Proud to be Malaysian

I am writing this blog post a week after the historical May 5 election day just to share some of my thoughts on some of the things which have happened since then.

You might be surprised to know that this GE13 election is only the second time I have voted in my entire life. You may ask why haven’t I exercise my rights earlier? I guess I didn’t find a compelling reason to do so before this.

I was never passionate about politics before this. During my school days, I hated History as a subject and I was and still am very bad with names, dates and events, and much of politics revolves around these facts. When I was in my 20s, I only cared about my job. Politics did not affect me.

What was the turning point then? I think it was after my son started schooling. I began to take interest in what they taught in school. The issue that got me especially peeved was the constant yo-yoing of the education policies particularly the teaching of Maths and Science in English or Bahasa Malaysia.

As a writer, I appreciate the beauty of all languages including Bahasa Malaysia and believe in its preservation. But in the context of globalisation where the knowledge of Maths and Science is commonly conveyed in English, it seriously does not make sense to teach these subjects in Bahasa Malaysia.

That was the issue which started me on my journey as a voter to make my voice heard. It was also then that I began to dig deeper and encounter issues such as bribery, cronyism and racism. It was not that I was unaware of the existence of such issues but they have now become relevant to me because my son will inherit the country which I live in now and the only way to ensure that he gets a chance at living a good life in a country that cares for its people is for me to exercise my voting rights.

This GE13 election was an eventful one to say the least, but it triggered something in me which I didn’t realise was there. I realised I really love my country and am very proud to be a Malaysian. I had this enlightenment when I was close to tears while reading all the racist remarks in the media during the aftermath of the election. I was heartbroken when people like me who just wanted to uphold democracy and peace were accused as traitors and for inciting racial discords by the very leader of our country. It was very disturbing.

While many statements have been issued by various parties to mediate this colossal PR disaster since then, what has been said cannot be taken back, and the damage is done. As much as the idealist in me keeps questioning why this world can’t be a simpler place where people only live for the good, the realist is quick to turn me towards the real world.

However, an epiphany has dawned in me that the battle for a better future in this country has just begun. For this, I sincerely pray that there will be good things installed for us and generations to come in the yet unwritten future.

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