Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Caught Offguard

So, I was having a conversation with this friend of mine. She grew up in Shanghai, studied in France and the US, and now working here. I was explaining to her the political system we have in Malaysia and the Chinese diaspora in South East Asia. Inevitable was the explanation on the NEP measures, the education system (matriculation, STPM, quotas, streams), housing discounts, etc.

And the she caught me off-guard with this question:

“Are you a citizen? I mean, do you hold a Malaysian passport?”

I answered, “Yes I am Malaysian.”

Yet, I know her innocent question was not without foundation. She must have found it hard to understand the compromises and the inequalities we have lived with. She must have found it wildly surprising that we do not have some of the things she equated with of being a citizen of a country.

It's funny to hear an outsider's perspective, especially when it is an honest and innocent observation.


At August 10, 2006 5:37 pm, Anonymous earl-ku said...

haha, tell your friend we Chinese are actually minorities and are labeled as secon-class citizen, definitely not citizen as we are deprived of certain priviliges ...


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