Niki Cheong is blogging

(Dear Ahmad Ismail), I am a Malaysian

Jalur Gemilang

The Jalur Gemilang on the wall in my room during my days studying in Australia, in this photo taken in 2000. A few years before, the very same flag was hung up in my oldest sister’s room while she was studying in New Zealand.

I am a Malaysian.

My father, however, was a British citizen growing up because, well, there was no Malaysia – or Malaya then. My grandfather died before Merdeka, and his father, my Ng Kong Cho, even had a British passport (he never travelled though). After Merdeka, he (like my dad) became Malaysians by operation of law.

That’s four generations of Malaysians – three of whom where born in the British Colony of Malacca. The two generations before Ng Kong Cho were also born in Malacca.

The two generations before them – father (Cheong Soo Keng) and son (Cheong Koh Boon) – were born in China and arrived in Malacca as a family in the late 1700s. Along the way, their descendents -ending with my grandfather – married Nyonyas (and who knows how far back that family tree goes on tha side).

The last migrant in the Cheong line of my family died in the late 1800s – that was over 200 years ago. The first of the Malacca-born Cheongs (my my ancestoral line, that is) was also  born in the 19th century – the same century that the the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824 and the Pangkor Treaty 1874 was signed; Before the formation of the Federated Malay States; Before the Japanese arrived; Before Merdeka. And before Malaysia was born in 1963.

My birth certificate states that I am a Malaysian.

I hold a Malaysian passport, and carry a MyKad with me everywhere I go.

I drive a Malaysian-made car, using a Malaysian driver’s license.

I studied for my degree in Australia as a Malaysian foreign student.

I pay taxes like all other Malaysian citizens.

No one in my family were ever squatters – not pre-Merdeka and definitely not after, and after six generations of Malacca-borns, we are definitely not migrants.

I was born in Petaling Jaya, Selangor and grew up in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur where I still live. I speak the national language, Bahasa Malaysia. Negaraku is my national song.

The Jalur Gemilang is my national flag.

I am a Malaysian.

1.55pm Malaysian time (+8 GMT)

Discussion (7)

There are 7 responses to “(Dear Ahmad Ismail), I am a Malaysian”.

  1. He still insists that his version of history is accurate.
    Btw, I made the same mistake as well in my blog post, but it’s Ahmad Ismail, not Ahmad Said.

  2. Thanks Klaw, I noticed the error too when I checked PS to see if my link went through. Grr … my bad.

    As for accuracy, even Wikipedia is more accurate than him. Sigh.

  3. dwolve responded:

    · Reply

    Hear ye, hear ye!

    Btw, Ahmad himself should retrace back his lineage. In fact, all of us around here have foreign roots.

  4. KeeTs responded:

    · Reply

    Very well said. Totally agree . Malaysians are now brave and enlightened enough to know that racial politics is no longer acceptable or relevant in this day and age. In many ways, the current government is a victim of its own success, especially if we think of its never-ending stereotypic promotion of racial harmony and integration ( think of the days of Ali, Ah Chong + Muthu). Surely they must have expected us to actually ‘integrate’ and be one Malaysia. Race should never be used or tolerated as a political tool.

  5. i like this post. :)

    I am a Malaysian too.

  6. Jasmin responded:

    · Reply

    Ahmad Ismail should be charged for sedition. Why are they taking so long to charge him?

    Please, please, please….no more racial tensions.

  7. iwantCHANGE responded:

    · Reply

    i feel the same way. this is what i wrote:

    i think you wrote it better than i did though; gracious and subtle.

    i’m a subang person:) and i’m 20. i wish more people my age cared. or maybe i’m just not seeing them. sigh.

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