In Malaysia these days it is truly sad that everything is politicized. Official government functions, sporting events, national festival open houses, religious occasions and places of worship are now being politicized to gain votes.
Tragically even a joyous national event like the Merdeka celebrations have not been spared. It is regrettable that political parties have total disregard for the national day which should be above politics. Of course this can be directly attributed to the crucial 13the general elections to be held anytime soon.
As Malaysians from all walks of life unite to mark the independence of their nation 55 years ago, it is deeply disturbing that the celebrations of our independence, is being so politicized that it mars the significance and importance of this auspicious day.
The choice of the Merdeka theme and the logo created so much controversy. We now have one theme and logo by the ruling party and another for the opposition, which is totally absurd. Opposition leaders also shunned the national celebrations in favor of their own event in Selangor.
Adding to add to the controversies were people dressed in yellow T-shirts, the colour of Bersih, engaging in unacceptable behavior and hate mongering in the annual Merdeka Eve countdown at Dataran Merdeka.
No prizes for guessing where they learned such behavior from:
Meanwhile the Janji Bersih crowd these unfurled flags:
very much similar to the flags of the republic of Indonesia and the Republic of Singapore, both countries without Monarchs as their Head of State:
They also distributed these pamphlets at Dataran Merdeka:
This time around there was deafening silence from Bersih co-chairman Dumbiga, replaced by the unlikely choice of Mat Sabu while Anwar and Azmin were represented by Tian Chua and Fuziah.
For 55 years since Merdeka there has never been such blatant disrespect to the Jalur Gemilang a symbol of this sovereign nation we call Malaysia. Many of our soldiers and police officers died while others lost their limbs in defense of our nation under the Jalur Gemilang.
We celebrate our achievements in sports and other arenas with the Jalur Gemilang. The Jalur Gemilang is the national symbol of this sovereign and independent nation.
I do not know what their intentions are in wanting to change the Jalur Gemilang.
All these scenarios are targeted to spark two sets of celebrations, one for the ruling party and another for the opposition.
Such divisive politics have never been witnessed before when Malaysians of all ethnicity and walks of life, regardless of their political ideologies, freely and proudly participated in the celebrations.
As long as they gathered in peace, there were no restrictions on the way they celebrated or the colour of the attire they wore. All that mattered was that they were all citizens and that was enough to unite them in sharing their pride and joy of their independent nation.
The Merdeka celebrations are not only for political parties. It is for all Malaysians regardless of their political affiliation, ethnicity or creed.
It is a day to recall and be grateful to the many who put behind their differences, united and sacrificed so much to regain the sovereignty of the nation. It would be a tragedy if we allow it to be hijacked by political parties for their own agendas.
Our leaders from across the political divide must come together to celebrate Merdeka with the very same rakyat whom they claim to serve unconditionally. That will be the greatest lesson on unity that they can demonstrate to the people.