Today Malaysians are celebrating independence (merdeka) day and the Jalur Gemilang is flying from buildings, fences, gates and even from people’s cars. Yesterday we popped into a shopping centre to get a few things from the supermarket and happened to see a charming performance by a group of children – little boys and girls, representing the three major groups that make up the Malaysian population, wearing traditional costumes. They were standing in a row and singing (or rather shouting) the national anthem with great enthusiasm.  This was also the day that thousands of Malaysians, here and overseas, donned yellow t-shirts and peacefully demonstrated their opposition to the present government’s handling of the country’s economy. As interested onlookers, we admire their patriotism and bravery.

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