Happy 62nd Independence Day, Malaysia!
By this time, most of us have watched the Merdeka video by our Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir Mohamad where he touched a few factors such as diversity, fulfilling the sense of ‘Independence’ and information cleanliness in order to achieve real Independence. You can watch the video here, if you haven’t. Get ready to choke in tears at the end of the video at the sight of him walking away 🙁
Since our nation’s Independence, the Government had rolled out policies to eradicate illiteracy first and foremost, as a means to become a developing country. You and I, and every one of us here, can READ because our Government have decided so.
A quick check here shows that in 2001, 98% of Malaysians between the age of 15 to 24 is literate. 98% of youth are ABLE TO READ. This fact is true for as long as 18 years ago. That means it’s been nearly two decades since for every ten adults you saw, only one couldn’t read!
But why is it that nowadays, people who are literate, people who should understand the simple direction of an arrow, drive in its opposite direction?
Let me rephrase the question – why do supposed literate people choose to behave as illiterates?
The problem we face nowadays is not in getting people to read, but in getting people to read the right things, verified text, clean information. It is astounding how people would much prefer to agree with parenting advice by a celebrity astronaut than parenting advice from certified psychologists whom had published books on parenting. Seeking for verified information is a responsibility held upon all those who are literate for the privilege of being able to read. Reading is the gateway to enlightenment, yes, but a decision, a choice, has to made on the cleanliness of the ‘enlightenment’ chosen to pursue.
The responsibility of choosing to consume verified information is a responsibility to fulfill your sense of Independence through your ability to read and your privilege for being a literate.
In the same light, we can go through lines and paragraphs of reading to get to know new things, exciting things – but do you notice how the text deduces you to a conclusion? And, at that moment of realisation, do you allow the conclusion to influence you? Do you agree with everything the text says, OR do you agree but do a little Googling on the side to verify OR do you read to the end of the text while thinking about your next meal because all you needed was a tick in a checklist that you have read so and so?
Deducing your own conclusions from your choice of reading is also a form that fulfills your sense of Independence through your ability to read and your privilege for being a literate. There is certainly no point of reading, no point in being a literate if all you do is choke on the text without digesting the information.
Besides reading the right things and coming to your OWN conclusions, applying the knowledge is the pinnacle of reading success. The pinnacle success as a LITERATE. Being able to live by the principles you come into contact with from books, taking the time to understand it and using your hands to create value for other people is far more important than just reading. What if Thomas Alva Edison knew how electric worked but decided to sit on the knowledge?
Working on the knowledge you earned through verified information and a conclusion you have drawn as an Independent person is the most potent gift you could ever present to yourself. Application of knowledge by an Independent soul, an Independent thinker, an Independent spirit is how an Independent nation is built.
Therefore – Reading, fulfills ones sense of Independence.
Although it was only mentioned slightly by our Prime Minister in the video (minute 2:36) on the influence of information, never underestimate the energy carried by the information we choose to consume as petty because it could determine our entire outlook of ourselves, our race and our country.
In a nutshell, as a literate nation we must choose verified information, we must choose to deduce our own conclusions and we must choose to apply to knowledge we gained to benefit ourselves and those around us – because being able to choose good things for ourselves and those around us fulfills our sense of Independence.
Let's fulfill our sense of Independence, Malaysia.
Let's acquire more knowledge, more sense of self.
Let our uniqueness become our strength.
Let's breathe and live Unity in Diversity,
For our one and only, our own Malaysia.
So, did you enjoy reading my post on how reading fulfills your sense of Independence? Now I would like to know as to how you perceive independence. Is it by being able to choose your likes and dislikes, or is it by being able to wake up from a good night’s sleep in a peaceful country? Let me know in the Comments section below, or by replying to my email if you are a subscriber to The Baini Mustafa Weekly Email. If you would like to receive weekly updates from me about English Grammar and books, you may choose to become a subscriber here.
See you again next week!
This Post Has 2 Comments
I feel privileged to be able to celebrate the Independence Day of 2 of my beloved nations. Both promote reading and host many bookstores and book fairs. This is the kind if independence I love.
We’re all so lucky, Seha!