PUTRAJAYA: A salute to Malaysia, please.
A campaign known as Ekspresi Negaraku has been launched, aimed at cultivating love, loyalty and patriotism among the people.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said one of the pillars of a country’s success depended on its citizens’ sentiments for their nation.
“Malaysia is where we were born, raised, educated, earn our living and perhaps die in. That is why we need to love this land of ours and protect it at all cost.
“Ekspresi Negaraku is a platform for all of us to express our love and loyalty to this beloved country. We hope that this campaign will inspire all of us, young and old, men or women, to be patriotic,” he said at the launch yesterday.
Cabinet ministers came out in full force for the event.
Najib paid tribute to the ordinary people, saying that being patriotic did not necessarily mean that one must carry weapons in a battlefield.
“Civil servants who work hard to provide good services to the public are true patriots. Teachers who dedicate their life towards education, or a mother who raises her child to become a good citizen, are also true patriots,” he said.
Najib cited several instances in which Malaysians banded together.
“The people came together to support Datuk Lee Chong Wei during his final match in the Rio Olympics. (Footballer) Faiz Subri won the FIFA Puskas award because Malaysians went all out to vote for him online. We also saw a united Malaysia during the MH370 and MH17 crises.
“Even now, when Malaysia is facing issues with North Korea, we witness the people united in defending the country’s image. These are some of the fine moments when our people showed their love for the country and that they are willing to defend it with their lives,” Najib added.
He also spoke of the “dark moments” that threatened Malay-sia’s unity, citing the intrusion of Sulu gunmen in Lahad Datu and Semporna in 2013.
The incident in Semporna, which saw six police personnel and officers killed, was the work of “an enemy within”, said Najib.
“There was a traitor among them. This was the work of a citizen who is unpatriotic and was willing to conspire with the enemies,” he said.
Najib said expressing one’s love towards the country should not be limited to during National Day celebrations.
“Let’s not only fly the Jalur Gemilang during the Merdeka month. It should be done every day, 365 days, all year round,” he said.-thestar