(English translation is vetted by my dear friend Chua Ai Ling)
今早，在网上看了几个访问视频，那些走上街头游行的人们，记者问他们爱不爱这个国家？不分种族，每一个人都大大声地说：我爱马来西亚。有一位UNCLE说：“i love Malaysia, very very love-ah! ”他的太太（我猜是）在一旁腼腆地笑，他的眼泪则仿佛就要掉下来了。又有一大群年轻人，大声对着记者欢呼：Kami cinta Malaysia.
A NASI LEMAK’s melancholy
Nasi lemak always makes the list of typical and popular option for Malaysians breakfasts. This remarkable national dish or some said iconic dish is usually simple, delicious and convenient. The basic Nasi Lemak consists of rice cooked with coconut juice, served with anchovies or small piece of fried fish, peanuts, boiled egg, sambal and so on. Most importantly, it represents simple and yet beautiful lifestyle of us, Malaysian.
However, I looked at this packet of Nasi Lemak this morning feeling heavy-hearted. Not because of its’calories but I was thinking whether we, the people of Malaysia who shared the same love for Nasi Lemak –are still united or we have already divided?
After a march of “Yellow” days ago, what surprises us is the amount of people who attended the rally. It not only surprised the attendants in the rally but also our political leaders –if not, they won’t, after the rally, pressured, threatened, or even explained to the people /rakyat what they have done or going to react.
The rakyat took opportunity by attending the rally to put pressures on the authorities—we want them to know that we can stand this government no more. We can’t tolerate this retreating economic situation, we don’t want to hear anymore sweet words or explanation or any other excuses, most importantly, we do not want to see the country that we loved became an international laughing stock!
This morning, I watched a few video clips recorded during Bersih rally. When reporter asked, “Do you love this country?” Regardless of race, everyone said loudly without hesitation, “I love Malaysia.” One mid-age man said, “I love Malaysia, very, very love-ah!” His wife was smiling besides him, whereas I can see that he has tears in his eyes. A large crowd of youngsters shouted happily, “Kami cinta Malaysia.”
If it is not “love”, what is it? This huge crowd (hundred thousands of them), might have other more pressure-less or sweat-less alternatives to spend their weekends, e.g. they can either stay at home watching TV shows, or go shopping or watch a funny movie with their girlfriends, or hang-out with friends at mamak stall. Why did they, of all the above, choose to walk on the streets under the hot sun, in the rain, to demand for the people’s rights. However, sadly after all this, the irony of the situation is that some of the most sarcastic comments came from our national leaders! Malaysians who are mostly nice and kindhearted have no other idea what else they can do to show their unsatisfactory of the whole situation which is very disappointing— except to sleep on the streets to show protest. They are really helpless!
To make the situation worst, there are a group of “anti-bersih” people who claimed themselves as they do not support BERSIH. I don’t quite understand these people, are they saying that they do not want a clean election? They also do not want freedom of speach? Moreover, they have planned for a “red-shirt rally”and want to “tumpah darah”of other races, especially Chinese. They even designed a poster of a Malay chopping Chinese’s head. A friend asked me, don’t you feel angry seeing this? I told him, any reasonable man would feel angry, but besides that, I feel really, really sad. Malaysia is 58 years old this year, a 58-year-old man or woman is considered as middle-aged already, he or she should have matured thinking, but to our disappointment, there are still people who are playing race card at this ‘age’. Why don’t we move forward hand in hand, concentrating on building of our nation, building a better tomorrow with a stronger economy, richer culture and kinder people. Isn’t that more meaningful?
Fortunately, there are a huge crowd of netizens and people too, regardless of their races, who are rational and willing to take a hard look at themselves. They even tried to check out whether sometimes they are doing too much ignoring other races’ feelings and this should help get us started a good and bonding relationship. This is valuable. A friendly atmosphere in a multi-racial society is dearer than gold. Majority of Malaysians have awakened to strike off shackles of the past and we learnt our lessons from the past experience. Anyhow, some politicians are scared when they see this as race card is always their bargaining chips in politics yet it is disappearing slowly.
What shall we do now? Stand firm, stay calm, use our brains to think, show our friendliness, don’t be influenced too easily by words that can destroy the harmony of races.
I bought this packet of Nasi Lemak from a morning market in a Malay village/kampung near my house from a Malay hawker. After that I went to buy chicken then only I realized that I didn’t bring enough money! The Malay chicken seller smiled at me and said, “It’s ok, you take this first, pay me back tomorrow.” We were having such a friendly and good relationship among the people in this multi-racial society. This is exactly what is supposed to be as humans. Before our independence day, Malaysian has gone through anti-Japanese war, anti-British occupancy, until “Merdeka”, it is never easy for us to come to today’s freedom and harmony. Don’t ever let some dirty and inhuman political tactics ruin the harmony in the society. “Harmony” in a multi-racial society is something easy to destroy but hard to build.
Don’t let this packet of Nasi Lemak turn into a melancholy for Malaysian.