Introduction to Malaysia (Part 4) – The People

People, or the Rakyat of Malaysia

I have never seen a country more multi-cultural, multi-racial, multi-lingual, and multi-religious than Malaysia.

Granted, I haven’t been everywhere.

Malaysia is home to 31 million Malays, Chinese, Indian, Orang Asli, Native Sabahans and Sarawakians. All of which speak Bahasa Malaysia in addition to their own mother tongue, as well as a smattering of other languages.

Eh Macha, jom let’s go to that shop next to the longkang to da pao some chicken rice.

(Hey brother, come let’s go to that shop next to the drain to get some chicken rice to go.)

This is what TripAdvisor has to say about Malaysia.

Malaysia is a country that celebrates its diversity. Whereas in most other countries there is a trend towards creating a homogeneous society for the purpose of national unity, in Malaysia the various races are encouraged to keep their ethnic names and their languages, to practise their respective religions and to embrace not only their own cultures, but fellow citizens’. All this has served to create a vibrant multi-cultural society.

The young ones don’t look at the colour of your skin [Source: The Star]
To get a gist of life in multi-racial multi-cultural Malaysia, try watching a few Petronas advertisements.

A benefit of living in a country such as this, are its public holidays! We have a very high number compared to other countries, and the government loves issuing holidays (also known as cuti peristiwa) for various reasons, such as winning an election, winning a football match, winning an Olympic medal and so on.

Comments about a holiday given in Kelantan for people to march out and support the Hudud Bill [Source: Cilisos]
With all the fun that comes from public holidays of a multi-cultural society, comes it’s share of racism and discrimination. Once in a while an issue related to religious rights, or discrimination in the housing market will dominate the news.

Malaysians from all walks of life showed their strength of the ballot in the recent general elections, and managed to topple the ruling coalition that had been in power for 60+ years. Young Malaysians are more and more in favour of non-racial politics and divisiveness, and this has been clearly displayed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *