Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Merdeka! Merdeka ! Merdeka !

I have interviewed several celebrities who talks about  Malaysia. This article was published today in theSun where Malaysians celebrate their independence day 

Headline: Saluting The Merdeka Spirit
By Bissme S

FIFTY-NINE years ago, Malaysia gained independence from the British and became a sovereign nation. We asked several celebrities what makes them proud to be Malaysians on this special date today. 

Siti Nurhaliza (singer) 

“I feel proud to be living in a country where many races have learned to get along and live peacefully. We must never take our peace for granted and we should not let anyone sabotage this beautiful peace we have among us. “We cannot always ask what our country has done for us; sometimes we need to ask what we have done for our country.” 

Sharifah Amani (actress) 

“P. Ramlee and Yasmin Ahmad [united us]. Malaysians, regardless of race and religion, enjoyed their films. The latest personality to [bring us together] is Datuk Lee Chong Wei. If you [watched] the recent Olympic, you could see everyone cheering him on during the badminton matches. His victory was our victory. We became like a family. We forgot about our differences.” 

Saw Teong Hin (director) 

“We are lucky to live in country where we can enjoy a variety of food 24/7. We can even have hot food in the wee hours of the morning. “One fruit that I will recommend to foreigners is durian. I know they can’t stand the smell of this fruit but I always tell them that they must learn to eat durians … to separate the men from the boys!” 

Shanjhey Kumar Perumal (director) 

“I’m amazed how the entire nusantara, including Malaysia, was influenced by cultures from India, China and a few other European countries. Nusantara adapted these cultures [and gave] birth to a new rich diversified culture and lifestyle. I wish people would not lose hope in our society despite [what] we are facing now. I wish we have a common symbol of hope – just like how Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony was used to boost spirit during WWII, and how when European immigrants travelled to America in search of a new life, they looked to the Statue of Liberty as a symbol of hope in their new land.”

* Afdlin Shauki (actor and director) 

“All of us regardless of our race and religion became united and wanted [Datuk Lee Chong Wei] to win gold at the Olympics. “We were cheering our hearts out on social media and at the mamak shops. The unity we showed was really unique and beautiful to see. “In school, we were taught to live harmoniously with one another. But when we come out into the real world, we find certain people are using the race card to [divide] us. It is about time we stopped being suspicious of each other.” 

M. Subahsh (actor and film director) 

“Dataran Merdeka is the place where we [first came together] as Malaysians [and] unite as one to celebrate our Independence Day. This place symbolises a true Malaysian spirit. As a movie-maker, I would like to see Malaysia enjoy a more freedom of speech. When you have freedom of speech then filmmakers will be [able] to express themselves in movies.” 

Hans Isaac (actor, producer and director) 

“Whenever I walk into a mamak shop, I find different races sitting at one table, having lively conversations and laughing. I get goosebumps looking at that scenario. Of course, there are times you go on social media [and see] the ugly side of Malaysians. “I am a non-Malay actor acting in Malay movies. Yet the Malay fans accepted me  and the work I have done. And I am always striving to give my best to them, too.”

Ramli Ibrahim (dancer) 

“We need to reform our education system progressively. Currently, the only time we make our youths love our nation is two days in a year (Aug 31 on Merdeka Day, and Sept 16 for Malaysia Day). “We need to get the young to love the nation throughout the year. Education is a great vehicle to shape our youth to be good citizens. “I am always physically connected to Malaysia. I could have gone abroad and based myself there. I had performed abroad but I always come back to Malaysia.

No comments:

Post a Comment