So What’s So Good About Malaysia?


VMY2007

When you read blogs about Malaysia, most of the time you’ll get complaints and jokes about the downside of the country. In the spirit of Visit Malaysia Year 2007, here I state some of the things I find good about my homeland of Malaysia.

I’m glad that we can work hard and earn a decent living, or even start a successful business. In many places in the world, I would be likely born into a lifetime of poverty. In Malaysia, I have a decent shot at education and employment, even under the quota system.

Our economy is actually doing quite well, granted with a boost from Petronas. Compare many other nations that gained independence after World War II. Or even compare our neighbours in Thailand, Indonesia and the Phillipines – our economy is advancing pretty steadily. (Chinese chauvanists would say it’s because of the percentage of Chinese in the population – Indonesia 2%, Phillipines 10%, Thailand 14%, Malaysia 30%, Singapore 76.8%.)

We are mostly free to worship and practise our respective religions. Although approval to build new places of worship can take a really long time to clear. Basically, as long as you don’t do anything that affects the pride and status of the official national religion, you’re allowed to do your own thing.

Malaysia is justly proud of its racial harmony. True, in a truly united ‘Malaysian Malaysia’ race would not be taken into account at all, but neither do we have racial riots and hate crimes (anymore).

From that note, I would say religion rather than race is a separating factor in Malaysia – the official constitutional definition of who counts as a ‘Malay’ is evidence of the fact. Language can also be a barrier, even within a race – Chinese educated and English educated Chinese often have different culture and mentality.

On the other hand then, shared religion and language can be a uniting force – I personally know many English-speaking, church-going interracial couples. A common language draws them together through conversation and communication, and a common love for and under God holds them together.

In culture-rich Malaysia, history mixes with modernity, often even closer than side-by-side. Walking around Melaka/Malacca town and seeing the nostalgic old-style buildings and traditional crafts, such as the handmade Nyonya beaded shoes on Temple Street. Then blogging via Streamyx broadband about how the shop’s e-mail is tslim1961@yahoo.com.sg. But our culture, arts and history have yet to be properly preserved and portrayed to visitors the way Singapore does it.

Malaysia is a generally peaceful land. Sure, I am often aghast at the crimes that occur. But criminals don’t run the towns (no councillor jokes please) and we have no war (civil or international). Sitting and eating at a mamak at night, for the moment I was truly happy to be living in Malaysia.

The food, glorious food! One superb plus point about a multiracial, non-homogenized country – each different background brings its own style of cuisine! Go to the countless hawkers and vendors and restaurants and you can get Malay, South Indian, North Indian, Thai, Chinese (Hakka Hokkien Teochew Hainanese Cantonese etc), Baba & Nyonya, and international flavours like Japanese, American fast food, Western, Korean, European and more. I’m not kidding when I say you can find food literally everywhere you turn!

In conclusion, I am thankful to be born and raised in Malaysia. For all its faults and gripes, it’s a really great place to live! Thus as a Malaysian citizen, it is my duty (and yours!) to strive to make Malaysia an even better country – more advanced, more enlightened, more efficient, more friendly.

MALAYSIA BOLEH!!!!

——

Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it.” – George Bernard Shaw


10 Responses to “So What’s So Good About Malaysia?”

  1. oneforthelord Says:

    I disagree with the quote. A more correct one would be “Patriotism is your conviction that this country, while full of its flaws and problems, is deserving of your love and dedication simply because you were born in it”.

    What Bernard Shaw is talking about is Nationalism. Because you are convicted that your country is superior to the rest you have no qualms about invading and subjugating other countries because, well, they deserve it as they are inferior while you are superior. Taken to it’s complete fruition, you get the horrors of WWII Germany and Italy.

  2. kean loong Says:

    Our economy is actually doing quite well, granted with a boost from Petronas. Compare many other nations that gained independence after World War II. Or even compare our neighbours in Thailand, Indonesia and the Phillipines – our economy is advancing pretty steadily. (Chinese chauvanists would say it’s because of the percentage of Chinese in the population – Indonesia 2%, Phillipines 10%, Thailand 14%, Malaysia 30%, Singapore 76.8%.)

    while i don’t doubt your patriotism, I am afraid it might be misplaced. In terms of economy, Thailand is overtaking us in automotive industry (which everyone knows is one of the most kengchau income generating industry) as they don’t have draconian taxes such as ours. Vietnam is attracting more FDIs due to cheaper labor and don’t forget Intel set up the branch there, which roughly translates as where Intel is, the whole IT industry goes with it. Under leadership of new President, Indonesia is setting itself pretty well for agricultural exports and also in automative industry as well, though now lacking behind, won’t be long before overtaking us. Don’t even wanna start talking bout Singapore and Brunei.

    Malaysia is justly proud of its racial harmony. True, in a truly united ‘Malaysian Malaysia’ race would not be taken into account at all, but neither do we have racial riots and hate crimes.

    Racial harmony is only skin deep. If you have realized, recent UMNO meetings are brandishing Malay rights and stirring racial inequality. Though I hope I wont see any racial riots or amok akin May 13 in my lifetime.

    Having said that, I must say food is a redeeming factor in Malaysia!!!! No where on earth we can have such a melting pot! (Try as Singapore want to, still cannot fight Malaysian food!!!)

  3. Scott Thong Says:

    Yeah, I have to agree with you… Malaysia’s head start in the economy is fast being caught up to. We will be overtaken soon!

    The solution: Give ME absolute control of the country, and I will revolutionize the nation and bring us into a golden age of prosperity! I know I’m right because my way is best, and my way is best because I am right!

    ……..I’m sure that’s what every great leader, from Mao to Kuan Yew to Mahathir thought.

  4. simon thong Says:

    Re-visitng this site almost a year later, may I add that education in Malaysia is excellent, in spite of the govt’s efforts to lower the standards for political reasons. The fact that our neighbour, Singapore, the epitome of meritocracy in this region, continues to lure our best scholars there with scholarships or loans, attests to this.

    Why is education excellent? The parents have played a significant role. Many teachers are committed to their students and take pride in their profession. The service provided by tuition teachers should not be overlooked. Other factors are the personal computer, IT, the mass media (in English), and private education. The most important is the individual; our students are committed to excellence, success and achievement.

  5. Sun Says:

    “Malaysia is justly proud of its racial harmony.”

    WHAAAAT!!!???? HeeheeheeHeeheeheeHeeheeheeHeeheeheeHeeheeheeHeeheeheeHeeheeheeHeeheeheeHeeheeheeHeeheeheeHeeheeheeHeeheeheeHeeheeheeHeeheeheeHeeheeheeHeeheehee

  6. Sun Says:

    Magic Mushrooms

  7. simon thong Says:

    “Malaysia is justly proud of its racial harmony.” Why shouldn’t she be? Do we have whole cities in the grip of racial tension? Daily inter-racial arguments or fights on the streets? Mobs on the streets, burning cars and shops? Heads being cut off and abdomens sliced open? We are relatively harmonious.

  8. simon thong Says:

    Note the violence, racial or otherwise, that visits other places. Yesterday, in Guangzhou, China, hundreds of laid-off workers rioted, smashing offices of as toy factory and clashing with police.

    STAR News update: Gunmen in India carried out a series of co-ordinated attacks across the city of Mumbai, killing at least 80 people and injuring 200.

  9. aiman Says:

    It makes me proud to be Malaysian when i read your article ^_^

  10. Cutlery organizer Says:

    https://Shawna85p88423.Joomla.com/1803-Formal-dinnerware-and-other-should-have-wedding-presents-4

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