Kucing Gatal Speaks

Monday, August 20, 2007

50 years on, is this where we want to be?

Merdeka .... what does it mean to me? We're about to reach 50 years of independence, as the man in the street will tell you with glee, but what does it really mean, especially to those born after 1957?

I've always taken our sovereignty for granted, having never had to live under foreign powers and fear cruel masters who would slap or torture you for the slightest transgression. I've never had to flee to the jungles and live off edible roots while fearing every footstep I hear. I've never seen heads impaled on stakes, bodies in mass graves, people being whisked off never to be seen again.

We've all heard the horror stories, and are constantly told that we should be grateful for what we have now. We've praised the numerous heroic figures who helped fight for our independence and shape our country's future, but in reality, those figures are vague in our minds. We are more familiar with the adventures of Hang Tuah than the struggles of our forefathers.

Many of us sing the national anthem and wave the flag purfunctorily. But can you blame us? With some politicians today taking every advantage to drive wedges between the races, and zealots threatening our harmonious way of living, it's getting harder and harder to truly love the country as it is today. There's a lot to be fixed, and it's my fervent hope that the powers-that-be fix things as soon as possible rather than letting the rot set in even further.

I love this country, I love what it's done for me, and I love that I've had a good life so far. What I don't love is the path I see it going down.

Merdeka, to me, is a symbol of a glorious past. A time when the country stood united, with a bright future ahead. That future is dimming with each successive year. The grumbles are getting louder, the tensions are deepening. It hasn't come to the stage yet where we fear the future, but that day is rapidly arriving.

For the sake of our country, dear leaders, please stop the pettiness and the bickering, and work together for the greater good. Stop tearing the country apart. Focus on making our streets safe again, instead of picking on bloggers. Focus on improving the economy, instead of wasting tax dollars on frivolous things like the biggest this and that. Focus on equality and a fair chance for all, instead of quotas and religious and racial supremacy.

That's the true spirit of Merdeka - preserving what's good, and ensuring a safe future for generations to come, regardless of their colour or background.

Till next time, this is Kucing Gatal signing out with a patriotic Meow.

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