Still on Merdeka.
There is this article written by Raja Petra, published in Malaysia Today, an online publication.
I have taken excerpts from it, which I find to be food for thought. Emphasis are my own.
48 years ago today, Umno, they would have us believe, succeeded in gaining independence for Malaya after a long, hard ‘struggle’ since 1946. 11 years of battling the British Colonial masters finally bore fruit when the First Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, stood proudly before cheering Malayans shouting, “Merdeka, Merdeka, Merdeka!”
As I said, that is what Umno would have us believe.
Actually, the fight for Merdeka was spearheaded by many unsung heroes whose names have been conveniently left out of the history books. At best, Umno was the British ‘running dog’ that collaborated with the British rather than fought against them in the pursuit of independence.
As the Americans would say, why should we want to remove a dictator 10,000 miles away and replace him with 10,000 dictators one mile away? And that is what we achieved on 31 August 1957, this historic day called Merdeka Day which is celebrated every year, today included.
The British plundered this country and used the wealth of this nation as their own. Has that changed in 48 years of independence?
The British did not tolerate freedom of expression and would detain anyone who spoke out against and criticised the government. Has that changed in 48 years of independence?
The British introduced laws that not only stifled and restricted freedom of expression but that also allowed those who violated this law to be detained. Has that changed in 48 years of independence?
The British introduced a law that allowed for detention without trial, where one need not be brought before a court to be formally charged or tried for any crime. Has that changed in 48 years of independence?
The British detained anyone perceived as threats to the nation even if they had not committed any crime but were only harbouring dissenting thoughts. Has that changed in 48 years of independence?
The British practiced a divide and rule strategy so that the various races would not unite and would distrust one another. Has that changed in 48 years of independence?
The British groomed the Malays for the civil service while the non-Malays were geared towards economic activities. Has that changed in 48 years of independence?
The British created a Malay elite and ruling class complete with titles and the full trimmings of elitism. Has that changed in 48 years of independence?
And the list can go on and on. 48 years of Merdeka and what do we have? Same shit different day. We sent the British home in favour of a better Malaya. But once the British left we just aped what they did when they were the masters of this land. Maybe Darwin was right after all.
Merdeka, Merdeka, Merdeka!
The question is: from what?