Malaysiakini Letter

Is Malaysian politics attacking our patriotism?

JD Lovrenciear  |  Published:  |  Modified:

LETTER | As the political divides bolster their arsenal for the countdown to GE14, that which is shaping up is their attack on our patriotic aspirations.

When Umno unleashes its arsenal using race and religion as their targets, we end up deeply gorging on patriotic values that alone can sew the seams of a fragile multi-ethnic and multireligious population.

When politicians fight for tickets to power, nationhood is under threat.

When corruption is not the central target of war by political parties - as can be deduced from all their so-called manifestos of liberating our mangled nation - patriotism is under arrest.

When some heads of state wade into canvassing roles for political patronage, patriotism takes on a distorted meaning.

When leaders of professional associations, guilds, religious communities fear to step forward to raise their members’ or followers’ consciousness levels of what embodies the universal truths of patriotism, a nation's future peace that is always knit with the cords of patriotism is compromised and even made vulnerable at the hands of corrupt, greedy politicians.

Indeed we need a renaissance of our patriotic values if we are to see a positive outcome from the general election that the world commentaries have come to recognise as the mother of all elections.

Will we emulate what businessperson Lee Kim Yew is pushing for, as seen at the Jalur Gemilang Patriotic Forum last weekend, or will we kill patriotic spirits with suspicion and ridicule and indifference?

If Malaysians naively, or worse, indifferently chalk up the days ahead of polling day without re-examining, reflecting, discussing this critical moment of defining truth in the history of our nation, then we are set for a long, long haul on a downward rapid of untold miseries.

Parents, teachers, neighbours, community leaders - all citizens, have a moral, ethical, religious and categorical duty to seize the moment and put patriotism as our numero uno factor before we hit the polling station.

Let not some seeming wizard preach and confuse us with debates of what is patriotism. Time is against us.

Making Malaysia one nation of one people who are united in their fight against divisive, racial, religious and crafty politics without fear or favour, for the sole purpose of making our nation ready to harness and embrace the next generation of citizens, is what this call for patriotism is and should be.

Peace, progress and harmony are the product of patriotism.

Ethics and integrity are the yardsticks of patriotism.

A nationwide war avenged on corrupt officials, institutions and political leaders is the sign that we are indeed patriotic to our beloved nation.

The time is here and now for everyone, every organisation, every business czar, every leader worth his or her salt and lineage to bring citizens together all across the country in waves to set the national wave of patriotism flowing.

Will we?

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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