True patriotism - a dedication of a lifetime

To instill patriotism, our Government is again, year after year, urging the public to display national flags on buildings and vehicles during the period of National Day anniversary celebration.

In this respect, it is appropriate to quote from Adlai Stevenson: "… patriotism is not a short, frenzied outburst of emotion, but a tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime." Indeed Malaysia patriotism should be a dedication of a lifetime.

Yes, many will oblige with the Government's call and raise the national flags, but are all of them true patriots or just patriots for a month?

With patriotism fever rising, how distressing it is to see these days some vehicles, adorned with Jalur Gemilang, blatantly breaking all traffic rules on our roads and highways. They give the impression that they, "the patriots", are privileged to break rules because they are flying Jalur Gemilang.

Similarly we see flags been trampled upon on the highways and dirty, tattered and twisted flags hanging on lampposts and buildings.

The Government should not go overboard about flying the national flags. If we think we can promote patriotism by merely flying Jalur Gemilang once a year, we are merely taking the woods for the trees!

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: "When a whole nation is roaring Patriotism at the top of its voice, I am fain to explore the cleanness of its hands and the purity of its heart."

Malaysia Boleh! But we are still a long way from true patriotism. 2008