Malaya (that's correct, for we achieved independence as Malaya in 1957 but became Malaysia only in 1963 when Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak joined up) will turn 54 this August 31 and as far as I can feel it there is absolutely no sign that we are excited over this birthday event. Years ago the government would be preparing for this grand occasion. A working committee would be formed to plan the programs as well as publicize the theme for the celebration. Banners would be erected to remind the citizens what we are celebrating about. And the public would get all excited into buying mini flags to decorate their motor cycles and cars. Traders would don their lorries, offices would display the national flags and in the residential areas many homes would start putting up the nation's flags outside the gates to show their love for the nation. Contests would be held in schools to write the best essays and the public would go all out to attend the morning rallies in the town halls.
But today we are no longer interested in feeling gay over this big day which most of the citizens treat as any other public holiday. Maybe the fasting month make people less energetic but I don't think so. I think people are being drowned by too many negative developments to feel the need or the mood to celebrate. Cost of living keeps spiraling. Racial relationship is soured by religious raids and the governments seen to always deny that we are having problems with our economy. Rather than sitting down to solve the growing pile of problems they are more interested in defending their stake in controlling the seat of the federal government by whatever means. Compared with the Malaysia of the 1970s I think our national foundation has suffered termite attacks!
In my previous post I stated categorically that people form the basic foundation of an organization. I hope the government realize that the citizens form the foundation of our nation. Yet a sizeable population are living at near poverty level which is constantly shifting upward by changing and rising cost of living. Today RM3000 monthly income is hardly sufficient to support a small family and in many cases even a single person with car and housing loans to settle and aged parents to support. No wonder young people are delaying marriage, or not getting married, or delay having kids. This trend is affecting the population profile with more and more old people staying alive than new babies being born. Worst, this is now complicated by foreign workers residing in the country, majority of them illegal. The worrying trend is also of many from a neighboring country easily given citizenship which now change what is the real Malaysian cocktail. A nation that is more mixed up than ever and losing its identity and direction. A nation without pride or loyalty. A nation been used to promote self gain with no respect for others or the environment. Such is our despair as we head into the final decade before Mahathir's dream of developed status in 2020. But of what use is this target now if the foundation has been wrongly prepared all these years?
There is no mood to celebrate our Independence Day or Merdeka, nor Malaysia Day on 16 September. Instead the mood is on beating the government into oblivion for doing a lousy job of bringing Malaysia to where we are today. Too many scandals and corruption tales to list here but Google them yourself. Today I read that prime minister Najib has instructed his ministers to get on the ground after Hari Raya, i.e. from after first week September, to get feedbacks, meaning election is very very soon. Hopefully not on my Hanoi holiday period in October.