Oh, Malaysia, tanah tumpahnya darahku.
Our sunny nation is our beloved, and despite having its fair share of murky politics, a worrying stance on certain affairs and stifling hot weather that calls for bowl after bowl of cendol, there are still plenty of reasons we’re glad to be Malaysian.
Here’s why living in Malaysia is pretty great!
#1. A multitude of rich cultures
The people of Malaysia — Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazandusuns, Bajaus, Dayaks, Ibans and many more — are the essence of the nation who contribute to its rich culture. Although at times not everyone gets along, the majority of Malaysians do in fact embrace diversity. This can be seen through the strong multiracial friendships formed since school days, the vibrant celebrations of other religions enjoyed as a nation and most of all, the appreciation of food from other cultures.
#2. There’s no running away from this — the food
You stroll into a kopitiam for breakfast, ready to dig into soft-boiled eggs, kaya toast and a cup of kopi. Lunch sees you at a bustling warung, helping yourself to a juicy fried chicken thigh and placing it on a bed of piping hot rice doused liberally with fiery fish curry, leafy ulam piled on the side. Night falls and you holler for two pieces of roti canai, extra garing!
There’s really no end to the variety of delicious food you can eat in Malaysia, which is pretty swell (our bloated stomachs and food coma after a good long makan session is proof too). On top of that, some eateries are available 24/7 and are a blessing compared to the limited options for midnight snacking offered in other overseas countries.
#3. There’s more than 101 things to do!
Turn your head away from those who claim the only thing to do in Malaysia is eat.
While we can’t deny that the food here is irresistible and would mostly likely be what you miss most if you were to study overseas, there’s still so much more Malaysia has to offer.
In fact, this nation is an Aladdin’s cave of creative festivals and events, bazaars, theatre shows, adrenaline-pumping outdoor activities, gigs and a million more things, if you know just where to look.
Eager to cut down on café-hopping and swing by more events, but not sure where to start? Check out local lifestyle portals for event listings (some do monthly and weekly highlights) or see what a cool friend on Facebook is clicking ‘Interested’ on. Easy peasy.
#4. Hop on well-connected public transport
Before the proliferation of LRT and MRT rail transit lines connecting thousands in Kuala Lumpur and the Klang Valley in late 2016, many had to make do with taking the slow and clunky KTM, board the LRT nearest to their destination (it never was, no matter how much you hoped) and then hail a taxi to take them there.
Now, it’s a quick zip down the LRT Kelana Jaya line from Subang Jaya to get to SS15, Taipan, USJ 21 and more! And instead of honking your way through the congested roads of Damansara, the MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang line greatly helps you get from Bandar Utama to Phileo Damansara easily.
But, if you’re one of those who hate taking public transport and would rather sit in the jam than endure close contact with strangers, count yourself lucky that our traffic is not as bad as India or Indonesia where the public transport is not as developed yet.
#5. We’re home to some of the top universities in the world
Malaysian universities house incredibly bright students, as proven by the QS World University Rankings 2019.
In fact, 5 of our homegrown institutions were named among the Top 300 universities in the world, namely Universiti Malaya (UM), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM).
What’s more, UM has broken into the Top 100 universities in the world at number 87! Who says you have to go abroad to receive world class education?
#6. STPM is recognised internationally by many universities
Poring over pre-university options on a cost-conscious budget, yet looking for quality education? Get onboard the STPM track!
The Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (in English, Malaysian Higher School Certificate or commonly known as STPM) is a Malaysian pre-university programme. It’s known to be on par with a variety of pre-university courses, including the “gold standard” A-Level. Plus, STPM is recognised internationally by many universities, particular in Commonwealth countries as well as in America.
#7. Many, many, many public holidays
Malaysia boleh when it comes to the number of public holidays we have.
In 2018, a total of 14 public holidays will be celebrated across the country (e.g. Chinese New Year, Deepavali, Malaysia Day). In addition, each state enjoys another 4-5 state-specific holidays, such as Nuzul Al-Quran and the birthdays of sultans. This means that most of us are enjoying approximately 18 public holidays a year, which is a lot compared to our neighbours in Singapore who only have a measly 11 days.
So what are you waiting for? Get ready to party and start planning your holidays to fully maximise them!
#8. You can use 4 different languages in one sentence
“Wei macha, you want to makan here or tapau?”
As said succinctly in this tweet, where else in the world can you use 4 languages to form a perfectly acceptable sentence like the one above?
An excellent command of the English language is a must in the workforce, but when it comes to chatting with your friends during lunch or speaking casually with an auntie while waiting for her to get your nasi lemak order ready, there’s nothing like the warm and familiar nuances of Manglish that bonds every Malaysian together.
And there you have it — the many reasons why you should be glad to live in Malaysia. Here’s to more years of living the true blue Malaysian life!