Thursday, November 11, 2010

Patriotism - a useful UMNO word

In 2007 I posted Malay 'sacrifice', Chinese 'sacrifice' where I wrote (extracts):

Their [UMNO] favourite whipping boy has been (usually) the Chinese Malaysians - to them, a suspicious group of Non’s who still need to prove their Malaysian credentials despite 50 years of citizenship and more than 200 years of domicile. And UMNO leaders had/have thus far done very little or even nothing to correct that impression. […]

Patriotism - remember this dangerous word? Samuel Johnson instructed that 'Patriotism is the refuge of the scoundrel' while Oscar Wilde sneered at it as '... the virtue of the vicious'.

But Aldous Huxley said of it best:
"One of the great attractions of patriotism - it fulfills our worst wishes. In the person of our nation we are able, vicariously, to bully and cheat. Bully and cheat, what's more, with a feeling that we are profoundly virtuous."

And indeed on 09 Nov 2010, predictably as to be expected for UMNO ‘patriots’, Defence Minister Zahid Hamidi stated in response to a question in Parliament that the low number of Chinese and Indian recruits in the military could be due to the Chinese and Indians [being] 'not patriotic enough'.

Zahid Hamidi, once a very close ally of Anwar Ibrahim and the man who accused Dr Mahathir of corruption and cronyism in an apparent impatient move by the Anwar faction in UMNO to nudge then-PM Dr M out for Anwar’s final ascendancy to the PM’s post, but who has since abandoned his allegiance to Anwar to be allied to Najib, is hardly an appropriate person to talk about patriotism or loyalty. But Zahid is certainly the very model of treachery in UMNO or, if one really wants to be kind to him, a mercenary unprincipled opportunist.

The reality is Malays and others, whether Chinese, Indians, Sabahans, Sarawakians or Eurasians, join the Arm Forces not because of patriotism [puhleeeze lah], but as a career or job opportunity. A number of my uncles were in the Malaysian Armed Forces because of the (initially perceived) career prospects. They have never denied the enjoyment of their jobs as military officers. They left because they wanted something more than just holding the rank of captain or major until they retire. Some other Chinese and Indians stayed back, quite contented at being that. It was not a bad life if one was prepared to remain at the middle ranks (staff sergeants, warrant officers, majors, lieutenant colonels].

But trust Zahid Hamidi to take a cheap uninformed shot at the non-Malays as would any wannabe ethnic hero in UMNO. I suppose it’s good for his ethnocentric credentials during UMNO party elections ... unless of course he's completely ignorant about the armed forces, for all the advantage of his ministerial position or the academic doctoral title he claims as his own.

In my above 2007 post, I continued:

And just where were these young punks [people like Zahid Hamidi] when Chinese servicemen were serving the nation on the fields of combat, and recognized for their sacrifice (the real type) by being awarded Malaysia’s highest gallantry honour, the Seri Pahlawan Gagah Perkasa (SP)* – people like Superintendent Paul Kiong and Deputy Superintendent Sia Boon Chee, whom the nation owes incredible debts for their sheer and unsurpassed bravery in infiltrating and living for years with the communist terrorists in order to break the insurgents apart.

Then there were those awarded the Pingat Gagah Berani (PGB)* - the late Lt Choo Yoke Boo (awarded posthumously), late Lt Chang Tatt Min (awarded posthumously) of the RMAF, and 2nd Lt David Fu Chee Ming of the Rangers.

* Indian Malaysians had also been awarded the SP and PGB for combat

This was the citation for David Fu. He was the Platoon Commander of 8th Platoon of C Company, 4th Battalion Royal Rangers. He was tasked and placed in the Tanah Hitam area of Perak to track and destroy the enemy in his sector of operation.

On the 27th August 1970, his platoon of 24 men made contact with a group of about 70 enemy combatants. The enemy unknowingly had entered his sector. Thus started a heavy and intensive battle lasting 7 hours. Under his unwavering leadership, the men fought on, successfully killed 4 of the enemy. His patrol did not suffer any casualties.

For his outstanding gallantry and bravery in the finest traditions of the Ranger Corps he was bestowed with the Pingat Gagah Berani, by the King. He left after exemplary service as a Captain.

But alas, the Chinese can continuing ‘proving’ themselves for the next 500 years, but will never achieve acceptance by UMNO …

… for one simple reason ...

