PROJECT MALAYSIA: BELONG OR ‘LELONG’ ?

Posted on September 13, 2011

5


A Hari Malaysia Special

by

Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia in collaboration with Pusat KOMAS 

September 16, 2011 @

Rumah Anak Bangsa Malaysia, 66 Lorong Setiabistari 2, Bukit Damansara

PROGRAMME 

7:00 pm       –  Arrival and  Registration

7:45 pm       –  Screening of  ‘Hak Dinafikan’, the story of Orang Asal, which won the 2010 Freedom Film             Fest organised by Pusat KOMAS

8:15 pm       –  Panel Discussion with the Film Directors Abri Yok Chopil and Shafie bin Dris, who are themselves Oral Asal and also young activists from Sabah and Sarawak, Evelyne Tina Tawan and Amanda Leonie

9:00 pm       –  Project Malaysia As I See It

9:45pm        –  Close

There’d also be a wall with a timeline mapped out, where we can write our stories throughout the years.

We’ll have lanterns on which we can write our messages for this Hari Malaysia, and there’ll be photos, portraits of faces, all found right here at home.

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I  am lucky to have a father who taught me early in life that diversity is something beautiful. I grew up in an environment that was colourful.

But the colours that I saw when growing up were predominantly a short spectrum consisting of three main colours. Each corresponded to distinct faces and features that I found out later had ethnic identities – Melayu, Cina, India.

Some years later, as I peeked at the forms being filled in by my father to enroll me in primary school, I noticed the existence of another colour given the name of ‘Dan Lain-Lain’.

I soon learned that there was more to the spectrum than what I had known back then. Despite the convenient label of ‘Dan Lain-Lain’, each one of those colours matters and makes up Malaysia. Each one belongs here.

This Hari Malaysia, why not take a look again at our Project Malaysia? Let’s see if our Project Malaysia is truly one that is inclusive and nurtures a sense of belonging in our hearts. Or is it a Project that focuses on selling off every particle that is beautiful and ours in a truly wholesale manner, ‘Lelong’ style.

Let’s lift the label   ‘Dan Lain-Lain’,  look underneath and talk to a segment of our community that has been conveniently sidelined and its rights ‘lelong’ed alongside ours.

It’s high time we learn their story and understand that it is our story as well.