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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

As We Turn 49: One Citizen's Perspective

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Image hosting by Photobucket15 shopping days to go before 31st August, boys and girls.

As we inch along towards the 49th anniversary of Malaysia's independence, Walski will some thoughts daily in a series which we'll call "As We Turn 49".

Nothing ground-breaking, nothing earth-shattering - just some random thoughts of one citizen living in Malaysia, and observations about life in this country of ours, purely from Walski's perspective. Some of you may identify with it, most probably wont.

In this first post of the series, we'll give you some information about Walski. Born in KL a long time ago, after independence. Any of you who actually know where Mountbatten Road in KL was, will probably be around the same age! It was a time when there even was a Robinson's department store in KL.

Walski grew up around various places in the country; Kedah, Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, and Sabah, (and, of course, in KL itself). Walsk is about 7 years younger than Malaysia itself, as those of you who have followed myAsylum from its beginning may remember.

Malaysia has definitely come a very long way since then. In some ways, things are better, but in many other ways we have regressed. Malaysia is unique in its societal make-up, a blend of various cultures and beliefs, living in one nation.

But today, we seem to be more prone to forget the commonalities and emphasize the differences between us. Some of us have become very selfish, thinking that there is only one way forward - their way; to hell with the others. Multiply this by the number of different ethnicities that make up Malaysia, and what you get is one potentially explosive brew, slowly heating up in a pressure cooker we call our nation.

And this scares Walski.
(more pessimistic optimism in the full post)

We are also becoming a more violent society. Not a day goes by without some report in the media about violent crimes. Life, it seems, has a diminished value, especially if it is someone elses.

And it isn't just physical violence. Walski is even beginning to see violent innuendos in they way some of us express our thoughts in our blogs and websites. Violent innuendos against those we don't agree with. Irradicate, exterminate, and eliminate those whose viewpoints differ.

This, too, scares Walski.

But every cloud has a silver lining, one supposes. There are still those who sincerely wish for a better Malaysia for all Malaysians, and not just for a select portion of this nation. And although these voices continue to be labelled negatively by those who think themselves superior, the struggle for a more tolerant and equitable Malaysia continues unabated, albeit more subdued.

There is hope yet - this Walski strongly believes. And as we come yet another day closer to the anniversary of our independence, we should pause to give some thought as to what it is that we envisage and aspire for our children. For it is for them that we struggle to make this a more liveable, a more amicable, a more civilized Malaysia.

And just like the environment, we don't own our nation; we're only borrowing it from our children. We cannot afford to let our selfishness undo 49 years of blood and sweat, the labor of every Malaysian, regardless of ethnic heritage and religion. The time is nigh for us to realize that the only way forward is as one nation, and not as separate vessels, each with its own compass and destination.

Not for us, but for the next generation who will inherit what this nation ends up becoming.