Yesterday was Malaysia's Independence Day -the 53rd anniversary of our becoming a nation. Watching the parade on television I wonder about some of the things my friends tell me - racism, equality, progress, politics and so on. Then there is the issue of abandoned babies. There is so much wrong going on in the country I don't even know where to start. Looking at the surface of course we don't see anything wrong - but is the problem only in our minds?
Abandoned babies - where did we go wrong there? Whose fault is it? Can we blame the teenagers and young adults who out of shame and fear of being ostracized abandon their unwanted babies anywhere. Or is it the fault of their parents who may be too busy to know that their children are pregnant. Is it the government's fault? Do we excuse the young people and say "Oh they are afraid..." To me that is a poor excuse. If you are afraid, then avoid being pregnant. Do something to prevent it. There are so many ways to do that. Condoms are sold openly everywhere - even at supermarkets and 7-11 convenience stores. In this day and age we cannot say that we don't know about contraceptives. And by teaching them Day sex education we are not condoning the act, as some people who still live in the dark ages say.
What does Independence Day mean to you the answer they invariably say is - freedom from colonisation. Were they ever colonised before? Even someone as old as I am never lived under the British rule. So what do they actually mean? I suppose to this young people today it means nothing - just a holiday, like any other. Watching the History Channel's documentary on the Emergency in Malaya and "Al Maunah - the arms heist of 1994" I get a feel of what Independence Day actually means to me. It is freedom, yes - freedom to be ourselves, to live peacefully and without fear. I appreciate the efforts of our armed personnel who have given their lives to give us this and wish all Malaysians a very meaningful "MERDEKA".