Monday, August 26, 2013

Being Malaysian

As the day draws closer to celebrating another Merdeka and Malaysia Day, the overall population runs the risk of not knowing our roots. How we came to be as a nation, as a group of people with so much shared history and legacy. As less and less of our population remember the time when they were around during the torturous Emergency years of 1948-1953 ... our country runs the risk of losing the very fabric of our existence.

As we marvel on grand property projects now, we talk of five figure a month jobs, we talk about traveling the world, buying the latest fashionable product, argue about share prices, look at your children living a normal life  ... all that would be very different had the 5-6 years of history turned out differently, and it could very well have.

I know all cinemas will be playing the national anthem for a week leading to Merdeka Day ... just how much of chest thumping will that bring. If you are not already feeling like a Malaysian, that tactic will do very little for you. You are not going to say, wow, I feel more Malaysian already. Sloganeering and antics are just so pathetic.

It would do brilliantly if we were to feature the following documentary by History Channel to all movie goers. How about broadcasting it 3x a day 7 days leading up to Merdeka? After watching it, you will feel very different about being a Malaysian. We are not that worthy ... so many army personnel, police officers, civilians, foreign soldiers, Gurkhas ... so many lost their lives to preserve a chance to lead a simple democratic way of life. So much collateral damage.

To have that 5-6 years of undeclared war following the horrendous Japanese occupation ... calling that period tough would be unfair and minimising the severe hardships all Malaysians who lived through that period. And that was just 60-70 years back.

We see remembrances of old foggies at graveyards in the papers every now and then, we flip flippantly through those news articles, we do not bother to even finish reading it ... In places like God's Little Acre @ Batu Gajah, the grand sacrifices by them allow us to be where we are. There are still many living heroes ... and they could very well shout now that the rest of the nation has been largely ungrateful, they could scream that if it was not for their sacrifices, we'd  not get to enjoy life as we know it now. They could, but they would not ... if respect has to be demanded, its not respect but a filtered down version.

Watch the documentary, make your children watch the documentary, be a true Malaysian. We should all know how we got here ... thus far.

p/s you know what is sad, this You Tube video has only 5,000 views ... yet we have hundreds of thousands for the cute dogs and cats or other inane stuff


CK said...

So, anyone - Malaya gain her independence WITHOUT splitting blood.

One might argue superficially that Malaysia did.

But did all the component members pained their right of self government without casualty inflicted struggles that many, now, choose to ignore &/or trying to re-write?

& who r the myth perpetrators?

Indeed, who??????

CK said...


U should also mentioned this doc;

'Sepuluh tahun sebelum Merdeka' by Fahmi Reza.

panaceaasia said...

We must be grateful to the British. Thank goodness we never had a Mugabe.

viv said...

the war (or emergency which the british preferred to use for commercial and political reasons) stretched from 1948 - 1960. you may want to read this:

solomon said...

I still remember those days there is this "Hari Ini Dalam Sejarah" documentary show...RTM should consider reviving it

ck said...

Our forefathers have gone through the trials and tribulations, so they treasured with what they have achieved. The current generations being showered with abundance and always complaint on what they don’t have.

What we really want is to be in charge of our own life, irrespective of gender, race or religion. Trouble began when someone trying to impose ones value onto another, the lack of tolerance will ignite “tit for tat” reaction and ended up with brute-force retaliation. Such senseless behaviours only brought untold miseries to all parties.

Oprah Winfrey once quoted; “Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough”.

On this coming 56th independence day, we should give ourselves the chance to reignite the “Merdeka” spirit and work together for a better tomorrow irrespective of gender, race or religion.

John Teng said...

Excellent history of how we achieved independence and the sacrifices of so many before us. Totally agreed that this should be televised to remind all Malaysians on this coming Merdeka Day. Sadly, what is happening now in Malaysia reminds me of what happened in Animal Farm at the end.

panaceaasia said...

We have our share of problems as a nation but life is fairly good.

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