By slighting Patriot through his Facebook, Najib has further undermined his reputation, writes JD Lovrenciear.
Little does Najib Razak know that the National Patriots Association (Patriot) is held in high esteem.
His advisors are certainly grossly inadequate for failing to recognise that this band of ex-servicemen and women – together with its civil society chapter, Rakan Patriot – played a pivotal role in the 2018 general election outcome that robbed Barisan Nasional of power after six decades.
Perhaps it is this agony over the harsh reality of Patriot’s contribution to the whole of Malaysian society, which said “enough is enough” that has irked Najib, forcing him to lash out at Patriot for its recent rebuttal of Najib’s slanted claim that Umno fought the communists.
Najib must be told that even though he is an ousted prime minister, he must still conduct himself with a certain grace. He should not get into a ring fight and throw punches below the belt.
Yes, Patriot may not have all the country’s ex-servicemen and women as its members. Yes, Patriot’s civil society body Rakan Patriot may not have all civilian Malaysians as its members.
But the one crucial truth Najib grossly missed is numbers do not measure an organisation’s strength.
It is the bravery and untainted virtue of patriotism that cuts a defining edge when the going gets tough.
And Patriot members have demonstrated that courage and conviction by rising to the occasion even in their retirement to speak the truth and defend the nation against corruption and any hint of kleptocracy or abuse of power.
Today several NGOs and civil society leaders work in cohesion with the spirited march of Patriot because they recognise the spirit of selfless dedication and service to the nation that has become the hallmark of every Patriot. Likewise, many businesses which believe in integrity and national service are working in unsung silence with Patriot.
Hence, by slighting Patriot and throwing punches below the belt through his Facebook, Najib has further undermined his reputation. Indeed, it is most regrettable that a former prime minister could be so seriously misled.