Oh Malaysia, how we love you. Let us count the ways.
A is for AirAsia
How would any of us travel in the Asian region and (a little) beyond without AirAsia? The purveyor of cheap flights in Asia (for better or for worse) introduced us to a host of things you can go without in a flight like food or luggage or choosing a seat. But it also pioneered online check-in and packing super light for trips and paying RM0 for flights.
B is for Badminton
For all of the years that Malaysia has been involved in the sport, we've always held a commanding position. This is the sport that truly unites us and one that we collectivelly support regardless of race, religion, or status. The heroes of badminton that have spawned from our country can fill a text book and that's no easy feat.
C is for Cameron Highlands
The BOH Tea Plantation, the setting for The Journey,
the scones, the English culture, the winding road up to Cameron that tests the limits of your locally produced car, Cameron Highlands has been visited by (possibly) every family here in Malaysia. Sooner or later one way or the other, someone is going to say, "Eh let's drive up to Cameron Highlands and chill." Bring a jacket, it's going to be cold.
D is for Durian
Durian cendol, durian cake, durian ice cream, durian mooncake, durian buffets, durian condoms, Malaysians love that D... for durian.
E is for Economy Rice
Travel to anywhere in Europe and you'll realise how difficult it is to get a decent meal with some hot chicken and cooked veggies. Just try it. Not only can you get meat and carbs and greens easily here in one shop, you get it for cheap! RM5 is still a possibility and if you're hankering for fish on top of your chicken plus veggies and tofu with a side of eggs, your meal might cost RM10. So cheap! So economy!
F is for Forests
Of which we still have a lot of. Malaysia's rainforest covers two-thirds of our country and it's estimated that some forests are 130 million years old. There is incredible biodiversity in our forests and we need to protect it. This is a quick conservation message from your pals at Rojak Daily
. Love your forests.
G is for Genting Highlands
The spot with the most amount of Chinese tourists outside of China. Not only does it generate revenue for Malaysia through tourism, Genting is also home to a lot of live shows and attractions. Once the 20th Century Fox theme park goes up, it'll bring in even more tourism to our country.
H is for Harimau Malaya
As in the actual tiger that's indigenous to our lands. It's classified as critically endangered by the IUCN and there are an estimated 250 to 340 adult tigers left in the wild. There are more jerseys sporting the Malayan Tiger than there are supporters supporting the conservation of the Malayan Tiger. We'd have to think of a whole new animal to represent our national football team, Maybank, Proton, and others if we don't start lobbying for change.
I is for iFlix
Isn't it just the Malaysian way? If the westerners aren't going to share their cool idea with us, we'll just have to make it ourselves. And so we have the similarly named--but not exactly the same--competitor to Netflix, iFlix. This particular writer is going on an The O.C.
binge after this article goes up and it wouldn't have been possible without iFlix.
J is for Jimmy Choo
The man has received two titles from two countries, Datuk and an OBE or The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire from the Queen herself. How many Malaysians can share that honour? Not many can boast a fashion empire birthed in London that is still held in high regard today. He paved the way for young Malaysian designers to break new ground overseas and it's with his good will that this generation sees success overseas.
K is for Kota Kinabalu
Or KK as we all know it. From pristine beaches and island getaways to hideaway resorts in the mountains, Kota Kinabalu is one of Malaysia's best tourist destinations. The Kinabalu park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the rainforests surrounding KK is a treasure trove of exotic plants and animals.
L is for Lat
only made it to America in 2006 and was first released in 1979 in Malaysia. Even after all these years, the writing, the art, and the heart behind Kampung Boy
still resonated with readers. It struck such a chord over there that the book won several awards and is still in print today. Datuk Mohammad Nor Khalid or Lat was a journalist who became a cartoonist and his work is influencing cartoonists around the world today.
M is for Dr. M
Tun Dato' Seri Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad held office as the Prime Minister in Malaysia for 22 years--the longest of any in Malaysia and is the man responsible for our national car, Proton. He led the train projects in the city and the building of the KLCC. In his time in office, he paved the Kuala Lumpur International Airport and the North-South Expressway that you comfortably drive on to get from, well, the North to the South.
N is for Nasi Lemak, Duh
Nothing much to say. Here's a picture of nasi lemak.
O is for Orangutan
This species of ape is only found in our forests in Borneo and Sumatera. They are one of the most intelligent of the primates and we use their facade for many different campaigns. Sadly, they too, are considered endangered in the wild. Funny how the things that we rely on the most to boost tourism in our country are the very same things we've failed to protect.
P is for Penang
Food, glorious, food. Also, culture. Also, lifestyle. Also, the people. A lot of successful Malaysians have come from Penang (Jimmy Choo and Michelle Yeoh, anybody?). There really isn't anything we can add to a list that would make you even more convinced that Penang is one of the best places to visit, and to live, in Malaysia.
Q is for Queues
As in please 'Q' here. We have a lot of queues. We queue for food, we queue to get our license, our passport, our identification, our marriage license, our summonses paid--we queue for everything! Why else would we queue so much, if we didn't love it in the first place? We love Malaysia, we queue a lot in Malaysia, therefore we must love queues.
R is for Railways
For all of its faults, we have a working railway here in Malaysia. The KTM, LRT, BRT, and MRT lines are a good start and with more opening from Puchong and Subang, we're getting more and more connected every day. We don't have an extensive network right now, but within the next few years we might have trains that go from state to state.
S is for Sabah and Sarawak
Image: flickr @ MEMANG RIZALIS ENT
Yes, we've name-dropped Sabah already but as a whole, the cultural diversity that Sabah and Sarawak bring to Malaysia is immeasurable. There are at least eight different ethnic groups in Sarawak with many more in Sabah. They're also rich with diving spots that are some of the best in the world.
T is for Terengganu
We've nearly represented all of the states in Malaysia in our list. But Terengganu is a little closer to our hearts here. We've done a story about 8 of the Best Cafes in Kuala Terengganu
and another on All of the Holiday Islands in Terengganu
, and we love that place. Hit up the two links to find out why Malaysians love (and will love) Terengganu.
U is for Ujang
The 'Majalah Lawak Antarabangsa
' was released in 1993 and was a magazine that was truly Malaysian. It spawned multiple beloved characters. The cover art is probably the most recognisable and any Malaysian can tell you that they've either seen one or bought one.
V is for Vivy Yusof
Her contributions to fashion under her label Fashion Valet cannot be overstated. It was the first online fashion store in Malaysia and was first launched in 2010. They support the local fashion scene and they bring it out for the world to experience at the same time. She now has her own TV show on Astro Ria and on YouTube!
W is for Wilayah Persekutuan
As in the only thing that comes to mind when we say that, Kuala Lumpur! Because there's nothing in Putrajaya and Labuan anyway.
X is for XX Ray
This Malaysian movie actually has a 7.2 rating on IMDB. That's better than both Suicide Squad
and Batman v Superman
! It was a rare science fiction filmed at a time when Malaysian movies were either love stories or horror stories and anyone from the 80s will know about this movie. Also, making lists is hard so you think of a better one for the letter X.
Y is for Yuna
The pioneer of the hijab-ster movement and the only
successful Malaysian artist to break into the American music scene. We love her because it proves that talent and passion can get you places in this world. Places like the U.S. where everyone ultimately wants to be.
Z is for Zainal Abidin Mohamad
singer is credited as changing the Malaysian music industry and his album that featured world music--traditional instruments and tribal beats--flew in the face of the mostly rock jiwang
music that was out at the time. It broke racial barriers and introduced Malaysians to a unique sound that would define a generation.