I love Malaysia and it feels special to be a Malaysian. Born and brought up here, I was sent to a Chinese primary school where I was exposed to three different languages; Mandarin, English, and Bahasa Malaysia. I remember having classmates from different races, all studying in this Chinese school and we learned about Malaysia together, played together and even sang patriotic songs together when it was Bulan Merdeka (Independence Month). I remember how I didn’t like that we were made to sing the songs but it was fun times nonetheless as a child.
I don’t know about you, but I remember one the patriotic songs we used to sing back in school went like this:
“ Empat Belas Melintang Jalurnya Semua Negeri Dalam Malaysia Satu Suara Satu Semangat Itu Sumpah Warga Berdaulat”
“Satu Suara, Satu Semangat”, One Voice, One Spirit.
Picture Credits: Majalah Pendidik
I never really thought about its true meaning but when I looked back recently at the lyrics, I realised how much unity was woven even into the patriotic songs we sung in school. Maybe this explains how deep within us, we believe and we know, that we as Malaysians are ONE.
I am sure most of us know this one significant event that really brought all Malaysians together; GE14.
Picture credits: Mole.my
That was one time where I saw all Malaysians coming and working together, hoping and praying for a better future. Somehow the unity in all of us was ignited and we acted upon it. Shouldn’t we always remain this attitude of unity, not just at significant times, but all the time? Didn’t it feel good just to see the entire nation and people of Malaysia coming together and letting the world see Malaysians for how we see ourselves?
Take some time to ponder upon and ask yourself, have you ever encountered an issue and to where you chose not be judgmental and to solve the issue fair and square in spite of the person’s race, religion or societal status? Yes, I have thought about this for a long time as well, even as I am writing this. I feel that the key to becoming united besides knowing it in our hearts is to act upon it and uphold justice for the under-served. One other act I believe that helps us stay united is to forgiving spirit that helps us to move past misunderstandings so we can raise we have a peaceful and loving society. Sometimes for me, to avoid further misunderstandings or further conflicts, it’s best to just stay calm and say it’s okay. Forgiving one another fosters a better Malaysia.
And I want to pose this question to us as Malaysians: “What would you do to make Malaysia a better country to live in? For us this generation, and for future generations to come.”
In case you didn’t know, up until today, there are still many issues of poverty in Malaysia. There are still many people and families living in urban poor communities where they do not have a proper home, food, and clothes.
According to a 2018 report by UNICEF Malaysia,
34% Orang Asli in Peninsular Malaysia live in poverty, 20.2% Bumiputera in Sabah live in poverty, and 7.3% Bumiputera in Sarawak live in poverty.
Imagine a fellow Malaysian being in that situation. How would you feel? These children are so innocent yet they have to go through what they are going through. Will the unity we have as Malaysians prove to be useful during times like these? Does it motivate us to want to do something to help these children? Would you be willing to raise funds to provide them with food on the table, to clothe them by giving away your clothes that are good but you no longer need, and to give what you have to help these children build a shelter.
How often do you also come across people sleeping on the streets and children by the streets begging for money? We all know home is a place where we go after a long day at work or school, and I am sure most of us would yearn to sleep in our beds to have a good night’s rest. For the homeless, they don’t have access to that. Again, would our unity prove to be useful in this situation? Are we willing to step in to help these our fellow Malaysians off the street? By doing something small, perhaps volunteering with other fellow medics to give free check-ups on the street, donating your time to serve food for the homeless or campaign among friends to raise awareness regarding this issue. As Helen Keller once said, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” It all takes that unity put in the right place for the right purpose.
What will you do, whether as an organization, a group, a team, or even as an individual, to encourage others to do the same? To be united and to make a difference in our beautiful land, Malaysia? Are we able to truly say this:
“We are united, we are Malaysia”
Picture Credits: chaserz.org
I am currently a Diploma student interning with Generasi Gemilang. I am interning with GG because my passion aligns with what GG does, which is to improve lives of the underserved children and families by giving them access to quality education. I love people and I want to make a difference. This is my dream: I want to use my gift; a loving heart, to help the less fortunate.