Merdeka, Merdeka, Merdeka!!!


By Gayatri Unsworth
August 30, 2010

AUG 30 — We celebrate Merdeka tomorrow. And what do we have to show for it? Racist educators, intolerant politicians, bigoted pressure groups, xenophobic newspapers, crimes of vandalism against places of worship and other weird and not-so-wonderful things that can only happen in this nation. What a meaningful way to usher in Malaysia’s 53rd birthday!

If only our Bapa Malaysia, the late Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra, were alive to see the state of things today. To witness how the fruits of his labour have been utilised, and to observe how the unified Malaysia he dreamt of, still remain for the most part, a dream. To watch how we’ve spent the better part of the last half-century diligently dismantling piece by piece, the Malaysian unification he strived to hard to establish. To view the rapid extinction of the tolerant, empowered Malaysian, only to be replaced by one so blinded by prejudice that he is incapable of rational discourse towards his fellow countrymen. To hear words such as ‘pendatang’ and ‘penumpang’, to see protestors stamping on cow heads, to taste tear-gas and to smell the acrid odour of corruption, discrimination, oppression, and deception permeating Malaysian air.

I cannot help but wonder, what would the great man himself think? Have we truly done justice to Tunku’s inspirational and rousing declaration of “Merdeka, Merdeka, Merdeka”?

The British colonialists may be long gone but in their place appears to have sprouted various factions that have adopted the same divide and conquer strategy synonymous with the former. Groups that play on the insecurities of various Malaysian ethnicities for political mileage and popularity, without much consideration for the turmoil and carnage they willingly invite in doing so.

My beloved country appears to have been hijacked by certain quarters determined to see it crumble under the pressure of division and discord; the sensible, level-headed say of the average Malaysian repeatedly silenced by the violent rumble of dissonance. Yet, the voice of reason must prevail or we risk sacrificing everything we have achieved to a bunch of foolish thugs who dominate by flexing their insular, parochial muscles. If we truly love this blessed, extraordinary nation of ours, we must save it from being seized by brutes who shamelessly capitalise on primal instincts and insecurities.

Our forefathers, from a diverse range of race and religion, worked together as one tirelessly for us to enjoy the level of peace and harmony we have today. Yet, I fear that this concord which so many of us take for granted, is slowly being battered and eroded right in front of our very eyes.

We have allowed for far too long, those with detrimental, destructive agendas, to dictate how we live our lives; to instruct us how to detest and mistrust our fellow Malaysians by virtue of differing physical attributes, cultures and religious beliefs; to try and inculcate in us unfounded stereotypes and misconceptions; to attempt to instil in us a superiority complex that has neither place nor reason in tolerant, multi-cultural, democratic society.

We must stand up now and say No loud and clear, for nobody has the right to decide for you or me, the type of Malaysian we ought to be.

If we truly love this country, then we cannot allow for it to be reduced to a nation characterised by racist rhetoric and extremist diatribe. We cannot idly sit by and watch everything which our founding fathers struggled so hard to construct, washed away by caustic words and corrosive actions. We must disregard and delegitimise such abysmal deeds by uniting as a community, as a country, as a people. We must match unreasonable, excessive tirades, with eloquence, patience and composure, accepting that we know better. We are obliged to contest displays of unfounded ire with our own standards of rational conduct.

I love Malaysia for I am a daughter of this soil. This is my one and only home. My ancestors may have come from a different place but this is the country I proudly call my native land. I live in Malaysia because there is nowhere else I’d rather be despite having the opportunity to do so. Because I was born here and because till this day, when I hear the Negaraku my heart swells with pride and patriotism. And mostly because no matter what anyone may say, do, or think, I know that nothing can change the fact that I am Malaysian.

And so I call upon my fellow Malaysians to once and for all join hands and strive towards a truly genuine and united 1 Malaysia. Let us sincerely declare and demonstrate that we are wholly united and committed towards jointly making this nation of ours the best that it can be.

In the words of Martin Luther King Jr., “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools” and in memory of the great Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra, who nurtured Malaysia into existence, let us once again remember and relive the true spirit of “Merdeka, Merdeka, Merdeka.”

Happy 53rd Independence Day to all.

* Gayatri Unsworth is a 29-year-old writer, corporate trainer and academic who thinks it’s about time she voiced her opinions eloquently rather than just rant about them in her Facebook status column. She can be reached at gayatri[dot]unsworth[at]gmail[dot]com

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  1. #1 by pulau_sibu on Monday, 30 August 2010 - 11:33 am

    What Merdeka? Why there is no report about the fighting between SUPP Wong Soon Koh and DAP Wong Ho Leng related to the serious flooding of Sibu. It is very interesting.

  2. #2 by lorry_driver_malaysia on Monday, 30 August 2010 - 11:35 am

    Happy 53rd Independence Day ? what so special of this day when u heard all the racist remarks? it will be just a normal working day for me, drive the lorry and earn a living.

  3. #3 by dagen on Monday, 30 August 2010 - 11:46 am

    Let us learn a painful lesson from the manila killings. And the lesson is do not; and never ever support a regime that is corrupt, arrogant, abusive and incompetent.

    Happy merdeka.

    … err rambutan. Anyone … Well I will save it for another time. Sorry cintanegara. You will hv to wait another day. Spirit of merdeka ma.

  4. #4 by yhsiew on Monday, 30 August 2010 - 12:06 pm

    Malaysia is in such a sorry state of affairs today because our leaders are selfish. They put self-interest above everything else.

    Malaysia desperately needs leaders and politicians who are willing to make sacrifices to put the well-being of the people and country above self-interest.

