I had just returned from the annual National Day celebrations. It was a very low key affair compared to the previous years. It was held at the Parliament square and attended by some 2,000 people.
It was a bit nostalgic for me to witness this event after watching parades of years gone-by. The previous National Day parades were held at Dataran Merdeka or state capitals with so much pomp and splendour.
This year's celebration was scaled down due to the Influenza A (H1N1) pandemic which has swept around the globe claiming hundreds if not thousands of lives. This is the price we have to pay living in a border less world, where travel had become a norm rather than an exception.
However small the celebration, it is a day for us to ponder and think of the nation's independence. This comes at the right time when there are numerous people taking a racial and religious slant on issues that crop-up from time to time.
The 1Malaysia concept propounded by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is another reminder that we Malaysians must live our lives as Malaysians and not as Malay, Chinese and Indian.
While our race may differ, but our nationality is one -- Malaysian. No citizens of this nation should ever forget that. We are Malaysian first and only then are we Malay, Chinese or Indian.
We may be in a racially slanted political party but that party should operate in the context of 1Malaysia. It is my Merdeka wish that all of us Malaysians do away with the habit of branding people using their race, religion or even colour. We are Malaysians and Malaysians we would be, whatever come may.
Thank You and God Bless.
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