I cannot help but notice that this year's Merdeka celebration is a thoroughly subdued affair.
The number of cars flying the mini-Jalur Gemilang is noticeably much, much less than in previous years. Even government office buildings in Putrajaya - the Federal Government Administrative Centre - only put up a few token flags up.
The same goes for residential premises.
In my neighbourhood, flags only started to be noticeable immediately the day after the by-election in Permatang Pauh. It was as if, somehow, people had decided that suddenly now there is reason enough to be joyous and celebrate Merdeka.
The reason? Well, I leave it to you to interpret.
Malaysia is 51. So, Happy Merdeka Day.