ACTION – ORIENTED: A patriotic person will not tolerate wrongdoing, arrogance or incompetence.
WE are in that period again when we remember and celebrate our country’s independence. A period of time when well-intentioned leaders, officials and common people alike try hard to reinvigorate if not to instil that feeling of love and dedication towards country.
A daunting challenge considering that affection in humans is a personal and almost private matter and many may want to raise their patriotic fervour all by themselves.
This year’s theme is inspiring enough (“Malaysiaku Berdaulat: Tanah Tumpahnya Darahku”), but might still be incomprehensible to those who care not to reflect deeper.
Nevertheless, as always, it continues to echo the endearing message that must continue to be told — that the country is free and sovereign, that it is our homeland, that we must be united and that we must love and dedicate ourselves to her.
This is surely a call to patriotism. A spirit and feeling for country that some say has now waned in a portion of the population as a result of circumstances and in particular by the attitude of placing the interests of self higher than that of the country.
Even a casual observer can see that this is true. However, the small relief is there, that Malaysians as a whole will still come together as one when the security of the country is threatened.
This has been shown during the period of the emergency, confrontation, the communist insurgency in the 1970s and 1980s and even during the Lahad Datu incident in the early part of this year.
It may be a surprise to some, but our military rarely mention or even use the word patriotism or the “we must be patriotic” line. I can attest to this fact.
It even baffled me initially as to why this was so, especially when we had to get our soldiers to feel willing even to die for the country — the ultimate sacrifice of being a a soldier and a patriotic person.
The realisation was to come quickly. Direct calls using the word patriotism or the “be patriotic” line was not as vital as compared with the more crucial requirement of showing actual acts of patriotism and putting into practice what it means to be patriotic. And these were what the military focused on, which, at the same time, also included reprimanding and punishing those who demonstrated unpatriotic conduct and behaviour.