Recently, I’ve been listening to a piano rendition of “Sejahtera Malaysia” (one of the most stirring Malaysian songs, in my opinion) by a Taiwanese artist (indeed an irony). Since it was an instrumental rendition, I had to sing to it by memory (recollecting it from my primary school days as we use to sing it in our assemblies on Mondays). And people must think I’m mentally unstable when they see me sobbing in my car while singing to this song.
One of the verses at the end of the first stanza read, “Malaysiaku bahagia” (translated as “My Malaysia is happy”). Everytime when I get to this verse, I swell up in tears.
My Malaysia? Such an uncommon notion. My happy Malaysia? An even more unrealistic utopia if you’ve been following the local news. How happy can you be when you’ve got politicians threatening to kill all chinese using a “keris”, cow heads being desecrated and thrown around, accusations, slanders, injustice, crime and the list goes on. No one in their sane mind would proudly call this their country. Or would they? Would you?
When was the last time I called you mine, Malaysia? Do I truly believe that you are rightfully mine when certain people have labelled me and my forefathers as “pendatang?” Do I look forward to leave you just so that I can settle down in a foreign land where I really am a “pendatang?” Do I prefer to call other places “home”, other than you? Do I love other nations more than I love you, Malaysia?
I sing about “Kami setia, kami sedia, berkorban untuk negara.” Am I prepared to sacrifice my time, effort or even life for you? Or do I shrink back and run away at the smallest trials when you need me the most? I am ashamed because I have been nothing but disloyal and unfaithful to you when you’ve been there for me all the days of my life.
And what about “Kami rela menjaga namamu?” I must admit, every time I talk about you, my words are filled with anything but positive remarks. I complain about your lack, I slander you by comparing you to other countries, I gossip about your leaders and people, I call you terrible names and tear you down with my words. How could I have forgotten that I am supposed to defend your name? How could I be so cold and indifferent when you’ve given your everything to me?
Will you forgive me, my Malaysia?
You will be celebrating your 55th independence day and 50th birthday soon. If I have never said it enough, I want you to know that I am honored to call you mine, that I am blessed to be called a Malaysian, a rightful citizen of this beautiful nation. My prayer for this year is that I can learn to love you, honor you and cherish you with all that I have. May I never stop calling you, “Malaysiaku bahagia” and bless you with all that I have. May the Lord teach me and my household to be loyal and faithful to you and you alone for as long as we live. From the very bottom of my heart, I want you to know,
I love you, Malaysia.
Happy National Day and Happy birthday.
“All the nations will call you blessed, for you shall be a delightful land,” says the LORD of hosts. – Malachi 3:12