31 August, or yesterday is Malaysia's National Day. This year's theme is again "Keranamu Malaysia" or "For You Malaysia".
TheStar August 31, 2006:
"After 49 years of independence, the transformation of Malaysia into one of the wealthiest developing nations has been astounding. We have definitely come a long way, thanks to the spirit of patiotism and nationalism displayed by all Malaysians. While we rolled along with much care, we could not avoid being shaken up by the occasional bump on the road. But we prevailed. In the final analysis, Malaysia has set off on a steady track."
Malaysia (then Malaya) gained independence from Britain on 31 August 1957. What amazed me is that Malaysia's independence was somehow unique because it was a peaceful independence achieved through diplomacy between the British and the people of all races and cultures in Malaysia. There wasn't any major conflict or tussle between the local people but instead the people were united in bringing full independence and freedom to their lives.
On that glorious 31st, Malaysia's first prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman officially proclaimed our independence, by shouting "Merdeka" three times in front of hundreds of thousands of people. Essentially, this historic proclaimation mark the beginning of what Malaysia is today.
Malaysia is home to many different cultures, ethnic groups and religions, all living together in harmony and happiness. This has been true since independence, of course, there were some racial clashes many years ago but it has been "subsided" ever since. As you stroll around Kuala Lumpur or any other parts of the country, you will come across different place of worship and different tastes of food. All these reflect Malaysia's culture diversity and the mutual respect that the people have for one another. As an example, near the place where I live now, there is a church located opposite a mosque, and a Chinese temple not very far away. Indeed, this is the beauty of Malaysia.
Above are some snapshots taken from Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC), where one of the world's tallest buildings - the Petronas Twin Towers are standing majestically, on the eve of Malaysia's National Day.
Selamat Hari Kemerdekaan ke-49!