PETALING JAYA, April 17 — His deep love for Malaysia made Leon J. Muffett feel like there was more he could do to help lift the spirits of its citizens during the Covid-19 shutdown.
Not being able to “physically” do anything, due to the fact that he lives thousands of kilometres away back in his home country of the United States, Muffett decided to share a video of himself speaking Bahasa Malaysia (impeccably) in a bid to cheer everyone up.
Muffett, who currently teaches preschool students at his local church, uploaded the two-minute-long video onto his Facebook page two days ago, as he politely greeted Malaysians with a warm “Selamat Malam”.
“Good evening to all my friends in Malaysia and welcome to my home in Ridgefield, Washington,” said Muffett in the video in near-perfect Malay.
“During this time, when the world is filled with difficulties and problems my purpose is to try and lift your spirits and courage.
“Actually, I consider myself an adopted child of Malaysia. A country that is beautiful and peaceful, safe and sound. My country too.”
Muffett even put his hand on his heart when saying that he also considers Malaysia his home too, as the former school teacher used to live here and teach at SMK Air Hitam in Kedah in the 1970s.
He then humbly asked his would-be viewers to rise up and show respect as he proudly and passionately sang Malaysia’s national anthem Negaraku, smiling from ear to ear the entire time.
Muffett later explained in a string of posts on his page that he initially made the video to share with his former students from SMK Air Hitam and was amazed by the “flood” of love he has been shown by Malaysians since.
He even uploaded a post catered to his English-speaking friends, explaining and translating what he said in the video, describing it as an expression of his love for our country and its people.
“I have no idea how to say this. I’m out of thoughts and have lost my voice—there are no words to describe it,” said Muffett.
“This kerbau balar lubuk pinang (white buffalo), a nickname given to me by some of my former students and I call myself too, is full of gratitude.
“I’m so touched by the outpouring love thousands have shown me since I uploaded the video. My students are like family to me. I love them like they are my own. All I can say is thank you for your love.”
He even added a special post-script message for his beloved students as he told them (in an authentic northern accent) to stay at home and not go out anywhere during the movement control order (MCO) period—he even quoted a famous Malay proverb too!
“That’s all for now. Have a good night, I miss you all and hope to see you soon. Just don’t forget, while you may be too far for my eyes to see, you are close to my heart. Stay home and stay safe!” said Muffett.
Muffett’s post has since gone viral on social media platforms, garnering over 13,000 likes and nearly 9,000 shares.
Malaysian social media users were particularly impressed and touched by Muffett’s video, with many praising him for the fact that he still remembers how to speak Malay.
“You are the best because you actually learnt and care about the country and the people you met in your life,” wrote one user.
While another user took a more humorous approach, saying that he would buy Muffett a meal of nasi goreng ayam if he ever comes back to Malaysia.
Malaysia enters its 31st day since the MCO was put into effect to break the chain of the Covid-19 virus.