Sunday 2 September 2012

Flag duo denies wanting to change Jalur Gemilang

Two youths who have generated a storm after being accused of wanting to replace the national flag have come out to deny the allegation.

The accusation emerged after the duo was spotted bearing the Sang Saka Malaya at the Janji Demokrasi rally.

The flag resembles that of Indonesia but retains the Malaysian yellow crescent and star.
In a blog posting yesterday, blogger Serigala Selatan claimed responsibility for the flag.

NONE"Zairi Shafai and I were the individuals responsible for flying the Sang Saka Malaya during the night of the Merdeka celebrations at Dataran Merdeka.

"Our motive was far from wanting to replace the Jalur Gemilang (national flag) to the Sang Saka Malaya as it is the Sang Saka Malaya that was changed to the Jalur Gemilang," he said.

The blogger who identified himself as an undergraduate said they had only wanted to fly the flag "alongside Jalur Gemilang" in honour of the Malay leftist struggle for independence which had been erased from official history.

"Sang Saka Malaya is the symbol of their struggle in demanding independence for Malaya. The standard was also proudly flown at Gunung Semanggol, Perak when it was the fortress of Hizbul Muslimin under the leadership of Abu Bakar Baqir on March 17, 1948.

"Therefore, I and Zairi felt that other than the Jalur Gemilang, this flag deserves to be flown on Merdeka night. The Sang Saka Malaya is filled with their bitter struggles," he said.

Variations on flag 

The original template of the flag which consists of purely red and white - identical to the modern day Indonesian flag dubbed "The Sang Saka Merah Putih" - was often used by the pre-independence Malay political movements.

The flags eventually evolved into a number of variations as the political movements fragmented. An example was Umno's party flag which has an addition of a yellow circle and a green keris.

malaysia flag jalur gemilangThe blogger in another posting today also denied responsibility for leaflets explicitly stating that the Jalur Gemilang (right) should be replaced by the Sang Saka Malaya - photographs of which were published in the newspapers.

"We, the youths, who were responsible for flying the Sang Saka Malaya are confounded at who had distributed this leaflets, and when it was done.

"We have no intention of calling on the government to change the Jalur Gemilang to Sang Saka Malaya," he said.

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had yesterday accused the opposition of wanting the change the national flag and instituting unwanted change to the monarchy.

Kelantan Umno liaison committee chief Mustapa Mohamed went a step farther to warn that "certain quarters" wanted to turn Malaysia into a republic to by changing the country's constitution and flag.

Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein in a Twitter posting had also said that the matter will be investigated.

"I agree that such cases require immediate action because it has become an issue of public interest," he said.

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