PATRIOTISME RAKYAT MALAYSIA DI USA

on Monday, March 25

Sebelum saya menjejak kaki ke Amerika Syarikat dahulu , saya sudah membaca beberapa buku ahli akademik dalam bidang kenegaraan seperti Allan Bloom, Noam Chomsky, Francis Fukuyama, dan Samuel E. Huntington, termasuklah kisah pekerja-pekerja kulit hitam di Philadelphia yang membina jalan kerata api bawah tanah pada tahun 1800-an dahulu.

Oleh kerana nama saya berbunyi kearaban, kebimbangan awal ialah jika ditahan lama di pemeriksaan imigresen Amerika Syarikat. Kebetulan ketika itu muncul isu Islam fobia kesan daripada tragedi 911, pengeboman di tempat awam dan sebagainya.

Namun begitu saya lulus ujian Imigresen dengan mudah. Kita perlu bersyukur bahawa apabila membawa nama Malaysia di luar negara, kita berasa selamat dan dihormati kerana negara kita telah dikenali banyak memberi sumbangan yang besar dalam hal keamanan dunia dan kepentingan sejagat.

Saya teringat masalah yang dihadapi ketika mengunjungi Mumbai, India. Ketika itu, saya sangat yakin tidak memerlukan visa kerana India adalah negara Komanwel. Lagipun laman web Kedutaan India di Kuala Lumpur turut menyatakan VOA (Visa On Arival). Inilah pengajaran, kita tidak boleh terlalu mempercayai internet dan laman web kerana kadang-kadang ianya tidak dikemas kini. Rupa-rupanya VOA baru sahaja ditamatkan.

Sampai saja di imigresen lapangan terbang Mumbai, saya dibawa ke bilik imigresen dan tidak lama kemudian kami dihantar menaiki semula kapal terbang. Saya tidak dibenarkan memasuki Mumbai walaupun kami dijemput menyampaikan ceramah.

Keadaan tidak sama di semua negara, yang penting kita perlu memastikan nama baik negara walaupun ketika kita menghadapi masalah yang rumit.

Di Washington DC, saya menghadiri sebuah seminar di Universiti Washington dengan tema Sejarah Malaysia. Amat menyeronokkan kerana dapat bertemu dengan bekas pensyarah dari Amerika Syarikat yang pernah bertugas di Universiti Malaya sekitar tahun 1960-an dan 1970-an. Mereka sungguh fasih berbahasa Melayu. Mereka bercakap isu Malaysia dan globalisasi daripada aspek politik, ekonomi dan sosial.

Sepanjang hari berseminar tidak ada jamuan makan tengah hari dan minum petang. Kami hanya disediakan sarapan pagi dengan sedikit kuih-kuih Melayu dan itulah sahaja sepanjang hari. Sungguh jimat bukan? Bolehkah perkara ini diamalkan di Malaysia? Berjimat-cermat dalam konteks negara adalah salah satu sifat patriotisme kerana ia terkandung dalam nilai-nilai patriotisme yang positif.

Di universiti-universiti yang terkenal di Amerika Syarikat, saya bertemu beberapa profesor yang berasal dari Malaysia. Mereka bekerja di universiti berkenaan dan ada yang menjadi penasihat kepada persatuan-persatuan pelajar Malaysia. Maknanya mereka juga patriotik dengan cara menyayangi orang Malaysia dan menjaga nama baik negara.

Kebanyakan pelajar yang dihantar oleh kerajaan ke Amerika Syarikat adalah mereka yang cemerlang di peringkat SPM dan persediaan. Ada juga yang ditaja oleh sektor swasta dan ibu bapa sendiri. Keadaan tidaklah sesukar zaman 70-an dan 80-an kerana ketika itu belum ada teknologi telefon bimbit dan sebagainya. Namun begitu amat menggembirakan saya ialah di sebalik revolusi industri ini, rakyat kita tetap menunjukkan jati diri yang kuat di luar negara.

Dalam satu sambutan Deepavali, hampir 200 pelajar dan komuniti Malaysia hadir ke majlis tersebut, namun hanya lebih kurang sepuluh pelajar India yang beragama Hindu. Majoriti adalah pelajar Melayu dan Cina. Apakah maknanya? Ini bermaksud dalam kepelbagaian kaum, kita dapat bersatu.

Begitu juga ketika sambutan Krismas, daripada 50 orang hadir di rumah seorang profesor asal Malaysia yang beragama Kristian, hanya tuan rumah sahaja beragama Kristian. Maknanya, walaupun terdapat perbezaan agama, kaum dan kepercayaan namun atas nama Malaysia, kita semua dapat hidup dengan harmoni. Agak-agaknya apakah yang mengikat tali perpaduan kita? Kebersamaan?

Formula ini perlu dibawa ke dalam negara. Kita kini berhadapan dengan Revolusi Industri yang memberi kesan di seluruh dunia. Bagaimanakah kita boleh mengawal emosi dan tindakan kita di alam maya tatkala berhadapan dengan isu-isu politik, sosial dan ekonomi.


Undang-undang sudah banyak untuk mengawal perbuatan yang boleh mengancam keselamatan negara. Namun begitu, yang lebih penting ialah bagaimana kita boleh menjadi seorang warganegara yang berdisiplin, bertolak-ansur dan berhemah tinggi. Keselamatan negara adalah tanggungjawab kita bersama.

WHAT DOES NEW MALAYSIA MEAN?

on Monday, March 11

The New Malaysia concept aims to make Malaysia a great and respected nation. NSTP/MUHAIZAN YAHYA
However, many people at the grassroots level are unclear what the term means.
So what does New Malaysia mean? According to Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (online), baru or “new” means to repair so that a thing becomes new, or to repeat; or to start something new; or to replace or change with something new.
Therefore, it could be summised that New Malaysia is an effort to repair what needs to be improved or to repeat successes that have made the country respected in the past.
The New Malaysia concept is aimed at restarting a progressive and visionary move by putting in place new strategies so that the goal of making Malaysia a great and respected nation can be achieved.
In his speech at the 73rd United Nations General Assembly last year, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad stated that via the New Malaysia concept, the government and leadership is committed to ensuring that every Malaysian enjoy the nation’s prosperity buttressed by equitable distribution of wealth generated by the nation-state.
It should be remembered that the emergence of New Malaysia is a response to Malaysians who wanted changes in the political, governmental, economic and social systems.
Malaysians want a New Malaysia that upholds the principles of justice, has good governance and a high level of integrity, and exalts the concept of the rule of law. Many changes have been implemented or are in the pipeline:
FIRST, the size of the cabinet and membership was reduced to fewer than 30 ministers.
Reflecting a more confident leadership, policy decisions in the cabinet are no longer based on consensus but on majority support.
With this method, a decision is easier to reach for the benefit of the people compared with the previous method of consensus, where decisions reached a stalemate due to dissension in the rank;
SECOND, efforts to eradicate corruption were intensified. Many steps were initiated. Government officials are dissuaded from accepting gifts except perhaps tokens. Any donation to a party in the government is not allowed without prior consent from the cabinet;
THIRD, the media have latitude and more freedom. However, the new ruling party is mindful of reports that may create tension and uneasiness among the multiethnic population.
Nevertheless, there is a more lax attitude, believing that the media organisations will exercise discretion and ensure that law and order are sustained; and,
FOURTH, Dr Mahathir’s administration is set to be business-friendly by adopting an open participation policy.
Managing business startups will be simplified and bureaucratic red tape will be reviewed.
The government has indicated that it will revisit laws that restrict the freedom to trade in an effort to make business activities freer and easier.
All projects will be conducted through open tender in an effort to be transparent.
The government has stated that it will encourage and accept investments. Foreign direct investments are slated to bring in capital and technology.
As for development projects, such as the construction of new townships, local companies are given preference as they have the capabilities.
As for large-scale infrastructure projects, foreign participation will be allowed only if there is no local expertise.
The new government is bent on upholding the rule of law. This has been reiterated by members of the ruling party and it will apply to everyone, regardless of rank, status or education.
The government is also reviewing laws and regulations to strengthen governance and weed out obsolete laws.
The government is committed to distributing the nation’s wealth to all parties fairly and equitably.
The federal government has pledged to reinstate the rights of Sabah and Sarawak as enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and examine to which extent provisions in MA63 have been implemented to safeguard the rights and interests of residents in Sabah and Sarawak.
Therefore, the new government is going forward with new visions and missions to create a Malaysia that was envisioned by our forefathers.
It is the greatest challenge to have emerged since Malaya’s independence in 1957 and the formation of the Federation of Malaysia in 1963.
The country is going through a transformation and reform phase that demands all parties to work together and strive to achieve the goals of a New Malaysia.
As Malaysians who love this nation, we should cooperate and work together so that we can continue to enjoy the blessings of independence, prosperity and successes of our great nation. Anything else is secondary.



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