Malaysiakini Letter

'Chinese tsunami' remark broke my heart

Disappointed Citizen  |  Published:  |  Modified:

Being a Malaysian who studies in the US, I get a lot of questions about Malaysia because a lot of people have never heard of it over here.

But the question I get asked most often is: What do I like about Malaysia?

Being a true blue Malaysian, my first response is always: the food. Where else can you get the mamak mee goreng or a steaming hot bowl of bakuteh at 2am?

Then I think and smile as I think of my second most favorite thing about my country and I'm always bursting with pride when I tell them that I love the fact that I come from a multicultural country. A country where every race is celebrated and respected.

Today I realised that I now have to change my response when people ask me that question. I can only say that my favorite thing about my country is the food and nothing else.

Our dear prime minister made a comment about the Chinese voting community which broke my heart. When I read that he referred to fellow citizens of Malaysia as a "Chinese tsunami", I felt that it was rather insensitive of him.

Malaysia has always prided itself on being a united community, thus the slogan 1Malaysia - which may I add, was conceived during his previous term.

And now to refer to a portion of the people as a "tsunami" that may be dangerous for the nation simply because they voted for the opposition seems to me to be a rather petty and immature tactic.

It is much like one child calling another "stupid," simply because the other child refuses to play by his rules.

I believed that Malaysia was a democratic country where voices were allowed to be heard. If the people have something different to say, they should not be berated for it.

Their opinions should be respected regardless of their racial background.

Today I have an answer when someone asks me: What do I not like about Malaysia?

I don't like the fact that the leaders of our nation no longer see us as a united multicultural entity.

Instead we are Malays, Chinese, Indians, etc. One man broke us up, another has wiped the word "Malaysian" from our nation.

 

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