SHAH ALAM, Aug 10 (Bernama) — Ayman Rashdan Wong choosing to write in Bahasa Melayu on social media platforms, to share his knowledge about history and current issues, has gained Ayman Rashdan Wong a huge following, such that his posts are shared by thousands and his published books have been snapped up by readers.
The 33-year-old freelance writer said that he chose Bahasa Melayu as his writing medium because most of his Facebook friends and followers are Malaysians and he feels that it is appropriate for the majority of people in this country to communicate in the national language.
“The use of Bahasa Melayu is also deliberate to counter the perception that it is not a language that can be used to discuss serious issues such as international politics,” he told Bernama.
He said if academics and experts only used English in discussions, then people would eventually view Bahasa Melayu as inferior and not as prestigious as English.
“Personal experience also plays a role. As a graduate of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and a government official, I am definitely more comfortable and confident using Bahasa Melayu than English,” said Ayman Rashdan, of Chinese descent.
For him, writing is a way to remember and memorise things that he read, in addition to sharing his writings on social media or books for the purpose of popularising the study of international politics among Malaysians.
He added that he started sharing his thoughts through social media platforms in 2016, which was an interesting year for international politics when Brexit (the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union) and Donald Trump’s victory in the United States presidential election took place.
“In other countries, including Indonesia, discussion about the impact of these events was quite lively, and was discussed in a framework such as ‘the rise of populism’ and ‘the collapse of the liberal international order’.
“However, such discussions were not that lively in Malaysia because the understanding of these frameworks is, perhaps, still lacking among the public. Hence, with me sharing this it is hoped that it will popularise these frameworks,” he said.
He added that all his articles that were shared received mixed reactions, but on the positive side, now more people are interested in the international political and geopolitical discussions that are being highlighted.
“In fact, many young people have told me that my writing has inspired them to continue their studies in the field of international relations,” he said.
He said that his intention, in sharing knowledge about international affairs, was for readers to have a better understanding of the concept of national interest, which will not change, no matter who governs the country.
“If we have a better understanding of this aspect, we will be more protective towards our country and not hurling insult (against our own country) just because of personal dissatisfaction with those in power,” he said.