Archive for August 31st, 2007

50th Merdeka anniversary – “Feel good” euphoria absent; instead a stifling “feel worse” sentiment among Malaysians

50th Merdeka Anniversary Message

Unlike previous years, on the occasion of the 50th Merdeka anniversary, I am issuing a message on the day itself instead of the usual practice of on its eve.

Just one or even two months ago, no one would have predicted or expected that Malaysians would be troubled by many national issues of import come August 31 when the nation celebrates its Merdeka golden jubilee — whether about the Merdeka “social contract” on the fundamental cornerstone of Malaysian nation-building; racial and religious polarization; the independence and integrity of national institutions like the Cabinet, Parliament, Judiciary, Police, Anti-Corruption Agency, Election Commission, the public service; plunge in educational standards and international competitiveness; decline in quality of life with unchecked rise in crime; increasing intolerance towards dissent, press and internet freedom; or a host of other major concerns..

With the 50th Merdeka anniversary, the “feel good” euphoria in Malaysia should be even more effusive than in 2004 which gave Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi the unprecedented landslide general election victory, sweeping over 90 per cent of the parliamentary seats, a feat which had eluded all the four previous Prime Ministers.

In actual fact, the “feel good” euphoria is singularly absent in the country on the occasion of the 50th Merdeka anniversary. Instead of the “feel good” euphoria, there is the “feel worse” sentiment among the people which is even more prevalent and acute than at any time during previous Mahathir administration. Read the rest of this entry »