Patriotic fervour: Khairy (centre), Raja Arif (second from left) and other leaders singing the 1Malaysia song at UTM Jalan Semarak, Kuala Lumpur.
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians are rated “B” when it comes to showing they are patriotic to the country, according to a survey among six public and private universities carried out by the National Civics Bureau (BTN).
The new National Patriotism Index (NPI) saw 1,200 respondents scoring an average of 3.8 out of 5.0 in the survey created by Universiti Teknologi Mara’s Centre for Excellence released at the National Patriotism Convention at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia here yesterday.
“A 3.8 is not bad. I would give it a B or B minus,” BTN director-general Datuk Raja Arif Raja Ali told reporters at the event.
Present were Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin and Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Razali Ibrahim.
The NPI measures a person’s love for the nation and readiness to defend and fight for the country’s sovereignty.
The survey questions respondents on seven sections that include loyalty to the monarchy, Bahasa Malaysia as the official language and the 1Malaysia movement.
It also took into account the spirit of volunteerism, nationalism, demographics and race relations and the use of local products.
“This index is our pilot project. Our next move is to take it to 10,000 respondents from different sectors, such as, maybe, middle-aged management level from private firms,” said Raja Arif.
He said the questionnaire contained simple questions, such as whether Bahasa Malaysia should be used as the mode of communication.
Razali said he was confident the NPI was based on the Rukun Negara concept as well as the Constitution, and would be utilised well to measure patriotism, specifically for youths and generally for the whole of Malaysia.
“It assists BTN in the factors which contribute to the rakyat’s development,” he said.
In his speech, Khairy told the gathering, which was mainly made up of students, to practise true patriotism by serving the nation and fellow countrymen.
“You must love your countrymen, not just those of your race or religion. Do we feel patriotic when people insult Islam or Hindiusm? We must be consistently patriotic,” he said.
“Defending other religions against insult is being patriotic – when you fight for all Malaysians.”
He urged youths to take up volunteer work to help others and the country.
“Wake up every day with the intention of leaving a positive impact. We cannot afford to be a nation of passengers – we must be a nation of drivers,” he said.