Around this time of the year, we could begin to see houses putting up the Jalur Gemilang while motor vehicles going around flashing them in a kind of pride for the Malaysian flag. You guessed that right! It’s the Merdeka month and Malaysia is celebrating her 58th year of independence this year.

Malaysia Flag Car

Being Malaysians, we are made of many races but we all hold one passport. Well, okay. That’s lame. Let’s see what outstandingly defines us.



Here’s one prominent feature of our Malaysian-ness. It is the way we speak English… haha! You heard that right. English in Malaysia has evolved into a dialect in its own right. Here’s how you might say to a friend whom you notice is feeling very hungry: “Wei! Macha. You cannot tahan, izzit? Come, let’s go mamak (see bottom page for translation). You got it? Great! You’re on your way to getting an A- in Manglish (or Bahasa Rojak).

Malaysians Lepak



Another feature of us Malaysians is our love for food. Being a melting pot of many cultures and heritage, Malaysia is blessed with a vibrant gastronomic landscape. But out of the many, there are a few that distinct us from the rest on this planet. Take the aromatic Nasi Lemak for example, any passenger in an Air Asia flight who orders nasi lemak is a right-on Malaysian. Similarly, if you order Teh Tarik in Jakarta, they know instantly you are a Malayan tiger. Besides these, Malaysians also go crazy on a daily basis over the fluffiness of their Roti Canai, the ‘messiliciousness’ of their Rojak, the straight-from-the-wok hotness of their Char Koay Teow and the slurps of their sweat-inducing Curry Laksa. Ooohh my… I am loving it!

  Arrays of Food



There can be a long list of what makes us Malaysians but here’s one last point: we all morally own our nation’s natural treasures, achievements and legends. Our fellow earthlings identify us by our enchanting Mount Kinabalu. World citizens identify us by our lofty Twin Towers and international sports identify us by our world’s number one squash player, Nicole David. Parading the streets of London or Hollywood Walk of Fame with the image and caption of any one of these on your pullover shirt will identify you as a Malaysian on a foreign soil. Unless, you happen to be a Caucasian American! Still, looks can be deceiving. In any case, you’re a Malaysian at heart.

Malaysia Icons

So, there you are. Three elements of our Malaysian-ness, and mind you, they are not just for fun. Do you want to be a deservingly proud Malaysian? Here’s the deal.

Firstly, embrace our diversity. I mean when you speak, always have at least some Malay, Chinese and Indian words in your sentence. You’ll sound way more interesting that way, trust me. And, when it comes to food, make sure you eat Malay food, Chinese food and Indian food. Love them all and even better, learn how to cook and serve them. Not forgetting our brethren from other ethnicities including our treasured Orang Asli and Orang Asal, explore their language and cuisines. Include them in our daily vocab and staple diet as well.

Secondly, make Malaysia proud. Care for her natural treasures, make world-class achievements and become a Malaysian legend.

Happy Merdeka, Malaysians and let’s be truly #SehatiSejiwa. God bless  our country.


(Oh… yes, the translation. Here it is: “Hey, buddy! You are really hungry, aren’t you? Come, let’s have something to eat at the Indian Muslim restaurant”)