If I’m not mistaken, this was one of the great works, probably the first, of the late Yasmin Ahmad – undoubtedly a true Malaysian at heart. I saw it on television then and was so impressed and inspired…

…that I sat down and wrote this story to use as one of the reading passages in my English Language lessons so that I could share this same message with my students and etch these same sentiments in their hearts…

“Huh?” I awoke with a start.

I opened my eyes. It was papa, gently rocking me up from my deep slumber. “It’s time to get up, son,” he whispered gently in his soothing, loving voice. “We’re going to Kuala Lumpur. It’s a special day today.” In the dim light of the kerosene lamp that he held in one hand, I could see that he was smiling. I sat up, still feeling drowsy, and rubbed the sleep from my eyes while papa walked over to my younger brother’s bed.

The next thing I knew, we were staggering to the well, a stone’s throw away from our house. “Take your bath first, and then you must put on your best clothes. Put on the ones you had for Deepavali last year,” papa instructed. “It’s a special day today,” he reiterated. It was barely dawn yet and from the midst of the darkness that engulfed the rubber plantation, I could hear the sound of crickets and frogs croaking.

I inadvertently let a yawn escape and at that very moment, my father poured over us a pail of water that he had drawn from the well. I jumped up when the icy water came into contact with my bare skin. It was freezing but refreshing and we were wide awake after that. After brushing our teeth, we paraded back to our room and put on our best clothes as instructed, before we headed to the kitchen for our breakfast.
Soon we were on our way.

There I was, perched on the horizontal bar of my father’s bicycle holding on tightly to the handlebars, my younger brother seated comfortably on the saddle and hanging on to my shoulders while my papa walked alongside, pushing the rusty and rickety vehicle along. My mother, dressed in her dazzling red and gold sari which she reserved for special occasions such as this, trotted closely behind trying to keep up with us.

It was not very long before the break of dawn and Kuala Lumpur came into view with the golden rays of the morning sun seeping over the horizon beyond the skyline of the city. “A new day, a new nation, a new beginning,” papa proclaimed, beaming with pride.

The stadium was crowded with people scurrying around like a crawling army of ants, and it was after much difficulty that we were able to locate some vacant seats. Never before in my life had I seen such a large congregation assembled at one place. After some time, the pageantry commenced. Some important-looking people mounted the elevated platform in the field right in the middle of the stadium. The ceremony dragged on and I was about to doze off when suddenly everyone was standing up and shouting, echoing in unison after the man on the platform.

I turned to look at my father. He and my mother were on their feet too, raising their hands and letting out cries of “Merdeka! Merdeka!” I could see the tears in their eyes, but from the radiant smiles on their faces and those of everyone else around me, I knew for sure that they were tears of joy.

Being merely a child then, I could not understand what it was all about. Today, as I reminisce on that significant day in my life, I can feel the sheer ecstasy that must have surged in my parents at that point in time when our country was liberated from the clutches of colonialism, free to soar to new heights to become what it is today. Today I look around and see this beautiful country of ours – its peace and tranquillity, the harmony among the people and the progress that we have achieved over the years and I feel within me the same pride that must have glowed in them then, and I can truly say, without any reservations whatsoever, that I am proud to be Malaysian.


I’m not too sure whether it was Confucius who said, “If you have nothing nice to say, then it is time to remain silent.”
Harap maklum; sekian, terima kasih.

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

30 thoughts on “Proud”

  1. Silence is Golden? Yup missing her ‘dare to be different’ video and movies. Happy Merdeka to All.

    Happy National Day… “May ter kha” in Foochow means “buy pork leg”!

    1. Think by now with so many may ter kha should be out of stock toally sold out how about may ter chiu *buy pork hand*? Was in a friend’s fruits shop last night and his shop is ‘kang kang’ empty not a single fruit for sale all sold out coz no transport delivery only left a half ripen bunch of bananas so grab them. Love to buy those green bananas and let them ripen in my house eating them day by day when it ripens.

      Bananas! Big headache… You buy a bunch, all green…and you wait…but once they start to ripen, have to eat quickly…or they will start to rot and turn black. But still, I keep buying – one of the few fruits that I will eat.

  2. Wuiks! Medeka special! Post scheduled at midnight! Happy merdeka, Cikgu.

    LOL!! Caught you by surprise, did I? Hehehehehe….I’m full of surprises. Happy buying pork leg – see my reply to Bananaz…

    1. Eh, don’t really understand. “May Ter Kha”?

      Have a good day wor Arthur, going out jalan jalan with family now XD

      If you say it with the correct Foochow intonation and pronunciation, it will sound similar to”Merdeka”…but it means a completely different thing – buy pork leg…which I’m afraid is not halal. Enjoy yourself – cari makan kah? Going for pork leg or not? LOL!!! 😀

  3. Yeah, I remember this ad! All of Yasmin’s stuff is legendary. My personal favorite is the CNY one where this son was really rude to his dad (turning off his karaoke, shouting at him while the dad was kindly tapau-ing CKT “I SAID DON’T WANT SIHAM”, etc etc) until he died and he’s left with the mom.

    Very touching, as is most of her stuff.

    Selamat Hari Merdeka, Arthur. 🙂

    I can’t remember that… Maybe just a little vaguely. Must run through her video clips and see. Happy “May ter kha”! LOL!!!

  4. Very touching story, Arthur. And the video, so moving. Yes, what a success story, Malaysia. It’s not perfect but could’ve been a lot worse. Just look at our big neighbor to the south.

    No comments. Just count our blessings and be thankful for whatever we have…and pray we will continue to enjoy what we have for a long time to come. Keep the peace and spread the love.

  5. Wishing all a Happy Merdeka day. Enjoy the day and stay happy 🙂

    You too. I hear it’s the last day of winter today…so enjoy your spring before the flies and heatwave come in the summer. LOL!!! 😀

    1. Haha!! Are you sure it’s Perth’s last day of winter today…the seasons here have gone skewy, winter definitely started quite late this time. And it hasn’t been that cold at all.

      I saw somebody mention that on Facebook. Very cold in Melbourne, it seems and yet, it’s supposed to be the last day of winter, they said.

  6. “Happy Merdeka Day” to everyone!!!…Oh yes!… a very touching story of the late Yasmin Ahmad. So are you going to have May ter kha!!!….today. If so, enjoy yourself, hehehehe

    Perhaps…tonight, going for dinner with cousin and hubby from Kuching. May take them to go and eat Philippine pork leg. Yum! Yum!

    1. Whooops!!!….so you opt for Philippine pork leg instead of Malaysia, kekeke…anyway, enjoy yourself. Have a great time with great company.

      No nice Chinese-style pork leg here or phak lor too kha. I think it is a Hokkien dish…and while we do have it served at a few places here, they’re all not as nice – maybe Foochow versions.

  7. Mr STP…I’ve found the beginning of your blog – March 2008 !!! I will have a lovely weekend, coz I will busy reading your blogs. Lovely!!!

    LOL!!! Good grief…that’s a whole lot to browse through. 😀

    1. Good excuse not to do any housework mah!! We don’t have kids yet the house is always kind of not quite right – my hubby and I enjoy reading (other folks flash their credit cards but we flash our numerous library cards…) but my hubby always seem to have that many books/mags around him.

      Ok. Enjoy yourself. I’ve sent you an email. Do check it out. 😉

  8. Happy Merdeka Day… Aiyoh, now i terbayang-bayang pork leg pulak….

    Happy National Day! Will be going out for dinner tonight – my cousin and hubby from Kuching in town. May go for Philippine pork leg… Yummmmm!!!!!

      1. wah, go all the way to Sibu to eat that arr? ha ha… maybe get someone to tapao for me…

        They do sell that in Kuching. I know one place called Venue – BDC, I think… They sell that there.

  9. Those were the days when ads were soooo good and meaningful. These days.. sigh..

    The sign of the times? The quality of the grads that the unis are churning out these days? 😦

  10. Yasmin is the best! Her advertisements are facts of life in malaysia… and yet… it is saddening that some do not recognize her talent… she has achieved some foreign awards… these days the ads shown caused more controversy than ever.. sigh…

    Happy Merdeka to us… (by the way, is it? i m not too sure anymore)

    Every year,there must be one or more banned… I wonder if those people even bother to think… Ah well…whatever! As long as it is a holiday…at least, some people would be happy.

  11. I enjoy Yasmin’s ads. So inspiring!

    When I was younger, I was never really proud of my country. But after I migrated to Perth, I realized the significance of Malaysia to me. Now, I can say that I’m proud of Malaysia despite the some political issues 🙂 Hehehe happy merdeka!!

    Yes, warts and all, it is still a beautiful place to live in. Somebody mentioned on Facebook that one has to leave to country before he or she starts to appreciate it. Ask my friend – PhilipHii, the guitar man in the US… He is full of praises of the country…in his own words, “outside looking in”, he thinks it’s a great country.

  12. i’ve watched a documentary about ninoy aquino and what he did for my country and because of that it opened my eyes of what it must have been before ( i was still a baby then ) making me more grateful that we have democracy here that my country has hope still 🙂

    happy national day to you 🙂

    I visited Manila and Baguio when your country was under the Marcos regime… I suppose your country has improved by leaps and bounds now that not all the money is siphoned into the family’s bank accounts? But at least, it was peaceful then, safe… I would love to visit Manila again but when there are always “problems” at a place, I would always think twice – like Bali too…

  13. Selamat Hari Merdeka, cikgu.
    Rarely do we see advertorials that pull our heart strings and/or bring tears to our eyes. Someone once said, funny how only when we’re dead people start to listen…

    Not really. I was already a fan of Yasmin even when she was still alive, full of admiration for her works…and I love her movie, Sepet.

  14. Happy MERDEKA! 😀 i guess nowadays not much ppl bother bout merdeka day, especially this year, ppl busy raya-ing.

    Yes,hardly any flag in Sibu. Previous years, they would be all over the place especially on the cars…

  15. Love the ad too! As well as your touching story! I want to read more of those! 🙂 As for Merdeka celebration, I believe they are going to postpone it to 16th Sept since the actual Merdeka coincides with Raya?

    Another public holiday on 16th September – Malaysia Day. I really think that they should just have a public holiday for the West Malaysian states ONLY on August 31st and call it Merdeka (Independence) Day. Sabah and Sarawak only became independent on September 16th, the actual date when Malaysia was formed – so on that day, the whole country can have a public holiday.

  16. Belated Happy National Day to you, hope you do have a great long week off. 🙂

    Ah well…by the end of September, I will have all the days off…for the rest of my life. Can’t wait…but will have to adjust my spending habits and my lifestyle – no more extra income other than my pension. 😦

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own.

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