Opinion: Are you mixed up?

Opinion: Are you mixed up?

Malayasian Insider

Praba Ganesan

JULY 8 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is the poster child for Malaysians with mixed parentage. Not that he epitomises multiculturalism, the misguided doctor is far from that.

He does however mirror the difficulties and challenges anyone of that situation experiences in a Malaysia averse to real diversity.

Don’t mention your mixed heritage, overemphasise your commitment to the heritage you do associate with and disassociate with all your might any connection to the heritage you are trying to lose. And marry further away from the ashamed heritage.

Not everyone behaves like that, but the themes remain.

I’m all Tamil. But my nephew and niece are not. One is a quarter Chinese and the other is half Nordic-Irish-English-and a degree of uncertainty. So my nephew goes on as a constitutional Indian though everyone thinks him Malay in school, and my niece well she goes all over the house wrecking things — in her two-year-old shoes. But her Malaysian birth certificate states her ethnicity as Australian, a nationality becomes her ethnicity according to the good people at the National Registration Department.

So what are they, and how should they grow up in Malaysia?

In Malaysia there are no halves, just wholes. This might be illogical to people outside Malaysia or anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of genealogy, but in our tropical paradise when your parents are of different ethnicities (or even mixes) you can only be of an ethnicity. Worse if one of the parents is Muslim then the other parent’s identity, past and history has to evaporate…

Read the entire article here.

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