KLANG: Many Malaysians proudly refer to their country as a melting pot of races and cultures, but some still harbour a prejudice against their compatriots of mixed parentage.
A 20-year-old girl of African and Asian descent, who grew up experiencing such prejudice, says she has a vision of a Malaysia transformed into a nation that sees race mixture in a person as a positive contribution to national character.
She hopes that will happen well before 2050, the target year for Putrajaya’s National Transformation Plan, better known as TN50.
Gloria Ogo Chukwu Abugu, whose mother is Iban and father is Nigerian, was born and raised in Klang.
Speaking to FMT, she said she knew from personal experience that Malaysians were still close minded despite increasing globalisation.
“I grew up being made fun of because I looked different,” she said. “I remember my schoolmates using the ‘N’ word on me and making fun of the big afro hairstyle I used to sport.”
However, this has not stopped her from being optimistic about Malaysia, and this is because she believes there will be plenty of mixed-race Malaysians by 2050.
“We already see it happening now,” she said. “In 2050, there will be a lot of half Africans, half Pakistanis and so on. Because of this, Malaysians overall will be more accepting of people of mixed races.
“We’ll perhaps even see people begin to change their mindsets sooner, maybe 10 years from now.”
She confessed that there was a time when she hated being part African, and she attributed this to peer pressure.
“Because people were always making fun of me, I used to get embarrassed and I started hating the fact that I was half African. However, I grew wiser and became proud of my African descent. I realised that it made me unique and special.”
Gloria is currently studying for a diploma in Mass Communication at INTI International College in Subang.
She said she hadn’t decided what career she would pursue, but apart from performing as a musician with her three siblings, she is also interested in journalism, among other things.