Born in Penang of mixed parentage, Roslan spent his early childhood years, with mostly Chinese friends. However moving on to UiTM at Shah Alam, his classmates were only Malays. “That allowed me to understand the different perceptions of Malaysians and in particular to notice that despite living within the same country, how differently they interact on an individual basis,” he says.
“For example, when I was in practice (in my architectural practice), with two Chinese partners, we would sit down for a very robust and argumentative meeting. The moment we finished, we would go out and have lunch together over a nice pot of fish head curry. Or likewise, in my secondary school year, I have two or three very close friends, and we enjoy challenging each other mentally often trying to outdo each other in robust debates. And we will argue, and want to push our ideas across, but what I think everybody realized was that this was a way to gain more knowledge. So off we go to read as much as we could on anything and everything and then get together, share that knowledge and often ending up arguing. Without realizing it, we were actually developing our thinking processes, ” Dato’ Roslan continues.
Whereas in UiTM, students were expected to blend in and integrate which he realized wasn’t easy for him as he was more of an introvert who was prone to being outspoken and that didn’t go down well with his classmates.
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