Sunday, May 5, 2013

Malaysian Blood

A sample of blood was recently obtained from a cohort of randomised Malaysian volunteers. The samples were centrifuged, and the results observed in all of them were remarkably similar:

This study decisively proves a fact that has long been suspected: 


Which is not much of a surprise, to be honest. 

The mamak stall industry, after all, has long known about and thrived on this very fact - providing a platform for Malaysians to discuss politics more effectively than the Parliament (seriously, have you seen those debates??)

Incidentally, the success of this industry also explains the presence of the other two components of Malaysian blood - oil and teh tarik.

This very fact, though, is exactly the reason why it is now such a scary time to be Malaysian.
And no, I am not talking about diabetes or high blood cholesterol (although those are also pretty scary).

It is a scary time because change has happened.

Admittedly, not a change in government - because as I write this post, it has already been confirmed that the coalition which has ruled for 56 years will rule for at least 4 more.

The change I am talking about is in the way we view how we should be governed. And that has been quite a decisive change.

Don't get me wrong: I welcome that change very much. In fact, I can safely say that much of the youth of this great nation share the same view.

We must face the facts, though: it is a dangerous situation we are in.

The build-up of emotions on either side of the political divide over the past few months does not paint the rosiest of pictures of Malaysia for the next few - the danger of those emotions manifesting themselves in physical violence is very real.

The politics that is so much a part of the Malaysian identity - detectable even in our blood, has been "activated" like so many antibodies in response to an infection. And people have gone crazy as the elections have neared. I am just worried that things will get even crazier.

While many may fear that the Government has retained power for too long, or that the Opposition is becoming too strong, many more Malaysians have the immediate fear of harm inflicted on friends and family. I guess I am in that latter category. 

I wonder, as I write this in a hall in the UK, how it is like to be in Malaysia right now...

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Solace from all this, I have found in an unlikely place: Manchester.

As I sat among a bunch of fellow Malaysian university students today, watching the results of the elections unfold on a big screen in front of us, I couldn't help noticing how calm everything was. 

Of course there was the usual noise and banter accompanying any Malaysian event. But there was no divisive political insults thrown about, despite the fact that the students held wildly differing political views. 

No shouting and name-calling, just a bunch of Malaysians talking politics. Combined with the free teh tarik given out at the back of the room, it was almost like I was back home. The only thing missing was someone making roti canai at the corner of the room.

They represent an emerging breed, those students; a generation of youth very much Malaysian; with as much politics in their blood as their parents and grandparents. But this is a generation not tied too much by sentimental feelings to any political party out there.

It is, for now, a generation which is not afraid of change. A generation with the ability to think independently and rationally, which can stand its ground. But not too emotionally. 

I hope with all my heart that this generation stays this way. 

*                          *                          *

Mark my words.

The next few years and decades will see a change in our society, our political parties, and in our government. It is a change which will be brought about by the politics in our Malaysian blood. 

But the next few days, weeks and months may yet witness the spilling of that very Malaysian blood on our streets. 

The former is inevitable, the latter is not. 
Keep calm, Malaysians. Please.

The above picture was taken at a Malaysian event in Manchester. The room is full, but the front row is still empty. Memang Malaysian.

Disclaimer: The author apologises to any reader who has believed/being convinced of/trusted in the 'scientific facts' stated in the first 5 paragraphs and 1st picture in this post, as they are purely fictional (duhh -.-")

Th author does not, however, apologise for his (albeit sometimes lame) Malaysian sense of humor. It runs in his blood.