We have to have integrity and ethics within us before we can lay claim to being genuinely patriotic citizens, writes JD Lovrenciear.
In this post-2018 general election climate of cleaning up our nation of its past sins of corruption, omission and commission, it would be good to champion genuine patriotism.
If we are truly patriotic to this nation which we call home, it makes sense to do all that it takes to make Malaysia truly a home, sweet home for us.
We cannot claim to be patriotic if we are guilty of any or some or all of the following:
We want be employed in the civil service and desire to retire with all its perks and pensions but do not do our best and uphold integrity throughout our tenure of service.
We preach and proclaim all the mantras of nation-building but profiteer through the back door and engage in dubious schemes.
We ensure that our family benefits from the gravy train even though we know all too well we cannot use our power and position for self interest.
We refuse to declare our assets while hiding behind claims of family heritage.
We accept large donations while holding positions of power and spend, spend and spend without responsibly declaring to the authorities. We then use our power and command to horde – from cash to jewellery to various other manifestations of materialism.
We want yo be a successful business person but then we profiteer at the expense of naive, gullible consumers.
We pride ourselves on being billionaires of sorts but then dish out crumbs through corporate social responsibility spending while millions remain deprived of the benefits of government policies that buy votes.
We continue to give lip service to the marginalised poor while spending large ill-gotten gains on a lavish lifestyle.
Genuine patriotism is about service above self. It is about making sacrifices to build a future for future generations.
Real patriotism demands that we take the risk to counter enemies of the state who want to rob the nation of its future.
Real patriotism is dead without deeds. Chanting slogans does not make us patriotic.
We have to have integrity and ethics within us before we can lay claim to being genuinely patriotic citizens. On that count, kissing the hands of the powers that be is never a mark of patriotism. Neither is being yes-men to curry favours.
The 21st Century enemy of state can be found among those who lack genuine patriotism. When genuine patriotism is dead, a nation is bankrupted.
Hopefully, we will all realise that if we are without integrity and ethics we deserve to be punished under the law.