“Non vi si pensa quanto sangue costa.”
Paradiso xxix, 91.
The soldier fought his battle silently.
Not his the strife that stays for set of sun;
It seemed this warfare never might be done;
Through glaring day and blinding night fought he.
There came no hand to help, no eye to see;
No herald's voice proclaimed the fight begun;
No trumpet, when the bitter field was won,
Sounded abroad the soldier's victory.
As if the struggle had been light, he went,
Gladly, life's common road a little space;
Nor any knew how his heart's blood was spent;
Yet there were some who after testified
They saw a glory grow upon his face;
And all men praised the soldier when he died.
The Soldier by Sophie Jewett (from The Pilgrim and Other Poems, published under the name Ellen Burroughs, 1896)
Let’s face it.
We are a nation which is at war with itself. We do not even have the ability to unite under whatever circumstances anymore. Not even when our sovereignty is being challenged; foreigners invading us; displacing our people from their homes; making claims that our land belong to them; killing not one, two or three, but eight of our brave men.
All we do and seem to care about is politics, politics and more politics.
At a time when all of us, Malaysians, should don our patriotism on our forehead, what do we do? We quarrel. We blame each other. We call names at our police.
We spew stupid and baseless conspiracy theories about how our government is stage-managing this incident in order to declare emergency so that a general election does not have to be called.
Over on the government side, we have talks of the Sulu bandits being invited to Sabah by the opposition. An investigation is now, apparently being launched to find out about the truth and who was behind it.
People, what has become of us? Have we become so blind; so partisan that there is no avenue at all where we all could just forget about politics for just a little while and UNITE for the sake of this country of ours?
Have we become so sick of each other that nothing could take us away from this culture of hatred?
At the very least, can’t we shut up as a mark of respect for those heroes who have fallen? For their families? For the fathers who have lost their sons? For the mothers who have sacrificed their sons? For the wives who are now widowed? For the kids who are now fatherless?
Where is our compassion? Are we not human anymore? Is partisan politics all that matter to us nowadays? Have we abandoned all civility and good conscience for the sake of politics?
All of us should be united in the face of ONE common enemy now. Instead, what are we doing?
As of right now, I am ashamed to be Malaysian.