  5. #5 by Jeffrey on Monday, 30 August 2010 - 12:09 pm

    ///If only our Bapa Malaysia, the late Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra, were alive to see the state of things today! I cannot help but wonder, what would the great man himself think? Have we truly done justice to Tunku’s inspirational and rousing declaration of “Merdeka, Merdeka, Merdeka”?/// -Gayatri Unsworth

    Well, for your information, the documentary directed by Malaysian filmmaker Justin Ong and produced by former actress Lina Teoh, which is premiered on Merdeka Day (Tuesday) – a result of a joint-venture between National Geographic, the Information, Communication and Culture Ministry, National Film Development Corporation (FINAS) and Astro – is based on the theme ” A Leader’s Legacy”.

    Guess who’s the past leader featured?

    No prize for guessing: Tun Abdul Razak!

  6. #6 by dcasey on Monday, 30 August 2010 - 12:36 pm

    “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools” – Martin Luther King Jr.

    Yeah right! In Bolehland, the band of thieves called DUMNO are the “brothers” and the Malaysian Rakyat are the “fools”…. what more can I say!

  7. #7 by sama on Monday, 30 August 2010 - 12:39 pm

    Year after year the state of the nation has been the same – riddled with racism, intolerance etc. The state of affair prevailing now is not new. Why the alarm? Just enjoy the Merdeka day.

  8. #8 by undertaker888 on Monday, 30 August 2010 - 12:44 pm

    i will celebrate merdeka when umno and the hoodlums are gone…replaced by PR. they only practice muhibbah once a year. for now, just like any other holiday. nothing special.

    pm wants police investigate namewee right away. but his pout lips was stapled when the b!tch was spouting venom. o yeah, same with that fat lips guy from perkosa. no instant investigations?

  9. #9 by dagen on Monday, 30 August 2010 - 12:57 pm

    Happy one racist malaysia.

    Is this what the merdeka celebration about?

  10. #10 by frankyapp on Monday, 30 August 2010 - 1:16 pm

    Hi guys, “Happy Merdeka Celebration ”
    My wish is that all malaysians to have a firm place to stand and together we will move the earth.

  11. #11 by lorry_driver_malaysia on Monday, 30 August 2010 - 1:16 pm

    Lee kuan yew : GOOD LUCK to all my fellow chinese in Malaysia, have you ever thought of coming here? The door is always opened… Happy 53rd independence day.

  12. #12 by Thor on Monday, 30 August 2010 - 1:16 pm

    What merdeka???
    This merdeka is only for people who support racist regime.
    We’re still “fighting” for independence, not from the British but from Mammak’s Umno rule!

  13. #13 by k1980 on Monday, 30 August 2010 - 1:25 pm

    (1)Will umno blame the dap for the floods in sibu, because the gods are hopping mad that the former’s candidate lost?

    (2) Did the presence of Teo Nie Chin inside a surau in her constituency cause the gods to get furious and cause the Sumatran volcano Gunung Sinabung to erupt? No wonder Bendera is burning bolehland’s flags

  14. #14 by sotong on Monday, 30 August 2010 - 1:34 pm

    There is no great and competent leaders for decades…….only popular ones.

  15. #15 by boh-liao on Monday, 30 August 2010 - 2:14 pm

    Merdeka, Merdeka, Merdeka!!!
    Sounds very hollow, how many rakyat really care abt Merdeka

    Get all eligible voters 2 register as voters, n wait 4 d REAL Merdeka – next GE 2 vote PR in n UmonB/BN out

  16. #16 by k1980 on Monday, 30 August 2010 - 2:59 pm

    //The British colonialists may be long gone//

    Had they not left in 1957, Malaysian society would today be on par with Australia, Canada and West Europe in terms of economics and national well-being.

  17. #17 by cemerlang on Monday, 30 August 2010 - 4:36 pm

    I don’t think many Malaysians would appreciate the independence day of Malaysia. Young people think it is fun to celebrate. Full stop. Warisan is just emotion. Full stop. People who did not live through those times will never know in their souls. Those who think they know, know it in their heads. Malays find it meaningful because they think Malaysia is their promised land. Foreigners find it strange the celebrations is inside the stadium just because of puasa. Why not get non puasa Malaysians to march out in full to celebrate ?

  18. #18 by DAP man on Monday, 30 August 2010 - 4:38 pm

    This Medeka is strictly for UMNO and Perkasa. They can celebrate it with Mahathir, Rezuan Tee, Utusan, etc

    Others have been asked to return to China and India.
    Do “pendatangs’ celebrate Merdeka?

  19. #19 by Loh on Monday, 30 August 2010 - 9:03 pm

    Jeffrey :
    ///If only our Bapa Malaysia, the late Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra, were alive to see the state of things today! I cannot help but wonder, what would the great man himself think? Have we truly done justice to Tunku’s inspirational and rousing declaration of “Merdeka, Merdeka, Merdeka”?/// -Gayatri Unsworth
    Well, for your information, the documentary directed by Malaysian filmmaker Justin Ong and produced by former actress Lina Teoh, which is premiered on Merdeka Day (Tuesday) – a result of a joint-venture between National Geographic, the Information, Communication and Culture Ministry, National Film Development Corporation (FINAS) and Astro – is based on the theme ” A Leader’s Legacy”.
    Guess who’s the past leader featured?
    No prize for guessing: Tun Abdul Razak!

    No wonder Mamakthir is trying hard to get his son to be a PM. It is more than ensuring that Lingam’s tape does not affect him.

  20. #20 by k1980 on Tuesday, 31 August 2010 - 10:21 am

    Do “pendatangs’ celebrate Merdeka?

    Yes, they will, on the very day as umno is defeated in the 13GE. That day will be remembered as the day of liberation from racism

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