Friday, August 31, 2007

The meaning of Merdeka

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

August 2007

click here for the original poem in B. Malaysia


  1. Anonymous12:29 am

    Merdeka is independent. So in Malaysia who is independent?
    Independent means that you do not need to depend on others, you do not need help from others, it also mean that the person can be competitive without any advantage over another person. If you do not meet the requirement you cannot call yourself independent.

    Like a child who still need to suck milk cannot be called independent. If a police take bribe he isn’t called independent too. Also if a lecturer is given research fund which someone else deserved more than this lecturer isn’t independent, he is taking advantage and that isn’t called independent.

    To be independent is not very difficult, many Malaysian are independent especially those who have to work harder to over come all the disadvantages and if they can make it than this person is really independent and can be proud of his achievement. Many Malaysian had gone abroad to seek for better opportunity, this are really very independent Malaysian because they can compete with the best in the world.

    To all hard working Malaysian I am sending you a happy Merdeka day because Tunku in 1957 wanted independent for all Malaysian but until today only some make it, for those who still need help Merdeka day has no meaning to you. I hope those who are not independent today will be able to join all those who are independent so that all Malaysian can really be called Merdeka!

  2. Anonymous12:57 am

    The meaning of "Merdeka"?

    Equal Justice for all.
    A place for all in the country.
    Fairness for all communities in everything.
    End to discrimination.

    But looking at things, not likely. Only wishful thinking.

  3. Anonymous12:57 am

    Orang seperti Bakri Musa mengerti erti Kemerdekaan sebenar. Beliau bebas dari segala belenggu yang masih mengikat ramai anak Malaysia pada tunggul-tunggul yang menjadi pemerintah hari ini. Moga kita dapat pedoman dari Bakri dan teman-teman lain yang sudah benar-benar Merdeka.

  4. Anonymous1:20 am

    Man did you see Pak Lah croak throughout his speech just now? The tone of his voice was just....uninspiring.

    I thought his Jeannie grew herbs in the garden to take care of his health?

    Maybe he misses his goats.

  5. Anonymous2:20 am

    What's with the business of "symbolically" downing the Union Jack all over again? Boy have we got a serious hangover... One supposes nothing else significant has happened in 50 years since... except some flagpole-building ventures?

    So much for 6 terrestrial TV stations staying open for 'Merdeka' coverage n specials. More same-same lame. P Ramlee retrospective was just abt the best thing. Profound... some things never change. Oh wait, forgot the WWE Smackdown! Heeesh, bet tv singapore will have better self-produced packages. On our 50 years.

    PM's address notwithstanding, it was all such a gaping yawn. A yawning gap, even. Only eyebrow-raiser was Datin Seri Rosmah's over-botoxed countenance. Aiy, so poor thing. Maybe she's just tired of deadpanning and keeping a straight face.

    Happy Merdeka, everyone. Let's take this ride to the next level.

    Rocky, be sure to post those DOs and DON'Ts for blogger interrogations :p

  6. Anonymous2:54 am

    Hullo. Did i hear some wig say at the celebrations that Malaysia "dihina" dan "ditindas" sebelum Merdeka?

    So presumably, we're the gold standard in East Asia today?

  7. Racist! Racist! Racist! Duduk! Duduk! Duduk! Racist! Racist! Racist!

  8. Anonymous8:22 am

    A copy of Bakri Musa's poem should be given to the Mr Tak Tau to read.

    Happt Merdeka

  9. Merdeka!
    The freedom cries
    50 years of independence
    The races march to harmony
    In many forms in the country

    That was in 1957
    One voice one country one vision
    The Prince took us
    The road of freedom

    Now in 2007
    The fabric of cooperation frays
    The economic becomes lopsided
    The jobs in many fields
    Open to one race only

    Telling others don’t question
    The social contract in the Constitution
    The leader amongst men
    Fair dealing fair cohesiveness
    In the country for all people
    No set conditions
    No set rules

    Racial tension fray
    Amongst the people today
    Races and religions
    Opportunities and ties
    Relationships and harmony
    It is so difficult to define

    The leaders of the government
    Have no heart to the voters
    Voted them into power
    They back stabbed the people
    50 years of independence
    It was back to the ruins
    Of less freedom of choices
    Controlled by laws and regulations

    The Prince amongst the people
    He is gone forever to the nation
    Will we find another one to lead us?
    It is hard to say in this 50th year of independence

  10. sangria, will do the do's and dont's. selamat merdeka.

