First off. I beg to differ with Rockybru's post on Oct 10th Sunday. Rocky says the Chinese should not be too bothered by what politicians spew from their mouths in calling us Pendatangs.
For me, the problem is 2-fold.
1. When the Bosses can talk like this, & we allow them to continue, then everyone will think we are fair game. I read some comments from Rockybru & I have shudders.
2. If the needle does not cucuk you, you won't feel the pain. So until you have experienced the needle Rocky, you have not walked a mile in our shoes.
So I am categorically saying this. I am not a Pendatang.
Although (merely) 2rd generation from 1 side (and even that side was born in Singapore) & 1st generation from the other, this land, its people & culture is the ONLY one I know. I don't know if the number of years spent in Malaysia (Malaya) counts but in case it does, then my family has been here since 1915.
So the only land to whom I pledge my undying & utter allegiance is Malaysia. Warts & all.
My family is now on its 4th (or is it 5th?) generation & they are every bit as Malaysian as any Malay family. I don’t recall – even for a mere second - when I had ever harbored any thoughts or feeling of not wanting to be Malaysian. Not once did I hesitate in refusing citizenship or PRs in more affluent countries.
China? To me, China evokes no feelings. Less than no feeling. China is a foreign country where when I visit, evokes much of the same feeling as when I visit Europe or Australia. Foreign. No tinge of familiarity.
But I admit it. It’s fascinating to see all those wonderful museum pieces & arts & culture of the Chinese & then feeling awkward about how I should feel.
Should I feel proud that some parts of my makeup is from China?
Am I really Chinese when all this Chinese-ness evokes feelings as familiar as that experienced when viewing a beautiful Schloss in Germany?
I only end up feeling embarassed. Embarassed I am so un-Chinese despite looking like one.
But then, I don’t think there would be many Chinese in China who would think nasi lemak for breakfast, curry laksa (with kerang please) for lunch, an assortment of kueh-mueh for tea, & sambal belacan with everything is the best possible meal there is in this world.
And I am not unique. All my friends & family are Malaysians, from the sarong we use at home to the meals we eat to the Malay expressions we sprinkle into our conversation.
I do hold GREAT offence if anyone is to throw names like “Pendatang” at non-Malays like me.
Or tell me to balik Cina.
Or say I am raping their country.
Or say I am unpatriotic because of how I look or the faith I hold.
I feel no less Malaysian than the next bloke whose family has been here 100 years.
Just today, a market seller asked me if I am Japanese (I look Japanese for some strange reasons) but I was speaking fluent Malay.
I answered “Bukan”. He then said “Oh. Anda cina ke?”. I again answered “Bukan. Saya orang Malaysian”
Then with a twinkle in his eyes, he said “Ah. Itu lah Satu Malaysia kan?”
Little does he know, he is (to me) far more couth & cultured than someone who don’t know me & would throw the word “Pendatang” at me.