Bangsa Malaysia:Does it truly exist???

Posted: August 1, 2007 in Freedom of Speech

It’s less than a month from one of the most celebrated days in Malaysia; the great day in 1957 when our fore fathers quest to freedom was answered. Looking back through the pages of history you might conclude that it was definitely a struggle for them to get us where we are today. But the question still remains are we truly liberated? Are we truly free? Was 31 August 1957 our day of liberation or was it just a date jotted down in history that we blindly follow for the last 50 years? Don’t get me wrong I’m not stating that the struggle and conflicts our fore fathers had to go through amounts to nothing. All I’m questioning is that are we truly liberated from that day onwards? Was their struggle for us worth it?


What independence meant for those who strive for it back in the days and now is worlds apart… What does independence really meant to us today? Just another holiday where we can party all night long and sleep the next day away? Or is it a day where we profess to love our country with all our heart by splattering flags all over our cars or painting our faces with flags of our country? What does it truly mean? As I see people getting hyped up as the day gets nearer with radio stations like Hitz coming up with Merdeka programs and businesses trying to lure customers with special Merdeka offers, I wonder what this day really means.


Isn’t liberation or independence supposed to mean that as people of the country we are free? In fact we claim to the world that we are united, we are one. We are Malaysians. But what does being a Malaysian mean in the context of Merdeka? Are we more Malaysian now than we were say, 40 years back? Can we safely say that we have developed as a society, as Bangsa Malaysia? After all, 50years is a long time and things tend to change…


For those out there who are living in a fairy tale, please wake up and smell the fresh flowers! How can we claim to have independence when we are not united as Bangsa Malaysia? When we still divide ourselves as Chinese, Indians, Malays, Sikhs …50 years down the road, our kids are segregated into different schools by the medium of language. Some might argue that it is essential that these schools remain to protect the languages of other races. No doubt, I do not object to that but why not in one school?


The list goes on… try peeking into any of the 7-Eleven stores nationwide and pay attention to their notices or even flip through the newspapers in the recruitment section. These are very small matters but just glance through the media for the last few years and you will find news on issues like Artikel 11,NEP among others which further enforces how TRULY MALAYSIAN we are! If I were to point out every single thing, there would be no paper left in the world.


Every single day we are reminded that we are not Malaysian but we are Malay, Indian, Chinese… we are divided! So what’s the big fuss about being Malaysian on one day every year to celebrate independence?


Is it all a big show to show the world that we are one? Or are we so naive that we cheat ourselves year after year into believing that we are truly Malaysian no matter what race we are. Year after year the question still remains in the depth of my heart… are we truly liberated and can we truly be Malaysians? I guess that boils down to what independence and being Malaysian really means…


* i wrote this a very long time ago and now since its Merdeka month I’ll feature it as the context has not changed…

Do read Haris Ibrahim’s notion of Bangsa Malaysia

<“Haris Ibrahim ‘s Bangsa Malaysia”>

  1. zewt says:

    very well said…

    i have always said… the very first move to eliminate this racial identity is to take away the ‘bangsa’ section in any particular form. but will we and can we do it?

  2. cherwith says:

    Agreed. But race sentiments have been instilled in us from young. Nicknames for other races, classification of race- Malays-lazy Indians-Wife Beaters/Alchoholics Chinese -gamblers. We fail to see the big picture. Our whole system promotes racial divide, until it is broken down at every level of society…it will continue to remain. But can it be broken down? Breaking it down will mean having to view all races as one, none superior but all equal.

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