Malaysiakini
OPINIONS

A Malay Child of Merdeka

Azly Rahman

Published

COMMENT | As a child born into a Malay family a few years after the shouts of Merdeka” filled the nation’s stadium, and as a child privileged to be given the opportunities accorded to a “bumiputera,” I have a statement of hope to convey to our nation.

As an adult growing, learning multiple ways of knowing about the world through people of multiple cultures, I often ask the question of what will happen to the children and grandchildren of Mr. Wong Seng Kwong, my Jawi teacher in Johor Bahru, Auntie Ah Lan the lady who taught my mother how to sew clothes for a living, Dr Das who treated my childhood illness and taught me how to be “patient” about wanting to make changes in the world, Mr. P V Kulasingam, my fearful-looking headmaster, Miss Chan, my favourite maths teacher, who suddenly became angry at me a day after the May 13,1969 riots, Mr. Peter Ng, Miss Christine Yap and Mr. Stephen Ambrose, some of my English teachers who taught me to love the language when I was struggling with other subjects, and countless other “non-Malay non-bumis.”

I have become indebted — to those who have contributed to the subjectivity” of what I am as a “cultural being living in an everchanging and evolving world of shifting cultural constructs.”...

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