Sunday, September 5, 2010

Truly Merdeka

This was supposed to be posted on Aug 31, Malaysia's National Day, but I only managed to write it today. English version follows after the Bahasa Malaysia (Malay) version.



Dengan bangganya kita melaungkan perkataan "merdeka" setiap 31 Ogos, tetapi malangnya kita belum lagi merdeka di hati. 53 tahun telah berlalu selepas mencapai kemerdekaan daripada pihak penjajah, tetapi pemikiran kita masih sama sahaja. Tingkahlaku kita menunjukkan bahawa kita belum lagi benar-benar merdeka. Ini disebabkan kita terus berjuang untuk melindingi hak sendiri.

Jika kita sudah "merdeka", maka kita tidak lagi patut berasa seperti kedudukan kita sentiasa diancam. Itulah maksud 'merdeka' sebenarnya -- tiada sesiapa yang mempunyai kuasa untuk menyakiti kita. Akan tetapi, kita seolah-olah masih takut dan berasa tidak selamat, lalu masyarakat kita berpecah-belah dan setiap golongan saling berjuang untuk melindungi hak sendirian. Akhirnya, kita lupa bahawa kita bukan sahaja ahli golongan-golongan tertentu, malah kita juga seorang rakyat Malaysia.

Perpaduan dan harapan "1Malaysia" tidak akan tercapai sekiranya kita selalu berpegang kuat kepada hak individu, hak kaum, ataupun hak sebahagian masyarakat sahaja. Di sini saya merujuk kepada keseluruhan rakyat, sebab pada masa ini, setiap kaum di negara ini memang hanya memikirkan hak sendiri sahaja. Kita rakyat Malaysia perlu mengutamakan hak rakyat Malaysia dan berjuang untuk negara, bukannya untuk kepentingan kita sendiri. Inilah kebenaran yang perlu diakui dan diterima oleh semua lapisan masyarakat, tidak kira yang miskin ataupun yang kaya.
 
 
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Unfortunately, although we proudly shout "Merdeka!" (freedom) every August 31, our hearts aren't free. It has been 53 years since we gained independence from the colonialists, but our thinking has not changed at all over the course of those 53 years. This is obvious from the way we speak and act; we behave as if we still have to fight for our rights. That is, we act like someone who isn't truly free.

If our struggle for freedom has truly come to an end, we should no longer feel threatened or insecure. However, the truth is that in our fragmented society, each of us is constantly fighting to protect our own rights instead of considering the rights of our nation as a whole. If we continue to hold on to our individual rights, ethnic rights or community rights, we will never be able to achieve unity and "1Malaysia".

In saying this, I am not singling out any single group, because many groups in this country are still fighting to preserve or protect their own rights. As Malaysians, we ought to put our own rights first -- our rights as citizens -- and fight for the good of the country, not to uphold our own interests. All of us, no matter whether rich or poor, need to recognise and accept this truth.
 
 
Much thanks to Florence for editing and proofreading the BM version; my Malay is sooooo rusty!

UPDATE 6 SEPT: Changed BM version to a less formal tone, thanks to Mr TDH, my unofficial advisor :p

2 comments:

Alvie said...

You are so right. When i hear my friends in Malaysia celebrating Merdeka, or telling me about 1Malaysia, i snort in disbelief. How can we have 1Malaysia if our political parties are all segregated by race and their own agendas?

Sunflower said...

Exactly... the political parties themselves are already racially polarised so I'm not surprised the rakyat is as well :(