Aku anak Malaysia yang ingin menghayati makna sebenar kemerdekaan.
Inggeris ku tidak inginkan sebagai tuan Tidak Portugis, tidak Belanda, Tidak Amerika, juga tidak mereka yang gilakan habuan. Tapi, bukan hanya bangsa asing yang datang melanggar, ada juga anak tempatan yang mengugat kedaulatan negara! Ku fikir kalau kita betul merdeka, tetuan sekalian ini mesti diberitahu bahawa kita tidak perlukan pemerintahan mereka.
Kemerdekaan bagiku, bukan sekadar laungan Ia suatu kesedaran; Kesedaran bahawa kita sudah matang boleh berfikir, membela diri boleh berjuang, mampu membangunkan ibu pertiwi.
Pada ulangtahun Merdeka ini inginku berdiri megah, melaungkan tujuh kali "Merdeka!" Bukan untuk memuaskan hati semata, tapi untuk memberitahu penjajah, "Bangsa Malaysia akan sedar jua, bahawasa kami sudah merdeka".
2 Merdeka Proclamation 1957 - gulf between promises and realities (Lim Kit Siang)yeah, he is a blogger now
When the nation achieved independent nationhood on August 31, 1957, it heralded the beginning of a new era where Malayans and later Malaysians could dare to dream big dreams to remake the world.
Reading out the Proclamation of Independence in Kuala Lumpur on that auspicious day 48 years ago, Bapa Malaysia Tunku Abdul Rahman pledged that Malaya (later Malaysia) “shall be for ever a sovereign democratic and independent State founded upon the principles of liberty and justice and ever seeking the welfare and happiness of its people and the maintenance of a just peace among all nations”.
Today, we have the twin towers but Malaysia would have stood even taller in the world if in the past 48 years, we had been able to forestall the exodus of her “best and brightest” sons and daughters into a Malaysian Diaspora all over the world.
On the economic front, Malaysia had achieved much when compared to countries like Ghana and Haiti, but couldn’t we have achieved more when compared to countries like South Korea and Singapore?
Where do we stand on nation-building and the creation of a Bangsa Malaysia? The recent controversy over the “social contract” is cause for very sobering thoughts as it highlighted the ignorance not only of the people but also the leaders, whether in Parliament and Cabinet, about the “social contract” agreed by the forefathers of the major communities as the bedrock of the independent nation. Equally disturbing, it illuminated the stunted product of the nation-building process when the “social contract” could be arrived at in an open and democratic debate 48 years ago, but it could not now be openly discussed or reviewed some half a century later because of its “sensitivities”.
What of democracy, liberty, justice, people’s welfare and happiness in the past 48 years?
Parliament, the Judiciary, the institutions and organs of government, are still struggling to regain the role ordained for them in the Merdeka Constitution, with the country weighed down with more undemocratic and draconian laws abridging the fundamental liberties promised to Malaysians in the Merdeka Proclamation.
On the 48th anniversary of our independent nationhood, Malaysians should ponder the gulf between the promises and realities of the Merdeka Proclamation on democracy, liberty, justice, people’s welfare and happiness and reaffirm their dedication, determination and resolve to achieve the goals of the Merdeka Proclamation in the face of the challenges of globalization in the 21st century.
This is our 10th day in Banting. Together with three Malay girls, two Malay guys, an Indian guy, two Chinese girl, I have been having a good time in this slow-paced district posting. We plan and execute our research survey together, and face awkward moments and enjoy good classes together in this Banting district posting.
Not only that, we are also cooking dinner together, and sitting together for dinner after the Maghrib prayers. After dinner, we will have chat for some time while watching TV. Discussion about sexism, corruption, politics, UMNO, Dr.M, Islamic rule, halal food, inter-racial marriage, circumcision, were brought up. We shared some racial jokes, and went back to bed or the wards without any grudge, looking forward to the next meal.
This can happen in my small group. But looking at Malaysia in the bigger picture, racial issues are real and unappeased, especially with the pushing of the Malay Agenda by a certain party. People are still very communal. There are still many things wrong that are hindering growth and discouraging unity.
B T-shirts that can put you to jail?
A chronically disappointed young 'patriot' discovered a new favourite past time - T-shirt printing.
Last week, while getting choked by the haze, I wondered if the country would celebrate the National Day without a clear blue sky and the Twin Towers blurred by the thick haze, and the participants of the parade having to wear masks. Or worse, this year's celebration could be cancelled due to the haze.
Anyway, miracles happen. And it was a miracle I think, that God decided to pour rain and shift the wind directions.
Nonetheless, the Haze in bulan Merdeka would be some form of testimony about how little certain Malaysians love Malaysia. Last week, I bitched about the Indonesians and the plantation owners. I was so mad with them, blaming them for choking our lungs and robbing us of our open spaces. Embarassingly, I realised a day later that the bloody fire was started by Malaysian companies as well. Worse, there is a rather huge open fire just kilometres away from Putrajaya, at the Sepang district.
