57th Merdeka Day Message

Call on Malaysians to turn the recent unprecedented twin air disasters into a new beginning to forge national unity although country never so divided and polarised since Independence

At every annual Merdeka Day celebrations we are reminded that the country is now free from the clutches of colonialism. No longer subject to powers except those elected by us from amongst our own.

57 years since Merdeka was announced, Malaysians have undergone a number of phases, trials and tribulations that have empowered, matured and given birth to a nationwide awareness of their rights as human beings in a plural country, with differences in race, religion and culture.

What is the meaning of the 57th Merdeka Day celebrations?

Are we truly free and independent Malaysians or are we swayed and blinded by the illusion of independence and freedom perpetuated by government-controlled propaganda of the traditional mainstream media?

Since last week, social media especially on Twitter had been flooded with a phenomenon sparked by netizens via the hashtag, #IfMerdekaAdsWereReal.

It saw a myriad of Malaysians expressing their frustrations towards the illusion of freedom, prosperity and harmony orchestrated via Merdeka ads on television.

The ads try to portray a false image of Malaysian life, when in reality we are facing an environment of fear and a sense of intolerance amongst each other due to racial, religious and cultural differences.

After 57 years, Malaysia is still struggling to build a society capable of living in harmony without regard to one’s race, creed or political leanings.

One of the tweets said “if Merdeka ads were real, the government should’nt need to waste funds on the 1Malaysia campaign”.

As of now, the 1Malaysia slogan by the Prime Minister is nothing less than a branding exercise with little or no meaning.

The divide-and-rule of the British colonial past are still being perpetuated today.

We are still very much polarized and far from being united.

We still have draconian laws inherited from the British in force to deny the right of speech and expression and democratic liberties such as the Sedition Act and other oppressive laws, as illustrated by the slew of selective and malicious prosecution against Pakatan Rakyat leaders in the past 10 days.

On this 57th Merdeka Day, I call on Malaysians to turn the recent unprecedented twin air disasters into a new beginning to forge national unity although the country had never been so divided and polarised since Independence in 1957.

This is the greatest challenge not only to all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region and politics but also to the leaders in the various spheres in the country.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah