A birthday wish from a son abroad, and other stories ... Read also Eli's The Unfinished business of Merdeka, Big Dog's Perjuangan Belum Selesai, A Voice's Sepi Meraikan Merdeka to capture the various moods and colours of this year's Merdeka.
Please read also A. Kadir Jasin's reflective Merdeka Bumiku Malaysia.
Meaning of Merdeka (Independence) 50
Merdeka to the nation! Merdeka for my ambition!
Freedom of speech! Freedom of thought!
The benevolence of colonials, merdeka is not
Free! Unshackled! That’s the command of the Lord.
My universe is broad, the blessing of God.
I strive, but only He knows my fate and lot.
Oceans, mountains, and boundaries faze me not
The global waves a match for my surfing board.
My village abode is not my tether
The yonder wide world beckons me thither.
Firm on ground, the heavens above I praise
And pray my dream will find its rightful place.
Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
That is Allah’s command; His measured kindness.
It is not for kings and rulers to alter
Nor put boundaries to God’s desire.
Blessed with freedom and reason are God’s children
To lords and kings we are never beholden.
The feudal order had long been toppled
Let’s be clear, the sovereign is the people.
Ponder the fate of one Idi Amin
That of Shah Pahlavi was equally grim!
These realities our leaders must heed
“Power to the People!” is the new creed.
Praise the wandering son, our true hero
Heeding the call when the distant wind blows.
This “us” versus “them” makes little sense
True to yourself, that is the essence.
Blessed our forefathers for that lesson.
My roots have deepened in this foreign soil
Affected or not, so too my Western drawl.
The spicy taste of yore has lost its punch
Still, the old Malay can, … lah! In a crunch!
Far across the ocean the old abode beckons
My kith and kind, Oh! They readily come to mind!
As I ponder, the heart grows fonder
Reliving stories of days yonder.
The young has flown, the empty nest silent
Sadness yes, but memories remain vibrant.
Freedom! Merdeka! Such intoxicating beauty!
With fondness and passion, I readily embrace thee.
M. Bakri Mua
Morgan Hill, California
click here for the original poem in B. Malaysia