My Country Is Independent

Today is 31st August, 2009.
My country's Independence Day.

Another flag raised everywhere. Fireworks cracking. Hands clapping. Voice shouting. And we all go home, happy and exhausted. My country is independent.

Tomorrow we would wake up, take a bath, eat breakfast and run to works and classes. On the way, another shoulder passed without apologies, politicians throwing tantrums and making headlines, cars honking and fingers given. My country is independent.

Who says I am not proud to be Malaysian?
But I wish I could be more proud than what I am today.

Now we all talk about 1Malaysia. With long, hard explanation. But what does it really take to live harmoniously and with mutual reverence? Do we need another world class airport and F1 Circuit to be 1Malaysia? Or another twin skyscraper as a landmark to our development?

I just believe in little virtues that we have long forgotten.

Respect, Smile, Tolerance, Say "Thank You", and embrace differences.

10 years ago, it was exceptionally rare to receive complaints about students being insolent to teachers. Today, teachers can't even tell students to behave because parents would come to the rescue and next thing you know, you are already in Court. My country is independent.

10 years ago, you would not see anyone pestering you to give them a smile because it was a normality. People smiled to everyone, even strangers. Today, there is even a special campaign for you to smile. Imagine! People investing money for you to crack a smile! My country is independent.

After 52 years, Malaysians are busier than ever. Working on datelines and rushing here and there. We Malaysians don't even have time to say "Thank You!" and offer a smile. We are very busy people, you know. And it is because my country is independent.

And being independent seems to have been the reason why we have lost the virtues that we owned when we obtained Independence 52 years ago.

I wish that we could respect each other more, rather than jumping on each other's throat.

I wish that we could smile to each other more, rather than looking grumpy and miserable.

I wish that we could say thank you more, rather than just grabbing and go.

Today is 31st August, 2009.
My country's Independence Day.

Happy Birthday, Malaysia.

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