Merdeka is about celebrating who we are, what we stand for, as a nation

“I don’t feel like celebrating Merdeka.” “I don’t plan on celebrating this year.” “What’s the point?” “I don’t have the mood with all the nonsense that’s going on.”

Those were among the reactions I received from family, friends, and acquaintances.

They were just being honest with their feelings. The mood that had descended on almost everyone was one of despair and hopelessness, not just by what Covid-19 had done, but more because of the political shenanigans that Malaysians had to endure.

We now have a new prime minister – our third since May 2018 – but where the Cabinet was concerned, it is as though nothing had changed.

New Covid-19 cases are still in the 20,000s or thereabouts; deaths have surpassed 16,000, and the economy is struggling.

So, I understand the frustration.

Politics and politicians don’t define us as a nation. And as we learnt in 2018, we can vote out those whom we don’t want.

It was a small step, but an important one. We have to keep the faith at the next election and make sure we get rid of those who failed at their jobs.

Merdeka is about celebrating our independence, who we are and what we hope to accomplish.

It is a celebration of those who loved the country and fought hard to win us our freedom from the British, and they did it not through bloodshed, but through negotiations.

It should be celebrated, not for ourselves, but to remind our children what people like Tunku Abdul Rahman were like. People they can aspire to become.

Children may not understand why we raise the flag or stand at attention to Negaraku, but through our actions, we can show them why we love this country and why it matters.

Let us celebrate our fellow Malaysians, our diverse cultures, and of course, our delicious food.

Malaysia, tanah tumpahnya darahku.

Tagged with: