Wednesday, April 8, 2009


I lived in the UK for 3 years. I absolutely loved it. If given the opportunity to work there again, I would not even think twice. It is not just for the money, seriously it’s not. Back then, there were many things in the UK that I truly liked and enjoyed doing, and I am very sure I still will. People there can be very courteous, but obviously not all of them are. Life is more relaxing and laid back, and everyone seems to have a balanced work-life. Weekends were always enjoyable since a group of us will somehow find something to do, or somewhere to visit, where most of the times it would involve some outdoor activities in the remote but picturesque areas of Wales.

So have I ever considered living there longer? Yes, many times.

Do I see myself being a permanent resident in the UK at some point in time? Never.

Why? It may sound a bit corny, but I honestly love Malaysia! It may be hard to believe, but I am very loyal to the country. I wish that someday we can all live as Malaysians without being unduly bothered by our cultural, religious and ethnic differences. Malaysia, I feel, is a unique country with huge potentials. Don’t judge Malaysia by Malaysians. Don’t judge Malaysia by the politicians, especially those selfish ones. Don’t judge Malaysia by the ongoing and subtle (but not so subtle lately) racial tension between races. Would you judge a car by the driver or by the car itself? Same stuff.

To continue digressing, I sometimes wonder, what it means to be a Malaysian. Is there a definition of Malaysian in the Malaysian constitution? Any legal experts with insights on this? Anyway, to think about it, what is the Rukun Negara then….is the Rukun Negara a pre-requisite of being a Malaysian?

The Rukun Negara says:
Kepercayaan kepada Tuhan
Kesetian kepada Raja dan Negara
Keluhuran Perlembagaan
Kedaulatan Undang-undang
Kesopanan dan Ketatasusilaan

So does it mean that if you are an atheist then you are not a Malaysian because you are in direct violation of the first Rukun Negara? So are those blatantly rude drivers on Malaysian roads, non-Malaysian?
Perhaps we should re-look at what it means to be a Malaysian. We talk about pushing aside racial identities and the promulgation of the concept of Bangsa Malaysia. We aspire to be Malaysians all-round in the spirit of one Malaysia. But really, what does it mean? What does it mean to be Malaysian, or what does it mean to be Bangsa Malaysia? We are on a mission, but what is the vision. Perhaps it’s just my ignorance and naivety. I just hope that we won’t launch a rocket to nowhere!

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