Monday, August 25, 2008

Please fly the Jalur Gemilang...

I had a long drive on the weekend (KL-Penang, Penang-Kota Bharu, Kota Bharu-Melaka and back to the capital city), mostly attending to weddings and visiting the sicks.

Frankly, I am sad to note that along the way, only a few cars flew the national flag. Not many buildings or residences hoisted the Jalur Gemilang.

Merdeka Day celebration is only 6 days away but I couldnt sense the excitement among Malaysians. I dont see the spirit of patriotism in them, not like we used to share during the 80s and 90s. Where are the frenzy citizens who once enjoyed the countdown to August 31 each year?

I may not be among the best citizen of the country and I dont know whether I have contributed anything. But this is my country. I was born and brought up here. I grew with each and every progress the country has recorded.

Yes, I was born few years after 1957 Independence. I have lived under all Agongs and Prime Ministers - Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra al-Haj, Tun Abdul Razak, Tun Hussein, Tun Mahathir and now Pak Lah. I have observed how the country has moved forward in tandem with global developments.

I have shaken hands with all the Prime Ministers (except Tun Razak) who did nothing except leading the country and its rakyat to be at par with others. They did their best, of course, to tackle whatever problems plaguing its march to progress.

When I first shook hands with Tunku (that was the first and last) at his residence in Bukit Tunku in the early 80s, I couldnt believe my eyes that 'this is the man who fought for our Independence with his friends.... if not, we would still remain under colonial rules'.

However, I met him when he was ailing and wheelchaired. My heart almost broke when I could hardly understand what he tried to utter, not the manner he shouted that famous 'Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!' on radio and television.

I cried when he passed away 3 weeks later, realising how much we have lost the Father of Independence, a warrior and a warrior of peace.

That taught me a lot about nationalism, about respect and about freedom.

I have been to 73 countries, including that of the developed and poor nations... but nothing is like breathing the air here! I am not such patriotic but when it comes to defending its dignity and integrity, Malaysia is second to nothing!

That's why I am quite emotional when people burned the Jalur Gemilang or tried to fly it upside down. What's wrong with our flag? What is so bad about our country?

I remember during our 40th Merdeka celebration in 1997, the government invited about 80 veterans aged 70 and above to watch the parade at Dataran Merdeka. I was so touched by their courage to stand to Negaraku although some were not that healthy enough. I wonder if they are still around...

You know what? That was the only time that they step foot on Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia. Some came from the hinterland of Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Johor, Sabah and Sarawak, almost all lived in hardship.

They were among the heroes of our Independence but never had a bit of opportunity to taste the results of their struggle more than five decades ago. Many were so poor that they never left their kampung after Tunku declared the Independence. They only heard in on radio.

Please... dont blame anything on the country, its flag, its national anthem or its Constitution. This is a lovely country which already becoming a heaven to 1.7 million foreigners. Why do we need them to show appreciation to our own motherland? Why cant we?

A few years ago when the government decided to change the rythm of Negaraku, I was again saddened. I did write something opposing it for the newspaper but my editor didnt send it to print.

Again, this is my country. I live here and I want to die here. I dont blame the country for any unpleasant thing that happens. Those who dont like being Malaysians may choose any country they want to be.

This is your country, friends. Let us share the pride and love for this nation. A flag for your car costs you only RM0.90 at any wholesale marts. Or are you ashamed of it? If you dont like your leaders, dont punish the country. Dont give away the pride of being a Malaysian.

I am a crazy person in many ways but I would never let anyone to take away my freedom and my Independence.

21 comments:

anne, subang jaya said...

bro, i agree with u. nothing is wrong with the country and its flag. i am proud to be a malaysian. i travel a lot, too and nothing compares to what we enjoy here - peace and stability

corrie said...

BUJAI,
YOU ARE LUCKY TO GET THE CHANCE TO WITNESS MANY PATRIOTIC EVENTS. I AM ONLY 20 BUT MY FATHER HAVE TAUGHT ME A LOT ABOUT OUR NATIONAL HISTORY, HOW TO SAFEGUARD IT AND HOW TO APPRECIATE IT.

THANKS TO YOU FOR SHARING THIS WITH ME.

I MAY BE YOUNG BUT I WILL NEVER LEAVE THIS COUNTRY, NEITHER WILL I GIVE UP MY CITIZENSHIP.

