I watched a powerful movie two nights ago.
About a group of US Navy SEALS who go out on a mission and how one of them, whose wife back home is expecting a child, throws himself on a grenade to save his comrades.
In the final scene, the funeral of the fallen officer, a voice over reads aloud a letter he had penned to his unborn child.
The video clip below bears those words that the soldier never lived to impart directly to his child.
After the movie, my thoughts went back to my discussion with a group of young Malaysian students after my talk in Canberra last October 28th. That discussion was so potent that I shared details of the same when I spoke in Sydney a few days later.
The video below is a short excerpt of that speech in Sydney.
I want to now turn to the first two lines of our national anthem.
Negaraku, Tanah tumpahnya darah ku.
My country, for whom I will give my blood.
We all know these words.
How many carry those words in our hearts, in our blood, in our very being?
How many would take up arms to defend the realm from an outside threat?
How many would defend her from an enemy from within?
Ask a foreign worker in Lahad Datu at the material time last year to take up arms to defend our sovereignty.
What would be his response?
“Ini bukan Negaraku. Tanah ini saya tumpah peluhku”, is what he would likely say..
“This is not my country. I just toil here ( to cari makan )”.
Are you no different from him?
If you are no different from him as seeing our nation as just a place to “cari makan”, maybe you cannot be faulted.
Regime after regime in power may have left you to feel that the country does not love you, and that you do not belong.
But then, maybe, over time, the nation, too,began to feel that you felt no love for the nation, and you did not feel you were part of it.
That, like the foreign worker who ‘tumpah peluh”, you just saw her as a place to amass wealth, looking to move away from her shores when you had wealth aplenty.
This can all change, if you want it to change.
ABU and Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia are working for that change.