Patriotism must be embraced by all levels of society, especially the younger generation. It is important to form an ethical generation that shape values in all Malaysian generally. Patriotism also could instil moral attitude among the young generation particularly. Hence, through patriotism, it gathers one nation.
With that, I would agree if the lack of practice of Malaysian values and the spirit of being a good Malaysian especially amongst the younger generation have become recent issues. This is because Malaysia has lack of awareness mostly on values. One of the values emphasized is on ‘Patriotism’. First of all, I would like to lay on the definition of ‘Patriotism’ followed by few suggestions in order to instil values among Malaysian in general.
Patriotism comes from Greek, namely the patriotes which means fellow countrymen, that compatriot, and patrice means fatherland or country, which is refers to the homeland or nation. With such matters can be concluded that patriotism refers to someone who love to the country (Hand, 2011).
Patriotism can also be associated with feelings of love and respect to the homeland. It is a natural feeling that drives someone to work hard for the sake of national development, protecting cultural heritage and protecting the country from being destroyed by outsiders or insiders (Lee Lam Thye, 2016).
According to Ahmad Shah Pakeer et al. (2011), ‘patriotism’ is to build a country, where it requires a lot of struggle and sacrifices, in order to achieve independence and the spirit of patriotism among the people. It is a difficult task to educate the spirit of patriotism among the people because it starts from early childhood education.
It is proved that many of the younger generation have a very low spirit of patriotism. Patriotic awareness among younger generation has also been gradually diminished over time and has become a necessity to carry out a research in order to find out the level of patriotism.
Issues and Problem
Racial and Ethnic differences
The Risk or racial attitudes among multi ethnic has increasingly been alarming based on studies by the Institute of Ethnic Studies (2015), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). The study data has shown the risk of racism among the respective group of people. . In fact, this will lead to a negative symptoms such as stereotypes, prejudice, racism and discrimination in the community (Utusan Melayu, 2017).
The former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi also has expressed feelings of sadness through his personal blog in conjunction with the Malaysia-51st with his first record entitled ‘the meaning of independence and unity’ which was commented on the unity issue in conjunction with the Malaysia day. In respect of the matter, it has been proven that tolerance are getting low among the community especially the youth. The attitude of the people who choose to express their anger through social sites and internet portal proves the level of tolerance and mutual respect between each other is decreasing (Astro Awani, 2014).
Furthermore, the implementation of patriotism if required due to different race and religion which has been existed in Malaysia. The issue of racial and ethnic relations within various communities also poses a challenge to implement the values of patriotism in Malaysia. This is due to the level of multi-ethnic solidarity in the country’s education system where it is still low even though students have shown showed a positive attitude in multi-ethnic relations. Ethnic relations in higher education institutions are also weak. Students would not feel comfortable when they are at the same area, even if they have known each other. Students also have found it difficult to interact and share essential items among themselves (Suzana Sulaiman, 2012).
As a result, the teenagers were not exempt from being swept away with this differences. This is because, without exposure and an understanding of the concept of a free constitution, there will be a gap built between them indirectly. When it comes to the ideology of cultural differences, the value of patriotism would be eroded by the sentiments of any course of discrimination. It is important to have practiced patriotism among the youth particularly. Without a good practice, they will be left anonymous to each other.
The lack of love towards the country
The spirit of Malaysian is seen faded especially among the youngsters. There are a few considerations to be asked among the youngsters. Do they have the spirit as Malaysian first of all? Does the spirit of patriotism has been instilled to form a civilized Malaysian citizen? These are the considerations that we have to take into account in order to see the future of our race, religion and beyond all, our beloved country. The spirit of patriotism among youngsters are crucial as it will contribute a more peaceful country especially in the world full of challenges these days.
