It's going to be a great celebration, we were told. As the nation approaches its 50th year of independence, it is a milestone in the country's achievement since gaining freedom, they extolled. Yes, we have one of the world tallest skyscraper and yes, we even have have a space programme (albeit too soon to know it's eventual fate).
But the question remains, who are we? Or a better question is, who have we become?
The idealistic views of our founding fathers about our great nation, sadly, have lost it's fire in the midst of today's rat race. Those people who risked everything in their struggle to gain us the freedom we enjoy today must be turning in their graves, for we have systematically diluted the spirit this country was founded upon.
What happened to striving for the greater good? What happened to equality? The introduction of a policy to close the economic gap between the races has spiralled out of control. What started as a noble idea has turned into a fiasco reeked with abuse. It has created more dependency rather than independence. Handouts, special privilieges and favours rules the day. And when it doesn't go their way....my God, you won't be able to hear the end of it. Like the powers that be owed it to them. And the worst part of it...the rich got richer, the poor stayed poor and the middle class, well, let's just say they are confused.
So, as we celebrate a milestone in our great nation's freedom, who do we want to identify ourselves with? A Malaysian or a Malay/Chinese/Indian/Dan Lain-Lain? 50 years is a long time but in the evolutionary timeline of great communities of the world, 50 years is just a bleep on the screen. We may have a long way to go before the people of this country will refer themselves without hesitation or doubt that they are Malaysian and proud of it. But how hard are we going to make it for ourselves? Time will tell but history has a way of not letting us forget.
Happy Birthday Malaysia from a proud Malaysian.