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Wednesday, 15 July 2015

A reply to ‘British Expat’

A reply to ‘British Expat’:



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A reply to ‘British Expat’


Dear ‘British Expat’

Thank you for your letter. I reckon things must have been very frustrating for you to have prompted you to write in. I do not write very often but I feel compelled to reply you instead of allowing my country and friends to endure your scathing remarks. As a Malaysian who has spent 24 (and a half) years of her life on Malaysian soil, I suppose I should be rather qualified for this.

To be honest, you have hit the nail on the head. Every Malaysian admits that the country (and its people) has its failings. In fact, I am not sure if there is any Malaysian out there who does not spend most of his or her time complaining about all things Malaysian - the traffic, the hooligans, the politics (let’s not even get there), to name a few. I am sure you are all too familiar with these by now, based on your descriptions.

All this makes life in Malaysia extremely frustrating, sometimes. I mean, I can move out of the country too, if I choose to. A lot of my friends already have. I know they do not intend to come back. And every time I read about a Malaysian-born Singaporean scaling Everest or a Malaysian-born Australian blowing away the Hollywood box office with his low-budget horror movies, I feel very, very sad.

But why should I be made to move away from the place I call home? In other words, ‘tanah tumpah darahku’? I love the food. I love that there are more than three races under a roof, even if we bicker all the time. I love that I am surrounded by the hills and the seas, and that we have some of the oldest rainforests in the world. I love that we have natural resources that are waiting to be harnessed in a sustainable manner. I love my fellow Malaysians.

So I am staying on. I will stay on. And I stay on because I feel that my country needs defending. I stay on because I believe in Malaysians. (I am sorry for being repetitive but) I stay on because I feel like I want to change things, and all of us can if we try a little harder. How or when, I do not know yet. Nevertheless, we can start with the small things. We can be do-gooders instead of merely becoming keyboard warriors. There are some who are already achieving this.

Perhaps you did not have the opportunity of enlarging your social circle, or that hard luck just meant that you have not encountered enough good Malaysians.

But I have. I like to look out for the more positive sort of news. If you had bothered to dig a little deeper, you would have read about the NGOs and the newly-coined non-governmental individuals (NGIs) who have gone ‘all out’ in helping the flood and earthquake victims. They did not sit around to do nothing, so I refuse to accept your remarks that we have not done anything during the recent natural (or man-made) calamities.

I, for one, donated some paltry sums of money to the best of my financial ability. We have not only attempted to help those within our country. We collected donations for the Rohingyas and Nepalis as well. Have you, though?

And it does not matter whether these good souls are a minority. It makes me believe that there is good in Malaysia, and that Malaysia deserves to be saved. I happen to agree with Tolkien that there is some good in this world, and it is worth fighting for.

My solution

So what is our solution, you ask? Well, I happen to have one, although it is not an entirely fresh idea. It has been playing in my head for a while now.

We should form a new political party.

On top of it all, it has to be a new one altogether with neither members from the incumbent government nor the current opposition because you, too, agreed that they have not been effective in resolving our woes.

The new party will comprise a team of individuals who truly want to save and change Malaysia for the better. The party will be the hope of all Malaysians. This time, the party will need the full backing and trust of the people in order to be able to change things. I am not sure if we can be united enough to achieve this, but I suppose a dream is good enough as a start. Martin Luther King Jr, too, had a dream.

The truth is, I think we can do it. We can change things. We just need a little more time to sort things out.

I therefore beg to differ with you, ‘British Expat’. I am sorry you had to endure the worse sides of Malaysia. However, I do not think that your two years could measure up to my 24.

You are right. We need a complete mindset overhaul. We will take note of your comments and try to buck up from where we are now. It will not be too difficult as you would agree that we have hit ‘rock-bottom’ at the moment.

But I will have you know that in all her flaws, I love Malaysia for what she is, and I cannot love her more.

Malaysia is destined for doom

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