Friday, September 01, 2006

Merdeka! (Independence!)

Malaysia celebrated it’s 49th year of independence yesterday. How did you celebrate your independence day? Me, it started with on the 30th August. I had a meeting near KLCC area. The meeting ended around 11pm.

I though I wouldn’t get stuck in traffic jams. I was mistaken. I should have left my car at the car park and walked to KLCC park. They are holding some sort of celebration / concert. In my effort to leave before the Merdeka-rush started, I got caught in massive jams. After a while, I decided to stop and park my car by the roadside (double parking another car). At least I got to chilled out and enjoyed the fire works. Here’s my (dis)advantage point:

The next day, I visited a few historical sites when Merdeka is concern. First was the Dataran Merdeka. It’s the field in front of Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad. This was where the Union Jack was brought down and replaced by Jalur Gemilang. Where exactly this happened? There we many people at the field, mostly foreign workers taking photographs. Not many would notice three ubiquitous small flag poles at the field. But those who took note would notice a plate at the base of the middle flag pole indicating those historical moment.

Next, was Stadium Merdeka. Where exactly this stadium? Somewhere near Petaling Street. This was where the Tunku Abdul Rahman shouted “Merdeka” on 31st August 1957. Today, it is almost forgotten. Except for some families patronizing the “Mamak” at the second floor, no body seems to bother about the significance of this old mark where Tunku Abdul Rahman stood 49 years ago, if there was, I didn’t find it. Other than building. There were no plate (like the flag pole) to me, there were a Japanese family taking photographs there. I’m not sure if they know that the stadium is actually a historical site.

Last was the National Museum. Actually I didn’t stop. I just drove passed it. In front of the Museum is a flagpole. The Jalur Gemilang here is different than the rest of Jalur Gemilang in Malaysia today. This particular Jalur Gemilang have less stripes (I think there’s 13 stripes). The stripes represent the number of states in Malaysia at its early days of independence.

Malaysia have come a long way since its independence day 49 years ago.

(p.s.: Recently I passed by National Museum again and noticed that the flagpole with the old version of Jalur Gemilang is not there. I must have mistaken the new flags with the 'historical' flag.)

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