The KS Bawani - Sharifah Zohra Jabeen. video going viral was an amazing feat for Malaysia.
It spoke the truth albeit it being a sad truth. I think it created an uproar because it displayed something that most urban Malaysians have had the privilege of being sheltered from and evading with our atas lifestyle in the city.
I think much has been mentioned about respect, infringement of rights, the lacklustre education system and pressing for a public apology. And so, I have nothing further to add.
But one thing that I want to point out is that amidst all the sharing on social media websites, there were two captions/comments that were incredibly striking to me.
1. "Hahaha wah lucky I left the country man, omg damn retarded!!"
2. "Life in (insert country) is good. No such nonsense".
This makes me sad.
I remember the first time I had any political exposure was when I attended a model of United Nations Conference in HELP University College in 2011.
A politician was scheduled to give an opening address and at that time, I was one who could never give a damn about politics, seeing Malaysia as a lost cause.
He said, "I actually don't know what I am supposed to talk about here today, haha. Hm, why don't I share with all of you why I actually got myself into politics?"
Of course, I labeled that as boring and continued playing with my phone.
He went on to say "Okay, who here wants to migrate from Malaysia, put up your hand!"
Following this, about 75 percent of hands flew up immediately. Mine included, I raised it high and proud. He was slightly taken aback but continued, "Okay, not surprising at all.
"I had a great life in (insert country) but I decided to come back to Malaysia after a few years. And aiyoh by the way ah, this is not some pity story so that you will all vote for me in the next election okay, since you all cannot vote anyways (the majority of the audience were below the legal voting age).
"But I just want to share with you that to me, Malaysia is like my house, as the years passed, it got old, the roof was leaking, wallpapers were peeling off, but I loved it.
"Even though it was getting more and more run down every day by the wrong people, I still loved it. But when your house is in such a bad condition, what do you do?"
Immediately a boy from the back yelled, "Move-lah of course!! Find a new house!"
The politician let out a small laugh and said, "I believe in staying and fixing it and that is why I joined politics".
At that very instant, something grew in my heart and that changed my perspective completely.
It was not a political agenda at all; it was a man who strongly believed in taking matters into his own hands and going to the extremes of being a member of Parliament.
So, let us not take this video as some new hype that dies off after no more funny remixes can be made about it.
Let it not be a situation where a few months down the road, when in class, your lecturer suddenly yells, "Listen, everyone listen!" and you turn to your fellow Malaysian sitting next to you and start chuckling to each other in remembrance of the Shahrifah video.
Something feasible should be done.
Brilliant people from Ivy League who return to Malaysia with good intentions for the nation inspire me. Not "Millionaire before 30 years old" or "24 years old and driving a Ferrari". Every day, I admire their passion for Malaysia and their burning sensation to see change.
And if you are a Malaysian who has given up so-called "greener pastures" in another country to come home, I thank you. I really do. With or without your involvement in politics, you are remarkable.
Well, are you ready to do just that and be a catalyst of change too?
Come home, Malaysians.