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Aug 21, 2001

"A poem of how it is being a Malaysian and how we co-exist together in a pot of many races brought together through time..."


Being Malaysian

What is it, is being Malaysian?
I cannot explain it,
It's in our actions, true and false.
You can deny, in pride or shame
But there is this little part of us
Resists and says that we are Malaysians.
I'll try to describe,
I'll try to picture
Using familiar fare, the Malaysian cuisine.
The 'mamak teh-tarik', he pulls and pulls,
The tea, it mixes, it blends, it foams.
A mixing of all its peoples is part of being Malaysian,
The foam, the wonder of being Malaysian.
Like the 'kuih lapis' sold everywhere
From 'pasar malam' to hotels,
A layered cake,
No matter how you peel,
No matter which layer you take,
It's still the same.
Like everyone around, different in race, colour,
We are all Malaysians.
Let's not forget the 'char kuay teow',
Watch it being fried, lots of expertise required
To keep it from being burnt.
There's lots involved and lots at stake,
Just look at 'roti canai' being flipped
And stretched continuously,
Yet it's done so well, it doesn't burst or break.
So like the atmosphere around us all,
There's tension but kept aside
By tolerance, understanding and respect.
These are the main ingredients in the recipe
Of being truly Malaysian.
And if durians you love, thorny outside,
With peserverance and the right way,
The reward is sweet and craving satiated.
Malaysians are nice, really we are
Despite our differences and pettiness.
An unexpected smile on a hot and dull day,
A bus fare paid by a stranger when out of coins,
Occasions of thankfulness and unity,
A handshake, a salam, bows exchanged on festive days.