It has been 50 years. How times flies.
So we did celebrate, at times to the excess, and this time more so. Malaysian Associations see it fit and proper to organise a Merdeka do ie 'makan-makan, ucapan, show and dance'. Not just in Malaysia but also overseas. Millions of ringgits have been spent on flags, decorations, lightings and whatever.
The people feel patriotic, love the country even more. And forget about their daily struggle and pains for a day, a few days maybe.
In essence a national day is good for the country, and for the economy. People have a holiday for sure. And if you are working for the Govt or a company, your holiday is paid. If you are working on that day, sure you would get extra money.
Even though I feel that we are splashing to the excess, if the money circulate within the country its okay.
My first experience in joining the march on Merdeka Day was in 1981, when I was at school in KL. We were asked to join the march carrying the National flag on Merdeka Day, and paid RM6 back then, everyone of us. A couple of days before the Merdeka Day, we were bussed to KL in front the soon to be Dayabumi for the training of the march. We were given instruction of what to do, and when. We were given a national flag each, a blue T-shirt and a blue cap, with the words Merdeka and Malaysia, not so sure anymore. That day was hot, but sure it was exciting. When the D-Day, oops Merdeka Day comes, we were bussed early to KL for the march. Most of my colleagues, the 5th form students were wearing jeans and the given t-shirt and cap. I was the only one wearing black trousers back then, because i didnt have jeans.
So when it was our turn to march towards Sultan Abdul Samad Building, we walked as directed and looked at the dais where the VIPs were sitting. Saw the PM and TPM standing in the middle. Back then the PM was Tun Hussein Onn.
On we walked until Jalan Tuanku Abd Rahman where the march ended, for us. We didnt go back to the hostel, instead we went to see a Malay movie at the then Pawagam P. Ramlee. Me and 2 or 3 other friend (dont really remember, it was a long time ago). After the movie we had nasi campur at a stall near the Pawagam P Ramlee, Jalan Sultan Sulaiman.
A Malay man asked us if we want to sell our t-shirt. Collectively we said no. It was the only thing to show that we had taken part in Merdeka parade.
That school holiday, my Merdeka t shirt and cap were show off material in my kampung.
No I dont have it anymore, I dont even remember what happened to them.