52nd Independence of Malaysia - Merdeka!

TODAY, August 31st is a significant moment in Malaysia's history. After over 400 years of foreign rule, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia's first prime minister has created history when he declared "Merdeka" (Freedom) for the country in 1957. The day Malaysia finally broke free from colonial rule... the day when all the hard work to break this country free began to make some sense. Nothing can describe freedom. Independence means everything and for a nation, primarily the freedom to chart the course of its own destiny. Finally, Malaysian are able to celebrate that freedom, each year, on this date.

It is a triumphal celebration of our political and economic freedom, the freedom of being our own master, to work towards a chosen goal and to pause and savour the great distance we've covered since Independence when we want to.

Prior to Tunku uttering the famous words, "Merdeka", on this date, 1957, he laid the groundwork for Malaysia's independence from the British. With the nation's interest at heart, he went to London in 1954 and 1955 with a delegation to seek independence. And he succeeded. That's why he is known as "Bapa Kemerdekaan" (Father of Independence). The iconic photo of him with his right hand raised as he declared Merdeka is probably the most famous photograph in the country. Tunku was the prime minister of Malaysia from 1957 to 1970.

Independence Day means different things to different people. To some, it is nothing more than another holiday. What can the twentysomethings of Malaysia, born long after independence, possibly understand of the days of the Empire and the journey towards independence? We who have never known British rule, and for whom Communism is an outdated ideology rather than the subject of decades of guerilla warfare. We who have never sung God Save the King, or saluted the Union Jack, and for whom "Imperialism" and "Colonialism" are simply high scores in a round of Scrabble might find ourselves a bit befuddled when thinking about independence. Certainly, we can enjoy the long weekend; we can stick flags onto our cars and yes, we can be proud of our country.

For others, it is time to reflect on the past and look into the future. As Malaysians take a day off from work to celebrate Merdeka, let's sit down and recap the good times, take stock of the country's achievements, bask in the knowledge that in his own way, the Malaysian citizen has contributed to the nation's development and laid the foundation work for the achievement of future vision.

This is our 52nd year of Independence. We should be happy and proud that Malaysia is among a handful of independent countries which are successful. For this, we are thankful to God Almighty. When independence was sought, the colonised people were naturally hopeful that their destiny would be better determined when they become the nation's own administrators. But expectations do not always become realities. In fact, very often, hope turns into disappointment, due to internal power struggles, instability and the inability to administer and govern efficiently. Let's stay united in spirit and effort because the march towards success is far from over. We must march on to the year 2020.

When come to this date, one patriotic song which sticks to my mind and makes me proud to be a Malaysian is none other that is well remembered and hummed along than that of the highly celebrated Merdeka song by the late Sudirman Arshad, Tanggal 31. This patriotic song really rouse the spirit of Merdeka.

On the 31st

On the thirty-first in history
In month August nineteen fifty seven
Merdeka, Merdeka, definitely Merdeka
It surely be the Malaysia's history

On the thirty-first in history
In month August nineteen fifty seven
A noble day, a joyful day, a noble day, a joyful day
It surely be the Malaysia's history

Come on let's all Malaysian be proud and joyful
Together we all celebrate Merdeka, Merdeka!
Thirty first month of August, nineteen fifty seven
A noble day, my country Merdeka


Merdeka, Merdeka, Merdeka......!


Though 52 years have passed since these words first reverberated in the heart of every Malaysian, we still revel in the joy of counting down the minutes to the date when the country achieved its independence.

I am proud of Malaysia, a fascinating, peaceful and blessed country with rich cultural heritage. I salute our national flag on this day with pride, honour and dignity as it symbolises the unconditional love of the multi-racial caring and loving society.

As a proud Malaysia, what can I say except to once again to utter that good old phrase. MERDEKA!! MERDEKA!! MERDEKA!!