My aspiration for Malaysia

— Amirah Ali
The Malaysian Insider
Jan 07, 2013

JAN 7 — When a friend informed me about the desecration of churches and mosques in Malaysia on January 7, 2010, I felt extremely angry, disappointed and worst of all, helpless. I had been reading about the “Allah” issue for a few days while juggling my university assignments at graduate school overseas. The shock and anger from the news made me forget about the horrible freezing winter. As I started to think about my beloved Tanahair, I asked to myself, “God, why?”

To me, Malaysia is like a beautiful hidden treasure in the deep sea. It has so much potential. It has so much richness and opportunity, but is also filled with many “eggshells” that one must carefully tread around, especially on religion and race. Growing up in Malaysia, I wondered why I did not feel at home despite living my entire life there.

As a child, I was convinced that something was wrong with me. I could not talk to anyone about my thoughts. When I sought guidance from my teachers, I was scolded for asking certain questions and expressing certain opinions. However, as an adult at graduate school overseas, I discovered there are many people who shared my thoughts and ideas. The same questions I was discouraged from asking in Tanahair are commonly discussed as part of university courses where students were expected to answer by thinking critically. For the first time in my life, I felt I was normal. It was then I realised the answer; it was because I could not be myself in Malaysia.

As I learned more on the desecration of houses of worship in Tanahair, I felt a big urge to do something about it. I did not want to feel helpless anymore. I wanted to express my emotions and thoughts about the issue, although it was a difficult thing for me to do as a quiet and private person. I thought of writing something but nothing sounded right. I felt like giving up many times.

Yet I asked myself: why is this happening, what does this mean, do words define God, do words define who I am … are words how people define themselves? As I thought about the Creator’s beautiful creations, I felt a sudden feeling of calmness. I started composing a song in Malay. In the song I asked the questions that I felt were on the minds of the Malaysian people.

After finishing it a few minutes later, I recorded it and wondered how I could share this song with other Malaysians. I did not have a YouTube account at that time and realising that YouTube only accepted videos, I felt nervous at the thought that everybody would be able to see my face. I asked myself: “If expressing my thoughts and opinions on this issue would ruin my songwriting career, a career that I am trying so hard to do, a career that has barely started, would I still do this?” The answer was a resounding “Yes”. I went ahead and uploaded the video to share the song with my friends and family.

A few days later Bernama TV News called at 2am to interview me about the song. To my surprise many people supported the message of my song. I also found out from a friend that Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir, the daughter of ex-Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, mentioned the song in her article written for The Star newspaper. For the first time, I did not feel alone anymore, knowing that many other Malaysians shared similar thoughts with me.

My aspiration for Malaysia is for all Malaysians to have freedom — freedom of religion, freedom of speech and the freedom as an adult to marry whomever they love. Most of all, I aspire for each Malaysian to have equal rights regardless of one’s race whether it is Indian, Kadazan, Chinese, Malay, Dayak or mixed-parentage like me. —

  1. #1 by chengho on Tuesday, 8 January 2013 - 2:49 am

    Come and live in the land of opportunity, Uncle Sam welcome u in NY , but listen to fox Chanel , they are not entirely your dream situation too . A lot of prejudice here too .

  2. #2 by Godfather on Tuesday, 8 January 2013 - 6:21 am

    My aspiration is to see the den of thieves disbanded, and the weight of the justice system thrown at them. Enough is enough. Accumulation of wealth at the rakyat’s expense has to be stopped.

  3. #3 by lbn on Tuesday, 8 January 2013 - 6:44 am

    I love Malaysia. Each time I’m out of the country, I long to come home. There’s no place like home. But the sad part is the government, way things are done and administered. Yes, time to change and I believe nothing can be worse than the present. I’m looking forward to the hope of change for the better. Malaysia – Tanahair ku!

  4. #4 by Godfather on Tuesday, 8 January 2013 - 7:07 am

    That’s the typical Umno excuse: give us another chance. Which country doesn’t have prejudice ? Which country doesn’t have corruption ? Which country doesn’t have problems ? Zimbabwe, Nigeria, they are worse than us.

    Tell you what, Umno. We are going to give Pakatan a chance to govern. If they screw up – like BN has for the past 30 years – we’ll vote in somebody else. If you want to be that somebody else, sit quietly at the opposition bench.

  5. #5 by waterfrontcoolie on Tuesday, 8 January 2013 - 7:23 am

    The problem with people like chengho is they listen to a piece of news and they ampilfly it as if it is a common happening. In the US, every TV station has its own opinion unlike in this country, BN controls every piece of propaganda. Admittedly their stations are also prone to such distortion when it meets its objective! The difference here is there is NO CHOICE, we have to listen to a propaganda without finesse nor quality; often outright lies! That is the difference!

  6. #6 by cseng on Tuesday, 8 January 2013 - 7:53 am

    All m’sian deserve a dream… this new year 2013, lets go for change.

    Barack defined change is about securing a chance to rectify the corrupted governing process and system, long journey.

    Yes! Freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom to freedom!… hidup freedom! Change! Change! Change! Call the election now!

  7. #7 by drngsc on Tuesday, 8 January 2013 - 8:29 am

    Forget about chengho. He is a paid voice. The less attention we pay to him, the better. Like his master Mad-hat-thir, these people will die, when starve of attention. No more mention of chengho please. let him talk to himself. He is NOT worthy of our attention.
    I agree with loyarburok. After 55 years, we need to rid Malaysia of this tyranny, and the severe corruption that it breeds. With the trillions flowing out, we could have helped so many poor Malaysians. These tyrants have no conscience. Even “pak kum” given by the Jap government, they will steal. Where is their conscience?
    We dont ask for much. Malaysia, a land of freedom, and equality, where each work for the other. for King and country. We want a truly Malaysian Malaysia. God the Almigthy has blessed us so much, and spared us all the natural disasters and catastrophies. But He has allowed us to have this cancer called UMNO. We have to get rid of this cancer. Get rid.

    We must change the tenant at Putrajaya. KL 121 is coming. GE 13 is coming. First to KL 121, then to GE 13. Then to Putrajaya. Malaysian arise. It is time for us to stand up to tyranny and corruption.

    Change we must. Change we can. Change we will.

  8. #8 by chengho on Tuesday, 8 January 2013 - 8:50 am

    Moderator ; freedom of speech eh ?

  9. #9 by Loh on Tuesday, 8 January 2013 - 10:18 am



  10. #10 by lee tai king (previously dagen) on Tuesday, 8 January 2013 - 12:50 pm

    ///I asked to myself, “God, why?”///

    Remember the Umno God – the one and only real god of the universe. Dont ask the wrong god for answer.

  11. #11 by john on Tuesday, 8 January 2013 - 3:51 pm

    Comes G13 only by way of ABU, your aspiration will be fulfilled. ABU, ABU, ABU !

  12. #12 by sotong on Tuesday, 8 January 2013 - 5:33 pm

    Until all the evil, corrupt and incompetent are gone and not in position of power, nothing is safe.

  13. #13 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Tuesday, 8 January 2013 - 9:06 pm

    Sikhs say their rights to address their God is infringed.

    So DYMM Selangor, how?

    I thought this is a political question rather than a religious question? Because the right comes from God, not from man.

  14. #14 by chengho on Wednesday, 9 January 2013 - 5:20 am

    Any comment on railway deal rm 204 billion from Japanese Gov , denied by Japan eh
    You guy love hearsay

  15. #15 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Wednesday, 9 January 2013 - 5:47 am

    chengho, it’s time to pack your bags and go sleep with the devils.

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