National Day should be celebrated in unity by all Malaysians under the same theme and logo which are in line with the country’s aspirations, according to political analysts.

In their opinion, the introduction of an alternative National Day celebration logo and theme by the Perikatan Nasional (PN) Youth movement to be used by the states under the PN administration is unfounded.

These experts believe that the MADANI Malaysia concept initiated by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has been generally accepted as the theme of the current government and it should not be regarded as the theme for a political party.

Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil had previously announced "Malaysia MADANI: Tekad Perpaduan, Penuhi Harapan (Determination in Unity, Fulfilling Hope)" as the theme of the 2023 National Day and Malaysia Day celebrations.

National Council of Professors' Governance, Law and Public Management Cluster chief Prof Dr Nik Ahmad Kamal Nik Mahmod said as the legitimate government of the day under the Federal Constitution, the Unity Government holds the right to carry any theme that is in line with the country’s leadership aspirations in the effort to enliven the National Day celebrations.

“The basis of the objection is the use of the Malaysia MADANI theme as part of the National Day theme deemed to be popularising the political theme of the government when in fact MADANI itself has been the theme of the current government.

“The current government is a legit government under the Constitution and any theme that it carries is no longer the theme of a political party…therefore it is the current government’s prerogative and should not be questioned,” he told Bernama.

On Saturday, PN Youth chief Ahmad Fadhli Shaari said the four states under the PN administration may use a different National Day logo and theme for state-level celebrations as it contains words such as MADANI Malaysia, among others, that were repeatedly used while campaigning.

Nik Ahmad Kamal believes if only politicians can temporarily refrain from being sceptical towards the government, such suggestions will not arise as choosing themes for any celebration at the national level including the National Day celebrations is a common practice that has been going on for years.

He said attempts to create state-centric political narratives while disregarding the Federation spirit is a step backwards, adding that the celebration of the country’s independence should be imbued with a sense of nationhood and must be free from political sentiments that are detrimental to the people and country.

“I call on all quarters to reconcile and prioritise the spirit of nationhood and not assume that every decision made by the federal government, especially regarding the theme of the National Day, is politically motivated,” he said.

Meanwhile, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Razak Faculty of Technology and Informatics Perdana Centre lecturer Prof Madya Dr Mazlan Ali, the proposal for an alternative National Day logo and theme is deeply concerning as it can potentially undermine the spirit of nationhood, create disunity between the state and federal governments and among the people.

“This will be seen as discord in the federal-state relations, and the relevant states may appear to be unwilling to have a good relationship with the federal government even in matters involving patriotism, setting a bad example to the people.

“My concern is that this issue can be detrimental to the federal government with the emergence of anti-federal government sentiments. This should not happen as it can divide the people,” he said.

PN deputy chairman Datuk Dr Dominic Lau yesterday said he objected to the proposal for PN states to use a different theme and logo for National Day, saying that National Day celebrations should not be politicised.

Today, Terengganu Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar said the state will use the same National Day logo and theme as the federal government.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency