KUALA LUMPUR: Two weeks after the National Month and Fly the Jalur Gemilang 2022 campaign was launched on July 30, many business premises and offices here have yet to be decorated and flying the national flag to hype up this year’s celebration.
Bernama observed that around the federal capital, only some buildings including government offices, hospitals, schools, roads and public parks have been decorated with the Jalur Gemilang.
Although various activities and programmes have been lined up by the government and local authorities to add more merriment to the National Day celebration after two years of no large-scale celebration due to the COVID-19 pandemic, involvement of the private sector is still insipid.
Prof Datuk Dr Teo Kok Seong opined that the trend of not flying the Jalur Gemilang at the business premises or private buildings for this occasion was not new and had been happening in the last 10 years.
The Principal Fellow at the Institute of Ethnic Studies (KITA), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), said such an attitude was not good in the spirit of nationhood and for the country’s image in the eyes of visiting foreign tourists who would not be able to feel the celebrative atmosphere of such as auspicious occasion.
“This attitude (of not flying the Jalur Gemilang) does not mirror love for the country. What is so hard to spend a few ringgit on buying the Jalur Gemilang and the celebration is only once a year? Flying the national flag is such an easy thing to show love for the country,” he said when contacted.
Hence, Teo stressed that the time has come for Section 107 (2) of the Local Government Act 1976 on the licencing condition for premises to fly the Jalur Gemilang or the respective state flags for national and state celebrations be amended as the maximum fine of RM250 is not commensurable.
“This is because each year, we whine about the same matter, then there’ll be a long silence and the matter crops up again next year. If there is enforcement by the local authorities, definitely more buildings will be flying our national flag.
“The existing fine needs to be increased while cancellation of the licence for failing to abide by the condition set should serve as a lesson. They deliberately do not want to fly (the Jalur Gemilang) while the regulation already exists,” he said.
Meanwhile, a lecturer on Heritage and Civilisation at Universiti Islam Malaysia (UIM), Tan Sri Prof Dr Abdul Latiff Abu Bakar said: “A national flag is an article that mirrors a country and flying it during important occasions such as the National Day celebration should be a must for all quarters as an expression of love for the country.
“We always question and make demands on the government but we forget our own duties to create gaiety and happiness on such an important occasion, and show gratitude for the achievements made by nation since its independence.”
Kuala Lumpur mayor, Datuk Seri Mahadi Che Ngah said City Hall would be contacting the building owners and business premises to urge them to fly the Jalur Gemilang so as to make the National Day celebration a success.
“I can go and look around the central business district of Kuala Lumpur first. With regard to Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), we’ve installed lots of flags including small ones among the trees in celebrating the 65th National Day,“ he added.-Bernama