Next Sunday we will be 51.
Sadly this year’s celebration of a nation’s birthing seems more like than of an ordinary mortal in that the older they get, the less it becomes an occasion to celebrate.
It does not really take a genius to know the reasons for such a lukewarm pre-Merdeka run up, what’s with the global economy in the doldrums and our own situation of far too much muck politicking.
Perhaps it’s for the better.
Lest we forget, the nation’s birthday is supposed to be a day to reconnect with the core essential of the nation and the bedrock upon which it is built on.
From what I heard, it was a somewhat crass politico-pontification the last time around at the National level Merdeka celebration. I didn’t get to witness it as I was assigned to cover the State level celebration in Ipoh.
It’s really a pity if such an important day for the nation did become fodder for self aggrandization of perceived worth vis-à-vis the architect of our independence from the British all those years ago.
Being a junior reporter means that I have never been able to take my own family to witness these Merdeka celebrations as I always find myself working the said day.
I’m wondering if I should do so this time around since I am outside of the industry and now with off-days that is the same as millions others.
It would be good to instill some measure of patriotism, of love, and perhaps some interests in the nation’s history so that they would – as did their father before life’s progress made free time a luxury – develop a love for history.
Except that I do not trust those charged with scripting the days proceeding of keeping the scared trust of not misrepresenting historical facts; something which I witnessed during my coverage of the State celebration last year.
It left me cold to hear lies presented as fact I shall not divulge here as to save face.
Suffice to say it gave credit where none is due with nary a mentioned of the worthy parties, even if the latter later turned rouge where the country’s history was concerned.
I hoped that it was just something cooked up to suit the parade, but it still left a bitter taste in my mouth.
Interviews with the participants revealed that what I had read years ago and accepted, as facts were indeed facts even to them. I did not bother to confront them with the statements of the MC seeing that how they, too, were just third parties in the matter.
Perhaps there is a bigger picture here I am clearly missing.
One thing I am clear of is this: Merdeka is not solely for rejoicing the past but also to remind us of past follies that would hamper our future.
We are history, our children, their children, and their children’s children are not.
Merdeka is all about them. Not us.