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Friday, January 19, 2007

50posts2independence #33: One Malaysia

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Tosai. Yau Char Koay. Nasi Lemak. Deviled Chicken Curry. Tau Sar Pau. Lemang. Tapai. Bubur Cha-Cha.

These are among some of Walski's favorite foods. And where in the world could one find all of these in a single locale? Where else, but Malaysia.

And t's exactly this sort of diversity that makes Malaysia what it is - uniquely one of a kind. The sum of all parts, not just certain preferred portions, but the whole kit and kaboodle. Collectively. That's the Malaysia Walski's grown to know, and to love.

But it's not just the diversity of food. It's the diversity of her peoples, who've come to this land through various different circumstances. Take Walski's heritage, for example - part Arab, part Indian, part Chinese, part Malay Archipelago (from various parts), part whatever else along the way - it's one big campur-ation of parts, making one whole Malaysian Walski. For sure, many Malaysians can claim the same, if not a more diverse, mish-mash of cultural heritages - Walski's own lineage is definitely not unique.

It doesn't really matter that we are no longer "pure" [insert your ethnicity of choice here]. This kind of purity is superficial, really. Unless, of course, if you're into pure-bred dogs or cats. Walski, like many others, have no qualms whatsoever to proudly proclaim that he is 100% bona fide, Malaysian mutt. And damned proud of it.

That's what Malaysia means to Walski - God's gift to the gene-pool diversity of human-kind. All living under one roof fabric called Malaysia. Fragile at times, yet able to withstand the last 50 years of sometimes turbulent weather.
(more Malaysian capur-ation in the full post)

What also shouldn't matter is when one's fore-parents set foot on this land. Who's to say that one is less Malaysian just because their family hasn't lived here the last thousand years. Walski's definitely hasn't. What matters most is where one's heart is - where one calls home. And for Walski, it's Malaysia - the mostly good, the occasionally bad, and the sometimes ugly.

And it's the ugly side that troubles Walski's mind to no end - particularly in the last decade. For whatever reasons, it appears that many vocal Malaysians want a nation moulded after one specific model, be it based on ethnicity or religion, or both. Screw everyone else.

But what they seem to conveniently want to forget - or perhaps refuse to admit - is that we have become the great nation we are not because of one specific ethinicity. Definitely not because of one specific belief structure. And the fact that politicians play this up for mileage certainly doesn't help.

Malaysia is the success it is today because of the blood, sweat and tears of all Malaysian, of all shades and creeds. And perhaps, with a shared history of 50 years, the time has come to fully acknowledge this. It's time has come because looking around him, Walski thinks that just perhaps, it's the only way forward to ensure the next 50 years. Even beyond that.

One nation, with equality and justice for all - in all respects, bar none. One country, united under the red, white, yellow and blue of our Jalur Gemilang.

One Malaysia.

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Walski's "50 Posts to Independence" note: Because Walski likes to do things differently, this note, which would usually come at the beginning of the post, comes here instead. Walski was graciously tagged by Marina Mahathir to continue with Nizam Bashir's brilliant blog project, 50 Posts to Independence. What you've read above is post #33, counting backwards from 50. And Walski has, in turn, chosen The Malaysian to be the next blogger to continue with this effort - whom better, than a blogger whose very pseudonym embodies what we hold dear.