EXPRESS YOUR PATRIOTISM
THE prime minister urges Malaysians to stay united to protect the country from both internal and external threats. At the launch of ‘Ekspresi Negaraku’ in Putrajaya, he takes aim at ‘unscrupulous individuals’, including an ex-leader, whose ‘heartless’ act
PRIME Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has called on Malaysians to strengthen their patriotism regardless of political background, and defend the country from all threats.
“One should ask, what is the fundamental or pillar to ensure peace, harmony and a united country? The answer is love and appreciation for the country. We were born here, we grew up here and, when the time comes, we will die here.
“Thus, we have to continue to defend our beloved country from any internal and external threats, as there are certain quarters who are unpatriotic and work with enemies,” Najib said at the Ekspresi Negaraku event at Dataran Putrajaya yesterday.
He cited the Lahad Datu incident in 2013, in which six police officers were killed by Sulu intruders.
One Special Branch officer was jailed the maximum seven years for intentionally withholding information about the Sulu gunmen.
“He is serving his time in jail and one day, he will be released. But what about the feelings of the wives and children of the policemen who died in the incident? The only thing left are memories.”
Nevertheless, Najib said, he was grateful that Malaysians remained united during challenging times, such as during the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 and MH17 tragedies, the deterioration of ties between Malaysia and North Korea, and even the Rio Olympic Games.
“Although our athletes did not win any (gold) medals in the Olympics, Malaysians were still proud and welcomed our heroes. Same thing goes to Mohd Faiz Subri, whom Malaysians voted for to enable him to win the Fifa Puskas (award).
“Malaysians also showed their solidarity in the case of missing Flight MH370 and the crash of MH17, as well as the crisis between Malaysia and North Korea we are facing now.
“No matter the difference in ideology and political background, we must stick together to protect our country,” he said.
Ekspresi Negaraku is the first platform to mobilise the “Negaraku” initiative implemented nationwide to allow Malaysians to show their spirit of patriotism and love for the country.
Present at the event were Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa, Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak and the prime minister’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.
Najib said the spirit of patriotism could be expressed in various ways.
“Civil servants can be patriotic when they work hard to serve the people. Teachers or educationists can be patriotic by nurturing the younger generation with love and dedication,” he said.
“A mother can be a patriot by loving her family and children unconditionally.”
Najib also urged Malaysians to fly the Jalur Gemilang daily, not just on Merdeka Day.
“We don’t want to fly the Malaysia flag (only) when there is a special occasion, such as our National Day.
“We should fly the flag 365 days a year so that we can understand and appreciate the meaning of patriotism.”
The Ekspresi Negaraku event featured activities suitable for families, such as the Negaraku Flag Run and Senamrobik Negaraku.
There were also performances by artistes such as Bunkface, Kaka, Ella and Amy Search.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak visiting a booth at the Ekspresi Negaraku event in Dataran Putrajaya yesterday. With him are Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak (second from left) and Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin (left).