Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Happy Birthday, Malaysia. My country. My home.


(Adam: Malaysia is my country. My home. I'll not let anyone F**K it up.)




In a few hours my country celebrates its 49th birthday. 49 years since we were rid of the shackles of the colonial masters. 49 years since we became a nation. 49 years of trying unsuccessfully to be ONE people.

Throughout the peninsula and over in Sabah and Sarawak millions of once-a-year patriots will be waving Jalur Gemilang’s and shouting MERDEKA!!! on cue. In stadiums, on the streets, in pubs, by the beach. Millions more will be at home in front of the TV. Contributing their few seconds of annual patriotism. Before they switch channels back to the EPL or some reality show calculated to instill such great values in our Malaysian lives as envy, greed, pipe dreams and overnight success without passion or effort. There will be much party-ing and celebrations. The reasons for celebrating? Nobody really knows except that it is August 31 and it is our Independence Day and it’s a day off work. For most Malaysians I daresay it will be just another holiday with the chance to look at some fireworks if one happens to live near enough to where they are being fired.

Tomorrow will be a different story. It will be back to the mundane routine. Of trying to earn a living while trying to avoid being run down by mad drivers, enduring badly maintained public transport, coping with rising costs with static salaries. Of wishing for better things. Of having absolutely no options. Wondering what has happened to the last 49 years of hopes and aspirations.

For some it will be a return to debates about the really IMPORTANT things in life. Luxury cars and who are entitled to buy how many at what price. How to cut down more trees and build more houses and then how to refute all allegations of wrong doing when lives are lost in landslides and collapsed homes.

For others it will be back to arguing about scenic bridges and sand deals. How many bullets national service trainees expand in the novel idea of shooting guns as part of service to the nation.

Long after the smoke from fireworks has blown over to a neighbouring country to choke their lungs for a change. And the celebratory litter has been cleared from the streets, proud Malaysian flags will be left to rot and tear in the ever-choking smog of indifference. Until next August 31.

Hopefully, there will be some Malaysians who will spend the day quietly reflecting on the times when ALL of us were just Malaysians without the distinctions of race or creed. Living, working and being ONE people in an independent nation with tremendous potential to become a happy, prosperous country of diversity.

Hopefully, there will be many Malaysians who will make a stand and not allow their homeland to deteriorate into a slum of polarised disintegration. Malaysians who will say “Enough!” to political double-speak and make personal commitments to work hard towards efforts to really achieve true nationhood. Malaysians who will stay and fight for real independence, harmony and solidarity. Malaysians who will finally understand the oft-misinterpreted slogan KERANAMU MALAYSIA. That Malaysia is NOT Pak Lah. Or Najib Razak. Or any of the circus of politicians with facial hair that jostle to get their mugs included with that slogan.

Malaysia is you and me. Our families. Our neighbours. Our communities. Malaysia is US!

KERANAMU MALAYSIA. MALAYSIA, THAT I LOVE.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MY MALAYSIA, MY HOME.

29 comments:

Dean Arif said...

Patrick,

At midnight tonight, may I "virtually" stand beside you, with my right fist over my chest and reflect over our 49th year of "independence" while listening proudly to the Negaraku?

These are excerpt from my blog (http://deanarif.blogspot.com) that I wrote couple of hours ago:

There’s no cause for celebration tonight. What we call “independent” is really just a superficial piece of paper. Think about it:

Local councils behave like they are the feudal lord of the land, and the people, whom they are supposed to serve are not to question their deeds (or misdeeds) because they are above the law. Have we achieved independence?

Our forests and natural resources continued on being plundered, more so, after our colonial masters have left town. Have we achieved independence?

Our people are more divided along racial and religious lines, so that the “ruling” government could continue to play magic tricks on the unsuspecting masses. What’s the difference between that and the colonialist “divide and rule”? Is that independence?

Apartheid still exists in the new form called “Ketuanan Melayu”. We have not achieved true equality among the races. Product from 49 years of independence?

