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The 51 st Merdeka celebration seems muted this year. The severe cut in budget allocation probably has something to do with the reduced scale with which our nation’s independence is being commemorated.

Last year, the half-century independence celebration cost the nation some RM100 million. It seems like an obscene amount of money just to parade the pomp and ceremony of patriotism. Now that the country is engulfed in a global crisis in oil and food prices with inflation rate hitting the highest peak in 27 years, such lavish spending on Merdeka celebration would not go down so well with a rakyat that has just given the BN the worst thumping in 50 years!

What it shows is that the grand celebration last year, and many years before that, were all popped up by huge allocation of public funds. When the degree of national joy on Independence Day is measured by how much money is available to make things happen, something is seriously wrong with our country.

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