Am I a malay? Chinese? Indian? Or a mix of those 3 races?
Often me and my sisters face the same problem every time we fill up a form, be it any form. When it comes to identify our race, it is either malay, chinese, indian or LAIN-LAIN (others, btw is there such a race?)…what lain-lain? I just could not ‘tick’ either race.
Why is that so? If I were to put malay, then would upset my father, on the other hand if I put chinese or indian, I don’t look like chinese or indian and my mum would feel upset too.
Few times when my schoolmates ( I was very young and I was not in Hijab) as well as my clients (way back when I was involved in Real Estate industry) wished me Happy Deepavali, or Chinese New Year or Merry Christmas face to face or over the phone. I could not blame them as it is due to my name as well as the way I speak.
At home, in my father's presence, me and my sisters will switch our spoken language from Malay to English and when we converse with our mum we would switch back to Malay (just like chameleons switching colours). People say myself and my sisters look like Eurasians, this is due to the fact that we do look like we’re of mixed parentage.
I do not identify myself as a Bumiputra as we know in our country, identification of one's race solely depends on the father's race. I received a letter saying that I am not qualified to apply for ASB as 'Kebumiputraan anda diragui'.. you see...my father is of mixed parentage chinese and indian whilst my mum is a malay.
I grew up in a family where we define ourselves being Muslims first, therefore which race we belong to does not matter. My parents share the same values, where we believe that identifying oneself to certain race does not give us any advantage, we know that sole dependence in ALLAH (s.w.t) gives us the best advantage in life.
Nonetheless, I love the fact that I am of mixed parentage. I enjoy the beauty of the 3 worlds, Malay, Chinese and Indian. I enjoy a wider perspective! You know people say that love is blind and it is colourless.
My point is that, in our country, there are thousands of Malaysians who are just like myself where we come from a family of mixed parentage. Furthermore, inter race marriage has become a norm and for the future kids of our country, identifying oneself to a certain race group will eventually be a problem.
Perhaps someday, whatever forms that we need to fill up will have a race column with one 'bangsa', which is bangsa Malaysia.
You might agree or disagree, I am not in position to say what is right or what is wrong. My writings are solely based on my personal experience.
Hakmilik Terpelihara Rosita Arman Michael 2012