Independence……….Merdeka Day

31st August 2008. It is Malaysia’s 51st National Day or Independence Day. In the national language, it is known as “Hari Merdaka”, Malaysia has lots to be grateful for. Our road to independence was not without its trails, sacrifices and heroes but it was a relatively peaceful transition when compared to many countries. I was asked to write a short message entitled “My wish for Malaysia’s Birthday” for one of our national dailies. It was printed together with similar with scribblings and thoughts of other Malaysians from all walks of life. Here it is reproduced below;

“Malaysia is rich in natural resources and has an amazing diversity of plants and animals; just as we also enjoy the rich variety of cultures and races in our country. All of these diversities are blessings and contribute to our strength and our national character. I am proud of our country’s resources both natural and its people.

However, these treasures cannot be taken for granted. We must be vigilant to protect and develop them sustainably and to constantly promote greater awareness and appreciation for them. Progress is good but it must serve the aspirations of the people for a better life, good health and healthy environment. Our children and future generations must still be able to enjoy our forests, mountains, rivers and islands as we have been able to.

My wish for Malaysia is that we are wise enough to achieve as a nation our full potential in a sustainable manner, on the strength of our natural and cultural diversity without foolishly sacrificing our environment, biodiversity and social values for short-term gain. Let us be what we can be but not lose what we already have.”

After the events previously described, I am feeling that this last week has been one of independence too for me after a rather oppressive two years at work. This is a long holiday weekend here iin Malaysia and I am so going to enjoy it. Hope your weekend will be a nice one too.


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