Friday, August 10, 2007

I was standing outside my office at the lobby when I saw the flags they had hung up for the upcoming Merdeka celebrations. I saw them blowing in the wind with the clouds billowing in the background.

I was waiting for some visuals to download to the editing system and I had some time to take some pictures of the flags. As I was taking the pictures I thought about what does patriotism mean.

Recently, a Malaysians student studying in Taiwan did a music video with the Negaraku spliced into his rap song. Namewee, the student is quite a talented guy. Before this I've actually heard of him before the politicians started chewing him up in the press for being unpatriotic. I find this to be a cultural clash.

Take for example, in Japan. It's considered polite for one to slurp their soups and noodles while eating. In Malaysia, it's disgusting. Now take for example, the particular culture and background that Namewee came from. Most of the message that he puts in the song such as racisms rings through for him. It's his way of expressing it through music.

To him, using the Negaraku as an excerpt in his song didn't seem wrong to him but to others, especially the politicians it certainly did. I feel sorry for the dude. I symphatize with some of his complains in his lyrics (but not all). In his song, he complains how graduates from chinese secondary school in Malaysia find it hard to get placing in local public universities as their certificates are not recognized. That is quite sad, to be sidelined by local policies like that.

He sings about how Malaysian Chinese are going abroad now to study, adding that the real reason why the government has these policies in place is so that the Malaysians can gain experience before coming home. I too felt like that once.

Before I when overseas, I was quite sarcastic about government policies, especially of the media. Mind you, I've always knew from the start I had wanted to come back to Malaysia to get started in this industry right away. My parents encouraged me to stay on in the US after graduation to get a job. I decided to come home anyway. No place like home.

Deep down, I told myself if I was going to get a job in the broadcasting industry in Malaysia, I was going to be a gatekeeper and make a change for the better. Looking at where I am know, I know I've at least accomplished what I wanted to do. I know I made a change for the better in the lives of my viewers by sharing with them useful information.

This to me is my version of patriotism. This is my country. Negaraku.

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