Thursday, 3 September 2009


Merdeka Day having just passed, thoughts on my mind have naturally circled around the state of the our nation: its past, its present, its problems, its place in the world and its future. Ever as I grow older, I have come to see my country's history and makeup as far more complex and multi-faceted than any Kurikulum Bersepadu textbook would have me believe. To learn and come to know more about it, as the famous song goes, is to love it more.

A recent incident involving a cow's head has been particularly upsetting and unsettling; it's moments like those that make me question whether anyone should be proud to be Malaysian.

Yet I remember a snippet of a conversation which provides a personal counterpoint. It happened during dinner with 2 friends at Dave's 1Utama not too long ago (the food there's pretty decent, if you want to know, and they open later than most places at 1U, and they have an outdoor area and no this is not a hidden advert).

I had not met either of them in a long while. She had graduated down under about a year or so ago and had started a new job recently, while he was visiting during a break from his work abroad. We were discussing the cities we studied in, and when asked about Melbourne, she said "Oh, I love Melbourne." So he asked her, "When are you was going back there then?" The conversation went something like this.

She: Oh, not in the near future. Maybe 2 or 3 years from now?
He: Oh, then when will you be there for good?
She: You mean live there? Oh no, I'll never live there for good. I mean I'd visit but I couldn't live there.
Me: Why can't you live in Australia for good? (I was puzzled because most graduates from developed countries I know never say something like this).
She: Because this is home.
I smiled and nodded sagely.
She: And you want to make a difference here, right?
Me (nodding again and smiling broadly): Yup, you do!
Then I almost giggled (I think I was both slightly amused and genuinely happy to hear someone so optimisitic).
She: Yeah! You wanna make a difference.
Me (still nodding and smiling): Yeah...Yeah...You do.


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