Malaysia Day is about freedom
KOTA KINABALU: Despite the decreasing level of patriotism among some Malaysians today, the annual Malaysia Day celebration in Sabah gives a glimmer of hope that the country can still instill the passion back into the hearts of Malaysians.
Azhar Tahir, 55, came all the way from Perak just to be a part of the Malaysia Day National Celebration at Likas Stadium yesterday.
“Malaysia Day is about us standing on our feet. Malaysia Day is about freedom. It gives us the power to make our own decisions,” said Azhar.
The former t-shirt printing entrepreneur opened a small stall at Likas Stadium yesterday to sell his Malaysia-themed scarves. Although he did not have many customers, that did not stop him from doing his passion.
He asserted that the current generation are not as patriotic as their predecessors.
Some of the young people today are even ashamed to admit that they are Malaysians, he added.
Faizan Haniff, 23, on the other hand still believes that patriotism is something that should be practiced by the younger generation.
“Today (yesterday) I see a lot of Malaysians attending the Malaysia Day celebration. This makes me very proud to be a Malaysian,” the Kota Kinabaluborn said.
Commenting on some of the youngsters today who had lost patriotism passion, Faizan said that those people just need to learn to open their hearts.
He had also touched on the ‘Sabah for Sabahans’ sentiment, whereby he said that people are always free to choose what they want to believe.
“Some people want August 31 to be the official independence date while others prefer September 16. As for me, it is up to our leaders to choose,” he said.
Faizan was one of the 30 performers who presented a kompang welcoming performance for invited guests yesterday.
Afiqah Izzati, 19, who had recently moved to Kota Kinabalu to pursue her studies said that she enjoyed the Malaysia Day celebration here.
“This is a new experience for me. I get to feel the Malaysia Day atmosphere here for the first time,” the Negeri Sembilan born said.
She stressed that Malaysia Day is about honoring our forefathers who had died protecting our land, which had ultimately paved the way for our independence.
Afiqah (centre) with her friends attending the Malaysia Day National Celebration.