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You and I are walking name cards

  • We are all walking name cards and together we engage in "Malaysian task" and tell "a story of Malaysia".

Sin Chew Daily

I finally watched Malaysian singer Jeslyn Khoo singing at the second season of "Sing! China" last week. Her song Oh Boy won the approval of three teachers – Eason Chan, Na Ying and Liu Huan. In her comments, vocalist Na Ying said, "Another Malaysian voice that I am looking forward to."

I was almost moved to tears. Why are many Malaysians recognized overseas only?

As we are entering into the month of August, I am more sensitive in Merdeka month.

Khoo shared "a story of Malaysia" at the international stage using her good voice. This is a form of patriotism. Like Shila Amzah, Fish Leong and Michael Wong, Khoo is keen to enter the world of overseas Chinese with her voice, let foreigners have a stunning discovery that Malaysia has such a beautiful voice and also know about the cultural diversity of Malaysia.

Many Malaysians have used their talents to appear on international stage. Besides achieving their personal dreams, they are also promoting Malaysia, bringing glory to their home country and this is display of patriotism too. We do not have to go too far. Recently. Malaysian-born Diana Chan from Johor Bahru beat other renowned chefs in Australia to be crowned the MasterChef Australia 2017 winner. She conquered the tastebuds of foreigners using her culinary skills for Malaysian dishes to become famous in the world.

Malaysian diver Cheong Jun Hoong defeated two Chinese world champion divers Si Yajie and Ren Qian in the women's 10m platform individual finals at the World Aquatics Championships to emerge as the world champion with a score of 397.50. She became another world champion for Malaysia. Even Malays and Indians were proud of her.

There are many other Malaysians shining at international platforms. They may be Chinese school students or graduates of national primary school. But these are not important. We should not be segregated by skin color and education background. They only have one identity - representing Malaysia to share a "story of Malaysia" on international stage.

Patriotism should not be just about getting a credit in Malay language in SPM, studying in national primary school or flying a Jalur Gemilang at home. It should be inspiring people of all races to be united, to serve the country with one heart and to be proud of the country. This should be done by national leaders.

Many non-governmental groups and individuals are quietly carrying out the task to unite people, telling a "story of Malaysia". But a group of leaders who have secured mandate given by the people to engage in nation building and lead the country to a path of unity are constantly dividing the people.

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid lambasted former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir as a descendant of Indian, discarding Umno after making use of the party. Apart from causing Indians and Chinese to be unhappy, the remark, which was backfired, also caused a stir in the Malay society.

He was severely condemned by major Malay Facebook fan pages.

In fact the right wing of Umno has not been comfortable with the existence of Chinese and Tamil primary schools. They believe in implementing a single stream education to shape real Malaysians. They are bias in criticizing Chinese for being Malay–illiterate. What is the era now? Why not take a tour to visit the ground.

If you still believe in unity can only be achieved by studying in national primary schools, then the Malay society where majority of them are graduates of national primary schools, is still divided. Apart from sending their children to national primary schools, many send their children to religious schools. Some send their children to Chinese primary schools.

We have been talking about finding common path in our differences and treasure diversity. But preaching and practice are two different matters all together.

We spend too much time on creating splits among the ethnic groups. Malays are also having internal feud now, accusing each other of not being a pure Malay. This proves that politicians place personal and party interests above national interests.

This is not a "story of Malaysia" but "shame of Malaysia".

In fact the Chinese primary school today is even more accommodating compared to national primary schools which have turned to be more religious. A foreseeable trend is that Chinese primary schools attract more non-Chinese students now.

I believe if Chinese primary schools and Chinese independent schools are able to transform without being too persistence, then a win-win can be achieved for Chinese community and the country.

Chinese school students would be able to master Malay language and English. They will walk a longer distance and scale new heights. We should be riding on the rise of China to transform and apply value-add on Chinese education for it to be a mainstream education in order to spread its wing of influence as it was in history.

This is my home. This is also yours. We are all resembling walking name cards and together we engage in "Malaysian task" and tell "a story of Malaysia".

I have been to many cities and countries but still feel Malaysia is the best. The feeling is even stronger as I grow older.

Each time I return from overseas trip, the moment I land on the KL International Airport, I feel good to return home.

Malaysia is my home. It is also safe haven to Hashim, A Kang and Guna.


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