Frankly, I don't think we have it in us. You and me sit and get paid for our knowledge in a Western world and deal with people from all around the world. One thing for sure, we all have patriotism towards our country. The grass is not necessarily greener in the other side if you are able to do what you are capable of doing.
Malaysians, generally in my own experience, are so pessimistic and all they can say is 'What to do, it is the system'. But it is not the system but our mindset. You have bribery, corruption and all the nonsense even in the Western world but it does not trickle down to the masses.
In larger populations like China, India, Brazil, of course, there is a lot of bureaucracy and therefore the chances are high for corruption occurring. Malaysia being the tiny country with a negligible population, it really should not happen. But it is happening at an alarming rate because we as the society allow it and accept it all because of the 'me first' factor.
There is nothing wrong with that but there always should be an allowance for 'society first'. Not everyone can be an activist, hero or champion but we can always support them. The important thing here is that it is for the good of the society and this in turn is patriotism.
The consciousness in one's self portrays the relevance of patriotism as opposed to what the authority decides. This is where Malaysians lack. We are so self-centred that nothing around us seems to bother us as long as the 'me first' factor is satisfied. I guess we deserve what we get.
Malaysians are intelligent as much as we are materialistic. We see issues that need to be addressed but move on because of this 'me first' factor. 'How am I affected, what can I do? It does not disturb my rice bowl so let it be'. This is the sad state of Malaysians today. I must admit that I am no better than any other Malaysian but at some stage we must realise that we are the mirror of our own actions.
History cannot be changed but lessons can be learned. We should then look forward and do the utmost to bring change no matter how minuscule for a betterment of our society.
Dissent is the best form of patriotism. Patriotism is not about changing the system but changing one's self in mindset and outlook. Happy Merdeka for whatever it means.