Does Malaysia Multi-Ethnics Live in Harmony? Pt. 1
From the surface it seems fair to answer ‘yes’. Everybody of different ethnics greet with smiles to each other at offices. At shopping mall, a Malay without reluctant throw a big smiley face to a Chinese promoter. A Chinese cashier with full sincerity has a little chat with an Indian customer while bagging the customer’s grocerries. These all show that Malaysia multi-ethnics society live in harmony.
When it comes to Chinese New Year, it is not unusual to witness a grandfather gives ang pau (without prejudice) to a Malay boy who greets him “Gong Xi Fa Chai”. A Malay woman pack some ketupat and rendang from kampung for her Indian collegue during Hari Raya (Eidilfitri) is almost an expected customary. These are the culture of Malaysian society nowadays. Everyone is enjoying everybody’s culture.
It is not weird to see an Indian girl wears baju kurung (a Malay traditional costume). It is also not an out-of-the-ordinary scene when a Malay girl wears cheong-sam (a Chinese traditional costume). Even some of my Malay friends can speak a little bit of Mandarin (good enough to get a reasonably cheap price when bargaining at a Chinese store). One of my Chinese colleagues can also speak a quite of Tamil, though sometimes she receives a big laugh from us. Nonetheless, it is an amusing environment when each of us can share a little bit of our culture with everybody, and really enjoy it!
Aahh… a pleasantville isn’t it? Yes, we Malaysians do live in harmony. But then why sometimes we hear people whispering about racial issues? Why in certain quarters students of another ethnic cannot have lunch together at same table with another ethnic mates. Even sometimes we read in the newspapers about an ethnic gang beat up another ethnic boy (though this rarely happen). What’s going on?