Happy Merdeka, folks! It’s time once more to reflect on the state of our nation and where we are at the moment.
We have much to be thankful for. Despite the best attempts of certain quarters to divide us on the basis of race and religion, Malaysians by and large haven’t fallen for the bait. We have grown into maturity and can now see through such diabolical tactics.
Nonetheless, there are still issues that require sober reflection. The watershed elections of 2008 promised to renew our nation. But that remains very much a work-in-progress. Thirty months later, oppressive laws are still etched in our statute books. Laws such as the ISA and the Printing Presses and Publications Act, for instance.
This blog is part of a nationwide campaign on blogosphere today to get rid of the undemocratic PPPA. Lately, it’s not just opposition newspapers that have felt the repressive provisions of this law, but cartoon books as well!
Without freedom of the media and of expression, we cannot move forward and articulate progressive and creative ideas to rejuvenate our nation. We are unable to promote a wider, healthier debate on the issues that matter to the people. We are unable to highlight to a broader audience the corruption and economic hegemony that leaves many residents of Malaysia struggling to make ends meet.
As long as oppressive laws remain in our statute books, we will not realise the full vision of independence, freedom and justice that Merdeka promised. We cannot leave the task or renewal and reform to the politicians alone. All of us have a stake in this. We must get involved in the movement for justice and renewal. For a start, this Merdeka, let’s call for the scrapping of the oppressive PPPA.