The August air was not only saturated with humidity, it was also so thickened with the patriotic, joyous and festive mood of the people in celebration of the 50th independence day of Malaysia. In fact I can still feel the Merdeka frenzy. It is so intence, simply overwhelming. There are Malaysian flags everywhere, cars, lamp posts, buildings, trees etc. I mean, EVERYWHERE!
I drove past a secondary school decorated with hundreds of Malaysian flags, on the school gate, the fence and classrooms. The star of the this proud patriotic display was this massive flag hanging from one of the school buildings. Actually, the huge flag wrapped up the 4-storey school classroom building, from the roof to the ground. Massive! We are talking about an easily 64 ft by 32 ft massive, about 2050 sq ft massive, which is about double the built up area of my condominuim unit. Wow, how could anyone not be impressed with such effort the school went through in declaring their love and patriotism to the country. Well, I so seriously did.
Driving away, I started to think of the amount of work, more importantly the amount of money needed to accomplish such a feat. Wouldn't that money be spent in a more practical and more impactful, if not more meaningful ways? Don't get me wrong, I'm all about "I'm proud to be a Malaysian" and "Malaysia Boleh!" and all that nationalism spirit. But I'm sure that the school could have used the money for a couple more unit of microscopes or a few more computers. What about stuffing the library with more books, or the sport room with more sporting equipment? How about putting a fresh coat of paint for the school? Looking from outside some of the buildings can certainly use that. Perhaps the money can be used for funding some extra-curriculum activities for the student?
We had achieved independence and self-rule for 50 years. Why are we still hanging onto some insignificant mindless and senseless showbo-ish display over what is actually one of the fundamentals of nation building, education, for the next generation?
Happy 50th independence day my fellow countrymen.