Malaysia has a multi-racial and multi-ethnic community, and we used to live harmoniously with each other until race-based politics were introduced. However, it appears that some politicians are now moving on to once again embrace the differences between races, cultures and religions.
Recently, a video of Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi speaking Mandarin while campaigning for the Padang Serai parliamentary seat had gone viral with many netizens praising him.
During the ceramah, Zahid said that the collaboration between Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Harapan (PH) to form a unity government is essential for the progress of the country.
“I learned from my mistakes. BN and UMNO learned from our mistakes. We indeed had a lot of money during the 2018 election. But money is not everything, though everything needs money,” he said.
Speaking in Mandarin
Out of a sudden, Zahid switch to Mandarin and said, “Wo mei you qian. Hen duo qian? Bu zhi dao, bu yao qian (I don’t have money. A lot of money? I don’t know, I don’t want money).”
“I am Malay. You are Chinese. I am Malaysian. We are all Malaysians, right?” he continued in Mandarin.
The video has since gone viral on Twitter, with many netizens praising Zahid for his spirited speech, especially when he switched to speaking in Mandarin.
“Zahid can speak Chinese after joining PH for just one week,” a netizen joked.
Zahid Hamidi ni baru seminggu masuk Pakatan Harapan dah reti cakap Cina. pic.twitter.com/gT8r5nbaJo— Zailee (@zaileefd2) December 6, 2022
Zahid had a Chinese foster father
Nonetheless, it is worth noting that Zahid was able to speak Mandarin because he was raised by a Chinese foster father.
“I must tell Chinese journalists that I have a Chinese foster father. I sold ice-cream together with him way back when I was in Primary One to Primary Six … for six years.”
“His children are like my own siblings. They are from the Hai Lam Clan, and we had lunch and dinner together at their kitchen. Until now, I still maintain my relationship with them,” he said.
Meanwhile, New Straits Times reported that Zahid has a Chinese godmother who he visits almost every Chinese New Year.