  11. Anonymous11:40 am

    Did anyone see the scene where Jeanna about to get up reaching for her handbag and pak lah give her a big 'siku'to say not yet!! heheheheh!

    On the whole, the show so lame...lembik. we had like 50 years planning for this celebration and thats it? Prince Andrew probably thinking the mardi grass parade more inspiring!

  12. Anonymous12:50 pm

    Hey Rocky,
    Have been following your blog for the last couple of months and I am totally honored and happy to see that there is still hope for our beloved Malaysia in terms of the replies you have been getting. The only fact remains is that we are still the silent majority waiting to break out. Unless we have someone to lead us in correcting all the injustices presently faced all said will just fall down to deaf ears like 'water down a duck's back'. MALAYSIA for MALAYSIANS is something which we need to advocate and the TIME IS NOW!! Differences will always be there but the fact that we have lived with each other peacefully the past 50years is testament to our ability to compromise (apart from the 'speed bump' in '69). We have learnt our lesson. It's time to move on and kick out our so called leaders who use race and religion for political mileage and personal wealth. We need a change!! We need a leader!! Where and How can we find one to lead us to a new beginning is a question on every sensible Malaysian Mind now. I would say it's time to take this to a new level instead of us all rambling and complaining here on the net. I hope this message is not misconstrued as incitement or sedition. It's a cry from deep in my heart which yearns and begs to be heard. I am very sure I'm not alone. We just don't have a voice. If the GE does take place (depends if Agung signs off the dissolvement of parliament) we need to think hard who we want as our leaders. Or if need be our beloved and Sultans can do something to correct the wrongs. I'm really at a lost.

  13. Anonymous12:59 pm

    TQ rock. Ultimately, the best critiques you host seek reform, not revenge. If we just want revenge, Confucius say we may as well dig 2 graves first...

    Me mom trotted out to churh in her kebaya early this morning to thank God for this country and pray for her future. To her mind, she's done her utmost for her beloved country today. She came home to share some of the sermonising - a thought from Mother Theresa of Calcutta: "May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be."

    50 years into our sovereignty, Malaysian bloggers would do well to take this to heart. We are here to effect change and we're going to be around for a while more. Jangan sampai gerhana dalam hidupku.

    Am reminded of the old ham-and-eggs analogy: The chicken is involved, but the pig is committed. :p

    Of course, in our Animal Farm, there'll also always be goats who are paid to bleat political correctness and purport to crack the whip. Like Malik Imtiaz told Al-Jazeera’s Riz Khan recently, "Moral policing is an easier target… than fighting (institutionalised) corruption... and (injustice)." (Parenthesis mine).

    Ah well. Hope springs eternal. All else is finite, thank God. Here's to the aspirations and contributions of all sincere Malaysians.


  14. Anonymous1:10 pm

    Proses Kemerdekaan bermula apabila Dato' Onn Jaafar (yang menubuhkan Persatuan Melayu Semenajung Johor pada 3 Januari 1946) berjaya mengumpulkan orang orang Melayu (yang telahpun menunjukan ketudak puasanhati apabila kertas putih Malayan Union disiarkan dalam Utusan Melayu, 24 Januari 1946), untuk bersatu teguh sebagai UMNO, yang diberi naungan DYMM Sultan Sir Ibrahim Almahrum Sultan Seri Maharaja Abu Bakar, Sultan Johor pada 11 Mei 1946 untuk mengesa Raja Raja Melayu yang sudahpun menanda-tangani Perjanjian MacMichael dan agar menolak Malayan Union yang diisytiharkan pada 1 April 1946 itu. Kebangkitan perasaan orang orang Melayu diterajui Dato' Onn dan UMNO ini berjaya mengesa Raja Raja Melayu untuk memulau majlis perlantikan Sir Edward Gent sebagai Gabenor Malayan Union pertama dan ini adalah tindakan signifikan kerana pihak Whitehall mula memberikan perhatian serius kepada isu ini.

