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Malaysia oh Malaysia when will we be a nation United, Strong and Prosperous?

August 31, 2019

12 years ago i posted the piece below. Looking back when we’re celebrating 62 years of Merdeka today, i continue to ask: “Have things changed?”

You tell me, saudara saudari …

* A meaningless Merdeka
* A Malay Child of Merdeka
* A Malay Child of Merdeka: Columbia University’s Dr Azly Rahman
* Witnessing the very first Merdeka Day in 1957
What does Merdeka mean?
* The story of Malaysia that every child should know

50 wishes for our golden anniversary – one for each year of nationhood

(First published on 1 August 2007)

Come this 31st August and my beloved Malaysia will celebrate 50 years of independence from British rule.

It’s going to be a golden anniversary of nationhood. I should be proud. I should feel joy. I should celebrate the day like I have never celebrated before.

I will be honest. I am proud of my Agong and country. I am proud of my fellow Malaysians for whom they are and what they have achieved and will achieve for the good of other Malaysians. I am proud to be a Malaysian and will sacrifice my life to defend the country from any enemy attack. But I don’t feel joy and I don’t feel particularly upbeat about celebrating our upcoming 50th Merdeka Day. It’s sad.

Why is it that I feel the way I feel on the eve of our golden anniversary? I am not one who is so naïve to believe that nation-building is easy. Nothing is ever easy. More so when building a country from scratch on a promise that all will be just and fair. That the people will begin as one united, nurture the unity to grow from strength to strength, and together live to enjoy the fruits of their labor as the years progress.

I will be the first to admit that as a nation so far we have achieved much. We have seen good times and bad times. We have enjoyed some solid nation-building; we have also become victims of severe nation-breaking. Seriously, not all is bad. Yet, there still remains so much to be done.

Where it depresses me and continues to torment me most is this. Today, we may have the tallest, biggest and longest of most things, but, when we don’t have the most united of Malaysians throughout our beloved soil everything will come to nought. I particularly do not enjoy things. I enjoy people. Nothing gives me more joy than to see Malaysians of all color, standing and creed sitting down together and talking and chatting while enjoying mee-rebus, or whatever. This can bring a tear to my eye. But the tears that flow in the heart, because we have drifted so far apart as countrymen through the years, are the most hurting to the soul and it’s for this reason I will not celebrate Merdeka Day as I should.

Tears flow in my heart today, because after nearly 50 years, we are still a people divided.

Tears flow in my heart today, because after nearly 50 years, we are still a people suspicious of one another.

Tears flow in my heart today, because after nearly 50 years, we are still a people intolerant of one another.

Tears flow in my heart today, because after nearly 50 years, we are still a people trapped by willful racism.

How and why we have come to this, this far, and this long, is for every Malaysian to search his or her heart and wish for what needs to be done and then go about helping to bring it to reality – for a better Malaysia in the years to come. Now that will be really something worth celebrating.

As for the 50 wishes, I will lead …

My wish is posted in the comments section. Visitors who wish to post theirs to make up a list of 50 wishes for each year of nationhood can also do so there. All I ask is please be responsible in your posting and number your wish according to the running order. Thank you.


From → Malaysia Upclose

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