M for Merdeka: What Are We Really Celebrating?

31 08 2007

merdeka50-halfmast-s.jpg

Well, it looks like I’m flying the flag after all, but with a difference.

Today is 31st August 2007, the 50th anniversary of Malayan Independence, and almost 44 years since the Federation of Malaysia was formed. Today should have been a meaningful day.

And it is, but not in the way it should be.

Today, millions of flags large and small are flying throughout the country this week, ostensibly to mark a great day in the history of Malaysia: the 50th anniversary of independence.But what are we really celebrating? What are all those flags flying for?

Institutionalised racism, rampant corruption, criminal incompetence, backdoor theocraticisation and emerging fascism?

A racist, manipulative, uncouth thug son-in-law of a hypocritical Prime Minister is chosen to raise the National flag. What an honour! Tunku Abdul Rahman must be turning in his grave.

These flags should be flying at half-mast; we are witnessing the slow and painful death of the nation born 50 years ago with such promise and potential, only to be sucked dry by robbers in high positions and strangled by fascist elements.

I for one will NOT be celebrating Merdeka on the 31st – not with the officials anyway. I have already celebrated with my fellow citizens — the true patriots — at the Bangsa Malaysia Merdeka gathering last week. I will not contribute to the hubris of the false patriots in government by participating in their expensive and hypocritical ceremonies.

It is a tragic reality that the original meaning of the flag, anthem, Rukunegara and even Merdeka has been lost. Virtually everything we see in the Malaysian government of today runs counter to the original principles and objectives of our Independence 50 years ago.

So, without the meaning, the flag, anthem and Rukunegara are nothing but hollow symbols. Why idealise a piece of colourful cloth? a piece of music? a list of aspirations and commitments?

Today, false patriots and hypocrites rule the country and hide behind the flag to disguise the fascism and rampant corruption that they and their minions have perpetrated. How can I celebrate that? How can the people celebrate that?

Samuel Johnson had this to say about false patriotism: “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” I would also add that false patriotism almost always looks more real than real patriotism.

Indeed, wrapping oneself in the national flag is the surest way to make one’s past wrongdoings go away. So, follow the flag(-bearer). The one raising it highest is often the one with the most sins to conceal. And today the son-in-law, that uncouth, racist, manipulative thug is the one chosen to raise the national flag. His very presence sullies the flag.
But there is one hope: people’s power. And that is what the yellow banner above the flag signifies: the fact that the country belongs to the people, and not the arrogant, corrupt hypocrites now in office. We put these hypocrites in office, and we can kick them out. Wear something yellow today, in a quiet but forceful show of solidarity with those who would dare speak out and say “Enough!”

Will you do what it takes to save your country?


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4 responses

31 08 2007
wong

Close an eye will live more happy life in Malaysia…

[ GhL ] : These days, one needs to close both eyes, stuff both ears with cotton wool AND pinch one’s nose shut to pretend not to know something is wrong in Malaysia.

1 09 2007
Stu

Malaysians
Alas
Lack
Analytical
Yearnings
Simply
Idolise
Abominations

May
Eventually
Reach
Democratic
Ethical
Kickarse
Accountabilty

What a shame, 50 squandered corrupted years

Suitable Motto:

“Never Mind the Quality, Feel the Width”.

4 09 2007
mopipi

It all starts with having race-based political parties, thus incorporating race with politics. Then, having different types of schools which is the national, indian, chinese and religious schools. That is a good way to promote racism, instead of unity.

When corruption made by the ‘big ones’ are exposed, we (not all) tend to close one eye on it, thinking it is just a one time spin-off and soon forget about it. When other people see that you can actually get away with it, well they follow suit. So many until we have come to thought of it as a normal occurrence.

As what you said: we need people’s power. But how do we have people’s power when we are still divided?


[ GhL ] :
THAT, my friend, is what the ‘Bangsa Malaysia’ initiative is all about: eliminating chauvinism in all its forms: (racism, religious supremacy and sexism). Racism in Malaysia will always be a chicken-and-egg situation as long as the perpetrators remain in power.

But we CAN break the cycle.

BMM2007 proved that despite the rhetoric, there really is harmony on the ground: harmony, ‘colour-blindness’, respect and a real appreciation of the cultural diversity we have in Malaysia. But ‘colour-blindness’ for adults is a conscious decision, and for many people it takes real effort to overcome years of racial conditioning. As I mentioned in an earlier post: race, religion and even gender does not matter, if WE decide it does not matter.

There’s a long way to go but I think we’ve made a good start.

5 09 2007
zewt

no one gave a shit…. i see no yellow… perhaps only a few… even that… dunno if it’s just a co-incident…

[ GhL ] : The campaign started too late to really spread around, only a few days before Merdeka.

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