Sunday, August 31, 2008
Another year, another Merdeka albeit a quiter one this year. For many, 31st August means countdown concerts, expensive fireworks & a massive morning parade to celebrate Malaysia's independence.
The problem is, they get the date wrong every year! Malaysia was established on the 16th of September 1963, that's the date of our 'real' independence!
31st August 1957 was just the independence of Malaya, Sabah & Sarawak only gained their independence on the formation of Malaysia 6 years later.
You can understand why their so pissed now when the government insisted on holding the celebration on the wrong date.
The formation of Malaysia was a merger of Malaya + Singapore + Sabah + Sarawak. They are suppose to have the equal status as the whole of Malaya (Peninsula Malaysia) but look at them now...downgraded to becoming 2 of the 13 states making up the country.
The celebration of Merdeka are heavily politicised and littered with inaccuracies...
We were made to believe that one party, Umno was responsible for the nation's independence & for that we must be forever grateful. By negotiating with the British, they secured independence without shedding a drop of blood.
Without shedding a drop of blood?
What about the communists who fought against the Japanese then the British? We might not subscribe to their ideology, but their fight against colonialism must be recognised.
What about the struggle of the other Malay party, PKMM? They were the exact polar opposite to Umno - very anti-British & left leaning, described in our history books as 'radicals'. In fact they were the 1st party to adopt the battle cries of 'Merdeka!'.
Their members were caught & jailed by the British who saw them as a threat, preferring to chat with their pro-British counterparts - Umno.
And the contribution by the coalition of AMCJA-PUTERA? The name certainly sounds familiar.
The contributions of all the different factions using different means to fight against the British were simplified, reduced to a few sentences in the textbooks. So, we only learn that our independence was presented to us on a silver platter.
How untrue...it's time we recognised the unsung heroes of Merdeka.
If you have the time, this documentary, 10 Tahun Sebelum Merdeka should be an interesting watch ;)