Students share fond Malaysian memories

IN conjunction with Malaysia Day on Sept 16, our BRATs participants share what they love growing up Malaysian.

“I loved waving the Jalur Gemilang while singing to Tanggal 31 and Keranamu Malaysia with my teachers and friends during National Day celebrations at my school. The ambience in the school hall was just so amazing that we could not stop singing along to the patriotic songs. Through the lyrics and melodies, I got a sense of how hard our forefathers had fought to help Malaysia gain her independence. This made me feel even more grateful for the peace and harmony in our country.” – June Yee, 20

“Although it’s not very common, one of my favourite memories is that announcement made by the pilot upon landing in Malaysia after a long, tiring flight: ‘And to all Malaysians, welcome home.’” – Keerat Kaur Wathan, 18

“My favourite memory as a Malaysian is the collective horror from my friends when I told them I had never tried a Ramly burger. In the subsequent few months, my friends decided to bring me to multiple food trucks to introduce me to the dish.” – Samantha Lee, 22

“The times when I attended extracurricular activities and made new friends from all races called out from the bottom of my heart. The hardships of working together, the times when we stayed up late to finish projects and the moments of triumph we shared together will forever have a special place in my heart. We were there for each other through thick and thin as one. This was regardless of race, religion or family background. I am proud to say that till today, we are all still in touch with each other and have become closer than ever, even after we had graduated from secondary school.” – Leong Weng Sam, 19

“My favourite memory of growing up Malaysian has to be celebrating Independence Day at school. I remember putting on a performance at age 10 with my classmates, singing Sehati Sejiwa on stage and feeling the joy that radiated in the school hall. We wore Jalur Gemilang-inspired clothes, waving the national flag as we proudly sang at the top of our lungs, not caring if we sounded off-key or not. All that mattered at that moment was the passionate feeling of patriotism in us and our love for Malaysia.” – Hafizah Ariff, 15

“Back in primary school, I got the chance to make my own kite during art class. Now, when we think of a kite, an image of the stereotypical, diamond-shaped one usually pops into our minds. Instead of that, my classmates and I worked on the ‘Wau Bulan’ – the kite with the most unique shape no other country could ever imagine. It was a lot of fun designing my kite and I can still vividly remember the sheer pride and joy I felt when I was finally done with it. Many people tend to take being Malaysian for granted sometimes and I’m ashamed to say I am one of them. But it’s during these little moments when I truly felt proud of my country and the authenticity it has to offer.” – Alyson Wong Yan, 16

“My favourite memory as a Malaysian is growing up and learning with people from different cultures and backgrounds. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to experience and gain knowledge about the different ethnicities and cultures. In secondary school, I got to wear different traditional clothing for Hari Perpaduan too. Not to mention, I’m blessed to have friends who opened up a whole new world of food from different cultures to me.” – Syaza Munawir, 18

All students featured here are participants of the BRATs Young Journalist Programme run by The Star’s Newspaper-in-Education (Star-NiE) team. To join Star-NiE’s online youth community, go to

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BRATs , Star-NiE , Malaysia Day


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