She is indeed beautiful, isn't she?

I WAS having lunch with a friend recently and we had a long conversation about our country. He hails from the UK but has lived in Malaysia for over 20 years now with his work permit renewed every two years. Even he thinks it is absurd that when he travels to the UK, which is once in several years, it does not feel like home.

This friend has since tried applying for PR in Malaysia but his applications have always been met with rejection for one reason or another.

Never mind that, contrary to many who think complaining is their birth right he thinks Malaysia is a great country to live in and topping the list of plusses is the weather, which has been somewhat sober throughout the year. Next, he says is the warmth the people of Malaysia emanate.

I could relate to this friend every time I travelled, as being away from home for more than three days had always seemed like a long time and I would start missing the food, people and just about everything else. So, those of us born and raised here would understand the sentiment and passion that go hand in hand.

Incidentally, people who post damaging remarks about our politicians and the way the country is being run have failed to understand the simple science that all politicians worldwide tend to show similar tendencies and is part of their survival.

A game where the fittest will win and if we expect the losers to walk away without protest, then something is not right, is it? Malaysia as a country must be seen as a separate entity from the politicians, they are not mutually exclusive. We have the politicians and we have the country.

The point I am making is we have our flaws and issues, as does every country with its own idiosyncrasies. Two wrongs don't make a right, but we can make mistakes, and we make amends, again and again. Why can't we attach a certain decorum when proving a point wrong?

I have always taken pride in our country flying the peace flag, with people not resorting to violence to protest and disagree but that seems to be changing. The recent incident during a political gathering of a former leader turning into an ugly brawl has cast a black spell over the country.

I saw short videos making its rounds and the whole event area looked war-torn. This was so disgusting and it was circulating on all platforms, mostly drawing flak from the general public.

We had accusations and allegations flowing in as well from politicians from both sides of the divide and here I am, with the masses who condemned that unrest, unashamedly supporting pacifism.

Incidentally, in the US there was a similar incident in Charlottesville, Virginia recently and there were two groups of people protesting, one with a permit and the other without, as pointed out by Mr President.

One group hailed "Black lives matter" and another group screams, "White lives matter" and I thought the president would have said "All lives matter". That would have made all the difference.

Mr President came under a bitter attack over his unvarnished comments soon after the attack and in his vehemence in trying to repair the damage, he went into silence, which was a graver mistake.

When he re-emerged he said he needed to have his facts right before making public statements, which I thought didn't really fit the twitter-frenzy person he was.

The point is, it happens at just about anywhere and it can happen in Malaysia too. Political upheavals cannot be avoided so long as we have people and politicians.

Hence, let politicians do what they are best at, which is playing politics. The rest of us can at least try to be humans first as that will make a huge difference in the way we see and do things. This does not mean we do not oppose wrongdoings that infringe our rights and allow the country to rot, but let us do it with some calm and we will stand tall and proud.

Happy 60th Birthday Malaysia, together we stride and strive.