    Akibatnya, wakil wakil Raja Raja Melayu, UMNO dan British telah berunding dan Persekutuan Tanah Melayu yang berpelembangaan berjaya dicapai dan ujudkan pada 1 Feb 1948.

    Pada tahun 1955, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra mewakili UMNO mengadakan kerjasama dengan Tan Cheng Lock, MCA dan V.T. Sambanthan, MIC dan mendapat mandat begitu kuat rakyat Malaya dalam Pilihanraya Umum pertama. Walaupun pengundi pengundi berdaftar dikalangan orang orang Melayu merupakan 84%, tetapi Tunku dan UMNO sedia bertolak ansur kerana 'semangat bekerjasama dan berkongsi kuasa' dan bertanding hanya di 35 dari 52 kerusi dipertandingkan, manakala MCA 15 dan MIC 2. Parti Perikatan menang besar 51 kerusi!

    Dengan mandat besar dan keyakinan rakyat ini, Tunku mewakili Perikatan, bersama sama wakil Raja Raja Melayu belayar ke London untuk merundingkan Kemerdekaan. Tunku berjaya meyakinkan wakil wakil Raja Raja Melayu iaitu Dato' Panglima Bukit Gantang, Dato' Nik Ahmad Kamil, Abdul Aziz Majid dan Dato' Mohd. Seth agar Raja Raja Melayu melepaskan kuasa mutlak pemerintahan sistem beraja dan menerima sistem Raja Berpelambagaan. Tunku juga sedia bertolak ansur untuk menerima mereka keturunan Cina dan India sebagai warganegara dan hak istimewa orang orang Melayu, Islam sebagai agama rasmi dan Bahasa Melayu sebagai bahasa rasmi Persekutuan Tanah Melayu, tanpa dipertikaikan mana mana pihak.

    Maka dengan persetujuan itu, Whitehall bersetuju memberikan Kemerdekaan dan Lord Reid dipilih untuk merangka Perlembagaan dengan mengambil kira input dari semua pihak. Suruhanjaya Reid ini juga terdiri dari Ketua Hakim India dan Pakistan dan input terpenting yang diambil kira ialah dari Raja Raja Melayu dan UMNO. Perlembagaan ini diterima pada awal Ogos 1957 dan Majlis Perundangan Tanah Melayu meluluskan, mewartakan dan melaksanakan Perlembagaan Persekutuan Tanah Melayu pada 27 Ogos 1957.

    Pada tepat 12.01, 31 Ogos 1957, bendera Union jack diturunkan dan jalur Gemilang dinaikan buat kali pertama. Negaraku pertama kali didengarkan dan negara baru Persekutuan Tanah Melayu lahir dengan rasminya.

    Pada 9pagi, hari yang sama, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra, Perdana Menteri Persekutuan Tanah Melayu menanda tangani instrumen dan mengisytiharkan Kemerdekaan Persekutuan Tanah Melayu diStadium Merdeka. Turut hadir dan menanda tangani instrumen Kemerdekaan tersebut adalah Raja Raja Melayu dan wakil baginda Queen Elizabeth II dan Kerajaan Britain, Duke of Gloucester.

    Ini Kemerdekaan sebenarnya seluruh warga Malaysia memahami, menghargai dan menghayati proses dan bersedia mengisi dan mempertahankan Kemerdekaan, dengan seluruh semangat patriotisma.

    Selamat Hari Kemerdekaan ke 50, Keranamu Malaysia dan Allah selamatkan Malaysia.

    Merdeka, Merdeka, Merdeka!

  15. Anonymous5:44 pm

    Interesting article about Merdeka in Malaysia Today

    Title: Merdeka! But beware the new power....

    Link here:

  16. Malaysia has been a truly fortunate country where peace and prosperity have grown in strength. Yet today there is a new cloud on the horizon in the shape of Islamic fundamentalism. Moslem sharia law and religious extremes are definitely on the rise and could yet threaten the present peaceful relations between the races.

  17. Anonymous1:41 pm


    Try this article for a more realitic history of our nation;

    DONT dont ever believe all the rubbish that BTN has told you - ok?

    DO use that piece of gray matter between your eyes to rationalise those rubbishes that you've reproduced wholesome here - ok?