(A closing speech delivered by the President, Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan at the Inaugural Annual General Meeting held on Sunday 20th August at Royal Selangor Club)
Ladies and Gentleman
Let me reiterate that the nature of our business i.e. something that we know best is defence and security and issues related to it. If our country is to prosper and progress, these two elements i.e. defence and security must prevail and cannot be compromised.
We will be keeping a close tab on such issues, and we will make a representation to the authorities, if we believe that our views need to be heard. If we are called to participate in any governmental forum that is organized for the purpose of soliciting ideas for the formulation of national defence and security related policies, then we will make our presence. But I have my reservation that our association will be called to participate in such formal governmental forums, because as an association of retirees; nobody would want to listen to us. That is the reality and the sad fate of people like us who are deemed obsolescence. So what must we do……..keep quite? No……we will make ourselves heard for good reasons, and I think in some way, our voice is beginning to be heard, though not forceful enough.
I still believe there are many among us despite our age are still active and can contribute ideas through the pen. For me this is the most powerful instrument to disseminate ideas, and as the saying goes i.e. the pen is mightier than the sword. But one has to be extra cautious when one writes so as not to be trap into writing something that is defamatory in nature.
Ladies and Gentlemen
That said, what therefore is our vision statement?
‘To seek a Malaysian nation where every citizen regardless of race and religion is saved from the follies of the nation’s leaders and administrators, in order to return the nation to its past glory’
Be that as our vision, we can now look at issue that we can voiced out, but not necessarily issues related to defence and security only. As of now, I can list down several issues:
One – To reinstate Hari Pahlawan (Warriors Day) that is celebrated on 31 July each year. I wasn’t aware that Hari Pahlawan is no longer celebrated, and for this year it was replaced by the Hari Perhimpunan Raksaksa Veteran ATM held on 31 July this year. I think the organizers have failed to realize the historical significance of Hari Pahlawan that was to remember and honour our dead heroes and those security forces veterans that had contributed their lives during WW2, the first Malayan Emergency, Indonesian Confrontation and the Communist Insurgency. It is not just a military affair, but an affair that involves the security forces i.e. military and police and all other related security agencies of the government.
Two – We support to keep active the RMAF Team of retired officers efforts at seeking the support of the current Armed Forces leadership, to recognize the supremacy of the Armed Forces Council in managing the Armed Forces, as eloquently presented by Mej Mior just now. This is an issue that may have been violated and abused by the powers that be, by ignoring the supremacy of the Armed Forces Council as granted for by the Federal Constitution.
Three – We support the effort of the ‘Mohicans’ to redeem the lost pride and status of officers of the Armed Forces as duly explained by Kapt Tengku Zainal. It was a long and tedious effort by Kapt Tengku Zainal to challenge the government through a legal process that took him almost 40 years.
Four – We demand political parties not to raise controversial issues of race and religion, and directing such issues at other races that will cause fear, mistrust and disunity. Religion is to unite and not to break up societies. In the eyes of our creator, all races are deemed equal. There is no one race that is superior. It is having the false sense that I am superior to you that is breaking up societies and creating mistrust.
Five – We seek the government to relook into the declaration of the Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality (ZOPFAN) signed by all Foreign Ministers of ASEAN in 1971 in Kuala Lumpur. The declaration states explicitly that South East Asia is “free from any form or manner or interference by outside powers, and to make efforts to broaden areas of cooperation among ASEAN member nation”. I fear that what the government does today contravenes the spirit of ZOPFAN. This is a heavy subject that needs to be brainstormed.
Six – We seek the government to cease talking about political issues that are not beneficial to the ordinary citizen, but to concentrate more on economic and social issues that are causing uneasiness and restraining the general public. The main issue today is the ballooning national debt, and how this will affect the citizens for now and the future. This isn’t clearly explained.
Seven – With the General Election drawing near, political parties from both the political divide not to indulge in racial and religious issues during campaigning for the purpose of winning voter support.
Eight – We will bring back the pride of our uniforms that we once wore by telling the ruling political leaders that the uniforms are only meant to be worn by serving military and police officers. Do you see the US President being the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces wearing a General’s uniform when he visits troops? Have you seen the British PM wearing a military uniform when taking a salute at a military parade? If we are not careful, we will one day see the PM and Defence Minister wearing a General’s uniform at National Day Parade in the presence of the King.
Nine – To demand UMNO and MCA to make a stand on the party to party relation with the Communist Party of China. If both the parties can have a party to party relation with a communist party, then other political parties can also establish relations with the Russian Communist Party or the defunct Malayan Communist Party.
For a start, we will concentrate on the issues that I had presented and to seek ways to move forward with the issues. I do not at this point in time want to discuss the form that we should take to trash out the issues that I had presented. It need detailed deliberation and I would like it to be handled by the Association’s Main Committee, and any decision made regarding the way to move forward the issues will be disseminated down to all of you.
I sense there is already much that needs to be done, but I am pretty confident that all of you will be able to contribute in whatever way you can towards the success of our Persatuan. The priority now is to build up membership and to make known our brand.
Finally, what will be the Persatuan say ten years from today is not known. Will it still exist, or will as someone has suggested to me, to bloom into a new political party. That I will leave that to the Persatuan and its members at the time to decide when that ten year period is up.