Budak Koleq and Pride

Mr Liew of the basketball team was conferred an honorary membership in MCOBA just recently, making history as the only non-Malay to receive the honour of its kind. The decision was lauded as denying any racial sentiments Malay College old boys usually associated to.

In the case of Mr Liew, it is without doubt that any contributions in that size should only be replied with honour, and if there is anything bigger than conferring an honorary membership, such thing would be due for Mr Liew.

On behalf of the Class of 2005, I would like to thank Mr Liew for his timeless contributions in taking Malay College basketball to a whole new level. I can only judge from my two years experience there circa 04/05 that the college was orientating themselves in conforming to the nature of MCKK which is to build the future on its success. Apart from my batch's excellent PMR result in 2003, and my batchmate's Zaim's triumph in Pidato Piala Di-Raja, there were no real success for the whole college could take pride of.

But Mr Liew re-modelled the basketball team and with assistance from few old boys, the team turned into a powerhouse and fearsome competitor. Most importantly, the team achieved results which brought back the air of pride to Kuala Kangsar.

I may not know him personally, but the impact he made to some people I know was exceptional. So thank you and congratulations to Mr Liew.

But that is it.


Malay College old boys have this strange fascination of taking pride for something they belong to. The most obvious one is being a Malay College boy. And a Malay College boy would bring together with them the belief that for anything the college achieved, even if they don't have anything to do with, they could bring home the pride.

The only real achievement for a Malay College boy is to get enrolled in Malay College first. Academically, the school houses the best boys in UPSR and PMR, and students are handpicked for place in Malay College, and I particularly acquired my admission on the latter's ticket.

So the basic pride is understandable. Moving on.

Within the gates and many walls the college has, there are so many other permutations of pride that stem from many possible achievements - in sports; like the basketball team and of course many other sports teams, debating, examination results and musical skills. These are the bricks Malay College boys thought to have the power to give them pride, and for them, pride translates to the biggest single power than can make them stand taller than anyone else, respect.

Please don't get me wrong, the motivation is in many way good and the kind of momentum should go uninterrupted. This is the driving impetus for MCKK success in the yesteryears, and the challenge to become good at so many different fields as to have the bragging rights and getting the respect should be seized to keep the MCKK air of success alive.

Getting out of MCKK is as much a success as getting into MCKK, and the success of getting in and out of MCKK should not be the only reason to be proud of. Getting into MCKK requires hard work, and with the amount of challenges we did not know in the pipeline ahead of us, the hard work to get enrolled was negligible.

I may sound selfish as there are hundreds of other boys who might have punched each other to get into MCKK but failed to get enrolled. It was an easy choice for me, because getting into MCKK was not my choice. I had to only fill the same form those girls had to fill before they got into SSP and TKC, and we had no idea which school we would get into if we did well in PMR.

Like I was in coming to this world as a Malay, I can only explain my enrollment in Malay College as a destiny, and God wanted me to be a Malay College boy, like the way He wanted me to be a Malay.

So how do I say I am proud to be a Malay? How can I be proud as something I did not choose to be?

But I know that I am proud for being the person I become given the environment I was brought up in. I grew up in Malay-speaking community, and in the Malay-culture practicing populace. I am proud in how the environment has moulded me into the person I become, no matter how limited the resources and how poor the environment could sometimes be. I definitely take pride of everything that I have achieved, but that is it, I achieved what I have achieved was because I was the person who was moulded into, not because I was a Malay.

This is the fallacy that Malay College boys have long fallen into. They take pride for something as petty as being a Malay College boy, and to take pride of something else you don't have anything to do with is just pathetic. But Malay College boys cleverly shroud the feeling with the sense of belonging and brotherhood they cherish. So to take pride and tell everyone that you are good because your schoolmate is good is just wrong to me.

Self-worth is a quality every Malay College boys should have if they want to steer clear of this black days. Little do they know, until they respect themselves and people around them, no one will respect them.

As a Malay College old boy, I feel saddened with the association of Malay College boys with strong closed fraternity clouded with pathetic vanity over our previous success. Previous success is something we need to build the next success on, not something we should just be proud of.

As long as Malay College boys go on the way they are, as long as the pathetic mental attitude of taking pride in other people's achievement does not change, as long as there is no true sense of self-worth and knowing what the college has turned themselves into, then any superficial attempt at getting respect will be an illusion.

As for the success of my friends who achieved something when they were in MCKK or wherever they are now, I am proud to have known them, but just by knowing them is not something I am expecting respect in return.

And as a Malay College old boy, I am not proud because I was once a student there, but I am proud because the school has changed me to become what I am today.

That is for me, a quality of a good school.

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