The merdeka celebration seems old and outdated. No one seems to be as cheerful for the celebration as we used to. Everything from the road decorations to the TV events and the parade live telecast have been very NOT exciting—-or nowadays the young kids would use the term “juak” Have we lost the patriotism? Have we forgotten the last hero that fell in the battlefield? Have we becoming so bored with the same old stories? …the same old cliché? So many questions that we all have so many answers. It has been a long 52-year-old history of nation building. Has it seem to crumble down like the sand castles ? vanished into the thin air without any trace. Why is it happening to my home land ? to my heroes? To my history and culture ? can’t you feel the hostility wrapped up at the same time with despair and hopelessness. After a long decades we’re still struggling to understand why our neighbors discretely burn some papers or smashed some coconut shells. We have lived with that for some good years and still somewhere within we struggle to accept or not to accept the scenes and the smells as part of life.
Merdeka means different things to different people. I would take it as the time to reflect from my own experience for the good of future generations. We have friends at school, at the office or maybe just or next door neighbor that come from different race and religion. We value our origin and our faith for the strength that comes with it to endure this difficult life. The fact that no one can deny; even if they do it is out of a total ignorance. In Malaysia we still appreciate the differences that we have without intimidating each other. And that’s good, so far. But today it seems we are at lost for not getting anywhere with it. The wealth has not get us any richer; the power has not get us any mightier and the struggle has not get us any better…hhmmm maybe we should stop using that “perjuangan belum selesai” slogan…it’s so demoralizing. The sky seems to be as high as before; the sun seems hotter everyday and the wind has not blow the pain away. What we are talking about….are we fooling ourselves with new slogan and motto every time the Merdeka is insight.
The word is not “perpaduan” but understanding; because perpaduan will make someone loses something to get into the pact. Are we ready to lose our faith and heritage for the good of nothing? I don’t think so. You keep your chopstick and let me eat with my hands so we can both enjoy the meal. It sounds that simple but for the good 52 years we have failed time and again to accomplish that. The gap seems to drift further apart as we strive for the well being of our own self. I guess we will mature over time; the United States of America got their first black President over 200 years after independence. The history tells us it is a difficult path.
Our forefathers fought for us to give the land that we called ours. We must cherish that and realize how difficult it was to tell people that this is our land. We are still afraid to shout the name of Tok Janggut as our hero, or Mat Kilau and many more because of our own ignorance. Everytime I passed by Masjid Muhammadi in Kota Bharu, I would imagine how Tok Janggut was hanged upside down at the Padang nearby. There are even pictures of him from those times. He was defiant of the white men and fought to protect a few yards of his kampung land and his people. He was a true fighter and should be our true hero today. But we muddled up with the West and remain without freedom for as long as we can remember. No matter how loud you shout the so-called Melayu slogan if the hearts and souls are still chained up; it’s nothing. I guess people have started to understand the true meaning of Merdeka. The picture that is totally different from what we used to see for the last 52 years.. Like MJ used to say, look into the mirror and ask the man in the mirror……have you changed ??