Bananachinese’s Weblog

August 31, 2008

31 August, 2008 Merdeka: What’s the name of that song before Tanggal 31?

Disbelieving Malaysiakini‘s piece: ‘Racism still haunts nation at 51st Merdeka’, I switched on RTM on TV1 at 12:10am (yes, for the second time this year, you can pop that wine cork again…)

Wah…. very big crowd at Dataran Merdeka celebrating Merdeka together with our Yang DiPertuan Agong and VVIPs.

The camera trained on those VVIPs singing and swaying on stage and I saw… horrors… was that Abdullah Ahmad Badawi aka Pak Lah holding back tears whilst everybody were singing a particularly gusty patriotic song?

I did not catch that song’s name which came on before the Sudirman made famous song ‘Tanggal 31’. Now, what’s that song that got our PM all patriotically teary?

Also on stage, Lee Chong Wei (this badminton silver medal Olympian really is world class cos Malaysia such a small country with small people can get silver as compared with China such a big country with big number of people), Dr SMS (Remember? The astronaut passenger Syed Muzaffar…, that one another story)

Dr. Ng Yen Yen was enjoying the karaoke very much and swings le little Jalur Merdeka with much gusto. Yes, this type of energy will be much useful for the upcoming MCA party election.

OK, now the singing session over, my sense of rationalism kicks back.

How come only BN fellas seen on the patriotic stage? Did anybody at Jabatan Perpaduan Negara think at all to invite all our MPs (plus those non BN) on stage to lead the patriotism? The stage was not reserved for BN’s show of patriotism, right?

I see the faces of rakyat Malaysia at Dataran Merdeka, Merdeka belongs to all rakyat Malaysia, man! Nobody can monopoly or copyright Merdeka!

I wonder if we dare face the truth of Merdeka ‘sacrifice’? Dare we really to sit down together to reflect on what was and is Merdeka now? Anybody realise that Merdeka has undergone transformations since the original Tunku Abdul Rahman’s version of 1957?

I’ll reserve my next GE vote for any politician with guts to take on this ‘project’ –


For Malaysia to successfully reach 2020, for our young to experience the Merdeka spirit, how do we connect Merdeka with our current aspirations? 1957’s Merdeka was a physical liberation from the shackles of British penjajah’s ‘divide and rule’. 1963’s Merdeka elevated our ‘Merdeka’ to ‘Federalism’ of Malaysia+Sabah+Sarawak on 16 September. Do you think that 2008’s Merdeka represents the awakening of the rakyat’s sense of citizenry? How should we recognise and pass on Merdeka to our young ones?

Tis heavy, ain’t it, this subject of nationalism and citizenry.

So, for you who claim yourself a Malaysian, which version of the Merdeka are you honouring now? What version of Merdeka will you honour next year and the next….? Instead of writing about it only in blog commentaries, will you make some efforts to be hand in hand with your fellow rakyat Malaysia of various colours, hitam manis, kuning langsat, coklat or putih to honour Merdeka?

Pass me a hanky, please…

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