Home > thoughts > this is sleep when they remove the warmth from our little house.

this is sleep when they remove the warmth from our little house.

So yes, our beloved Malaysia’s turning 50 this August. Fanfare, party, blahblah.

The ad running on TV that says something to the effect of “no matter how much things change, some things will always remain the same” is actually one of the few times I’ve heartily agreed with anything the government peddles on TV, albeit for totally different reasons.

50 years is a milestone, and yet here we are, close-minded, racist and chauvinistic as ever.

“No” to Chinese maids because of them being “marriage-ruiners”. What the fuck? The only thing that really makes sense about that is the all-too-common trait of blaming other people for our own failings and urges. Hey, after all, women have to be the “bad guys”, right? We’re perfectly alright, it’s just the women that tempt us!

Bollocks.

Then there’s the idiots (including, I am ashamed to admit, one of my old friends) that call Yasmin Ahmad’s films “horrible” due to, God forbid, portraying an inter-racial and inter-religious relationship between a “sweet, Quran-reading girl” and a Chinese “infedel”. Oh God, the horror! The sinfulness! What the fuck does race and religion have to do with a relationship?

It’s not like they’re going to go to temples or mosques or whatnot together. Now, if marriage is looming then there might be an issue, but up until then what the fuck is the problem?

A friend of my cousin (Malay bloke) is in a relationship with a Chinese girl. Her parents are 100% okay with it, but I’m sure that his parents aren’t too keen about it. Far be it for me to say that Chinese/non-Malay/non-Muslim people are generally more-open minded, mind you. I’m just pointing out an example, and I leave conclusions up to the reader. In all honesty though, based on my (admittedly) limited experience it certainly does seem that way.

Of course, we try to exhibit an outward appearance of open-mindedness and progressiveness, but it’s all a huge sham. We try to seem multi-cultural and united, but there are still a lot of us (I’m talking primarily about Malays, since I’m a Malay and have.. “experience”) who are, to an extent, racist in some way or another. Race-based voting/supporting (“hey, he’s Malay, let’s support him!”), the cries of “Malaysia untuk Melayu!” (“Malaysia for Malays!”) uttered by certain folks as well as a general “let’s-look-at-him-with-shifty-eyes-if-he’s-not-Malay” mindset are just some of the shit I’ve seen and heard with my own eyes.

You know, a lot of people keep saying that while we’re physically free (and independent), we’re still occupied mentally. I whole-heartedly agree, but I don’t think it’s by the oft-demonized (probably for a reason, but I’m not going to touch on that) “Western values”, but rather by our age-old prejudices and close-mindedness.

I’m not saying we should abolish tradition, far from it. I’m not saying we have to “deculturalize” to progress. Hell, I’m not getting how chauvinism, close-mindedness and prejudice could ever be considered “tradition” or a “part of our culture”. But, come to think of it… they might just be. The worst kind of tradition, but tradition nonetheless.

We’re choking on it, and it’s time to perform the Heimlich maneuver*.

Happy 50th birthday, Malaysia.

*admittedly it doesn’t make much sense, but i felt like i had to say something like that.

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