What does MERDEKA mean to you ?

Independence?

This was a topic discussed yesterday during a short gathering with some freinds aged between 24 – 54. Everyone had their own opinion & ideas.

Generally, the meaning of independence is more than freedom. It could mean a million things, things that we would have never thought about had we not discussed & exchanged ideas with others.

To me it means transformation in the context of infrastructure, human capital, paradigm & especially the way we go about our daily lives.

For example, the discussion of sex education was a major no-no not only before independence but has been so for the past hundreds of years in our national culture. The idea of having females pursuing tertiary education was nowhere to be seen what more for them to lead an organization. Well, this story goes on and on and on…

On another note, one of my friends yesterday mentioned how he couldn’t sleep the 1st night he went to boarding school. Homesick? Maybe, but that was not the main reason. He said that before that night, for all his life, he had never seen an electrical light bulb nor had he had the luxury of sleeping on a Dunlop mattress with a pillow. All they had then back in the kampung was ‘pelita ayam’ – that lights up with kerosene. This was in the 60’s, just several years after independence.

What is your understanding or perception of independence in the context of Malaysia? Care to share? 

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