It was the National Day today. I remember back in 2003 upon my return from the UK after living there for 13 years. Then, all the cars have flags strapped on their sides. Most of the houses on my street have Jalur Gemilang - the National Flag as it was affectionately called - flying proudly at their gates. Even the motorcycles presented with accident risk with flag poles sticking out from the back of their seats. Put it mildly, the whole country went Jalur Gemilang crazy!
I was wondering back then, what the fuss was about? Maybe the economy was good. The peasants were happy. Business was good. I stuck the flag at the front gate and that was about it. I could appreciate the need to have flags coming out from my car. Fast forward 7 years, and things were rather different. There were only a couple of houses with Jalur Gemilang at the gates - anther one belong to a Chinese neighbour. When I went out yesterday with Puan Anita to a Bazaar Ramadhan, we did a quick count on how many cars have flags on them. Out of 43, only 3 had one. Less than 8%. Maybe everyone realised that celebrating the National Day meant more than just flag waving. Maybe the economy was not as rosy as it was. Maybe Ramadhan was taking its toll after all. I shudder to think that the current generation have far less appreciation of what Merdeka was …… That’s not a good sign …..