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Thursday, August 30, 2007

On the eve of Merdeka

As I sit here in the office on the eve of our nation's 50th anniversary, I'm feeling a bit nostalgic. A lot has been said and written about the state of this country. Some are good (from the mainstream media no less) and some are bad (bloggers lah apa lagi).

It's no coincidence that in the run-up to 31st August this year, a lot of issues and arguments were raised. Taking this as a positive sign, it shows the maturity of Malaysians today. This is a democratic country, always remember that but how far does the democratic hole goes; now that's the issue. But maturity has its limits. Even the great 'ol US of A draws its line on do's and don'ts. That's 200+ years of democracy for you. At 50, we can't even compare. But surely we're on our way there.

Malaysia is not a perfect country. We have bad drivers and smelly people on public transportations. We talk a lot. We spit a lot. We like to break the law. And oh yes, we always have issues.

But on the eve of our golden celebration surely I won't waste my time criticizing on these matters. I think a lot of others have done so already. And successfully getting people's attention too.

On the eve of the 50th anniversary of our independence, let me remind us of the joys of living in this great country of ours.

This great country of ours.

I always like it when Americans say that phrase. Sadly, I have never heard it coming out of a Malaysian. Maybe some people think there's nothing great about this country. That this is a mediocre country. The boleh-land country, where everything boleh is sebenarnya bullshit.

I admit surely this country, like many others, has its flaws. I know it's not exactly perfect. But it's still home. The tanah tumpahnya darahku.

Despite all the shortcomings, the one party domination, the politicians, the football team and the attitude of the rakyat, Malaysia will always be my home. The place that provided me warmth and safety from the moment I came out of the womb. It is where I grew up. The place that taught me I am as good as the Mat Salleh beside me. The place that lets me venture into the world and learn. That I am beyond the kampung that I am living in. That my mind is only as limited as I allow it to be. The place that lets me live peacefully along with my fellow Malaysians. The place that lets me be me.

On the eve of our country's 50th birthday, let us pray for a better Malaysia. The Malaysia that we are all proud of. The Malaysia that we've always dreamed of. The Malaysia we knew when we were children.

Selamat Hari Kebangsaan ke-50 to this great country of ours.

o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o