Samstag, 1. September 2007

50th Independence Day (English)

Last Thursday in the evening I met all the other students of my chapter, including the new ones of the summer batch. Eugene, a Malaysian returnee from Japan picked us up and we had an uncomfortable journey to his house, as there were ten people sitting in Eugene’s car.

Near Eugene’s house we board a bus with a group of about 100 white-dressed Chinese Malaysians. All three busses are owned by Eugene’s father. Several times we got stuck in traffic jams on our way to Dataran Merdeka, the independence square just in front of the old palace. At 0700 o’clock on that evening it was already very crowded.

The streets were decorated with lots of pictures, posters, and banners while illuminated by thousands of colorful lights and some big-scale TV screens. The surfaces of seven tall buildings, which surround the Dataran Merdeka were used as screens to project films on them. The City Council of Kuala Lumpur was even equipped with a high-quality sreen measuring some 40 meters in width and 60 meters in height.

At around 0800 pm we proceeded to the actual field, which was fenced and protected by the police. We only could enter it, because all of us were given VIP passes, because the Chinese would take part in some kind of presentation or marching.

We walked around on the huge less crowded field and had to stop every five meters, because some participants wanted to take pictures with us. A big grandstand with a screen and some huge poster of all the Malaysian prime ministers on top of it was facing the palace on the opposite site of the field.

With our small and big flags and strolling around we killed the remaining time. Some of us were confused as there was no distinct change of the program towards midnight, no countdown or something like that.

Some time after midnight the Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi repeated the words of Tun Abdul Rahman, who announced independence exactly 50 years ago. He said “Merdeka, Merdeka, Merdeka, Merdeka” (Merdeka = Independence) with his faint voice.

Some very boring speeches in Malay and a religious Doa followed. The speeches were all alike and stressing the progress and success of Malaysia. Beside the “Merdeka”-words, the national songs and some other songs the crowd was calm and quickly bored just like me.

We said good-by to some students of the other chapters who had joined us and headed to the bus only about 30 minutes after midnight.

Back in the bus I was quite upset when I caught sight of fireworks over Dataran Merdeka, because before I tried to tell the others, that there would be a fireworks presentation.

In my opinion the marvelously announced and advertised Merdeka-Celebration was disappointing and couldn’t meet my expectations at all although we have nothing like this in Germany.


Bryan hat gesagt…

Hey Craig. Nice blog.Like what you have done with it. Hope you truly enjoyed M'laysia.your blog is interesting.Keep up the good work!!

Anonym hat gesagt…

HOLA !!! Here I am !!!

I see my face... XD
nice meeting u on that day...
will do some editing to the photos and send to everyone asap...

btw... this is my blog...
do drop by...thx