It’s mid-August now, and we’re getting closer and closer to our National Day! To hype it up even more, we have gathered eight recent incidents (2017-2018) that would spark the Malaysian pride within you! After reading this, you’ll be so ready for Merdeka celebrations! Let’s go, Malaysians!
1) The “Crispy” Rendang Incident
Ah, we all know this one. Earlier in April 2018, on Masterchef UK, Kuantan-born chef Zaleha Kadir Olpin served chicken rendang alongside nasi lemak. Unfortunately, that led to her elimination. The judges stated that rendang needed “crispy” skin (what?), and one of them even called it a “mistake”. Malaysians rallied around Zaleha, and were outraged by the judges’ comments. Clearly, they didn’t know the first thing about rendang. One Facebook user summed it all up perfectly: “When Malaysian food gets insulted, an entire nation stands up.”
2) Passport Strength
According to the Henley & Partners Passport Index in 2018, our passport ranks the 9th. Tying for the spot with Hungary and Slovenia, Malaysian passport holders can travel visa-free to 189 countries!
3) World’s Oldest Sitting Head of Government
Tun M needs no introduction as our PM at 93 years old, but we do have another few fun facts. Not only was he the longest-serving PM for 22 years previously, but he is also the first in Malaysia to serve as PM for two non-consecutive terms, and from two different parties. His role as PM aside, he has been in the political scene for more than 70 years!
4) United We Stand
During the recent GE, we showed the world what “democracy” really was, and what a united nation looked like. Besides fulfilling our duty as Malaysian citizens by voting, many of us volunteered as polling and counting agents as well! Not to mention how several of us also “stood guard” in case of “blackouts” and “fake votes”. It was certainly arduous, but the results were triumphant for us, and gave birth to what we now know as a “new Malaysia”. Malaysia Boleh!
5) SEA Games 2017
We emerged as overall champion in the SEA Games last year, with 145 gold, 92 silver, and 86 bronze medals! That, incidentally, was the best achievement we ever had at any SEA Games. It was an extra sweet moment as SEA Games concluded on the 30th August, one day before National Day. It was a perfect gift for our country!
6) First Ever Female DPM
We certainly made great strides in the political scene this year! Not only do we have the world’s oldest leader, but we also made history by having our very first female DPM! Dato’ Seri Dr. Wan Azizah holds this title, and she is also the Minister of Family and Women Development. It was double cause for celebration as she also marked another milestone for female achievements around the world!
7) First Malaysian Woman to Be A Michelin-Starred Chef
Speaking of female achievements, there’s another. Ipoh-born Kwen Liew is the first Malaysian woman to be a Michelin-starred chef! Kwen, together with her Japanese husband, owns Pertinence in Paris. Pertinence started operating in March 2017, and in February 2018, less than a year after it first opened, it was awarded with a Michelin star.
8) Penang Pride
Penang is often referred to as one of the street food capitals of Asia, if not the capital. It frequently crops up on international rankings, but one of the most recent one was by CNN last year. In CNN’s 17 Best Places To Visit in 2017, Penang ranked 2nd in the world!
Of course, these are just a few of the recent Malaysian incidents that make us proud, but there are so many other reasons to be proud of our beautiful country! Our diversity, rich culture and tradition, variety of food, rojak language, as well as other achievements all play a part, and truly makes Malaysia unique! Have any thoughts about being a proud Malaysia? Share them with us in the comments below!