I am a Malaysian. I am not an Iban, Chinese, Malay, Kadazan, Orang Asli, Indian, or any other ethnic group. I am a Malaysian, first last and all the bits in between.
This means that I share in the cultural heritage of all my sisters and brothers who make up Malaysia. I have never viewed myself by my genetic heritage but by my spiritual heritage. Spiritually I am a Malaysian.
I am always surprised when someone implies I should behave in a particular way due to my genetic background. Even more surprised when they comment on who my wife is by hers.
The beauty of Malaysia is that we share in all of whom we are. We have become so much more by the sharing and merging of our cultures.
Being a Malaysian does not negate our ethnic roots, it enhances it.
There are some in our country who focus on only being Malay or Chinese or Indian or Melanau or....whatever. But these people are the minority in Malaysia. The majority of us, and not a silent one at all, are Malaysian. We showed this in our 13th general election.
We choose to be Malaysian. The majority of us choose to no longer support any party that is based on ethnicity. 5,623,984 of us, more than 51%, cutting across all social and religious boundaries, spoke clearly that we choose to be Malaysians.
We come from all walks of life and not one segment of the population, as some would like to suggest.
This victory to be Malaysians was won against many obstacles and fears placed in our path. The minority who voted on racial grounds cannot determine the direction of our country.
We no longer want policies based on race. We want to live as many of us already do, celebrating our unity-in-diversity. We are one people, one race, Malaysian.
It is sad when some who were leaders in the past continue to spew and support terrible lies and hate. We reject them now as we have in the past.
We elected men and women to lead our country into a new future where being a Malaysian is more important than our ethnic origins.
Leaders who will care for all the people of Malaysia, not just a segment. Leaders who will care especially for the weak, poor, disabled and disadvantaged.
Leaders who will be colour blind. Leaders who will respect our differences and unite us even further.
Any leader that does not listen to all the people, especially the majority of us who voiced this message through our votes, fails all of us. I appeal to our leaders not to succumb to political expediency or fight for political survival.
But instead fight for the growth of all of us as a nation of Malaysians.
The blessings of God will be on all who build a nation of Malaysians. We ask that those who only have bitterness and hatred to keep silent and not poison our land any further.
To you my fellow sister and brother I speak my love and peace for the difficult journey we have ahead. Know that we travel it together and not alone. You are a Malaysian and so am I.