Happy Independence Day, Peninsular Malaysians!

I am proud to be a Malaysian.

I really am but please don't judge me if I am not in the mood to jump onto the bandwagon of celebrating something that my people was not a part of.

The definition of what it is to be truly independent is blurry nowadays

I am not being unpatriotic but how could I, a Sabahan, join my fellow Malaysians in celebrating the country's 53rd Independence celebration when we weren't a part of the nation then known as Malaya when it was granted independence?

Worst, even after joining the Federation in 1963, we are still thought of as outsiders and nothing but a place of secured seats to ensure that the ruling party remain in the helms of power?

Moreover, the current state of affairs in our country is so disturbing, that after 53 years, we are not independent as we would like to think we are and like to be. We may no longer be under British rule but are we really decolonized?

And what does August 31 really mean to Malaysians, especially the youths? An excuse to party and get drunk? An excuse to congregate and watch in awe the awesome firecrackers display?

If so, then I'd rather stay home and watch documentaries on how the likes of Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Tun Sambanthan and the rest of those who negotiated for independence.

While I briefly know who they were - based on what I could read about them - if I were to be honest to myself, the first thing that springs to my mind when Tun Cheng Lock and Tun Sambanthan are mentioned are not the freedom fighters that they were but the roads in KL that were named after them!

Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!

Youth is wasted on the young, the great poet George Bernard Shaw once penned. In view of this, rather than spend time truly understanding what Independence Day is all about and finding out what our leaders did, the youths of today find joy and comfort in knowing that, come the eve of August 31th, it's party time.

And people wonder why Malaysians become bitter as they grow older.

Is this really what Independence Day is all about?


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