Thursday, August 31, 2006

Malaysia, Oh Tanah Air Ku...

(Malaysia, Oh my home land...)

Malaysia, Oh Tanah Air ku..
Tanah tempat tumpah darahku
Negeri elok yang aku puja ...
err errr

alamak I have forgotten the lyrics..

That is not the Malaysian National Anthem, by the way. It's just one of the numerous patriotic songs we have.

On 31st August 1957, Malaysia declared independence from England. Our independence were acquired peacefully with no blood shed. Our first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, travelled to England with a bunch of other folks (dammit check your history books lah) to negotiate our independence, and he came home victorious. On this day 49 years ago, he stood in Stadium Merdeka in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, announced our independence and shouted "Merdeka!" (Independence) 3 times.
Most malaysians have seen the grainy picture of him with his (left? right?) hand shooting up straight in the air. We shout the same thing every year at the end of August.

I wonder if we shout it with the same conviction, and the same passion as our predecessors.
Or do we shout it in a drunken stupor, amidst beer smelling teenagers who half cheer, half jeer at untalented artistes prancing about on a makeshift stage, and then ooh and aaah at the fireworks display.
Are the papers printing stories that are relevant to building a proud and independant nation, or are they still recovering from Siti's matrimonial wardrobe?

I hope that 'independence' means half as much to me as it did to Tunku Abdul Rahman,
and I hope that its meaning will not be entirely lost to my kids.

Selamat Hari Merdeka, Malaysians! (wherever you may be).

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