The bumis are protected under the stifling NEP, rendering them incompetent, impotent and lazy, and nobody is to challenge this special “crutch”. I don’t think that’s independent, do you?

Local universities are churning out jobless, mindless apes. What can they do? Become perompak and penyamun? Education system free of political meddling? Is that what you call independent?

More of our youths are on drugs, prostitution is “legal”, criminal kingpins are smiling in and out of the bank. Muggers, purse-snatchers, murderers, slashers and rapists rule the streets. Is that the characteristics of an independent nation?

Thousands are living below the poverty line, more will follow suit as a result of economic inequality and inflation. Public transportation is a cruel joke and public funds are being used to bailout failed GLCs, just so we can have selected few rich cronies while the working class are forever screwed. Is that the price we pay for independence?

Freedom of expressions curbed, corruption is the SOP of the day and soon “big brother” will come looking for people like me, putting the real fighters behind bars in the absence of trial, rotting away... still dreaming of transparency, integrity, sincerity, efficiency and most elusive of all... justice!

Happy Independence Day!?

Ah Chong said...

Much has been said about the close cooperation between races which was the major factor of how independence was achieved. After 49 years of independence, we can see the major races in Malaysia is not going to be united as long as the powers to be insist on communal politics. I strongly believes that the Malays have no problem living with other races and vice versa. At any given time, we will help each other but the politicians spoil everything. To them, unity is not important anymore, they strive in divide and rule. Unity will not be important until it is lost.

My hopes for this merdeka, the media to start highlighting how Malaysian lives together achieving success rather than highlighting issues that will cause more divide and chaos.

Happy Birthday Malaysia.

Manny said...

I'd agree with a majority of Dean Arifs comments. In a few hours it will be the 'Merdeka Celebrations' but Its feel no different then any other holiday if I had to be honest. 49 year has no other significance other then being just another number to me now. Most countries celebrate their people and what they have achived as a ONE people for the people, but tomorrow we'll see tens of floats celebrating Malaysia's tallest/biggest/most expensive/etc but just along side that will be the various ethnic groups and races and creeds parading in their own 'special' group, unwittingly displaying what it truely means to be 'Malaysian'. We are not ONE people but crayons in a box, many colors different names.

Welcome back uncle Pat!!! Glad your back, its been awhile since your last post. :)

JT said...

Uncle!!!!!

Welcome Back.
Sadly, i'm not in Malaysia to celebrate it.

Happy Merdeka to you and family and to everyone who visit this blog!

No holiday for me tomorrow. :(

Anonymous said...

it seems to me that the 'older/mature' our nation grows...the more ridiculous it has become...no thanks to our leaders and policy makers...

sensitive 'mat rempit' anyone?

but i remain hopeful that things will improve...not sure if that's a smart or an absolutely idiotic thought...but i still have them..

i'm sure lotsa people out there still have them too...

happy malaysian day boys and girls

Billy said...

Merdeka Day is just another day to me. What is there to celebrate? To celebrate such an occasion is to mock the late Tunku's efforts in obtaining independence for us from the Brits. We were supposed to be one tight knitted after 49 years of nation-hood, but sad to say, this is not so. We are drifting further and further apart, sharply divided by racial and religious issues all raised by UMNO. The day the prime minister told us to shut up and not to discuss our concerns pertaining to our rights as a citizen, I knew then we are finished! I also realised there and then that we no longer have a prime minister where we can fall back on for protection. Our Malay brethren are so lucky that they have a prime minister to look after their welfare while we. the non-Malays, are now left to fend ourselves. Out of the blues we have become an Islamic state and if that is not bad, the cost of living have spiralled uncontrollably upwards due to the increase in petrol. In Parliament, we have been told to get lost if we did not like this Islamic state. Our Federal Constitution has been so badly distorted that it becomes a "tails I win, head you lose" situation, win to BN and lose to the non-Malays. In 2004, the prime minister assured us he would leave no stones unturned in his move to eradicate corruption. Until today, little is being done to curb such unwanton activities for had the prime minister been serious, he would from the outset of his premiership released the ACA to Parliament and not to his office.

