Monday, July 2, 2012

The 'Lelaki Melayu' Dilemma

I’m sure everyone knows that girl who goes around claiming they’re too ‘westernized’ or have different ‘mentality’ to date the Malaysian average Joe. They snigger at the very though of stooping that low on the social ladder, instead choosing to devote their time and attention to secure ‘mat salehs’ the ultimate jackpot of the local dating scene. The very thought of being with le whitey is still a hype that titillates our starry eyed local girls.  

Can our Malay boys stand a chance?

There’s obviously nothing glamorous about a date with Udin, or commonly known as Dean, at Pelita Nasi Kandar, where a perfect dinner consists of oversweetened ‘teh tarik’ and ‘mee goreng mamak pedas’ and ultimately, going dutch on the RM10.50 bill. 

Where as Richard will take you dancing and drink cocktails in some swanky Bangsar bar where you can wear your skimpiest black dress, fake an American accent but still manage to slip in a couple of ‘lahs’ and ‘ahs’ at the end of a sentence when emotions run a little high, or sobriety’s running a little low. You know what they say, you can take a girl out of Malaysia, but you can never take the Malaysia out of the girl.

I used to be one of those girls. Well, not the douchey Sarong Party Girl type, just the general ‘avoid them Malay boys like the bubonic plague’ kind. There were countless times my friends and I would decide a guy wasn’t good enough just because he was ‘too Malay’. Oh, being too ‘Malay’ in my school was a slap in the face. It was probably because you couldn’t pronounce your words without having the thickest accent drawled throughout your sentence. Or having grammar so terrible that it could incite world war 3. Those were the rather trivial deal breakers. It was a rather elitist school, I have to say. It was common knowledge that Malay men would were a bunch of  MCPs (male chauvinist… pigeons) and sexists. The Malay man would tie down his high flyer wife just because he can, despite her pleas and protests. The Malay man would buy a Mercedes first than sending his children to good schools. The Malay man would accessorize himself with expensive watches and clothes while still living in a low cost flat. The horror stories were endless.

But wait a minute, all these terrible things that the enigmatic ‘Malay man’ does; isn’t that just people in general?  Don’t these bad traits exist in every society, from people of every walks of life? Just recently I read about an American teacher (sorry, I meant pedophile) abandoning his wife and three children to be with an 18-year-old girl (sorry, did I say girl? I meant slut) from his class, the same class his 17 year old son attends. Or what about the Austrian man who kept his daughter in captivity in his basement, raping her and fathering 4 of her children, while keeping the whole incestuous relationship a secret from his wife by reporting his daughter missing? Basically, there are bad men, selfish men out there. And these bad, selfish men are not exclusive to the Malay race. 

So instead of nitpicking the flaws our men have, do know that these imperfections are everywhere, and not just in our highly misunderstood men. Sure, the average Malay man is not the type to whisper sweet nothings into your ear or come barging through your door with a flowers and suit of armour but surely there’s something commendable about them. I have seen some pretty laudable behaviour in some of the Malaysian guys here in Egypt, having proven themselves as responsible leaders and adequate caregivers. Don't believe in all the notoriety of 'Malay men'. 

They’re not perfect. And that’s okay.

So yeah, give them a break. Remember that we’ve come this far as a nation, thanks to the efforts of a few good Malay men.