A delicious Malaysian dish...
The master chef at work behind the counter :)
Today is Malaysia Day. To be precise: today marks the 52nd anniversary of the establishment of the Federation of Malaysia, and the joining together of Malaya, North Borneo (now known as Sabah), Sarawak and -- for what turned out to be just a short period -- Singapore.
Earlier in the day, thousands of my fellow Malaysians took part in a rally in Kuala Lumpur that ostensibly was a reaction to the Bersih rally for clean elections and a clean government (bersih means "clean" in Bahasa Malaysia) which took place a few weeks ago. Very sadly, it was racially tinged -- with ethnic Malays seeking to emphasize their sovereignty over other Malaysians and directing attacks particularly at those of their fellow countrymen and -women who are ethnic Chinese -- and turned unruly.
I wish I could say that I was surprised by this turn of events but I can't. Instead, I just thank goodness things didn't get worse -- and find it both unexpected and heartening that the Malay-dominated police actually broke up the rally by firing water cannons into the crowd. So maybe, hopefully, the likes of Dennis Ignatius, writing in Malaysiakini about a paradigm shift having taken place among some Malays(ians) who have got to realizing that Malaysia should be truly Malaysian rather than primarily be about and for one of its ethnic groups, actually are on to something.
Veteran Malaysian politician Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah is on the record as stating that: "Malays are scared and lacking in confidence and this can be seen in their relationships and interaction with other communities". The ethnic Malay member of parliament -- and one time prime ministerial hopeful -- also has said that "we conveniently forget that other Malaysians have contributed more than their fair share in the service of our country".
There are times when I tend towards the opinion that if only politicians got out of the way and Malaysians of different ethnicities just sat down to break bread together, ethnic relations within the country would be much improved. Only instead of boring bread, Malaysians could partake of something more delicious like, say, mee rebus cooked "Mamak" style: i.e., a uniquely Malaysian dish made by Indian Muslims, which has a Malay name, and whose main ingredient (egg noodles) are primarily associated with the Chinese.
Put another way: whatever their ethnicity (or "race" as it tends to be termed in Malaysia), it seems to me that many Malaysians have long shown in their actions -- and via such as their tastebuds -- that they actually are, well, Malaysian rather than "purely", narrowly following a single ethnic path. And at long last, at least some senior politicians may actually realize that prioritizing one "race" over others is not ideal for the nation as a whole -- and that the far better way to go is for Malaysia (the country that likes to market itself as being "truly Asia") to be genuinely Malaysian!
"In our desire to remain on top of things, we conveniently forget that our other Malaysians have contributed more than their fair share in the service of the country. - See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/malays-forget-other-communities-contributed-to-malaysias-development-says-k#sthash.jww9y4fz.dpuf
"In our desire to remain on top of things, we conveniently forget that our other Malaysians have contributed more than their fair share in the service of the country. - See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/malays-forget-other-communities-contributed-to-malaysias-development-says-k#sthash.jww9y4fz.dpu