Wednesday, March 12, 2014

12-03-2014 (Wednesday) "Why the Patriotism?"

Ever since I've gotten married, I've had a few debates discussions about my home country - Malaysia. Erene can't stand so many things in Malaysia - the inefficiency, injustice, corruption, "relak" attitude... The list goes on. In fact, the only two things she like are probably the fact that the currency is weaker and hence stuff are cheaper for us to buy there and the good food.

In the midst of these discussions, she has made me realise how defensive I get when she starts to talk down Malaysia.

Our new housemate, a Malaysian of a non-majority racial background, has also shown similar signs of defending Malaysia when similar topics are brought up.

"What has your country done for you that you are so defensive about it??"

I still haven't found an answer to that.

So far, I've never felt that Malaysia has made me feel special or proud. The recent MH370 case, although can't be blamed on Malaysia yet since its inconclusive, has brought the attention of the world to the inefficiency of the public service in dealing with this ordeal. If anything, the biggest thing any of us "non-majority race" citizens of Malaysia can ever agree on is that we are discriminated against.

We do not get scholarships based on results alone.

We pay extra for many things in the country. Written in black and white for all to see.

We are obliged to respect the national religion, even if we are disrespected.

... And yet, we defend our country when others talk bad about it. Hypocritical, really, 'cause we ourselves diss our own country amongst fellow countrymen.

"No one else talks down my country but me!"

Oppression begets strong affection, it seems. Our neighbouring country has all these things set in place to make her citizens love her more but I haven't found many who are as patriotic as the average Malaysian.

Why do we defend our country so zealously??