Friday, August 31, 2007

Malaysia's 50th Merdeka

Happy 50th Independence Day to MALAYSIA

It's our `Golden jubilee' after all since that midnight when our first Prime Minister shouted `Merdeka`" three times as the Union Jack lowered and our new flag that signified a new nation was raised...

176 years of colonial rule by the British came to an end that day. And now it's 50 years on. There were struggles and periods of political instability, such as the ugly and painful memories of the riots of May 13 1969 and there were many `proud' moments in technological breakthrough like the Petronas Twin Towers that were the tallest building in the world for a few years.

I don't claim to be patriotic..In fact every year, August 31st was just another holiday and it passed me without feeling of any pride or joy. You know I don't really go out into the street and celebrated like those folks you saw on TV did. But since this year IS a grand celebration after all, so I did turned on the TV close to midnight as well as when I got up this morning.

Guess what? I found a total of NINE channels - all six local channels and three from Astro broadcasting the parade live from 7:30am to 11am this morning! I also heard airplanes (for the parade) flown above the sky.. oh, of course there were fireworks at midnight and in the morning too.

I was `inspired' to write a post on this because this day causes to think and reflect of what I really think of our country. I am always quite proud and happy to be a Malaysian - after all, this is a `promised land'. We are blessed with beautiful land, abundant natural resources, devoid of any natural disasters; and we are a multiracial, multicultural and multi-religious lot that live together in harmony (more towards harmony than friction anyway) There are many things you can be thankful of living here..

BUT, yes, there is a but.. even a rather apolitical person like me can feel that not all is right and rosy. Especially in the last couple of years, politically and socially things aren't that great.. If you are a Malaysian you will know what I'm referring to. The `political climate' since the reign of our current PM has not been improving but there had been more tension between political, religious and racial groups.. and what about freedom of speech and all the antagonism towards bloggers (the Socio-political ones)? All that aside, there are the increase in violent crimes, the on-going corruptions within government sectors and police force.. With an upcoming general election around the corner, we probably will see something quite interesting.. and I hope that everyone, especially the younger generation will come out to make their votes count.

No, I'm not wishing for a revolution (maybe some people think Malaysia needs that!!) but I do pray for more wise and righteous leaders to arise and those useless, chauvinistic bigots who are more concern of making snide remarks on women or how Gwen Stefanie is bad influence on our youths will disappear from our sights (oh well, one gets to wish..)

So, on this milestone of our nation, I can't help to wonder whether we have really achieved what our founding fathers hope we would be in 50 years. Are we really moving towards the vision of a developed nation as our ex-PM set up to? Even if economically and technologically we might be doing that, being a developed nation means more than the infrastructure. The government and the people, their mindset, our education level, security and safety AND basic human rights and freedom of speech are all IMPORTANT ingredients.. Oh well, I feel we still need probably another 50 years and not 13 years to reach there..

All said, I'm still glad I'm Malaysian. After all, no nation and no government are perfect. There maybe many things we are unhappy about in Malaysia, I can also easily tell you a list of things that are good. Honestly I have never thought of immigrating though I know quite a number of people do and I don't really blame them for they have their reasons and preference.

But still to me, Malaysia IS my home and I never feel so at home living here than in any places I've been to in the world.. even Bali! ;)



Anonymous said...

Well written, and Keep writing.

jesscet said...

thanks.. but actually it was more blabbering than a thoughtful piece.. :p

Anonymous said...

You who I am ; )

jesscet said...

who else can it be? :p