“We have built a nation but we are still struggling to build 32 million Malaysians.”
Those are the words of Prof Datuk Dr Teo Kok Seong who is dismayed over the controversial cover of the book “Rebirth: Reformasi, Resistance, And Hope In New Malaysia”.
The police are investigating the author, editor and publisher of the book which on its cover features a naked baby and two tigers stepping on a crocodile.
Teo, a principal research fellow in UKM’s Insitute of Ethnic Studies and Institute of Malay World and Civilisation, said there were Malaysians who have yet to understand and appreciate the country’s symbols.
“People view the coat of arms as a symbol but they do not know what it means, just like the Rukun Negara,” said Teo.
“The coat of arms and Rukun Negara are on the back cover of school exercise books. We only memorise the five principles and merely read it as an oath at national functions without knowing its true meaning.
“Education aside, common sense also seems to be missing. People know there are laws to deal with such cases. When you distort the coat or arms, you know you are courting trouble,” he said.
Teo said it was high time for a curriculum to inculcate our national identity.
“It should be done through formal education and something policy makers, especially Akademi Kenegaraan, can look into.
“Today, there’s someone not respecting the coat of arms. Several months ago, a group of students sang the national anthem in Mandarin. There was also an incident where the wrong Malaysian flag was displayed during a basketball event (opening ceremony of 28th MABA-Milo Lum Mun Chak Cup, November last year).
“But we can’t blame our citizens alone. We have successfully built a nation but it is high time to build 32 million Malaysians,” he said.
Meanwhile, here’s a round up of The News Normal today.
THEME PARKS TO OPEN DOORS
Senior Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said theme parks and water parks can resume operations starting July 1.
There are 54 theme parks nation-wide and operators must adhere to the standard operating procedures (SOPs), including physical distancing and sanitisation of equipment.
Ismail Sabri also said visitors at shopping malls only need to get their temperature checked at the main entrance instead of at every outlet. However, they must write their contact details or check-in using MySejahtera at the outlets.
IT WASN’T ME, DR M SAYS OF MUKHRIZ AS DPM PROPOSAL
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, had in his blog posting, said he knew he would be criticised after his son, Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir’s name was proposed as Deputy Prime Minister II should Pakatan Harapan reclaim Putrajaya.
The former prime minister said Mukhirz was proposed for the position as mentioned in a June 22 joint statement by Amanah president Mohamad Sabu and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng. He added since he is no longer the prime minister, his children are free to enter politics.
HEALTH MINISTRY REMINDED OVER PNEUMOCOCCAL JAB PLAN
Former Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad is hopeful that pneumococcal vaccination will be given due attention now that the Covid-19 curve appears to have been flattened.
Dr Dzulkefly told Twentytwo13 it was only fair to give the ministry some time to re-strategise its rollout for “various other health matters”.
“However, it would be most regrettable should the government decide to roll back the implementation of this new programme in the National Immunisation Programme,” he said.
3 NEW CASES IN MALAYSIA, 500K DEATHS WORLDWIDE
Malaysia reported three new Covid-19 cases today, bringing the number of cases to 8,637. Sixteen people recovered and the total number of fatalities remains at 121.
The number of deaths worldwide, however, is at 505,000. Over 10 million cases have been recorded across the globe with 5.5 million people having recovered.