As they say, you can take the man out of Malaysia, but you can't take the Malaysian out of the man.
Though I left Malaysia for North America for medical school in 1998 (and again in 2002), and have had a US greencard for several years, I do identify myself as Malaysian still. Many have asked if I'd give up my citizenship someday, and my answer still remains "probably not".
And so, from half a world away, I wish Malaysia Happy 57th Merdeka Day.
Though the country has come far since the days of our founding fathers, many like myself can't help but to sadly reflect too on how things are evolving. Though it's been over 5 decades, it's heartbreaking to see how in the last 10 years, things seem to be going backwards.
You'd think that a people of a country that is 57 years old would have matured enough to not see only the colour of others' skins. Or that they would not refer to one another as 'immigrants', never mind that many of us are 3rd to 5th generation Malaysians.
But no, unfortunately, because of a selfish few who choose to divide her people for their own political gains, the diversity that was once her strength seems to be turning into mother Malaysia's Archilles' heel.
However, it is also heartening to see that despite that hot air and garbage that some of our politicians and leaders spew, many Malaysians are still of sound mind and are sensible enough to not fall for that trick.
So Malaysia, here's wishing you a happy 57th birthday, all the way from the United States.