August 31, 2007

Tanggal Tiga-Puluh Satu...

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Malaysia celebrates its 50th independence today.

I have been alive for 31 out of those 50, i.e. that's about more than half of its nationhood. I'm grateful to be enjoying the fruits of independence even during these interesting times when a lot is going on behind the political scenes.

image from other day, cirnelle blogged about patriotism and that got me off thinking about the movie The Patriot, you know, the one starring the hunky Mel Gibson?

Why was I drawn to that movie? Because that movie described how the "rebels" (later known as Revolutionaries in American History) fought against oppression under the British rule.

They were fighting for a young nation which will eventually become one of the greatest superpowers of the world.

Ever notice that Americans are always kept in touch of their roots about how their nation was born? It was a hard fight and they are taught not to forget how the got to where they are. Patriotism was taught (or brainwashed if you like to put it that way) and embraced as part of the culture.

Perhaps that's the message our leaders are trying to instill in us. However, I think most of us see otherwise. ;-)

Anyway, there was a point in time when I thought of not coming back to Malaysia and that was about 10years ago when the Asian Financial Crisis hit. A number of friends said that they'll stay put in Australia as they were afraid that they could not get a job when they get back.

I decided to go back. I'd figure that Malaysia had a lot of potential and I could help in the nation-building.

Boy, was I naive back then. (^ ^)

Before 1997, I was living overseas for a while and somehow, I felt being a Malaysian was very important. Probably because of some inferiority complex, I tend to get a bit defensive when some people talk bad about my country but also, I spoke with a lot of pride whenever a prominent Malaysian made it in the headlines - in a good way... *ahem*.

I was proud of my PM back then Tun M, because he had the balls to stand up against some of the superpowers. Well, some said that he was being foolhardy and etc, but to me, that was a patriot. He was willing to fight for our country both at home and international arena. Yeah, yeah, there were the political shows and etc, but he still did his best for the nation.

Anyway, today, I'm just glad that I was able to witness Malaysia turning 50. I'm just wondering what she'll be like at 100. Would she be like the other grand old ladies of other nations, where their children can look beyond their differences and work towards a brighter future? Or, would her children still bicker over small issues, failing to see the big picture, draining her of the rich resources, i.e. the human spirit and knowledge?

Happy Merdeka everyone!


  1. Ooo.... I love that movie. Tears me up every time the little girl runs after her father, begging him to stay and that she'd say anything he wanted after a long silent treatment, as long as he stayed. *sob!* These are the things worth fighting for.

  2. yep!! was teary-eyed at that part too.

    i got fired up at the part when mel gibson was melting away his dead son's toy soldiers into musket balls so that he can kill more redcoats.

    yep, the children of the nation are always worth fighting for...

    happy merdeka! ;-)

  3. I wonder what Malaysia would be like in this coming 50 years too. I hope corruption and selfishness will be gone by then. It's worrying to see the events that are happening lately. Anyway, Happy Merdeka Day to you!

  4. hi kelwin,

    Yeap, I think that's the issue which comes to everyone's mind too.

    Hope you had a great holiday. ;-)

  5. Angie,

    First, I want to say I love your colorful header (the date). How do you get that colorful scheme ?

    I came back too. "I decided to go back. I'd figure that Malaysia had a lot of potential and I could help in the nation-building." Thinking that I can be a missionary at my own country because I became a Christian when I was in Australia.

    There were so many of my friends who did not want to go back. The thing that made me very sad every party , gatherings that I went, people were talking about PR PR PR... It was especially so for West Malaysian. More East Malaysian were more willing to go home. I think it had to do with us being further away from Federal oppression (if you want to think of it that way). We still had the freedom of going to any medium of school we want. There's no mandatory rule of having to study pass BM but later things changed.

    The other things I had never really wanted to stay put in Australia was I had never totally felt that was my land. In fact, when I returned to Malaysia, I felt like a hanging woman, neither belong there nor there.

    I like Tun M move on the currency strategy. And I too love his guts for standing up against the supreme power.

    My dad hate 'white', he was very prejudice against West. He was not the type who 'kowtow' to the angmo. He was not the type who was happy if his son or daughter marries white. A lot of post colonial men tend to have the tendency to woo whites but never him. That was why I think one of the reason he loves Tun M so much. Whenever Tun M spoke on TV, he had to stop whatever he was doing. We often teased him, Tun M was his lost twin brother. I am not sure if having a native blood has anything to do with him being gangho patriotic because in fact they are the real original Sarawak people. They were the one who lived there before anyone.

    I have never intend to look for angmo or ABC (Australia Born Chinese) husband. If I had, I would have married my Kiwi church friends who gave me 100 roses.

    1 year after the crisis of 1997, I left Malaysia for Brunei, did not even intend to apply to Australia, can you believe it ? I was thinking of H.K, K.L (but then thought too busy life, too much traffic, I was a bit lazy then, want something of smaller town feel so I packed and left for Brunei, and it turned out much better than I thought). If I had not married my American husband, I would still live in Brunei. I love its quietness, small town feel, relax life, tax free, high currency exchange, and its proximity to Kuching.

    Now that I am an American. I really appreciate what the country has given me and I felt a lot more belong here. I think having an local husband and family makes a whole world of different. Plus having a church family also makes my transition period so much easier. I do have a number of good Christian friends where we can talk heart to heart. I am very very blessed to have a very good father in law whom we can communicate a lot. I don't think many people can get their FIL to do school assignment for them, mine did :):).
    I felt rooted here ! Never thought I wanted to make a home outside of Borneo Island because I love my island :). Life is in HIS hand , HE knows the best. :).


  6. Hehehe.. Thanks Jamy.

    Made that little date thing myself with the help of some Macromedia stuff some time back. (^ ^)

    Anyway, thanks for your very sincere comments. I too am hearing the call of the immigration drum - "PR, PR, PR..." very often and these days, the beat is getting louder.

    Somehow, the Sarawakians I know are pretty feisty and they always like to tell us West M'sians off. I didn't understand about their feelings until I met two Sarawakians who also happen to be Cat City inhabitants too. That's the beauty of our M'sian school history books. It glossed over the fact during the formation of the nation "Malaysia" what were the sentiments of the people at the time.

    Anyway, that's another history lesson. (^ ^)

    Needless to say, I'm still in M'sia till this day because I see a lot of potential in M'sia to be great IF we only remove certain barriers in our mindset and behaviour.

    Oh well, I'll leave it in His hands as well. I trust Him to lead me to the way.

    Anyway, hope you have a great weekend! :-)


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