COMMENT Aug 31, 1957 was the day the British left Malaysia. It was a very remarkable day back then, as Malaysians thought they are free when Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra chanted "Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!"
I could not imagine how happy my ancestors were when they witnessed our national flag raised high up in the sky for the very first time.
What happened after that? Am I happy when I chant ‘Merdeka’, as my ancestors were 59 years ago? The days after Aug 31, 1957, were normal as before, just without the presence of the Whites.
Did we really get our independence? In the Cambridge dictionary, independence means liberty or freedom. Are we really free? Do we own our liberty? Even holding a peaceful assembly today is an offence.
Our Federal Constitution gives us a very superficial guarantee for liberty, where it allows the government to enact laws that may restrict our liberty. It is undeniable that total liberty will cause chaos, like May 13, 1969, but it is unacceptable to see the constitution being misused to enact many draconian laws.
The recently enforced National Security Council Act (NSC Act) is my biggest fear. It grants the Malaysian authorities the power to carry out warrantless arrests, search and seize property and impose curfews at will.
NSC Act another political tool
This NSC Act may also be used by the authorities in the name of "national security" against any assembly held in future. Its not reasonable to fear this Act, for it may be another political tool used by the ruling goverment, although the government gives a guarantee not to misuse it for political reasons.
I still don’t trust the guarantee, since the previous ISA and the Sedition Act have mostly been applied against the ones who opposed the goverment.
Corruption? What more can I say when top officials are being arrested and accused of multi-level corruption involving public funds.
News? Never once have I seen any of the mass media broadcast about the opposition's achievements. The BN has never failed to be the "good boy" in every edition of Buletin Utama TV3, from the day I was born till now.
Racial equality? No comment.
Economy? Have a night walk around Kuala Lumpur city and watch how many of them are sleeping by the roadside and having cardboards as their mattress.
We Malaysians may have succeeded in getting ourselves decolonised, but we have yet to enjoy the true taste of independence. Everyone of us, as a citizen, must play a vital role in achieving the real independence.
The secret recipe for independence is just love, equal love for each and everyone of us, regardless of our skin colour. We need faith and courage in order to live in the country that all of us dream to have.
Blaming our leaders is a complete waste of time. The change is in our hands. The future of Malaysia is in the hands of all Malaysians.
Wake up and build the future of Malaysia. Spread the love for a better Malaysia. Malaysia has achieved its independence, but not we, Malaysians.
Happy 59th Independence Day, Malaysia.
MERDEKA! MERDEKA! MERDEKA!
ASHEEQ ALI SETHI ALIVI is a Malaysian who is in thirst of self-independence, and is also a Gabungan #TangkapMO1 activist.