Monday, August 3, 2009
Patriotism - defined as love of and/or devotion to one's country (Wikepedia). I'm inspired to write this short article after reading the responses from the undergraduates of Social Science, USM (refer to the 1st two articles of 'Unforgetable Flying Experiences). And further fueled by my friend's article on 'Patriotism'(see Patriotism 1). Of course, those comments do not represent the majority of the populace. However, I can confidently conclude that the majority of the younger Malaysians are patriotic. Well, I'm entitled to my opinion, isn't it? Anyway, I’m flattered to know that I manage to enlighten them on the cruelty of the communist terrorists (CTs) - from my perspective, of course.
I'm here not to argue or debate whether you're patriotic or not. Only you can answer that. As for me, I consider myself a very patriotic person and extremely proud to be a Malaysian. I had my share of defending my beloved country, and very proud at it. I'm very fortunate indeed to be directly involved in the military operations against the CTs those days. Those flying adventures will forever be cherished in my mind.
How patriotic are you? As what my Colonel friend had said, is your patriotism as good as the Americans? Most of us Malaysians, idolise whatever American, be it food, clothing, education, cultures, etc, etc. I don’t blame you at all; to a certain extent it’s okay with me. After all, I like KFC; my ‘driver and hybrid’ clubs are American made although I know very well that the ‘head and shaft’ are made in China, only assembled in USA. But what about their patriotism? Are we ready to emulate them and why not?
What I mean is the very basic. I’m very sure you watch American footballs, baseballs, basketballs or whatever balls. The stadium is normally full to the brim. Don’t be too engrossed watching those lovely pom-pom girls’ antics but try to focus also on how the spectators and the players alike stand up and sing their national anthem with enthusiasm – the players with their hands clasping their caps to the chests! What about us, Malaysians? In my younger days, I loved to watch the movies at theaters – now cineplexes. Before the movie started, Negaraku would be played. I tell you, not even ¼ of the audiences stood up! Now I’m not sure whether Negaraku is being played before the start of the movie and what is the response like. I’m no longer a movie fanatic and I can’t remember when was the last time I went to the cineplexes.
My wife, an ex-teacher, told me that the way the students sang the national anthem during school assemblies was without vigour .....no umph whatsoever! I’m not in the least surprised if the majority of them, including most of us, 'conveniently' forget the lyrics.
Well, I don’t mean that you must join the Armed Forces just to prove your patriotism. To me, I’m very proud of Dato’ Nicol David and her prowess in squash. To see Jalur Gemilang flying atop the highest peak in the world. Or see Dato Dr Muzaffar floating in the ISS. For that matter, the generous Malaysians donating money to the needy. Golfers, aren’t you proud to see me holding Malaysian Open’s trophy....the first Malaysian champion? What a dream! Anyway, if you join the air force with the hope of becoming a hero like me, forget about it since those adventurous days were over......he....he.
On 3 August ’09 I sent an email to the Minister of Defence suggesting that all those gallantry award recipients and those maimed veterans due to operations against the CTs, be invited to tell their adventures to the public. For a start, let PLKN be the platform. But it must not be a one-time affair. I’m sure the impact would be great if, say the only living hero, WO1 Kanang, the recipient of both SP and PGB, relates his adventures to the students – first hand. I don’t know how the minister’s response would be. After all, who am I, just a veteran nuri pilot reminiscing those good old flying days! Anyway, I’m happy to hear that he had directed all the PLKN camps to show ‘Malaya 1957’. I hope he will include ‘Bukit Kepong’.
What about you?