Sunday, September 04, 2005


Came across quite a few blogs with posts about Merdeka, so here goes... what is the meaning of Merdeka to you?

I am an Anak Merdeka - born during the good years after Malaysia obtained her Independence. I am ashamed to admit, that although I appreciate lots of what I enjoy (and take for granted) these days, but the pain & sufferings of those who fought for Merdeka back then are kinda lost on me {Jie hangs her head in shame}.

Arwah Nenek used to tell us about her experiences during the war. How people had been beheaded for the slightest mistakes like not bowing their heads towards the Japanese army yang melintas depan mereka. How they had to survive on boiled tapioca when there was shortage of rice during the war. How the village folks blacken their young daughters' faces with soot & hid them away from the preying eyes of askar Jepun, lest their daughters get raped and killed by 'em.

Arwah Nenek lost her fiancee (an army officer) during the war. She was quickly married off to Arwah Atuk, so that she'd be safe with a man looking after her. Life was still tough, but slightly improved after Ibu was born, when Arwah Atuk was engaged as a personal driver to a Jap army officer then stationed in Klang. Hate was rampant against the Japs, but the kampung folks liked this officer because personally he was a nice & kind person. He did his duties (as an army loyal to his flag) quietly & didn't take advantage over the kampung folks. He gave away part of his food ration to the kampung folks. One little luxury he shared only with my family, that was his daily ration of eggs which he gave to Arwah Atuk to 'feed it to your baby daughter so she will grow strong & healthy'. See, even in the face of war & adversity, kindness of the heart will always persevere.

Other than that, I'm afraid I have no personal contact to the process of Merdeka. Sure, we all went through the history lessons in school. I've read books, both facts & fictions, about Malaysia's treacherous journey towards independence. But what is lacking is the Semangat (passion). I see this in many people of my generation, and I don't know how to rectify this.

As time goes by, there is less and less of the passion for remembering Merdeka. Instead the M-Day is now celebrated by having fireworks at midnight & holding concerts with artistes some of whom can't even be bothered to memorize the lyrics of the patriotic songs they're supposed to sing on stage. After the concerts' are over, we find discarded trash including used condoms, strewn all over the grass. The next morning, we have the parades and fancy floats made with fresh flowers which must've costed puluhan ribu RM to the sponsors - good money which had it been donated to charity organizations, could sustain their operation costs for at least 3 months.

Wither art thou, Anak Merdeka?
Wither art thou, Kerajaan Merdeka?
Wither art thou, the future of Malaysia?

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