Has the Nature of Patriotism Changed?

When our forefathers claimed they were patriotic, they were not being treated well or even fairly by the government of the day. I daresay they were positively oppressed with English colonials lording it over them. They did not enjoy special privileges or benefits from the government but were heavily taxed and bullied and if they became rebellious, they were imprisoned or even hanged. 

By batsman 

Yet the spirit of patriotism raged within the hearts of our forefathers in spite of the fact they did not enjoy any benefits or privileges. On the other hand, those who were chosen as contractors by the colonials and supplied their every whims and fancies actually felt some gratitude and warmth for the colonial government. This feeling of warmth and gratitude similarly tended to occur in those who were chosen as policemen or trained as lawyers or accountants and engineers. 

Is it not strange that being given benefits and contracts did not promote patriotism in the hearts of some of our ancestors but instead gave rise to feelings of warmth and gratitude for the colonial government while those who were exploited and treated unfairly were seized by the fires of patriotism? 

Modern Malaysians must have a hard time understanding their ancestors. Maybe it is the generation gap? Or has the nature of patriotism changed? 

I submit that the controversy in modern Malaysian life has nothing to do with patriotism. If some people argue that they cannot feel patriotism even if they wanted to because the government of the day treated them unfairly and oppressed them at the same time showing favouritism to other Malaysians by offering benefits and privileges (divide and rule tactics), I challenge such arguments. 

I submit it is a quarrel over benefits and privileges, a quarrel over goodies. It has nothing to do with patriotism. 

This quarrel has taken such serious proportions that some people actually openly wish for the English colonials to come back and rule them. They even wish for the US to apply sanctions and intervene. This is a tragic reversal of the patriotism of our forefathers. So it is not only UMNO which denies the patriotism of our forefathers in fighting for independence, but we ourselves are doing it. So why blame UMNO? 

Our forefathers had a tougher job. They had to use tactics of force and violence to get rid of a colonial government which practiced fierce suppression as well as the use of divide and rule tactics on a grand scale. 

Modern Malaysians on the other hand have a simpler job. They only have to use their votes to get rid of a government that is corrupt and using divide and rule tactics on an even grander scale. Even this simple job is being botched up. 

The tactics of resistance against a corrupt government comprise of running away on the one hand and voting for it on the other! Modern Malaysians use the excuse of patriotism in shameful ways. 

On the one hand they, the Ketuanan types, claim patriotism when they support a government that is corrupt and practices divide and rule to the extent that it threatens to tear the country apart. On the other hand some people threaten to feel a lack of patriotism if they are not given the same benefits and privileges as the Ketuanan types. 

I submit both types are responding to benefits and privileges i.e. material gain and not to any type of patriotism at all. Such people will vote for UMNO either directly or via MCA and MIC as long as they receive some sort of goodies from UMNO. 

True patriots will act in a way that gets rid of an oppressive and corrupt government to give the whole country a fresh breath of freedom whether it is a colonial government or an independent government, whether or not there are material gains to be made in the process. 

I must apologise if it hurts the sensibilities of these 2 types of people for saying these things. But it is really difficult to say anything at all because these people have extremely sensitive feelings. I don’t know why – maybe it is because of some saving grace such as a guilty conscience. 

Either that or they know that their arguments are inherently weak and rotten. It will be such a tragedy if we respond positively to the arguments of these 2 types of people.