Robert Frost:Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening


Men and Women of the Fifties Generation,

I dedicate this poem by Robert Frost to you, Malaysians of my generation. We all have miles to go before we sleep. It is a dim last 2007 evening in our homeland. Soon it will be 2008.

We have begun the next 50 years with our country lagging behind. Our education system is in a sorry state with our universities in shambles compared to those in our region, let alone those of the Western world, in terms of research and teaching; our economy is performing well below its potential; the income disparity between the urban and rural sectors is widening; corruption is rampant; the government no longer listens to people; it acts with impunity; the Judiciary is corrupt; our once proud civil service where there are still very able and qualified people is completely demoralised; our Police and its specialized agencies are being used to “spy on citizens” in order to protect politicians who have failed us miserably; no one wants to invest here; the media is not free; legitimate dissent is not tolerated; and fear has taken over our land and voices are being silenced.

After 50 years of independence, the state of Malaysia, says Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, quoting Shakespeare’s Prince of Denmark, is rotten. The time is now for us to come out of the woodworks and be counted. Mea culpa, we have allowed our country to deteriorate intellectually,morally and economically. Politically too, we may revert to being a third rate nation.

Please get out of your comfort zone. Join me and let us go change Malaysia for the future of our grandchildren, great grandchildren, and our future generations. Let us make democracy work so that people who we vote into office truly serve the country, not themsleves, their families and relatives, and their cronies. Make integrity matter and restore our dignity.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it’s queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there’s some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Din Merican
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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