Our nation has been independent since 1957.

That is a total of almost 53 years. After so many years, our country has unfortunately not moved an inch closer to the solidarity we wish for. After being free and independent for so long a period, it is indeed sad that the concept of 1Malaysia has yet to be propagated.

The people of Perak are being threatened by the Ipoh Municipal Chairman, Datuk Bandar Datuk Roshidi Hashim, to fly the Malaysian flag at their business premises in conjunction with the forthcoming National Day or Merdeka Celebration this 31st August.

Patriotism and love for the country cannot be forced. It must come from within. From deep in our hearts. Believe it or not, you either love your country or you do not.

Insensitive decisions made by leaders of our nation today, unfortunately go a long way to promote ill will amongst the citizens of our country. The warning of the Datuk Bandar of Ipoh has met with much criticisms from the public and all Malaysians as a whole, the Perak Local Government Committee Chairman, Datuk Dr. Mah Hang Soon, has informed the public a retraction of the ruling by Datuk Roshidi has been made.

Datuk Mah said, trying to implement a ruling by the Ipoh Municipal council will not go down well with the people. It is not the way to get the people to show their love and patriotism for our country.

The Datuk Bandar, for your information, has even warned traders and businessmen that they will be fined, their business licenses suspended and blacklisted, if they failed to fly the Malaysian flag.

And recently, we hear of another leader of our country, a principal, a Pengetua or a Headmistress of a large school, which is supposed to inculculate “patriotism” and love for our beloved country, making uncalled comments to her pupils, a multi-racial assembly of young minds.

The above principal, unfortunately, has gone on to make racist remarks against non-Malay students. The Police are currently making their investigations into the serious matter.

The lady principal, in doing what she did is likened to a popular Malay proverb, “Seperti ketam menyuruh anaknya berjalan betul”. How can a leader, a Guru Besar, a Pengetua lead our young if she herself is of such a character, a racist, a chauvinist, be chosen as a leader of our multi racial community which Malaysia is made up of?

The Education Department has informed us public, the principal has gone on leave voluntarily. It would be better and more appropriate for the lady principal involved to have handed in her resignation letter immediately.

In my opinion, schools and educationists throughout the nation, do not require her services. We must always remember, no one is indispensable. Good riddance to bad rubbish, as the saying goes.

It is said, both sides of the parliamentary divide have criticized the principal involved, a school in Kulai Jaya, Johor for her insensitive remarks while launching National Day celebration recently.

Public opinion says, it was unbecoming for a principal to make such remarks. They recommend stern disciplinary action be taken against her.

Pertaining to this case, M.C.A. deputy publicity bureau chief, Mr. Loh Seng Kok, has made the suggestion that the Education Ministry incorporate the 1Malaysia concept in teacher training. In fact, if not mistaken, the above concept is already in the syllabus itself. The M.C.A. feels the principal, who made the remarks to her pupils, should be severely disciplined as she holds a leadership position in our society.

M.I.C. Secretary General Datuk T. Rajagopalu however says he sees no reason for the principal uttering such racialistic remarks, especially when Merdeka Celebrations are just around the corner. Insensitive remarks especially with the national celebrations approaching are beyond one’s comprehension.

Furthermore, her audience comprises the younger generation and our future electorates. With her comments, it looks likely as if the 1Malaysia concept has been sabotaged.

The M.I.C., it is believed, will support M.C.A. president call, that the principal who describes her non-Malay students of her school as penumpang or passengers in the country, be given a desk job and to receive counseling courses as well. It the above should happen, shame on her!

Meanwhile, Gerakan education and bureau chairman Mr. Lau Chin Hoon, has demanded a public apology from the principal for making such degoratory remarks to her pupils. He continued by saying, some form of deterrent penalty should be imposed. He urged the authorities to take steps to prevent such situations from worsening.

The best amongst the suggestions, I feel comes from the D.A.P. adviser, Mr. Lim Kit Siang.

I concur with Mr. Lim’s stern and no nonsense approach. Sack the principal for making such racist remarks. We cannot and must not tolerate such remarks in a multi-racial country such as ours. Our existence as a nation, in fact rests upon it.

As a parting shot, this article would like to state, “The severest disciplinary action must be taken against the principal, who is unfit to be in the education service of a multi-racial society.

As a teacher of driving school students, I am embarrassed of the lady principal. You do not deserve to be called a Cikgu at all! No Malaysian can forgive you for your utterances! You have let us all down badly. It augurs poorly for the concept of 1Malaysia which the nation’s leaders are trying to hard to achieve.