A very iconic image of Merdeka that all Malaysians must know and must appreciate. The significance of this historical moment in Merdeka is fast losing its perspective in modern Malaysia. Image source: Wikipedia
My dad who was at that time aged 10 had followed a group of school friends to the stadium but being young did not really understand what Tunku was saying to the crowd in the Stadium. He however understood the atmosphere and the significance of the moment.
We have come a long way since 1957 but even now Tunku’s independence speech is still relevant and even more important, especially the part where Tunku said this:-
But while we think of the past, we look forward in faith and hope to the future; from henceforth we are masters of our destiny, and the welfare of this beloved land is our own responsibility:
Let no one think we have reached the end of the road: Independence is indeed a milestone, but it is only the threshold to high endeavour-the creation of a new and sovereign State.
At this solemn moment therefore I call upon you all to dedicate yourselves to the service of the new Malaya: to work and strive with hand and brain to create a new nation, inspired by the ideals of justice and liberty-a beacon of light in a disturbed and distracted world.
High confidence has been reposed in us; let us unitedly face the challenge of the years. And so with remembrance for the past, and with confidence in the future, under the providence of God, we shall succeed.
Let’s reflect back on Tunku’s words for a moment.
Unfortunately as we, shamelessly move forward with endless finger-pointing, below-the-belt politicking and the creation of unfounded fears of fellow Malaysians.
Happy 53rd Independence Day!