(Adam attempting the Malaysian record for holding a stainless steel spoon in his mouth for the longest time)
A comment left by mob1900 gave me the idea of starting this blog to list down things that make us all so uniquely and proudly Malaysian. Although that does not make us Truly Asia-n. mob1900 commented..."we open our car doors to spit, even while driving. Tissues are for whussies!" How true! And how Malaysian. That's not the only thing that Malaysians do with their car doors open. They also like to open the car door to pay their toll charges. Winding down the window would a) expand too much energy that could otherwise be used to give other drivers the finger. Or b) would deplete the battery if it is an electrically operated window. Speaking of which do you know of or have met any Malaysian driver who would only switch on their parking lights even when driving along city streets at night? I asked a Malaysian driver why he did that and the answer was, "Save battery ma." Then he gave me a look like, "You stupid or what?"
Another uniquely Malaysian trait. If it's new and looks good, let's fix that. Seen any of the new Rapid KL busses on the roads? They are so nice la. Spotlessly clean. Signs that make sense. No A4 paper sign in sight. Empty. But don't be too concerned because the Malaysianisation of those busses has begun...
(Rapid KL bus photographed on Jalan Ampang on Tuesday 11 April, 2006)
(Sahaja sehari. Bad Bahasa maybe but it could prove prophetic.)
Meanwhile, maybe Rapid KL should take heart. Once those new busses manage to retain a layer of grime, sound like a rock crusher gone berserk and belch black smoke the KL commuters will sell their mothers for RM2 to get on and ride.
Another very Malaysian thing is we love to impress tourists. Especially, when they come here for big sporting events being staged here like the annual F1 races. Each year when that time rolls around the city is dressed up for them. Sidewalks are paved. Beautiful flowers miraculously appear along the road dividers on Jalan Sultan Ismail. But straight after F1 is done.......
(Picture of dead and dying flowers on road divider across from the Sheraton Imperial Hotel along Jalan Sultan Ismail. Taken 4 days after F1 2006)
This is one of my favorites. We Malaysians love to "use other people's buttocks as our face" (old Chinese saying). Anybody that makes it into the big time on the international arena be it sports, the arts, entertainment we are super fast in discovering some Malaysian connection. Hey, Miss Georgia 2006! Her father is Malaysian. Never mind that he's maybe emigrated for decades. Hey, Anita Sarawak is big time! (well this is going back a few years la) BUT her parents are Malaysian. Don't matter if she's been Singaporean for years. Hot babe Vj, Paula Malai is now as Malaysian as nasi lemak since she married one of us. But even before that we laid claim to her beauty and talent. Just because she chose to be based here for reasons best known to herself. Feel free to add to this list of international celebrities that have Malaysian connections. Go for it.
Of course, there is that part of being Malaysian that we all know and love. Breaking dubioius records. Does anyone remember what our latest attempt is? One of my favorites is that record of the most number of people having a sit down Chinese dinner on a football field. Beat that!
This one just came in from a comment-er as I was typing...
..."parking our cars right in front of any restaurant while few steps away got parking bays! like we have no legs to walk for that distance"
That's right. We hate to walk. Malaysians will circle for hours in a mall's parking lot until they find a bay that is right outside the elevator door. It's a wonder that nobody has started drive-in businesses for mamak restaurants, pubs, cinemas etc. Malaysians would love it. Just drive right up, folks. No need to walk at all.
Some Malaysian-isms with potentially tragic consequences include our inability or unwillingness to question those we voted into power to manage our lives and livelihoods. I am sure we have all read about the abortion of the scenic bridge idea but the fine print also informed us that 100 million Ringgit will be paid in compensations to the contractor plus some government contracts on a silver platter as well. So at the end of the day we could be flushing a couple of billions down the toilet. And the most we will have to show for it is that potential white elephant they call the CIQ complex. It will be a nice building. For a while. Until that Malaysian-ism that has infected the Rapid KL busses gets to it. I am sure that topic will be debated at mamak stalls, offices and in traffic jams for a while. Until it's time for EPL 'live' on TV this weekend. Then it's back to business as usual.
I am going to stop here and go reminiesce about the time when being Malaysian meant being proud to be hard-working, passionate, productive people. Proud of doing our given tasks to the best of our ability. And hope that one day soon those times will return. So I'm a dreamer. So sue me.