Politics and Patriotism

“Islam enjoins upon every person to strive for the good of his country and lose himself in its service, render utmost service to the nation (ummah) in which he lives, and to give precedence to kinship and neighbourliness (in acts of benevolence). ” Hasan Al-Banna, Risalat al-Mu’tamar al-Khamis. Being patriotic is not just about waving your flag on Independence day. It goes on beyond that. Patriotism is generally known as the feeling of love and devoted to the country. Having and willing to do anything for the sake of the betterment of the country.

Quoting Enizahura Abdul Aziz, a senior research officer from the centre of shariah, law and politics from IKIM, patriotism also implies feelings of solidarity and mutual responsibility among people of different ethnicities and religious backgrounds. Because of our various backgrounds, Malaysia needs to find commonalities due to the differences that exist among the various groups. Living in a multi-racial and a multi-religious country, I am happy with the exposure of the many cultures, not to mention the holidays that we, Malaysians get. Tourist and foreigners that comes to our country are at awed at how we live in harmony.

Though now, even I question the fact, do we really? Can we really pretend to ignore the fact and act of finger-pointing and quarrelling that is going on within the country. Political partisan blaming one another at one problem after another. Though some might argue it is an act of nationalism. But has no one question the fact that the political temperature has gone up a bit to high to still be living in comfort? And is it just me, or the quarelling is execptionally hot when elections is around the corner? As we know, Malaysia, a democratic country, so we say, runs election every five years.

This is the time when the people can see many productive work being done and finish as fast as lightning. Now I am not saying this is a bad thing, it might just be me, but I only see development at this time around. Elections. What was happening during the other four years before the elections? I’ve heard of many plans and ideas and things that will become, but, that’s the thing. There’s a but. Call me greedy, but I am not satisfied with just hearing about it. And elections are as well when the opposite party would be loud, at least louder than they already are, about magnifying the trials and errors of the government.

Propaganda and highlighting issues especially this time around. And I’ll say, they can really pin point every wrong thing that the government is doing. That, and an even longer list of detailed meticulous vindication. Here’s a thought, instead of doing that, why not go all out in spreading what they will do instead, since you know, the government is doing so much wrong. Now i am not saying they do not spread their ideologies at all, it’s just that, it seems to me that bashing the current government is more important first. The rest we’ll do it later. Nowadays everything is somehow connected to politics.

Even though in actuality, it does not have to. Whether it is the shortage of water or the call for the protection of certain environmentally sensitive places. The problem is that politicians have been quick to jump on the bandwagon to use these issues to attack their opponents and instead of these matters being resolved, they get muddied by politics. I have to be honest in this condition, it is very hard to determined where the act of patriotism stands in politics anymore. This one blaming that, that one blaming this, all and all, at the end of the day, the only betterment I see is for themselves. To each his own.

That’s what i say. Its not really for us, its for ours instead. Enizahura Abdul Aziz also mentioned a patriotic spirit must be instilled in the hearts and minds of all citizens. Serious efforts need to be taken to nurture the spirit of patriotism especially among youths today. But I’d say this is hard to do when our ‘leaders’ are busy going at each other throats. Why do i say that, because, I’m a youth myself. And seeing the state of politics in our country right now is, well, let’s just say that it is equal to my interest of watching the blinkering light of a broken street light by the streets at night. Exciting times we live in.

I read an article by Farah Fahmy about a Friday khutbah equating patriotism to loyalty towards one’s country and its rulers. And she made a very good point, loyalty to the country is a given, but loyalty to the ruler? Well… First and foremost, wasn’t the ‘ruler’ appointed to take care of the people? So let’s say the ruler is not doing a very good job at taking care of the people, isn’t it a given right that the people have the power to appoint an alternative party that they think would do a better job? Be whoever it is, but a leader is someone who is always endeavouring to do what is best for the people.

Not what is best for himself, his family or his party, but, for his country. Political party in Malaysia existed way even before the independence of the country. The existence of these parties was because to gain independence from being a colonised country. After independence is achieved, we need these party to sustain and govern our country. The movements of these parties shows patriotism. However, it seems like politics and patriotism is two different thing nowadays. I once thought that politics would always linked to patriotism. But now I’m not so sure anymore.