The faces of Malaysia in China singing Chinese songs and amazing the Chinese worldwide are not Chinese at all.
They are the faces of true Malaysians, who do not identify themselves with any race because of what their parents are, what the DNAs are or what their MyKad says.
Shila Amzah first opened the doors when she won the top prize in the show in Asian Wave in 2012.
Now, the ages have gotten younger and even those who do not speak Chinese or not listen to Chinese songs can only be astounded and amazed by the vocal abilities of Lee Pei Ling, 15, and Adinda Tasya Mansor, 11, in singing the songs in Chinese, a language which is not easy to master when singing.
They sing the Chinese songs so well, that they are winning the Chinese TV reality shows, in a country of 1.4 billion of Chinese people.
Now, there is speculation that Lee is of the top six in Sing! China formerly known as 2016 The Voice of China, the unofficial Chinese version of the US hit The Voice.
None of these Malaysian talents look Chinese and no one can really tell what they are, despite their Malay or Chinese names. In their MyKads, Syila and Adinda would be Malays, and no one is really sure of Lee’s origins before she was adopted by Chinese parents.
One can only concede that this is the face of a Malaysian, for it proves that your child becomes what you teach them what they are and precipitate that idea their life throughout.
Beside them, we also have many cases of Malays who can speak Tamil. And many of the younger generations have made Malay their mother tongue, for that is what we have been taught in national schools.
However, no matter what language they speak, they do not take on the culture or mannerisms of that race, they are just simply Malaysian, as one can see from Syila, Adinda, Lee and most of the younger Malaysians.
It also proves that children can take on any race they want to be or be just a human being with no race attached, only if the authorities and the society stop harping on the need for every Malaysian to have a race to identify with.
While the politics in this country is completely race driven, what with race-based political parties being the root of the ruling coalition ever since Malaysia was born, it is sad to see many of us insisting that our children identify with a certain race, even when they are from mixed marriages.
This is made worse when parents are given no choice but to write that down in all their official forms in school and community.
Perhaps it is time again for the idea to abolish race on all official forms be revisited, so that the faces that represent us to the world on the world stages are truly Malaysian, not only in heart, but also officially.
Zakiah Koya@The Heat Malaysia Online