‘Action to wave the Sabah flag not deliberate’
Published on: Monday, July 08, 2019
By: R Gonzales
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TUARAN: The action of three students of SMK Tun Fuad Stephens who waved the Sabah flag instead of the national flag during the prize-giving ceremony for the Dance World Cup at Braga, Portugal, recently, was not done deliberately to reflect parochial sentiment.

Liza Joseph, a teacher who accompanied the team and was present during the ceremony, said she was not able to hand in the Malaysian flag to the winners in time during the prize presentation as she was sitting behind the audience.

“First of all, as the accompanying teacher for the young dancers, I would like to apologise. I admit what had happened was due to my mistake until it has caused a misunderstanding, but it was unintentional.

“Actually the Sabah flag was with the three young dancers while the Malaysian flag was kept with me and, at that time, I was sitting behind the audience. 

“Therefore, I could not rush to the stage and hand them the national flag when the team was announced the winner of a category during the prize-giving ceremony,” Liza told Daily Express when contacted on Sunday.

She was commenting on a video circulating on social media showing the young dancers waving the Sabah flag during the prize-giving ceremony, which caught the attention of many Malaysians, who queried why the Malaysian flag was not used by the team.

A netizen uploaded a comment saying the accompanying teacher should have acted professionally and not being parochial. 

According to Liza, the team spent eight months to practise before being selected to represent Malaysia in the international level competition, which showed their commitment and reflected their patriotism.

“The viral video was the only video that was recorded during the prize-giving ceremony. Overall, we did wave the Malaysian flag and Sabah flag,” she said. 

The three young dancers who represented SMK Tun Fuad Stephens are Phoebe Faith Munsin, Dave Wackl Jolly and Carrie Ann Jolison. The students were trained by coach Fazly Kiran @ Achaii Pramata.

The SMK Tun Fuad Stephens team will be returning to Kota Kinabalu on July 9, said Liza. 



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