(I swear to defend the Motherland!)
Hmm, an interesting topic of conversation cropped up in the midst of an early monday morning griping session that I was having with a friend of mine over MSN.
March 8 2008 re-ignited a certain passion that I have had for Malaysia, one that I hadn't felt since my commie hating days as a police cadet (Yes!I was a right winger for a brief period of my life I'm SORRY!) Essentially what I felt the day after that election was hope. A kind of hope that has been very rare hereabouts for quite some time. Hope that just maybe we weren't doomed to become a failed 3rd world nation that saw the rich ripping what little flesh that was left off the rest of us so that they could go on living in their Istana Zakaria's, Toyo's, Diraja's what have you.
(For the Motherland!)
Anyway, it then came down to the question of 'Why bother staying? Why imagine that things might get better in the face of so much evidence to the contrary?'
Well...In all honesty I am not adverse to living abroad at all... hell I'd bloody well enjoy it. But at the same time I can't help but feel that there is a certain tragedy over uprooting for 'greener pastures' as they call it.
The thing is, I'm am rather torn on the subject. The optimist/ marxist in me believes that people can change, and when faced with an obvious thesis of injustice, malpractice, corruption etc the anti-thesis of change is inevitable... So says the historical dialectic, and so shall be. However the conundrum that is then faced on the personal level is, do you really want to be a part of the dialectic? Inevitable it may be but the option of not being around when it happens (and therefore avoiding whatever "struggle" as Marx would call it) is in today's world a very real and very attractive opportunity... So yea...I am not against the idea of uprooting.
(Soldiers of all nationalities, fight for your Motherland and for Victory!)
But then we got into a few more specific challenges that are involved, and top on my list was..well.. the racism.
Now... there are a large number of decent white people in the world. Seriously, there are. But racism is part and parcel of living in the white mans world. Chink, paki, nigger...whatever... you WILL eventually be the target of some misguided fool's vitriol... (Even homeless people aren't beyond racism as i was informed of today :S) and this friend of mine was looking at Australia as her new residence... White supremism central of the eastern hemisphere!
In fact, there was once a time back in uni that whilst merrily on my way to the local Greggs for some kickass english jam donuts, a bunch of bored white chavs driving around in a dinged up Pinto, loudly declared that I was of the 'Paki' descent and that I should return to whence I came from.... It was only while I was walking back to St Georges Hall, happily nibbling on my jam donut, did it actually click that they were referring to me however, and I was quite perplexed as I had no idea why anyone would want me to take a trip down to Brighton =P
But yeah, "take a step back and ask yourself why your being so hard on the white man Nahri?" might be the question on your mind right now. So allow me to explain.
While I have no problem whatsoever with the white people, I do make the distinction that the fundamental basis of the overbearing success of the white establishment, has been its ability to hinder the growth and prosperity of any other establishment by using whatever means necessary from its repertoire of economic, military, religious, social AND psychological instruments. (See I'm not racist, I'm just a good little communist) This is a historical dialectic.. The color of your skin had nothing to do with it.
(To the West!)
HOWEVER! While expressions of racism may not be as blatantly in your face, or occur whilst you are enjoying a jam donut, as it might over in merry old england, the expression of racism is very evident here. Worser still, its been bloody institutionalized by the insidious legislators who pass law, the atavistic enforcers who uphold it, and the plainly imbecilic.
Truth be told... I probably will never appreciate the true extent of what a non-bumi in Malaysia feels, for as my friend pointed out to me this morning, despite my convictions that the bumiputera system is unethical, un-constitutional and downright irrational from an economic perspective... that option does remain available...
(Death to the fascist German invaders!)
To elaborate on the subject, allow me to quote from the literary masterpiece of "Be Cool" (In brackets by me)
"Have you lost your mind?!
I mean, how is it that you can
disrespect a man's ethnicity
when you know we've influenced
nearly every facet of white
, America (pick any society)
from our music to our style of dress,
not to mention your basic imitation
of our sense of cool...
walk, talk, dress, mannerisms. (FOOD!)
We enrich your very existence, (Ang Pau's, Mamak's, Char Siew!)
all the while contributing
to the gross national product
through our achievements
. (think of the Malaysian-chinese contribution to the economy) America
It's these conceits that comfort me
when I'm faced with the ignorant,(UMNO)
cowardly, bitter and bigoted (UMNO)
who have no talent, no guts, (UMNO)
people like you who desecrate (UMNO)
things they don't understand (UMNO)
when the truth is
you should say, "Thank you, man," (Everybody)
and go on about your way."
But I do hope that the non-bumi's of Malaysia can appreciate that there are individuals such as myself, who suffer as greatly as they do from the irrational sufferings of racism as they do.
You see, for the most part of my life I have never really fitted in with the societies around me. As a kid born in Terengganu who then went to primary school in Penang, the colloqual differences were just a bit overwhelming for a 5 year old to appreciate, and then as a young Penangite living in Langkawi getting used to the level of attention given to religion was just...wtf? (not to mention having to get used to a co-ed school...not all was bad, far from it =P), and then finally when I came to KL from Langkawi... I reckon I suffered a far more serious case of culture shock than when I went from KL to Reading :S
(Our cause is just, victory will be ours!)
The advantage of this upbringing however is that I never really got into the habit of seeing race and skin color as a principle factor in choosing who to befriend, or what to think.
So it is actually very hard.. very very hard to deal with people who go "ah, but your Malay, so at the end of the day you just wont get us" from a Chinese or Indian dude because dammit man! I went through childhood not getting most people!So what the hell's your problem?!! Even when it comes from close friends who I know don't actually mean anything by it, it just stings... Because for people like me, and frankly I do not know if there indeed are others like me, choosing the 'Bumi' path isnt even an option, because it is the thesis to which I owe the anti-thesis that is my very existence.
And hurt it does. Believe me. In fact, its gotten to the point that not to long ago, someone who I cared for a very great deal actually told me that the only reason that it would not work out between us, was because it said 'Islam' on my identification card... Now, people who I confide in have told me that "It's her loss" and that "That mean's she isn't worth it, you should move on" but before you pass judgement consider, what trouble's her is not me the individual, but a thesis that has been in effect for over 50 years, one that has seen Malaysian's grow increasingly divided over the years and one that has inevitably led to a great sense of communal frustration and yes, anger, for being limited in terms of opportunities and possibilities in a country that does not exactly call you one of its own! so who am I to cast all that aside on a whim?... :(
THAT my friends, is the tragedy of racism... and of this country...and I say country for we are not a nation... and it literally makes a bunch of random racist white chav's look like a minor inconvenience you blog about for the amusement of others.
So yeah, Australia? Go for it!
(For our victory!)
P:S:- Isn't Soviet art from the Great Patriotic War frickin awesome?!