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As a person turns 60, there would be much to reflect upon in relation to past achievements, current standings and future plans.

In terms of maturity, the person would have reached the age where his or her thinking and actions would have resulted in outcomes befitting the efforts made, with some to be proud of or while the rest may have been best forgotten.

There will also be connections made and experiences gained throughout the course of reaching 60. Personal, social and professional connections made with regard to various interests and concerns.

That would be the time when achievements made are to be proud of, surely for many. While for others it would be the time to call it a day and take a well-deserved rest.

Imagining the nation as a person and having undergone the phases of growth would put her as being stable in life, experienced and fulfilled.

Our beloved nation turns 60 this year, and there is much to rejoice as there is to reflect upon. Much has been achieved throughout the growing up years, with still many other things yet to be done. The future presents opportunities as well as uncertainties in terms of sustaining growth and ensuring equitability for many.

The 29th SEA Games, held currently on home ground, has certainly ignited the love and support for the nation, with everyone rooting for their favourite athlete(s) to win a medal and stand proud as the national anthem ‘Negaraku’ is played.

Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), established in 1969, has also been part of the nation’s growth, from being the first science-based university, later to become one of the nation’s research universities and the only Malaysian university to be accorded the APEX status. It is currently driving its agenda to ensure a sustainable future for the nation and its continuous drive to be ranked among the best in the region and the world. USM has also sent its students, as athletes in the Malaysian contingent, for the SEA Games.

The pride for the nation though should go beyond medals, slogans, campaigns and flag-waving ceremonies. The love for the nation should come from the heart, and should last throughout one’s life. When listening to Joey Tempest’s ‘For My Country’, I can somehow relate the idea of loving the country to loving one’s own mother. Everyone’s mother is the queen of their own hearts; so should be the ‘mother’land. The feeling should go across the socio-economic and political systems practiced by the government of the day, with the policies implemented and the business circles which run the economy.

Thus, like one’s own mother, turning 60 will only make the country (and mom) more beautiful, as she sits and looks at her past achievements and experiences. The people are the nation’s past and future achievements. So, please don’t forget, that there’s no place like home (where there is mom too), wherever that may be.



May you live long and prosper, loved and cherished by the people.

Text: Mazlan Hanafi Basharudin

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