their true ability and help people in need because they deserver our help as human being.


Alicia Lim

Related Articles:

BBC News (1 Malaysia: Embracing unity or just a catchy slogan?)

What does one Malaysia mean to you?

Some Umno Grassroots ‘not very smart’

Equal rights, equal opportunity


~ by Alicia on November 21, 2010.

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