Monday, 9 September 2013

Should we have this at Dataran Merdeka?




Each year, when our National Day is around the corner, it is a norm to read in the news that Malaysians are not patriotic enough by not flying the national flag, not showing enthusiasm towards our National Day, not decorating the entire building with Jalur Gemilang as compared to flags associated with political parties, not this, not that and plenty of other not.  

The laments of our politicians have been going on for years and finally, this year, we have something different – singing of national anthem in the cinema before the showing of a movie for a few days before and after our National Day and again on Malaysia Day. In this land of Endless Possibilities, even that was politicized and debated whether it is a form of BN indoctrination and does it does its purpose to instill patriotism in Malaysians.

As I was scribbling out my plans for my next Shanghai and Beijing trip, I suddenly thought of the daily flag raising ceremony with full military honour at Tiananmen Square in Beijing and a passing remark by a former professor of mine that the Chinese government is very good in ways to instill patriotism among the Chinese. The flag raising ceremony, which started since May 1st 1991, differs in time everyday and for convenience; there is even an online timetable for it. The event itself is a crowd puller and everyone will sing the national anthem with full enthusiasm.

Should we be having the same ceremony at Dataran Merdeka? 

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