Be strict on displaying the flag
Published on: Sunday, August 30, 2020
By: VT
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Malaysians will celebrate the 63rd National Day on Aug 31 and we can already see the Jalur Gemilang being displayed in various venues as citizens show their patriotism.

People want to show that their love for the country transcends politics and they feel happy displaying the national flag. The Jalur Gemilang represents and reflects the state of the country after all.

The colourful and vibrant Jalur Gemilang should be held in high esteem and respected as it represents the country and its people to others, especially tourists. As such, the national flag should be accorded due respect by citizens.

The government, however, may want to consider introducing a rule stipulating that the Jalur Gemilang can be displayed for a specified duration only.

Perhaps it can be displayed starting from Aug 15 and be taken off at the end of September after both National Day and Malaysia Day celebrations have concluded.

If this is done, the national flag will mostly be in a good state as it would have been displayed for only about 50 days despite being exposed to the elements. The flag can be reused the following year if it is in good condition.

This will put an end to the sorry state of some of the Jalur Gemilang that look dirty and tattered after having been exposed to the sun, wind and rain.

In some countries, the national flag is displayed only on certain occasions and at certain venues, and the people are not allowed, unlike in Malaysia, to display the national flag at their homes, on vehicles and places of business.

In a sense, the government has been too liberal in this aspect, what with “fly the flag” campaigns to motivate the people to display the national flag during National Day and Malaysia Day.

I’m of the opinion that state flags should not be displayed when celebrating these two occasions as it is common to see both the federal and state flags displayed side by side. State flags should be displayed only during special occasions concerning the state, such as the birthday of the ruler, governor or at other state-related functions.

The government needs to tighten the law now to ensure that the Jalur Gemilang is taken off two weeks after Malaysia Day on Sept 16. The local authorities need to be empowered to issue summonses to owners of premises displaying the flag after Sept 30.

Now that the Rukun Negara is being reemphasised, it is also time to relook at how Malaysians are treating the Jalur Gemilang. We may have been too lax in this respect for too long and it is time to be strict with the rules about displaying the national flag.


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