PAK LAH, the Malaysian Prime Minister, spoke about what PATRIOTISM is in our Malaysian context at the 2007 YOUTH PATRIOTISM Congress at the Putra Jaya national Convention Center where one thousand students, youth leaders, UMNO veterans, educationists including the Minister of Education attended and made front page news in NEW SUNDAY TIMES today. What a call and at what a time. What he said during the one hour long exposition about Patriotism is unknown to most of the over twenty million Malaysians all over the country. Even among those who attended hopefully they remember all and spread it around to their friends but more importantly changed themselves in outlook and action.
Malaysia needs patriots as those who love others more than they love themselves and cares for others more than they care for themselves. To do this we must go the EXTRA MILE needed to achieve the goal of loving others more than ourselves just like Mr. MOHAN SINGH who had helped Pak Lah in the ENGLISH class. For instance, can then the MINISTER OF EDUCATION who attended the CONGRESS ensures that all teachers who go the extra mile to teach their students/pupils gets the promotion they deserve. For the PRIME MINISTER, can he direct the PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION and other COMMISSIONS to give promotion based PURELY ON PERFORMANCE and not recommendations from their bosses? For unless there is a proper system of recognition and rewards, a call for patriotism is just another slogan for manipulation and call to the poor to tolerate the increases in prices because of the decreasing buying power of the RINGGIT.
A lot of patriots are now crying for help. They suffer in silence. Some even put their lives during during the troubling days of COMMUNISM and CONFRONTATION. Some are without pension while others see their pensions get smaller and smaller as our reckless development through the ‘new delivery system’ eating into the buying power of our currency. What actions will the BN Government of the day institute so that there is a safety net for our hardcore poor as well as the pensioners who have put our nation to where it is to-day? From what I have experienced the last few days, things must be getting very hard when, for the first time in my life, ordinary people openly asked for money from me. One is a newspaper salesman who asked twenty ringgit to buy some necessities and he can afford only water which is now selling for FIFTY CENTS! Next day, a hungry ‘scavenger’ who asked for 2-3 ringgit and later looked into the GARBAGE BIN for left-overs, etc. My first experience indeed. Why now? I beg for patriotism amongst all BN politicians to walk the extra mile to find solutions to our economic problems and to strengthen the RINGGIT so that a glass of water can given free again.
To resolve the problem, we ought to be less selfish and less greedy. Amongst politicians, can we stop talking, especially about new cars and new wives or mistresses, but we must polish our image to regain our “HONOURABLE” status? We need to walk the EXTRA MILE ON EMPTY STOMACHS if need be! Can we do it before we call others to follow? Remember Mr. CHONG’S perception of politicians in my earlier post on ‘CORRUPTION?’.
Can we all TRULY LOVE AND CARE FOR MALAYSIA? Can we stop talking about POLEMICS and STOP POLITICS BASED ON BEING RACIAL AND RELIGIOUS CHAMPIONS to gain power? Who shall take the lead to champion BANGSA MALAYSIA after FORTY FOUR YEARS of the FORMATION OF MALAYSIA on 16th SEPTEMBER of 1963. SARAWAK AND SABAH( NORTH BORNEO) were still BRITISH COLONIES FIFTY YEARS. NOW, as of to-day the NATIVES of SABAH and SARAWAK are still classified as ‘OTHERS’ or ‘ LAIN – LAIN’ . Yet many remain patriotic. When can the Government do to accept these natives as BANGSA MALAYSIA?
LET’S US be PATRIOTIC in WORDS and DEEDS. LET’S walk the EXTRA MILE!