Today’s struggle for ‘Merdeka’ is about breaking free from the shackles of intellectual oppression that restrict our judgement, says Syerleena Abdul Rashid.
Can we blame the bloggers for the sour and humourless dispositions of our politicians? Perhaps, they’ve been eating too many sour grapes and have no means of expressing their frustrations in a more positive or creative way, muses Grumblestone.
Here we are again facing another Merdeka celebration that for some seems a chance to exhibit their patriotism in conventional or unconventional ways. Whatever way you do it, is seen as some kind of political statement, even when it may be merely a means of self-expression. Authorities in this country may not have reached the stage of open-mindedness found in some other countries. Our politicians lack humour and the ability to laugh at themselves or their silly mistakes. They’re as sensitive as ‘touch-me-nots’.
In the US, even George Bush and Bill Clinton can laugh at themselves. Brits laugh at their royals and politicians from time to time. But in Malaysia, some of those holding political power seem to see themselves as ‘divine beings’ whose names should not be taken in vain on pain of being sledge-hammered with sedition, the ISA and other humourless and draconian rules.
In contrast, other countries like the US, UK and Australia suffer their nathional flags and effigies of their leaders being burnt and trampled on by protesters in foreign countries. Rightly, foreign protesters can do whatever they like on their home grounds as long as their governments tolerate it. There is no cause for a diplomatic incident as one does not tell one’s neighbours how to live their lives. Yet, again, we bristle up like porcupines and wag fingers at the neighboring populace beyond our jurisdiction… tut,tut,tut.
Yes, we should celebrate our ‘Merdeka’ in a big and ostentatious way, but for some, quiet patriotism suffices. Yet, the apparent festivity and ‘smiley-ness’ of the whole thing with fluttering ‘jalur gemilang‘ from car roofs and buildings leaves a somewhat artificial after taste. We are 53. Have we matured and grown wiser or have we missed maturity and gone straight to senility, falling into dementia instead?
This anniversary sees hard-sell talk of 1Malaysia and anti-racism, but is the reality convincing enough? The hard-sell on anti-racism is somewhat loaded on one-side. Like a dice used by the jackals always winning by means more foul than fair.
So can we blame the bloggers for the sour and humourless dispositions of our politicians? Perhaps, they’ve been eating too many sour grapes and have no means of expressing their frustrations in a more positive or creative way.
Happy Independence Day, Malaysia!
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The rise and demise of the Labour Party of Malaya was an important experience of socialist politics in Malaysia. Mistakes were made and many leaders and members paid a heavy price for them. Even so, their courage, commitment and sacrifices before and after independence cannot be denied a proper historical appreciation, observes Tan Kim Hong in tracing a brief history of the party.