Since this is the era of what we called as the world without boundaries has no limit in terms of fun and entertainment. In short, entertainment can be reached as easy as at the tips of your finger. Besides, this is the era where everything are easily shared and viralled that could lead towards an offensive community which is unhealthy to one community in general. Therefore, the youngsters need to instil the spirit of patriotism as it could help our society to be more concern and more responsible towards the development of the country. According to Kosmo (2017), it is learnt that a male aged 19 years old has been arrested for harassing and insulting Yang di Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V and the Deputy of Yang di Pertuan Agong, Sultan Nazrin Shah on his Facebook social site.
In addition, many other incidents showing the younger generation now are less patriotism. Among others, this phenomenon can be seen through the creation of the insulting song. In 2011, Mohd. Farizal, who is a student from the local university has been acted rude when he was detected for being exposed from the insulting song through social sites Facebook. It is also stated that the song lyrics have been changed verbally, in order to mocks the country and especially the rulers (Utusan Melayu, 2011).
Meanwhile, in 2011, a male known as Vincent Leong has been using insulting song on his social site which is through his Facebook account. Vincent was said to disrespect the song that symbolizes the harmony in the society and the well-being of the people of Malaysia (Sinar Harian, 2011).
Based on these reports, it is clearly showed that there are a number of Malaysians, especially the current generation who are lacking of patriotism. This is disturbing because it builds the nature of being irresponsible for example by uploading unnecessary video to social sites that can be watched by anyone. In this regard, appreciation of the spirit of patriotism among the younger generation nowadays should be brought into a more serious matters especially in preparing the youngsters to face the challenges and obstacles that can be interfered with the operation of the nation’s sovereignty. The national service training program (NSTP) for instance is seen as a way to cultivating the spirit of love in this nation.
Lack of value and unity among the citizen
Understanding the value of unity which has a long standing relationships among various ethnic groups and religious communities. The value of unity makes Sarawak as an example of a harmonious state with a multiple races and religions. Recently, the youngsters are less likely to focus on the value of unity. As for example, activities such as open house celebrations, during the festive seasons such as Christmas, Hari Gawai, Eid etc. are being replaced with family trip or a holiday trip to most people.
Courtesy is a good practice. Everyone needs to learn it in order to be directed and not deviated from the social norms of what the society wants. Courtesy is important to produce a noble citizen for the sake of the realization of the country’s national mission towards vision 2020. In fact, this aspect of politeness has also been changing especially the young generation. We are no longer using polite language when are talking to others. This situation caused various problems that brought the existence of dislike to each other due to the use of impolite language which may be abusive and offensive. It is obvious, that the value of politeness, particularly in conversation has been diminished among our society. Thus, it is proved that youngsters nowadays are lacked of Malaysian values and the spirit of being a good Malaysian.
The influence of Western culture and the Mass Media
Western culture has been spread through the mass media and exposing lethal ways of life such as ‘Hip-hop’, ‘punk’, ‘hippies’, ‘black metal’, ‘pink metal’, ‘one night stand’, as well as free sex. Local media has also reported several violent teen behaviour (New Straits Times, 2008; Utusan Malaysia 2007). At the same time, the local media and the international media displays a number of programs which contain various forms of violence through television series such as World Wrestling Federation (WWF), Criminal Scenes Investigation (CSI), and movies such as, Transformers, GI Joe, Rambo, and Rocky. All of this exposure has become a favourite reading material to the young generation. The Western culture has been expanding drastically in Malaysia through all media.
Although Malaysia has its independence and no longer colonized by western powers, unconsciously they have actually conquered us especially the adolescents. With the influence of Western culture brought to our country. Western culture affects many teenagers in terms of their perspectives as well as dressing style, and many other activities which may lead to serious social phenomena. The culture and spirit of nationalism towards the country are no longer given attention.
Recently, we are overwhelmed by pornography and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) issues and is being consider ‘godly’ civilized events around the world. This has led to a joke like April Fool on the occasion of a’ day without underwear which was in June of 2017 that was accompanied by many young people despite knowing that the celebration was just a merely harassing our view on human right to be summarized. The recent news on ‘Unclothed Day’, was reported where there were many participants wearing shirts and panties on London’s train on January 8, 2017. The same event was initiated in New York City in 2002 (Utusan, 7 Mac 2017).
