Are we going to settle for what we have achieved? Or are we instead going to embark on a renewed struggle for that which meaning to our existence, asks Dominic Damian.
The 2018 election victory that is celebrated as the second Merdeka holds the promise of a new dawn for the nation.
Our potential lies in embracing equality and every other convention of the highest standards for a purposeful and meaningful life. The magnitude of this goal would make our existing freedom pale in comparison.
The nation’s greatness would be assured when we have the wisdom to realise our dream for:
- racial and religious equality to be embedded in the DNA of each citizen. Neither ethnicity nor creed should ever be used to discriminate against any person socially, economically or politically. This would be the ultimate Merdeka!
- women, men and individuals of various sexual orientations to be treated and seen as equals. This would be the quintessential Merdeka.
- status to be recognised as a measure of one’s responsibility towards society and the nation, nothing more. Titled personages and the holders of the highest political offices and institutions in the nation must submit to the simple truth that they are subjects who are equal before the Constitution and the laws of the land. This would be an unsurpassed Merdeka!
- the character and conscience of the nation to be sensitively imbued within the personal conscience of each citizen. In this way, we can empathise with even one person who is impoverished, homeless or marginalised. We will be able to see that as a stinging shame, a travesty, an unacceptable failure which should be overcome instead of building beautiful monuments or structures of convenience. This must be the standard of our shared dignity. This would be the pinnacle of Merdeka!
- when indigenous people are accorded due respect and honoured for their heritage, when their rights are enshrined, protected and empowered. This would be the paramount Merdeka.
- when a river can flow unimpeded to feed the lakes and seas; when leaves fear not the kiss of the wind that prompts their graceful fall; when trees find comfort in the calm of the deep dark green forest; when mountains, clothed in the splendour of quiet majesty, greet tranquil valleys; when shores entice the waves to crash; when creatures know footpaths and not roads; when birds sing for dawn’s rays of sunlight; when the sky, painted with a dazzling array of colours, bathes the land with the fading light of dusk; when a tender moon and bright stars glow in the night; when humanity in reverential, sacred humility treads softly upon the earth without stripping her skin and leaving her exposed. Then will the harmony of balance be restored to our Eden, the sanctuary for each soul. This would be the supreme pinnacle of Merdeka.
This is the gauntlet laid down in our path towards greatness after the election. Are we merely going to settle for what we have achieved? Or are we instead going to embark on a renewed struggle for that which gives purpose and meaning to our existence?