Merdeka is bigger than any logo or theme, says Ahmad Faizal

A Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia leader says any Merdeka theme or logo, should focus on the country and the celebration itself.

Bersatu deputy president, Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu said the Merdeka celebration is bigger than any logo or theme.

While he has no issues with the Malaysia Madani logo and the theme ‘Malaysia Madani: Tekad Perpaduan, Penuhi Harapan’ for this year’s Merdeka and Malaysia Day celebrations, Ahmad Faizal was quick to add that states, and even districts, should be allowed to celebrate the nation’s independence in their own way.

“Every government will have its own theme. We’ve seen 1Malaysia, we’ve heard of Wawasan 2020 (Vision 2020) in the past. Is that wrong?” he asked.

“But we are not celebrating the logo or theme. We are celebrating Merdeka … we are celebrating those who came together and made our independence possible, those who helped build schools, and other infrastructure. It’s a day for us to reflect, and think about what are we leaving behind for our future generations. This, to me, is Merdeka.”

He added that if every state, district, or even village wanted to have their own theme, they should be given the right and opportunity to do so.

“Let them celebrate it in their own way, but the main idea should be that they are celebrating Merdeka, and celebrating it for the right reasons. It is a day that should be celebrated by all Malaysians.

“I’m against his (Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s) policies, but Anwar is a fellow Malaysian, and I will celebrate Merdeka alongside him,” the Perikatan Nasional (PN) deputy chairman told Twentytwo13 this afternoon.

On Aug 19, PN Youth launched its own logo and theme for the upcoming Merdeka Day celebrations on Aug 31. The alternative logo depicts the hibiscus flower, while the theme is ‘Teguh Muafakat Malaysia Sejahtera’ (Strong Consensus for a Prosperous Malaysia). PN Youth leader Ahmad Fadhli Shaari said Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan, and Terengganu, which are under Pas, would likely use the newly-launched logo and theme.

Ahmad Fadhli is a Pas leader, a party that is part of the PN coalition, which includes Bersatu and Gerakan. The federal government is run by Pakatan Harapan, with Barisan Nasional as one of its core component parties.

Certain quarters had brought up the lack of excitement this year in celebrating the day Malaya obtained its independence from Britain on Aug 31, 1957. Malaysia was formed on Sept 16, 1963, with Sabah, Sarawak, and Singapore.

Singapore, however, opted out two years later to become a sovereign, independent state.

Ahmad Faizal said the issue wasn’t about the logo and theme by the federal government, but rather, their frustrations with the ruling administration.

“The problem is the rising cost of living, the weak ringgit … they (the people) feel that the government has let them down, so, whatever the government does, they feel it’s just politics,” he said.

The ringgit is currently around RM4.65 against the greenback, pushing up the prices of certain items, and forcing the government to introduce several ‘Rahmah’ initiatives, with cheaper meals, and some financial aid.

“The government doesn’t own the word ‘madani’ (advanced society) or ‘perpaduan’ (unity). These words belong to us all,” said Ahmad Faizal.

“It’s not about who has the better logo or theme. If that’s the case, then we are missing the entire point of  Merdeka.”

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