Saya Melayu..dulu, kini dan selama lama nya!
How do I put into words the sadness that is in my heart? How do I tell those Malays who are no longer with us, those Malays of the past that have made the Malays so proud of the noble and graceful heritage they have left behind so that Malays like me can claim as our own…. how can I tell them that the Malays now are not the Malays of their times?
Often I sit alone, deep in my thoughts, and think back about those times when being a Malay meant so much to me. Having uncles and aunties who are so mindful that our adat, our way of life, our respect of others who are like us and more so for others who are not like us, is to them, the very essence of life. For nothing is more valuable to them than to have the respect of others. Respect earned. Respect given to them for how they carry themselves and act when in the company of others.
What I remembered most of those times was the respect my late father and my uncles gave to the “others” no matter what their station in life. Of course with other Malays, they felt a kinship. With the “others” they knew that respect must be earned and they went out of their way to do just that. I remember the way my late father and uncles were when they were In conversation with the “others”…warm, inclusive, and respectful of each other. A genuine friendship that can only come from within for people you know are your equal, for people you know are different but are still people like you, and of course, there is the presence of mutual respect. Much mutual respect. Those memories still temper my relationship with the “others” until today.
I remember the respect and reverence we gave to those who are our elders, especially our own uncles and aunties. When we see them anywhere, we wait first for them to acknowledge that they know we are there. Then we wait another moment more for them to tell us, with that imperceptible nod of their head, that, yes, we may approach them and greet them with a salam and a kiss of their hand that they extend to us. A few words exchanged between uncles, aunties, nephews, and nieces, and then we are free to go and leave their presence. And I remember these moments as being precious for that ritual of respect and love for our elders brought us all closer.
And then there are the times when we approach our uncles and aunties when they are with others who are their friends and acquaintances, but not ours. Without fail, we will be introduced to these people, and our uncles and aunties will always say a kind word about us that makes us glow with pride and a feeling of being worthy to be in their presence, and just as quickly as we were given that moment in their presence to respectfully greet them, we will also just as quickly and reverently, withdraw. Always facing them as we step back, never turning our backs to them in disrespect.
Then there are times when I see other Malays with my father or my uncles. I can see by the way they carry themselves and in the manner of their dressing and carriage that these are important people, but they are without any air of arrogance or self-importance. Do not mistake me, these people are important, and they know they are important, but they are comfortable in themselves and see no need to impress others around them in any way. The riper the padi stalk, the more they bend gracefully as the wind blows. And it was a sight to behold to see these important Malay gentlemen exuding charm, nobleness, and importance without even trying. Those were the times!
All this and more, I am pondering as I see the Malays descend to a level that we Malays have never been at before in the long history of the Malays, nor do I hope, we will ever be at again, in the future. There is no need for me to tell you more of what we Malays have now become in what we falsely claim, is our Tanah Air. The evidence is all around us today.
Look no further than those rogue political pariahs now rampaging through the corridors of this PN back door government. Look at our prime minister! A man afraid to answer questions about what he is doing in Putrajaya. A man who governs without a mandate, without a parliamentary majority, without ethics, without a moral compass and certainly without a hope in hell to survive past 2021. And in this prime minister is embodied all that is not right about the Malays. A liar, a cheat, corrupt, a scammer, a coward, one who cheats on his wife, and of course TSMY will certainly be remembered for merderhaka to his King, his political allies and friends, and most grievous of all, he has failed the Malays.
It does not make me feel better at being a Malay to have to say all this about the Malays but what I said here, has got to be said…if only to tell the “others” that “YES” we Malays know where we are at today. YES we Malays are mindful of our plight. We Malays know of our lost sense of self-respect and pride in being a Malay.
But all that seems to have been lost by the Malays is only an illusion. What has been done by these rogue political pariahs have shamed us Malays so much that for now, we will be quiet. We will be quiet while these rogue political pariahs are still within our midst.
What we Malays once were – noble with grace, kindness, and generosity in our hearts, are still within us. What is within us, what is within our DNA, can never be lost. When the time is right I know the Malays will reach back to the past and once again be the Malays I remember. The Malays of my youth. The Malays that the “others” will only be too eager and proud to have as their kawan. Setia kawan! Ya ALLAH…let that day be soon!