AS I stood in Dataran Merdeka with tens of thousands of Malaysians for the National Day parade on Aug 31, and in Malacca on Sept 16, the excitement and optimism in the crowd were palpable. It was heart-warming and emotional for me to see the Mexican wave of Jalur Gemilangs, and the genuine smiles of Keluarga Malaysia. We were not only celebrating 65 years of nationhood or 59 years of Malaysia’s formation, but also our collective effort and resilience in weathering the worst pandemic in a century to hit the world and Malaysia.
Between Merdeka and Malaysia Day, many of my friends and family members reflected on the nation’s successful transition from a country on the verge of a public health-economic crisis to one where normalcy has been almost fully restored. But nothing happened by chance. So much meticulous planning and the courage to defy conventions went into it.