Last Wednesday was the 54th anniversary of our independece. One was expecting much fanfare as in previous years, but was grossly disappointed. It would seem the 2nd day of Hari Raya was of greater significance to MALAYSIANS, not saying Muslim Malaysians here but MALAYSIANS, as even the customary flurry of flags was absent or near enough as along the streets, skyline and even screens this year.
Read what you will of this phenomena, but I find it sad that a day for celebrating the birth of our nation was so easily forgotten due to a holiday, the second day of which even has little religious significance at that...; Muslims can even fast on the 2nd day of Syawal, the month after Ramadhan, as opposed to being forbidden to toil in celebration of the end of Ramadhan the day before. And even if the Muslims were busy, where was the fanfare by non-Muslim Malaysians?
Of course, the week long holiday these days is not enjoyed just by Muslims but also non-Muslims alike - note the traffic jams offering Muslim and non-Muslim driven cars especially to local tourist destinations! However, no reason for us to neglect our Merdeka day I think! In this regard, we fail still as a nation to exhibit our maturity through celebrating key parts of our nationhood as a nation should and must. Are we not Malaysians then after all?
In response to this need to 'fill the vacuum', MAYC Perak with support from my team at MAYC Kebangsaan and Perak state agencies will be holding a Merdeka Poetry Event at Menara Condong or the Leaning Tower of Teluk Intan on the evening of 10 September 2011. All are welcomed to join us and with much support and effort, may we attempt to inflame anew the spirit of Merdeka within us all, and with luck, inspiring along the rest of Malaysia as well...