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Lesson from Ukraine: Intrinsic love for leaders cannot be forced upon the people

Let our unity be based on our struggle for justice for one another.


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by Ch’ng Chin Yeow

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine has had an unintended effect: it has allowed the world to witness the love of ordinary Ukrainians for their motherland and their resilience in defending their country, even though they may be outgunned and outnumbered by the Russian army. 

The Ukrainians, including women, are taking up arms to defend their motherland and their way of life and values vehemently. The Ukrainians’ resolve is heart-warming.

It is sad to witness the atrocities inflicted on them causing grave damage, fear, sufferings and loss of lives.

Intrinsic love for a leader cannot be forced upon the people. This is true throughout the world, including Ukraine, as the people there do not want Putin to force them to accept him as their overlord. 

The Ukrainians have experienced many rights and freedom accorded under a liberal democratic system. They do not want Ukraine to regress into a vassal state governed by Russia. 

Authoritarian regimes resort to crackdowns, propaganda and opaqueness in their media coverage to control the masses. Thousands of people in Russia who protested against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have been arrested.

Russia has falsely justified the invasion, in part, as a bid to protect the Russian-speaking people in Ukraine. This fake narrative has been unravelled. 

The upholding of the rule of law is of utmost importance.

On the international level, the guarantee of the sovereign integrity of all countries, accorded under the UN Charter, should be upheld – including in Ukraine and in the South China Sea.

READ MORE:  Cornel West: Running for US president, ending Ukraine war, and taking on 'corporate duopoly' of Dems and GOP

Malaysians should stand solidly and in solidarity with our Ukrainian brothers and sisters to condemn Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, despite the many social media messages being circulated siding with Russia, based on a skewed geopolitical affiliation with China. Justice is above politics. 

I love Malaysia. My loyalty is always with Malaysia. I am very proud of my Malaysian citizenship and passport. 

Intrinsic love for our politicians cannot be forced upon us. Malaysians can emulate the Ukrainians to be united as a people. Let our unity be based on our struggle for justice for one another. Let us not allow our political views on race and religion to divide us.

It is heart-warming to see the many Malay Malaysians fighting for the rights of the minorities.

The minorities should reciprocate with kindness and also fight for justice for others – including the other minorities, people who are less privileged, and the Malays on certain social issues.

We are Malaysians and we are one people. 

Ch’ng Chin Yeow has an interest in many issues and subjects, including history, mineralogy and human behaviour. Based in Penang, he truly likes to be a busybody

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
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  2. Galakkan pembangunan saksama, lestari serta tangani krisis alam sekitar
  3. Raikan kerencaman dan keterangkuman
  4. Selamatkan demokrasi dan angkatkan keluhuran undang-undang
  5. Lawan rasuah dan kronisme
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Paul Lim
Paul Lim
6 Mar 2022 4.03am

Good to see a Malaysian taking an interest in Ukraine but there is a next door neighbour from where Malaysians can get inspiration and that is Myanmar. How many Malaysians are following what is happening closely? Much to learn from Myanmar.

Sukeshini Nair
2 Mar 2022 7.42am

Love for leaders cannot be forced! You are right but perhaps not initially. However, years of conditioning and brainwashing works in many cases. And in others, we have fear, forcing, if not love, conformity. This is why the leaders of countries like North Korea, can remain in power.

K. Wong
K. Wong
1 Mar 2022 9.21pm

And then, there is Putin, painfully well known for his inhumane response to critics.

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