Something to be proud of: A list of Malaysian stories in 2019 to take pride in

Mark Ryan Raj
Despite the many differences that we have, we all take pride in calling ourselves ‘Malaysian’ and celebrating the achievements of our fellow Malaysians. — AFP pic

PETALING JAYA, Dec 31 — In 2019, whether it was celebrating extraordinary feats by our fellow Malaysians or simply showing our support and love for our country, there were many heartwarming tales of unity among us.

As we get ready to open a new chapter in the new year, and new decade that is 2020, we take a look back at some of Malay Mail’s most-read “Malaysian pride” stories of the year.

Subang Jaya eatery plays ‘Negaraku’, Malaysians stand midway through meals to show respect.

Right in the middle of their meals, diners chose to rise up and stand to pay homage to our country as the national anthem began playing. ― Screengrab via Facebook/Che Zulkefli

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What better way is there to express our pride and love for the nation, regardless of our race or religion.

Earlier this year, in the spirit of Merdeka and Malaysia Day, a Facebook post showed a group of diners at a Subang Jaya eatery embodying the true Malaysian spirit when they got up to sing our national anthem, Negaraku, midway through their meals. 

While the diners were casually enjoying their meals, the national anthem started to play in the restaurant, which prompted the customers to abandon their delicious meals and chit chat to pay homage to our country. 

Malaysians all over the country were impressed by the unity these Malaysians showed, as they all stood up in unison, with hands on their hearts.

Bridesmaid rocks hijab with traditional Malayalee saree for friend’s wedding

Jasila chose to don her hijab with a saree during her friend’s wedding creating a uniquely Malaysian traditional attire in the process. — Picture via Twitter /@jasilasyed

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Open houses and parties of Malaysians of different ethnic backgrounds are the norm here, as we celebrate almost everything together, and show respect and admiration for another’s beliefs. 

In August this year, Malaysians were particularly proud of one Malay woman, who decided to wear a hijab with the traditional Malayalee saree during her friend’s wedding. 

Jasila Syed was a bridesmaid at her friend’s wedding, and was required to wear the Keralan saree for the big day.

Keeping it uniquely Malaysian, Jasila turned heads when she chose to mix things up and wear her hijab and a long-sleeved top as well with the saree.

Malaysians from all over were so impressed with Jasila as she managed to not only show respect for her Muslim teachings, but also look flawless in the traditional South Indian attire. 

Proving that maybe it wasn’t so much of a mixture of two different cultures, but instead a reflection of one Malaysian culture. 

Royal Malaysian Airforce blows away competition in viral #unboxchallenge -- with an F18!

While others were busy “unboxing” fire trucks and ambulances, the Royal Malaysian Air Force stunned everyone with the F18 fighter jet version of the #unboxchallenge. — Image from Twitter/airforcenextgen

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It isn’t every day that Malaysians get the chance to one-up someone in a worldwide challenge. 

The Royal Malaysian Airforce (RMAF) however made everyone proud when they took things to the next level in the then viral #unboxchallenge. 

The challenge involved unboxing and arranging vehicles and its various items into a layout to create an aerial photograph that looks like a typical action figure set. 

Many organisations from around the world took part with their aerial representations of what is in fire engines, ambulances and police cars. 

Straying from the norm, RMAF left the competition in their dust as they “unboxed” an F18 fighter jet, complete with sidewinder missiles for their entry in the challenge. 

Malaysians were in awe of the RMAF team’s creativity as they got to see the fighter jet from a whole new perspective. 

Malaysian student named top in the world for math subjects, gets two Cambridge awards

Malaysians were more than impressed when Andrew Nge put Malaysia on the global academic map when he became the top math student in the world. — Picture courtesy of Beaconhouse Sri Inai International School

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Being the best in the world at something is definitely worthy of taking pride in. 

Malaysians absolutely loved it when they discovered that a 17-year-old put the country on the global academic spotlight when he emerged as the top in the world for both mathematics and additional mathematics. 

Andrew Nge Jing Shuen gained the highest mark in the world for International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) for Mathematics and Additional Mathematics during his November 2018 examinations. 

Nearly one million students from around the world participate in Cambridge International examinations, and Andrew, who studied at Beaconhouse Sri Inai International School in Petaling Jaya, surpassed all of them as he went on to claim distinguished awards at the Outstanding Cambridge Learners Awards. 

It was definitely a year to be proud for Malaysians near and far.

Whether it be respecting the beliefs of others or celebrating the achievement of our fellow countrymen, hopefully, with 2020 on the horizon, there’ll be much more to make us proud in the new year. 

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