Sunday, September 19, 2010

Finally, our Malaysia Day...

16hb September, 2010... Hari Ini Dalam Sejarah. After 47 years, Hari Malaysia is finally declared a public holiday. But for the last 52 years, Hari Kebangsaan (Independence Day) has always hogged the limelight where West Malaysians are concerned. We hardly are reminded that Malaysia has another bigger half across the South China Sea.

On Malaysia Day, guess what hogged the limelight over here? The Sekolah Harapan (read as school for pregnant teens) 'opening' its doors on Malaysia Day. This is surely one school on the fastest track from inception to conception. Definitely Malaysia Boleh. Money for akad nikah thrown in... I'm not sure if there're any other monetary benefits.

Malaysia Day fell near the Raya celebrations this year. I was on the highway, nearing Raya. And this year, I notice more than the usual number of compact cars on it, many zooming past me even though I was holding my speed steady at 110 kmph. Then I found out that the bus companies didn't have such a busy year this year. Could it be that people are fed up of the waiting here and there, overpricing of tickets, shabby buses, inconvenient pick-up places??? Our public transportation systems don't seem to be getting any better.

Dropping FDIs... most people don't bother or even pay attention to this. We keep reading in the papers that our economy is doing okay... All I know is we can definitely do better but we're not. How can I tell? Well, 47 years ago, Brunei was supposed to join Malaysia. Singapore was in for a brief 2 years before being kicked out. We expected Singapore to come crawling back to us on our terms.... it was not to be so. And where are they now? Going by the per capita, Singapore and Brunei stand at No 5 and No 6 on the World Bank list. Singapore's meteoric rise has been amazing. Everyone knows that. Where are we? We are at No 56!

Malaysia Day! Many Sabahans and Sarawakians are waking up to the fact that they have been and still getting the shorter end of the sticks. I find it interesting reading about the present Sarawak CM (Taib Mahmud); some have labelled him the Donald Trump of the East. Reading about his wealth has indeed been an eye opening experience.... so much wealth, such opulent lifestyle. And in the meanwhile, many East Malaysians still live in longhouses with no basic amenities.

And here we are continually divided along racial lines. Who says the only the British practiced 'divide and rule'? Bersatu teguh, bercerai roboh.... try looking beyond the myopia of one race into a Malaysian race. We'll definitely do better, achieve more. Help those who require assistance without looking into the quotas or skin colour. I was driving on the road the other day and saw a Malay family in a Porsche Cayenne.... and it got me thinking. When the driver buys a house, he still gets a 5% discount! Does he deserve that? And right behind him was a Proton Saga driven by an Indian.

And work commitment, ethics, etc... I think we've become more malas and better at curi tulang. The recent Raya break - apparently patients and doctors on duty at Penang GH had their meals delayed as the workers of the catering company went MIA. That's what many are prone to do these days... they extend their leave/holiday by taking their own leave or MCs. That's the Malaysian mentality when it comes to work ethics. Many think it's their right to take any number of leave and the employer is supposed to bear with it. Counter services (except for Immigration and hospitals) in many gahmen agencies are painfully slow and your forms are likely to go missing or delayed.

Malaysia Day.... to be truly Malaysia, to have us all truly Malaysians, we still have a long way to go.

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