Independence Day??  

Posted by Kamelia

It's official! Town councils all over Malaysia are all geared up for the Merdeka celebrations and plans are already on the way to make this year's Independence Day parade and festivities a success. I know, what’s the big deal right? So the government’s wasting more money after building countless flyovers, road expansions and failed anti-smoking campaigns. “What is the damn point?” some of you say.

I was in school one day, when my General Paper teacher opened up a topic for free discussion. She asked this, “What is the significance of celebrating Hari Merdeka?” Almost immediately, this rather annoying who sits behind me, said in an undertone so only me and my friend sitting next to me could hear her, “There is no reason to celebrate it. It’s a waste of money. I think we were better off being colonised by the British. Things are worse now then it was then.”

That comment made me and my friend Kas drop our jaws almost involuntarily, and we stared at her for a good minute, trying very hard not to clobber her in the head. (Not a very nice thing to do when you are supposed to be 19) I couldn’t give an answer then that could truly justify such an insult, and so I will say it now.

Why? Why celebrate Merdeka? Why not? People died to give us independence. People suffered as they stood their ground. Although our country were given independence rather peacefully, events that led up to it was certainly not. I am truly dumbfounded that there are people out there who stay in this country, benefited from it, and was educated in it, could say and even think such a thing. Truly they haven’t been paying attention during history class. Or was it beneath them to understand it's significance.

Merdeka is NOT just the parade you see passing by. It is not the heart warming advertisements you see on television. It is also not the decorations and banners that are strewn across the town. Merdeka (Independence) is simply, to me anyway looking outside and seeing people walking by without a care in their mind. It’s being able to walk into a grocery shop and buy my favourite chocolate bar. It’s looking around my classroom, and laughing at my friend Nakulan hitting on Sheau Wei. Words can’t begin to describe to me how proud of I am of my country. It saddens me that there are people out there, youths in particular who are so adamant that this country is going to the dogs, and take everything for granted.

Yes, we do have problems. Our local transportation is nothing to brag about. The pipes are always bursting. The garbage management is horrendous, and it takes two hours for the police to come on a distress call. But you also have to remember, that in less than 50 years, we’ve achieved more than what the First World countries have done in the same space of time. Give us a little more time. Don’t put your own country down. Have a little faith. And hell yeah, I say, we do have reasons to celebrate Hari Merdeka. About 26 million of them. (The number of Malaysian citizens – last time I checked)
Posted by Hello

This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 22, 2005 . You can leave a response and follow any responses to this entry through the Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom) .


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