MAMSA Merdeka Night 2019
By King Ho Wong.
Malaysia boleh! Last Saturday was Hari Merdeka, or the Malaysian Independence Day. The MAMSA held our annual Merdeka Night and came together to commemorate this epochal day. We kicked off the festivities by bonding through some authentic nasi lemak (or coconut rice, the national dish of Malaysia). After that our members took part in the iconic Malaysia trivia quiz (pictures of the losing team attached). We topped off the night by watching PASKAL, a military-action thriller that celebrates friendship, loyalty, and patriotism. Festivities aside, it was an awesome time for us to take a step back from academic work and appreciate the origins of a country, founded some sixty years ago.
The formation of Malaysia was not without difficulty. The Federation of Malaya first became a sovereign state independent from British rule on 31 August 1957. The Federation of Malaysia, comprising of the Federation of Malaya (West Malaysia), Sarawak, North Borneo (now Sabah), and Singapore, declared independence 1963, with a planned announcement on 31st August, the 6th Merdeka Day. However, due to the opposition from both Indonesia and the Philippines, the announcement wasn’t made official until 16th September, which is now known as Malaysia Day. The official themed slogan for Merdeka 2019 is “Sayangi Malaysiaku: Malaysia Bersih” which translates to “Love my Malaysia: A Clean Malaysia,” stressing the importance of unity and care for the environment, even subtly alluding to eradicating infamous longstanding corruption by authorities.
One thing is certain from the history of Merdeka: life isn’t always a walk in the park. In order to succeed we must act upon the current situation spontaneously and seize opportunities. As medical students, we encounter adversity almost too frequently: ward rounds, OSCEs, tests, exams, and it is easy to lose focus. Remember what motivates you, and never forget that your friends and family will always have your back. The best it yet to be.-King