I was nervous. I was holding my breath. I was overjoyed. I was confused. I was indifferent. I was happy. I was confident. Now, I am eager. And I am hopeful.
I was so nervous that I skipped the live telecast of Olympic Badminton semi-final match between our Lee Chong Wei and Korean Lee Hyun Il last night, on purpose. I managed to catch the live telecast of our double pair Khoo and Tan the night before, and found the drama and excitement and the subsequent heart breaks too much to handle. It does seem that the sinking losing feeling always follows whenever I give my support to our athletes by watching them live. So this time, I stayed away.
I was holding my breath when I clicked on the live score of the match on the net. 2-1 to Lee Chong Wei.
I was overjoyed. It does seem that I get better result if I read it instead of watching it live. But I’m sure not going to miss the final and pray that it's not going to hurt our chance at a gold medal. But as the joy was sinking in …
I was confused. Against the big hoo-hah of "Ketuanan Melayu" and the more recent protest by the MARA students regarding increasing the quota for non-Malays students, how should I be feeling at this point – as a non-Malay Malaysian? How are the people who shouted “Ketuanan Melayu” with such vigours feeling? What are the thoughts of the students who raised their fists during their protest? What’s Lee Chong Wei’s thought during his match? Was he fighting as a non-Malay or as a Malaysian?
I have always been indifferent to these kind of “sensitive” news. Isn’t it more sensitive to react to an issue, than to raise an issue? Because I know that I’m a Malaysian, inside-out and outside-in, top-down and bottom-up. I was born here, raised here, educated here, and now working here and making my contribution here. Can you get more Malaysian than that? We are defined by what we do, not what others do or don’t do. We are who we are because we just are!
I was happy to see a picture of Chong Wei kissing his Malaysian badge in this morning paper. That’s the way, Chong Wei! You won as a Malaysian, not as a non-Malay Malaysian! Then I also saw a picture of him hugging his coach, Misbun Sidek, a non-non-Malay. Now that’s a picture of true Malaysia. Teamwork.
I found my confidence this morning when I came across a few blogs by our non-non-Malay countrymen blogging their congratulations to Chong Wei’s while searching for his photos. Then I realized, it doesn’t matter how good a crop is, there are bound to be some bad apples.
Now, I’m eager to watch the final between Chong Wei and Lin Dan. And I’m sure all Malaysian will be hopeful and waiting for a Malaysian to win the first Olympic Gold Medal in Beijing 2008.
Go, Malaysia Go!