Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Malaysia has, for a while, an excellent base for building a good future - with the many many quirks and fancies. I do not even mind fanatical views, so long as they do not harm other individuals or society as a whole. It is good to be eccentric and way out - doing one's own little thing.

It might at first be just separate mutually exclusive enclaves which do not seem to give a care to the others. But slowly the little entities have discovered that they love many things in common.

No Malaysian can claim not to like food. Malaysians eat twenty-four hours a day, for no other reaon except to eat. Coffee shops and restuarants are always packed with people who are just sitting around. But incredibly, Malaysians can eat and talk at the same time, sometimes very loudly.

No Malaysian can claim not to like curry - real hot spicy curry like no other in the world - not even probably India. Malaysians can take a lot of heat. But of course, Malaysians may have to settle just for chicken and mutton if all have to eat together.

No Malaysian can claim not to like visiting eat others. They like open houses, which means they are not disinclined to visit one's house without notice, and very happily stayed on forever.

No Malaysian can claim not to make use of each other. Everybody is doing everybody a favour all the time, maybe sometimes at the expenses of getting real work done. But everybody is always very helpful, maybe sometimes at a price.

No Malaysian can claim not to be agreeable. They can agree with each other on everything, even if they do not quite agree. They can also agree to disagree and kept on arguing over little things, as well as big things. They can agree to argue and kept on to their own point of view until they work themselves to a frenzy and then when one of them explodes, everybody agree to attack that one poor individual. They can even agree to voice the opinion of someone else, even if they do not quite agree but then they feel that that view should be expressed, even to the detriment of oneself.

No Malaysian can claim to be too serious. Malaysians are happy to be forgiving and take risks on themselves foolishly and then be happy that everybody is happy. What to do if things don't turn out well. Jolly good, if things turn out unexpectedly well, surprising even themselves.

No Malaysian can claim not to be adventurous. Malaysians take risks at every possible instance, doing things in areas they may not even have the competence but still be happy to do the things they are being asked to do it, even against their will. They will try no matter how impossible the task at hand may be. No Malaysian medical doctor will claim no competence in economics and will happily proceed to make daring moves when most well-trained economists will lose sleep even contemplating the idea.

No Malaysian can claim not to be ambitious, no matter how illprepared they may be. They will not hesitate to make money by taking the shortest cut possible - that is, by taking - even in bright daylight under the noses of every other Malaysian who is supposed to be watchful but in fact is sleeping with eyes wide open, dreaming of the good times. You can see all these ambitious Malaysians in the mass media, those whose suits and dresses shine in the spotlight and whose arms noticeably ache under the glory of expensive brands round their wrists.

The only thing I know Malaysians are not is that they do not really care that much about anything. They are quite happy with who they are and what they are and therefore are quite happy to let the world pass them by. They are happy in their own little world. If only each Malaysian has a little bit of all the other Malaysians, I can imagine a richer Malaysian without having to chop down the jungles to prove that they really are that rich.

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