I was washing the dishes just now when the fireworks burst into the sky from across the main road from where we stay. Merdeka Day party was and is still going on as I am typing this. I called for the husband to hurry to the backyard to see the fireworks which was very close to us indeed. By the time we fumbled wth the back door key to the backyard, we could not see anything already.
Throughout the time I was washing the dishes, I thought about what I would like to write about tonight. About Malaysia. There are so many things I would like to write about Malaysia, currently my adopted country. Currently where I call home.
For the past two years, I have taken notice that whenever they ask, the people from my home country seem to have quite an incredulous look on their faces whenever I declared, without hesitation or even a split second of thinking about it that I love it here. You mean you like it? They asked. But it is so ……………… and they usually proceeded to blabber all about the bad politics, bad traffic, bad corruption, bad safety, non-cleanliness, non-efficient service and the list goes on.
Ok confession. For the first two months Malaysia became my home, even I was whining those as my daily, if not hourly mantra. Oh do forgive. I came from LEGO Land where Kens and Barbies reside. Everything has to be simply purrrfecccttt, must be this and that. Must be brainwashed too.. that if anything is substandard by our ‘I’SO’ standard, bitch about it very, very loudly, complain to your heart’s content and whine, whine, whine. Coming from that kind of high expectation environment, it was nothing surprising that my first few months as a resident and not a tourist here was honestly, hell.
She told me to give Malaysia a chance. It was a period where I was incessantly complaining to her on YM about every wrong thing about Malaysia. It was only later, that she proved to me that I was wrong. And I admit. I was indeed wrong. When I look beyond many things that were on the surface that bothered me due to the standard requirement I grew up in, I began to see that Malaysia offers life.
The Arts scene which I truly enjoy is very vibrant here, there are beautiful kampungs for my escapade, countless gorgeous waterfalls I have showered under, non artificial democracy which is not plastic unlike where I …( never mind ! ). It being a Boleh Land, it is a place where my mind felt free to dream my wildest dream and actually work to achieve those dreams without having the insecurities of stepping beyond the boundaries of what has been set for me and my people. Boleh hidup lahh ( and boleh mati too… but that is another story altogether ! ).
Once we took MAS and then my republic’s aircraft barely two months later. My home country’s airline has always bagged awards after awards for being top in service. But, guess which plane trip both myself and the husband enjoyed more??? The one which the cabin crew’s hospitality and mannerism and smile are genuinely warm and sincere. And not plastic, memorized or parroted through those bright red lipstick and blue eye-shadow. MAS, since then have always been our choice airline.
I am not here to curry-favour Malaysia for perhaps, a PR status. I am not dismissing there are things here that need alot of improvement. I am saying that, no place is perfect. And Malaysia, yes even with nonsensical politics, has its beauty and charm which I cannot find elsewhere.
And Malaysians, please don’t jump into the bandwagon of complaining and whining about your own country. Because I have travelled and seen worse. Because change and improvement begins from within oneself, so if you want a better Malaysia, be a better you, yourself and together create the ripple effect. Because look at my hometown. In their utter quest and manic focus on wanting to become too perfect, that has become their imperfection which have driven many of my country mates out as they have found the island unbearable to live in anymore. Because simply, your country is lovely, I love it and I am enjoying it. And oh… I find the politics hilarious too. Quite alarming, but funny. Ok that was a weird thing to say but who can come up with the right spot on words to describe Malaysian politics, really.
Selamat Hari Merdeka, Malaysia! Thank you for having me. Thank you for the lovely people and time. Thank you for the food. I can eat at Marche halal, you know ? 😛
And as for the title, I thought of starting this posting with the dialogue by Nordin Ahmad in the classic film Sri Mersing…Kajang Pak Malau kajang berlipat, Kajang hamba mengkuang layu, Dagang Pak Malau dagang bertempat, Dagang hamba terbuang lalu.
Then I decided… nahhh too drama. I know Malaysians are drama king and queen people but I am not a Malaysian ( yet ? ) :P.