There is a popular Malay proverb “hujan emas di negeri orang, hutan batu di negeri kita, baik lagi negeri kita”. What it basically means is although the grass may seem greener in other countries, our country is always better.
At the latest count, I have travelled to 20 countries. United States (2x), Australia (1x), UK (many times, lived there off and on for 3 years), Netherlands (2x), Belgium (1x), Italy (6x), Switzerland (1x), India (2x), Bangladesh (3x), Nepal (2x), China (1x), United Arab Emirates (1x), Brunei (4x), Singapore (at least 5x), Indonesia (at least 10x), Thailand (at least 10x), Cambodia (2x), Myamnar (1x) and Vietnam (1x). Heck, I have even been to Kelantan a number of times. [3x means 3 times, in case you are wondering]
So do I agree with the above proverb?
Malaysia has its fair share of problems. The constant racial and ethnic bickering, unfair policies, existence of large number of stupid people especially in the political sphere, bad drivers, corruption, imbecilic media, filthy toilets, religious freaks, cows living in condos, politicians with terrible hairstyles, snatch thieves, etc, etc.
My grandparents were labourers – breaking their backs in the early 1900’s to merely survive in this country. Life was very hard. They only had 2 or 3 years of schooling. But they managed to put their children (my parents) to school. My father has told me how difficult his life was in the 1950’s and 1960’s [note : just because the Brits were here, does not mean life was good]. Although the family had barely enough to eat and he had to walk miles to school, his life was better than those of his parents. Disease (TB, malaria, etc) was prevalent. My father completed Form 5 but did not have money to further his studies. Of course, my life (now, not during my childhood) is a lot of more comfortable than that of my parents. I even have a blog J. And I expect the life of my children to be even more comfortable (note : my son’s primary school is organizing a trip to Japan end of the year and he wants to go WTF??).
I have a very simplistic view of life. Having experienced first-hand how life is in so many other countries (every country has its ups and downs), I am convinced that this is the country is good for me. Yes, public transport is better in Singapore but I cannot stand the kiasuic Singaporeans. Yes, Switzerland is nice and clean but nobody does good teh tarik or nasi lemak there. UK ? yikes, if not for the Indians and Chinese, the kwailos will still be eating boiled potatoes. There is no tax in Brunei, but then there is no life there either. India? The superb biryani and voluptuous women are quickly offset by the corruption, pollution, and Indian politics (and you thought politics in Malaysia was bad). One smart-ass was arguing in his blog that life in Indonesia was getting better and we soon shall be exporting maids to that country. If you believe that sort of shit, then you should really move to Indonesia where almost 30 million people still live on less than RM 120 a month. Don’t even think of moving to the Middle East – yes, the money may be good but the Arabs will treat you and all other non-Arabs like dirt.
Sometimes this is what happens when you think the grass is greener on the other side
Yes, I will continue to bitch in this blog about the bad things in Malaysia. Rest assured that I will not hesitate to whack dumb Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or creed, as I have done frequently (just read the last two posts). I will continue to criticize the government and opposition parties for all the stupid things they do.
But I must equivocally state here that this is the country that I love. This is the country that I will always live, retire and eventually die in. Most of my friends are here. My favourite mamak shop is here. My barber who charges me only RM 10 is here. My 75-old neighbour who calls me "uncle" (WTF?) is here. My friend who cooks for me the killer lamb rendang lives here. My cat lives here. No other country has AlleyCats, toyol and pontianaks. No other country has keropok lekor and ais krim potong. No other country has Nicol David and maggi mee goring. My entire social genetic make-up is a result of my living in this country. I cannot and will not move anywhere else. And I will do what I can to make this country better.
“Hujan emas di negeri orang, hutan batu di negeri kita, baik lagi negeri kita”. Setuju 100%.
Monyet King and members of the Monyets & Yaks Team holding the Jalur Gemilang at the Everest Base Camp (South), 21 March 2011