Over the last two days, I have been receiving many congratulatory messages relating to the establishment of the Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan and its inaugural AGM held on Sunday 20th August, from friends via Facebook, phone messages and emails. I am truly honoured and encouraged by their words of support that gives me the motivation to serve the association even more. However, there were also some messages that sounded unsavory, and I think those that had sent such messages have misunderstood the aim and objectives of the association.
There was one comment which alleged the association members, I quote, “they are group of misfits who have a lot of bones to pick sour grapes”, unquote. This comment reportedly came from a senior retired Air Force officer. Another comment reportedly came from a senior retired Army Officer when he said, I quote, “my reading directly or indirectly this new association is ‘political participation’. These people are more inclined towards opposition right from the beginning”, unquote. Let me say to this two retired military officers that if the comment were aimed at me in person, I don’t really care. But if it was aimed at the association and all its members, than I take serious offence. My defence to the two comments made is this i.e. it is obvious that they do not have the slightest inclination as to the aim and objectives of the association. Neither are they members of the association nor had attended the AGM where members spoke about what all they aspire the association to be.
Let me tell the two retired military officers that our members are neither misfit, nor are we inclined towards the opposition. During my opening speech at the AGM, I had specifically said that the association wants to “help built a true Malaysian nation that is based on the foundation of unity, care and love for one another, setting aside race and religious sentiments”. I further went on to say that in dealing with the authorities of the government over issues of public and national interest, “we will maintain a ‘gentlemen posture’ and non confrontational”. I had also categorically stated that the association “will maintain a non partisan role void of partisan politics”. We will deal with issues that are plaguing the nation today, and there are countless. We will state our position on issues of public concern, and we leave it to the authorities to act. We will join other NGOs and associations that have raised and voiced similar concerns.
Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan is unique in that its members are comprised of retired military and police officers at this preliminary stage i.e. I believe the only association of this kind. Our Constitution has been design to include at various stages, military/police lower ranks and even retired members of the civil service; this in keeping with the meaning of the word ‘Patriot’ found in the official name of the association. The association is therefore not a military/police veteran association as some had thought it to be.
Being an association that is dedicated towards assisting the government in nation building and caring for its people, the road ahead will be long and tedious, especially for an association like us that wants to maintain a non partisan role void of partisan politics. This I think will be our biggest challenge.