Embarassing is the word.
I am embarassed to think that there are Malaysians so shallow and unloving to the country that at the expense of other Malaysians, they go about their burning activities because that is the only way to reap profits, to make money.
Last month, during the general assembly of a very powerful political party representing a certain ethnic group, sword-wielding-fiery speeches were made to advocate further polarisation of the society of this country. In the name of dominance of their ethnic group, they are willing to make the country go through more generations of stunted growth, and ridiculous unproductive policies directed to enriching a certain group in a certain ethnic group.
Last month, we have a trade minister exchanging words with a former prime minister over the abuse of the national automotive policy which was designed in the first place to breastfeed the national car project. Unfortunately, the focus of this fiasco was not about stopping the breastfeeding, but about the disloyalty of the trade minister towards her ex-boss, ex-mentor. No one dared to point out that the present national automotive policy was making millionaires out of a certain ethnic group. Instead, members of a very powerful political party was making noise why this automotive policy is not enriching them but only a few of the trade minister's friend. No one fought or thought about the health of our economy, the sensibility of our society and our global competitiveness. It was about dominance and enriching certain people from a certain political party of a certain ethnic group.
With just two weeks more to Hari Merdeka, we are showing signs of 'Failure To Thrive'. Like an endocrine patient with his pituitary gland taken away, we are having problems with growth and stress management.
There are Malaysians who only care to make money even if it means betraying the country. There are Malaysians who are so concerned about the 'KETUANAN' of their own ethnic group that they are ready to fight another civil war if seriously challenged. There are Malaysian who were made 2nd and 3rd class citizens who are seeing less and less meaning and purpose in staying on in this country. There are Malaysians who have misinterpreted the love for the country as the love for the government.
Probably, we should not celebrate Hari Merdeka with fireworks or parade or pancaragam. Instead, all of us should take part in a giant post-mortem national convention about what went wrong with Malaysia.
The things that are wrong with Malaysia could be destroying the very few things that are right with Malaysia.
It is scary to note that the visibility of the end of ward 12U in UMMC was also blurred by the haze when you are standing at other end. After robbing us our right to open spaces, it is coming to haunt us even in the interior.
Probably, for my short case test next week - when examining patients in short cases, I should tell the examiner..
1) when looking for jaundice - 'Ideally I would like examine under natural light, but due to the haze, it may not be possible...."
2) when checking for enlarged liver - "Ideally I would like to ask the patient to breathe deeply as I palpate for the liver border - but at such current time of thick haze- I would not, to prevent the patient from overbreathing the stinking air"
3) when hearing breath sounds - "Ideally, I would ask the patient to take deep breaths as I auscultate, but due to the haze, I would just ask the patient to breathe normally".
4) when checking for PEFR - "Due to the haze, the deep breaths prior to blowing to the meter may exacerbate another round of asthma attack in this patient, so I omitted the test."
In Klang, where my 4th year juniors are currently, they cannot even see the Klang Hospital from the hostel, which is only about 200 metres away. While I fear for their respiratory health, I fear more for the patients in Klang hospital, being an "open-air" hospitals. In Port Klang, the API (which was only released today)is at a dangerous level - 410. In PJ where I am, it is 204 - very, very unhealthy. (301-500 - Dangerous 201-300 -Very unhealthy)
And our foolish minister Najib wanted to keep it a secret. Didn't he know that it is an outright violation of our rights to such vital information? Thankfully we still have some sense in the Prime Minister who knows that suppression of public information would only drive the public to increased anger and frustration. Maybe Najib should go for tuition in some Public Policy and governance school.
Chua Soi Lek should fight to release the API on day one of the haze actually.
Now, The BIG questions ARE - 1) When is this haze episode going to be OVER? 2) Is the MALAYSIAN GOVERNMENT, especially the DOE, going to MAKE BLOODY SURE that this WILL NOT be an ANNUAL DISASTER? 3) ARE we MAKING THE INDONESIANS promise anything? 4) Is Singapore affected? Probably not, if they are - they would make NOISE and action much more sensible than us, I hope - being a first world country.
Should we sue Indonesia for downgrading our quality of life?
Imagine if it is our open fires that bring this bad haze to Jakarta. Probably Malaysia would be apologise profusely, and also offer compensation in millions of ringgit. From past experience, Malaysia has always been very kind to Indonesia and in return, we get Ganyang Malaysia to some warship lingering our waters some time ago.
Maybe we should not sue. Neighbours what...
But neighbour should pay for all the damage caused.
Pay for all the healthcare causes of acute exacerbations of asthma, COPD, sore throat and all diseases related to this horrible haze.
Above all, the Indonesian fire-fighters must fight the fire with all their might, not succumb to the hostility of those farmers who started the fire. (I heard from the radio that firefighters were stopped by farmers who purposely burnt the fields for the next crop.) There should be laws that prevent such utter disrespect to the environment.
(Update: Indonesian minister vow to bring the offenders to court. Death penalty proposed for future offenders.)