| Is patriotism worth RM250? - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
| Saturday, August 11, 2018
Malaysiakini : “The flag is the simplest and cheapest symbol and for the cost of eight cigarettes, we can buy and wave the flag.”- Rais Yatim, in 2013 when he was the social affairs and cultural adviser
COMMENT | When some people say we
can finally raise the Jalur Gemilang with pride after May 9, I go, huh?
Why can we finally raise our national flag with pride? I suppose you
could make the argument that we finally become a democracy, if the
yardstick is changing governments, that is. But some would argue that
the big change was merely a reshuffling of the deck.
Indeed, waving the Jalur Gemilang and patriotism go hand in hand.
Except, if you’re from the LGBTQ tribe, or liberal Muslims or
‘chauvinistic’ Chinese, or ‘traitorous’ Indians, or not from the
'bangsa' Malaysia tribe (the negation of ethnicity/culture in favour of
partisanship), then waving the flag or even depictions of you waving the
flag means that you are promoting something which goes against the
group think of the state or not wanting to spook the majority in case
they have second thought about the Pakatan Harapan government.
In January of this year, I asked why would the non-Malays be patriotic to this country – “And really, what is it the non-Malays have to defend? We have to
defend our ‘success’ in Tanah Melayu. We have to defend the fact that we
have to work hard because we are not beholden to a system of privilege –
ideological, religious and constitutional – that enables us to think
for ourselves and realise that the world does not owe us anything. “We have to defend how we spend our wealth – too expressive in the
luxuries the fruits of our labour afford us, and we are deemed
un-Islamic, corrupt in our excesses, and of course, corrosive to the
Please do not claim that things will not change immediately. That is
not what I am saying at all. I believe that deep down inside, people
know this. They know the freak show when they see it.
It never ceases to amaze me that certain types of governments always
need to foster, instil, encourage or in some cases, enforce a sense of
patriotism on its citizens. That is really what’s bugs me about the
re-branding of the Biro Tatanegara (BTN) courses, for example. Why do
people need to be reminded or taught about being patriotic to the
country? I mean we know, or should know, that any kind of state
propaganda is there to enforce allegiance to political parties and not
democratic, independent institutions, right? The irony, of course, is that people generally have more loyalty to
political parties than any other institution in the country. They have
more faith in political parties than democratic principles or ideals. In
other words, partisanship is tangible, while any other kind of
patriotic feelings to the country is not.
Read it all here..............
|posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 11:47 AM