I “lifted” this of Audrey’s blog. I thought you guys may want to read it and ponder on it too:
Two days ago, I sat in Lipman’s office for our weekly meeting about my independent study.
This semester, I chose to write about Ketuanan Melayu.
He asked me how my research was going.
I started to tell him about how I had read all these articles written in Malay online, both in personal blogs, and Utusan Melayu archives.
But I found myself unable to go on, because if I opened my mouth again, the hard lump that was in my throat would dissolve and pour out as tears.
I’m not sure why I was so affected reading those Malay articles. And I didn’t realize how upset I was until I went to tell Lipman about them.
Those articles were mostly ridiculous little opinion pieces about why the writers thought Malays were the true owners of Malaysia. Because Malays were here first. Because Malacca had been a thriving and prosperous port under Malay rule, and not Chinese or Indian.
Granted, the Malays were here before the Chinese and Indians. But we’re here now. I am the 5th generation of a man from Fujian who came to Malaya in the mid 1800s. Malaysia is all most of us know and love, but just because of who we are, restrictions are imposed upon us.
I know that if you think about the Israelis and the Palestines, or the Serbs and Croatians, we are comparably very lucky in Malaysia.
We are not shot upon recognition of our ethnicity, neither are we denied basic needs of human survival.
But what we are denied is the chance to stand as an equal individual and citizen in our country. We are denied the chance to be proud of Malaysia, the chance to say that my country loves me as much as I love her.
Rationally or not, reasonably or not, cruelly or not, I think that racism will always exist in all of us, deep down, whether we want to or not. I think that to be human is to have that instinct of “us” against “the other” because isn’t that what survival is based on?
I am not blaming any particular person for this, because whatever antagonism a Malay might feel towards a Chinese, isn’t it possible that the Chinese might feel the same to his Malay counterpart? I am very sure that if the roles were reversed, the Chinese would do the same thing; I highly doubt we are very much better.
And so I sat in Lipman’s office with my lips pressed tightly together, just listening to him talk about ethnic nationalism. He must have noticed something because he paused before saying “Audrey, I’m sorry.”
The only way to change things is to vote. You have no idea how much I want to vote, but cannot.
So if you can, please go out on Voting Day and place your vote. This is one of your most important rights as a citizen so please don’t waste it.
***Apologies if this offends anyone. This is merely an opinion piece of an idealistic ignorant girl.