• the lack of practice of Malaysian values and the spirit of being a good Malaysian especially amongst the younger generation have become recent issues.
• Rabushka, 1973, Taib, 1984 and Awang, Kutty, and Ahmad (2014)
Support Evidence 1
• cultural adaptation
• cultural appreciation
• multi-ethnic youth
• social integration
Support Evidence 2
• Education In the school
• Government played on racial cards
• Be the Malaysian first
Support Evidence 3
• Reject the corruption.
• Care for Those Less Fortunate Than Us
Support Evidence 4
• special curriculum for History and Civic Education
Conclusion multi-ethnic youth in improving patriotism and racial tolerance.
Younger generation lacked parental guidance was one of the reasons for this issue.
Extensive past studies have highlighted the importance of social acceptance, ethnic tolerance, compromization, cultural appreciation and cultural adaptation, and the promotion of social integration within a multi-ethnic community. Cruz-Sao (2008) conceptualized social integration as a process of creating unity, inclusion, and participation at various levels of society so that every person from different backgrounds has the freedom to practice his/her belief. Social integration enables people regardless of their personal attributes such as socio-economic status, age, gender, ethnicity, cultural traits, religion, faith, and educational background to have equal opportunities, rights, and services. In a multi-ethnic country like Malaysia, awareness of the diversity in the personal attributes of people from different ethnic backgrounds is very important. Without proper planning of social integration, a chaotic situation may occur. Therefore, Malaysia has carried out various plans, policies, and activities to promote national integration. One example, the Malaysian National Economic Policies that were introduced after the ethnic conflict tragedy in 1969, in order to promote unity has been various forms of institutions. Standardization of the national school curriculum was implemented irrespective of the type of schools in Malaysia. It may be significant to state here that even though Malaysia has implemented vernacular school systems in which Chinese and Indian are allowed to use their own mother tongue in teaching and learning, all Chinese and Tamil schools in Malaysia have the same national curriculum.
Before Malaysian independence, our ancestries which came from different backgrounds cooperated in the demand for independence. The result of their unity led to Malaysia becoming a self-governing country. Among the main actions undertaken by the Malaysian government in ensuring harmony among the various communities is the alignment of the curriculum for all schools whether a national or national-type school. After 11 years in the national school system (6 years in primary school plus 5 years in secondary school), all students should feel a strong unity among the multi-ethnic societies. However, as many studies in the past tended to focus on school students rather than youth, there is a lack of empirical data on social integration among youth. This has led to the current study.
Another depending solely on school or education to improve this situation. Although there is somewhat a system has been set, people are skeptical due to religious reasons to integrate with others with those of different faith. The previous government played on racial cards to gain favor only for their people and neglected the other communities who worked the hardest for this nation. Religious text and scholars encourage followers not to have friends with disbelievers, so this had a lot of impact on me and others.
The young generations too can’t understand why they are not favored by the constitution but the natives are looked as masters of this nation. The others who have contributed immensely to the economy since before and after Malaysia’s inception is considered as a second class citizen. The questioning of the natives why non-natives are allowed to be in power is another issue all non-natives have to come to terms with. The system still favors one by race and not by merits are another challenging factor for Malaysians to intergrate.
Malaysian younger generations still integrates with one another but some know they have to take a back seat and play the second fiddle.
In the last years, we have been facing the lack of values in the society and in human relationships. We consider as ” value ” the degree of importance, significance or meaning that objects acquire, the actions, the situations or positions, to the extent that respond to the needs of the species and the human being in a certain time, and the struggle for this, to locate and rank the material and spiritual goods in order of importance. Talking in terms of what it is worth an object, in one hand, to satisfy a need and on the other hand, to express the dependence of building a life goal.
Compassion, freedom, humbleness, generosity, justice, peace, tolerance, honesty, loyalty, respect and trust among other values are no longer the qualities that characterize the people in the world. These new behaviors that have adopted the majority of the people are antisocial and dehumanized but unfortunately are installed in our society as common pattern.
Be Malaysian First – If we’re serious about wanting a better future for this nation and making this the best home for all, then we have to start thinking of ourselves as Malaysians and not whatever race or identity based on our forefathers’ homelands. We’re all migrants, it just depends on how far we want to roll back history. But due to various circumstances in history, our forefathers’ boats landed on this fair shore and made this land their home. Being Malaysian first doesn’t mean we cease to be Malay, Indian, Chinese, Iban, Kadazan, etc., but that our identity is now firmly anchored to our nation.
Being ‘truly Malaysian’ is about showing respect and being loyal to the country. I should fight to bring glory to the country and be proud to be a citizen of Malaysia. A true Malaysian also obeys the rules and laws of the country. I will act with dignity wherever I am and follow and teach others that rules are there for the good of the people and country.
Besides that, being kind to our fellow Malaysians reflects the ‘truly Malaysian’ spirit. We will not tarnish the country’s good reputation by being disrespectful or hateful to one another. We must also respect other people’s views and opinions and avoid putting down others to make ourselves feel better.
As citizens of the country that is renowned for its multi-racial society, true Malaysians should also respect the different customs and cultures of one another’s races. We should also have the interest to find out and learn more about one another’s ways of life so as to better understand one another and live harmoniously.
Since tourists are guests to our country, treating them well is also one of the characteristics of a true Malaysian. The tourism industry benefits our country economically and provides direct jobs to our community. It also helps in our infrastructure development, educational growth and to fund conservation efforts. In addition, it allows both the tourists and the local community an opportunity to experience other cultures, which broadens understanding. Tourists treated with courtesy and warmth get a good impression of Malaysia and are more likely to visit our country again or even recommend it to their friends and relatives. This further promotes tourism in our country.
