16th February 2018
PATRIOT SUPPORTS THE GOVERNMENT, BUT WE ARE AGAINST BAD AND CORRUPT LEADERS.
The Free Malaysia Today (FMT) on 15 Feb 18 reported the Minister of Defence, Datuk Hishammudin Hussein, as saying he believed that Patriot was just one of the many groups going all out to influence the minds of army, navy and air force members to go against the government. The careless and irresponsible statement by the honorable minister shocked us Patriots, comprising the officers’ corps of veterans and retired police.
Patriot will never ever go against the government. We were once members of the government organisations, the Malaysian Army, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force, and Royal Malaysian Police. Likewise the judiciary, teaching profession, customs, immigration, and the whole strata of civil service, are all part of the government. There is a difference between being against the government, which Patriot is certainly not, and being against bad and corrupt leaders.
If the minister through his secretary had bothered to check, our media statement on 14 Feb 18 did not criticize anybody. Neither did we criticize the PLKN (Program Latihan Khidmat Negara) or NS (National Service). One of our planned projects mentioned in our media statement was regarding the Patriot Youth Leadership & Patriotism Workshop. The workshop has a primary aim to help inculcate a sense of patriotism, national unity, and leadership among the youths, and a secondary aim to help encourage youths to enlist in the security forces. Our answer to a probing question during the Q&A session was that we Patriot would work with and complement the government’s NS programme. However, with regards to patriotism, leadership, and national unity, we have much experience to share.
The minister had picked on the sideline comment by one of our members who said that the NS programme had partly failed to inculcate patriotism, and he went on a diatribe of accusation against Patriot. Even though it was a sideline comment made by our member, we Patriots stand by his comment.
The NS programme had the following objectives:
1. Develop a young generation who are patriotic and with love for their country.
2. Enhance unity among the multi-national communities in the country.
3. Instill a spirit of caring and volunteerism among society.
4. Produce an active, intelligent and confident generation.
5. Develop positive characteristics among the younger generation through good values.
Since its launch in 2004 until 2015, and after RM 7,476,807,223.34 allocated and spent, can Datuk Hishammudin honestly say the objectives of the NS programme have been achieved, or even partly achieved? If so, then why are we seeing politicians spewing so much hate speeches? Why are individuals whose acts and conduct displaying bigotry, hatred, and insidious divisive intent receive tacit approval from those in authorities? Can we say that inter-racial disharmony among our university students in campuses is now a phenomena of the past? Do our youths stand up to offer their seats to the ladies and elderly in public transport? Are our students and even graduates capable of writing a simple letter? Are our rivers, parks, streets clean, and are we proud of our environment? How many cases of deaths and serious injuries inflicted during NS programmes? All these are enough without having to ponder into critics’ accusation that the programme was a ‘money-making scheme’.
Patriot takes no pride in pointing out the negativities of our own people and society. As men in uniform once, we live by the motto – there are no bad soldiers, only bad officers (leaders). Likewise, any shortcoming in the outcome of the NS programme, the fault lies not in youths and the trainees, but the national leaders are culpable. The Minister of Defence will have to take responsibility.
We Patriots also stand by our member’s additional comment that the NS programme failed to instill patriotism among the youths. The reasons are obvious. We would like to politely remind the public, and especially our national leaders, never ever to doubt our loyalty and patriotism to our king and country. No groups or individuals can claim to understand and feel patriotism better than we do. What we have gone through during our era was wartime soldiering, unlike now. We have among us those who had served in Congo UN peacekeeping mission, the first emergency, confrontation, the second emergency, counter insurgency warfare, and the more recent UN peacekeeping missions in various parts of the world. We lived a life deprived of much individual liberties, and an abnormal family life. We risked our lives and risked being maimed by booby traps. Some of us were injured in combat duties. Some of us received gallantry awards. Therefore, when we speak about patriotism, we speak from our hearts.
In addition, never to imply or insinuate that we Patriots apply ‘politics of hatred’. In our 35 media statements, never had we once instigated hatred among others. Our comments and criticisms had been based on issues. We encouraged and continue to campaign for national unity, besides asking for better welfare for our veterans and retired police personnel.
Finally, we are men who have once served our king and country with valour. Our sacrifices and valiant deeds have earned us an undying gratitude. There is a distinctive and uncommon value in us that we abide – HONOUR.
Reference article from:
BG Dato Mohamed Arshad Raji (Rtd)
President, Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan