I love parades, everyone does. I 'loved ' parades. About 15 years ago before I started seeing clips of parades from Russia, China, India, etc. They have way cooler military hardware, and any parade without nuclear missiles is no parade. Sorry I'm still an anti weapons activist but nothing turns me on than seeing WMD's on a holiday stroll. Blame it on science.
The next thing I loved about festive and celebration holidays are the shows that come on after the parades. We used to have really cool circus acts on TV. Yep, 15 years ago. Nowadays only Cirque du Soleil qualifies as a great act. No more tigers or elephants, sht they're boring. Once upon a time, every single holiday used to have circus shows, but of course kids nowadays prefer a different kinda' act on the Internet.
So there I was at 10 am starring blank at the sky above trying to catch at the latest gadgets of this great nation knowing that yet another year I did not wake up and be patriotic. And to add to that, another year that 'I-wanted-to-go-but-didn't' thingy. Frankly all this bores me, no not the parade or the celebration, but traveling to it. The commuters would be packed, the metro would be horrible and of course you have to brave the thousands of people to get into a viewing position to watch the mega march past. We'll just see what happens next year.
Since I'm practically on the net for 20 hours a day, that is working EST + GMT + Local Office Hours added, I read a lot of news stuff. And I hate online news. And being a wonderful day it was, seeing a young country celebrating 50 years of freedom, I presumed at least for once the foreign news service would give a nice account of my country. Nada! Nope, not a single wholly good article. Bloody hell, even the local 'alternative' news sites dumped a whole bucket of poop on the anniversary. I mean like WTF people, what else you want to see in this country. You voted for the government, you have the power, you buy stuff, you pay taxes, and yes, you give bribes!. So why then must you - Malaysians complain that things are not good? You are a democracy, one among a few that actually works but still things suck. So change it for the good by doing something rather than whining!
What all the articles had is a good paragraph or two of the celebrations and then a very long 'But' section of stuff. What? Do they only teach how to write 'But' sections at journo schools nowadays? But there are still race tensions, but there are still bribes, but there are still crime, but there are still stupid people. We came a long way, we've been through sht to get here, at least have the decency of writing the truth or if you can point out the But's then present the But's with evidence. And yet again who to blame for this? Why...Malaysians of course. We haven't the faintest idea where we are. And there are people talking about 50 years in the future. We must defend our countries image for the sake of being a Malaysian!
Ever wondered why people are saying stuff like this? Why there are skeptics for another 50 years? Everything starts from somewhere and that somewhere is the roots. Our education system isn't actually producing gems. Well, the small group of gems are not going to stay here anymore. Most of the achievers leave this country for better pastures because quite frankly, the tertiary education here is like a headless chicken. Science here is not a candle in the dark, we are using 2nd hand science! Sooner or later, another But article will call us a second hand nation, if they haven't already.
There is no paradigm shift happening, nothing MOVING forward. We are merely drifting forward. We are a society, like 90% of the countries in the world who knows zilch about the future and are claiming that we own it. We are users, consumers. We wake up, eat and sht. I dont see the same patriotism like what Indian's in India show. We are still delineated by our races. We are the same like any other in the world and we are not the safest or the strongest or whatever. A few months ago I stepped on a mine field trying to say something like Virginia Tech would not happen in Malaysia. Sure indeed a buddy from the States googled me a lot of articles on gun smuggling here. And then the human trafficking rackets and not surprisingly the terrorism links. All this makes you stop and think, is this really the country that they advertise on TV?
Another 50 years
Thinking of the negatives of this country will only give you a headache and definitely send you in the fear state that the politicians try to impose on us. How to decipher this 50 years of Independence? Many out there wont know how this great country is a model to the world. How we started from a spice junction into the biggest exporters of electronics and palm oil. We have everything that the 21st century can offer (except I cant find an Iriver Clix here). The best airport, the busiest sea ports, the biggest, the tallest, the hottest F1 race. You name it. And we have culture in the likes you've never seen anywhere. If you think Bali is awesome, try coming to the best beaches in the world in Langkawi, Redang, etc. Our economy is rocking, the envy of local sea countries, even Indonesia has no answer for us. But where did it all go wrong or going wrong?
