Ismail: Youth not patriotic

According to Youth and Sports Minister Ismail Sabri Yaacob, the youth in Malaysia ‘just ain’t patriotic anymore’.

Govt study: Youngsters just ain’t patriotic

BACHOK: A recent Government study has revealed that patriotism levels among youth in the country have declined significantly and if left unchecked, could lead to serious consequences for nation building.

Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the revelation has forced the ministry to re-look its policy on how to engage youth.

The Government has admitted it has lost the support of youths and has been unable to reach out to the technology-savvy generation, he said.

Ismail said the ministry would now be “result-orientated” with a specific goal of restoring confidence among the young in the Government.

This would include the ministry setting up its own blog as well as channelling funds directly to all youth associations, including youth-based NGOs in the country.

“We have decided to reduce bureaucracy. From now on, all funding for youth NGOs and associations will come directly from the ministry.

Full article here.

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I wonder to what extent this “government study” was. And what exactly the Ministry deems as being “patriotic”.

If love for the country is based on love for the present government, then perhaps Ismail is right in saying that youngsters aren’t patriotic. But if love for the country is just..love for the country, then I’m sure, there has got to be a lot more patriotic youngsters out there than they have found.

Students that go overseas on government scholarships don’t come back, not because they ain’t patriotic, but probably because the conditions are just not good enough, compared to overseas. Youngsters who just turned 21 and were eligible to vote in the GE2008 didn’t vote for the BN, not because they ain’t patriotic, but because they love the country too much to see it continue under bad leadership. Youngsters not yet eligible to vote, are looking to going overseas and never return, not because they ain’t patriotic, but because they cannot see a bright future if they were to stay in Malaysia.

Being patriotic isn’t about being loyal to whatever government it ruling. Being patriotic isn’t about doing whatever the “powers that be” tell them to do.

Being patriotic is about being brave enough to voice their discontent with what they think is wrong. Being patriotic is about wanting change if necessary. Being patriotic is about loving the country, and wanting the best for her.

In fact, I believe that the youngsters today are paying more attention to the politics of the country, compared to before. They are starting to take a stand, either for the BN or for the PR. And whether the BN likes it or not, these youngsters have their own opinions on what they think the country should be like, and how it should be run. How can Ismail call these youngsters ain’t patriotic?

The Barisan Nasional is talking about setting up blogs so that the reps can communicate with the youngsters more. Even UMNO Youth has just made this ridiculous law that anyone vying for any post in UMNO Youth must have a blog, or else, he is not fit to be a leader.

Why, does Ismail think, is the BN and UMNO doing this? It’s because they know that the blogs and alternative media online has been reaching out to the youngsters. And because it has always been the Pakatan Rakyat reps who have had blogs, they managed to reach the youngsters more. But, pray tell, if the youngsters themselves were not interested in politics to start with, if they ain’t patriotic, as Ismail puts it, then what kind of youngsters did the PR reps reach out to? And what kind of youngsters are the BN reps trying to reach?

Youngsters ain’t patriotic is just Ismail’s way of saying that the youngsters ain’t voting for BN.

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