Do we go the way of our forefathers?

Posted on May 20, 2018


many-colours-one-dreamIMG-20180512-WA0040In an earlier post this week, I described 9th May, 2018 as my Hari Merdeka, the day that the people of Malaysia were finally free.

I’ve been chatting with people the last couple of days, asking them to describe how they felt on the night of 9th May, as it became increasingly obvious that the giant, UMNO / BN had been brought down, how it felt the morning after, waking up to a new day without UMNO / BN in Putrajaya, and how it felt in the days that followed?

“Tired, but so, so happy”.

“Sleep? Couldn’t sleep, lah.”

“Finally free”.

“Cant describe, lah, Haris. Today, I really believe in God”.

“I have real hope for the country and my children”.

So many differing responses, yet all describing an overwhelming sense of euphoria, uncontrollable happiness, and a real sense of hope for the nation and all of her people.

Recall your own emotional experience the night of 9th May, the morning after and the days that followed.

Now transport yourself back in time.

31st August, 1957.

Tunku proclaiming Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!

Can you sense the same euphoria, same happiness and same hope for a better future that the people of Malaya, then, would have experienced soon after that proclamation by Tunku, and the days after?

16th September, 1963.

The Federation of Malaysia created by the coming together of the 4 sovereign states of Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak and North Borneo ( now Sabah ).

Euphoria at the sense of a new beginning, new hope and belief, that life could only get better.

Singapore pulled out of the Federation in 1965 and, by most standards, has done well by her people.

Not perfect, but in comparison to her ex-confederates, Singapore has done good.

45 years after that first Hari Malaysia, it has taken a people’s uprising at the ballot box to bring a new sense of independence, of freedom, of hope.

What happened in the intervening years, to turn hope into despair, freedom into subjugation?

What did Singapore do right, that our forefathers, or leaders during their time, get all wrong?

I think that these are questions we need ask ourselves, and offer answers truthfully, if we are to learn from the mistakes of the past, and not repeat them as we ride this new found sense of independence, of freedom, and of hope as we look to rebuild our nation.

Would love to have your thoughts on this.