Friday, September 16, 2005

An Independence Day Address

It is now 8.30pm on Malaysia Day. So far, everything is as quiet as I expected it. No fanfare whatsoever. I haven't watched TV nor have I turned on the radio so I don't know if Malaysia Day is being mentioned. I could be mistaken, but today is turning out just like any other regular day.

I went to check out the two biggest national dailies, and all I could find were two articles, here and here.

I guess us "over here" really don't matter all that much to the powers that be huh? I know this would be how it is, but it's disappointing all the same. I sometimes feel that we here in the east are...what's the phrase?

Dianaktirikan. Neglected. The date that's so significant, yet not even worth a mention anywhere. You'd think the government would at least talk about remembering it. But no.

When Cabinet minister rep from our side of the country brings up the fact that Malaysia (as opposed to Malaya) is officially 42 years old and not 48, he is told to shut up and put up. Jangan mempersoalkan (do not question), they tell him. Poor uncle Maximus. So, I guess it's okay in federal circles to insult and demean a Cabinet minister (who happens to be incharge of the Unity and Integration portfolio) from Sabah and dismiss his argument. What does this tell you?

It's fine. Us East Malaysians are used to being insulted like that.

Jangan mempersoalkan. I hear that phrase thrown around so much by people in the government. Well, let me menyoal. If we are not allowed to mempersoalkan (question) so many things, how in hell are we, the people of this freaking country, ever going to learn anything at all. What if we want to know why the government does what it does, are we going to be told to shut up too?

I think it's fear. I think a lot of people in government don't have the balls to deal with "difficult" issues, so the stock answer is jangan mempersoalkan. Just shut up and accept.

Well, what if I say I won't accept that kind of cop-out rank pulling. I want to mempersoalkan a hell lot of things. And you know what I want? I want a government that will answer my soalan and that of others too instead of telling us to shut up. I know. That won't happen in quite a while.

I know, I know, this rant is pointless. What am I? Just another faceless citizen in the forgotten and misunderstood state of Sarawak. What can I do?

Jangan mempersoalkan? Since when have I ever stopped questioning authority?

So, I will keep laughing at and keep heckling dumb politicians who have no clue what they are talking about and yes, I will keep bringing this up, year after year after year as long as the federal government doesn't acknowledge certain facts about us here in Sarawak and Sabah and doesn't do anything to correct and reconcile our different histories.

At least around local blog circles, people actually remember. At least I can take comfort that common, regular people from both sides of the country remember 16th September and what it means. At least I know bloggers aren't as insensitive as the government can be.

Even though it doesn't seem to mean a whole damn much officially.

Have a nice 42nd Malaysia Day everyone.

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