But if the truth be told, I'm a goddamn socialist-democrat hybrid - if one could possible co-exist as such. :)
I started this blog partly to express my own views on the political situation in Malaysia.
After spending years of being frightened and intimidated by the ISA threat, I eventually threw in the towel and ended the silence.
Somehow, I figured that having my own blog meant I was in control - I could write whatever I wanted and pull rank by reminding any dissenting commenters about the ownership of this blog.
But if you're an intelligent person, you would realise (as I eventually did - I'm slow; I must've been a UiTM student in my past life) that the I-preach-you-listen concept is no fun at all, much less mind-stimulating.
Realisation dawned one morning before work - which is when I usually check my mail and read some blogs - that I had a wide range of comments on my blog over various issues.
Some agreed with my take, and some disagreed - though they were put in such a polite way so that they didn't appear as dissenting views. ;-)
But in spite of my wannabe-dictator-ish ways, I must admit that I think my commenters have some very valid and intriguing points, which I humbly reproduce.
Walla gives us an insightful perspective on being a citizen of Malaysia (or any country, for that matter):
It remains to say many of the future generations of this country will have to make our own paradigm shift in the way we think about our existence in this world. To be able to improve each generation, one may have to resign oneself to be permanent nomads, forever floating from one country to another. Maybe by then the third wave of globalization will turn this world around so that what is a 'country' disappears in the melt of cross-border 'markets'. Ohmae's invisible continent? Who knows?
Let us take some comfort. Is it really that important to be a citizen of a country? The third wave speaks about sovereign funds behaving like transnational entities with their own boards acting like 'governments' in all but name. In such a context, loyalty of the individual shifts more from country to company. Ask someone working for a multinational firm, and that's exactly what has happened. So many of the waking hours are spent tussling with global business issues that lining up to pay taxes or collect a form to get a rebate seems minor by comparison. And if your government politely shoos you out of the district clinic so that it will have one patient less to wait another five months for a free set of dentures, the whole notion of nationality and belonging become something almost trite compared to the imperative of surviving and saving for a future generation by personal resilience alone.
I hadn't actually heard of Kenichi Ohmae or his books, The End of the Nation State and The Borderless World prior to reading this. Something to check out, indeed.
Globalisation has ensured that we are competing on a whole new level altogether. I work in Cyberjaya and that place alone is enough to remind me constantly that we are no longer restricted by national borders.
But really, is it all that important to be a citizen of a country?
I think if you were to ask the majority of Malaysians, especially the non-bumiputras, their answer would be no. Which is why there still exists a substantial number of Chinese and Indians in Malaysia, in spite of all the racism received in the hands of government.
The question is, does everyone want to constantly uproot and move on to a new place?
Between you and me, I find that I feel more patriotic after long trips abroad. The desire to see familiar surroundings, faces and routines are inherent within me.
It's a great feeling to drive on Malaysian roads (even during peak-hour traffic, for the first few weeks of returning home), go for breakfast at the nearby stalls, and speak Malay. People give me sideways glances when I say that last bit. :)
I guess I still hold on to the concept of nationality and belonging.
I want to have tears in my eyes at international events like the Olympics when one of ours has bagged a gold. When they play the national anthem and fly the jalur gemilang.
But that's just me.