Sunday 31 August 2008


Flag in Hand, Abdullah Looks Glum on 31st August 2008

Malaysia celebrates 51 years of independence on Sunday 31st August 2008, but the country dogged by economic woes and uncertainties as well as political worries and devious manipulations.

The recent landslide opposition victory has raised fears within UMNO and BN, and their subservient cronies and lap-dogs, that the resurgent opposition Peoples Aliance (Pakatan Rakyat) may very soon topple 'their' government that has ruled unchecked since 1957 when British colonial rule ended.

Barisan Nasional (BN), the National Front is a coalition of 13 political parties dominated by Abdullah's United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), which claims to represent the majority Malays. It in theory shares power, with two main parties claiming to represent ethnic Chinese (MCA) and Indians (MIC), as well as the other 11 parties in BN which are small, but in practice BN is, as everyone is aware, now under the full control of UMNO.

BN’s credibility has gradually eroded over the years as UMNO's greedy grip on power has hardened, and Anwar's multi-racial Pakatan Rakyat (Peoples Alliance) promises have struck a chord with many Malaysians who say they are ready for change of federal government.

'Our leaders have let us down by indulging in too much politicking and polarization in our multiracial and multi-religious society,' said former Finance Minister Ramon Navaratnam, the president of Transparency International Malaysia.

'No group should feel marginalised in Malaysia, where God has provided for everybody's basic needs but not for anybody's greed,' he said.

Wise words indeed from Ramaon Navaratnam.

Many Malaysians have given the independence celebrations the cold shoulder, and unlike in the past, a minute number of vehicles, and very few businesses, apart from the GLCs bothered to display the Malaysian National Flag this year. The flag was visible mainly on flying on government buildings and civil service offices.

The 2009 budget tabled last Friday, by the multi-tasking PM, who doubles as finance minister, was aimed at soliciting support from the public, but was aimed at getting the civil service in general, and the police in particular on the governments band-wagon

So, it seems that there was no mood for any celebration on 31st August 2008.

Next year with a new federal government and a better economic situation, Malaysians may then be willing to celebrate again.

Forsan miseros meliora sequentur
- For those in misery perhaps better things will follow.

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