Tag Archives: Family

Siblings for Life

Because of my name, many friends and acquaintances often wondered aloud about my family. The Malay name seems to fascinate them to no ends. The background of my name is too complicated for me to explain everytime some asked, so I went for the mixed parentage route.

But that did not satisfy the more curious ones. Which one of your parent is Malay? They’ll ask (good-naturedly, of course). Wait, don’t tell me, it’s your father, right?

The fact is my family is no different from many of you out there. Yes, it is kinda dysfunctional, but for some reasons we managed to hold everyone together. As of now, my mum stays in the States, my brother and his father alternate between Penang and Ipoh, where my aunt and her family live, and me in Singapore.

My sis, who bores the same curse of a Malay name as I am, and was born two years after me, stays in Johor Bahru. Had been so for as long as I can remember. She moved there from Ipoh not long after I have left our home for Singapore.

As we grew up, my sis and I didn’t really get along well. I am not one to air my dirty laundry (or, in this case, my family’s) in public, so let’s just say we contradicted each other a lot, wanted very different things in life, and have drastically opposing characters and personalities.

I was the model student. Studied like there was no tomorrow. Do all sorts of activities in school. A stickler for law and order (afterall, I was the Head Boy in my primary and secondary schools). Always try not to upset anyone, always gentle, always forgiving.

She was a rebel in every sense. Developed a headstrong character and always spoke her mind. Very outgoing, have loads of friends, learned to drink and smoke wayyyy before I do. Had been in (minor) car accidents more times than I could count.

Even to this day our characters remain very different from each other. What changed since then is how I feel about her, and in some ways, I sensed it is the same on how she feels about me.

We learned to respect what each other is doing, and for daring to be the person we want to be. We learned to appreciate that both of us have come a long way to be at where we are today, and that we are both successful in our own ways.

Yes, we may not be in touch as often as we should. I might not always remember to call her during her birthdays (for what it’s worth, I did remember for the past three years!). She might still speak to me in that crude way of hers.

Recently I went to visit her in JB. I couldn’t explain why, but I was very delighted to see her. And I was very proud. More proud than I ever was about her. To see the way she works. To see the home she built for herself. To see how much she cares about our family. To see how she made me feel welcomed in her own way.

And I know she is reading this. For some reason she found my blog (and I am not sure if I should feel happy or worried).

So this is for you, my dear sis. Your brother here is very proud of you. For better or worse, we are always siblings. For life.

My Sis & I