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LETTER | Revive and revitalise patriotism to combat corruption

LETTER | It is not too far-fetched to opinionate that patriotism in Malaysia is fast fading if not nearly dead.

The signs and symptoms are everywhere to evidence that Malaysians are not as patriotic as their forefathers were.

Businesses have no feelings towards the Jalur Gemilang. Look at the faded, torn Malaysian flags in front of business premises. Even government buildings are falling short here.

Corrupt mindsets plaguing political and economic frontiers also attest that our sense of patriotic commitment has vanished.

Businesspersons, big and small, even solo entrepreneurs, have no hesitation in making corrupt cuts here and there to make tidy profits. They do not feel guilty about cheating their fellow citizens just so they can enrich themselves at the expense of consumers.

Citizens appointed and paid royally to safeguard and employ the best remedies for government services are often seen to be unaccountable to the increasing failures which can be deduced from the annual auditor's report.

Politicians are increasingly clawing their way to wealth. Their families and cronies are enriched all under the guise of a democratic economy.

Name one politician who did not accumulate jaw-dropping wealth before he or she left the political arena.

Our multiple failures, be it healthcare or education, speak volumes about the crashing sense of patriotism towards raising standards, quality and performance.

Our rape of the environment in the disguised name of development again proves how badly we are sinking in our spirit of patriotism for citizens, rulers and nation.

I implore our current prime minister to marshall all the resources under his command and reform Malaysia's sunken spirit of patriotism. It is time we reignited a revolutionary spirit of patriotism to fight corruption from and in any form.

This social reform must and will set the standard, and measurement and also herald the success in our battle to reset the nation to that era of the true, patriotic spirit that prevailed at the start of our independence journey.

The recent call for the singing of our national anthem at the start of each day in Parliament is commendable. All government departments must do the same, like the decades-long practice in Thailand.

Private businesses must also emulate this practice that continues to prove successful in Thailand. Make it compulsory for every building to hoist the Malaysian flag and maintain its beauty.

Make the teaching of patriotism as a subject from school to university compulsory.

Introduce incentives like special tax relief to the business operators who demonstrate in their audited reports their effective contributions to building patriotism. It must be made a well-recognised CSR practice.

Introduce annual awards to celebrate and recognise patriotism among citizens and public sector heads of departments.

Promote events that help inject the spirit of patriotism in the nation. This includes holding concerts, local community sporting events, etc.

Engage places of worship to help ingrain and impress upon their faithful the need for patriotism.

Knit in the concept of patriotism for lawbreakers - including motor vehicular offences, polluting our rivers, etc too.

In a nutshell, we desperately need a holistic culture of patriotism that definitely can protect our future against corruption, foreign invasion - be it economically, socially or territorially, and the many side effects resulting from a neglected patriotism.

We can rebuild Malaysia through the revival of true patriotism - a spirit that must be upheld and cherished by every commoner, every leader, and every ruler.

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

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