So tell your sons and daughters and grandchildren this:
Malaysia is a wonderful place. It’s full of muhibbah, full of multiculturalism, full of harmony, full of glory, full of Rukun Negara. Hallelujah (I "pray" this word is allowed for general use).
In wonderful, wonderful Malaysia, everybody loves everybody else. Everybody in Malaysia loves their neighbours. Everybody in Malaysia loves strangers too. All Malaysians eat together. They drink together. They play together. They dance and sing and make merry together. There’s so much inter-marrying going on, how can this place not be merry?
Locals, with their different names, and despite the scurrilous rumours, are not – no, never! – vilified in any way, shape or form. Never mind the repeated synonyms and never mind the cliché, because all is true. So, so true. There’s far too much respect and far too much love for everybody in Malaysia and those who visit us, who bring their big currencies and get so much bang for their bucks that they go home happy and can’t wait to come back again.
In fact there is such abundant love and respect and honesty in Malaysia that Malaysians are more than willing to share it all with the Israelis and the Singaporeans and the Vatican. Hallelujah, brothers and sisters!
Foreigners aren't called demeaning, condescending names. Never. Nobody calls the whites Mat Salleh here. And look at the Banglas and the Burmese and the Indons and Filipinos: See how all Malaysians treat them ever so well. They’re respected and paid tribute for helping to build this country, its economy – this, their “beloved nation”. These labour migrants and refugees are as much a part of the Malaysians as Malaysians are a part of them – one big happy family in united nations of… err… nations.
So how can Malaysia possibly lose respect in the eyes of the world? Look at how it has so professionally and competently dealt with its newest crisis – the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 airplane – and how the late, great Karpal Singh won’t be honoured at a memorial service in a Malaysian school hall because memorials amount to partisan politics. And that's a no-no! That’s how open-minded Malaysia is, how liberal it has become, that compassion and truth and competence know no bounds. One big happy family, Malaysians are. And they’ll tell you this too, unashamedly.
You see: Malaysians – all of them – are born equal under the Malaysian sun. Foreigners who are struggling under their own suns need not worry because sooner rather than later they’ll learn from Malaysia, because Malaysia is simply oh, so wonderful. And their suns will merge with the Malaysian sun because the Malaysian sun is the best in the whole universe. The Malaysian sun is perpetually warm, perpetually cuddly, perpetually gracious, and utterly, perpetually the most welcoming.
So tell the world that in Malaysia there's no jealousy. There's no envy either. Tell the world that before the law everybody here is equal, regardless of race, colour and creed – just as god made everybody equal. In fact all the gods in Malaysia are colour–blind. So there’s absolutely no religious competition. No attempt at proselytising.
Tell the world that there's inherent and eminent fairness and justice in Malaysia, 24/7, and that Malaysia’s judges and magistrates and the attorney-general are fair-minded professionals who uphold their institutions to the highest level of sacredness and independence. There’s absolutely no chance of bias or political vengeance in judicial decisions.
Indeed, tell the world that in Malaysia there's a government that leads with absolute honesty, integrity and a deep social conviction, replete with world-class competence. And there's no corruption in Malaysia – neither in the public nor private spheres of sociopolitical and economic life. Take Malaysia’s police: They do such a sterling job that even Scotland Yard and the FBI want to emulate Polis DiRaja Malaysia.
The monarchy is equally inherently intelligent and fair. And Muslim clerics are unequivocal about the existence of a level playing field for all religions. Anybody who says Malaysia is a hideously racist country is a liar. For a Chinese or Indian or Sikh or Christian or an orang asli can become prime minister or chief of the armed forces or the IGP in Malay-Muslim majority Malaysia. And Malay-Muslims have no qualms about this whatsoever.
Elections are fair and open. So fair and so open that you can see right through them, like tracing paper. There’s definitely no murkiness about elections in Malaysia anymore than there is about Malaysia being a full-flung democracy that upholds every element of human rights sanctified by the United Nations. Nobody is framed or jailed and beaten up or killed while held in detention or run over and murdered by racist mobs. There is no mob rule in Malaysia. None.
Education in Malaysia is beyond par excellence. It is so high up the Top 10 charts in the world that American and British and Australian students viciously compete to study here, seeking out Malaysian scholarships. In fact Americans and British and Australians and even the Germans want to immigrate to Malaysia. That’s how wonderful Malaysia is.
And the intellectualism and academic freedom in Malaysian universities is so out-of-this-world that Malaysia’s academics also rank in the world’s Top 10 charts. What’s more, American and British top-flight academics and researchers and analysts are prepared to stomp over each other for a chance to teach in world-class Malaysian universities.
Further, whether Chinese, Indian, Christian, Sikh or Eskimo, everybody in Malaysia is given the opportunity to study at a Malaysian university in the course of their choosing. No pressure. No Stalinist dictatorship. There’s no Orwellian order in Malaysia. None whatsoever. And post-university, jobs and promotions are based strictly on merit and nothing else. A Malaysian regardless of race, colour or creed can be whatever he or she wants to be. Study for a graphics design degree today and become a neurosurgeon tomorrow. No questions asked.
Malaysia’s schools are the breeding grounds for undeniable Malaysian brilliance. Indeed Malaysia does wonderfully well at exporting brilliance in all fields, especially governance. The Malay language is next on the export list. At every turn Malaysian students beat students from across the world by a factor of one hundred. They’re avid readers of literature. They’re math and science geniuses. They’re superlative critical thinkers. There’s no one like them in the world. Their English skills are impeccable. And each one is equally competent in Malay, Mandarin, Tamil, Punjabi, Tibetan and Mongolian.
Malaysians are without question the greatest humanists. The best in the world. Just as they would never abuse another human being or their rights, neither would they abuse chickens and cows and goats and hogs, which are guaranteed never to lose their heads. The scourge of racism and the animal farm will never scar churches and mosques and temples. Ever.
Finally — as if there’s ever anything final except death but not taxes – there's absolutely no crime in Malaysia. Nada. Kosong. Malaysia has an Inspector General of Police who will cite you up-to-the-second statistics to prove this point. He’s that good. He’s that literate. And if there is any crime, it’s probably only your imagination running wild – again. For in Malaysia truth looms larger than all the gods put together.
There's no compromise on preserving truth, integrity, freedom, justice and fairness. And judges – bless their cotton socks – will ensure that Malaysia’s laws and Malaysia’s constitution will always shine and be magnificently equitable for all Malaysians regardless of their race, their colour and their creed, for the rich and the poor, for the weak and the powerful.
Malaysians are never led. Malaysians will always lead the rest of the world. That is why Malaysia is oh so wonderful a place that you’d never want to leave it. And if you should, you’d always want to come back quickly – for good. – April 24, 2014.
* Rip Van Winkle is a Malaysian Insider reader, like everybody else in the world.