Mother’s Day on May 13th – what a date to celebrate! In a way, it’s quite appropriate that we should remember that many lives, including those of a number of mothers and potential mothers, were lost during the riots in Kuala Lumpur in 1969. Let their souls rest in peace and the rest of us move on.

Today we wish to acknowledge the numerous contributions to society made by all mothers everywhere, past and present, single ones included. At the same time, we must also remember that mothers alone cannot make the world. With due respect to the storks, without the active cooperation of fathers in the scheme of the thing called procreation, this world would have been full of humans behaving like fish that change sex in order to multiply. That fs why you must spare a thought for Daddy, still around or not, in your celebration of Mother’s Day.

Happy is the Mum whose children can afford to throw sumptuous dinners for her tonight; some parties started last night. But please spare a thought for those children who cannot afford such luxuries. They have other means to show that they too love their respective mothers.

The form of celebration is immaterial. What’s important is the spirit in which it is given; more significantly is the love and affection shown to Mum, not just at the dinner but at all times. In that sense every day is Mother’s Day.

That’s the best gift for her. The bonus would be the sight and sound of the voices, wails included, of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Some lucky mothers have lived to see members of the fourth generation.

Mum’s life struggle starts early, beginning with making a choice: to have a child or not to have one of her own or else to adopt a baby. Once she has made that choice, there is no turning back.

Then begins her struggle – replete with lifelong challenges of all descriptions – from the cradle to the grave.


As Joaquin Miller once wrote:

“The bravest battle that ever was fought;

Shall I tell you where and when?

On the maps of the world you will find it not;

It was fought by the mothers of men.”


For nine months, she is heavy with the baby. She has to be careful with her health; her diet is being shared with the baby. This is the time when she needs full understanding of those around her. She craves for durian when the fruit is not in season or seafood that fs hard to find. A pregnant mother in town goes for regular checks; the rural one may not have such facilities yet. But bring the baby into the world they will.

The moment she first feels the labour pains, she has started on a mission impossible. She has a lot on her mind for the baby – how to look after him or her after birth, at school, at work, even how to choose a spouse or the wedding dress. She wants the best of everything for her child (you). At times, she is fussy and easily irritated. Still, she is your mother who loves and cares for your well-being. So your showering her with gifts once a year is nothing compared to her overflowing daily affection. At the birth of your own child later, she comes into the scene again. That’s a caring Mum. When she cuddles her first grandchild, that is the time she is on cloud nine and her life is worth the pain.

In return, it is your bounden duty to do your best to reciprocate her feelings for you while she is still around. And even after she has gone to join her Creator.

It is amazing that despite all the difficulties that they have to undergo in life, some mothers have overcome all odds; many have made their names in politics introducing reforms and change.

It is said that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. For instance, Indira Ghandi, initiated reforms to the system of government in India where once the moguls and the maharajahs were filthy rich while millions of ordinary Indians were dirt poor.

India after Indira is now a world power. When she died of an assassin’s bullet, India lost a mother of democracy.

When Corazon Aquino of the Philippines discovered rampant corruption in high places and the perpetrators went unpunished, she organised people’s power to change government and installed herself as its head.

Of course, mothers like another former Philippines president, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, are having trouble with the law at the moment.

But that’s the occupational hazard of politics. Still, they are mothers, no matter what happens. Not every mother is perfect; she can’t be. She is only human.

As more and more Malaysian mothers are involved in commerce and industry and many are in politics, let us hope they will spearhead economic, political and social changes which are needed for the betterment of the country and its people in the long run.

For tonight, pamper and entertain Mum by all means. Kiss her for Uncle Di.

Happy Mother’s Day!