Malaysia Day is just a day…. 

Visnu Natesan 

Malaysia Day marks the formation of Malaya, North Borneo (Sabah), Sarawak and Singapore. Malaysia Day is as important as our Merdeka Day. The day reminds us of the union between West Malaysia and East Malaysia. Singapore has left us and pursued Lee Kuan Yew’s dream or the Singaporean Dream. What dream are we supposed to pursue?

We are Malaysian, but the Muslims and Christians are fighting in the name of God.

We are Malaysian, but the premier of the country blamed the Chinese for losing the election.

We are Malaysian, but a deputy minister is criticized publicly when he voices his opinion over a national issue.

We are Malaysian, the rural folks in Borneo still live in poverty and they don’t have access to basic infrastructure.

We are Malaysian, the Indians are always the criminals and society treats them as outcasts.

We are Malaysian, the rich man’s kids go to private school and get the best education money can buy. The poor kids go to a national school which is unsure of what to teach the kids.

We are Malaysian; a temple could be destroyed despite pleas from society members to consider the decision.

We are Malaysian; a dog trainer is sent to jail in the name of insulting the religion.

We are Malaysian, the ministers can say whatever they think or believe without any considerations.

We are Malaysian; election candidates can insult religion publicly without any fear of the law.

We are Malaysian, a meaningless nation without a dream, hope and future.

We are moving backward from where we started. We have lost our sense of identity being a Malaysian. We are no longer the crowd that goes to Stadium Merdeka to support Mokthar Dahari, Soh Chin Aun and Arumugam wearing the national jersey giving Korean footballers a run for their money. The Merdeka Cup used to be the one of the most competitive football events in Asia. We were a proud nation to have a football team that was very Malaysian in spirit.

We have leaders, billionaires, history, buildings, culture and tradition, but we have lost the beautiful Malaysian soul in our destiny progressing towards 50 years of Malaysia. We are no longer the Malaysian from the past. We are products of political propaganda that has consumed the 50 years of our progress towards being a Malaysian. The word Malaysian remains a myth, not reality.

We have forgotten our history and greatness from the past. The Malaysia we used to know built based on brotherhood among the races. Today, we are ashes from the past. We have nothing to embrace on our existence as a Malaysian apart from our food.

We have to work on the very ideology of Malaysian. It should be a natural process instead of manufactured political propaganda. Maybe we could initiate little steps to create Malaysian ideology. We should start by learning from kampung and small-town people. Ipoh would be a great town to learn this. To date, the pakciks and makciks still go to the Chinese kopitiam to have breakfast. Kelantan will be another great example, the Indian and Chinese in Kelantan can generally converse in the Kelantanese dialect.

The ideal Malaysian ideology is when three people are sitting at a table having a conversation. The Chinese is speaking in Tamil, the Indian is replying in Chinese and the Malay could understand them both and replies in Malay, English, Chinese or Tamil. When we achieve this, we are truly Malaysian.