Today my country celebrates its 53rd birthday. Malaysia - land of opportunity and land of smiles. Malaysia - land of possibilities, and land of impossibilities. This is the land that these founding fathers worked so hard for, not necessarily the ones in this picture only. It was not an easy journey. I am sure there were sacrifices made which we have not learned about.
Land of -est. The tallest, the highest. The biggest, the most this and that. All these are things we are proud of. For a small country, we have a lot of superlatives. The vision of some of our leaders brought about these.
And yet, Malaysia is not about these superlatives. It is not about achievement in these matters. Even if we have the tallest / highest / biggest whatever, and yet we have not love for one another, if we have not respect for one another's differences and heritage, then we have NOTHING. A big ZERO. So what are we supposed to be about? This ....
learning to live together in perfect harmony with one another regardless of race, religion or creed.
We don't have to always agree with one another, that is to make us robots and yes-men. But it is perfectly fine to AGREE TO DISAGREE. We can be neighbours, friends, and even family.
Let us not forget what Merdeka is all about, what it meant to someone who was there when the Tunku shouted "MERDEKA" 7 times. Let us remember the sweat and tears ... who knows, and blood, that have been shed to get us that declaration of independence.
Even if we were not there 53 years ago, can we perhaps, learn to be colour blind when it comes to friendship? Does it matter who our friends are - when it comes to race? Aren't we of ONE race? We may have different cultural practices and religions, but, should that be a stumbling block to us?
As this country celebrates 53 years of independence, may we all grow up too. May we all behave like grown ups in a country that has gone through half a century of independence.
My wish list for this birthday celebration?
- that the elected leaders rule the country with the FEAR OF GOD!
- that these same leaders put the interest of the country ahead of their own interest.
- that corruption will greatly reduce (among political leaders as well as those little Napoleons).
- that the citizens of this country will learn to think logically and calmly before they act or speak (with knee jerk reaction)
- that the citizens of this country will cease to have unfair and uneducated opinions of other races.
And now, I look forward to celebrating Malaysia Day for the first time in 16 days' time.