We sat down and watched the world go past. We never bothered, we read crime in the papers and went to bed. We never took action. Partly it's because we haven't seen any actions. And trust me we dont want any action in the likes of the middle east or Sri Lanka. I cant imagine anyone here surviving a civil war and I greatly respect the spirit of the people who left their countries in conflict but still love every bit of their motherland. We here are different. We are not bothered. We step on our flags. We bitch about stuff that our neighbors do but shut up when our leaders screw up. How could a single person or two be bigger than 26 million people? We are living the curse of our history. We had a unique challenge that were given to us since even before our Independence on 31st August 1957. The legacies of war taught us many things. But today we let it slip away, never reminiscing or respecting it. We take for granted the 'safety' that we have. We let drug and crime permeate our children and youth. We never care about education, we let people make decisions that we dont like. In short we never think of tomorrow.
Another 50 year will be hard. Hard staying together is the least of our problems. There are people out there trying to break us apart, inside this country and from outside. We fail to realize we dont have a home away from home. Be it Chinese or an Indian. We are Malaysians and like it or not we are what we are. Please dont tell me you can just migrate to India and be one of them or China. We cant, this is a political world. The powers that power the turbulence in the society is strangely fueled by the people itself. We create the chaos that we did not want to face. We failed to correct things. Change doesnt mean going to the streets, we will never have the motivation of street protesters or the mercy of the God's if we want violence. This is a democracy so we have the voting rights to change things. And the first change is to stop believing the wrong sources. It's true that these 'alternative' news dig up things the mainstream media would never touch. It's true that to an extend this is media control. But many would agree that we are not a mature society to handle racism. If we let people speak and do things, if we let Malaysians or be it even Asians to have the freedom of America, then we would sink even faster. We cant be as free as anyone wishes because freedom and liberty the American way means there will be a gun in every home. Cherish the freedom of our own brand.
What we can copy from the western world is the education. We have the best brains in the world but we dont have the environment conducive to achieve such a break for our own soil. We admire their computing machines to space machines but we dont have the expertise to do it ourselves. We sell out easily, we want to make more money because we think we can come back once a year and impress the locals. That's where the crux of the matter lies. The only way the government can change the people is to revamp and create a system of multi medium learning that will give birth to an astronaut, not buy a seat to space. We need naturals and we need it fast. We cant be second hand forever. We need to settle the language issue, we need to settle the racial issue and then we can go forward. Our education already teaches us to think, but it doesnt teach us to think out of the box. Education is a political tool, but this politics must be discarded for the good of all. The only way to create a true Malaysian is to let him or her learn freely and develop freely.
It's easy to sink into activism roles. Trying our best to be on the other side of the fence and shouting abuses to a system thats been in power since this country is born. In many ways, there is nothing wrong with this system. It's working because we are working it. We are workers but not creators. There will come a time in the future where there will be forces that want to change the system, want to change the governing rules but bear in mind that experiments doesn't always work. I don't have faith in a wholesale change in the system. I have faith in experience. I'll stop here for this matter and not say anything more about politics. But one thing for sure is that we have the power to vote and we can change the wrongs of the society but we dont have to throw away a working system. This is a society banded together since 50, even hundreds of years ago. We may be facing some cracks here and there but this too shall pass.
What 50 more years brings us is more than politics and people. The earth is not doing well. It's basically reseting because we have done damages that cant be undone easily. As a society we have to think of the climate change because it has the keys for a better tomorrow socially and economically. Our oil will run out and our tracks will slow down. Our momentum will slow down, it wont stop but it will slow down. There will be terrorism and there will be wars. And the good thing is we can change all this. We can stay together and face the challenges one by one. We can gain more by having friends who think alike. And we can go forward confidently by having great teachers, no matter where they are. 50 years in the future we must think globally to achieve what we want. And no matter what people say, we will achieve it and there will be a great 100th celebration and God willing I want to be alive to see it.
It's a long post but it's what I honestly think of this country. There are many things I left out, there are many criticisms that I could have hurled but I didn't. There are many more wrongs out there but I dont want to say it. But I can assure anyone out there, Malaysia is a safer and better country than say 20 or 30 years ago and certainly safer than most Asian nations. Malaysia will continue being a model country for any multiracial society out there. We will amend whatever there is lacking and we will prove wrong any naysayers out there. In the end I dont see myself living anywhere else. I want to travel the lands, I want to see where we all came from; the great democracy of India and admire the land of freedom and liberty, America. But in the end I want to come back and feel home.
May God Bless Malaysia for another 50 years and eternity.
[#] Post will sway from thesis to anti-thesis from time to time...well...that's how emotions are.
[#] EST work time is working according to American office hours. GMT is loosely for Europe.