I am bottled up with so much of apprehension that it would be sheer impossible for me to celebrate this auspicious occation. Just give me one reason to .....

The Name is.................... said...

i agree wif u patrick, although we may have been independent for 49 years but our mentality has moved 59 years back. politicians from oxford that has the backing of Father in Law just made this meaningless merdeka(to me)more meaningless and worthless. i want to see this country develop infact i dread for it. however, the realistic part of me told me it's not going to happen with the current state of the country. it's sad, very sad to see the stage of the country now. all we need imo is a change, a drastic change. i'll end my comment with a quote from V for Vendetta, "People should not be afraid of the government, the government should be afraid of their people".

astrosurge said...

i admit i diss my country alot.
i diss my country cos i lap my country but not the gomen.
anyway, i dedicate a satirical Merdeka 'Pun-Tone' (pun intended) in my site.
feel free to have a look.

happy merdeka day folks.

TP Lim said...

I would like to take this opportunity to greet all you Malaysians a happy 49th merdeka from Perth, Australia.

Kenny Ng said...

yes... Malaysia is US! I love my country but not the leaders. Good one Patrick!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Malaysia. After 49 years of independence we can boast the tallest flag pole in the world, 2nd or 3rd tallest building in the world, cronyism, half a million dollar billboards, KLIA, National service, hill slope developments, inflation, sugar shortage, media gag, favouritism, AP for politicians, various achievements in guiness records of Malaysia which never fails to amuse me, and as long as a civil servant/politician carried out ANY action with 'good intention', semuanya Okay.....Syabas Malaysia.

lecram sinun said...

Patrick, I'm starting a weekly feature that may be of interest to you. Swing by sometime and check out DA COUNT!

Anonymous said...

Its sad to see that on her birthday, Malaysia copped all these crappy comments above .....all that flogging sure aint gonna help the poor gal ! C'on guys, surely there is more to life than wham-banging politicians and growling about the sorry state of affairs. Can we not put all that aside just for one day and allow our minds and hearts to see her beauty and her grace ? Dont be digging and digging hard in search of faults and ugliness...give the lady some dignity.

(Pandora)

Julius Bean Laden said...

There you are, Pat. Well said.... Malaysia is our HOME. Golden jubilee coming and I hope we will not be labeled as "Megara SEDANGGGG membangun". More to be done...

MALAYSIA for the FUTURE..... Cheers 2020 and beyond....!!

TERRY GALLYOT - MR ASIA. said...

Great blog patrick!By the way i've linked your blog to mine www.gallyot.blogspot.com Drop by for a visit sometime k.

Laynie said...

I hope we'll all try to see past the passionless shell that our comfortable Malaysian lives have crawled into and aim for something beyond day-to-day pleasures.

The peace and luxury our people enjoy has now become something the younger generation think they simply have a right to, without really putting thought or effort into how to best to utilize such blessings, much less how to defend it.

But yeah, despite the little flaws, we're very, very fortunate indeed to be Malaysians.

We just need to realize that.

A.B said...

I guess coming from the younger generation (Am 28 btw), I lack the sense of depth or patriotism many of the readers of the blog here. While all are valid comments and I truly agree that from a big picture perspective - politics, corruption, inequality of races, destruction of natural resources - I feel honoured to be called a Malaysian.

Day in and day out, I work with people of difference races, I have lunch with people of different races, my best friends are of different races and I see people of different races working together to fight for what is important to them.

And if the number of comments posted here are any indication, we do care about the state of Malaysia, regardless of our race, the reason why we care is because we are Malaysians!

Happy Merdeka one and all.

Maxforce said...

We have too many hypocrites on the top (and bottom too, actually). Sigh...

leo said...

you're wrong.. the day after merdeka, alot of ppl will be on leave.. so it's not back to the mundane life YET.. =) Cheerios from langkawi!

Anonymous said...

