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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Hey guys, we're unpatriotic!

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.

“We need to adapt to changing needs and lifestyles. For starters, we need to re-instil patriotism in youths regardless of their ethnicity or religious backgrounds,'' he said during his inaugural working visit to the east coast state.

Earlier, he held dialogues with youth department officers and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) at the youth skills institute here.

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.

“We would ensure the grassroots have funds to conduct activities for youths,” he said.

Character-building programmes that instil patriotism are also needed to shore up support among youths, Ismail said.



Look, we youth are NOT unpatriotic! Mr. Yaakob, you consider one of the causes being that the government has not reached out enough leads me to suspect that there is again the common misconception on these ultra-conservative part about equating loyalty to the state with loyalty to the government.

Look, we we are Malaysians, love Malaysia and we always wave our flag and represent ourselves in foreign lands. But we have the right to question what the hell the government is doing. It's not unpatriotic, it's just that we're exercising our rights as long as it's not seditious. Since when is exercising freedom considered unpatriotic? Does that mean Malaysians youths deserve to be sent to an ISA internment camp?

Oh, and please stop using the "we're doing it too because it's cool" tactic. Stop it. Okay, so maybe it's a good thing for the government to have blogs, but seriously, will the youth ever bother to read it? Will your blog be as interesting as Kenny Sia or Jeff Ooi? Look, we youths are no longer Rakan Muda/Dewan Pelajar types anymore. If you can prove to us that your blog is as hip as other blogs like Kenny Sia and such, then we wouldn't mind reading it.

However, we do have other things to do like reading KLue magazine, listening to a hitz.fm Gotcha! call, shuffling with a crew, visiting rave parties to check out the hottest DJ, lepak at Bangsar or 1 Utama, checking out the recent Douglas Lim stand up at the Actor's Studio Bangsar, and more hip things we youths do other than reading blogs. We have 1001 things we do in our free time, Mr. Yaakob. All you need to do is to read an issue of KLue magazine.

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