THIS IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY IN MANY ASPECTS. ITS MULTI-RELIGIOUS, RACE AND ETHNIC CAN NEVER BE FOUND IN OTHERS.

I HAVE ENJOYED LIVING IN A MIXED SOCIETY, SHARING MANY COMMON THINGS WITH MY NEIGHBOURS AND RESPECTING EACH OTHER.

WONDERFUL MALAYSIA!

hj zainal, MUAR said...

sesungguhnya tidak ada negara lain seunik malaysia, sdr bujai.

tidak ada sebab mengapa kita membakar kelambu hanya kerana seekor nyamuk.

malaysia tetap akan kekal biar siapa pun yang menjadi pemerintahnya.

kitalah yang mencorakkan baik-buruk negara ini. sebagai rakyat dan pemimpin, kitalah yang patut memandu arahnya, bukan orang lain

Anonymous said...

i also hate those who burned jalur gemilang a few years ago just because they didnt agree with the ruling party.

the flag got nothing to do with politics.

whoever did it must be punished severely as it condemns the country's dignity

Anonymous said...

saya sokong sokong usaha kibarkan bendera kebangsaan.

tapi di putrajaya, saya tak nampak banyak kenderaan kerajaan yang berbuat demikian

si pitak said...

bro,
some people are not born here. they got their malaysian citizenship at a later stage. however, some are very nationalist, some are not. we cannot blame them as the education system did not emphasis much on national history, except that u are 'trained' to remember certain dates.

i think many malaysians remember the date of independence when we were still malaya.

how many know when did we become malaysia?

bujai said...

pitak,

i agree with u. not many malaysians know the exact date when we changed malaya to malaysia.

who to blame?

Cuddly Family said...

I have the flags of all our states etc at home. decorating my kids room :)

I love my homeland and am fiercely Malaysian. I can't be anything else (despite being called pendatang asing at times). I've represented my country in sports.

However, I will quietly celebrate merdeka in my own way. I don't feel much like celebrating of late with the way things are progressing but the kids and hubby and I will do things quietly cos that's what we do :)

If you fly the flag etc, but just leave it to get tatty or in ruins or cos "someone told you to" and not cos you wanted to from any real sense of pride, that isn't a good thing right?

I dont blame the country or the flag etc, but I can only hope the country's economic etc situation improves. Perhaps that is why the merdeka "spirit" seems to be lacking. It definitely is :(

Selamat Menyambut Hari Kemerdekaan anyway :)

KICAP, KL said...

sdr,
semangat cintakan negara sudah semakin menipis di kalangan rakyat, khasnya generasi muda.

tanggungjawab untuk mendidik mereka agar mengetahui dan menghormati sejarah perjuangan tokoh terdahulu perlu dipupuk sejak anak2 masih kecil. ia tugas kita semua.

kita tidak mahu generasi akan datang tidak tahu langsung akan sejarah perjuangan bangsa dan tokoh-tokohnya.

kerajaan juga perlu memikirkan cara paling sesuai untuk menarik minat generasi muda ini menyertai kegiatan yang menjurus kepada perpaduan kaum, cintakan negara, cintakan bendera dan lagu kebangsaan serta menghargai erti kemerdekaan.

Anonymous said...

banyak bezanya zaman mahathir dan abdullah. pada zaman dr m, rakyat berbilang kaum gembira setiap kali datangnya 31 ogos. zaman abdullah, tak berapa dirasai.

mengapa agaknya?

bujai said...

cuddly family,

u really impressed me with the way u inculcate patriotism in your family.

syabas...

azlan said...

Is it true jalur gemilang will fly by itself by 16 sept 08?

Cuddly Family said...

Thank you bujai, Hope you do swing by my blog from time to time (mostly about kids and parenting and daily life and how many fish we can kill thus far HAHA).

I count myself fortunate, my parents have been a prime example for me. My dad (and my mum, whether she british or not, still very malaysianised hehe) have always taught us that we were malaysian first and wherever we go, we will be seen as ambassadors for Malaysia so better behave :D There are always those who claim you can't be malaysian if you orang celup but my parents raised four children here who have represented the country over a long period.

