I have many Chinese friends. Indians too. Every fortnight, me and old schoolmates (La Salle Petaling Jaya Secondary school class of 74), would meet up for drinks and reminisce and wonder what our country has become.
We believe that we were the original 1Malaysians - we didn't need to be categorised as such as our school system were truly integrated and both BM and English make life easy for all of us to communicate especially when we wanted to curse.
We tell Bhai jokes freely and they laugh. They joke about us the lazy stupid Malays we laugh. Today, we can't. It would be insensitive. Even til today, I don't know why it is taboo to call Indians keling like we used to especially when they haven't changed the names of Tanjung Keling and Masjid Keling.
I also remember one time when we were not even allowed to say orang China, but instead call my friends orang Tionghua.
Now things seem tobe getting worse. Is it wrong now to call myself Melayu first, Malaysia second? Where does that put the Muslim aspect of my life? Do I become Muslim first, Melayu second Malaysian third? Me and my friends were even more blatant - declaring we are La Sallians first, Malaysians second.
What I am sure is that most Chinese who say they are Malaysian first and Chinese second, are hypocrites and in denial. They still send their kids to Chinese school, they are more comfortable speaking in Mandarin, Hokkien, Cantonese or English. They will fight tooth and nail to be allowed to put up their shop signage in Chinese calligraphy.
You go to their homes and 9 out of 10 Chinese homes would have Chinese motifs, paraphernilia, furniture, items and products. Nothing Malaysia about it.
And most of them keep to themselves - they date their own kind, they have their own circle of friends that are most Chinese and if they are corporate leaders, most of their accountants and other senior staff members would be Chinese - heck they would even bring in Singaporean Chinese to work for them instead of qualified Malays. How do they get away with this? In application forms those interested need to be well versed in English and Mandarin because they have dealings with Mandarin speaking clients from Singapore and China. So out goes the Malays.
And they would really, really ignore the need to respect our national language Bahasa Malaysia in their corporation dealings and daily life.
Yet they attack us Malays, for raising the keris, for saying I am Malay first, for the term ketuanan Melayu and many other things. It seems we Malays cannot now do anything right. We are the bane of the nation. If the Malays were to continue to be allowed to run the country, Malaysia will go to the dogs.
A simple glance at Malaysiakini and TheMalaysianInsider, one can see the vitriolic attack on Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for saying "I am a Malay first" for the past three weeks.
Previously, Hishamuddin too was attacked for raising the keris. And most recently PERKASA in its official launch also raised the kris, much to the chagrin of most non-Malay owned media. These media look at the kris with much disdain.
Nothing the Malays do now, seem right. All that we hope to do for the nation, seem to fall flat on the others. Our future as a nation now should be in the hands of Malaysians. Preferably not a Malay, for we are corrupted, we are prone to cronyism and we are racists.
I have a friend who named his children with 'Malay' names to show his 'Malaysianess'. I applaud him, but on the other hand, naming someone with Malay names do not make him Malay or a Malaysian. Firstly, most of the Malays do not have Malay names - they have Arabic names. Having Arabic names to not make us Arabic, albeit having similar names do not make one Malaysian or Malay.
No matter how hard you try, you cannot change your race...like I once said, even the Chinese tried to become Malays by talking, living and dressing like the Malays, but inevitably they are label themselves Peranakan or Babas and Nyonyas. They are called Straits Chinese. See? They themselves avoid being labeled Malays....they still have their original racial roots firmly stuck in their lives. And I don't see anything wrong with this.
So why blame the Malays for being Malays? Aren't you proud to be a Chinese Malaysian? Hey the movies that you produced recently - Woo Hoo and Ais Kacang Puppy Love - is a Chinese Malaysian movie. Is it a Malaysian movie? How many Bahasa Malaysia words are found in these two movies? How many Malays acted in it?
Why am I ranting?
Let me tell you why.
I was in Camerons recently.
Me and my family visited the Boh Plantation and were sitting in the cafe having tea and scones. There then came this Chinese family who sat at a table beside us. They look like a harmless, typical middle class Chinese Malaysian family.
My wife, who is part Chinese, is suddenly perturbed by their conversation and told me what they were talking about. She speaks Cantonese and overheard what the man told the family in Cantonese.
He said: " For all you know, the company (Boh) has been taken over by the Malays like everything else."
My wife found it amusing. I found it sickening.
This is a Chinese man in denial. If there is a race that would have taken over a corporate giant like Boh, it would be the Chinese not the Malays. But the remark when he said "like everything else" really irks me.
If he had actually opened his eyes, especially in Cameron Highlands, he would have noticed that the economy even in that little highland town is owned by the Chinese. The Malays are a minority business community in Camerons.
Even in major Malaysian cities, it is not the Malays who control the economy. Somewhere along the line, we lost our economy to the non-Malays. We are basically just holding on to our 'political' power, and nothing much else.
So where the heck did this guy find his information telling the rest of his family that the Malays are taking over 'everything else'? I really hate these bigots.
Why? Because such bigots make me turn into one too.
And I hate this. I tend to argue with my friends about this. Everyone seem to be taking sides now - so much for 1Malaysia or Malaysian Malaysia.
Why don't we just continue the legacy of our forefathers when we achieved Merdeka and move on. Drop the hypocricy. Drop the holier than thou act. Drop the I am Malaysian first, Chinese second stand. We don't mind you calling yourself Chinese first Malaysian second. It is your birth right to be Chinese in spirit and in culture. We are all Malaysian citizens. Being Malaysian is not a race. It is citizenship. Nothing else. If there is a war, we fight as brothers. We defend our country as Malaysians. But I am Malay, you are Chinese, he is Indian, the other guy Eurasian. Nothing changes.
Lets unite as one nation multiple peoples and move on.