Happy 48th Birthday, or is it?

Yesterday was Aug 31, Malaysia’s Independence Day. Once upon a time we were a collection of nations that ruled independently. Then we were swallowed by the Portugese, chewed by the Dutch, digested by the British. (There were the several years under Japanese rule during World War Two – we might have been in the rumen or maybe the reticulum, I couldn’t be sure.) Then finally, we were regurgitated as a new single nation in 1957. (If you’re waiting for me to say we came out the other way, then SHAME ON YOU, you coprophiliacs!) And now here we are 48 years later. No sign of Gernsbackian flying cars and day trips to the moon. But I digress.

I don’t have much to comment about it now, so I’ll just wrap this up quick and easy.

The government, among others, has come down hard upon a young model who appeared in a magazine photo shoot draped with nothing other than the national flag, which in 1997 was officially nicknamed Jalur Gemilang (Glory Stripes), because we might be caught someday without a nickname for the flag, and God knows we can’t have that. So, this model’s predicament is a big deal to Malaysians in general. Modesty is one of Malaysia’s text book sought after virtue in everyone, especially flashers. This act is an affront to and a crime against Jalur Gemilang, the old rogue.

Therefore, the model is somehow a criminal against the state. Or is she?

Also around August, you will see thousands of cars affixed with mini Jalur Gemilangs on them. This was a government drive to instill flag-waving patriotism to the masses. There were newscasts of these patriotic vehicles on TV showing off their little flags. Some had something like a quintillion flags on their roofs. Physically impossible, but there you go. Ultimately, you would have hundreds of these flags strewn all over the roads and streets of the country, because the adhesive holding them to the car isn’t very strong. Hundreds of them. Soiled. Mud stained. Peed on by dogs, most probably. All because of the government drive. An affront to and a crime against Jalur Gemilang.

Therefore, is the government somehow a criminal against the state?

Anyway, Happy 48th, Malaysia. Or is it 42nd?

Posted in Rants and tagged .

Khairul Hisham J. is a tabletop RPG artist, writer, proofreader, translator, teacher, grad student and learner-in-general.

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