I first knew about you just over 33 years ago when I was born.
When I was seven or so, I learned to woo you with my pledge of allegiance, and singing beautiful songs - in a not so beautiful voice. Through the years, thanks to the friends I had, I learned about the beauty of how unique our country is not because it was a melting pot of race, religion and culture as it's constantly advertised in those tourism ads - but because I knew deep down inside that nowhere in the world would there be a country that had the best of everything - from food to friends, despite the differences from everything I knew about my life, culture and religion was fascinating and intriguing nonetheless.
When I first stepped out of the country at 15, and got a taste of what it was like outside our country - and through the years when I had the opportunity to travel more, to Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Brunei, Mauritius or even England - each time I returned home with a prayer of thanks for that bond we have.
You are the only one for me.
Of course there were doubts every time those fatcat politicians screwed up, or when some crappy incidents took place - the recession in the late 80s, Kampung Medan, the continuous elections that revealed results that never promised a check and balance with the governing party still ruling without any competition. And so much more trying episodes that I have tried to erase from my memories.
But I stood faithful to you, knowing that you have been the best for me - and for anyone for that matter. Indeed, to know Malaysia is to love Malaysia.
My love for you grows stronger by the day.
But sadly, I have to admit of late, I have been concerned over our relationship.
Stomping and spitting on cow's heads, the whole Teoh Beng Hock and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission incident, my Muslim friends not getting to see the Black Eyed Peas soon, the dragging out of the whole Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim case a decade later, Kampung Buah Pala, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu STILL being around despite everyone from his time already cashing in their retirement benefits....
Dare I remind you of how Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno and RON have come between us?
I don't know where we're headed together.
All I know is, I still love you beyond more than what my mere words can describe.
Nevermind some tempe-eating politician is still yapping away senselessly.
Dare I mention Rais even attempting to flirt with his offer of Internet censorship?
Still, these are trying times for our relationship and I hope we can weather the storm together.
Happy birthday sayang. Sorry we can't really celebrate it this year, because they won't allow it apparently due to the whole H1N1 situation and Ramadhan. What's important is the significance of it - not some speech telling us to celebrate our differences while the cow head stompers and spitters still roam free.
I still love you more than words can say. Happy birthday. I promise to keep trying to keep us together if you do too. Hugs.
Monday, August 31, 2009