‘Sang Saka Malaya’ flags a challenge to sovereignty

(Bernama) – The flying of the ‘Sang Saka Malaya’ flags during the Merdeka Day eve celebrations in the city last Friday was described as a challenge to national sovereignty, by historian and director of Universiti Malaysia Perlis, Centre for Royal Institutional Studies, Prof.  Dr. Ramlah Adam.

“This is about the country, not politics. I feel that the group has challenged the nation’s sovereignty,” she said.

She was commenting on the You Tube clip circulating on social media sites which showed A Samad Said reciting poetry and an angry man bursting onto the scene and grabbing a few ‘Sang Saka Malaya’ flags put up nearby, on the eve of the 56th independence day at Dataran Merdeka last Friday night.

The ‘Sang Saka Malaya’ is a red and white flag with 12 yellow stars set in four columns reportedly proposed as Malaya’s national flag by an association in the 1940s.

Commenting on the involvement of national laureate A Samad Said, Ramlah said that as a matured and respected figure, he should have been more sensitive to the struggles of his predecessors who had fought for the country’s independence.

She called on the government to take stern action to curb such rampant incidents and commended the man who had been brave enough to grab the flags.

Several political analysts also voiced out that the authorities should clamp down on such activities which attempted to spark tension among the people.

They also praised the courage of the man who was seen grabbing the ‘Sang Saka Malaya’ flags and crumpling them up while pointing out the massive Jalur Gemilang fluttering at Dataran Merdeka as the correct one.

Universiti Sains Malaysia’s deputy dean of the School of Social Sciences assoc prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian said a similar incident occurred on the eve of last year’s independence day.

“The authorities need to be more assertive in taking action and punish these irresponsible parties, otherwise it will seem as though we are recognising the Sang Saka Malaya flag,” he said.

He said those who understood the significance of our history and upheld our sovereignty would not behave thus as the national flag was a symbol of the country.

A similar stance was expressed by Mara University of Technology, Faculty of Media Communication Studies, senior lecturer assoc prof Dr Ismail Sualman who said that the blatant action clearly demonstrated the lack of enforcement by authorities.

“Leaders can change from time to time … but efforts to change the flag is mindless. No country has ever done it, as the national flag is the most important symbol of any country,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ikatan Rakyat Insan Muslim Malaysia president Amir Amsaa Alla Pitchay said severe punishment should be imposed on those who kept mocking the Malaysian flag, in order to deter others.

“The government should not keep quiet anymore. They should take stern action against anyone who does not respect our flag. Do not allow this situation to spread,” he said.

Revoke Samad Said’s title

Cheras Umno division chief Syed Ali Al – Habshee praised the brave man and said his action proved that there were Malaysians who dared to defend the flag single handedly in the face of an irresponsible group.

He called on the Home Minister to investigate the incident and arrest the perpetrators and revoke their citizenships.

Whereas, Gagasan Pendidikan Melayu Malaysia secretary-general Syed Anuar Syed Mohamad urged the government to consider revoking the national laureate title conferred on A  Samad Said.

“The government is the one who conferred the title on him, but he (A Samad Said) constantly disputes their policies. He should be a role model instead,” he said.

A similar incident involving the ‘Sang Saka Malaya’ flag took place on the eve of last year’s Merdeka Day, following which more than 400 police reports were lodged.

Although some cases were investigated under the Sedition Act, no suspects have been charged so far.