Monday, August 15, 2005

Merdeka?


17 days left before we celebrate our nation’s birthday. It will be 48 years to the day we left the charge of the British Empire and struck out on our own; a new charter, one people, and a common hope.

I must admit, all that happened long before I was born. I wasn’t around that fateful day in 1957. I didn’t have a share in the journey towards independence. But none the less I grew up believing in the dream. The dream that we are one family, partners in a grand venture vested in the nurturing of a diverse and prosperous nation.

I love my country; it was here I was born. Here are my roots, all my friends, all my memories… Having traveled and lived abroad only reinforces the fact that there’s no place like home. My heart is here.

Sadly, day by day I read the papers, watch the news and ponder the opinions of my fellow Malaysians. Everyday I am faced with the dreaded reality that very likely I will have to one day leave this land I call home for good.

It’s a very depressing prospect. Have we come so far to achieve only so little? One would wonder if we have achieved anything at all. For sure, Malaysia is far more modern compared to 50 years ago. But all that is moot. It is not the buildings nor the technology nor the money that define a country. Raze it all, for it can be rebuilt. What is important is the people.

Everyday you hear about it. The need to develop one race over the other, the need to make so called ‘towering figures’ and the desire to continue the policy of denying some so that others may prosper. For years we lived with it, as partners we understood that it would serve the common good that all partners were equally as capable.

But is affirmative action the way to go? History has proven time and time again that all providing a social safety net does is bankrupt a country and in this case, it’s not just money we are losing.

It’s absolutely heartbreaking when you think about how we were all sleeping at the wheel. Our family is falling apart, one by one our partners are fed up and taking their leave. At so many points in our history we took the quick fix to hard pressing problems and left our bases uncovered.

The desire of leaders of the day to hold on to power has left the leadership barely functional. The desire to sweep social issues under the rug instead of address them head on has split us. The desire to be holier then others has left us regressing rather then progressing.

My father said to me and my siblings, “You are still young. Leave while you still can, go elsewhere find a new life and don’t come back.” Grim words, but the sad part is he’s right. Slowly our future is being eroded. The country is being run by idiots, its machinery is kept turning by greed and fueled by fanatism.

17 days from now, we don’t need a celebration. We need a funeral. What is there to parade about with the nation in crisis? This Merdeka day, I hope everyone will take a long hard look at our past, take a critical eye to our present and think of our future, for if we don’t there may not be one.

3 Comments:

Blogger Tracy said...

Well said.

It's kinda sad how everyone wants to leave this place now.

Just the other day Xian was saying that he's never coming back to Msia ever, because he's better off staying in Canada.

Why not be a second class citizen in a foreign country when you're being treated as a second class citizen in your own country? That's what they think.

It's been 48 years now, and for 48 years the bumis have been relying on the government to solve all their problems. One would think that 48 years is enough for them to stop acting like little kids, change their attitudes and start standing on their own.

But I seriously doubt that it's going to happen anytime soon.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005 11:55:00 AM  
Anonymous dinghy said...

Heh, follow me to the states after grad! :P Great prospects for people in our line with big ambitions. It's not problem free there of course, but still a whole lot better off than here IMO.

Thursday, August 18, 2005 7:01:00 PM  
Blogger Justin K C Yap said...

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Tuesday, August 30, 2005 1:41:00 AM  

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