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Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Merdeka reflections: Freedom means more than flying the flag

AS Merdeka Day and Malaysia Day draw near, we hear almost daily exhortations to show patriotism by raising the Jalur Gemilang. I have no objections to that. We should be proud of our nation and the Jalur Gemilang, which is the symbol of our independence and sovereignty.

At the same time, we should also reflect on how we have grown as a sovereign nation after 54 years.

- Are we truly free from religious bigotry and do we give due respect to adherents of faiths other than our own?

Or are we still uptight and emotional about our beliefs?

- Are we truly free in intellect and mental prowess that we are comfortable with criticisms and can take them in our stride?

Or do we go into denial and become defensive or, worse still, lash out and try to shackle freedom of speech?

- Are we truly free in our attitude towards a section of our community who seems different, temper justice with compassion towards them and accommodate them so they feel accepted and can lead a more meaningful life?

Or are we still shackled by the inflexibility of hearts hardened by laws of our own design, thus condemning these people to a life of humiliation and suffering?

- Are we truly free from parochial inclinations and treat each citizen as a Malaysian in his or her own right?

Read more: Merdeka reflections: Freedom means more than flying the flag http://www.nst.com.my/nst/articles/18indi2/Article/#ixzz1UUMUZ2Jv


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