AUGUST 31 ― Many say the May 9, 2018 witnessed the biggest event in this country’s history which saw a change of government after 6 decades, something thought of as impossible and unimaginable before.
But as once said by one of the world’s greats, it always seems impossible until it’s done.
While the May 9, 2018 will forever remain one of the greatest days in the history of this nation, it still cannot compare to the August 31, 1957 when a new nation was born, a new identity built from blood, sweat and tears, no matter the colour of the skin of those who fought so hard for it.
I might not have been born yet back then but I can imagine the euphoria at the time.
I can imagine the hugs and embraces, the tears, the joy and spirit of togetherness which must have been felt by all when our beloved Tunku Abdul Rahman historically and proudly uttered the word “MERDEKA” seven times before an audience of some 20,000 at the Merdeka Stadium 62 years ago.
The Tunku’s speech that rainy day remains an inspiration to me, particularly the following part:
“But while we think of the past, we look forward in faith and hope to the future, from henceforth we are masters of our destiny, and the welfare of this beloved land is our own responsibility. Let no one think we have reached the end of the road: Independence is indeed a milestone, but it is only the threshold to high endeavour ― the creation of a new and sovereign State. At this solemn moment therefore I call upon you all to dedicate yourselves to the service of the new Malaya, to work and strive with hand and brain to create a new nation, inspired by the ideals of justice and liberty ― a beacon of light in a disturbed and distracted world.”
In crafting those carefully thought of words, the Tunku spoke of the responsibility we all have, regardless of race, colour or creed in ensuring a successful nation, inspired by the ideals of justice and liberty.
Indeed, we are the masters of our destiny.
Today, we find some bent on creating racial unrest for their own selfish reasons, shamelessly distracting us from shaping our destiny as our forefathers had wanted. These bigots come in many forms and disguises, often times declaring that they know better and falsely claiming that the nation’s welfare is in danger.
They spew lies and hatred with the hope that people believe them, and some do. They try to divide us by claiming some of us are guests and disloyal to our leaders. They tell some of us we do not belong here, hoping for retaliation to substantiate their great lie that we are not united and in danger of becoming a failed state plagued with a list of ills only they can fix.
I firmly believe these are the actions of a minority who falsely claim to speak for the masses, to further their own agenda. They might be loud but they certainly do not represent most peace loving Malaysians.
So, let us rise above them and take the righteous path, always reminding ourselves that we are the masters of our own destiny, responsible for the direction of this beloved nation of ours.
Let us celebrate this MERDEKA as we did 62 years ago, as one.
SELAMAT HARI MERDEKA!
HAPPY MERDEKA DAY!
* Ramkarpal Singh is the Bukit Gelugor Member of Parliament and Chairman of the DAP National Legal Bureau.
** This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.