I grew up in penang, where we all seem to muddle along quite happily :) I'm trying hard to teach my kids the same principles that my parents taught us, Malaysian first. :) They will certainly have to experience "Biased" views lor but oh well, such is life. I hope to give them a strong sense of self and worth so they can learn to ignore such rubbish :)

Then we can truly be muhibbah :)

Tunku was a fine man, Bujai, having met him a few times when I was young, he could tell a glorious tale :) At least thats what I remember hehe

We hope to do a little of the lantern festival and have a little spread of food with a feel of muhibbah this weekend. The kids have a Merdeka spirit party on school on friday so they will be wearing traditional dress (luckily I have one or more from each "race" hehehee).

We have such a beautiful country with such resources and potential, let's hope we can stop any more rot etc from happening and we can fully utilise this potential :)

Enjoy your merdeka!

Anonymous said...

Jai,

I knew you from SMSJ days. Well bro, I salute you for your disdained of Malaysian citizen who ignore the fundamental act of loyalty. So Malaysian please fly your jalur gemilang.

Merdeka.........

Steve Davis said...

Jai,

Susah nak lekat bendera kat kereta bro. Nanti gam dia tak boleh tanggal. Itu hari aku gantung kat depan rumah ada orang dah curi pulak. Last sekali aku gantung bendera Cammeroon. Setakat semalam bendera tu ada lagi depan rumah.

rizal hashim said...

saudara bujai,

Patriotism is not only a matter of flying the flag high.

Penting sekali ialah pengisi kemerdekaan dan penghargaan terhadap apa itu Hari Kebangsaan. Satu cara sudah tentu menghargai sejarah di sebalik kemerdekaan.

While I have to agree with cuddly family that there is little to be optimistic about, Malaysia is our homeland. We have nowehere else to go (but many have migrated for greener pastures).

In general I like this posting of yours. It is a plea to our fellow Malaysians to celebrate our differences and put aside our suspicions cast over the years by unscrupulous politicians...

To Kicap, Kl,

Adalah menjadi tanggungjawab kita, bukan kerajaan, mengajar generasi muda mengenai sejarah. Kita harus bermula di rumah. Start with the nuclear family!

Pastikan rak buku kita mempunyai buku terbitan dalam dan luar negara serta mengandungi pelbagai topik, termasuk sejarah. Kita sudah ada Chronicle of Malaysia, kita ada banyak buku politik. Biarpun mahal, bagi yang mampu harus melabur!

Anak-anak kita kemudian akan ajak kawan-kawan mereka dan secara perlahan, gunakan VCD, DVD, dan boleh berblog macam saudara Bujai...inilah sumbangan ala kadar kita sebagai warga negara tercinta...

AKU BUKANLAH SEORANG PERWIRA,
GAGAH MENGHUNUS SENJATA,
NAMUN HATI RELA BERJUANG,
WALAU DENGAN CARA SENDIRI,
DEMI CINTA INI
Lirik Syed Haron, daripada Warisan dendangan Sudirman!

anoi, melaka said...

bro,

ni dah rabu. tak nampak pun orang kira kibar bendera kat kereta. yang ada pun kat beberapa kedai, shopping complex dan bandar besar.
tu pun macam melepaskan batuk di tangga je

Anonymous said...

macam tak meriah je sambutan hari kebangsaan tahun ni, kan bang bujai?

tak semeriah beberapa tahun yang silam ketika dr mahathir masih PM.

memang eloklah kerajaan sekarang kurangkan bajet sambutan hari kebangsaan tetapi takkanlah sampai kenderaan kerajaan pun tak banyak dipasang bendera negara!

Anonymous said...

perlukah kita membakar bendera atau memasangnya terbalik hanya kerana tidak puas hati dengan pemimpin?

itu perbuatan bodoh namanya. tidak ada cacat-celanya negara tercinta ini, kecuali mereka yang berhati petualang.

sudah 51 tahun kita merdeka. tidakkah kita dapat bandingkan betapa beruntungnya menjadi rakyat malaysia daripada negara lain?

jeremiah, botswana said...

this is the best country that i have been.

you malaysians are most fortunate for this gifts.

in my country, the whites and blacks can never walk hand in hand

jeremiah

Anonymous said...

if you dont love your country, you better fuck off and stay elsewhere!