Tuesday, August 25, 2009

1 Malaysia?

I could not help but post this article which I wrote a few years ago when I was with The Malay Mail .

We are talking about 1Malaysia everyday and every time I hear about it, the only thing that comes to my mind is sports.

For I strongly believe that through sports is the best way to promote the 1Malaysia.

Infact, in the yesteryears, it needed no promotion - 1 Malaysia was part and parcel of Malaysian sports.

And it was for this reason too, that Malaysian sports did so well in international arena.

However, over the years, many sports have become the monopoly of particular races either through choice or circumstances.

I certainly hope to see the years of 60s and 70s when teams were multi-racial. Even movies by the late Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr P. Ramlee had all the elements of multi-racial harmony.

More recently Yasmin Ahmad, who recently passed on, a multi-award winning film director, writer and scriptwriter, also highlighted the multi-racial nation we are and how tolerance will go a long way to build a strong and healthy nation.

But alas, it is always a battle to see the nation live harmoniously as 1 Malaysians.

Read below what I had to say about a united Malaysian in sports.

MULTI-RACIAL Malaysia should have reached the highest levels in sports by

We are a unique nation because no where in the world can you find three
major races - Malays, Chinese and Indians - living harmoniously and
working to further develop the nation, which already made milestone
achievements in almost all fields.

We have also the ethnic groups from Sabah and Sarawak to further add
colour to the rich culture. We also have the Sikhs and Eurasians.

And with inter-marriages come off-springs with their own characters.

What I am driving at is with such a diversified culture, comes the
strong points of each race.

If only these qualities can be moulded to form a winning formula,
Malaysian sports will certainly be in much higher grounds.

The Chinese, Japanese, Indians or Koreans all have one race and the
qualities lie in each one of them.

But Malaysia has the best of so many worlds and if we can combine all
that, we can probably be world beaters!

Generally, the Malays are known for their artistry, the Chinese for
their analytical nature and the Indians for their industrious nature.

Combine the three characters in a team game and we will have the best
of three worlds.

And add the athletes from East Malaysians or the mixed parentage
athletes and we will have an "international" team.

This was been proven in the early years of Malaysian sports especially
in team sports which had a multi-racial composition.

The 1972 national soccer squad to the Munich Olympics

Lately, however, the multi-racial characteristics in our sports has
been disappearing.

There are many reasons for this: the selection process is flawed, some
ethnic groups are putting less emphasis on sports and more on education
and other more rewarding pursuits, and not enough opportunities are given
to all the races.

I believe we should try and bring back the multi-racial spirit in our
sports teams.

With the different races living so harmoniously and understanding one
another's feelings and beliefs, I don't see why this spirit cannot be
transferred to our sports.

Observe the fans at any stadium where a Malaysian team is playing and
we'll see that no matter what ethnic background the players are from, the
fans of all races come together to cheer as Malaysians. Even when
Malaysia plays teams from their own ethnic background!

Tolerance and understanding is the key word.

Just observe the young children of all races going to their friends' home to
celebrate the festivity and one wonders how this togetherness is diluted
when it comes to sports.

Perhaps, as we celebrate the Merdeka celebrations this weekend, we should all consider the
reasons why we are not there, yet, at the highest levels of sports. And
then join hands to give Malaysian sports an uplift and enjoy the "luxury"
we have in our multi-racial country. Happy Merdeka!

1 comment:

Alexander_Paul_Roper said...

Great article Tony - and nice to see your sensible words in print yet again (apologies if I'm missed your recent writings, but not being in Malaysia, it's hard to keep up). You know my own thoughts on the importance of sport as a means for uniting Malaysia's populace - glad to see we're singing from the same hymn sheet.

Hope all is well with you and the family.

All the very best from Australia.