Few days ago, me and a friend met each other in Bukit Bintang. He said he had a training and by the end of the training he wanted to have dinner together.
While we were talking, we somehow talked about something interesting. It is about the diversity of our country, Malaysia. The topic was sparked along this line.
“What do you think about mixed marriage?”
I asked that question. He said he is not sure. Then I added.
It is funny that we live in a multiracial country but I don’t see the we as one nation. We don’t have this Malaysian spirit in us. I don’t know how to speak in Chinese. Nor in Indian. I can only speak Bahasa Malaysia and English. Shouldn’t it be something like I know how to speak all those three languages. Perhaps even more if we include Sabah and Sarawak too.
Somehow mixed marriage from my observation are something common now but the acceptance for such cases are still low. Some parents are not comfortable to allow their children to marry someone with different racial background. I know it is not easy, especially when you are marrying a Malay Muslim here.
I remembered when I shared an article to my friends about mixed marriage. It was a group chat and I was the only Muslim. One of the main reason they do not want to marry a Muslim guy is because the guy can marry four women at a time.They also need to convert to Islam.
To me, it is a great sacrifice for someone to convert, a lot bigger when parents doesn’t give their consent. There were two news this year regarding mixed marriage that made it to the local news frontpage. One couple have their parents blessing and the other did not.
There are other things as well that I can’t understand why it still exist, such as national type school. I know that even if you are not Chinese or Indian, you can enter the school. Why can’t we just make it one national school? I had my primary school in the city, all of us gathered and have fun together and race doesn’t matter. That school somehow made me feel Malaysian.
We also lack in racial knowledge towards each other. Each races has their own tradition and customs. Somehow, it is still not a common sense for Malaysian. Something like Malay don’t eat pork or Indian don’t eat beef. So much things we don’t know about each other.
Not to mention that some people still believes in racial statements and stereotype. I believe we are not lacking in nationalism, but we lack in understanding towards each other. Why can’t we be someone who understand and respect each other? Is it because of how we raised? How our politic works? Our surrounding?
To be united and true Malaysian. There are few things that we need to do and it is not unity alone. It has to be done as early as possible through education. We must come up with a syllabus that can educate our children and introduce them to the unique culture of Malaysia. We must teach them how important it is to be open minded, accepting, respecting and grow in diverse community.We may have different colors and religions. We were born in the same soil of Malaysia.
In commemorating our 60th years of Independence, I wish in the next 50 years during my old life and my grandchildren life. I am still alive to see Malaysia that embraced their identity and we are united as real Malaysian. A Malaysian in the future knows how to respect other Malaysian, knows the core languages that made Malaysia multiracial and we can stand proud together without any conflicts. We are living in the same house but understand each other needs.
This is #negaraku Malaysia. I am a proud Malaysian and I hope you do too.