Selangor says 1 Malaysia ban only for business advertisements

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal, The Malaysian Insider

The Selangor government insisted today that its state-wide ban on 1 Malaysia logos on billboards was legitimate, but said it only applied to business advertisements. 

State executive councillor Elizabeth Wong said that the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government fully backed housing and local government committee chief Ronnie Liu’s move in banning the 1 Malaysia logos for such billboards. 

According to her, the local by-laws on the ban had already been in place since 2007, stressing that it was “nothing new.” 

Wong also revealed that the Selangor government had given out a directive to local councils to “not allow” the 1 Malaysia logo to be used on business billboards in November. 

“Under the by-laws, any political party logos are not allowed to be put on business advertising billboards. It’s like having a PKR logo on Syarikat Elektronik Ahmad, we can’t have that. 

“We can allow it (1 Malaysia) if it was a government programme which was neutral in nature. But we all know the 1 Malaysia logo is synonymous with Barisan Nasional (BN), and it’s even used during by-elections,” Wong told The Malaysian Insider. 

But the first-term Exco member also said that BN could still put up its political buntings bearing its 1 Malaysia symbol or party symbol in the state, as that was a different matter altogether. 

“They can still have their 1 Malaysia or BN logo buntings for the purposes of ceramahs or greetings for the new year, Christmas. You pay for your bunting under political advertising, there is a clear distinction there. 

“The point is that the by-laws apply to banning political logos on business advertising and business shoplots. The Rocket Cafe, at one point even they contravened by-laws, and were told off. So this applies to all parties,” explained Wong. 

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has insisted that his 1 Malaysia concept was not a political tool, but a concept to “fostred unity” among the different races in Malaysia. 

He used a Christmas Day gathering to defend it after Selangor banned 1 Malaysia billboard for allegedly breaching local council rules. 

The Star daily had reported Liu remarking that 1 Malaysia billboards were a political message from the BN federal government and were not allowed under local by-laws. 

“You don’t see any billboard in Selangor carrying the PKR, PAS or DAP logo.” Local government by-laws in Selangor clearly state that political symbols cannot be used on billboard advertisements,” Liu was quoted saying.