Thursday, September 1, 2011

You Orang Apa?

Title translation: What are you?

Happy Thursday everyone! So glad that today is considered a public holiday in Malaysia as well, as Merdeka Day's holiday (which was yesterday) was brought forward to today as it clashed with yesterday's public holiday (Hari Raya). Yep. We get replacement holidays in Malaysia.

So, replacement holidays here and there, today's comic is in conjunction with Merdeka Day (which was yesterday). Being Malaysians, we automatically will learn to speak a minimum of two languages from the day we are born. Bahasa Melayu a.k.a. malay, will be one of the compulsory languages that we will have to learn to speak as it is the national language but many non-Malay Malaysians do not treat it as a main language hence their malay speaking capabilities will usually sound weird in the ears of our Malaysian Malay comrades resulting in them not speaking it altogether unless really and desperately required. And that is a sad case for out national language.

But I grew up in a Malay speaking community, so even though being a Malaysian Chinese, my malay sounds exactly like how a Malaysian Malay would speak and it would not sound weird, which resulted in a situation that I've depicted into today's comic.

This particular incident happened sometime a year ago while I was at a fast food joint. I'm not sure if it's funny, but I hope it does give you something to think about.
In case, you don't understand Bahasa Melayu, here's a full translation:
Me: Hi. I would like to order a chicken burger set meal with a drink of Coke. Please do not put so much ice in my drink.
Girl: Wah! Your malay is very fluent! Are you Malay? You look so fair!
Me: Haha! No! Do I really look like a Malay?
Girl: Not really actually but the way you speak Malay has no weird slang in it. So, I suppose you're Chinese?
Me: Wrong! I'm not Chinese as well.
Girl: Huh?! Seriously?!! Then, what are you? Tell me properly!
Me: I'm Malaysian laaa....
Girl: Ish! How embarrassing...

So here's the point I'm trying to make; I would really wish people would stop saying that they are Malay, or Chinese, or Indian or whatsoever when asked. Even when we fill up forms in Malaysia, we have to tick in the check box to define our ethnicity. Are we really that racist? We should only be taking ethnicity into account for crime investigation purposes and other serious matters but not for things such as applying for a scholarship, or a job, etc. as it will result in racial profiling.

Isn't that a little ridiculous considering that we have been an independent nation for 54 goddamned years? We should be able to call categorize ourselves as Malaysians and shouldn't differentiate ourselves solely by skin colour. Then like that-lah only we are betul-betul ONE Malaysia!

Satu kaum. Satu Malaysia.

Just a thought. You guys can scold me now if you like.


  1. Am not going to scold you but i agree with you. Nowadays the racial polarization is pretty obvious. :-(

    Keep up the good job bro. I like your comics. xD

  2. Yeah!! U make my day!!! ^_^.v.. We are all Malaysian!!

  3. haha,no,I don't think anyone would want to scold you.That is what 1 Malaysia is all about ^^

  4. Am proud to be Malaysian :D

    Happy Merdeka Day!

  5. @jastin: thanks bro! lol scared ppl get offended with this post. its the Internet. all kinds of ppl got. but im glad you agree with me!
    @aki: satu malaysia bro! malaysians all the way!
    @syun: haha who knows some extremist stumble upon my comic and start scolding me :P
    @fina: yeah! happy merdeka day to you too :)

  6. Hahaha I saw it coming at "I pun bukan orang Cina"... :P

  7. alang alang menyeluk perkasam biarlah sampai di pangkal lengan!

  8. My story is pretty much similar with yours :) I am a Malay but my face is not exactly what you can call a typical Malay face. As a matter a fact I look more like a Chinese than a Malay. That is because I have a mixture of Chinese, Malay and Thai blood in my vein. Sometimes people who thought I am a Chinese will ask me how on earth did I manage to speak Bahasa Malaysia with minimum errors and using the standard Malay slang :P Lol.

  9. pawned that waitress. But sometimes people DO mistaken me as i'm a chinese because of my "mata sepet". But still LOL

  10. LOL. That happens in my country too.
    You pwnd the waitress though. :D

  11. Why scold you? Those are my thoughts, EXACTLY!

    Same case with me here lar. I went to a national primary school, and am a proud Banana (colloquial term for Chinese who can't speak/write/understand Chinese at all/well--you familiar with the term? :P) cos I grew up speaking English everywhere I went. But because of that, my Bahasa Melayu was also very fluent, and without my mother tongue (Mandarin? =.=) influences, I speak Bahasa without a slang either. :D

    MANY MANY times already I kena. People ask me if I'm Malay (I guess I'm not as fair as you). An unforgettable time was when someone actually asked me if I was Indonesian! (Somehow, I don't take that as a compliment! Don't I LOOK Chinese??? *sobs*)

    But true, why should we categorize ourselves like this? Race should not matter. Until we understand that, we can never truly be 1Malaysia :(

  12. i m half-banana (still a banana) who can speak, but cannot read n write properly. my bahasa ibunda always fail 1. ahhahaa.

    and used to b able to speak Malay language very very fluently.

    but few months ago, one Pak Cik approached me for direction in MidValley....and i tried to reply in Malay......then the Pak Cik gave up and asked fluently "Oh, is that way? Right, thanks and have a great day".

    stunned. embarrassing betul

  13. Owh! 我觉得你是马来人,但是我想错了!终于你是华人!

    * Wow!! 你的卡通很可爱,也很幽默!我真的喜欢!Loike! Loike! Loike!!! ^^

    ** 很高兴认识你~

    (sorry for my bad chinese)


  14. ernest u can read chinese ah?

