Saturday, August 29, 2009

Merdeka 52 Years of Malaysia

This Merdeka is our 52nd year of existence as a nation. It might be a good time to reflect on what it really means to be Malaysians. Does it only end at us ticking an immigration form stating our country of origin? Is it just a denomination we use to reply to others who ask us which country we are from? Is it nothing but a name and no more? Lets look back to nearly half a century and see what we had to go through to get to this point in history. Multiple races finding their destinies entwined in a foreign land, staying on because of the promise of opportunities and a place to call home, hardships and wars, having to forge a nation from so many diverse patches of origins, people, religion and background can be a daunting task. We might gripe and complain that things are not right in the country, we may bellyache about the corrupt and incompetence of our politicians, our growing mistrust and fragmented society, our unjust and self-defeating lack of meritocracy and fairness but we must also take to mind that we have a lot to thank for. Where as could've gone the way of Yugoslavia with its endless sectarian and racial wars and terror leading to its eventual breakdown as a country, we are still very much vibrant and intact as a people and as a country. So what does that say about us? No country is perfect.

For this Merdeka, forget about the political infighting, the actions of extremist and fanatics that want to paint us Malaysians as a intolerable, bigoted and fascist bunch, the ever present corruption and injustice. What Merdeka means to us is freedom, freedom to do right or wrong but by our own. If we fail than we have only ourselves to blame. Politicians would always like to remind you that the success of the country is due to the Government and how they have led us the past 50 or so years. I say the success of this country lies more in the ordinary people that have given their sweat and blood to build this country up. As great as leaders such as Tunku Abdul Rahman and those lesser leaders that has followed in his footsteps, Malaysia would not be a reality if not for the man on the street. So let it be a celebration among us the rakyat and that no matter how bad things are on the top, we as a nation led by the actions of the individuals chart a course that will bring us to greater heights.

When the national anthem Negaraku starts playing, stand tall and sing, not for the politicians, not for the government but for your country and for yourselves. Happy Merdeka Day come Monday.

No comments: