Happy 54th Birthday and God Bless Malaysia

August 30, 2011

Happy 54th Birthday and God Bless Malaysia

“The essence of the messages (of Al-Qur’an) over time is always the same: a guidance on how to live a just, equitable and peaceful life; how to make the world a better place for everyone. Human perversity as well as ignorance can turn what is open and available to all into intricate, complicated means to divide people. Instead of God consciousness and guidance being the moral principles which bring people together , it becomes the embodiment of the most irreducible differences, the cause of irreconcilable dispute.”–Ziauddin Sardar, Reading the Qur’an (pp.103)

Make Malaysia a Better Place

Tomorrow, August 31, 2011, we celebrate 54 years of Independence and congratulations are in order. While we congratulate ourselves, we must also reflect.  With that in mind, permit me to quote what our Father of Independence and Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman proclaimed on August 31, 1957:

NOW In the name of God the Compassionate, the Merciful, I TUNKU ABDUL RAHMAN PUTRA ibni AL-MARHUM SULTAN ABDUL HAMID HALIMSHAH, PRIME MINISTER OF THE PERSEKUTUAN TANAH MELAYU, with the concurrence and approval of Their Highnesses the Rulers of the Malay States do hereby proclaim and declare on behalf of the people of the Persekutuan Tanah Melayu that as from the thirty first day of August, nineteen hundred and fifty seven, the Persekutuan Tanah Melayu comprising the States of Johore, Pahang, Negri Semblian, Selangor, Kedah, Perlis, Kelantan, Trengganu, Perak, Malacca and Penang is and with God’s blessing shall be for ever a sovereign democratic and independent State founded upon the principles of liberty and justice and ever seeking the welfare and happiness of its people and the maintenance of a just peace among all nations.”

There is no doubt that we have achieved considerable progress in terms of economic and social development over the last 5 decades. That has unfortunately come at a price, that is, at the cost of our fundamental liberties. In terms of achieving Tunku’s vision of a democratic state…” founded upon the principles of liberty and justice and ever seeking the welfare and happiness of its people and the maintenance of a just peace among all nations”, we are lagging behind, and today our democratic state is under threat.

We are faced with an authoritarian and hubristic leadership which is bent on retaining its right to rule at whatever cost. Not necessary to do that. The government has just do the right things, and put service above self-interest and greed. Because it has failed to do that, it must  now work hard to regain our trust and confidence.

Malaysia is increasingly divided along racial and income lines; we have rampant corruption; our fundamental liberties are being trampled upon and our institutions of governance are dysfunctional, including our system of justice. Economic growth is slowing down and we face a serious threat of inflation.The ship called Malaysia is today rudderless.

But  we can change all that, and I believe that as Malaysians, we can make it happen. We should get our politics right. We cannot allow politicians both in government and the opposition to exploit racial sentiments for their own benefit. Failure to do so, we risk being losers by allowing national harmony to fritter away. Peace and stability are critical. Underpinning that is national unity.

We must use this Merdeka Day to reflect on our successes and failures so that we can work together to achieve the vision of our Father of Independence of a truly democratic state founded on the principles of liberty and justice.

May God Bless Malaysia. And may we live in peace and harmony as Malaysians.–Din Merican

36 thoughts on “Happy 54th Birthday and God Bless Malaysia

  1. Happy 54th Birthday and may Malaysians free themselves from the death grip of the present corrupt politicians and opportunists..
    The success and fall of a country is directly proportional to the qualities of its citizens.
    As a Malaysian I know that Malaysians will very soon succeed in establishing normalcy in our beautiful country!

    We would’nt deviate from the way shown to us by our beloved First Prime Minister of Malaya,

    My best wishes comes to you all the way from Hamburg. Where ever we are our thoughts are always with you.

  2. “There is no doubt that we have achieved considerable progress in terms of economic and social development over the last 5 decades. That has unfortunately come at a price, that is, at the cost of our fundamental liberties.” Dato Din Merican

    In as far as the above suggests a necessary, inherent trade-off between economic development and fundamental liberties (freedom of speech, assembly and association) I will have to respectfully disagree.

    The trade-off is between security interest and fundamental liberties.
    Mongkut Bean, security interest yes, up to a point. But often it is a convenient pretext for suppression of fundamental freedoms and the application of the draconian ISA. I suggest you read Amartya Sen’s classic,Development as Freedom. Happy Merdeka and hope you are okay in New York.–Din Merican

  3. Fifty-four years of independence: “Are we really ‘merdeka’” ? Friends from USA have this to say:

    In case you are wondering what I mean, coming 31 August 2011 is fifty-four years of independence for a country called Malaysia. However, I will be asking the one question after having spoken to many Malaysians, in person and online. The one common question they have: “Are we truly Merdeka?” The word Merdeka means free or independence in Malay language. Therefore, I am blogging to point out some things Malaysians really want to point out what is really wrong back home. Secondly, what I am listing out according to what Malaysians have told me would have left the late Tunku Abdul Rahman (the first prime minister of Malaysia) rolling in his grave if he knew how badly the country has turned out. Afraid to say they are right. Darn right.


    Time and again, I have been reading from alternative news reports (Thank goodness for BBC, alternative media, blogs and the like so I say the mainstream Malaysian media is an epic FAIL) that touch on the issue of corruption in Malaysia. How ironic for a country with its first class infrastructure and its tallest building yet corruption is still big in Malaysia. Corruption is ugly where politicians line their pockets with Malaysian citizens’ hard-earned taxes for their personal selfish gains. Truth is, some parts of Malaysia still have rural people living in squalor without any running water, proper sewage or even electricity (and it’s a real fact). So those Lonely Planet books and beautiful postcards are just there to sugarcoat.

    Racial quota in Malaysian state universities

    Having spoken to many Malaysians who have a bone to pick about tertiary education in Malaysia, I cannot help but be shocked to know of the use of racial quota in state universities. Honestly, racial quotas are not doing any good to both education and society. Why should a potential university applicant be chosen according to ethnic origin, race and religion? No wonder so many Malaysians of non-Malay descent end up having to fork out more money to send their children to private colleges or universities in Malaysia or send them overseas. Have those state universities in Malaysia heard of meritocracy, that is choosing a person according to talent and ability NOT based on race, religion and ethnic origin? Tertiary education should be open to any Malaysian regardless of colour, religion and ethnic origin.

    Double standard discounts for buying properties in Malaysia

    Someone (Name suppressed for privacy reasons) who spent a couple of years living and working in Malaysia told me about the issue of double standards in buying houses in Malaysia. This is what this person told me: Malaysians of Bumiputera status (check out this link to find out what Bumiputera means) are eligible in getting 5% discount when they purchase a house whilst non-Bumiputera Malaysians (e.g. Chinese, Indian, etc) do not get a discount. There is no such double standard discount like this in countries like America, United Kingdom or even Singapore. If we have this sort of thing, that is not just discriminatory but also it would earn a community or a country a laughing stock status from the eyes of the international world who believe in equality.

    The falling (and continuous falling) standard of English language in Malaysia

    Once under British colonial rule, Malaysia was the cream of Southeast Asia where many Malaysians could speak and write perfect English all because in those days, according to Malaysian Baby Boomers (1946-1964) and Silent Generation (1925-1945), learning English was seen as a gateway to better chances in education and employment (especially in trade and civil services). Then came along, an education reform (or should I say ‘reform’) that began phasing out English-medium schools in 1970 and replacing them with Malay-medium schools by 1982. This ‘reform’ places a greater emphasis on learning the Malay language to the point of neglecting the teaching of English language to those born in the early 1970s and onwards. The outcome? Not a very good outcome from what I am told because many of the younger Malaysian generation, Generation X(1965-1981) and Generation Y (1982-1995), cannot string a few words in proper English, orally or on paper (if you count in a badly written job application letter or an essay). Because of this, they are called the ‘lost’ generation who are deprived the joys of being able to speak and write proper English like their Baby Boomer and Silent Generation counterparts. Another thing I want to point out is how those dumb, corrupted politicians have the gall to say in the Malaysian media that learning English would turn a Malaysian into a Westerner and cause a rot to Malaysia culture. Excuse me, a rot to Malaysian culture or turning a Malaysian into a ‘white’ person? What a ridiculous statement. A Malaysian who speaks and writes perfect English, does not make him or her any less Malaysian. Lastly, those people need to face the fact that English is a lingua franca so why should they deny the young the right to learn English. Why should they not allow an English-medium school to be built for Malaysians who have the right to send their kids to one? Get real, English is used everything from media and sciences to computing and trade. Last but not least this post from Lim Kit Siang’s blog has hit the nail on the head about the importance of mastering English to enable Malaysians, especially the young ones, to compete at global level.

    Lack of freedom of speech and expression

    Time and again, Malaysia has been labelled as a democratic country in most history and geographical books. However, I have to disagree from what I hear from Malaysians. Do you know that working as a journalist in Malaysia is a dangerous job where one can end up going to prison without a trial for just reporting the truth to the public? Absurd! How can a country be called democratic when it denies people the right to freedom of speech and expression as well as media freedom?

    Biased government policies

    Need to say more? Well that would explain why many Malaysians I come across are moving out overseas for better lives. Who wants to live in a country that have stupid and biased policies anyway?

    These are all I can list about the issues that some Malaysians have the defined their question, “Are we truly Merdeka?”. What says you about this issue? What else do you think are other issues that touch about what they want change for their country, Malaysia? Do you know a Malaysia or Malaysians who tell you exactly what is ‘wrong’ with their country?

  4. “Malaysia is increasingly divided along racial and income lines; we have rampant corruption; our fundamental liberties are being trampled upon and our institutions of governance are dysfunctional, including our system of justice. Economic growth is slowing down and we face a serious threat of inflation. The ship called Malaysia is today rudderless.”

    You could say since 1969, political stability has come at a price. The so-called affirmative action policies have introduced market distortions to an otherwise free economy and have created a new Malay capitalist class where none existed before, along with a growing Malay middle class (a class the existence of which would be a precondition to political stability) a government (read: Malay) working in collusion with big business (read: Chinese), a growing public intrusion into many spheres of private life in the name of a national religious ideology and a justice system skewed to protect strong vested interests.

    Today we have a regime ruling the country that is fast losing its legitimacy to govern led by a leadership increasingly distracted by issues that continue to divide the races and is on an election mode ever since its massive losses at the last polls. One cannot help draw a parallel between the Najib and the Bush Administration towards the end of the latter’s first term when it was put on a permanent election mode. But the similarity ends there.

    Malaysia as a vessel continues to float rudderless into stormy and unchartered waters led by a captain who is clueless. It is time to make the captain walk the plank.

  5. God is not doing any favour to Malaysia since 1957. With HIS omnipresence and all-knowing, did not intervene to root out corrupt UMNO Malay leaders, did not stop the Kutty Supremo from expanding racist policies, and did not help to bridge between HIS believers who use two editions of the same Jewish book called the Torah.

    Perhaps God felt it is not worth intervening the affairs of Malaysia and leaving to Nature to fix the problem.

  6. How many times do I need to remind you, Frank, that God is fighting wars on two fronts and cannot be disturbed?? There are so many suicide bombers that virgins are in short supply. There aren’t enough virgins to go round. It is all about supply and demand. Economics 101.

  7. Frank – August 31, 2011 at 7:05 am

    frank, it is not God’s job to do all this on earth. It is OURS. God is a private realm. When we face Him we will be asked what we did in service of mankind? It is OUR job not his whilst we are on this earth. This is the one lie that we humans like to do and that is ask where or why God didnt stop it. We were given this gift of life, it is OUR responsibility now not HIS.

  8. And, what about what we have to do to earn our place . Are we worthy of HIM who created us. We have failed miserably in the service of mankind. Are we worthy? How about instead of always asking from God to bless us all why dont we justify and show God what we are doing in the service of his creations, mankind. In our own way big or small. . As a Prime Minister or even as a citizen of this world?

  9. Happy 54th Bitrhday Malaysia.Inspite of corruption you have achieved substantial growth. But in comparison to countries who were your peers in the 70s and 80s there is much to be desired. Since you forecd one of your children to leave your home she has incresed her per pcapita income from S$400.00 in 1968 to S444,000.00 today.Your other peer under your Look Eat Policy has developed beyond recognition. I do not want to spoil your Birthday by talking about her per capita income. Perhaps faced with your problems at home you did not really Look East well of you may have had the wrong pair of glases on.

    Your are now 54 years old and you must be concerend that one illness continues to persist and despite all the drugs administered you have not been able to shake off that illness. I am afraid that like the movement of the western from prohibition to leagalisation of alcohol you too may be tempted or forced to, may be not legalise corruption, but may be , lose your will to fight it in a serious manner to get rid of it. But I must congratulate you for having developed the Institute Jantung Nrgara to its present level where it is able to prolong your life.

    If you are serious in wanting to get rid of this scourge you may have to get serious about the declaration of assets by senior civil servants and politicians. The present arrangement where the civil servants declare their assets to Jabatan Perhidmatan Awam and poiticians to the Prime Minister appears to be not working.You amy have to give some thought to make all senior civil servants and politicians in both government and opposition to dealare their assets to an Independent Arbitration Tribunal. This problem will not go away even if you wish it withthe hepl og GOD because civil servants retire at 58 and evey year new ones are taken in who can see how good the life on the top floor is. One really cannot grudge if those at the bottom floors want to emulate those at the top.

    Like many Third World countries you are now on the horns of a dilemma. On the one hand corruption presents the greatest threat to your continued survival in your present form. But at the same time your institutions of the state are so used to the present method of operation where corruption is a part of the Game.

    Recently we all read with our own eyes the drivel thaat came out from one of your peers to that fast unto death unless strong legislation was passed by parliament to address the issue of corruption in that country. The polticians were willing to go with the legislation provided that they and the judiciary were excluded from that bill.

    Have a good day Malaysia and please do give some thought to what I have penned.

  10. PS. And this year those who benefitted most form you have left you on your own to cleberate your Birthday. Do not worry, we the people are always with you on your Birthday and the rest of the year.

  11. Rightways
    We cannot listen to your friends from America. Not too long ago they came from distant and dominated our country and enslaved our people. Now they are in trouble. So why follow them, they won’t save us. Why inherit their system, why study their ways. We should study the Asian way whatever that is to save our country from being colonized again. We are now Merdeka and should look towards China which is benign and not a threat to lead us. You should ask your friends in China for solutions to the problems your American friends listed.

  12. “Happy Birthday Malaysia! You’re now 54 years old. At the ripe old age of 54, you’re still feeling horny” — Anonymous

    You’re still thinking of sodomy and porn and has put one of your citizens on trial first for forced sodomy and then consensual sodomy. Not once but twice. You have also video taped him while he was having sex in the privacy of his own home. Over here we sodomised each other almost every other day. We don’t put anybody on trial for sodomy. Laws on sodomy still exist on our books in some places but we no longer prosecute anybody. If we do then it is estimated that half the adult population would be spending jail time behind bars. In California with the three strikes rule, it means a life time incarceration for having carnal knowledge the wrong way. Yes, the wrong way.

    I appeal to you to put yourself into rehab for repeated sex offenders. You must wean yourself from your sexual addiction.

    Otherwise happy b’day you old whore!

  13. When we face Him we will be asked what we did in service of mankind? -Kathy

    That is odd!! I thought it is the other way round. We should do the asking since this is the first interview with God.

  14. The Journalist always seeks interviews. Sometimes the interviewee becomes the interviewed instead.
    Our current crop of leaders need to take a look at themselves, before they open their big reeking gap:

  15. Dear Dato’ Din,

    I love Malaysia and so do you. But that should not make us weaker in our arithmetic skill or poor student of history. You cannot change the fact that Malaysia NEVER gained independence. She was FORMED by 4 independent sovereign nations (now remaining three) on 16 September 1963. Malaysia is now 16 days short of 48th anniversary of its FORMATION.

    Please, of all people, Dato’ should not change what is already a historical fact, though many have tried and are succeeding in changing (manipulating?) history!

    Let everyone get this fact straight – today, 31st August 2011 is the 54th anniversary of the independence of Malaya – it is not the 54th Merdeka Anniversary of Malaysia! There can never be a Merdeka day for Malaysia because all the nations forming the Federation of Malaysia on 16 Sep 1963 were already independent nations before that.

  16. Mr Bean,

    You may be right, but the way things are going for Sarawak and Sabah under UMNO, the right thinking folks in those two territories probably want out anyway. Hold a referendum .. since one was never held back in 1963!

  17. Yes, hold a referendum. Let those folks decide what they want to do. You see, the states in the peninsular are in a different position than those two states in the east. The states in Peninsular Malaysia could not secede from the Federation of Malaya as their relations to each other is governed by the Federaton of Malaya Agreement 1948. But Singapore, S’wak and Sabah are in a different position vis-a-vis the Peninsular States. It is more of a confederation rather than a federation. That was the idea at the time of their incorporation. But the water has been muddied somewhat since.

  18. Beautiful CLF. I have seen that before. Such paradox but then isnt that our God. Paradoxically and simply Love.
    frank, you can intrview Him if you wish to do so but dont ever fall for the trap of , why did God do this to us?” nonsense because we are responsible for our time on earth!

  19. Happy 54th Birthday and God Bless Malaysia????

    54th Birthday of Malaysia???

    That is WRONG history.

    Malaysia was created in 1963, NOT 1957.

    The defunct MALAYA is 54 years old.

    MALAYSIA is ONLY 48 years old. NOT 54.

    This revision of history is propagated by UMNO.

    Sarawak and Sabah should NOT celebrate Merdeka August 31.

    These two states had their independence separately before partnering Malaya to form Malaysia.

    WE ALL SHOULD BE CELEBRATING SEPTEMBER 16…. and call it Malaysia Day.

    Celebrating Merdeka on 31st August is only relevant to the DEFUNCT MALAYA.

    We should NOT PROPAGATE THIS BLATANT LIE and teach our children the WRONG HISTORY.

  20. Happy 54th Birthday and God Bless Malaysia!

    Next year is 55 years, the retirement age, but, many have not grew up, still want to depend on Mom’s milk! Can the mums afford?

  21. Rightways , it is happy 48th birthday if you are a Malaysian. If you are a Malay , Indian or Chinese from peninsula malaysia and consider yourself a crook , cheat and lier like dr maha kundi , then you are right – our country is 54 years old.

  22. God HAS blessed Malaysia…..with the people who live here. It is they who make Malaysia.

    The politics may be rotten – but we shall fix this as long as we keep talking to one another.

  23. God HAS blessed Malaysia…-Isa Manteqi

    Atheists don’t agree. If true, then we won’t have such a bloody mess. God should have made those pariah UMNO Malays to have their quota of the 72 Virgins by now and would have rewired the neuron pathways of the Kutty Supremo by now.

    God only blesses little children and curses all adults, except atheist adults.

  24. Pingback: BEING TRULY 1MALAYSIA - Yayasan1Malaysia

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