MALAYSIANSKINI | At 75 years old and long retired, former brigadier-general Mohd Arshad Raji recently rose to “defend” the country again, as he had done many times before.
Enlisting other military and police veterans to join him, he set up Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan (Patriot) last May.
Less than a year later, Patriot has seared itself into the public consciousness with its outspokenness, taking aim at Mara’s Australian apartment scandal, affirmative action policies seeping into the military, and the National Service programme, which he likened to a “holiday camp” because of its apparent failure to instill patriotism in youths.
When a cleric claimed that non-Malays played no part in defending the country against the Communist Insurgency, Arshad was among the first to set the record straight.
It did not take long for the group to catch the attention of the public, nor for it to earn flak, most notably with Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein accusing Patriot of opposing the government.
To Arshad, however, speaking out against corruption and injustice is an extension of his service towards the country.
“We are not against the government, we are not. We will support the government if it is a good government.
“We were the ones who fought for the country, we gave the people peace so they can sleep soundly at night with their families.
“So when you see all this (corruption) happening, you feel betrayed.
“To voice myself through writing, through the press, is the only avenue I have now to defend the country. The pen is mightier than the sword...