Skip to main content

UMP associates instil patriotism in their hearts

Pekan, 10 September 2020 – The Independence Day on 31 August is the most anticipated date for instilling patriotism among the people of this country with its melting pot of races and religions. 

Although the glorious day of 31 August has passed over a week ago and it has been six decades since our independence, the occasion continues to be celebrated modestly in various unique ways that reflect the Malaysian identity. Not to mention the upcoming Malaysia Day that will be celebrated on 16 September.

‘Malaysia Cares’ is the chosen theme for this year’s Independence Day Celebration, which is made all the more meaningful to Malaysians in light of the country still facing the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, what is the value of ‘Malaysia Cares’ and the spirit of patriotism, especially among today’s younger generation?

The issues related to patriotism often becomes the topic of discussion within various circles.

This is because patriotism is crucial in the context of Malaysia, comprising a plural society. 

The e-Pekan Review Editorial Board survey today is to deconstruct the views and aspirations of the young generation towards ‘Malaysia Cares’ and patriotism.

Nadira Hana Ab Hamid, Executive, Faculty of Manufacturing and Mechatronic Engineering Technology (FTKPM), 39, said that ‘care’ is not just from the aspect of taking care of our physical health and the safety of ourselves and our community from the threat of COVID-19. 

Nadira Hana Ab Hamid

“Care and concern towards this threat can be seen from a different, broader and more inclusive angle, for instance, are we concerned about external menaces who try to disrupt the harmony and safety of the country, are we concerned about the paths to be taken by our youths, our future leaders and the heirs of our independence?”

She further explained, “The independence and freedom that we have today did not come easy, it was not achieved simply by request, it was not obtained freely as uttering words. 

“Our independence was achieved with blood, sweat, and tears of earlier generations.  

“The independence and freedom were not fought for themselves, but rather for love towards the homeland, responsibility to our descendants to come. 

Today’s generation has been swept away by modernity. External cultures are too easily brought home and accepted as the norm. 

“The cultures that chip away at the nation’s identity are like a snake in the grass. 

“The hearts of these youths should be filled with care and love for their homeland,” she said. 

Meanwhile, according to Senior Executive, Centre for Academic Quality & Compliance (PKPA), Lily Azwati Ab Latip, 43, patriotism must be instilled, nurtured and practised since childhood.

Lily Azwati Ab Latip

Patriotism can also evoke racial unity and may indirectly shape a society that puts the needs of the nation before the needs of a race.

“I am also certain that the younger generation who have this resolve will not once involve themselves with negative things such as vandalism, drug abuse and social ills.

“I believe the young heirs with their patriotic spirit will lead Malaysia to the global stage with competence, sustainable and competitive,” she said. 

Anuar Abdul Aziz, Producer, the Office of SUARA UMP, 45 hoped that activities to ignite patriotism should be boosted with the involvement of the youth. 

Anuar Abdul Aziz

“The government should create a program compulsory for youths specifically related to nationalism, patriotism and culture. 

“These three elements have dwindled among them. Many of the younger generations do not understand what struggle is; they only hear the words but do not internalise the meaning.

“These eroded patriotic values must be revived by hook or by crook, who else will inherit what has been left behind by our forefathers?  They must be prepared to inherit what has been fought for,” he said.

Ratna Wilis Haryati Mustapa, Senior Assistant Librarian, UMP Library, 51, hoped that every individual respects and embody the principles of Rukun Negara and practises them in life with family and the community. 

Ratna Wilis Haryati Mustapa

“If we understand and practise it, we will understand, as Malaysians, why we must respect and protect our homeland. 

Patriotism is not just waving flags or singing patriotic songs. It needs to be expressed through actions.

“There are also youngsters who become volunteers and help those in need of help, assist the frontliners through non-governmental organisations (NGO) or by taking care of and feeding abandoned animals and various other volunteer tasks in the backlines.  

“They are the most caring, understanding, and responsible as Malaysians. This is the true patriotism within themselves.

“Younger generations from every walk of life will build up Malaysian civilisation together,” she said. 

At the same time, Ratna believed that the theme of  ‘Malaysia Cares’ coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic situation. 

“Every effort and aid for the people at this time are a clear picture of the concern the Malaysian Government has for its people. 

“Every decision and assistance given takes into account the opinions and feedback of the people. 

“Every person, regardless of race or religion as well as large or small industries, receive assistance according to the recovery plan that was announced by the Prime Minister,” she said. 
Twong Weng Fung, 21, a student of Bachelor of Chemical Engineering from College of Engineering believed that the theme of ‘Malaysia Cares’ means that the country takes the initiative to ensure the well-being of its people in an attempt to help those in need. 

Twong Weng Fung

“This theme is very much related to the COVID-19 pandemic situation showing Malaysians working together to defeat this disease.

“I believe the younger generation may not appreciate or prioritise patriotism because of the current stable and harmonious situation.

“They have no experience where they could appreciate the true value of patriotism to build a peaceful and progressive nation.

Pushparani Chadayam, 24, a Bachelor of Applied Science (Hons) Industrial Biotechnology student from the Faculty of Industrial Sciences and Technology (FIST) also admitted that the value of patriotism is dwindling in the current youths.

“This is because the younger generations do not appreciate the meaning of independence, and this should be refined immediately since their school years by fostering patriotic values and the meaning of independence. 

“The history of independence will be passed on through generations, and this patriotism will continue to shape upstanding and virtuous generations.

“The theme of ‘Malaysia cares’ also refers to Malaysians of all race and religions as their frontliners for their safety and health in battling the COVID-19 pandemic by instilling teamwork and responsibility in taking care of ourselves and our community with the concept of kita jaga kita (have each others’ backs).

“While ‘care’ is the initiative of the government for its people from the economic and welfare aspects that have been impacted by COVID-19,” she said. 

By: Safriza Baharuddin, The Office of SUARA UMP

Translation by: Dr. Rozaimi Abu Samah, Engineering College/Faculty of  Chemical and Process Engineering Technology

Reports by:
Siti Nur Azwin binti Zulkapri