Tuesday, August 31, 2010
53 Years of Independece
Today, I'm expressing my feelings and sharing my thoughts openly through this blog, although I'm just a common man-on-the-street. I would never have this chance just a few years ago. This opportunity to share my views and inner thoughts with friends and all internet surfers, is perhaps one of the greatest aspects of modernization in Malaysia. We have joined the modern high-tech society where almost everyone has a mobile phone to communicate with his or her friends while the radio and television provide almost countless channels to select from for information and entertainment.
We celebrated the 53rd anniversary of our Independence yesterday, with a colorful indoor performance, salutation and display at the Stadium Putra, Bukit Jalil, unlike the usual parade and colorful ceremonial shows at Merdeka Square which some people are already tired of. Yes, they still love all the pomp and ceremonies. But held in a stadium which is some distance away from the heart of the city, the limited sitting capacity and the drive with all the traffic jams, could have made it quite uninviting. The call to display the Jalur Gemilang on cars and buildings from early August also did not receive a spiritted response for reasons which need to be explored. There is also no firework display and stage performance by popular artists to atract attention in the night.
The celebration themed " 1 Malaysia transforming the nation" seems much scaled-down compared to previous anniversaries. While some interpret that as indicative of some financial problems facing the country, others maintained that it's a good show of moderation and thrift in public expenditure. The fact that this national anniversary celebration had been out-shined in terms of glitz and expenditure by a tourism show called The Colors of Malaysia held some moths ago, doesn't seem to bother anyone. Similar celebrations were also held in some States including Penang and Kedah which are under the governance of Pakatan Rakyat. Selangor, however, did not hold any celebration as far as I know.
Whatever rating is given to the 53rd Anniversary celebration, it does not reduce the significance of the Merdeka Anniversary Message delivered by the Prime Minister, Dato' Seri Najib. It highlighted some of the achievements of the nation in its 53 years of independence, the new Transformation plan to make the country economically dynamic, socially integrated and politically stable, and the New Economic Model that is supposed to turn Malaysia into a high-income nation by the year 2020. Having stressed some of the hopes and promises which have already been oft-repeated in earlier speeches, the Prime Minister came down with the stern warning that what has been made could easily be unmade in a few moments of irresponsible action by some of the enemies of the nation.
Who are these enemies, was not defined. This could have been the most critical part of the Message for the people of Malaysia to ponder upon for there seemed to be many enemies in the midst of the current political scenario where some states have fallen into the hands of the opposition, including Selangor in which Kuala Lumpur was formerly situated until it was transformed into a Wilayah Persekutuan ( A Federal Territory). Opposition members in Parliament therefore cannot be called enemies anymore for they already rule in some of the states. This is a reality that the people of Malaysia seem to have accepted but the Barisan-led federal government may have not. A new form of cooperation between the Barisan Nasional and the Pakatan Keadilan must be worked out if the country is not to be torn apart by contradictory policies and priorities in the governing of the nation.
Did the Sate Government from the Party Keadilan Rakyat participate in the Merdeka Anniversary celebration at the Federal level? If not, that can explain a lot why the celebration this year had not received so much enthusiam. The Federal Government will just have to respect the need to consider all the Representatives of the People or Wakil Rakyat as the Peoples' Representative in any national function, refardless of their political affiliations. The concept of 1 Malaysia must not only bring the people together but also some kind of a bipartisan arrangement in the government, with a common loyalty to country and people. It's most urgent that this be worked out beside bringing about the big transformation that we dream of.
Otherwise the dream may not be realized at all.
Let's hope that this 53rd year of independence will bring a closer cooperation between the Federal and State Governments, especially those under Pakatan's control.