Abdul Kadir, Mohamed Nazri, Ali Rustam are among the Barisan Nasional leaders who should be sent to a compulsory basic civics course to understand that flag-flying and waving is not the yardstick of patriotism
by Lim Kit Siang
(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): In May this year, Culture, Arts and Tourism Minister Datuk Paduka Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir made the totally unwarranted, gratuitous and offensive attack on the patriotism of the Malaysian Chinese when he alleged that the Malaysian Chinese lacked patriotism and were ungrateful, claiming as evidence the failure of his committee’s “Raise-the-Jalur-Gemilang” campaign among the Malaysian Chinese.
Three months have passed and the Malaysian Chinese are still waiting for Kadir’s apology for his outrageous and scandalous attack on their love, loyalty and patriotism for the nation. But Kadir has not learnt any lesson at all, as he has expanding the scope of his attack from the Malaysian Chinese to all Malaysians.
In Malacca on Sunday, Kadir
expressed his disappointment over the public's reluctance to fly the Jalur
Gemilang in conjunction with the Merdeka Month celebration.
this reflected the people's lack of patriotism for the country, which
ultimately could give rise to detrimental consequences.
DAP commends the National Civics Bureau Director-General Datuk Dr Nordin Kardi who disagreed with Kadir and said yesterday that raising and flying the Jalur Gemilang is not the actual yardstick to gauge an individual's patriotism as contributions towards the nation's development was more indicative of a person's patriotism. (Bernama)
Dr Nordin said refraining from committing acts detrimental to the nation's sovereignty and interests was another significant indication of the patriotism level.
He said: "Flying the Jalur Gemilang during the Merdeka Month celebrations could be a gimmick to show love for the country. To me, the individual's contributions to the nation is the actual measure of patriotism."
He said patriotism could also
be proven by rejecting bribes and other forms of corruption which might lead
to the destruction of a nation.
On this issue, the National Civics Bureau Director-General talks sense while the Culture, Arts and Tourism Minister talks nonsense, offending not only the Malaysian Chinese three months ago, but now the 23 million Malaysian people. Apologies from Kadir for both his offensive attacks on the patriotism of the Malaysian Chinese and the general Malaysian populace are in order.
The Cabinet tomorrow should take a serious view of such unwarranted, baseless and insensitive statements questioning or downright attacking the patriotism of Malaysians not only by Kadir but also by other Barisan Ministers and state leaders, including Chief Ministers and Mentris Besar, for only flying the Jalur Gemilang on National Day instead of during the Barisan Nasional’s Merdeka Month.
Malacca Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam, for instance, made the wild and outrageous statement that those who fly the national flag only on National Day but not during the Merdeka Month are not only unpatriotic, but not fit to stay in Malaysia!
All narrow-minded Barisan Nasional leaders, whether national or state, like Abdul Kadir, his Ministerial colleage the Minister for Entrepreneur Development Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz and Ali Rustam should be sent to attend a compulsory basic civics course to understand that flag-flying and waving is not the yardstick of patriotism.
As Dr. Nordin has rightly pointed out, Kadir and all Barisan Nasional Ministers and leaders should learn to differentiate between genuine patriotism from “pulp” patriotism which reduced the solemn and meaningful occasion of the annual National Day into a silly season of flag-flying and waving in the Merdeka Month.
What is the accepted definition of patriotism in Malaysia? It should mean living up to the nation’s highest ideals with the mindset: “Our country, right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right.”
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman