The past couple of years have not been a great one, especially for young Malaysian who've never lived through war, previous economic downturns and other hardship which makes Merdeka more meaningful.
This year and last, however, have been difficult and frustrating to say the least, with never-ending political turmoil, a major public health crisis and the resulting impact on the society.
While some Malaysian are still feeling optimistic, others are frustrated and hope for a better Malaysia.
Roslan Ahmad, who has worked with several NGOs in the country as well as in other country, said that he will proudly fly the Malaysian flag no matter the current situation in the country.
"People don't realise how good we have it here. Nowhere else have I seen fellow countrymen rushing to help each other as much as you see here. Just post a call for help on social media or even through word of mouth, you will surely have many volunteering to help," he said, adding that we should always be grateful for what we have.
"Don't only look at the negatives. We have it good," he said.
You never give up on family
Emma, a digital content specialist who is now living in San Francisco, US, said that she'll be forever thankful to have been born in Malaysia and call it home.
"Despite everything that is happening now, it will never take away the fact that Malaysia is my home and in any households, there are ups and downs but you don’t give up on your family, until you’re forced to.
"I’m yet to give up on my home. I truly wish things will get better for everyone and we can all be one big happy family soon," she said.
Ahmad, a communications expert said that, as a young Malaysian, he believe that we have a strong spirit of love for the country, to celebrate this historic month and take lessons and aspirations from these unprecedented and difficult times.
"My hope for our country is that we don't give up on the battle against the covid-19 pandemic and we continue to work toward making things better for everyone," he added.
Are we truly free?
Lizzie Zack, a Malaysian working in Singapore and haven't been able to return for more than 15 months said that Merdeka seems like a foreign thing.
"Yes, we achieved independence in 1957. That was way before I was born. But it does not feel like we're independent right now, whether it's from the COVID-19 situation or a failed government or even the failing economy.
"It just feels like we're all still trapped in something that makes us feel like we're not able to feel independent so I wish that we were truly independent in the truest sense of the word and not just free the clutches of colonialism," she said.
Doesn't feel like we have independence
Malar, a final year student at a local university, said that the word “Merdeka” no longer carries the meaning it intends to, which is “independence”.
"Since the emergence of COVID-19, our country had gone through many changes especially in terms of health and politics. The daily number of COVID-19 cases is increasing rapidly due to the negligence of the government in which they failed to tighten the rules during MCO.
"When the number of cases was reaching 3 digits, most of the citizens voiced their opinion to keep the malls and schools closed as it will help to curb the number of cases.
"However, this was not taken seriously by the government which led to the increase in the number of cases per day. Just when we thought the situation could not get any worse, a game which is known as “politics” emerged.
"The current politics in this country does not portray the rights of the citizen to choose who their leader would be. It can also be said that politics had turned into a corporate company in which the leader is decided among the people of the higher position and the opinion of the citizen does not matter at all.
"These situations show how the independence of the citizens is not given importance to in which “Merdeka” is not Merdeka after all," she said, sharing her frustration about the current political situation and the way COVID-19 pandemic is handled by those in power.
Selamat Hari Merdeka
Whatever the situation in the country, Malaysia remain home to many of us and we hope that better times are just around the corner.
Till then, we just have to stick together and work towards a better Malaysia.