Negarakuku Gets The Rap

Posted on August 24, 2007

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It is ironic, but perhaps deliberately so, that the Negarakuku incident occurs just as we prepare to celebrate 50 years of Merdeka. The desecration of a national symbol would normally provoke its citizens, but we at kampunghouse have never been symbolically patriotic. We never took up the ‘Kibarkan Jalur Gemilang’ campaign, nor have we ever cried ‘Malaysia Boleh!’ whenever one of our athletes wins a competition (then again, when was the last time we won anything lately?). It is ironic, then, that we find ourselves deeply affected by this clumsy attempt at humour, at the expense of the national anthem we never bothered singing properly to in school.

This is but one of a number of pseudo-racist events that we have witnessed recently, the most notorious involving an overly-emotional politician desecrating the keris. As a nation, we should rightly express outrage over such infantile incidents, not only because they betray our collective unity, but they insult our intelligence. Yes, as a young nation, there are many issues relating to equality and community trust which are yet to be resolved. Many of us are frustrated by the apathy, and worse, resistance displayed be fellow Malaysians in establishing a just and fair nation whose citizens treat each other equally. This does not excuse the silly attempts by the minister then and by the anthem-plunderer now, to create public debate over this injustice through cheap, sensationalist means that one would expect to come out from a trashy tabloid.

A viable solution to the problems we face as a country can only be reached through a rational and intelligent debate that does not seek to humiliate or denigrate the other party in the process. This is the Malaysian way. We did not reach independence by waging war; we did it by negotiating at the roundtable. We understood, from very early on, that the greater good can only be achieved by joining hands together, and this philosophy, permanently etched into the national conscience through our motto, “Bersekutu Bertambah Mutu”, has allowed us to achieve so much in such a short time.

So what do we do with the boy who destroyed our anthem? Should we strip him off his citizenship and throw him some place else? My, why on earth would we want to do that? The last thing we should do is export this rotten child to another country. He is our problem, and he should be fixed in this country. The least we can do is show him the compassion he lacked for our dear old Negaraku.

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