I am Malaysia

By Zhin | May 25, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

MAY 25 — I choose to stay in Malaysia because I cannot “escape” the Malaysia that is in me. Malaysia is what I make of it, so staying put when everything looks like it is going against my interests has required me to internalise my Malaysian experience rather than hinge on public opinion to see where this “fictional” malaise is taking us. So here is my take on it.

I say that this malaise is fictional because, I think it is very important that I take charge of my Malaysian citizenry. I refuse to indulge in a pessimistic attitude which is apparently “realistic.”

For many of “us” who have left out of sheer lack of hope, even to the extent of blaming an “other”, I find this predicament to be the absolute centre of what is wrong with this country. I am determined not to allow the state of affairs or opinions or statistics invest its authority into my mindspace. I may blame the authorities, people, races, religions or any group for discrimination, but suffering is something we do to ourselves.

I am sick and tired that the only roadmap we have to fix ourselves in this country is by asking that the system changes. But what about our own reform? Malaysians are downright lazy, incompetent and cowardly because most of us do not stand up for any Value. We do not believe in a Cause.

There is a way out of “this” Malaysia that we grumble about. I believe it lies within us when we ask ourselves what kind of values we can attach to our own Malaysia that is above and beyond what the statistics require and is beyond a ringgit equivalent.

I am horrified by the self-righteousness of every Malaysian who imputes so much guilt on a government that “governs” us when we have been blessing it time and time again with our common consent. We deserve the government we put into power.

But the average Malaysian does not stop there. He blames every plague, every injustice, every lack — to an “other.” It is appalling how so many of us are paralysed by the system when it is we who have persisted in nurturing this very system. This system is called, it’s not me, it’s the SYSTEM, the SYSTEM, the SYSTEM. But we are that system in our head, even before we relate to others in that system.

I wake up proudly each day, without needing to externalise my inadequacies on a corrupt system, without the need to suffer and make others suffer because I am obsessed with demonising something else.

I wake up with a sense of purpose in this country, ready to accept the struggle because Malaysia is not something or some place out of my body or mind, but is the very fabric of my soul. And the only person that can change that is me.

The state (now that I’m at it) can take away everything but they cannot take away the truth, that I am Malaysia and Malaysia is me. We are Malaysia and Malaysia is us. No amount of corruption and despondency should change that. And if we do indeed believe that it can, well, that’s precisely why we are in this sinking boat in the first place. Because you give “them” the authority to do so unto you.

I choose to stay because I have to. This is why I am a Malaysian.

* We asked readers to tell us in their own words why they stayed in Malaysia … instead of migrating. This is one of the stories.

  1. #1 by wanderer on Wednesday, 25 May 2011 - 9:17 pm

    Good on you, old chap. You swim or sink with the ship…very gallant and heroic. Only you can make Malaysia seemed right. Only you can make the darkness bright. A star is born!!!

  2. #2 by cto on Thursday, 26 May 2011 - 3:31 pm

    Wow. Sarcasm aside, I wonder what is this guy smoking? After 50 years, he is still unable to see thru’ the smoke screen and recognize that this country has serious problems.

    I do agree that one should not be pessimistic but being in denial is actually worse.

You must be logged in to post a comment.