Patrick,
We need people like u to run our country. But the problem is most people like you dont want to , like even Oprah would be one of the better candidates to run Uncle Sam , but she doesnt want to. Who wants to... whos really interested to get into politics.... exactly those who see the benefit for themselves. We need strang leader .. someone who has ALL our interest at heart. I dont think my country loves me. Im not even recognised as a Malaysian. I have to tick the 4 choices. And sad to say I will always be ticking one of the 4 if conscientious people like yourself will not be our leader.

-Not loved by my country-

Cuddly Family said...

i always used to fill in the "lain-lain" as Malaysian on forms.. or I had an argument with some official that insisted that I had to be christian cos Im mat salleh celup (nemind my inclination is for buddhism).. sigh..

reading the papers these days is quite depressing... well, when my kids go to national school, will see what happens to them.. they look mat salleh celup too.. (hahahhaa poor guys in many ways)... Told my kids we are malaysian, this is what we've been trying to teach them, as my parents have always taught us..

Politicians are the same everywhere hehe.. What real alternatives do we have? I see from today's papers that a blogger citing his opinion on Pak Lah has been quoted...

TERRY GALLYOT - MR ASIA. said...

WOKEY LA PATRICK...ADDED YOUR PIC TO MY BLOG.SORRY IT WASNT THERE EARLIER HEHEHEEE...SUDAH TUA LA...A BIT FORGETFUL.

Angeleyes said...

haiz...our country will be sending astronuts to space but in someone else space shuttle...spending unnecessary huge amount of $$$ which an be better used in helping those who hardly have food to eat or a roof over their heads but our gov think we should have our own spacemen so that they can start to boast 'our men been to space'... and another record in the dumb Malaysia Book of Records.

Then we are paying taxes to fund some stupid re-training programmes for unemployed uni graduates... (graduated still needs retraining?) Don't that mean our educational system is a huge flop?

It's getting from bad to worst...that's how I see our country... *sigh*

Though we looked muhibah from the outside but I really wonder if we are really muhibah from the inside.

mob1900 said...

Allow me to echo Patrick's call to make this young nation a better country to live and prosper. Let's us hope our leaders pay heed to our humble pleas and reasoning so we could truly celebrate Merdeka Day with genuine patriotism and love for this country.

toniXe said...

People dream of and have grand visions of utopia where everybody lives happily together, one unified nation, one culture, one religion, one direction.

It so happens Malaysia has multi cultures, multi religions, multithinkings. Therein lies the faultline( waiting to Explode )

In economic terms, wants are many, supplies are limited. As long as one group wants(or has achieved) a bigger pie(inbalance/disequilibrium? ) than the others by means fair and foul Malaysia will continue to be what it is today for a long time, until another leader in the mould of Genghis Khan appears.

Malaysia has now fallen under the "random walk " theory where everything is left to this thing called Chance ( or law of the jungle )

may the strongest survive !

zee kin said...

cpoliticians are actors. They act to get their money.

Do you thhink the policies are meant to help the so-called underaverage malays? No, they are all designed for the actors and actress themselve. Prove it wrong by showing me a minister who stays in a semi-d!

Anonymous said...

Patrick,
Where you? Come back to blog. Miss you leh

vagus said...

amen to that.
big fan of yours, by the way.

Manny said...

something Angeleyes said intriguied me;

haiz...our country will be sending astronuts to space but in someone else space shuttle...spending unnecessary huge amount of $$$ which an be better used in helping those who hardly have food to eat or a roof over their heads but our gov think we should have our own spacemen so that they can start to boast 'our men been to space'... and another record in the dumb Malaysia Book of Records.

What's up with sending up astronouts la. I mean if its for a good cause or for some scientific research then ok. But the gomen spent weeks apparently 'training' the candidates then selecting the 'right' one only to later send tht fler up into space to do a teh tarik so we can add another mindless record to the books. Has Malaysia lost it? It's like we're trying desperately to get the worlds attention now. What next? Be the first country to lube up rocket parts with minyak gamat?