It is easily understandable when Malaysians celebrated the day of independence in 1957 and repeated it for a couple of following decades. It was real freedom after centuries of occupation by colonizers. Freedom to move forward with our own free will and to decide our own destiny. It’s a great thing to celebrate. However, celebrating it beyond a couple of decades in the same format we have today is, according to me, not acceptable.
I get this question in my head every year on the Merdeka day. Why are they doing it, and why are they doing it like this? We’ve come a long long way as a nation since the independence day, so why still this? Over the years I’ve grown a little disgusting feel towards the independence day celebration because I feel that we’re making someone else feel really great since they are the ones who gave us the independence.
We celebrate the day we were given independence, which means someone gave it to us and they have the privilege of feeling great and superior every time we celebrate the independence day. This piece of thought has made me dislike it very much. Moreover, the format it is being celebrated doesn’t help at all.
So, I wish the traditional Merdeka day with a rigid parade is shelved as an artifact of the past century. A very nationalistic day, that is the 16th of September, must be made the only date worthy of celebrating a national day by expressing the greatness and superiority of Malaysians. This day must be the day we celebrate Malaysia for our achievements and for what we are.
In fact it shouldn’t be a one day show. There must be events and programs held on-air and off-air leading up to this date. The programs must showcase and highlight high achieving exemplary Malaysians. I mean major programs, not fillers. Get those great soldiers, impressive entrepreneurs, brilliant scientists and academicians, high achieving sportsmen and etc. etc.. Highlight them to the nation every year with the underlying nationalistic spirit. Let the up and coming generations of young Malaysians have made-in-Malaysia role models. Let all Malaysians feel so proud and immerse themselves in nationalistic pride. When the day of celebration arrives we celebrate it as Malaysians for Malaysians. I absolutely prefer this because it cuts off the link to the colonizer who “gave us the independence”.
We should have a national day parade which is a lot less rigid than the Merdeka parade. Although I have my reservations, looking at the visuals of recent Bersih rally made me think that we should have something like it every year. It had all the right ingredients of national pride. It was carnival like with highly spirited people. I wish for a well organized but more casual national day parade where more ordinary people are able to participate. Political, national and community leaders must actually join the parade and walk with the people instead of being wax-figures like on the podium.
This is something I could only wish..well I really wish!