Our dearest Malaysia has reached the age of 53th. So, Happy Independent Day to all Malaysian!!!! =D
In conjunction with this memorable day, I am happy to share a lovely piece of writing by a foreign friend (also a blogger) who I know not long ago. It is about his point of view on our country based on his observation and experiences. A very interesting post I would say.
He is Neil Walter from Melbourne, Australia who is currently working in Malaysia.
Be Proud Of Your Country
I've just returned from the Australian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur to vote in my countries Federal Election. Being in the company of so many fellow Australians made me remember some of the specific things I miss about Australia and the underlying characteristics of the people. However, what made a bigger impression on me was all the big Malaysian flags everywhere - on buildings, signposts, at the train stations, even as I walked out of my condo. I know that this is in preparation for Hari Merdeka (Independence Day) on August 31st, and that this month of August is used to celebrate the country and what it stands for.
Sadly, after speaking to several Malaysians about the presence of the flags - I feel that I might be prouder of Malaysia than many Malaysians are. It disappoints me as a foreigner to see a proportion of Malaysians being cynical of their country - and some even seeing the efforts of the Government to create national pride as being a facade. Even though I consider Australians extremely proud of our country, you would never see big Australian flags posted consistently across our major buildings, at our banks, or our train stations. This is because we are at a core Australians and we know this; even if we are still deeply divided across political lines, and other sensitive issues including immigration, indigenous people, and race.
I believe that movements such as One Malaysia are the right direction for the country. I'm aware of the political and racial sensitivities and differences in the country, but this blog isn't about that. Political disagreements, racial disagreements, and inequality occurs in every country in the world - it's human nature to have a different opinion and policy on things. What's different is that when everything is stripped away - when it becomes a choice to take a side, which do you choose? If your country is being invaded by another - who's side are you on? If you have to pick up a weapon and fight for a side, which one is it?
I think that all Malaysians should be really proud of your country. Malaysia is my proudly adopted home and many other fellow foreigners have made the same decision to stay here. If I was just visiting Malaysia on a short holiday for the first time this month, I would get the strong impression from the flags on the buildings that Malaysia was indeed "One", and a nation moving forward as one. Even when I visited the Malaysian Pavilion at the World Expo in Shanghai, China earlier this year, everything was branded "One Malaysia", and visitors would of gotten a unified positive impression of the country.
There are so many progressive things happening in Malaysia right now. Through my social circles, I've mostly been following developments in Youth Entrepreneurship and Education. There are a number of positive, young, and influential individuals whom are taking it upon themselves to spread positive messages around these topics and much more through our youth. There are also several notable companies investing in these initiatives to create greater impact in the society.
It's empowering the community - especially a growing number of young people in this way that will help move Malaysia forward as one and move it to a developed country. To get there though, my observation is that negative perceptions from the past need to be addressed and looked at with renewed perspective.
Neil’s post has touched my heart so deeply. The same question keeps on circling in mind my whenever I read this beautiful article, “If he can see it, why not us?”
Don’t you feel proud to be a Malaysian, too?