Malaysia will be celebrating its 66th National Day on Aug 31, marking more than six decades of freedom and peace since the declaration of independence was marked by the raising of the Malaysian flag at the Selangor Club field here.
This year’s National Month and Fly the Jalur Gemilang campaign, which started on July 16, has yet to pick up pace as residential areas and vehicles are not as festooned with flags as was the case years ago.
However, Bernama's survey of six states today found that government buildings and private offices, public parks, schools, business premises and main roads are decorated with Jalur Gemilang of various sizes.
In KUALA LUMPUR, the Jalur Gemilang was more apparent on government buildings, schools, public parks and several main roads such as Jalan Raja Laut and Jalan Kuching.
The Jalur Gemilang is also being sold at a number of shops and supermarkets, while not as many homes have hoisted the flag in residential areas.
Kampung Malaysia Raya Residents Association chairman Mohd Zainuddin Amran was of the opinion that people were more concerned about other issues and that buying necessities took priority over buying flags.
Civil servant Adham Muhammad felt that the way people expressed their patriotism has changed with the times, with the advent of social media and other online platforms, so flying the Jalur Gemilang was not the only way to do so.
“For example, when outsiders try to attack Malaysia’s image on social media, many of our netizens will rise up and defend our country. This is the new way people show their love for Malaysia,” he said.
In PERLIS, the Jalur Gemilang has started adorning government and private buildings as well as shops in Kangar since early this month, but residences have been slow to follow suit.
Norhafizah Saidin, 52, a civil servant, admitted he has only put up one flag due to a lack of space in front of his house.
PAHANG is experiencing a similar situation with not many business premises and residences flying the Jalur Gemilang.
Private sector employee Mohd Azizi Alauddin, 33, said on his way to work in Kuantan through the Kuantan bypass he only saw the Jalur Gemilang on a few lamp posts and roundabouts.
“Maybe the local councils need to make it compulsory. Last year the Kuantan City Hall said business premises which did not display the Jalur Gemilang would be fined, resulting in waves of flags everywhere,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kuantan native Tan Wai Wai, 40, said it is still the first week of August, so people are taking their time to put up the flags.
“Maybe it will pick up pace in the middle of the month. It will be good if the relevant authorities could also distribute the Jalur Gemilang to encourage the people,” she said.
In JOHOR, the flying of the Jalur Gemilang and state flags at all local council premises is only scheduled to start on Aug 15.
In PERAK, Ipoh Mayor Datuk Rumaizi Baharin urged the owners of business premises and residences to fly the Jalur Gemilang from July 1 to Sept 30.
This is to achieve the state government’s initiative to hoist 7,000 Jalur Gemilang in the city of Ipoh, which is being carried out now.
Taking on the initiative, Tazar Alang Ibrahim, 63, who lives on the outskirts of Ipoh, has created replicas of a helicopter, cannon, tank, boat, Wau (kite) and an aeroplane using the Jalur Gemilang.
He spent RM500 to make the replicas with tyres, recycled materials and scrap metal, which he has proudly displayed outside his workshop at Jalan Tasek.
Meanwhile, in MELAKA, the Hang Tuah Jaya Municipal Council (MPTHJ) building has already been decorated with the Jalur Gemilang both inside and outside, while the main roads in Lebuh Ayer Keroh and Seri Negeri have been brightened up with many flags.
"Business premises or private buildings will start flying the flags in stages. And we will ensure the local council premises will also be decorated with the Jalur Gemilang to liven up the Merdeka celebrations,” said MPTHJ president Datin Sapiah Haron.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency