Don’t bastardise our nation

I think a failed state is the responsibility of the people who have made that state fail, and those are generally the people of that country.

—  Lakhdar Brahimi, Algerian diplomat

I don’t want to seem melodramatic but the fact is I love my nation. I think every Malaysian should.

Despite the challenges, the shortcomings and the administrative woes on the part of the national leaders, we should soldier on and put the nation first.

That is why I couldn’t stand it when the foreign media reporting of the nation’s handling of Covid-19 was rather unfavourable.

“Malaysia is staggering down the road to failed statehood” screamed the headline by Bloomberg in its opinion piece published recently.

It had described the raising of the white flags by the people, who are in need of assistances as being “surrender to dysfunction”.

If anything, I would describe it as an attempt to defame and degrade the nation in the eyes of the world with half-truths and perceptions.

Many who seem to revel in light of this article are opponents of the government, who don’t seem to mind dragging Malaysia’s name through the mud for brownie points. To me this is most unfortunate.

To me, politics is politics, but in the face of an onslaught by the international audience, we should stand by the nation and not be stooges to the foreigners.

Doesn’t the National Principles, the National Anthem and the teachings inculcated in the national syllabus mean anything anymore?

Don’t enable criticisms or degradations to the nation; we should reject and rebut it at all costs — regardless of how you may look to your set of political supporters! The nation must come first.

In dispelling the notion of Malaysia being a failed state, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) Bintulu Campus’ Faculty of Humanity, Management and Science Dean Prof Dr Jayum Jawan said foreign journalists rarely have anything good to say about Malaysia.

“They do not have anything good to say about Malaysia before, now, and not likely to have good ones too in the near future regardless of how well Malaysia may come out dealing with the present crisis that is gripping the country,” he added.

He said while Malaysia is facing a battle on multiple fronts — corruption, social, economic and political issues, it does not justify calling the nation a failed state.

Another analyst Dr Neilson Ilan Mersat said a failed state is when the government is not able to perform main functions such as providing security and basic needs for the people.

“By this definition, we are not or even close to that therefore it is not quite right to say that we are in a failed state at the moment or going to be in one”.

If anything, the piece ran by Bloomberg reeked of biased reporting whereby website clicks or ratings are the order of the day, captivating the attention and the furore of the “captive mind” as late academician Prof Datuk Dr Syed Hussein Alatas said.

The Sydney Morning Herald portrayed the nation in a better light in its article on July 15, describing while Malaysia was crushed by Covid-19, it bounced back to being one of the world’s fastest vaccinating nations.

“Amid the death and despondency in the south-east Asian nation of 32 million, however, there is one silver lining.

“Malaysia now boasts one of the fastest vaccination rates in the world, doling out more than 400,000 doses a day, out-performed in the past week only by Canada among countries of a similar size or greater — and double the pace of Australia,” the report read.

It is not all doom and gloom in Malaysia as some would view it as there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel.

I just wished that more people would look on the bright side rather than being vexed, frustrated and angered with perception that is of debatable origins.

Malaysia isn’t a failed state, although debilitated by Covid-19; the fact is that there is still order, there is a government and food on the table for most.

Those who don’t are being assisted diligently by the honest citizens who play their ultimate role in social cohesion. That is a hallmark of a nation that is stronger, together.

This is a time that we consolidate, unite and bring the country out of the pandemic crisis.

Other nations have done it, so can we.

We should all play our roles and do our part to ensure the nation can recover and return to normalcy rather than bastardising it.

While we are a Third World country, it is no reason for us to not adopt a first-class mentality.