KUCHING, Oct 1 — People in the state must always show respect for the national anthem and not follow the action of a group of individuals who purposely refused to stand up when the ‘Negaraku’ song was played.
In making the call, Sarawak Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said such action must be completely rejected.
“(Even) If we are unhappy with the government, don’t disrespect our national flag and national anthem. Our previous leaders have agreed to form Malaysia in 1963, there is no Malaysian flag and national anthem before 1963.
“It means that in 1963, we have become part of the national flag and the national anthem,” he told reporters after handing over the Gold Awards won by the Sarawak Tourism Board at the 2019 Pacific Asia Travel Association Awards ceremony in Kazakhstan on Sept 19.
The Sarawak Tourism Board was named as the winner for the Marketing Media-Travel Video category.
He was commenting on a video which had gone viral on social media showing a group of individuals, believed to be members of the Sarawak for Sarawkians group who refused to stand up when the national anthem was played at an event here recently.
The individuals were believed to have acted such way as a show of protest over the federal government allegedly unkept promises to the state.
Abdul Karim said there were better ways for those involved to express their displeasure.
“My hope is that, they will repent and apologise to all Malaysians for showing disrespect to our national anthem,” he said adding that such action was contradicted with the culture of the people in the country.
He also felt that heavier penalties should be imposed against those who disrespect the national anthem.