Since true Malaysians are also patriots, we can also show our patriotism through our actions. Upholding the five National Principles, supporting domestically-manufactured products, using our national language – Bahasa Malaysia, singing our national anthem loudly and confidently whenever required, refraining from committing acts of vandalism on public property or littering in public places indiscriminately, flying our national flag – the ‘Jalur Gemilang’ on National Day and all formal occasions, among many others, are all examples of the ‘truly Malaysian’ spirit.
Uphold the Federal Constitution – There are many laws that cover all aspects of life but the Federal Constitution (FC) is the big one. Every Malaysian who can read should read it at least once in their lifetime. It doesn’t matter which Tun or Tan Sri or Professor says what; if it isn’t said in the FC, it doesn’t count. This document spells out our fundamental rights as citizens and it is empowering to know it. Fear comes from ignorance. So don’t be ignorant and we’ll fear less. After we’ve read and know what the FC guarantees, we need to defend it and use it to defend our fellow Malaysians. Also, we need to obey all laws (if they don’t contradict the FC), even the minor ones like putting on our seat belts.
Remember Who the Boss Is: You! – That’s right, if we’re citizens, we’re the boss in our democracy, a word of Greek origin which incidentally means ‘people’ (demo) ‘power’ (kratos). What about the Prime Minister (PM), I hear you say. Well, the word ‘minister’ is an old English word for ‘servant’. So, there you have it, another phrase for Prime Minister is ‘Chief Servant’, and all the other ministers are, thus, servants. After all, we’re the ones paying their salaries. A caveat: If you’re one of those Malaysians who treat your servants badly, don’t forget that the PM’s also a fellow citizen.
Start Building Bridges – Let’s get out of our own community and start building friendships with Malaysians of a different race and religion. Let’s invite each other to festivals, anniversaries and birthday celebrations. We may be pleasantly surprised to find out that there’s much in their culture and traditions that we admire and many more prejudices that we have that are unfounded. We may even find out that underneath all our differences, we’re simply human beings who share common values and aspirations. We need to start tearing down those false barriers put up by politicians who can only stay in power by dividing us.
Be an Active Citizen – Stop complaining and start doing something. If we feel unhappy about the way this country is being run and that we should be much better off, then we should get off our behinds, (or keyboards) and make a decision now. Think this way: Things are going to change and it’s going to start with ME! We need to stop looking to the government – present or future – to solve all our problems because that just not going to happen. We must believe we can do our bit to change our corner of the world. It doesn’t have to be things like taking part in the next big protest, but something as simple as reminding our town council to collect the rubbish or cut the grass in the parks. Oh and we must not forget to vote.
Use the National Language (and Other Languages) – We need to talk to each other. And suspicions and strained relationships will creep in if we don’t understand each other. We need to take pride in our National Language, Bahasa Malaysia. If we aren’t fluent in it, we should learn it and use it. This won’t mean that we neglect our mother tongue or English. The way God wired us, we’re capable of being fluent in multiple languages and we should go for it. Also, remember that learning does not stop with schooling so it is never too late to learn anything. the National Language included. What is more, it is one of the easiest languages to grasp.
Be Well-informed – In order to assess accurately, think critically and decide correctly, we need to have good and reliable information. So, gather information from different sources, cross check them and then act on them. We are in the Information Age after all and information is just a click away. Read both pro-establishment and alternative media. Read both local and international news. Talk to people who are well-informed and get their perspective.
Reject Corruption – Corruption is the scourge of any society and we must have zero tolerance for it (or, as the PM put it – have a natural abhorrence of corruption). The guilty is not just the person receiving the bribe or abusing his power, but the one who gives or allows someone to abuse his power. We need to make a commitment to never offer a bribe and if we have done it before, admit it to ourselves or someone close to us that it is wrong and commit to never doing it again. We must report every corrupt person regardless of whether we believe action will be taken or not, from the junior officer to the most senior leader. To offer a bribe or do nothing to stop it is to be an accomplice to a crime and betray our country.
Be a Giver and Not Just a Taker – Look for ways to go beyond earning a living for ourselves and our families. Start a business, invest in one, have a farm or factory, provide a service, export your products and create jobs. We need to ‘add to’ and not just ‘take out’ of our economy. Whatever we do, consider the social and environmental impact of our decisions. Will we give people fair wages and not just a minimum wage? Will our working hours and conditions cause hardship for those working for us? Will what we do pollute the environment? Will it be sustainable? Success is not just about the money but the legacy we leave behind.
Care for Those Less Fortunate Than Us – We were less than nothing as a society if we do not have compassion for the less fortunate among us. If we do not rush to the aid of the weak, sick and dying, not only are we demonstrating our lack of cohesiveness as a society but our lack of a heart and soul. Being a community means looking after each other through thick and thin. So, get involved with charities and organisations that reach out to the poor and needy. By doing so, we’re not only better Malaysians for it but also better human beings.
These findings have implications for public policy makers with regard to patriotism, tolerance, and unity because the results showed that the level of these three aspects is still at an unsatisfactory level. Despite various efforts and programs carried out as a result of these policies, there are many other elements that are associated with patriotism, tolerance, and unity that need to be improved. In the context of education in Malaysia, effort in nurturing patriotism, and unity as well as tolerance has been applied through a special curriculum for History and Civic Education. There is a more practical framework and based on empirical studies this should be the basis of the curriculum
In conclusion, the ‘truly Malaysian’ spirit epitomises the good values of the ‘Rukun Negara’ and respects the symbols of the country. Apart from being the good role model for others, a true Malaysian is friendly and kind as well as hospitable to visitors to the country.
The above suggestions are by no means comprehensive, but they should be a good guide for our journey in making a mark on our nation. It may be just pure idealism to believe that we can change the world but hoping (that comes with action, of course) is better than just existing.