Real patriotism should be about making Malaysia a place where people are united in their fight against crafty and divisive racial and religious politics, writes JD Lovrenciear.
In the countdown to the general election, what we see shaping up is an attack on our patriotic aspirations.
When Umno unleashes its arsenal using race and religion, we could end up deeply eroding patriotic values that alone can sew the seams of a fragile multi-ethnic and multi-religious population.
When goal of eradicating corruption is not the central target of political parties – as can be deduced from some of their so-called manifestos – patriotism could be affected.
When leaders of professional associations, guilds, religious communities fear to step forward to raise their members’ level of consciousness of what embodies the universal truths of patriotism, a nation’s future peace is 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 to the coming general electionm, which many have dubbed as the mother of all elections.
If Malaysians naively or indifferently anticipate polling day without re-examining, reflecting, and discussing this critical and defining moment in our history as a nation, then we are set for a long, long slide towards untold misery.
Parents, teachers, neighbours, community leaders, and all other citizens have a moral, ethical, and religious duty to seize the moment and prioritise real patriotism before we cast our votes.
Let not some apparent wizard preach and confuse us about what patriotism really is. Time is not on our side.
Real patriotism should be about making Malaysia a place where people are united in their fight against crafty and divisive racial and religious politics so that we can harness the potential of the next generation.
Peace, progress and harmony are the fruit of patriotism. So too ethics and integrity. A nationwide war against corrupt officials, institutions and political leaders is another sign that we are indeed patriotic.
The time is here and now for everyone, every organisation, every business csar, every leader worth his or her salt to bring citizens together in a national wave of genuine patriotism.