This has been an unusual year for us Malaysians thus far, with major political and economic upheavals amidst a raging and relentless faceless enemy daily claiming the lives of tens of thousands in our country alone. Certainly a recipe for disaster, dividing our people and our country.
But as our National Day draws near, it would do us all good to put aside all our differences and disputes, all our complaints and chidings, and instead, focus on our similarities in life and in situation. To stand united as one in the face of our individual and shared difficulties, tremendous as they might seem. To stand together as one nation and one people, caring for and helping each other – this should be the meaning of this Merdeka for us.
This year on 31st August we should all be grateful to live in our war-free country of such wonderful diversity, with our many different and beautiful colours and cultures, races and religions. We should all be thankful to be able to think independent thoughts and live independent lives with relative freedom (the pandemic aside) and in such beautiful harmony.
We should all feel fortunate to have a government that, despite its constant internal struggles, tries its best to make life and living better for us Malaysians. Not only on an everyday, ordinary basis, but especially now as we are in the throes of this most unusual situation. Our government has put together hundreds of thousands of government servants – our doctors, our nurses, our policemen, and all the other countless people whose job it is to serve our country and us – and thrown them into the front lines of this war with this killer disease so that as many of us Malaysians as possible can make it through safely.
It is a wise adage that says gratitude leaves no room for anger, and to this wisdom we must all pay heed. Because although life isn’t perfect for us Malaysians, we must remember that life is never perfect for anyone.
And so instead of pointing fingers and casting blame on all and sundry (our politicians, especially, whose jobs can’t be easy) let’s all instead be grateful. Let’s all just be grateful to be Malaysians. Happy Merdeka 2021!