Let us love our country unconditionally as we pay tribute to the unsung heroes who faced battles and skirmishes in the past, writes Muhamad Solahudin Ramli

IT was a defining moment for Malayan people who gathered to witness the most-awaited and significant day in the country’s history, as Tanah Melayu was officially declared a free country on Aug 31, 1957. The people felt blessed and grateful for the triumph, after having endured travails and tears for centuries.

What about us? Do we treasure the priceless gift our forefathers had fought for? Are we proud to be Malaysians after 60 years of independence?

We should use the opportunity and privilege to govern our country wisely. Freedom is not merely about being free from being colonised. It is also about living happily and healthily.

We should work on developing a discrimination-free, crime-free, hatred-free and pollution-free country. A polluted environment will make us feel suffocated and stressed, while criminals deny our rights to live in a safe country. Instead of living life, we struggle to survive.

Discrimination was an issue in the days of yore, and a discriminative act is intolerable and unjustifiable. So, why should we treat it like a keepsake and pass it to the next generation? It is a shame how the civilised, educated and millennial generation fails to open their minds, look on the bright side and stop being judgmental.

It is true that everyone is different in special ways, but no one is better than the other. Our body size, skin colour, skills, thinking, education level, living status, ability and personality may be different, but we are all friends and family to each other after all.

When people make the act of discrimination their cup of tea, their hearts will be full of hatred. Figuratively speaking, hatred is like a vicious virus that spreads in the blink of an eye and anyone infected by it may have a sudden gush of fury and vitriol when reacting to issues or conflicts.

It is dangerous, poisonous and contagious. Those who believe that hatred is a symbol of strength, confidence, power and determination live a pathetic, lawless and loveless life. They may have been influenced by wrong choices of movies, songs and friends who manipulate their minds and make them believe that they are not going to make it without breaking the rules.

Our country is our responsibility. Activists, peacemakers, policymakers and leaders may be the frontliners, but we also need to contribute and make efforts to sustain our freedom and peace.

Let us love our country unconditionally as we pay tribute to the unsung heroes who faced battles and skirmishes in the past.

We should embrace our diversity and identity while preserving our amity, harmony and unity by being kind to each other and staying strong and smart when problems arise. Unity is the bedrock of a successful nation.

MUHAMAD SOLAHUDIN RAMLI

Marang, Terengganu

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