Saturday, July 28, 2007

History and Independence

Been quite sometime now since I last blog. The reason has been that my blog faced spamming. However ,that probem have been fixed by the system administrator. Thus today I would like to log on some thoughts that disturbed my mind for quite sometime. Probably writing them down would released me of them.

This month and coming months ahead Malaysians will be stormed by slogans like independence or " Merdeka" etc. What do this mean to today's generation? I wonder.

And what has history got to do with "Independence"?

We must not think history as past because history is continuity. What is recorded as history is mainstream trend. Be it political, social, economic and other spheres of life. When expanded history is a nation's conciousness. It is through national conciousness that we exert our identity into the future. History is not past per se but how we enter fully into the future mainstream of world or you may call it in today's ubiquitious term global history. History should be how we want to project our society into the future or millenium's civilisation as if our nation matters. Our people and identity being significant.

It is like having to step back in order to jump forward. In this regards, history is dynamic, transformational for individuals's as well as the society.
Through living history, our young generation will want to find ways how their lives matters. This is critical because history is the story of man's motivation changing through time.

If during the colonial era, we were considered a burden, primitive and to be expolited and just everything downgrading because we were perceived to be insignificant. Today's generation would want change in ways of looking at themselves. Will they march in progress together with the rest of the world or the general mankind?

To be great people or just a marginal race? Are we contributing to the common fortunes of mankind? The sort of great stories that we tell our children before they sleep at night?
Reflecting on this in the Malaysian context, I cannot help but feel the helpless situation we are in today.

For example have we filled and really define the meaning of independence when the rift between Sarawak, Sabah and Semenanjung seems never to be narrowed? National integrity is still ages away. Language and history has not galvanised the Malaysian race to the optimum. Bahasa Malaysia is spoken in schools, but when individuals meet they hardly speak in the true Malaysian language ( ie Malay or Bahasa Malaysia) ....most speak pigeon Malay even after years of primary and university education.

While the world continues to progress towards commonality, we in Malaysia are besieged by parochial interests , separate dialects, different medium of primary and secondary education, separate state allegience enforced by extreme regional inequalities and the South China Sea.

The historian in us, must therefore have the courage to carve out fundamental changes.

This is what historians refer to when they say, if there is any law to life, it is that things change.

We must not fear change.

Rather we must percieve change as opportunity, as progress.

Finally I do not want my Malaysia to relapse into the nostalgic backwaters of colonial history.

If we do not fill the content of our indpendence it is just as if we are not stepping back , ready to jump into the future.

The historian in us must be able to inculcate optimism in our lives, and not being totally nostalgic about it.

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