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Friday, August 31, 2007

merdeka reflections

I guess by now, you people would have known me quite well. It isn't easy to put me down when it comes to things like that. In anticipation for the 50th year celebrations, I expected fireworks (metaphorically, not literally) and with a chest full of gusto, I headed down to Dataran Merdeka on Merdeka eve. I thought it would be fun because they were going to re-enact the whole thing of lowering the Union Jack and raising the Malaysian flag (little did I know it was going to be done by a certain nobody).

Words cannot describe my disappointment.

Unlike most people, I don't really care that there weren't any fireworks. In fact, I have blogged about this before - I am not a big fan of fireworks going off at midnight and waking up half the country. What I was really looking forward to was singing the Negaraku and raising some hairs on my back. I have been in some magical atmospheres, in football and hockey games where the whole crowd belts out the Negaraku in unison. I have been for scout Jamborees where tens of thousands of people sing the national anthem in unison and those were unforgettable moments which actually make you forget every other problem. Heck, I have even joined the Brits in singing God Save the Queen and it gave me goosebumps!

But when the moment came yesterday, the Negaraku was met by a muted response. The main reason was because out of the hundred thousand people at Dataran Merdeka, it would be a good guess to say that half of them were Indonesians, Burmese and whatever aliens that seem to be infesting our streets these days.

That is not to say that the moment was spoilt because of that. I was reasonably pleased when I stepped out of the Masjid Jamek LRT station because there was a carnival-like atmosphere on the streets. But that slowly changed as I noticed the crowd around us. The majority of the crowd were foreigners, Mat Rempits and kutus. That saddened me because even in such a joyous occasion, we were still blatantly segregated. I am in no doubt that the celebrations at Ikano and Putrajaya saw many more Chinese and 'richer' citizens of all races. And so I couldn't decide - in the choosing the location of our party last night, did we segregate ourselves according to race or economic standing? Or were the two coincidental?

At Dataran Merdeka, it angered me to see parents bringing their young children (some even babies) to such an event, and when the kids were tired, they just lay down on the road to sleep, not giving a care that they could be accidentally stepped on by the thousands of people there. And it sickened me to see kutus pushing their way through the crowd, pushing kids even, just to get to front of the crowd. A particular chap wanted to pick a fight with me because I accidentally stepped on his foot and after I had the audacity to apologise for my clumsiness.

Contrary to popular belief, I never liked politics and try to stay out of it. For some reason, people think I am into stuff like that - how can I when I obviously hate hypocrisy? And it annoyed me a great deal when the show last night was nothing more than an advertisement for the ruling party. That is not to say that the opposition wouldn't have done the same. Which is why politics should not mix in with celebrations like that. Wishful thinking, huh?

What was supposed to be a happy, patriotic night for me.....ended in a very sombre mood. It could have been worse, but at least we ended the night in a typically Malaysian way - Ramly burger in a mamak stall.




50 years, huh?

In 1957, poverty level was at 60%. Today, it is below 5% We have come so far, yet we still have a long way to go in our journey. 50 years is not a long time for a country. We have a lot to learn. Out of the 95% of us that are not living in poverty, how many are really educated? How many are 'privileged'? Judging from the number of kutus last night, not many.

Yes, this sounds extremely elitist and pompous, but anybody who could push through their way through a crowd regardless of whether there were kids in the way - those guys can't have passed their SPM. To the guy who wanted to pick a fight because someone in a massive crowd accidentally stepped on his toes - 10 bucks says he didn't have the chance to go to university.

We have a long way to go before we can call ourselves a developed country. We have the technology and the infrastructure. In the industry I work in, a lot of our local companies are performing better than foreign companies. And to think that most Malaysians have an inferiority complex and think the world of those huge MNCs. Of course we have our bad hats, but we are generally doing fine. Doing better than fine, in fact.

Next step for the next 50 years?

Judging from last night's experience, we need to lower our dependency on foreign workers and educate the underprivileged.

Oh wait a minute...

Did that sound like affirmative action? Hmmmmm......

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Ramblings:
Hi, What industry are you in?
 



Forget dataran anymore, now it's all in Putrajaya. As far as i'm concerned the heart of KL has always been the place where all the foreign nationals gather, just go on any odd day and you'll see
 



Hey, I absolutely agree. I didn't want to head down to Dataran Merdeka because I knew it was going to be a mockery of Tunku Abdul Rahman's actual speech and celebrations. What has Badawi done to even try and imitate him? Talk about political agendas.

I expected it to be a huge gathering of rempits and UMNO cronies. Looks like I was right.

I went over to Ikano though - you can see photos of it over at my blog (shameless marketing) :P

http://fooie.info

 



Just because I critisize something, that does not mean I am a fan of people spewing their blatant political propaganda here.

I didn't know you had to be better than someone before you could reenact a historical moment. In that case, damn my Sejarah teacher in school for re-enacting Tunku's 'moment'!

And so...if Dataran Merdeka was a gathering of UMNO cronies, would Ikano and Putrajaya be a gathering of DAP and PKR cronies??!?!

You Malaysians are pathetic to the core. Even in such a joyous occasion, you choose to make it a political affair. Two wrongs don't make a right you know.

 



I suggest a three-point action plan for the next 50 years.

1) Every Malaysian needs to unsubscribe from the "white is right" mentality.
2) Every Malaysian needs to wean themselves on their dependency on the PM to take the lead on every single damned thing.
3) Every Malaysian needs to start looking beyond their own noses, and start taking a conciliatory approach to achieving goals.

On reflection, it appears that I have been tricked into writing something serious. Goddammit.

 



Well, I was at Ikano. The fireworks was great and I was hoping they'll sing Negaraku after it was done.

No one did so. Buggers.

We did it at Soul-ed Out 2 years back.

 



Affirmative action is the way to go, but unfortunately, our Malaysian version of affirmative action means to funnel all the wealth to rich bumiputeras.

Affirmative action should mean to help ALL poor people, not just the bumis. If our government can get this right, our country will be on the right track.

However, they have been using the NEP as a justification for affirmative action, and they are somehow getting the support of the poor bumis on this and until and unless people start to realise the reality of the situation, things will get worse.

 



...round and round the circle goes...
 



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