1MALAYSIA: WHAT DO I THINK ABOUT IT?
1Malaysia: What Do I Think About It?
When I was younger and living in Teluk Intan, my neighbor was Indian and my front neighbor was Chinese. Every afternoon, I would go to the kitchen to peek if lunch was ready and I would smell my neighbor cooking curry for lunch while my mother would have a quick chat with our Chinese neighbour. My brother spent his primary days in a Chinese school and speaks fluent Mandarin. My family has taught me to not judge people based on their skin for their blood is the same colour as mine and I have been carrying that saying until now. Our country might not have been as developed like in Japan or The United States of America but our country was really harmonious when it comes to racial unity or so I thought.
Both of my parents are Malay. My mother’s heritage includes Siamese, Minangkabau and Bugis and same goes to my father. Due to my skin colour and my small eyes, people always mistook me as Chinese or Korean. I’m happy that I don’t have the typical Malay look but I do get annoyed when people call me Ah Moi or ask me straight up, “Are you Chinese or Malay?” Does it matter if I were a different race? I would always consciously try my best and answer them “Malaysian” instead.
In 2010, our 6th Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Abdul Razak made a new slogan called ‘1Malaysia’. The slogan ‘1Malaysia’ simply means calling for the cabinet, government agencies, and civil servants to more strongly emphasize ethnic harmony, national unity, and efficient governance. Ever since our Prime Minister spent RM38 million on the 1Malaysia campaign to emphasize racial unity in this country. The ubiquitous slogan has been everywhere like Ah Long posters on lamp posts. It is quite annoying, really. Though the concept and the idea is positive by emphasizing Malaysians to unite but do they really practice it in action than on paper?
I noticed when it comes to racism there aren’t much changes when it...