Thursday, August 27, 2015

Singaporean or Malaysian?

This blog is dead. Well, half dead. Like the kind of dead when you're having a final stage cancer. Not that the owner doesn't want to update the blog, but he is finding it increasingly difficult to do so. With the lack of time, the demand of work. Writing a blog seem so menial now. There so much more to do, so many other priorities. Gone were the days where he wanted to share his feelings with the world, through words typed out on a screen.

As a person who is stuck between two countries, born in one and adopted by another, I cannot help but to feel some sort of identity crisis now. When I first came to Singapore, I have never thought that I would stay for long. In my mind, I always knew that I would go back to Malaysia. To the Luke six years ago, Singapore seemed too mechanical, lifeless. I hated how everything moved in a precision manner, how materialistic the city seemed to be.

But that was six years ago, and those are just stereotypes formed by a boy who only has the internet as his source of information. As I got to know the city, as months became years and my roots deepened here, I came to realise that like almost everything in life, nothing is perfect. Well, except the cup of mango macchiato that I am drinking now — but as bad as I initially imagined Singapore — I slowly grew to like it, with it flaws and what not.

I slowly began to realise that, hey Malaysia ain't that perfect and Singapore ain't that bad too. I guess this is what travelling does to you. I began to see the good and the bad, the nuances that come with it. That no city can be perfect. For every shortcoming, there is a positive attribute.

As both countries stand at important crossroads now, Malaysia with the political turmoil and Singapore with the upcoming election, I cannot help but wonder which country do I truly belong to now. I still feel for both countries. Malaysia, for the first 19 years of unforgettable memories, and Singapore, for the six years of tough moulding. If you ask me now, I can never really tell you with certainty if I am Malaysian or Singaporean now.

Granted, I can never be a true Singaporean in most people's eyes; and I fully understand that, with me not going through National Service and the formation years. And I guess that is something you can never pick up if you have not gone through those formative years.

But yet I no longer see myself as a true blue Malaysian any longer too. I find it hard to identify with things that make us Malaysia now, especially the political struggles. Whenever I go back to Malaysia during the holidays, I increasingly find myself being an alien, no longer recognising how things work. And there have been numerous times where I blended in perfectly with Singaporeans, where people guessed that I was from Singapore until I speak Chinese or when they ask me about NS.

So who am I? To be honest, I don't know. Maybe they should consider creating a third category for us who are stuck in between two identities, without knowing which we belong to. Perhaps this is where PR comes into play.

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