I used to wonder why we keep talking about this love for our country. Cinta akan negara. Tanah tumpah darahku. All those stuff. Why do we sing our national anthem? We all just joked about it and made fun of our country in school as we read about the stories of this guy seeing a deer next to a river and “Samson-esque” stories. No feel leh…
Then, I went to Singapore to study. All these MTL and bilingualism stuff that they promote made me rethink my comments in the past about learning 3 different languages being silly. I started to appreciate it more.
Not long later… Australia. I start seeing the stark differences in culture. The difference mindsets on the concept of “respect”. The social “norms” that are taboos back home, e.g Smiling and saying “G’day!” to any adik, abang, cik and atuk you come across as you walk about. (Many more that needn’t be brought up.)
Suddenly, I’ve started to love my country more. There are so many things that we, as Malaysians, can lay claim to!
Best food in the world (Really, Singapore? Haha. Okla. Comparable la, ok?)
General public is AT LEAST bilingual.
A few week’s worth of public holidays EVERY year.
Uh… The rest is better left not said. Heehee…
It wasn’t because of the many stories in our Sejarah textbook.
It wasn’t the Kelas Sivik that happened in KN (or something like that. Didn’t go through it so dunno)
It wasn’t any of the fancy slogans or catchphrases.
It wasn’t even the random “bonuses” we get as GE gets closer.
More recently, it has probably been brought to everyone’s attention on the Internet how one person managed to unite the whole of Malaysia together. He wasn’t even trying to do it, even! He pushed himself to do his best to recover from his ankle injury, made it onto the long-awaited venue after 4 years, carrying the hope of the 27 million people in his home nation. He pushed his arch-rival to the very last point but unfortunately couldn’t lay his hand on victory. In the midst of his pain and disappointment, he tweeted, “I’m sorry.”
However, all the videos, pictures and other forms of tribute flying around the net showed how his apology was ill-placed. He had won every Malaysian heart, even winning some over from neighbouring countries!
This was one of the really rare moments that united Malaysians together. It was a thing of beauty. I imagined how every Malaysian glued to Astro/Foxtel/StarHub/NBC/BBC, holding their breath as each rally was played out. All shared in his pain as his opponent raced around the stadium while he slumped into a lump of dejection. Tears were definitely shed all around the globe as their national hero bared his emotions.
Yet, it was this sad moment that united Malaysians.
Dato’ Lee Chong Wei. Wira Malaysia.