Thursday, August 31, 2006

About the lack of enthusiasm in celebrating Merdeka.

Malaysians are celebrating its 49th Independence Day today.

Some top government leaders have complained about the lack of enthusiasm in flying the national flag and even accused those who fail to do so as unpatriotic.

It’s true that there is a serious lack of enthusiasm in celebrating Hari Merdeka among Malaysians.

But do those government leaders know the reasons behind the phenomenon?

It has something to do with how far we have succeeded as a multiracial, multireligious and multicultural society after 49 years of Independence.

Racial slurs from the mouths of top government leaders could be heard every other day and numerous biased and divisive pro-Bumiputra policies are here to stay. These two factors itself have turned away many from the Merdeka celebration.

Do these government leaders realize that many Malaysians were disillusioned by various racial policies and racial slurs practiced and uttered by them? I believe more will fly the flags without persuasion if they feel that they were being treated fairly in their own country.


The current inflation and sluggish market have further dampened the mood of Merdeka celebration. Would Ahmad, Gurusamy and Ah Chong bring his families to Dataran Merdeka if they have not even gotten enough money to buy milk powder to feed their children?

Workers who were denied of minimum wages have no reasons to celebrate Merdeka.

Malaysians who were troubled by the escalating crime rates would also not celebrate Merdeka.

Small traders who cannot get enough sugar to run their tea stalls and coffee shops would also unlikely to gear up for the celebration.

And do you expect the Bandar Mahkota Cheras residents, where their main access road was blocked by the toll company to celebrate Merdeka?

Even MPs were not in any mood to fly the flag until they were given the flag free of charge by the Minister in the Prime Minister Department Datuk Nazri Aziz.

The powers that be cannot even look at our history of Independence straight and truthfully. They have chosen to write the history to serve their political agenda instead of giving credits to all our forefathers who really fought and sacrificed in the struggle for Independence. This is another reason why some Malaysians were not too keen in joining the celebration.

I am glad to note that PAS, as a political party, has openly acknowledged the contributions of various leftist movements and the Communist Party of Malaya in the struggle for Independence.

Top government leaders should stop pointing fingers to the ordinary citizens but to repent for their misdeeds and take steps to remove all racial policies.

That would certainly go a long way in creating a truly fair and just society.

When the day has come, no one needs to remind Malaysians to fly the flag.

/ Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew

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