The Chinese must continue to serve UMNO as its whipping boy so that its leaders or wannabe leaders can use the fabricated threat, questionable loyalty and insinuated ingratitude of Chinese as convenient mounting steps to the top of their party.

In this regard, maybe one day in the future, 500 years from now, the Chinese Malaysians may collectively be awarded the Seri Pahlawan Gagah Perkasa for their ‘sacrifice’ to the well-being of [past] UMNO leaders ...

… but then, shall still be required to prove their ‘loyalty’ … as the [UMNO greed requiring Chinese] 'sacrifice' never ends.

In fact, one of my granduncles, a police special branch person, was assassinated by the MCP. We have never demanded recognition of his 'patriotism' or go around boasting of his duty to the nation, because his being in the Special Branch was a career path he voluntarily chose, and with it came both the career prospects and consequences.

Admittedly it was less safe and most certainly less well-rewarding than that for a Defence Minister.


  1. I don't know what to call you an idiot or dumb...
    In any sovereign country patriotism will be hold dearly by every citizens and they'll show it proudly.
    But, in Malaysia many Malaysian especially the immigrants have problem with that word, the government should be hard on this. But, you guys are simply lucky...


  2. the so-called 'patriots' are the ones raping the country's wealth.

  3. You just can't reason with these cavemen 'cos with their limited intelligence, might is always right!

  4. if lembu doesn't want to drink water none can push its head down to drink. theres no medicine for closeminded stupidity. it will not take long now for the country to head into oblivion if we keep having half past six human passing off as cabinet ministers

  5. There are none so stupid as those will not think...

  6. Wah KT, fanning the flame eh.
    Zahid said maybe less patriotic.
    He listed 4 reasons and all he qualified with the word maybe.
    Ultra-sensitive us these days even when it's the truth.
    If you ask me I think it's mainly custom.
    Chinese dont like dirty jobs involving blood.
    Also takut mati lor, suay isnt it?

  7. This buttercup must have butterflies in his stomach. In the past, there are so many gangster and toady the mata2 still call them samseng. Samseng do not use guns but very crude weapons what involve blood and spilling out of the organs.


    BTW, can someone write the account of any military call up during Indonesian confrontation against Malaysia? I heard the Mindef manpower start to register and ready to call up a relative who was born in China. At that time Sukarno wanted to attack malaysia and they have drop Indon paratroopers over Labis and marines in Pontians. There were air drill.

    can we have all these account recorded as history for future generations and wanting to know about the Indon confrontation

  8. @ Buttercup, my post shows those, "your chinamen who takut kena kotoran", who were in the armed services (police & armed forces) including my granduncle and uncles ;-) As you can read, several chinamen dapat SP and PGB. Indians juga. Some died in action. Syukur kpd Tuhan, some survived.

    One uncle also told me of a TUDM helicopter pilot (abangnya seorang tokoh UMNO) who had tummy upset everytime the squadron was tasked to the forward areas (where the communist insurgents were), jadi dia ta'perlu pergi. This of course was an individual!

    @ Anon of 10:49 PM, November 11, 2010 - Roughly, as I was told years ago on Indon paratroops landing in Labis, the troops provided the responsibility of clearing them was the SIR (Singapore Infantry Regiment, mainly Sing Chinese and Indians); initially the inexperienced SIR troops were hentam-ed kau kau by the Indon paratroopers; The Indons committed terrible atrocities where they potong the private parts of the dead Sing soldiers and stuffed those dismembered members into the corpses' mouths; for purpose of morale and reputation, the SIR command requested another go (approved by Tunku) where they then went with a vengeance to mercilessly hunt down the Indons; unfortunately the story was they savagely reciprocated the atrocities, which wasn't really good for an army of a civilised world.

  9. Ktemoc
    The younger generation does not know about the time when Indon under Sukarno wanted to crush Malaysia and the older UMNO does not want us to knwo that all malaysian help were required to defend malaya against Indon attack.

    As mention, one day my relative - China born and came over to malaya told us that he had to report to the manpower, MinDEf and must be ready for call up and undergo military training if the attack by Indon started.

    Also the older ones told us about implementation of civil defence and air siren practice carried out.

    I remember my father's worker quit and join the army and sent congo as part of UN's peace keeping force.

    I was very young at that time and it would be very good if someone can really document the life under Indon confrontation against malaysia. Sukarno was very against the formation of malaysia especially Sarawak and sabah to join with malaya rather than java.