Every year, around this time Malaysians will be talking about Merdeka Day and flag hoisting. This year is no different. Like Suanie, I too, am not the parade-going type. I tend to stay at home with my family and watch whatever it is the TV stations think are Merdeka material… other than the often times boring parade.
However, I do hoist the Jalur Gemilang. Outside my house and on my car. Yes, some people have labelled me “belia” for doing so but I don’t really care what they think of it. To me August 31st is special because it’s a birthday… and the birthday of my country, no less. It’s true that you don’t get to pick the country you’re born in… but you pretty much get to pick the country you stay in.
I was asked by a colleague who noticed the Jalur Gemilang on my car this question, “Why do you have the flag on your car?”. In fact, she asked me twice. The first time, I gave a banal answer along the lines of “because my forefathers gave blood, sweat and tears to realise the sovereignity of this country, etc., etc.”. Yeah, pretty lame I guess. When she asked me the second time (not on the same day, mind you), I replied, “Because I’m Malaysian, not Australian or American or English or even Indonesian”.
I felt that I should have gave my second reply the first time round… she’d probably wouldn’t ask me anymore.
Happy 49th birthday Malaysia! I love you.