This 31st August 2018, we would be celebrating our 61st independence day. Surely, it will be a different feeling for every Malaysian, be it in our own country or residing abroad, celebrating it this year. Mainly because of what happened in May, to be exact 9th May 2018.The day that as everyone knows, people power has won!
I remember sleeping late on that historic day (as I was hoping and believing, and every Malaysian was too) , anxiously waiting for the general election results to be officially announced on the television. Not to mention, I sworer a lot too.. mainly to the chairman of the election committee. ( I believe you guys cursed him as well, 😉 ). In reality, I accidentally slept in front of the television, and only woke up at 7 am the next day without knowing the result! The first thing I did was checked my mobile phone on any news regarding the general election results. I was all smiling ear to ear when I read the news from my friends. We won! The people won! I quickly looked at my ink-stained index finger and sense of pride creeping in me. When I went outside to my porch, the sky looked so beautifully blue and peaceful. I could hear the birds chirping happily as if they also were happy with the results. The air smelt differently. It smelt of victory and hope. Finally, we (the people) have grown up. We’re no longer the kid blundering with imprudent foolhardiness. We’re now more mature and conscious politically. We’ve demonstrated greater civic responsibility and engagement. We’ve graduated politically and made our countrymen darn proud.
I guess this was how our ancestors felt when Malaysia got it’s first independence 61 years ago. Feeling of hope, pride, and also a little bit of fear. Now, a brand new Malaysia for our children to inherit, for them to feel proud that their parents made a change (without riots or blood shed!) for them to have a better future.. But also I couldn’t help to have fear inside me. Fear, that this new government might fail us, like the previous. However, I pushed aside that feeling quickly when I saw how relentless they started working in their first few days. Our new Prime Minister is 93 years old and he still stayed up late, woke up early, attended ALL the press conferences, and many more. Heck, he didn’t even take a day off to celebrate his birthday!
I couldn’t help feeling sad too because my late father was no longer with us to witness this historic day. He would be the happiest person on earth if he was still alive. He had been wishing this day to come since 20 years ago. Well, abah, it finally happened. 😉
A lot has taken placed since May the 9th.
The return of power to former strongman turned reformer Tun Mahathir Mohamad at age 92, the appointment of our first female Deputy Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, the swearing-in of smart, honest and capable ministers to head finance, education, defence, communications and other key posts.
The release from prison and full royal pardon of thr opposition leader, Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim, an Amnesty International prisoner of conscience. The promises to repeal laws that suppress the media and free speech.
The resignations of officials at scandal-ridden state agencies and those who blocked investigations into the misdeeds of powerful people (who, as of May 9th, are no longer powerful).
The police raids on luxury apartments linked to the ex-prime minister. The discovery of 284 boxes of designer handbags, 35 suitcases containing $114 million ringgit and 37 other bags of jewellery and watches.
More and more dishonesty in the previous government will be unfold. It shows us how transparent this new government is. This is what we want to see. Yes, we managed to changed the country administration. The so called ‘New Malaysia’ is doing well so far. It has been 100 days since the Pakatan government took over. A lot has been done, and a lot more to be done, I would say.
What about us? The citizen of this New Malaysia? Are we changing anything? Is our thinking changing ? Does our habits changed? We expect a lot from this new government, but are we doing our part too? Are we recycling to save the planet earth? Are we still littering around? Are we learning more about our own constituency? Are we still racist? You see, as much as we expect the leader to change we need to change too!
We need to show to the rest of the world when we talk about this new Malaysia, we must talk in terms of change of attitude in us especially being civic-minded. It is just not about raising the Jalur Gemilang. We should instil the good values in us, especially the younger generation. No more littering if we love this country, no more driving recklessly and start being punctual in respecting our fellow citizen ( to name a few example). No more vandalising public property. All the negative attitude in us has to change to a positive attitude. We have to work together to improve national unity.
I hope that we will celebrate diversity, making sure we respect each other’s culture. We, together with our leaders should focus on making this nation great again.
Now, we can add another important date in the history books. May the 9th, 2018 will forever be etched in the hearts of all Malaysians as the day, we, the ordinary citizens made up our minds to step in, to protect and save their country from continuing to be pillaged and plundered by an iron-fisted kleptocratic regime under a 60-year-old Barisan Nasional government.
Selamat Hari Merdeka Malaysiaku!