There is only one word that I could use to describe my experience at the mamak during this Olympic season. Beautiful. So many of us gathered in front of the big projector screen. Eyes glued to the screen. Sipping our limau ais. Watching every move. Is it in? Is it out? Are we leading? Are we not? The tension in the air was so palpable that I could almost taste the desperation and thirst for that gold medal. Victory was so close that I could almost hear our national anthem being played in the background. It was such a beautiful sight. Malaysians all over, regardless of our differences, rooting for our national hero, Dato’ Lee Chong Wei.
It is remarkable how one man could bring our nation together. He has accomplished what no politician has ever done. For the very few times in my life, I felt so proud to be a Malaysian. No amount of ‘Negaraku’s during Monday’s school assembly could ever bring me closer to feeling like a proud Malaysian than that brief 74 minutes of Chong Wei’s match. This is what Malaysia is and should be. United.
In these hard times faced by our country, it is nice to see Malaysians standing together, cheering for the same team. It is also nice to hear that Malaysia’s talk-of-the-day isn’t about a successful ISIS attack at a local bar, a rapist who escaped imprisonment by marrying his victim (which by the way, is a total mockery of statutory rape laws), prejudiced remarks by certain politicians, a local city council prohibiting employees from wearing sarees as it is deemed ‘inappropriate’, or yet another 1MDB scandal.
It is about time we stop seeing everything from a racial or religious standpoint. We must unite and scrub out the dirt from our country once and for all. Our forefathers may have gotten off from different ships but right now, we are all in the same boat. This generation was born and bred here in Malaysia. Thus, if our boat is sinking, we are all going down together. We are all in this together.