Alvin Teoh, Executive Creative Director of NagaDDB, shares with us a Malaysia we can hopefully still remember in the years to come.
I love Malaysia. I mean, I could do with some nice, cool San Francisco weather sometimes, but yeah, I love this lady because she’s such a part of me.
Recently, I joined an international community of Catholics on the net. I thought it’d be cool to exchange views of our universal faith with people from all over the world. (Having the occasional fight online is exciting, too). But one thing about the community stood out. Amazing and learned as some of them were, I did find some of their points of view a tad narrow. Not so much because of the faith, but more so, I feel, because of their monolithic culture.
Quite unlike our rojak one, hor?
Over the years, I am blessed to have met Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Sikhs, Protestants, Agnostics, Malays, Chinese, Indians, Eurasians, ‘Bananas’, ‘Chindians’, ‘Mat-Salleh Celups’, ‘Rockers’, ‘Jinjang-Joes’, ‘Diskangs’, and those categorised as ‘Dan lain-lain’.
My first real friend was a John Skelchy. He was as Eurasian as they come. We met in kindergarten when we were 5. From him I learnt that boys have penises and girls, something different altogether. One day, our teacher caught us comparing private parts. Our parents were called, and so, they too became friends. This Skelchy fellow was my classmate all the way to form 5.
In Standard 1, I met Sheik Faizal. He didn’t look like the average Malay boy. I have to admit he was rather good looking. I wonder if he had Arab blood. He was a great artist; he could do caricatures. And he did a mean pencil sketch of characters from ‘Planet of the Apes’. We hung out all the way through Standard 6. He was a very deep and intense sort of fellow. He wrote in my book: