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Monday, September 27, 2010

Thank you so much

My time on earth is no longer mine. This time does not belong to me. It belongs to my children and grandchildren and their children and grandchildren yet to be born.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

I was born just after midnight UK time 60 years ago. That would be around 7.00am Malaysian time. But already I am receiving loads of birthday wishes.

As I would probably not be able to reply to all your messages, as there are just so many, I would like to thank everyone here in this article for the birthday wishes you sent me and are continuing to send me even as I write this article. I don’t want anyone saying that I am sombong and am ignoring your messages.

My father who was born on 1st July 1925 died on 4th August 1971 at the age of 46. My mother who was born on 11th February 1933 died on 5th November 1980 at the age of 47. The fact that today I am celebrating my 60th birthday means I have been given ‘extended time’, which I certainly must be very grateful for.

This ‘extended time’ does not belong to me. Going by the ages that my parents died I too should have gone a long time ago. And the fact that I am still around not only means I should be grateful I am still alive but that this ‘extended time’ should be used not for my benefit but for the benefit of the nation.

I have seen and done many things in my life. What I have experienced in my 60 years can fill two or more lifetimes for many people. At my age what more is there that I need? Even if I never wake up from sleep tomorrow there are no regrets because I have lived a full life. And if I do wake up then I have to ponder as to why I am still around and what I must do with the balance of my life.

My time on earth is no longer mine. This time does not belong to me. It belongs to my children and grandchildren and their children and grandchildren yet to be born.

I pray I get to see another ten years of life. If I get to see more than ten years that is more than I expect and hope for. Whatever it may be and whatever time I may have left, it is so that I can utilise this extra time in trying to make Malaysia a better place for those I leave behind.

The future belongs to the next generation. My job is to ensure that the next generation gets to enjoy life in a country that is conducive to a better quality of life. Quality of life is not about the number of years you live. Quality of life is not about the wealth that you procure. It is about a country free of persecution, discrimination and injustice and where the government respects the fundamental rights of its citizens.

How long we live is not important. Whether it is a short or long life is not crucial. It is what you do in that short time you spend on earth is what matters.

When I leave this world I shall not be able to leave my descendants money or riches because I am not a wealthy man. In fact, I am a declared bankrupt. But what I can leave them would be a legacy that we must always fight for justice and freedom and rise to the defence of the downtrodden. That, I believe, are virtues which even money cannot buy.

So, again, thank you so much for all those birthday wishes. And whether ten years from now you will still be wishing me happy birthday and whether I will still be saying thank you is not foremost in my mind. What is foremost in my mind is that even if I go tomorrow I would go knowing that I have helped plant the seed of dissent and have been able to teach Malaysians that we must never fear the oppression perpetuated by the government but rise and oppose oppression and make the government fear us instead.

Thank you, Malaysians. You are always in my heart and I hope I too will always be in yours long after I am gone and have become dust buried in the earth.

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