September 29, 2022

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National Construction, A Project for All

Source : Pexels by Thirdman

A common theme we hear, read and see these days are the regular Malaysians moving abroad to seek greener pastures. Just recently an article appeared on Free Malaysia Today titled "I left Malaysia, and I don't regret it – here's why" explaining why he as a Malaysian chose to leave the country.

As I read the article, I remember that I too often hear and see my peers leave the country. Adults are encouraging and sending their children to settle down overseas. It got me thinking what or who is going to build Malaysia into a country where it's citizens can be proud of, if everyone's planning on migrating …

As I pondered upon the question, I found myself asking another question instead, "Am I not proud of my country?" To the surprise of many, I am proud. When we push aside the politics and politicians, our country is a gem, and that beauty lies in its people. In my last article I spoke about the common power ordinary folks practise to protect one another through simple movements such as #kitajagakita. Not half a year since the campaign, we have witnessed many ordinary Malaysians coming together voluntarily to rescue, donate, clean and help the flood victims in any manner possible. Where the system fails, the commoners do not lack the compassion and humanity to lend a helping hand.

Batman replied "This city just showed you that it's full of people ready to believe in good". The actions of Malaysians in the past one year especially are an example of the good it's capable of.

5 January 2022

The efforts of these volunteers exemplifies unity that I reckon is something that stirs envy even among the developed nations. Looking at the West, you will notice till this day the noises arising concerning vaccination against Covid-19 is still deafening. Where proof, research, data and information of lesser deaths, less spread and more resistance to infections through vaccination are readily available, the refusal to take the vaccine still persists. This in turn poses further mutations and uncertainties. Compared to our country, we have reached almost a 100% full vaccination rate of adults.

I can understand the reasoning and do not fault those who have left, after all everyone's status quo is different, ever evolving, and the grass is indeed greener on the other side. Having said that however, it neither devoids our country of hope nor strength. There is no sure way to deter those who have left or wanting to leave, other than convincing them of our country's potential to flourish.

It is with conviction that I say, Malaysia is a country worth fighting for. Whether it is provision through sympathy or empathy, it fits well to say that the flood victims are not alone in their efforts to rebuild. As when the Joker seek to have two ships detonate the other's bomb but failed in Batman – The Dark Knight, Batman replied "This city just showed you that it's full of people ready to believe in good". The actions of Malaysians in the past one year especially are an example of the good it's capable of.

What we have now is a scenario whereby ownership of the homes destroyed are not that of the volunteers, but helping hands are readily provided in the rebuilding process. The question then is what about the building of a nation? A quick google search shows that there are 1.7million Malaysians who lives overseas as of 2019. Most with the capability to move abroad to a more developed country are educated and capable. What would be of Malaysia today or in the future if they were to return and help? What would be of Malaysia if we were to speak to the younger generations, who are the future, and tell them that building our country was a fulfilling struggle and worthwhile journey? I leave these questions to my readers.

As someone with the capability and privilege to choose to move abroad as well, I'll always choose to stay. I envision the day we can tell the generations to come that the foundation of the country is through unity and never giving up. No doubt the thought of leaving is appealing, but how many have such privileges? Through all the negativity, I hope this article will give a little strength and faith, that setting aside the politicians and politics, there is so much to look forward to in the country I call home. Do I envy those who have left and chose not to return, no I do not. This is Malaysia, and I am a Malaysian.

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J.Y. is passionate about mental health and social exploitation issues. He is willing to speak his mind for the welfare of society. This is an opinion piece. The views expressed are the writer's own. 

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