Parenting skill and Education
First of all, parents play an important role in fostering patriotic spirit in children. Parents should always be aware of the importance of preserving the state’s dignity. Parents also must show a good example to children. For instance, parents must put up and hold the flag together with the children during the independence celebration. Parents and children can also visit historic landmarks during school holidays and so on. Thus, it is important for the children to have gained exposures and awareness about the spirit of love on our homeland from parents since childhood.
The minds and behaviour of children are being influenced by their parents before they are enrolled to school. For example, racial issues and the wrong perception towards a particular race or skin which may lead to the incidents happened in May, 13 which was occurred in 1969, where racial intolerance and unity has been achieved after the bloody events.
Next, the schools must have the spirit of patriotism especially among the teachers to be shown to students. We should be proud of the contributions of local historians and scholars who have written a lot of local leaders’ struggles although they were initially classified as being out of the courtesy. The contributions and roles of these local writers are huge because they produced facts to be revealed to the next generation so that they could learn the right history of our country.
Each of us should be proud of being Malaysians regardless of colour, language and belief. By having proudness as Malaysian, we will always strive to maintain our relationship to each other. In short, the attitude of ‘where the earth is trampled, where the sky is upheld’ need to be practiced and fully imbued in us.
Be Loyal and love the country
Each of us must have a loyal and loving nature of the country by respecting and showing loyalty to the king and the leaders of the nation. In addition, we also must respect the identity of our country such as ‘Jalur Gemilang’, ‘Lagu Negaraku’, the Parliament, ‘Rukun Negara’ and other related institutions.
Furthermore, in order to foster patriotism and love for the country we need to be exposed to the history, how difficult our leaders are in order to gain the independence of the country. By reading through the history of our homeland, we can know and understand the struggle of fighting for independence.
Foster a spirit of unity among youngster through campaigns
The spirit of belonging means that every Malaysian citizen should have a spirit of cooperation, a spirit of help to the society irrespective of race, religion or the spirit of brotherhood. Eccentricity is a feature that basically seems easy to form but actually this feature is the most difficult to form. To ensure the stability of the country, it is important to have a united society, harmonious, cooperative, a mutual understanding and co-existence is the basis of the spirit of belonging.
Unity can also be nurtured through sports practice. The best example is to make the 2nd week of October each year as a day of sports activities as part of the National Sports Day (Anis Fauzieana Abdul Karim, 2016).
Censorship Western-film and Mass Media
Medium conveying information, news and more, such as printed media, mass media, as well as the internet should be controlled and filtered. This is because people are easily affected by what they read through the printed media, mass media, blogs or pages on the internet. This is rapidly expanding especially in this era of technology where, many internet mediums have been misused by irresponsible individuals to exacerbate the dignity of the nation, and divide the races.
The government should empower the law and control this matter so that those irresponsible parties are charged with the right action. The printed media and the mass media should also include information about the history of our country to, enlivens and awakens the spirit of nationalism in all societies in Malaysia.
The Film Censorship Board (LPF) should filter out Western films with negative elements to maintain Malaysia’s eastern culture. Undoubtedly, the cultural prominence displayed in Western films such as intrusive violent scenes, wars, drugs and alcohol, obscene, and impoliteness are often being exposed. These elements should not be the source of entertainment highlighted in the film. However, any western films that drive the values of teaching and education should be encouraged.
As a conclusion, it is clear that youngsters in Malaysia have lacked of values and spirit which may lead to unselfishness. The spirit of patriotism is important to produce a civilized youngster who loves his country and will surely become a useful individual to his nation, religion and country. Individuals who have a high patriotic spirit are always strive to advance themselves towards a developed country. Therefore, all parties need to work together hand in hand towards a better place to live in.