Merdeka-the other side story
Malaysia-born in 16 Sept 1963
馬來西亞(Malaysia-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federation_of_Malaysia)是在1963年9月16日誕生的，馬來亞聯合邦(The Federation of Malaya, or in Malay Persekutuan Tanah Melayu- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federation_of_Malaya)是在1957年8月31日開始的，這是事實，這是歷史的真相。
Sim Kwang Yang
I realised with a start that it is Merdeka season in Malaysia once again.
For some strange reasons, we are spared the orgy of outpouring of patriotism this year. The motor vehicles that fly the national flag are few and far between. So far, there has not been any report of silly people baking the world’s biggest cake, sleeping with the greatest number of scorpions for the longest period of time, or sewing the biggest national flag in the world. The lack of attempt to break the world’s petty records does not make Malaysians less patriotic; it merely makes them less ludicrous, less insecure, and less immature politically.
A 42-year-old Malay citizen called in on a RTM1 Selamat Pagi programme, to complain that the younger generation of Malaysians show no interest in the history of our struggle for independence. Like most unimaginative Malaysians, he proposed that the schools be used to instil in the youths memories of the great achievement of our independence. What he did not realise is that schools are not the solution, but a post-independence problem in the first place.
In any case, Malaysian history as taught in schools is the national narrative dictated to by the brand of Malay ethnic nationalism that gave birth to Umno and kept them in power for half a century. It is not my history. It is not the sort of history that I learned in Form 3, when I was taught about the evolution of parliamentary democracy and the separation of powers in England. We had to learn it in English too, in those formative years in the 60s, when the National Education Policy had yet to taint the proper purpose of education. I would like to think that my education English has not made me an unpatriotic Anglophile. I pray to God to bless the soul of my late mother for insisting that I went to an English mission school in my secondary years. Today, that excellent school is still one of the best in the land, though bogged down and shackled by the National Education Policy. Its glory is very much diminished.
The national narrative as proclaimed proudly by successive Umno supremoes and written into school history texts is also not my history. I did live through those early years before and after independence. As I remember it, as an Anak Sarawak, Independence Day fell on September 16, in 1963. Such a day is well remembered by Sarawakians and Sabahans of my generation, but why should Umno and their millions of minions care?
In the self-consciousness of Umno, as guardians and executors of Malay destiny in their Malay homeland, only they can make history. Their ideology of Malay dominance is first manifest in their dominance of the powers to write and interpret Malaysian history. Their natural psychological impulse is what the historian Eric Hobsbawm calls “official nationalism”. ......more details log in Malaysiakini(http://www.malaysiakini.com/columns/55932)
(SIM KWANG YANG was DAP MP for Bandar Kuching in Sarawak 1982-1995. Since retiring in 1995, he has become a freelance writer in the Chinese-language press, and taught philosophy in a local college for three years. He is now working with an NGO in Kuala Lumpur, the Omnicron Learning Circle, which is aimed at continuing learning for working adults and college students. Suggestions and feedback can reach him at: email@example.com.'An Examined Life' appears in Malaysiakini every Saturday. )