Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Maligned Malay

Before you continue reading, it is advised that you read Tv Smith's and The Roadie's entries on the topic above. Further links can be found at the sites mentioned above.

I grew up confused, and am very much still in searching (No, I've pretty much made up my mind on gender issues =P). You see, by name, I am Malay. I enjoy everything a bumiputra enjoys, and that, in droves. However, by genetic predisposition (I am very much into genes nowadays) I am more Chinese than Malay. See why I'm in searching? I grew up the Malay way, and grew up the religious way. I've left all that now, and carry none of what I've learned when I was growing up. While searching for my true identity then, I've more often than not ended up confused. As hell. Doesn't really help that during the most formative years of my life, I was exposed to racism. (My father and his siblings formed what I would like to call the anti-Indian-and-everything-black-that-moves alliance. The only Indian they ever supported was Kalimuthu aka Batang Kali, for the sole reason that he killed other Indians.)

This type of exposure continued in school. My friend once asked me, what is the difference between a Malay and a bucket of shit. I knew what was coming, but asked for the answer anyway. He replied: "The Bucket". Then there was the "Dayung Sampan" (Row your boat) story. I was hurt, and angry. Hurt and angry enough that I wanted to punch his face. But I didn't punch him. Instead, I laughed it off. I became his close friend. Being one of the very few Malays in my class, I was constantly rediculed, made fun of, and as always, the butt of all racist jokes. This however, made me think. It didn't make me ashamed of being who I am, but it made me think.

From then on, I set about trying to change my friend's perceptions of Malays. In the process however, I lost everything that I've ever stood for as a Malay Muslim growing up. I got my share of praises alright, but I lost everything that has made me, up to that point, me. The weirdest of praises that I've gotten was one from an acquaintence in university who said that I was like no other Malay she has ever met. Two questions had popped into my head at that very moment. Am I that different from most Malays, and has she even met a Malay to start with?

Then came the first defining moment of my life. Up to my university days, I've befriended everyone. However, due to the nature of my school, I was rarely in contact with Malays, except for the few in my class. So, this carried itself into university. Unfortunately, my university was predominantly bumiputera based. Within a week of being there, I was universally labelled by the Surau establishment as "Setan" (devil) and "rosak" (morally spoiled). I was hurt, and angry, a second time. But the difference was I was ashamed of who I was, the Malay. I alienated them as a consequence of their actions (I didn't alienate all the Malays, just the bunch from the Surau. This little incident did make me dislike Malays somewhat though).

To make things worse, behind my back, some of the ultra-chinese chinak were branding me lost and confused and didn't want my company (who said that the Malays were the only ones who talked behind peoples backs and backstabbed?). Great, my "own kind" hates me, and the kind I wanted to be and hang out with hated me too. Fortunately, some others were kinder in thought, and took me in. Toward the end of my time in university, I was part of a very racially mixed group albeit being the only Malay in that group.

Right at this very moment, I've stopped trying to be any particular race. I've decided that the best way to go about my soul-searching is to be who I am comfortable being, the human being. No particular race nor religion is necessary for being that. I am the individual, the person that only strives to be responsible, strives for self improvement, and strives to do the right thing at the right time. I see no use in explaining myself to anyone, nor labelling anyone anything (though sometimes it does help the raging blistering heart to cool down if explatives were thrown at a certain type of people or individual).

I don't see races or religions anymore, but see mere individuals that do not do a race or religion justice. When I generalize (also known as stereotyping) I do not do it unless I truly feel that the general population IS like that. So, instead of condemning our kind, or condemning others for condemning our kind, or just plain condemning other kinds, why not spend time improving ourselves. Why not go out and prove those racist bigots wrong. Be who you want to be, not who society and religion wants you to be. Frankly, I don't care anymore what other people personally think of me. I just go about being the best human being I can. Call me "lupa daratan, tak ingat tuhan, kelapa parut" or what ever. I don't give a shit. As far as I'm concerned, I am trying to be the best that I could ever be.

Lessons to be learned:
  • We don't need Pak Lah to tell us that we need to buck up. (Watch Remember the Titans. Patronage only makes us weaker.)
  • Sometimes all we need is a little/big jolt(of racism) in the ass to get us moving.
  • Incest is bad.
  • Daughter Banging is worse.
  • People come up with stereotypes because there are enough examples out there to warrant that stereotype. Try very hard not to be a statistic.
  • We should all try NOT to be whiny (Do something about it instead), lazy arsed (Can't help it sometimes), poison penning (I strive to become instead of bring down), idle gossiping (Love talking), pyramid (What the fuck is a pyramid Malay?), under achieving (My greatest fear), daughter banging (Don't have daughters), bickering hypocrites (Bickering, weall do it, you've all done it. Hypocrites? Hate them). Humans are humans afterall.
  • Accept things as they are. Move on for the better.
  • Individuality rules in the end.
P.S. I hope I don't sound holier-than-thou. Just wanted to share my thoughts.


Anonymous said...


yangsquare said...

lol at anonymous.
nice insight you have.
good work & write more on it.

Anonymous said...

wow...u r sooooooo true...neway, good luck dude...

Anonymous said...

good luck.

I had an experience with some similarities but in reverse. In secondary school, my family move and I ended up in school composed of mostly malays.

Tried making friends... but it didn't work. The malays looked at me as somekind of weirdo, and the chinese as a traitor. It nearly came to blows with ultra-malays in front of me and ultra-chinese spreading poison rumors behind me.

Finally, I gave up. While in primary school I had a mixed bag of friend but in my years in secondary school I only had only one malay friend. She was born and bred in the US... she left the school after 1 and a half years as she couldn't take it.(She got into fights with the school administration and surau)

I hated that school. I hated how the country in general is slowly moving in that direction.

Anonymous said...

I just don't understand why in other south-east asian countries like thailand, phillipines, and indonesia, where chinese are minorities, the local and the ethnic chinese can hang around together, mixed around, and some even intermarry. while in malaysia, both races hates each other.

Anonymous said...

YES! Someone that abides to the law of Individuality. They should make it a law to end racism, sexism and whatever -isms out there.

Jming said...

I use to grow up with malays and indian friends when we are young. We have no problem mixing around. We sat down and enjoy our food together even when I am having pork, the indians are taking beef and the malays are having their kambing rendang. We still enjoy our time together and laughed and played. I wonder where all the good time goes? I hate being divided by race, I love my malay and indian friends as much as I love my brothers and sisters.

I grow up in a small town called Melaka, where everyone live peacefully and loving. We are tolerant, we take each other in. We celebrate everything together. We are not people who likes to discriminate and alienated people.

However when I went to study up north, I feel what so called a race difference and the groups are dividing amongs themself and I hate this!!

Sorry but I got to say some of them are so racist, I see my friend got cornered like you by the so called 'rakan Masjid group' I felt for him and I am pity for him. I told him not to worry and be who he is. We are good friends till now. I cherish being with different races, we are not ashamed of who we are. Even my friends started to be more open and accept whatever that is happening around.

All I want is a Malaysia like this, where everyone love each other and living equally and no racial discrimination.