The Unseen Side of Malaysia

Malaysia is a beautiful country.

We've got it all: Sandy beaches, tropical rainforests, all sorts of natural beauty. Marble mountains in Ipoh, where the coffee is unbelievable. Or down South, Malacca, where you'll find a town from colonial times. Penang, food paradise. And hustling bustling KL, with its happening nightlife, art culture like wildfire, and even the local music scene is kicking off. We got names like Michelle Yeoh, Yuna,  Chong Wei, Nicol David, and let's not forget we won three gold at the Paralympics.

But we've also been on the front page of the wrong headlines. Like 17, 370, and 2.6B. Times are hard. Hard for our country. Hard for our multi-racial society. Hard for the working people who bear the burden of climbing the hills to pay the bills of corruption.

All it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.  I wrote this rap because I was inspired, by Kendrick Lamar's 'Alright'. As far as rappers go, he's tight. He writes to express his feelings for the society of his people in America. And I decide to write one for the people here in Malaysia.

I'm paying the fees to please the educational authorities they,
Don't know my needs, got me down my knees with my pleas, I,
Just wanna find an easy way to get on with life, I,
Just wanna go home and, get a kiss on the cheek from my wife,

 The 'American dream' is, in a way, not too far off from the Malaysian ideal of life. We just want to pay our bills and come home to a family, do our duty, maybe go on vacation once in a while. I'm not gonna lie when I say life is relatively easy in Malaysia, with our relaxed work ethic and the good food that's everywhere. With food, we really are spoiled for choice. But when it comes to schools, it's really just choosing the lesser of two evils. 

The failure that sees us sending our children,
to private tuition like, Confucian,
and then to St. John's institution.

The public education system here has constantly come under fire for being racist, and its administrators indecisive, slow to act. Matter-of-fact, many parents are choosing instead to enrol their kids into homeschool, which are like full-time tuition centres run by private organisations or local churches. There is also the option of private schools which will strip your savings bare, and parents have to work two jobs each. 


Why live in a world where your grandma stays in flat,
Where the living room carpet is also the bathroom mat,
Tell me, why is it that,
We can pay to build a Mosque but not decent homes,

Refer to this article by Malay Mail Online. The People's Housing Programme (PPR) is failing.  The people that are supposed to stay in the cramped flats only temporarily before they get back on their feet are becoming permanent residents of the madness that is government housing. Meanwhile in Putrajaya, a ghost town except for government employees, new building projects are underway, between beautiful and magnificent mosques. And for who?

The last couple of paragraphs for the rap is a call to action. Everybody, working people, students, young and old, we should get up and take action. Not violent action, but to understand, to educate themselves on the issues of the country and its policies, and how to change that. To fight for change through a bloody revolution is not the aim. That's an uphill battle that would costs us too much to win.

What we can do instead is to start making changes from the top-down, educate our leaders and raise our youths to be politically active. To participate in the decision-making processes that shape the laws of our nation. We should. We're the ones who live here.

The full poem will be published on Squidynk tomorrow morning, 10am Malaysian time. I'll post the link here when it's ready, or you can just go straight to Squidynk and click on "Poems" to read it.

Published by Viktor Tey

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