On this occasion of Malaysia Day today, here is Anneke Gronloh performing Oh Malaysia.
Thanks to blog reader Suku who sent in the clip with this message:
I am attaching a beautiful song which is most apt in conjunction with Malaysia Day. The paradox and irony about this song is that it was sung by a non-Malaysian, Aneke Gronloh, in 1963 the year Malaysia was formed resulting in the Confrontation period. Aneke is Indonesian by birth but migrated to Holland.
ANNEKE GRONLOH had a big Dutch hit record in “Brandend Zand” in 1962. To build on the popularity of her “Asmara” and “Bengawan Solo” in South East Asia in the early 60’s, Anneke took the same musical arrangement and recorded “Oh Malaya.” 1963 saw the creation of a new country called Malaysia, made up of formerly British-governed Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak and Sabah. “Oh Malaya” was quickly changed to “Oh Malaysia,” and this song helped to foster the new and growing national pride of the new Malaysians. (This video was taken in 2000.)
On the shore beyond the tropical sea
You will stand to welcome me
On the shore beneath the sky so blue
All my dreams at last will come true
Oh Malaysia, land of glory
Where I found my heart’s true love
In a night so warm and tender
With the moon and stars above
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Who was the composer and when was it composed?Anneke Gronloh sang the word “Malaya” ,clearly indicating that she was not aware that there was a Malaysia. The song was not in commemoration of Malaysia.
In the early 60’s when the transition from Colonial government to merger many Peranakan Dutch Indonesians who lived and worked in Singapore were post Colonial subjects. Anneke was one of them. Soon after that she left for the USA/Holland. At that time Singapore was part of Malaysia. I myself lived in Singapore at the time.
We are very sick because any national celebration is now tainted with BN propaganda.
Hi Anil, Thanks to you and Suku for posting this song, a very meaningful song on Malaysia Day, though sad that whatever is in the lyrics, like what Yang lamented, are for the moment sad memories of once what Malaysia used to be! More so, when Najib confirmed in Pekan that his 1Malaysia SLOGAN is mere sloganeering, that he is no less “1Malay, 2Malaysian” than the DPM! His contention of survival of the Malays in the next GE is to camouflage the fact that it is the SURVIVAL of BN and UMNO Baru’s endemic corruption and cronyism that is in… Read more »
Yes, the words are sad memories of what Malaysia once was. At the same time, they also represent the hope of what Malaysia COULD be in the future, if enough people wake up and resolve to work towards it.
Sheesh…this is really taking nostalgia to its limit, Anil! Perhaps you should also play Don Henley’s `End of the Innocence’ as a reality check, though it’s of a different context.
Ha, thanks for the reality check. Yes, we lost our innocence as a nation a long time ago.
I used to sing this song a long time ago and even not so distant ago. I can even sing almost all the lyric after so many many years. With it I has high hope and aspiration. It was a time when race was never the agenda. We have friends from Malay, Chinese, Indian and Eurasian and never ever talking about race or religion except our friendship and togetherness But now it seem very very distant to me With all the corruption and racism spewed by BN & UMNO through the years, now wherever I go, its all about race… Read more »