  15. yeah. the check box should be abolished

  16. ern is half banana so i suppose he cant read chinese~~

  17. @day-dreamer: lol! i guess everyone can see that coming :D
    @shamus: maksud????
    @ben: haha at least you look chinese. I do not look malay at all! not one bit! LOL
    @hilmi: haha ya i took the opportunity to pwnd her!
    @oridusartic: seriously this happens in indonesia too? i tot malaysia only!
    @liz: agree! we must be 1malaysia!
    @alvin: haha, in this case, the pakcik pwnd you!
    @incek fik: mai goodness lucky we have google translate! thanks bro haha! dont worry i cant even tell if ur chinese is bad or not as mine is worse!
    @sharkox: have to play a part to realise the 1malaysia dream! haha
    @daryl: can....with google translate!
    @meck: yeah! its about time we got rid of that piece of crap.
    @eric: can la bro... google translate XD

  18. I feel u :)

    orang melayu malaysia pun tak nak cakap BM sebab katanya tak moden gitu

    happy merdeka!

  19. Interesting. Some will misinterpret this post as political (but somehow it is, except not in a bad way).

    I agree that racial preferential treatment is holding our nation back, but growing up with benefits of being a bumiputera makes it hard for me to say "Let go of hak bumiputera, and give everybody the same chance in any respect". Not that i'm slacking or malas now, but it has already become a comfort blanket. If anything, i'll raise my child to be free of those racist dogma and to be competitive without those benefits.

  20. @una: haha serious?? taknak cakap BM pasal tak moden! first time hearing that LOL
    @sumbuddy: dam bro you caught me! haha and your feedback is awesome! glad to know aweseom ppl like you bro!
    everyone else here is awesome too! glad you guys feel the same way :)

  21. I was mistaken for Chinese numerous time too. But seriously, I don't mind. I take that as a compliment. hehe.

    I'm not gonna scold you either. It doesn't matter what race or ethnicity we are, as long as we respect each other, that would be enough. But, I think it's okay if you want to identify yourself with your ethnicity. Since, it is also apart of we are. We can't choose to be born as what race/ethnicity, it's what we do after that is what counts. :) Why must it be one of the other? Why can't we be both?

    I am first a Muslim, and second a Malay. But that does not make me less of a Malaysian. Most importantly, I am ME.

    I'm proud to be Malaysian since we are uniquely, Malaysia :) don't u agree?

  22. hey hey hey.. I repost this.. can ah.. see here

    Tell me If I'm doing wrong so that I can remove those pic.. Thanks malaysian!! ^_^.v..

  23. @nana: i guess identifying ourselves thru ethnicity is okay to an extent as long as it doesnt condone racism is ok. still, i would rather have everyone identify themselves as malaysians baru can feel the 1malaysia haha
    @aki: yo bro thats no problem at all! nice entry! haha u rock la bro!

  24. Yea, I'm Indonesian but after living in Malaysia for years I have to agree with you. The racial profiling is kinda ridiculous. I know there's not really an open racial war or anything. But I do feel the tension between different racial groups.

    Lol, even when a lot of people were wondering about my race, I say the same thing you did. "I'm Indonesian". Glad to see that we're all working against racial profiling, no matter how big or small our role is. No more separation, it's the age of unity :)

  25. they should reduce the racial thing for the sake of future generation. I don't like racist people. :)

    Love being Malaysian :D

  26. I also encounter the same thing when I'm doing part time job at a pump station, I'm a pure Malay descendant but have a fair skin and squinted eyes.

    There is one chinese girl that are not satisfied that I said that I'm no chinese, plus I've been scolded a few times for being banana...

    In the event that the occurrence are so many time, I'm able to count 1 to 10 and 10 - 60 in chinese. And a few basic words which I don't remember anymore...

    Cheers Malaysian!

  27. @rameyuk: yeah! say no to racial profiling! its ridiculous i agree! unite we must!
    @fiqa: so true! racist people should just go away! Malaysians FTW!
    @anonymous: serious ah bro? damn! people can be so close minded! still, people should not stereotype us by our skin colours. i feel you bro!

  28. lol, then got ask her out or not?? :P
    in the cartoon, the girls are always cute so i can't tell. was she cute?? XD

  29. some people thought I were a Chinese or at least mix Chinese usually. But one time, I was walking back from college to my dorm and this guy offered to take me there and he spoke English to me. He asked where I am from and I said I'm a Sarawakian, much to his surprise because he thought I was a Korean or a Japanese. LOL!

  30. I think people has to stop thinking that people who are not malay in Malaysia can speak Bahasa Malaysia fluently, instead people who cannot speak fluently in Bahasa Malaysia has to master the language. Its only natural that we can speak fluent Bahasa Malaysia, we are Malaysian after all, is like if you're from Japan but you can speak Japanese well, wont that be weird??Or you're from korean but you can't speak korean well?hmm..right?right??love your comics!!can't stop myself to comment, need to let you know i appreciate your art!!!

  31. All Malaysians should travel to other countries. Why? Because when we are overseas, we identify ourselves as Malaysians. My personal experience: when asked, my wife and I automatically responded that we are Malaysians - whether in UK, Australia, Thailand and even, yes, China. When overseas, should we meet a fellow Malaysian, whether Chinese, Indian, Malay. Iban, etc., we quickly warm up and smile and we get a smile back and we try to strike a conversation with our fellow Malaysians. The sad thing is when we are back in Malaysia, we are forced to identify ourselves by race. Question is, what about those of mixed ethnicity - Malay+Chinese, Chinese+Indian, etc., etc. - they have a problem.

    BTW I am Chinese peranakan (or so-called Baba - a term which I do not favour), with a suspected Indonesian ancestry.


Next previous home