YOU tried to seize the Malaysian out of me
When you ripped open my heart, with your racist fangs
YOU sucked my rainbow colored blood, chewed on my patience
And my tolerance
YOU told my neighbours, I am the enemy living next door
That I have sticks and stones and swords and guns
YOU whispered that I am a Communist out to maim them
That I am a terrorist out to bomb them
A fanatic Christian out to proselytise?
Would they ever be safe?
My neighbours believed YOU
They chanted along with your incantations
And while YOU invoked the memory of deaths, bloods and tears
They build a wall to reach the sky around me
They held on to their weapons, build barricades with their languages
Raised boulders with their cultures
While religion and race became their shield against my good intentions
They were prepared to go to war
To shoot, to slice, to kill
Believing that violence and hatred, are their only safe habour…
It made no difference that this too is the land
Upon which I was born; these skies were the first to hear my infant’s cry;
The red angsana trees and swaying palms
Rejoiced with the wind when I was given a name
This is where my blood would spill willingly
Where I would be buried at the ends of my days.
But the Malaysian in me fought back
My Merdeka spirit rammed into the walls of fear
My tears rained on the cobwebs of lies and suspicion
My neighbours must see my face, hear my voice, and feel my touch
To know we are not different; that I love them as my own
Though our colors vary, we struggled through the same history,
We suffered beneath the sword of that one oppressor
That to fight each other would strengthen the dictator
I must tell my neighbours that I would lay down my life for them;
That I would fight their battles, but they must be courageous too and
Stand by my side
That I would fight injustice, corruption, collusion
To see their generation prosper
But I need them to trust me, as I trust them
To tell them have faith
When a new dawn breaks over our dark skies
We would clasp our hands as Malaysians
No longer the enemy that we always thought
Were hiding behind the battle lines.
Happy Merdeka, yes! But first, merdeka from our own selfish selves!
* Merdeka = Independence in Malay.