KUCHING, Oct 2: The action of not standing for ‘Negaraku’ by a group of individuals indicates the absence of patriotism for the country and weakening pride in being Malaysian, opines Parti Bumi Kenyalang president Voon Lee Shan.
According to Voon in a statement, no one has ever been charged for offences related with the national anthem over the last 56 years since the formation of Malaysia in 1963.
“People in Sabah and Sarawak are beginning to get disconnected from their sense of belonging in Malaysia.
“The authorities can charge them in court but this will not stop their resentment for the federal government. Perhaps, more damage will be done,” he added.
Voon opined that the national anthem’s purported lack of originality also compounded this lack of connection, especially for those who knew the ‘truth’ now.
“As such, Malaysia needs to come up with a new national anthem with a tune and lyrics that reflect our history and culture. There is nothing wrong with creating a new one,” he suggested.
The ‘Negaraku’, he claimed, was originally meant for Malaya and not Malaysia as Malaya only changed its name to Malaysia on Sept 16, 1963.
Moroever, he added, it was claimed that the tune of ‘Negaraku’ was adopted from a popular French melody titled “La Rosalie” composed by lyricist Pierre-Jean de Beranger.
He is of the opinion that Malaysia has failed as a nation because of unequal treatment in government policies as well as various political problems affecting the federation.
“People are slowly realising their rights and the unequal treatment in terms of distribution of wealth, job opportunities and developments have caused people to resent the federal government.
“Failure to recognise Sabah and Sarawak as equal partners has affected the pride of many Sabahans and Sarawakians as citizens of Malaysia. When overseas, many would rather identify themselves as Sabahans and Sarawakians than as Malaysians,” he claimed.
Voon thus urged the federal government to address the disrespecting of ‘Negaraku’ issue as well as the resentment of the people appropriately.
Meanwhile, a local media outlet highlighted that a video showing a group of individuals, believed to be members of Sarawak for Sarawakians (S4S), not standing for the national anthem when it was played at an event, had gone viral on social media recently.
The group has described their action as a ‘silent protest’ against a ‘very unfair Malaya’, the term some continue to use for Peninsular Malaysia.
Police on Monday (Sept 30) summoned the individuals concerned to the police station to give their statements after a police report on the incident was lodged on Sunday (Sept 29).
According to Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department D5 (prosecution and legal division) principal assistant director SAC Mior Faridalatrash Wahid, the investigation of the case, under Section 8 (3) of the National Anthem Act 1968, has been completed.
“The investigation paper on this case has been submitted to the Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP)’s office for further action,” he was reported as saying at a press conference in Bukit Aman today (Oct 2).
“The police investigation does not take into account any of the reasons (protest) because the law has established that if the national anthem ‘Negaraku’ is played, Malaysians should pay their respects and stand up,” he added.— DayakDaily