Malaysia at 64: Independence through commitment, resilience and hard work

By Ssemuddu Imran

As Malaysia celebrates 64th anniversary of its Independence on 31st August, many say that the country has had a good record of stability and growth especially that the country is peaceful with no internal or external conflicts. However, there is a section of Malaysians who think there is more to improve in economic, welfare and political decisions.

With COVID-19 still the biggest issue, there are no big celebrations to mark Malaysia’s sovereignty and with the new government at the helm there is hope that better days are coming ahead.

New Health Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin said, “Without health, nothing else matters. Without health, there is no well-being. The foundation is health.” 

This means the Health Ministry is working around the clock to ensure the battle against COVID-19 is won sooner than later through the vaccination programmes and equipping the health facilities.

Celebrations mean one thing and that is honouring the heroes. In a special way, there are no better heroes than our front liners,  the gallant men and women at the forefront  of ensuring others are safe. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most Malaysians have stayed at home. This is so in order to reduce the infection rate and spread of the corona virus that has been on an increasing curve as of August 2021.

The real warriors are the front liners who have laboured to serve the country selflessly when the highs and lows COVID-19 hit the country. They are charismatic and energetic drivers handling the most critical and needed aspects to see the end of the day for others at their cost.

Front liners such as security officers (police, army, private guards), healthcare officers (hospital casual staff, nurses, doctors, health care officers), teachers, government officials, essential service sectors, food and beverage services without forgetting the delivery services.

They truly are the pillars of the nation in these critical times, and for that, as we celebrate Merdeka day, our sincere appreciations and gratitude towards them. Their daily routines get pretty hectic, and with demand, but they never complain and diligently offer their services with a smile.

Facing countless challenges, tough journeys that most of us could ever imagine. They have been exhausted, from members of the army that help the police to observe law and order, volunteers at different centres of need to medical personnels manning hospitals and clinics. They have been exposed to the virus almost everyday since March 2020 to date and some have since paid the ultimate price (Al-Fatihah).

Because of their commitment, resilience and hard work, Malaysians can enjoy a bit of naturalness, be it ordering goodies from their favourite online shops, some enjoying dine-in at restaurants of their choice that follows the standard operating procedures (SOPs) set out by authorities in the Ministry of Health. 

Salute to every other person that has observed and done due diligence to break the spread of coronavirus, and surely we would not be where we are today without any of our front liners. Solidarity and embracing each other in these unprecedented times is what is needed practically, emotionally with a touch of empathy to each one of our friends, families, neighbours, and those who are in dire need. This just goes to show the truth in the saying, Kita Jaga Kita and together we stand, divided we fall. Malaysia boleh.

Apart from celebrating the services of our front liners, we ought to be kind to them in ways that cheer them or show cooperation in their line of duties. A smile (oops with a mask on yeah!), writing letters to them, tokens like tips and gifts would really make them happier given their demanding, tiring and hectic routines.

Hari Kebangsaan is for all of us in Malaysia and it is a beautiful reminder that we have something to cheer about going forward. Thank you to the front liners. While we may not know their names or mention all of them to their deserved dedication, our beloved front liners in action have done so much powering us through the pandemic. Selamat Hari Merdeka. ***

Photo credit: Instagram user Nurshhidaachi.chan

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