Thursday, August 30, 2007

Merdeka !

Pics above: The Jalur Gemilang and the Perak flag put up by my Father at our kampung house in Kepayang Fair Park, Ipoh

Right: Mat Kilau, a true freedom fighter

Above: Celebrating Merdeka; it's no monkey bussiness, it should come from the heart (pic courtesy of TV Smith)

Hello again everyone.

In about two hour's time, when the clock strikes 12.00 midnight, thousands of Malaysians will be screaming their heads off shouting "Merdeka".

Yes, tomorrow will be Malaysia's independence day. For many, it is an occassion (excuse?) to be joyous and soak in the festive atmosphere. I just heard over the radio that all roads leading to Putrajaya are choked with traffic. That's just to show you how Malaysians simply enjoy festivals, carnivals and merry-making.

How will you be celebrating Merdeka?

To be sure, each Malaysian has his own individual way of showing his sense of patriotism and appreciation of Merdeka. We cannot be forced into it. This kind of thing comes from the heart.

Granted, some wouldn't give a hoot about Merdeka. Others might be highly passionate and feel full of pride just thinking about it. Notwithstanding his lack of sensitivity for the religious believes of others, the later group would include, I believe, the now famous (or infamous, if you like) Namewee, the Negarakuku rap singer.

If you ask me, we owe it to the TRUE FREEDOM FIGHTERS to make sure that Merdeka is properly celebrated. And by that I mean PROPERLY celebrated. Remembered and put in the correct context of struggle. Highlighting the blood, sweat and tears shed, as well as, lives sacrificed for the future sake of this nation.

These struggles did not start only fifty-odd years ago. It had its beginnings much earlier. Datuk Maharaja Lela, Datuk Sagor, Datuk Bahaman, Tok Janggut and Mat Kilau are just some of the many names that come to mind here.

In my book, understanding and appreciating the struggles of these heroes beats merely flying the flags, giving salutes at march passes, and indulging in boisterous festivities, any time.

For the sake of my children, sure, I will fly the flag every year in front of our house. But I would also make sure that they understand the true significance of the word 'Merdeka'.

I am not sure if my ramblings make complete sense to them. But, I will never tire of doing this.

As much as it is an act of gratitude to our fallen heroes, it is also about our responsibilities in shaping the future leaders of this nation.

Happy Merdeka! And may ALlah bless us all and our nation, Malaysia.

Left: the image most often associated with Merdeka

Below: The Jalur Gemilang in front of our house put up by my son, Syafiq

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