Do Malaysians understand what it means to serve?

(MM) – “Service” as a word must have been mistranslated by Dewan Bahasa.

I mean where else do you know, where if you complain about poor service, you are likely to get “If you don’t like it, go eat/drink/live somewhere else-lah!”

But when it comes to those in power or those with money and status, Malaysians suddenly discover the “serve” in “servitude.”

Go to any government function and you will see the bowing and scraping, the bending over backwards, the ingratiating smiles, the “special comfortable chairs” — all that  trouble just for some Datuk or YB.

And you know what? I find it disgusting.

It is terrible that as a nation we have not stepped away from our feudal roots. We simper and show obeisance to those in power as though we are vassals and they, our lords and masters.

Be grateful, we are told. Remember what “they” have done for us, their many sacrifices.

I am rightfully bitter that I have to sacrifice my place on the road because some YB needs to have a motorcade follow him around.

How have we become such backward, backbone-less people?

Why do we believe that we must serve the people we voted into power? How have we become so brainwashed that we think we “owe” our leaders so much that we must keep paying them back with our loyalty and obedience?

What has happened that we forget who is serving whom?

A society is judged by what it values and from what I see, we value power and money, no matter what it costs and no matter what the price.

We value saving face and chastity, so we leave babies born out of wedlock to die.

We value status and position, so we grin and smile at the rich and ignore the destitute.

We value racial pride, so we make excuses for ignoring the rights of those not of our race.

I reject the blanket notion that we are at heart all “good people.”

The thing here is, bringing up our faults is not complaining or being negative.

If we do not acknowledge what we’re doing wrong, how then do we fix them?

Only then can we move on and say, we can do better. We must try harder. We acknowledge that what isn’t right must be corrected.

What then, does it mean to serve? To serve is to serve with honour. To serve with humility. To serve with pride. And to ask ourselves, who are we serving? Why are we serving?

Patriotism isn’t obedience and blind acquiescence. It is a genuine love for a country and for the welfare of all its people. When you seek justice and prosperity for only some of the populace, you are not a patriot. You are a bigot.

So ask yourself this: as a citizen are you serving the nation or are you serving those whose best interests do not lie in wanting the best for the country?